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  #1  
Old 07-07-2008
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How to convert your Ranger to LED - the right way...

I keep getting PMs from other ranger-forums members asking about my LED conversion because they want to do a similar conversion in thiner truck. So I figured I'd be a nice guy and start a post to show people what to do.

The first thing you need is an Electronic Flasher. This fixes the "help I put LED's in my turnsignals and now they blink fast" problem. I bought mine on vleds, it was 16$ - people tell me you can get them cheaper elsewhere.

Headlights - On my 2004, there are 3157 bulbs in the turnsignals.

These are the bulbs I recommend - they are 50$ per pair at vleds.com, and have 60 SMT led's on them. From experience I can tell you that these will look about 90% as bright as the stock bulbs.

Corners - On my 2004, there are peanut bulbs in the turnsignals.

These are the bulbs I recommend. They are 9$ at vleds.com. These bulbs worked really well on my corners as I have black-internal corners (no chrome inside) and the light shines out very good with the dispersers. This was the biggest surprise of my LED job.

Reverse Lights - Every bulb in my tail lights was either a 3156 or 3157.
I used a similar bulb to the one I am going to recommend for my reverse lights, but this is because I did not know as much as I do now. I recommend these:

55$ a pair, 60 LED's each (same bulb as turn signals, but different color)

Brake/Turnsignals - If you want brighter than stock Brake/Turnsignals then you NEED to do an L1224R conversion. When an L1224R bulb is used in a reflector socket like a 3157 it is extremely bright, much brighter than even a stock incandescent 3157 bulb. These are the bulbs that manufacturers (like mercury) are using to make their stock tail lights LED (like the mercury mountaineer) - To get your hands on these bulbs you will need to purchase a set of mountaineer tail lights, and take out the bulbs - I'm sure you are saying "why not just buy the bulbs"? Right - well think about it. The L1224R's will not 'screw' into the socket of a 3157 opening. You need to cut out the opening (with a dremel) of the mountaineer tail lights, and then epoxy it to your stock lights so the key shape that it screws into can be adapted. This is much easier than it sounds, provided you buy good epoxy and LET IT DRY before you try and play with it. When I did mine I was trying to fit the bulbs in when the epoxy was still soft and this just made my life worse. One tip is to also make sure that the bulbs have room to turn so you can lock them in. It would be stupid to epoxy the key's in position where they will interfere with the rest of the light housing.

If you refuse to listen to me on this and still want to go with plugin's for your tails then a far second I would suggest the same bulbs as shown above for the front turnsignals and reverse lights, but in red. These are 50$ per pair. If you are interested in an L1224R conversion please email me as I have done this for other ranger-forums members before and the results speak for themselves. Not to mention the cost is basically the same as going with the plugins.

For the license plate I recommend these bulbs, also at Vleds.

They are cheap (10$) and work well, even know they will be offset at about 45 degree's from optimum position. I have tried 3 different kinds of bulbs back here and these ones to my surprise worked the best of that I could find.

For the center 3rd brake light I would recommend first making a board with multiple LED's rather than going with a plugin, but if you insist on using a plugin (and your truck is newer like mine, 2004) than you can take advantage of the fact that Ford eliminated the rear cargo lighting.

In the newer Rangers, there is a bulb socket spot for the cargo bulbs, but there are no bulbs or sockets in there. You can easily get yourself extra sockets and wire them in parallel with the rear stop bulb to make it 3 times better (do not try this with an incandescent bulb, it will draw too much current) - I do not really condone this method as I am currently in the process of making extremely bright LED boards that will go up in there.

I hope this helps some of you LED guys as I plan to update this thread with more info as I get questions so it can do everyone good. It would be useful if a mod made this a sticky.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Good thread.
I want my reverse lights to be brighter, are the ones you recomended still only 90% as bright? Any recomendations?
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Old 07-07-2008
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Why would you spend $50+ for some little bulbs, and they aren't even as bright...


The only ones I could understand would be reverse lights, but only if they were a lot brighter
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Old 07-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korey89 View Post
Why would you spend $50+ for some little bulbs, and they aren't even as bright...


The only ones I could understand would be reverse lights, but only if they were a lot brighter
I was about to say the same thing. I have better ways to waste my money.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Why would you spend $50+ for some little bulbs, and they aren't even as bright...


The only ones I could understand would be reverse lights, but only if they were a lot brighter
Exactly what i was thinking. why not go HID if you wanted to spend some change and get more light?
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Old 07-07-2008
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Exactly what i was thinking. why not go HID if you wanted to spend some change and get more light?
There no such thing as a HID turn signal bulb lol
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Old 07-07-2008
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lol.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadfoot View Post
Good thread.
I want my reverse lights to be brighter, are the ones you recommended still only 90% as bright? Any recommendations?
They are very bright, but the bright is different as compared to incandescent. You wont notice the 10% (my guesstimate) difference as I am claiming.

These are the 57LED reverse LED's I have.

Keep in mind the post above recommends the LED's that Vleds sells, these will give you better results than I have.



I would say that if you looked at my reverse lights and stock side by side, the ones I have would look brighter, but the brightness would not be as smooth as an incandescent. It really is hard to quantify "percentage brightness" because the brightness just looks different. I can however say you can clearly see them in the sun at noon on a sunny day. With these very bulbs about a month ago I was backing my truck into a parking spot when someone stopped me (a guy in his 40s) to say, "hey what kind of reverse lights do you have" - I said "I converted them to LED sir" - he said "wow". Meanwhile he was like staring at my tail lights while I put on my other pair of shoes before I locked up my truck. Keep in mind this was at 7am when it was plenty bright out. It looks even better at night.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korey89 View Post
Why would you spend $50+ for some little bulbs, and they aren't even as bright...


The only ones I could understand would be reverse lights, but only if they were a lot brighter
You have to understand, its just not about brightness. There is a fundamental difference in the look of the lights. The colors are so much more vivid and sharp. There is no real easy way to show it on the internet compared to seeing it with your own eyes. Besides, I love the way they come on instantly without fading on and off. With brakelights, this is a big safety advantage too. Obviously these aren't for everyone, but I get enough PM's to make a post like this. for myself, the truck for me is more of a realistic yet luxurious prissy ride to drive around compared to my other car, which is uncomfortable, and extremely loud. It's nice to have something that I can drive without worrying about potholes and having to nearly stop to go over rail road tracks or when I go into driveways.
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Old 07-07-2008
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I like the mods, I've spent over $100 on LED's. I love them, it's literally a night and day difference.

Brenton
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Old 07-07-2008
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I've also been thinking of going to all LED's, but can't really see that they are THAT much brighter.
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Old 07-07-2008
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I've also been thinking of going to all LED's, but can't really see that they are THAT much brighter.
It's not just about brightness, the coolness of LED is mostly the color and vividness it gives off. Cameras can not show this, you have to see it in person.
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Old 07-07-2008
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I've been talking to another member on here about it as well. Do you know if they come in the size thats needed for the cargo lights?
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Old 07-07-2008
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The cargo lights would take smaller (194 or 168) LED's if you have sockets for them in there. My 2004 Ranger does not have the sockets in place, but it had holes for the sockets. For best results I would not use plugins for the cargo lights. I would recommend dremeling the holes open from the backside and flushmounting some flat-plate LED's in there. It will make a tremendous difference. I have done my domelights, and maplights of both my Ranger and my Evo this way.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Ive replaced my corners, brake and reverse lights with LEDs. Looks great! Still need to do my turn signal/running lights.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Here are some examples of my work, with similar bulbs as shown above (some Ranger and some Evo)

(this post is as cut from my original post on evolutionm.net, but its basically the same thing for a ranger, or any other vehicle. - this will give you an idea of the brightness of the "plugin style" at night if you use ones with a high number of LED's that shoot in different directions at the reflectors themselves.)

I started with the tail lights on the Evo, and I am very happy with the results. Next step is to do the truck. I am going to be using the "electronic turnsignal flasher" instead of load resistors to keep them blinking at the normal rate.

I will be getting the same style bulbs for the truck so here is what I expect.

I did this thread so others can see the results of an LED conversion..

The first 2 pics are an LED and a Stock bulb in my stock ranger taillights that are out of the truck and in the basement. I tried to go into detail to help others.





The rest of these pics are of my Evo, which I just converted to LED today, but you can see how this worked out so you know how the Ranger will look.











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  #17  
Old 07-07-2008
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I'm actually asking because my cargo lights are now turn signals as well..and I have the amber bulbs in them.
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Old 07-07-2008
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I have to say I wasn't a fan of LED's at first, but once you have a few they do look cleaner and better than stock. There are some cheaper bulbs out there, but the ones JP27 is talking about work very well.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Jp7....was the only thing you had to do is change the flasher too?
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Old 07-07-2008
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Is the L1224R red or white?
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Old 07-07-2008
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Yes you need to change the flasher also, it is cheap (16$)

Using resistors is retarded on a ranger because we have the old style flasher (much better)

I can only get L1224R's in Red, sorry not white or amber yet.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Originally Posted by Jp7 View Post
Yes you need to change the flasher also, it is cheap (16$)

Using resistors is retarded on a ranger because we have the old style flasher (much better)

I can only get L1224R's in Red, sorry not white or amber yet.
I was hoping you'd say red!

and if anyone with an older ranger is having issues with LEDs you can get a 2 pin electronic flasher just like the 5-pin ones for the newer trucks and it works just fine. Mine cost 9.99 at advanced
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Old 08-10-2008
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I have 3 sets of L1224R for sale, lotsa people seemed interested but only 2 sets have sold - This includes everything you need for the conversion.
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