3 D cell Mag-Lite Mod?

I received a red 3 D cell Mag-Lite from my mother-in -law’s estate along with some other tools. I want to use this light for my first venture in flashlight modding. I have a few questions before I start. First, what can be done to this light as far as mods? Where can I get the parts to mod it? What tools would I need? Is there any information on modding a 3 D cell Mag-Lite? All ideas and help will be appreciated.

Hold on, I think I hear Old-Lumens coming… 8)

My first mods were on 3D Mags. I have one modded with a single hard-driven XR-E R2 EZ900 and the DX 52mm aspheric optic and it is a incredible needle-beam thrower. With this light 700’ behind me, I was able to see the tree-line illuminated on the far side of a lake, at about 3000’ from the light. Dimly lit of course, but still very impressive.

I have another modded Mag that uses a triple reflector from DX, along with 3x Q5 emitters, but this light doesn’t get used much anymore as my TR-1200 with 5x XR-Es is much brighter.

Modding Mags can be a challenge as they aren’t designed to handle the heat of high-power emitters, so heat sinking can be a problem. If you want to mod, you have to be willing to completely gut the workings of the light to begin. Unless you are comfortable with soldering and have a good eye for such things, I wouldn’t recommend it as a starter-project…

The simplest thing to do would be get 3 nimh d and wire those up to a XM-L direct drive. The hard part will be to find a suitable heatsink.

I guess your possibilities are limitless depending on how much money, time and custom work you want to put into it.

I’m not sure if I can post links on this forum, but some cheap easy options are some drop ins. Terralux offer some, although with my 3D Mag I went with The Torch Site 180 lumen XP-E. Not the worlds brightest light in the world, but highly usable and lasts forever on normal Duracell D cells. I would say for £12 it totally transformed it, much much brighter than an incan, good spill and a great thrower.

I also run the aspheric lens from DX, super needle like thrower, although now a much more specialist light rather than general purpose. Heat might be an issue for extended use, although I’ve not witnessed it, I just stuffed a load of aluminium foil around the post in the head.

I’ve also got a 6D Mag which I opted for the 200 lumen XPG drop in from The Torch Site. Apart from an ultra clear lens I’ve done nothing else too it. Again it totally transformed the light into something highly usable.

Terralux also offer a 3 XML drop in, you’ll lose the massive throw of a Mag, but gain a lot of lumens, I plan to do this with my MagCharger.

Lastly there are drop in’s you can get from DX, they do a 6 emitter CREE R2 drop in mounted on aluminium. It’ll need some custom work to fit the Mag body tube, but is cheaper than the Terralux 3 XML drop in (which does just drop in and takes 2-3 mins to fit). I’ve just bought a 2D to perform this too.

As for cells, well with the lower lumen drop in’s like in my 3d and 6d, normal Duracell type D cells are fine. The ones in my 3D have been in it since last Autumn and it does get used.

You can get rechargeable D cells, but they are pricey, especially if you want low self discharge ones (LSD) and chargers for them are pricey too. You really could buy a lot of alkaline D cells for your money.

DX and places sell 2AA to D cell converters, so allow you to run lithium primaries or Eneloops.

Lastly and what I plan for my 2D is to run li-ion’s. I’m going to convert it to run 2 x 26650’s.

Links are fine. Speaking of which do you have a link to terraluxes triple xml?

Heatsink here for Cree leds.

Many mods at CPF, just search for 3D mag or 3D maglite or D maglite. The sky is the limit on mods and CPF has more threads on Maglites than anywhere else. I am not knocking BLF. It's just that you won't find the vast amount of maglite mods here, that's all.

Looking in CPF marketplace, might help you find more parts.

The way I do them, involves a lot of work and some basic skills. If you feel you can do that, then PM me for more info. Any maglite mod will take some skills, other than the "shower head", which will still need a few skills and it's basically a bunch of 5mm leds, so it's a pure flood light with no throw.

For a mod it would take:

Switch modification, by removing the tower.

Reflector modification by removing the cam.

Optional - replacing the Reflector with an aftermarket one.

A heatsink.

A driver.


Wiring and soldering those components.

This is the place I use, although I’m in the UK: http://www.thetorchsite.co.uk/TerraLUX_TLE-310M-Ex_MiniStar31M-Ex.html

I’ve seen the same item on Terralux’s website and on US ebay.com

With a 3D you’d need a 1 cell extender to get the right voltage, or look at running some sort of Li-ion alternative.

I'm pretty sure that isn't XM-L if it is only 1000 lumens. Probably XP something. :P

Just bought 3D + 2AA set, was thinking combination flood/throw for the 3D.
With a rocker switch(on/off/on) to change sets of emitters.

Or a rotary switch



You know what, I think you are correct. Not sure why I was thinking it was XM-L.

Rotary would be cool; ideally I’d like to keep dust and moisture out.

I saw someone (on CPF?) installing a rocker on/off
into a Mag, using the oem rubber cover.

The right rocker switch might be more intuitive to use.

Have wanted to do one of these mods myself. Does anyone know of a step by step thread with pics that can make an installation of this type heatsink easier for the non creative thinker (me). Maybe this will help others wanting to venture off and do an install like this.


Here ya go!

OK, I decided to go easy and cheap. I’m going to use a TERRALUX TLE-6EXB TERRALUX MINISTAR5 LED drop-in. I want to change the lens, but can’t find the DX 52mm aspheric optic. Is there another optic I can use? I did find this one http://www.flashlightlens.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=mag_521_U . Is this a good lens?

Thanks very much thats what i been looking for!!!

I don't know about that lens, but these cheap ones from DX work for a basic glass lens.


Ok have been reading some today and yesterday about the H22A heatsinks for the mags and probably have just made myself more confused. I now understand how to perform the mod (thanks monchi). LOL

Now what heatsink would be needed for a incan maglight that holds 3 D cells. I would want to put a XML light for ease and I have a couple laying around the house. Also do these heatsinks take a standard type drivers (17mm)?

Also if they dont take drivers, would you direct drive them with maybe something like 3 nimh cells? :~

If I understand it correctly the rebel heatsinks are for the new Led maglite.

Always have wanted a OL 1D mag maybe I can get one this winter when he starts back modding them. :heart_eyes:

Thanks for the help guys

Well I’ve decided that I would go with a TERRALUX TLE-6EXB TERRALUX MINISTAR5 LED drop-in and an Optolife A293MC lens. Do you think I should change the reflector? If so what would you recommend?