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Thread: led headlight conversions

  1. #1
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    led headlight conversions

    This has been discussed on Toyota Nation but I don't recall it coming up here. Is anyone using LED headlights on the Previas, and if so, which ones? I've tried 2 different conversions (Auxbeam and Hikari) and had trouble with both (no high/low has been a consistent one, and others). I'm still currently using the Hikari but it may have been recalled. I stopped using the Auxbeams in part because of horrendous difficulties communicating with customer service, but I know other people have used them on Previas.

  2. #2
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    FWIW Here are the notes I have accumulated (but never acted upon, but consider I have fog lights I purchased in 2000 that are still sitting on the shelf ) . Not sure all references are properly attributed.
    -----------------------------------
    Previa Headlights
    I absolutely love Toyota's but the one thing they seem to fail at is headlight wiring (more a ND issue as Nissans seem to have simular problems). My 86 4runner had issues. My 89 Supra had issues.
    The components are marginal, The wiring is just barely enough. Over the long haul the switches and or Relays burn up. THe lights are dim as a result of the small contacts and small gage wiring. God forbid you put a higher wattage bulb in.

    You want a shock measure the voltage at the lights and battery with the headlights on. at the battery you will likely see close to 14v with the engine running at about 1500rpm. At the lights you will probably see about 11.5 volts.

    There have been several post like yours and it seems to be the dimming relay is the culprit. Once you get that sorted out you can take the load off the circuit and improve the brightness of the lights with a kit like this.

    http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...OnLineOrdering <http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/Headlights.shtml>

    That will put a set of 30 amp high quality relays up close to the lamps with larger gage wiring to fix the voltage drop problem that exists with the factory wiring. Thats a Kit and the way Rodger designed it it will plug into the factory headlamp plugs so you do not have to cut the factory wiring. Then just run a fused power tap right to the battery terminal.

    From http://zenseeker.net/Previa/PreviaMaintenance.htm
    The Previa uses a relay to send power directly to the headlights, but grounds these lights through the dimmer switch in the steering column. If carbon builds up on these terminals, your lights will dim and may even eventually fail. You can take apart your switch and either clean off your terminals or replace the dimmer switch with a new one. Care should be taken with removal and installation of the air bag.


    Original Modified

    A more robust fix is to use 12V 30amp relays to ground the low and high beam headlight circuits. This will divert the high amperage of your headlight circuits so that it doesn't enter the cabin or go through your steering column. This should also brighten up your low and high beams as you are reducing resistance in the headlight circuits. Your headlight switch should also live longer since only minimal amperage to power your relays will go through your dimmer switch.

    You can make your own headlight relay, which is simple enough to do, or purchase a headlight relay kit which allows you to simply plug everything in. It is IMPORTANT to NOTE that Toytoa grounds the power through the headlight switch and already uses a relay to power the headlights. You need to find a relay kit specially designed for a Toyota which adds a relay to the ground wires, otherwise you will be just adding more resistance and complexity to your circuit without an improvement in lighting. If your relay kit doesn't have a new ground wire which needs to be grounded to your Previa, that kit likely isn't appropriate for your vehicle.

    Diagrams: (saved also)
    http://zenseeker.net/Previa/PreviaMa...tSchematic.png
    http://zenseeker.net/Previa/PreviaMa...icModified.png

    danielsternlighting.com relays Discussion on use of relays

    Note - pre-94 and some 94 Previas have headlights which use the older 9004/HB1 bulbs. Significant gains in lighting can be obtained by updating headlights to the newer ones which use the US 9003/HB2 (similar to H4). You will also need an H4 connector (NAPA Echlin LS-6235) for this conversion.

    same lines:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-(help-please)
    The '92 Previa uses HB1 (9004) bulbs. They're very inefficient headlights and will never work very well, even if they're in brand-new condition. Hit www.car-part.com (a search network for used auto parts all over the USA + Canada) and find a good set of '96 Previa headlamps. Search results show lamps from all identical-to-'96 years. You'll have to do separate searches for "with fog lamp" versus "without fog lamp" and for left vs. right. The '94+ Previa headlamp is physically interchangeable with your '92, but the later light uses H4 bulbs, which are more efficient with their axial filament. If necessary, polish and recoat the lenses with this kit http://www.doublehornproducts.com/pr...8&cat=1&page=1. Then use these bulbs http://store.candlepower.com/90h4hbxtpo.html (not that Ebay "extra white" colored-glass junk), aim the lamps correctly http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html and you'll wind up with much easier/safer seeing at night. For a bigger improvement yet, consider putting in headlight relays http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ys/relays.html to bring full power to the lights.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "If you find yourself holding a sledgehammer or a crowbar, it's time for a break."

  3. #3
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    Now that I've tried LEDs there is no turning back. I remember some of the old threads (that they existed, but but not the details) from the yahoo group about ways to make halogen lights brighter. I have no problem with brightness now, the main issue is not having high/low beam and the right headlight actually goes dim when I turn on the brights while the left doesn't change noticeably. But the morons who had the van before me had a 91-93 headlamp housing on that side (which I replaced) with a 9003 bulb rigged to it, but they also did some wire cutting (god knows why) and that's probably why the right one is different. They may have used the wrong gauge wire or done something else stupid to exacerbate the low voltage issue.

    Hikari suggested additional resistors but resistors are usually used to fix flickering, and mine don't flicker. But maybe this does all tie back to the low voltage issue so maybe resistors are worth a try.

  4. #4
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    I'm learning that some of my unmentioned problems (uneven light), which really aren't problems for me because they still work way better than halogen, are due to the reflector housing on Previas. All of the retrofitting projector housing links on the Zenprevia site are ancient and dead. I'm going to drive with these a bit more at night, carefully, and see if anyone flashes me. Since they have been recalled I'm going to return them but I need a better option to fall back on when I do.

  5. #5
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    I bought some LED headlights for about $100 and tried them and don't like them because they don't have a good high beam. Low beam is great but not much difference when you go to high beam. So I took them out and put the regular bulbs back in. Don't remember the brand right now but a very good brand I think. I'll give them to you if you wan't them. I'm just carrying them around in my car and now have plenty of spare Hella bulbs that I intend to use.

  6. #6
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    I'm still driving with the Hikari LEDs. Neither of the 2 kinds I've tried have been much different on brights, so I also just keep them on the low beam. Nobody has flashed me (not even the police!) so I think I'm going to stick with these even though they are recalled. I thought the other ones I tried were way too bright, I just didn't feel comfortable with them.

  7. #7
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    The LED's I have aren't too bright for on-coming cars. I had my wife drive toward me at night when I had the bulbs on low beam and then on high beam. She said even on high beam there wasn't an issue with blinding her. I think alignment can help you not blind people with your LED headlights also.

    The nice thing about the LED lights is the extreme white color. It really makes a difference on how well you can see. I just needed my high beams to reach out further because I drive on dark highway roads at night a lot.

    If someone wants to try LED lights, let me know and I'll send them to you for free. And if you don't like them, you can send them to someone else and let them see if they like them or not. Better than paying full price to learn that you don't like them. I can only ship to USA addresses because I will use USPS.

  8. #8
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    sam which led model do you have.

  9. #9
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    Re: led headlight conversions

    Hi Lawrenceco

    I shipped the LED headlights to someone on this forum last month.

    Sam

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