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The Ultimate Headlight H4, Fog Light and Revers Light Upgrade Not LED or HID 1st Gen Tundra Addition

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by onesojourner, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. Dec 31, 2020 at 7:45 AM
    #1
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    TLDR;
    Highest Quality Lighting
    Perfect Factory Cutoff - Excellent low beam performance
    Headlights require a removable wiring harness and new halogens because your factory wiring is bleeding precious .volts
    Reverse lights require bending the contacts with a small flat head screw driver
    The fog lights require grinding/filing some plastic tabs (this is pretty well documented on this site)
    All of this can be done for about $100

    Pretty much all of the following information is a from crashnburn80 on tacomaworld. https://www.tacomaworld.com/search/13122961/ crashnburn80. These modifications have been game changing for me when it comes to driving at night. These modifications will not give you that modern look or help you pick up chicks. In fact your truck will look pretty much like any other decade old half ton truck. Most people and your wife or girlfriend probably wont even notice. After a while you will forget you even made these changes. This may be the most boring modification ever. From across the intersection you will be hardly distinguishable from that old f-150 beside you.

    I have an 06 double cab. I am quite confident this will apply to 05 double cabs too.

    Off the top of my head there could be differences in all the builds so do your homework. also I do not have day time running lights. These may be incorrect dates but you get the idea
    04 dbl cab?
    05-06 reg cab?
    05-06 access cab?
    00-04 access cab?
    00--04 reg cab?




    Why LEDs should not be run in Halogen reflectors
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/why-leds-should-not-be-run-in-halogen-reflectors.454371/

    These trucks have big gas sucking V8s. They have big powerful alternators. We have plenty of extra pixies for high power hologens and like the V8 they offer the best experience. I want the best light quality in the optimal pattern and I want as much of that as is reasonable. When I drive at night I feel like I have this super power or maybe I am cheating, either way I have a big advantage. I literally put down double, triple? the lumans of the guy next to me.


    Reverse Light Upgrade
    Source
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BMUFN8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I encourage you to start here. This is the easiest and cheapest upgrade and it makes a huge difference. You can do it on your lunch break with the tools in your truck, one small flat head screw driver and a 10mm obviously. For those that like to experiment, try just replacing one side and then drive around for a week. if you only do one light on the other mods below you will look like hoopty, but no one pays attention to matching reverse lights. It wont take long and you will replace the other reverse light. The next to upgrades are no less dramatic.

    Order this
    Get a small flat head screwdriver, stick it down on the outside of the contact as low as you can and bend it towards the other contact, then repeat on each side. The goal here is to just increase the pressure to hold the bulb in place. Unlike you forward lights, a slightly wobbly reverse light will almost never be noticed, you just don't want to to come loose.

    Here is the thread started by

    Fog Light Upgrade
    Order These
    This little modification is well documented here.


    HOW-TO





    Headlight Upgrade
    Source

    Alright, this is the last modification I recommend you do, because it will be the most $$-$$$. There 3 parts to this, first eliminate the voltage drop that comes from the undersized and old factory wiring and the factory switch. You do this with a larger AWG wiring harness and relays. 14 AWG will be much better than the factory 16 AWG. To make sure you get every bit of power to your lights, go with 12 AWG. There is no splicing, if you can plug and unplug a headlight you can install this. For the budget minded go with the $20 14awg Chinese relay harness. It will get you 85%-100% of the way there for a fraction of the cost of the 12 AWG Headlightservices harness. For the solderers out there consider making your own, you can use high quality German relays and 12 awg wire and still come out under $50. The harness alone will probably get 25-50% more light, but why stop there?

    On my double cab I had to add some load to the factory headlight circuit or no lights would come on. I used these H4 Resistors and they cost 18 doll hairs form the rain forest shop.

    Now that you have a big beefy wiring harness with ceramic plugs you can start running high power halogens. The days of burnt up connectors and brown wires are over. You need to be responsible here. Make sure you have correctly pointed your headlights. OEM housings have by far the best optics, aftermarket housing range from moderately ok to terrible. These lights will seriously blind oncoming traffic if pointed incorrectly or used in poor quality housings. don't be that guy. These sharp cutoff lines will keep your low beams out of the eyes of other drivers in most situations but hillcrests will definitely cross the face of others. I have been flashed in this situation. If you are often in this situation with traffic this mod may not be right for you. Also, use common since and leave a bit more space for short cars at intersections. These lights can be brutal on short rear view mirrors at close distances. After about 20ft they wont notice your lights are abnormally bright. Think of your low beam headlights as a right angle triangle. Your low beams can own that triangle in front of your truck and no one will care but you.
    [​IMG]

    If you don't have quality housings that aim correctly and maintain a sharp cuttoff you can expect the same kind of reaction that you would get driving a dodge with 8 inch lift and some extra blue modern racing LEDs.... Speaking of housing why are you guys not polishing those things? It is so easy with a $20 kit and a power drill. Spend 30 minutes every year or 2 and most factory headlights will looks pretty great.

    upload_2021-1-7_15-35-31.jpg

    upload_2021-1-2_13-15-1.jpg

    GWN627 said:
    This upgrade is unreal. I had piaa LEDs in before and this smokes them out of the water. Down dark roads at night it's like turning on the sun


    upload_2020-12-31_9-34-6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:52 AM
  2. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:09 AM
    #2
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    Count me out :annoyed:
     
  3. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:11 AM
    #3
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    Hmmm... I have thought about putting in a relay to the headlights. Did this many moons ago on my 1985 toyota pickup and it helped a lot with just stock bulbs.

    I have the HID retrokit from SouthPaw and it is miles above stock and wonder about the effect of the relay for increased voltage.
     
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  4. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:23 AM
    #4
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    I would think that it would. Here is the harness I built.

    upload_2020-12-31_10-23-37.jpg
     
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  5. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:27 AM
    #5
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    I'd love to hear if anyone has tried the HID retro without relay and then with relay.
     
  6. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:39 AM
    #6
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    My HID kit uses a harness and relay, also has an igniter. Never tried one without, not in proper projectors anyway.
     
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  7. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:49 AM
    #7
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Newer style LED’s with the incorporated cup design that mimics the Halogen Bulb Cup are not dangerous. That TacoWurrld link is dated 2016 (outdated by todays standards). The LED’s bulbs were dangerous back then as they had no cup which directs the beam. Top is a picture from the article on which the (now outdated) dangerous premise was based and rightly so.

    Bottom picture is from two designs incorporating the LED Cup (2018/2019). The cup directs the beam like the Halogen Design. Also, properly aimed Housings are key to any style bulb inserted into it.




    upload_2020-12-31_11-42-30.jpg

    upload_2020-12-31_11-44-45.jpg
     
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  8. Dec 31, 2020 at 8:52 AM
    #8
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    Later, I think I'll go measure the voltage across the bulbs and the battery with the vehicle on.
     
  9. Dec 31, 2020 at 9:19 AM
    #9
    Johnsonman

    Johnsonman New Member

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    LED headlamps/fogs; interior footlamps.
    That has been my experience across 4 vehicles I replaced halogens with LEDs. Select the correct LED (with 'cups') and the LEDs will use the built in reflectors so as not to blind oncoming traffic. No one has ever flashed me for that reason.

    Thanks for posting this, too many folks are still living in the "halogen dark ages". Incredible how much more light is dispersed by an LED compared to the 20th century technology. Get with the program everyone!

    Luck and Merry New Year all!
     
  10. Dec 31, 2020 at 9:52 AM
    #10
    empty_lord

    empty_lord They see me rollin'

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    custom body work, Billies with taco ARB springs, Icon AAL, TRD FJ trail team wheels, 2019 Toyota 86 radio, Blacked out interior, Added factory power everything, heater mirrors, ETC
    For stock wattage applications I have some philips gt200 bulbs coming. Will report back how they are output wise.


    I can’t do the LED headlights after having a rental with led headlights.. in the rain at night it was miserable for me to drive with the light reflecting back. The longer wavelength of more yellow lights cuts through more than reflects in wet/dusty/foggy conditions
     
  11. Dec 31, 2020 at 10:17 AM
    #11
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    Dark ages? The quality of the light is far better from halogens. Go look up the CRI of your LEDs, it will not be 100. All of the lights I have listed have a CRI of 100. Lumens are lumens whether they come from an LED or not. I bet your phone has a blue light filter. This is because the blue light from the LEDs in your phone mess with your brain and effect your sleep. Blue light is much worse for your night vision. Finally go look at all the videos out there with LED headlights. They all flicker. Whether this effects you are not is up for debate but all LEDs that I am aware of use some sort of PWM to regulate them. I have put together a lot of horticulture LED systems for miicrogreens, LED's have their place, that place is just not in my non retrofit halogen headlight housing. When it comes to trash look at how waste full that burned out LED headlight system is. There is way less going on in that halogen lamp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  12. Dec 31, 2020 at 11:10 AM
    #12
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I am not speaking or defending Johnsonman as he can do that for himself.

    1) Your link you posted on LED’s blinding is outdated. See cups pics above.

    2) LED’s with higher CRI Index are becoming more common place.

    3) That Taco link about putting in higher watt halogen bulbs into the reverse lights assys sounded cool so I looked into it. Stock lamps take up 3Amps. Taco Guys adds in new ones that take up 5Amps (plus 2 over stock). Total circuit in his case was 10Amps. Possible danger, but probably ok? I’ve read too much about wire harness burn ups on these higher watt bulbs/set ups to stay away from them.

    4) Stock Halogen Bulbs suck. I’ve tried new Sylvanias and they do not cut the mustard.

    5) Significantly Lower Amp Draws on LED Bulbs make your engine run smooovv!

    6) Looking forward to the next generation of LED Projectors. Those Morimoto ones have some nice light. They do require a harness only to convert from 9006 plugs. Instant on versus delayed HID. When I turn on the light I want it right away.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2020 at 12:04 PM
    #13
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    Wow, didn't expect this thread to go this way. Its as good as an oil thread.

    I'll leave my take on lighting for these trucks, I too was seeing stock headlights with (at the time) the best of halogen bulbs as disappointing. I tried several 9006 bulbs, Hella, Sylvania, Phillips, generic German Osram, none made me happy. At the time LED headlights was a joke.

    Around 8 years ago I turned to a company that sold DIY retrofit kits for HID projectors. For years I saw pics of what other guys did and thought the cost is too damn high to try it. One day I had enough beer to place a 2am order.

    I went with morimoto 55w ballasts, because why mess around with 35w when I want more light? I went with D2S projectors and the full harness kit. I HATE blue lighting, I was afraid too much yellow would draw attention. I went pure white on the bulbs. I did the retrofit myself and I have been happy ever since.

    At the time my lighting was (to the naked eye) on par with the lights of Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and the like. No halogen bulb could fill the street with a thicker flood of light, even halogen projectors.

    Now the bad side- the cutoff. It looks cool in everybody's pictures up against the garage door, but in real life it can give you motion sickness. It also creates such a strong contrast between light and dark that it seems harder to see what is not lit by your lights. I won't call the warm up time a downside, mine take 5 seconds to produce usable light. Projectors are not for everyone and HID, although hard to beat, is becoming outdated quickly.

    If I could talk to myself ten years ago I would strongly consider the harness and headlight kit mentioned here by @onesojourner because it is far less expensive and less labor intensive to install. When I had stock headlights I always liked the color but never liked the output, if that kit raises the output I might have been happy.
     
  14. Dec 31, 2020 at 12:38 PM
    #14
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Per the Fog Lights: These have been performing outstandingly in my stock housings which were nice with the Old Original Halogen Bulbs that were replaced with New Sylvania Halogen Fogs Bulbs ($10 each).

    The Old Bulbs were 16 years old! The filaments were crusty. The New Halogen Bulb *increased* output probably due to newer/clean filaments? Same thing happened when I changed all my old exterior bulbs with newer filament Long Life bulbs. They became much brighter.

    Ran into some money and decided to pull string on these LED’s Fogs and whoa! Way better. Perfect Fog Beam Spread (below bumper height and wide cast 270°). Directed/focused by the Sweet 2000-02 OEM Housing Style Nestled within that Iconic Chrome Bumper. Highly recco.

    You’ll pick up chicks and see better at the same time!:rofl:


    upload_2020-12-31_15-27-49.jpg
     
  15. Dec 31, 2020 at 1:28 PM
    #15
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    Most of our trucks will have voltage around here. With the upgraded harness you will be close to 14v when running.

    upload_2020-12-31_15-27-55.jpg
     
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  16. Dec 31, 2020 at 1:33 PM
    #16
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    There have been zero reports of roasted wires or housings for any of these modifications. There has been extensive heat testing done on all of these including leaving the car in reverse for about 15 minutes and there were no issues. My reverse time can be measured in seconds not minutes.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2020 at 2:03 PM
    #17
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    Here is the reverse HIR on one side and the factory reverse bulb on the other. Fixed exposure. I am standing right beside the tail light for each photo and the dog is directly behind the tail light and 15ft back.

    upload_2020-12-31_16-2-36.jpg
     
  18. Dec 31, 2020 at 2:10 PM
    #18
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I like this reverse light idea as its less $$$ (than the $45 x 2 ($90) for those sweet Diode Dynamics LED.
     
  19. Jan 2, 2021 at 7:36 AM
    #19
    KNABORES

    KNABORES New-ish Member

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    Been needing to update my lighting as I currently run essentially stock setup. It's like having a couple of old oil lanterns at the front corners of the truck regardless of bulb choice. I am not a big fan of the quality of light from LED's for everyday driving. The spectrum just seems harsh. I like the quantity for sure. I may try the harness upgrade with new bulbs, or may even try the high output ones. Wonder if the high output ones burn up your plastic headlight housing any faster than the regular ones do. I'm replacing them every 5-7 years or so as it is for yellowing caused by heat. Can't polish it out if it's inside the plastic.
     
  20. Jan 2, 2021 at 7:42 AM
    #20
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    Interesting opinions on LEDs here. I bought a pair of newer, well regarded $90 LEDs last summer. They were brighter but not where I needed the light. I was not very happy with them. I am curious about the LED projectors that are starting to come out. But for good useable light: HID projector is the way to go imho.
     
  21. Jan 2, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #21
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    This is very well researched on tacomaworld. There are zero reports heat damage with the upgraded harness and the recommended high wattage bulbs, none of those are over 100w. My personal experience is 14 months with no negative effects.

    upload_2021-1-2_13-39-38.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  22. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:13 AM
    #22
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    Projectors optimize both lighting styles. There are a bunch of ways to skin the lighting cat in this day and age and projectors with high-quality led or hid setups are very bright.
     
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  23. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:20 AM
    #23
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I think there is something to this. My wife's car is a Honda Element which uses the same 9006 bulbs as the Tundra. In fact, when I did my retrofit I kept the last set of bulbs I had (Hella) as backup for her car. A bulb went out, I swapped them in, and they performed a lot better than they did in my Tundra. I wouldn't bother doing a retro on that car because the headlights work so well. Of course they are completely different housings, but on my drive home last night I couldn't help thinking what if the Tundra just suffers from weak current?
     
  24. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:27 AM
    #24
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    I wonder if Honda does things differently? This seems to be all over jeep, landcruiser and Toyota truck forums.
     
  25. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:32 AM
    #25
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    So would providing more current through a relay actually help with HID brightness? It is clear that it would for stock bulbs but the HID ballast and its DC->AC conversion obscures this idea for me.
     
  26. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:40 AM
    #26
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    Do you have any idea how many watts the system pulls? It depends on how the dc to ac conversion is done. I would guess that as dc voltage goes up that ac voltage goes up as well. Isn't that how most transformers handle that?

    I bet the manufacturer could answer this real quick.
     
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  27. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:41 AM
    #27
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I ran extreme hid ballasts in my GTI for about a month, the output was pretty weak. Didn't help that the prior owner didn't use projectors and went with a horrifically blue bulb.

    I think the harness would make a difference, other wise TRS wouldn't include them in their kits. I'm not confident enough in the magic of electricity to say make a Frankenstein kit and see what happens. The kit on my truck draws direct from the battery rather than taking the voltage from the headlight plug, it only uses the headlight plug as a switch to turn on/off/high beam.
     
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  28. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:43 AM
    #28
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    I am on a 35 W ballast (wish I went with the 55W for more light).

    Well, there is theory and then there is internet reading...Most sites I have searched mention no gain in light output from putting in a relay. There is mention of removing flicker if it is there and some other small benefits like possibly not overheating stock wiring.
     
  29. Jan 2, 2021 at 8:57 AM
    #29
    onesojourner

    onesojourner [OP] New Member

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    I would guess that at 35w your not pulling enough to drop the voltage on the stock wiring much. Kits that include the wiring harness may do so as a safety precaution if they are pulling more than 55w (I think that is what the stock bulbs pull)
     
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  30. Jan 2, 2021 at 9:05 AM
    #30
    robabeatle

    robabeatle New Member

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    Thanks. I likely will put in a relay and eventually go with a 55 W ballast as my night vision is not good.
     
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