Headlights… Refurbished


Mileage: 162,300KM
Do It Yourself: Yes
Difficulty: Easy (One process, requires professional)

It has been 9 years and the headlights require some TLC. It was yellowish, scratches, micro-cracks, less shinning and bright. No performance bulbs replacement can save it. Time to do some overhauling on it. Sorry, no pictures taken on the old headlights, forgot to bring the camera during the replacement exercise.

 

Step One

I managed to secure a pair of good looking headlights from the breaker yard. Price is not so expensive (will share the total cost at the end of posting) compare with the brand new. The latter will fetch more than a thousand for a pair. The replacement is quite straight forward kind of job but a lot of front section need to be dismantled to access the headlights opening.

 

The replacements

 

Headlight beam adjustment

 

A quick drive to basement to readjust the beams as the right hand side was a bit low. Luckily the spread was good else I have to use measurements to ensure good throw and not to blind oncoming traffic. A quick twist on the motor to bring up the dipped beam throw angle.

 

Step Two

The replacement headlights was OK but as you can see from the image above, the left hand side is a bit yellowish especially at direction indicator lens. For this issue I need to make some treatment to the lens surface. A few options available in the market as listed below but the last option was the best so far.

  • Polishing – At most 1 month before it gradually becomes yellowish. This will scrap off the factory protection layer and rely on polishing material to handle the sun UV.
  • Tint – Utilizing a plastic protective layer. Almost as same as your car windows tint. Depends on the quality of the tint but it will burnt and leave a hideous dried residue.
  • Steam Coating – Utilizing chemical mixture to protect the plastic lens. The mileage is vary and it will become yellowish after 3 – 6 months.
  • Paint Coating – Quite new in the market. utilizing a special plastic UV paint to protect the lens. Comes with 2 – 3 years warranty. A lot of color selection to choose from.

Steam and paint coating requires extra job which is to sand off the surface to remove all the grits and imperfections.

 

Prep for painting process, after sanding off the headlights

 

 

The finish product, 3 layers of smoke black

 

Step Three

Well… the surface is done but the light was not up to job to handle the new shinning headlights. Time to hunt for bulbs replacement.

 

The so low kelvin rated bulbs

 

V1 LED 6000K bulb

 

For the dipped beam bulbs, I chose to upgrade to LED type. There are abundant brands in the market nowadays. Since this is my first attempt to use this type of bulb, I will go with something on low-mid side of price range. The lowest in the market is about RM50 and the highest is around RM900 from the well known brands.

 

The bulb measurement, get this correct to be able to fit into the headlights

 

All LED bulbs has polarity, wrong connection won’t light up the bulb

 

 

The 6000K Kelvin rated LED bulb

 

Step Four

The dipped beams is nice to look at but the side lights and high beams were not uniform with the LED. Another areas to tackle.

 

 

For the high beams, I chose PIAA Hyper Arros bulbs. These bulbs has the highest Kelvin rating among those performance long throw bulbs. At 3900K which is sufficient and not to bright which prevent it to cut thru rain and fog. The standard OEM light was at around 3200K.

 

 

For the side lights. There is not so many brand available. Down to two well known brand, Phillips and Osram. I chose the latter because of higher Kelvin rating; 6500K. Although it seems to be much higher than my LED, but the bulb angle in the headlights was not pointing directly to the front, it was slightly pointing out to the side.

 

 

The not so nice bulb fixing angle

 

 

Step Five

Lastly, the fog lights. It still the standard factory fitted bulbs. I chose slightly higher than high beams but still wanted to retain it functionality as the fog light. The bulbs rated at 4250K Kelvin.

 

 

Final outcome of the headlight refurbished project

 

That’s all for now, onward to the rear lights project soon.

The cost…

Headlights (Used) RM250.00
Headlights Surface Coating RM130.00
V1 LED Bulbs RM187.00
PIAA Hyper Arros H7 RM140.00
PIAA Arrow Star White H1 RM135.00
Osram Sky White T10 LED RM50.00