How to install 9004 / 9007 LED headlight Bulbs
If you're putting LED headlight bulbs in a vehicle that comes with 9,004 or 9,007 halogen headlights, you might have a little difficulty when it comes time to put the bulbs in the headlight. (Here's a huge list of 9004 and 9007 LED bulbs, but keep reading to learn which ones we recommend and how to install them.)
First of all, 9,004 and 9,007 bulbs look very similar. Check the numbers on the bulb, or look at your user manual to make sure you know which ones you need.
The difference between 9,004 and 9,007 is the filament layout and the spacing on the three notches. The wiring looks the same, but the circuits work differently.
The ground is on the outside, not the middle, but goes in the same way for installation. As long as you've got the correct 9,004 or 9,007 LED bulbs, you're good to go.
For every single headlight they mount into, the bulbs sit there and are held in with a separate retainer. You grab onto it, twist and pull the retainer off, and then the bulb comes right out.
There are notches around the collar of the light bulb that line up with the keyways on the headlight opening. If you try to put a 9,007 halogen bulb into a 9,004 headlight, it's not going to line up even though the headlight bulbs might look similar.
For example: on the headlight from a Dodge Ram (as seen below), if you have a different kind of a car or truck that takes a 9,004 or 9,007 headlight, they're going to mount the same, but you might see different types of retainers.
Something like this is an aftermarket one (shown below) that you might find if somebody previously lost theirs or if you lost yours.
Others (like this is one below) work on a different vehicle, and it's really long. So depending on what type of LED headlight bulb you have, you might run into other challenges with mounting.
Something like the GTR Lighting CSP Mini is shaped precisely like the original halogen light bulb, so it's plug-and-play. It fits perfectly, just like the original halogen bulb came out.
You install it, put it in the retainer, plug it in. With something like the GTR Lighting Ultra Series or the S-V.4, they're a little bit more high power. Meaning they pack more of a punch, they're brighter, and they're bigger.
Something like the GTR Lighting Ultra Series (above) has a collar that allows you to twist the bulb and separate the whole thing when you grab onto it, so that's how you would install it in this application.
The collar mounts in, just like the original halogen bulb came out, then your original retainer goes on to hold it in place, just like your original bulb. The next step should be pretty straightforward. First, you grab the LED, and you insert it into that now mounted collar, exactly how it came apart a second ago.
The heat sink on the LED is large, so even though it lines up with the keyways on the bulb, it doesn't go in all the way.
It's interfering with the plastic on this collar. If you run into a problem like this where the bulb can't seat far enough because it's hitting the collar, the solution is a little messy but relatively simple.
If you were to cut this in half or trim it with a bench grinder or sander, you can eliminate some of the material and still allow it to hold the collar in place. That's not the case with smaller bulbs like the GTR Lighting CSP Mini. That's the same size and shape as the original bulb or something like the Morimoto 2Stroke. That heat sink is so small that it doesn't interfere with anything.
If the headlight on your vehicle uses a larger retainer (like the one above), it's supposed to go in the same way. You put the collar into the headlight, lay the retainer over it, and the bulb is supposed to go in.
As soon as the LED headlight bulb heat sink interferes with the collar, you're done. You got to do the same thing here, too. If this part is too long, cut it down.
There are some options out there for aftermarket collars (like the one above) that might fit your vehicle and make installing a breeze. Unfortunately, they're universal and not guaranteed to suit every application, but it might be an option for you.
If you're installing the Morimoto 2Stroke (below), the install is a breeze. You have your retainer, then slide it over the wire harness and the driver.
Then snug it up to the bulb, and install it as a whole assembly. Because everything's so small, it pretty much installs just like the original halogen bulb.
If you're using the GTR Lighting CSP Mini, 9,004 or 9,007 bulb, you line up all the markings, put the bulb in, and put your retainer on just like the original bulb. The install here is precisely the same as stock.
If you have something like the acclaimed S-V.4 LED headlight bulb, it has a set screw for a retainer here.
Take the included Allen wrench and carefully unscrew the retainer. Then, take the mounting collar off the bulb, put your headlight retainer on the collar, and sandwich the whole thing back together.
If we fold the cable down, you can get everything to fit. Then, line up your screw holes again, and put your set screw back into place. This mount is so common that you might see it on many different LED headlight bulbs from other manufacturers.
It's not the most elegant, but it works just fine, and having a larger bulb like the S-V.4 allows you to have brighter headlights. Generally speaking, the smaller the LED headlight bulb, the less bright they're going to be. So, you have to make some meaningful sacrifices based on what you're looking for.
Now that you have this assembled, you would install it just like the original bulb came out.
Once you have your LED headlight bulb mounted to the headlight and ready to hook up all the wiring, quick double-check to ensure that your LED chip alignment is accurate. If it's slanted or LEDs are pointing up and down when the bulb is in place, then that's a problem.
You're going to get a bizarre, very dark beam pattern if you don't have the LEDs facing horizontally, left and right.