2020 LED Upgrades - Links Added | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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cpainter3

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EDIT: See Post #10 below for links to the bulbs I used and additional comments

According to the owners manual, the 2020 Explorer has all-LED lighting in the front, sides and interior. In fact, there are only 3 incandescents listed: license plate, rear turn signals and backup lamps.

I did LED upgrades on my two previous vehicles and I'm a big fan of LEDs. The challenge can be finding quality bulbs of. Also, Superbrightleds.com and Bulbamerica.com don't list any 2020 models in their bulb finder dropdown filters. So I turned to Amazon with owners manual in hand. I found likely candidates for all 3 locations. I was all but certain about the license plate lamps as the housings and bulbs are identical to my 2014 Fusion.

Here are the results (in all pics below, the LEDs are on the left[driver's side], stock incandescents on the right):
License plate lamps:
IMG_4693.jpg

Turn signals:
IMG_4694.jpg

Backup lamps:
IMG_4696.jpg

The improvement in light from all three is much more dramatic when seen with the naked eye, I'm very pleased.
 


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peterk9

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I'd be somewhat concerned about the license plate bulbs. If the reflection is actually more dramatic than the picture the glare could be problematic for those behind you.

Peter
 




cpainter3

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Unfortunately the iPhone camera doesn’t do justice. They are bright, but have the effect of lighting up the rear very evenly. Really helps with overall visibility of the vehicle from behind. Like I say, I’ve had the same bulbs on my Fusion for a couple of years now, without problems.
 




themishmosh

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That's sweet. Thanks for the post! Not sure why they didn't use LED for those 3 locations. Got any links to the products you used? I'd like to do the same.
 




peterk9

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That's sweet. Thanks for the post! Not sure why they didn't use LED for those 3 locations. Got any links to the products you used? I'd like to do the same.
LEDs emit a much brighter light and the only thing that the incandescent bulbs have in common is that they are all at the rear of the vehicle. I doubt that is a coincidence.

Peter
 




blwnsmoke

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The only thing I can stress is to buy a high quality LED bulb when upgrading. Dont get the 20pks for $5 on Amazon. They will start flickering within a month.

If you can find Phillips LEDs, I'd highly recommend those. I did use these for my license plate on my 11 and they were great with no flickering.

Screenshot_20190721-125635_Amazon Shopping.jpg
 




mikegrad77

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One of the best upgrades I’ve done on my 16 explorer was projector style LEDs in the backup lamps. Makes a huge difference in visibility. I’m planning on removing those before i return it and get the new one. Hoping the fit the new truck.
 




cpainter3

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One of the best upgrades I’ve done on my 16 explorer was projector style LEDs in the backup lamps. Makes a huge difference in visibility. I’m planning on removing those before i return it and get the new one. Hoping the fit the new truck.
2020 reverse bulbs are listed as W21W, which is pretty much equivalent to a 7443 bulb. I think those are fairly commonly used for reversing lamps.

I will post an update with the links to the bulbs I used. Very happy with them so far.
 




peterk9

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cpainter3

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Links to the LED Bulbs I Used

Here are Amazon links to the bulbs I used for my upgrades. All were a straight swap with no issues and completed in about half an hour. I agree with blwnsmoke that quality is important. I look at the Amazon reviews and try to infer a consensus conclusion. Some negative reviews are based on the customer saying the bulbs won't fit in the housing of their vehicle; that's not applicable for usage in this vehicle. NOTE: if you use the Amazon product finder for the 2020 Explore, it will tell you that none of these are the correct bulb. That is wrong. It's possible they haven't updated their finder for the 2020, plus I have found it's not always 100% accurate as to other cars I've owned. These will fit.

License Plate Lamps
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NCGFNB0/?tag=serious-20
These are a straight swap for T10, 168, 194, and W5W (W5W is the spec for the Explorer). If you look at the illustration in the link, you will see that they are flat and project on only side, which is ideal for lighting license plates and trunk/cargo interiors. They are pure (6000K) white.Full disclosure: these bulbs are bright. See the photo included in the link. They light up the whole lower portion of the liftgate. I think this is great as it really defines the view of the vehicle from behind, especially out on the interstates at night. The lamp housings are tucked up out of the way (use a small flat-blade screwdriver to carefully push back the locking tab under the valance panel and pop out the housing), and should not cause problems for following drivers (other than they can't claim they didn't see you). As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I've used these same bulbs on my Fusion for several years now with no issues.

Turn Indicator Lamps
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J5TJV5P/?tag=serious-20

Turn signal bulbs can get very complicated very quickly if you've ever had any experience with this. In short, these bulbs are a direct fit. The owners manual lists "3757NAK, PY27/7W." These are a type 3157 equivalent bulb and will fit without modification. I'm not gonna get bogged down here in technical differences but in short, a 3157 bulb will fit in a 3757 socket (though not vice versa).

Since this is a turn signal application, swapping an LED bulb for incandescent requires a resistor to avoid the dreaded "hyperflash" condition. The good news is that these bulbs include a resistor prewired into the assembly. If you have any experience with converting turn signals to LEDs, you know what an advantage this is. The bulb is integrated into its own "universal" rubber socket that snaps into the Explorer housing like it was custom designed. The other end of the wiring has a 3157 plug end that fits into the Explorer turn signal socket. You could seal that connection with electrical tape; I left it alone as it plugged in snugly and everything seems well protected from the elements on the backside. There is enough room on the backside of the housing to tuck in the resistor and pigtail wiring. I used some electrical tape to hold it in place for reassembly.

Since the purpose of a turn signal is to communicate your intention to other drivers, I think the extra brightness really drives that point home, especially during the day.

Reversing Lamps
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077NYN5QJ/?tag=serious-20

The manual lists W21W (similar to other Fords, and previous Explorer models apparently). 7440, 7441, 7443 and 7444 bulbs are equivalents for the W21W and these fit nicely. They are a projector style and pure (6000K) white. They really add to the view as seen in the rearview camera. I have used a similar style (but not this brand) in my Fusion for several years and they work great. And again, another benefit of the extra brightness is communicating to pedestrians and other vehicles that you are in reverse gear, again especially during the day.

The owners manual instructions (page 330) are pretty clear about removing the taillight housing. I'll just add: (1) you need an 11mm socket to remove the holddown bolt (behind the access cover on the interior trim panel - use a small flat-blade screwdriver to pop it off from the top), (2) a T-27 Torx screwdriver or socket driver is needed to remove the trim/securing plate on the tailgate jamb, and (3) there is a locator pin on the forward end of the housing that has to pop out of the socket on the body side, but it will come out with a little wiggling using fingers only. Don't pry or use any tools for that step. There is also a locating tab and slot on the bottom of the housing (above the bumper) and a rubber gasket on the tailgate jamb side that will need to be pressed back in place, but none of this is difficult. I decided to leave the taillight/stop lamp socket engaged in the housing (you could remove it, but I decided to keep it simple), so I carefully balanced the housing with my leg and one arm, and swapped out with the other arm and both hands. If anybody needs any additional input, I'm happy to help to the extent I know.
 




blwnsmoke

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So used the same LED turn signals and theybare a vast improvement.


Also did the LED license plate lights but went with more expensive Philips LEDs. Didnt want to deal with cheap LEDs and starting to flicker with how much these lights are on (as opposed to interior lights). Left side LED, right side halogen in video (to compare)

20190815_180416.jpg
 




dstewart51

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Any problems with hyper flashing or dead bulb detection?

Edit, just read cpainters post that covers my questions.
 
















blwnsmoke

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My order should be here tomorrow. I’ll post some pics and impressions. Maybe this simple swap
Will give me the courage to tackle the other lights but I dunno...

Everything is LED but blinkers, reverse and license plates. All easy stuff.
 




neocvera

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Everything is LED but blinkers, reverse and license plates. All easy stuff.
Lol, easy is tab open, twist, pull out, pop in, etc.

Once you start talking about torx wrench, finger pressure, 11mm socket, etc —— too many places I can muff it up.
 




blwnsmoke

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Tail lights are held in by 1 screw removed with a socket. That's all there is to it. Took me less then 60 seconds to remove the tail light.
 




cpainter3

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Tail lights are held in by 1 screw removed with a socket. That's all there is to it. Took me less then 60 seconds to remove the tail light.

What he said. I just tried to be specific to avoid some learning-curve head scratching and delays. None of it is particularly difficult.
 


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neocvera

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It’s a cute little box.

7301ED98-27AA-460D-A513-60F8233277EE.jpeg
 




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