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Anyone upgrade their headlights in the 2nd Gen trucks?


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Am tired.... and its getting worse and worse of fiddling with the damm plastic lenses on the headlights on my 2002 2500 truck.

 

Clean them off and they look great and I can actually see at night, then another 2-3 months later and the damm plastic gets hazy again and its time to do it over again.

 

Was chatting with a guy on CL and he mentioned upgrading the truck to something like the 2005 style of headlights and be done with these older headlights. 

 

Anyone else do anything like this? 

 

Thx, 

 

FT

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i'm not sure about the changing over to a newer style. but when i had my 02 i polished them nice n shiny then clear coated them with a rattle can. worked great for the remainder i had the truck over a year or so.

i want to say it was some gloss finish clear coat paint from napa.

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I bought a cheap pair of headlights off e-bay because of the same problem. They do look good on the truck, but they don't shine real well. Plus I don't think they are DOT approved.

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The other option is to get 2d gen sport headlights, plugs, and build a harness for them. I have the parts and harness but haven't installed them yet.

Thanks and never have heard of "sport headlights" for the truck, so will keep an eye out... 

 

Edit, after looking I found some "Sport" headlights. What is the difference between normal and the sport headlights? 

Edited by FlatTwin
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I replaced mine with TYC from RockAuto, less than a year ago. Looks great! Can't say anything to the longevity however. 

attachicon.gif020 (4).JPG

Thanks and will have to look into this. Thats the reason for the thread and hopefully I can learn from what everyone else has done.

 

How well do they light up the road? As good as the factory lights? 

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I bought a cheap pair of headlights off e-bay because of the same problem. They do look good on the truck, but they don't shine real well. Plus I don't think they are DOT approved.

Thanks and I ran into a guy here in town with a 2500 and he had found some cheap knock-offs from China and said that they looked great but you could not see 20 foot in front of the truck, so sounds like the same thing you got on Ebay. 

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A friend of mine tat runs a pretty good auto body shop...told me that he clear coats them all the time.

I did a little touch up paintng on my jetta and tried the clearcoat thing on those lenses.

The lights were just as nasty as my truck

I sanded with 2000 grit paper...at this point I was pretty scared I ruined them.

However I figgured I would clear them anyway...well after 3 light coats they are awesome.

Best lights on any vehicle I have.

I will pop the lights out of my truck and do them as soon as it warms up a bit ... LOL

 If you have a bit of time and a clean place give the clearcoat a try.

Remember when these trucks were new the lights were not to bad.

Regards Chris

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I'm going to try clear coating mine when it gets worm, as how I clean that nasty film off I use hard core carb cleaner that eats plastic and a good rag that doesn't shed, you will only have one or two tries at it and then will have to wait for plastic to get hard again otherwise rag will stick to it. I usually spray it on rag and use long swipes across a head light than spray some more on and go over again and then stop messing with it, can always come back later. Try it on your wife's car firs to make sure it works.

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Thanks and never have heard of "sport headlights" for the truck, so will keep an eye out... 

 

Edit, after looking I found some "Sport" headlights. What is the difference between normal and the sport headlights? 

 

Factory sport headlights came on the 2000-02 Sport models.  They were an OEM dual beam light.  There are original models out there and then there are some chiniese copies.  The OEM ones are pretty nice.  They look like this.

 

They have different light bulb plugs and require some modification to the headlight harness.  The wiring diagram is on here if you search a bit.  

 

photo.jpg

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Thanks and I ran into a guy here in town with a 2500 and he had found some cheap knock-offs from China and said that they looked great but you could not see 20 foot in front of the truck, so sounds like the same thing you got on Ebay. 

I can actually see pretty good, but not as good as I want. They sure do light up signs good though!

New versus old

post-18-0-02889500-1421287979_thumb.jpg

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The LEDs are not even hooked up. I had them hooked up for a while, but after a few quit I unhooked them. I get a vertical bright spot out of both of them, but that is off to the right so it is not much of a problem.

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I've seen head lights cleaned with brake fluid and steel wool. They look great for a couple of months then haze over. That plastic just needs to be sealed and clear coat sounds good to me. The blubs I use are 9104. They are marked for off road use only, low is 80w and high beam is 100w.

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if you polish them with 2000 sandpaper or just rubbing compound. the haze will go away, then a coat of clear will do wonders. it's the UV that turns them yellow. the clear has UV inhibitors that will detour the yellowing for a while. and it's a lot cheaper.

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if you polish them with 2000 sandpaper or just rubbing compound. the haze will go away, then a coat of clear will do wonders. it's the UV that turns them yellow. the clear has UV inhibitors that will detour the yellowing for a while. and it's a lot cheaper.

^This^

The plastic is poly-carbonate and for whatever reason Chrysler has a habit of using the cheapest option for poly-carbonate instead of using the Makrolon (UV protectant) infused type. Poly-carbonate is a very porous plastic the edges of the pores will oxidize under UV rays causing the haze you see. Using clear coat of some sort fills the pores and protects the plastic. Keep an eye out for the occasional rock chips in the coating. Just buff it and recoat otherwise it will start to haze where it chipped. 

 

 

As far as the sports. don't run both filaments on each light (bright box). One of these days I will take a photo so you can see the damage that has caused to the reflectors. 

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I have almost those same headlights Tom (minus the 4 led's) They are better than the originals but they aren't aim-able so I had to shim mine to get them close to the right height, they are aimed about an inch lower than the light @ 10-15ft.

Is your truck the stock ride height or higher?  Would hate to lose the ability to aim the headlights... 

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Are there any solid alternatives to the stock headlight option? I just checked with my local shop and they want 100 bucks a pop for a whole new housing!!

 

The reason I'm going that route is because I have condensation built up in my headlight housing currently, and I don't think sanding/clear will help in that situation.

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I purchased my replacement housings on Ebay. I think the pair was about $140. The headlight and turn signal are all one piece on mine and the backdrop inside the housing is black. Looks pretty nice and performs pretty nice as well. I had the same issue of condensation on the inside of the housing.

 

You should be able to see them in the pictures I have of the truck in my "garage".

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But which manufacture at Rockauto. I've used Dorman parts before, replaced all the window regulators in a 2002 Chevy Tahoe. They looked nice fit nice and worked right the first time. I don't know about the TYC or Various Mfg brands.

 

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1361999,parttype,10762

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