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Sambar headlight bulbs

Discussion in 'Subaru Sambar' started by Vannie, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Vannie

    Vannie New Member

    im sorry if this is mentioned elsewhere but i cannot locate
    are the headlight lamps H4 fitment as i wish to upgrade mine to low consumption LED alternatives

    mines a 1998 model and hopefully not been modded but who knows ?
  2. Ohkei Dohkei

    Ohkei Dohkei Member

    If you convert to LED's it probably won't be plug and play. Be prepared to rewire as I believe they are different from American wired headlights. I saw this on Motocheez's channel..
  3. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    Some Japanese manufacturers, use a ground switched scheme for the lights. And, the rest of the world uses a positive lead switched scheme.

    On standard old H4 headlights, there are three terminals: one for ground; and two switched hots, for the high and low beam. The Japanese scheme runs one hot connected to what would normally be the ground, and switches the ground leads, (connected to what is normally the hots terminals) to control which element is on. An incandescent bulb doesnt care which way the current runs, the element gets hot and glows.

    Diodes only allow current to flow in one direction. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), are diodes, and only work with the current running one way. So, if you install LED headlights in a vehicle which is ground switched (most Japanese vehicles), they don’t work. You need to reverse the polarity of the lights.

    If you have the old style H4 three prong headlights like my 94 Hijet, your easiest solution is to by a conversion relay kit, which is what MotoCheez, did for his conversion on his Hijet. They are available on Amazon, eBay, and some auto parts stores. Search for “H4 headlight relay kit”

    If you have newer headlights which have the separate bulbs, you need to test the wiring with a meter to determine which is the hot lead, and which is the ground. Then if necessary you can remove the terminals from the plastic holder, (you may need a special tools for this), and set the wiring up so the current runs the correct way through the bulb.
    punimog likes this.
  4. Vannie

    Vannie New Member

    great informative reply, many thanks
    i’ll attempt a direct swap first and see

    i had a jap import previously so hopefully as easy as that one was
  5. rkrenicki

    rkrenicki Member

    I can say for sure that Subaru does use switched grounds. I had to set up a pair of relays per headlight to convert the polarity for my Morimoto Sealed7 LED ver 1.0 headlights..

    That said.. I believe that the newer brand name LED headlights have a built in bridge rectifier in them to work with either switched hots or switched grounds. My understanding is that the ver 2.0 of my headlights would have been plug-and-play.. but they were quite a bit more expensive since the ver 1.0s were on clearance.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  6. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Active Member

    I’m not sure how adding a rectifier on a DC line would somehow make the polarity magically reverse.

    I’ll talk to an electrical engineer buddy tomorrow, and see what he says.
  7. rkrenicki

    rkrenicki Member

    I said a bridge rectifier. They are intended to convert AC to DC.. but it could be used to convert an unknown polarity DC to a known polarity DC.. The only real drawback would be the 0.6v loss on each side.. but LEDs are so efficient that they probably have no problem running at 12.4v instead of 13.8v.
  8. Vannie

    Vannie New Member

    My H4 LEDs arrived and just installed
    it was indeed just plug and plug. very Happy with result and these LEDs have a built in heat sink with a working Fan!
  9. Ohkei Dohkei

    Ohkei Dohkei Member

    That's Great! Post up the info on them. I'm interested!
  10. Maximal

    Maximal Member

    all my vehicles are converted to LED headlights, its all direct plug n go. Sambar the only thing that kinda sucks is you have to cram the extra connector under the plastic cover for the bulb, otherwise quick install

  11. Vannie

    Vannie New Member

  12. Ohkei Dohkei

    Ohkei Dohkei Member

    Well I just checked mine since I noticed I have a low beam out, and the wiring is pretty bizzare. with the lights off, I have 12v positive on all 3 wires to ground. when I switch on the lights, I have power to two wires and when I turn on the brights, I have power to two (but not the same two) wires. I just don't have confidence that it will plug and play on mine.
  13. Ohkei Dohkei

    Ohkei Dohkei Member

    Maximal, those look great. Do you remember which ones you bought? Are they specially designed for JDM wiring?

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