Surefire E2D Mods

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 also wanted to install a McClicky switch because I like the lower pressure it requires to switch on. I’ve used the McClicky switch in a lot of my flashlights.

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.

Surefire E2E Flashlight Mods

I bought a Surefire E2E because it was a good deal. I didn’t realize until I received it how much smaller it is in comparison to the Surefire 6P flashlights that I have. It’s about the same size as my JETBeam Jet-I Pro.

The E2E uses an incandescent lamp, the Surefire MN03 lamp assembly, with an output is 60 lumens. The output seemed a little low so I started looking for ways to make it brighter.

Fivemega, over at candlepowerforums.com makes two nice incandescent options for the E2E, a bi-pin socket and a Mini Turbo Head.

I’d rather use LEDs and I found that Veleno Designs makes a good option fits in the E2E head. The Veleno Designs E Series LED drop-in is machined from brass, has great heat sinking and uses a Cree XP-G LED. I ordered a 3 mode cool white model and while the output was great, the tint was a little green. The manufacturer said that most people order a neutral tint so they don’t have that problem.

I decided to order some neutral tint Cree XP-G LEDs from DigiKey to replace the LED. After I soldered the LED to the board, I trimmed the board with a Dremel so it was a little larger than 3.5mm x 3.5mm, so it would fit on the Veleno pedestal. It still had a green tint.

In a few discussions on cpfmarketplace.com, it was theorized that the E2E reflector was causing the green tint and it was a lottery whether the factory reflector had the green tint. Instead of buying a new bezel/reflector, I tried re-silvering the reflector. The tint was still green.

Because of the work involved in putting another LED on the Veleno drop-in, I decided to try to find a deal on a Surefire KX2 LED Conversion Head. When I received it after a week, the tint on my new KX2 was also green. I had also taken a very long way to get to a E2L Outdoorsman.

Determined to get the light I wanted, I disassembled the KX2 using a heat gun to release the ample amount of glue that Surefire used on the threads to hold the head together. I unsoldered the leads from the LED board, removed the two hex screws holding the LED board to the drop-in and pushed the LED board out.

I then unsoldered the old Cree XR-E and reflowed soldered in a new Cree XR-E (R2 bin). I reassembled the KX2 using Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound underneath the LED board and when I first tried the light the hot spot was off center. I centered the LED and because the threads on the bezel that holds the Surefire Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens were no longer glued, I was able to focus the beam to a perfect hot spot. And finally I have a neutral tint.

Now that the KX2 is open, I could use another driver, maybe try a McR-19XR reflector or an XP-G LED; but it’s been a long road to get here, so maybe I’ll wait a while.

Flashlight Reflector Re-Silvering

The beam from my Veleno Designs E-Series LED drop-in my Surefire E2E had a green tint. I replaced it with a neutral tint Cree XP-G LED and the beam still had a green tint. Some people commented that the green tint was caused by the stock Surefire reflector.

Instead of buying a new E2E head, I removed the factory reflective coating on the head with solvent and tried using “chrome” paint to re-coat it. The Krylon Metallics Bright Silver (1401) paint was not reflective enough to be used as a flashlight reflector. With the E2E reflector six feet away from a white wall, the bulb just threw a giant white circle with no hot spot.

Next I tried Mona Lisa Silver Leaf. The leaf material comes in booklets of 25 (5.5″ x 5.5″) sheets. I used Gold Leaf Adhesive Size on the E2E head before applying the leaf. The size is a water-based adhesive that dries to a light tack before the leaf is applied.

The silver leaf is so thin that picking up part of a sheet will tear it. I just tried to get a large enough piece to cover the reflector then I burnished it lightly. There were some creases in the leaf, but since I wasn’t trying to get an absolutely mirror finish, the imperfections weren’t a problem. The reflector with the silver leaf has a nice hotspot. I’m not sure how the size (adhesive) will hold up to the heat.


Beamshot

Malkoff M61 Mod

Malkoff Devices M61 Drop-in

I received my Malkoff M61 drop-in last week. The drop-in uses a Cree XP-G LED and it’s designed to replace the lamp assembly in Surefire 6P style flashlights. Malkoff Devices says, “the output is approximately 260 measured out the front lumens.” It is a single mode drop-in.

I bought the M61 with the intention of modding it with the Shiningbeam three-mode regulated circuit board (NLA). The Cree XP-G had recently noted an “increase of maximum forward current to 1500 mA for XLamp XP-G Cool White is retroactive and applies to all XLamp XP-G Cool White LEDs produced by Cree. The increase is the result of more extensive qualification testing that was performed after the initial product launch.” The Shiningbeam board output current is 60 mA on low, 440 mA on medium and 1.4 A on high.

First, I removed the potting and contact spring. In the process, I destroyed the Malkoff driver board. I used a Dremel to reduce the diameter of the Shiningbeam board so it would fit inside the drop-in.

Modded Malkoff Devices M61 Drop-in

The Shiningbeam board works as advertised – I measured 1.4 A on high, 450 mA on medium and 65 mA on low. I’m not enamored with the yellow-green tint of the LED; maybe I’ll replace it down the line.

I have also used the Shiningbeam board in a DealExtreme XP-G R5 drop-in (SKU 32954). The result, compared to the Malkoff, is a little more throw and a lot less spill. The tint of the DealExtreme LED is also cooler – more blue.

After disassembling the M61, it’s clear that this is a most robust, superbly constructed drop-in. I can see why a professional would be able to rely on this drop-in in a life or death situation. But flashlights for me are a hobby, which is why I wanted to mod this drop-in to have (a more useful for me) three modes. (Note: Malkoff Devices now makes a three mode M361 P60 style drop-in that has an input voltage of 3.4-6 volts)