How to Upgrade The Sealed Headlights?
Sealed beam headlights are generally more lasting than the halogen or HID headlights we have right now. I have an old Jeep Wrangler with sealed headlights, and I tried replacing them recently. The project went smoother and easier than I expected. My concern was more towards not damaging any clip or similar part of the old vehicle.
If you are considering changing the sealed headlights of your car but are unsure about the process, I have explained it here. Although, since I don't know the particular model of your vehicle, it may not be as specific. I request you to leave a comment if you are facing problems even after reading my article.
Step-By-Step Guide of the Sealed Headlight Upgrading Process
Table of Contents
- Step-By-Step Guide of the Sealed Headlight Upgrading Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Find a Good Sealed Beam Headlight
- Final Note
Before you start it, get a set of socket wrench tools and screwdrivers. Their required size may vary depending on the makes and models of your vehicle. Also, make sure to buy a new sealed beam headlight as the upgrade with the exact size of your stock ones.
There are many sizes of them for different cars like H4651, H4666, H4703, etc. Once you have everything ready, follow the steps below-
Open the Bonnet
Start by opening the vehicle's hood to get access to the screws, bolts, and clips you need to remove.
Examine the Area
Since I can't give you an exact way to access your old sealed headlight, you should first examine the areas. Check which parts block the headlight. Usually, there will be a metal case to secure the headlight. The grille or bumper will block this metal case.
Remove the grille or bumper; if Necessary
If the bumper or grille is blocking access to the headlight system, you need to remove it. Usually, you need to remove some clips, screws, and bolts from the top in this scenario. But there can also be screws on the side and even be inaccessible by the turn signal.
They may also be at the bottom. It may get tricky, and you may need to use common sense. If you still can't access the headlight housing part, ask a mechanic or me, or look it up online with your vehicle model name.
When opening the grille or bumper, keep the screws arranged somewhere so that you can replace them in their places correctly later.
Opening the Metal Frame
Once you have successfully opened the parts blocking the headlight access, it is time to unscrew the metal frame. You will find some screws securing it to the housing on the top and bottom. However, don't touch the two screws that are there to adjust the beam focus. You can tell them apart as they will be longer and look different.
Taking the Old Headlight Out
Before you take the sealed headlight out, disconnect the plug behind it. Afterwards, wiggle the headlight a bit to remove it. Don't use too much force if the headlight or the vehicle is so old.
Installing the New Headlight
Place the upgrade headlight in place of the old sealed one. Reconnect the plug and test the light. Replace the screws but don't overtighten them to avoid damaging the parts.
Putting everything back
Put the grille, bumper, and any other part you removed back in their places. When replacing the screws and bolts, try putting them in the same place they were before. Finally, close the bonnet of the vehicle.
If you are still finding the process a bit complex, you can check out this YouTube video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a sealed beam headlight contain a replaceable bulb?
A sealed beam headlight does not contain a replaceable bulb. It is a sealed unit. The most common type of headlight used in the United States is the sealed beam unit. These headlights were first introduced in 1938 and were common until replaced by composite headlamps in the 1990s.
A sealed beam headlight consists of a glass lens, a reflector, and an incandescent light bulb. The entire assembly is sealed and cannot be serviced or repaired without replacing the entire unit.
What are the sizes for sealed beam headlights?
There are multiple sizes for sealed beam headlights, but the most common size is 7 inches in diameter. Other sizes include 6 inches, 8 inches, and 10 inches.
What is a factory sealed beam headlight?
Factory sealed beam headlights are headlights that have the light bulb, reflector, and lens all sealed together as one unit. They were common in older cars, but are less common today because they're not as efficient as other types of headlights.
Most newer cars use either projector headlights or composite headlights. Projector headlights use a single light source that's projected onto a reflector, which then projects the light out through a lens. Composite headlights use multiple light sources (usually LEDs) that are mounted behind a clear cover. This cover diffuses the light evenly across the surface of the headlight.
Factory sealed beam headlights are still used in some vehicles because they're cheaper to produce and simpler to install than other types of headlights.
How to Find a Good Sealed Beam Headlight
If you are struggling to select the best sealed beam headlight among many options, you can check this article that I wrote.
It contains a buying guide, an FAQ section, and ten excellent sealed headlights on the market.
Since sealed beam headlights are considered backdated at this point, many manufacturers stopped creating them. Hence, you may not get enough options on the market. If you can't find a suitable one for your vehicle, ask me down below.
Also, consider checking out this article if you require a 7×6 sealed headlight for some top-notch options. I am also eagerly waiting for you to share how your upgrading process went.