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How to Replace a Headlight Bulb in a Ford F-Series

by Contributor

The Ford F-Series of pickup trucks provides vehicles in light-duty, heavy-duty and super-duty levels. Whatever the size or function of your truck, the headlights play an essential role in keeping you safe on the road. When one burns out, replacing it is a simple repair you can do yourself. Please note these instructions apply only to trucks made since 1997.

Step 1

Set the parking brake, remove the keys from the ignition and make sure to switch the headlights to "OFF" before replacing the headlight bulb.

Step 2

Open the hood by first pulling up on the interior release latch located at the bottom of the instrument panel on the driver's side. Walk around to the front of the truck to release the latch located under the hood at the front center. You don't have to suppport the hood with a rod, as the cylinders should engage and hold the hood open.

Step 3

Disengage the headlight assembly from the vehicle, so you can expose the bulb and electrical connectors. For 2003 and earlier models, release the retaining clips at the back of the headlamp by pulling them rearward and up about 3/4 of an inch. You may want to use a pair of pliers if the clips are difficult to move.

Step 4

Remove three screws to release the headlight assembly in models later than 2004. Take off the protective cover and unscrew the screws located near the top inboard of the assembly. Lift up on the tab at the top center of the assembly to disengage.

Step 5

Pull the headlight assembly out from the front of the vehicle. For 2003 and earlier models, slide the assembly forward off the guide ribs. For 2004 and later models, slide the assembly forward, disconnecting the snap attachment at the fender.

Step 6

Free the bulb assembly by pulling the electrical connector straight out and rearward. For 2003 and earlier models, turn the bulb retaining ring counterclockwise and sliding it off the bulb's plastic base. Don't turn or twist on the old bulb, just pull straight out on the bulb to remove it.

Step 7

Install the new bulb. Looking at the pastic base of the bulb, align the grooves with the tabs in the lamp assembly. Put the retaining ring back on, if applicable, and push the electrical connector back in until it snaps into place.

Step 8

Replace the headlight assembly in reverse order of removal. If yours is a 2003 or earlier model, straighten the alignment pins with the outer edges of the attachment standoff so they'll insert into the right holes back on the front of the truck. Also, pay special attention to the guide ribs as you push down on the headlight assembly, until it snaps back into place.

Check that the headlights are working properly in your Ford F-Series and close the hood.


  • Don't handle a new halogen bulb with your bare hands. The oils from your skin will shorten the life of the bulb and may cause it to burst. Use gloves or a clean cloth when touching it.

Items you will need

  • #9007 replacement bulb for 2003 and earlier models
  • #9008 replacement bulb for 2004 and later models
  • Pliers for 2003 and earlier models
  • Screwdriver for 2004 and later models

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