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HID: TRS retro vs. complete aftermarket headlight projector assembly?

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Old 11-23-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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HID: TRS retro vs. complete aftermarket headlight projector assembly?

I've read up a fair bit on HID's, projectors & the pitfalls of not doing things right. I'd successfully talked myself out of the TRS group buy 11 that just ended. I rationalized I had perfectly working lights right now & could wait until a light burnt out or something... Last night (about 1 week later) I pull into the garage & see the glare of only 1 headlight on the wall. My SilverStars only lasted less than a year (not terribly unexpected, better output = shorter life is mentioned on their package).

Will probably just run the 1 SilverStar & the original remaining working bulb despite the color mismatch until I figure out what I'm going to do. My main question is are the aftermarket headlight assemblies with the projectors built in any good compared with a DIY or professional retrofit (probably TRS parts)? I'm not worried about the wiring for angle eyes, ballasts, etc. I have a good handle on what that will entail.


TRS BI-XENON MORIMOTO MINI D2S STAGE III KIT with halos ($355)
Good with minimal/moderate work
Have to pop them in the oven to open/close them, but not a lot of other fitment work, probably not enough time to do a BLHM & properly cure the paint to prevent fogging if I'm doing it for the first time with no spare over a weekend.

TRS BI-XENON FX-R STAGE III KIT with halos ($375 + $100 for spare non-OEM housings + $10 for paint)
Great performance with a lot of work
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lig...ended-cab.html
Oven, lots of grinding & modding to make em fit, BLHM, etc. As my truck is my daily driver, probably needs a 2nd set of lights as it may take longer than a weekend (time to fit them right, let the paint cure & outgas, etc.). Noticeably better light than the mini's though & can sell off my used OEM housing for around $100 when I'm done.

New projector headlight assembly + 9003/H4: MORIMOTO ELITE HID SYSTEM ($200-350 + $160 for the TRS HID parts + either another HID kit or some halogens for the 2nd beam depending on the unit)
http://www.carid.com/2009-toyota-tacoma-headlights/
??? quality ??? work
I'd imagine these would be less work, already have BLHM, halos and a distinctly unique look from the get go. Can sell off my used OEM housing for around $100 when I'm done.
What is the quality of the light output on these projectors? Are they hard to mechanically install (electrically anything with halos will take a little bit of fiddling that doesn't worry me at all)? Any recommendations on specific ones that actually work well?

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Devin Noel
2009 Access Cab TRD Sport
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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What work for the retrofit? http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pdf...S_Retrofit.pdf

Should take you 2 hours from removal of truck to installation...
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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It sounds like you want performance over looks and you have definitely done the research. Avoid buying the projector headlights. The projector is sub par at best quality and performance wise. The choice between the first two options really depends on how much work and performance do you want. The Morimoto minis are really easy to install and from provide great performance above stock. The FX-R is definitely an improvement and if you have the time you will benefit greatly.

Either of those options will be a big improvement over stock and you can't go wrong with either. I would suggest dumping the halo option and spending a little extra on Denso or Matsushita ballasts and the Philips bulbs or the new Osram bulbs.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Ya, those aftermarket units looked decent, but I had a strong suspicion they would be sub par when it came to the actual projector performance.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the mini vs the FX-R for performance? What makes the OEM ballasts better than the Morimotos (other than OEM's need waterproofing)? Would OEM bulbs & ballasts in a mini be better than Morimoto parts in a FX-R?
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #5
My pee parts itch
dexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the sheddexterdog is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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I can only speak from my experience with the Morimotos but from what I have read the FX-R has a wider beam pattern but the Morimoto mini H1 is comparable with the FX-R. I have the mini d2s and they perform very well. The reason I went with the d2s over the h1 as many others have is bulb options. The new Osram bulbs are supposed to be spectacular as their price suggests.

As far as ballasts are concerned the Morimotos are nice but if I had to do it again I would have upgraded. The warm up times are quicker with the Densos and Matsushitas with the Philips bulbs. I don't know if it is an issue with my ballasts or Morimoto ballasts but they do not like the auto headlight feature. I don't know if the Densos or Matsushitas are any better. Someone with more knowledge will chime in and correct me if I am wrong.
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