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  1. #1
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    2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4
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    Halogen to LED Conversion

    Looking to convert high/low/fog lights from halogens to LEDs on my 2011 9-5 Turbo4. Anyone done this and could share some tips? Any CANbus issues? The headlight housing seems too small to accommodate the additional cooling fins...

    UPDATE #1

    Partial success! Low beams (HB3 9005) went in without a hitch and did not generate any errors even without the additional CANbus adapter. The flexible fin design allowed to seal the headlight assembly just fine. I had drawn out the original dispersal pattern on a cardboard and it matches perfectly.

    Could not install the high beams (HB7) as the aftermarket clip that supposed to work for LED replacements wasn't a perfect match and won't hold. Looking for different clips before I resort to dremmeling out the OEM ones.

    Still haven't tried replacing the fog lights.

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    For color comparison with passenger low beams replaced.



    UPDATE #2

    Success! Kind off. Both highs and lows are working well. No CANbus errors and didn't even have to use the additional adapters.

    Had to dremmel the H7 brackets' fins a bit to get them to lock. It ain't perfect. Not sure how well it'll stand up to vibration. If they fail, will dremmel the original brackets to fit the LED bulbs.

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    Last edited by Browncoat; 14 September 2020 at 13:37. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    Saab Nut
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browncoat View Post
    Looking to convert high/low/fog lights from halogens to LEDs on my 2011 9-5 Turbo4. Anyone done this and could share some tips? Any CANbus issues? The headlight housing seems too small to accommodate the additional cooling fins...
    I don't know the legality of what you are intending to do but before you start I would Google the regulations in your state. I say this because in Europe there are specific requirements around the different types of lamp, HIDs for example need to be in a projector lamp, Halogen's don't. It may work but you don't want to dazzle oncoming drivers. I don't know how much space there is in your headlights but there isn't much in mine (adaptive headlights) and LEDs give off a lot of heat, hence the cooling fins, if there isn't enough room you may have problems dealing with the heat.

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  3. #3
    SaabJaabBaab's Avatar
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    2004 9-5 Aero Wagon, 2007 9-3 Aero SportCombi
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    Hi Browncoat,

    I recently completed this low beam (DRL) conversion on my 2004 9-5 Wagon. I purchased a relatively inexpensive Conpex brand H7 LED kit from Amazon. I noticed that this exact kit is no longer available from this retailer. The product headline stated that they were CANBUS compatible. I don't always trust Amazon products for proper fit, but after some wrangling, I got them adjusted well. This may seem like overkill, but I removed the entire Headlamp assembly for installation as I was performing other front end work. Having the assembly out on a tabletop really served well for installation and adjustment. The LED unit seems well built and have the braided metal bands off the back for heat dissipation.

    After install and testing, I noticed that I had a "front light failure" message on the SID. I checked all the bulbs repeatedly and everything looked good. No flickering of the H7s, just a message. I'm the kind of guy who wants all sensors reading properly, so while this is annoying, it's not a functional reality. Chances are that the message is related to a lower resistance reading inline. The message only appears arfter the ignition diagnostic loop and can be cleared. No dashlights appear. The beam pattern looks good. I just had to make sure the LED orientation in the bulb holder was perpendicular to the road for proper reflection and spread. This Conpex brand of bulb is a flat "blade" with the LEDs on only 2-sides. Filament bulbs obviously have 360 degees of emission. This is still fresh in the car, so I haven't a long term review yet.

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    Last edited by SaabJaabBaab; 06 September 2020 at 18:37.

  4. #4
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    2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4
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    Thank you for the responses. It seems that most LED conversion kits are street legal in US. I can also use an adapter to solve the flicker/error issue. It seems the biggest constrain is space. The 9-5 NG headlight is fully enclosed and the bulbs sit behind these circular caps. The HBs have a bit more space, but LBs have no more than 1/2 in to spare. Can't seem to find an LED kit where the fans wouldn't increase the overall bulb length that much. Also, the enclosure would significantly reduce cooling potential. Will continue looking for a solution.

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    Anyone know if leaving the headlight housing caps off would have any significant negative effects?

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  5. #5
    Saab Nut
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browncoat View Post
    Anyone know if leaving the headlight housing caps off would have any significant negative effects?
    The caps are there to prevent water ingress so leaving them off potentially allows water to get in, especially if there is a flood or your car gets soaked by a passing vehicle. They are there for a reason, leaving them off clearly negates that.

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    @ GeoffR - I hear you. Really don't want to do that even though these LEDs are much more moisture resistant.

    @SaabJaabBaab - thanks for the orientation tip. I was wondering how the dispersion will look.

    Decided to give it try. Went with fanless bulbs in hopes to fit them into the housing. Also got decoders for CANBUS issues. Will give it a shot and report.

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  7. #7
    Saab Nut
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browncoat View Post
    @ GeoffR - I hear you. Really don't want to do that even though these LEDs are much more moisture resistant.
    It isn't the lamps that are the problem with water in the headlights, the reflectors don't like it neither do the levelling motors and mechanism.
    It's your car so do as you wish but getting the headlight units out if you have to replace them later is going to be fun! WIS is no help but I get the idea that the front bumper has to come off.

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  8. #8
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    Post edited with update 1

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    Post edited with update 2

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