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Amazing 1st Gen Headlamp Upgrade

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Neo, Jul 12, 2023.

  1. Jul 12, 2023 at 1:21 PM
    #1
    Neo

    Neo [OP] New Member

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    Lexus GX460 Rims, Projector Headlamp Drop-ins
    I poke around this forum mostly to help my dad who has owned several 1st gen Tundras. He's in his mid-70s and his night vision isn't what it used to be. We've tried a couple of different approaches to improving the headlamps including brighter bulbs and the use of a Meguiars Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit. That kit worked really well even though it was scary for me to be wet sanding headlamps for the first time. Still, we're talking about 20 year-old headlamp technology. After lots of research, I came across a really cool solution: Drop in H4-sized projector bulbs! You have to destroy and remove the bulb shroud to get the assembly to accept this special bulb. So, I bought an inexpensive pair of aftermarket assemblies for the task. (We simply removed and stored the original headlamps in case there's a problem with the new setup.) After watching several YouTube videos, it took me about half an hour to prepare the new headlamps and install the projector bulbs. The "bulbs" fit into the existing opening with 3-tab orientation and they are powered by the factory headlamp plug. There are a few known minor issues with this install, but the improvement in the lighting has been pretty dramatic. Below are photos of the new headlamps installed with the projector bulbs. Here are links to the products and installation videos. Total cost has been about $180.00 $150.00, which is amazing considering the improvement. If we encounter major issues down the road, I'll try to remember and update this post.

    UPDATE: See this post in the thread for our problems and ultimate solution.
    https://www.tundras.com/threads/amazing-1st-gen-headlamp-upgrade.127384/page-2#post-3282435

    CO Light H4-Y1 Projector Bulbs (Amazon)
    https://a.co/d/iIg1axK
    OEMassive Headlamps (eBay)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/164220430688
    Installation Video (YouTube)
    https://youtu.be/vDi-fIp0jkw
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2023
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    #1
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  2. Jul 12, 2023 at 1:31 PM
    #2
    JasonC.

    JasonC. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Agreed, just did the same thing (cheaper H4 bulbs, mine were only around.....$60? for the pair with resistors included) but bought new housings from RockAuto rather than mess with the headlight restoration.
     
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  3. Jul 12, 2023 at 1:40 PM
    #3
    Neo

    Neo [OP] New Member

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    +1

    Oops, my math was off! $75 for the bulbs + $75 for the headlamps = $150 total.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2023 at 2:15 PM
    #4
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    It was a good upgrade, I did the same but used the identical "BraveWAY" bulbs. More info here. Some results on this reply (before aligning properly), and in the replies that follow it.

    Easy no-frills upgrade for the DIY'er, but causes permanent damage to the housing, and you gotta be careful when removing the one internal piece, not to crack the bulb retention ring on the housing.
     
    dirtnsmores likes this.
  5. Jul 12, 2023 at 2:18 PM
    #5
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    PS - and just as a tip to anyone wanting to do this upgrade. There's a line on the reflective part of the housing, I'm pointing at it here. If you put the center-line of the bulb inline with that line, you'll be really close to dialed-in after install, only needing a small tweak.

    upload_2023-7-12_17-18-4.png
     
  6. Jul 12, 2023 at 3:28 PM
    #6
    Neo

    Neo [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the tips, @shifty` .

    For me, I found that if I looked directly into the lens of the bulb in just the right light, I could see the beam cutoff line. So, I installed the bulbs with the rotation set screw just a little loose, eyeballed the adjustment, and then tightened the set screws.
     
    JasonC. and shifty` like this.
  7. Jul 12, 2023 at 8:28 PM
    #7
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    If you're working on the truck in your profile pic, a light bar in the bumper cutout pairs great with this headlight upgrade. Mine is triggered off my high beams.
    https://www.tundras.com/threads/bumper-cutout-light-bar-install-early-1st-gen.100198/
     
    txagg likes this.
  8. Jul 13, 2023 at 9:36 AM
    #8
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    Well, thanks for this. I ordered the Braveway. I've tried a number of different bulbs over the years, high watt halogen, LED in standard lenses, and back to high watt halogen with a heavy duty harness and relay.

    I liked the light output of the LED but in factory type lenses it was shit beam pattern. But I didn't like the idea or look of the large and obvious looking projector retrofit. This looks like a good compromise and stealthier.

    I just ordered standard 6500k LEDs for the fogs. @shifty` and @Neo , what did you use for fogs to go with your mini projectors?
     
  9. Jul 13, 2023 at 12:24 PM
    #9
    Alltimehigh

    Alltimehigh New Member

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    Nice! Just bought the bulbs for $55 on Amazon for Prime Day. Trying to decide if I should get new headlamps or just restore the originals (they are getting bad).
     
  10. Jul 13, 2023 at 12:27 PM
    #10
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    I ordered these. Pre-loaded with standard halogens. I'm vain and wanted yellow. I was hoping to be old school throwback with yellow fogs and BBS-style gold wheels (but 5/6 spoke instead of webbed), but apparently the latter is something far too risky for any manufacturer to risk making. :rofl:

    upload_2023-7-13_15-26-42.png
     
  11. Jul 13, 2023 at 4:04 PM
    #11
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    You could paint the Waltrip BBS's gold and commit your own personal heresy. You can even buy gold or red BBS centers off Amazon.

    images-7.jpg
     
    shifty`[QUOTED] likes this.
  12. Jul 13, 2023 at 4:06 PM
    #12
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    I like the idea of yellow fogs. All my old (80's 3 series) BMWs that I converted to HID I did yellow fogs.
     
    shifty` likes this.
  13. Jul 13, 2023 at 4:29 PM
    #13
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    Return those 6500k and get 3k or 2k if available.
     
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  14. Jul 13, 2023 at 5:49 PM
    #14
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    I'm aware of the color temp. I'm going white for my truck. I just think yellow looks good on European vehicles and salute @shifty` for his choice.

    If I decide in the future to try it, I may pick up a yellow set of LEDs for the fogs. Hell, at this point I've already purchased half a dozen different bulbs for my truck. What's another $40 or $50?
     
  15. Jul 14, 2023 at 4:36 PM
    #15
    Neo

    Neo [OP] New Member

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    Lexus GX460 Rims, Projector Headlamp Drop-ins
  16. Jul 14, 2023 at 4:48 PM
    #16
    Neo

    Neo [OP] New Member

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    @Riverdale21 We had LEDs in the fogs and they quit working. This appears to be a known issue with this upgrade. We are going to get new halogen bulbs and give those a try. But the improvement over the stock headlights was worth it.

     
  17. Jul 15, 2023 at 6:21 AM
    #17
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    I think yellow looks great specifically on white or black vehicles. It looks weird otherwise, although sometimes grey vehicles can get away with it.

    I think white vehicles w/gold wheels looks awesome. Here's a couple of inspirationalexamples, plus one showing how it could work really well in 1st Gen world with EvilMilkshake's truck... albeit, those are technically "brushed copper", SCS's idea of "gold" is actually more like yolk orange, picture it nin the slightly lighter yellow-gold from the white cars. I'm pretty shocked none of the offroad wheel manuf'ers have the balls to step into this terrain... I talked with SCS directly about it, I got the strong impression they don't think it'll sell. I think it's classic 80s throwback and this is EXACTLY the time to go there.

    (Yes, I could've found plenty of VW and BMW but I'm a P-car fan...)

    [​IMG]

    upload_2023-7-15_9-15-57.png


     
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  18. Jul 21, 2023 at 12:45 PM
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    Riverdale21

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    Received the mini projector and LED fogs Thursday, just installed them today. Took about 30 minutes. Thanks to @shifty` for the quick alignment tip.

    Crushing up and removing the reflector was iffy, because it's the point of no return. If I ever want to go back to halogen I'd need to replace the lenses again. Oh, well.

    When it gets dark tonight I'll have to find a level spot with a wall to really dial in the aim. And while I did buy white LED fogs, I also got yellows. Installed the yellows for now just to see how I feel about it. Hahaha

    20230721_155130.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2023
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  19. Jul 21, 2023 at 12:50 PM
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    Mr.bee

    Mr.bee King Turdra

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  20. Jul 21, 2023 at 3:36 PM
    #20
    Bmktw2

    Bmktw2 Yard Dog

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    Yellow does not blind wild life nor does it attract bugs as much. That's why "bug bulbs" use a yellow light, they don't get attracted to it as much
     
  21. Jul 21, 2023 at 6:44 PM
    #21
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    I'm biased but I think the yellows look pretty awesome. I still need to align my fogs.
     
  22. Jul 21, 2023 at 6:46 PM
    #22
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    I've found almost no difference running my fogs with my headlights on after the projector upgrade. It hardly makes a difference and I've done the fog light bulb upgrade as well.
    Sometimes I will just run parking lights with fogs (since mine is modded for that) if it's not real dark out but that's about the only time I run them.
     
    shifty`[QUOTED] likes this.
  23. Jul 22, 2023 at 7:19 AM
    #23
    noahrexion

    noahrexion New Member

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    So these seem like winner winner chicken dinner ey?

    These are holding up for everyone?
     
  24. Jul 22, 2023 at 7:26 AM
    #24
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    Holding up for me just fine. I've slowly acclimated to the bluish-purple cutoff line, and look forward to when someone makes a bulb that doesn't have it. I'm happy to pay another $60, $80, $100 for a pair of H4 mini-projectors with a clean cutoff line, and kick these to someone on the forum for free if they pay the ride...
     
  25. Jul 22, 2023 at 10:19 AM
    #25
    Alltimehigh

    Alltimehigh New Member

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    Whats the best quality headlamps I can get for these besides OEM obv? Eagle eye, ebay or some random Amazon one... any ideas?
     
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    #25
  26. Jul 22, 2023 at 10:42 AM
    #26
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    You mean housings? Anything CAPA certified from DEPO, TYC, Eagle Eye brands will do you nicely.

    I never recommend buying parts on scAmazon, don't get in the habit of it. Even when buying "Genuine OEM", knockoffs are rampant in the supply chain at their warehouses. RockAuto has similar pricing on almost everything and great selection. eBay can be just as bad.
     
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  27. Jul 22, 2023 at 11:27 AM
    #27
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    I got Depo housings from Rockauto and am satisfied. Heads and fogs.

    Screenshot_20230722_142550_Opera.jpg
     
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  28. Jul 22, 2023 at 1:34 PM
    #28
    artsr2002

    artsr2002 2005 Tundra DC SR5

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    I'm surprised that the Chineses haven't made a hybrid mini projector. It could be as the mini projectors are now, just a bit longer. There could be regular LED elements on the sides that could use the reflector in the headlight and then the mini projector led/bowl/lens for an additional low/high beam. The mini projector is small enough that the side emitting regular LED elements would still throw nice light off the headlight reflector. Do this make sense or am I tripping? :D
     
  29. Jul 22, 2023 at 5:31 PM
    #29
    2003DC

    2003DC New Member

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    Any problems with oncoming traffic with these LED lamps? I'm wondering if they are so bright they might be blinding people. That seems to be the case with other cars on the road I see with aftermarkt LEDs.

    Thanks.
     
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  30. Jul 22, 2023 at 5:53 PM
    #30
    shifty`

    shifty` The masses of humanity have always had to suffer

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    Standard LEDs, yes. You can blind the hell out of oncoming drivers, because they're randomly scattering light everywhere.

    Projector LEDs have a natural cutoff as you can see here. As long as you aim them correctly, as you would with any housing really, the oncoming driver's head will be inside the cutoff area. Here's a sample shot before I rotated my projector LEDs (main subject of this thread) and aimed at the proper height:

    [​IMG]
     
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