I bought a used Surefire KX2 head for my Surefire E2D, so I had a spare Veleno Designs E-Series tower module in search of a flashlight. I found a Vital Gear FB1, which is a single cell, Surefire E-Series compatible body with a forward clicky switch.
I’ve been carrying this flashlight built with the Veleno Designs E-Series 3 mode, neutral white, tower module; a slightly de-pronged Surefire E-Series Defender head and the Vital Gear FB1 body. The Veleno Designs module is about 140 lumens on the brightest mode and it has a good low mode. The flashlight is very light, compact and is only about 3″ long (77mm). It’s a lot brighter than a Surefire E1L Outdoorsman and about 1″ (25.4mm) shorter.
When I read that Surefire was discontinuing the incandescent lamp Surefire E2D flashlight, I found a good deal on a new one. I liked the ability of the E2D to tailstand, that is, on a flat surface, the flashlight will stand vertically on the tailcap.
I decided to make a couple of mods to the flashlight too – modifying the strike bezel so it wasn’t so sharp; changing the switch in the tailcap and replacing the incandescent lamp with an LED.
I wasn’t really in need of the defensive capability of the crenelated Strike Bezel®, so I used my Dremel’s cut-off wheel to grind down the bezel so it wouldn’t be so aggressive toward the inside of my pocket. I used a Birchwood Casey Super Black Touch-Up Pen on the bare aluminum.
I read that the McClicky switch is a direct screw-in replacement in the discontinued Surefire Z52 twisty switch but using it in Surefire Z57/Z61 tailcaps requires some modification. I assumed the inner construction of the E2D tailcap was similar to the Surefire Z57/Z61 and the Z68 tailcaps.
Most of the E-series/McClicky modifications I found required a 11/16 x 20 tap to cut more threads in the tailcap to correctly position the McClicky switch. In trying to find a way of avoiding buying a tap, I realized if I removed some of the threads on the McClicky switch to reduce the diameter of the front end, I could insert it from the rear of the tailcap housing. The modded switch stops in the correct position against a rim that was already machined in the tailcap and is held by the stock retaining ring.
The last mod was to replace the 25 lumen MN02 incandescent lamp assembly with an LED. The simplest and most expensive way to do this is to buy a Surefire KX2C (200 lumen single mode) head or a KX2 LED Conversion Head (3 lumen/60 lumen dual mode). Surefire sells these two heads for $150 (USD) each. That’s what I did with my Surefire E2E (KX2) but I managed to buy it on eBay for considerably less. Before arriving at this point, it may have been better to consider the (now discontinued) $189 (USD) E2D LED Defender® Dual-Output LED flashlight.
With the E2D, I thought I’d try the Veleno Designs Surefire E series incandescent to LED conversion three mode module. It’s essentially a brass heatsink with a neutral/warm Cree XP-G. The module fits inside the E2D bezel and the input voltage range is 1.8V to 5.5V (1 x CR123 or 1 Li-Ion rechargeable). I sanded the inner body of the flashlight with emery cloth so it accommodates a protected 17670 Li-Ion battery. The E2D flashlight is about .5 inches (12.7 mm) shorter than the E2DL.
The Veleno Designs module is “tested to provide 200 lumens of actual output.” Mine doesn’t seem as bright as my KX2 and I since I’m used to cool white LEDs, the neutral/warm color of this module seems green to me sometimes. I may get over it.