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Headlight Upgrade 2017 TRD

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by FourTimesFour, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Dec 3, 2018 at 10:22 PM
    #101
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Sounds like you are on the right track! One of the difficulties with brighter HIDs in a projector, is that the immensely brighter light with a sharp projector cut off to no light provides a very intense contrast at the cut off horizon making it difficult for your eyes to see beyond the light cut off. Brighter isn’t always better, light distribution plays a huge roll in performance.
     
  2. Dec 4, 2018 at 7:42 AM
    #102
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    I forgot the other part: with HID’s I could see where the hot spot, a long narrow string of intense blueish white light at the center of the beam pattern, was being projected and see that it clearly ended just before the cutoff. Once you’ve seen it, it’s hard to unsee it.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2018 at 8:04 AM
    #103
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 Well-Known Member

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    This. That sharp cutoff, even on LEDs, was dangerous IMO. Sure, things were bright AF in the "triangle" of light being thrown. but the throw w/ the LEDs wasn't very good and, not even being HIDs, there was no defined hotspot. just a sharp cutoff of bright light to darkness with pupils constricted and unable to easily see what was beyond the throw of the LEDs
     
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  4. Dec 4, 2018 at 12:45 PM
    #104
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    II couldn’t get to 25 ft as we have too much stuff in the warehouse at the moment, but Toyota also lists an aiming spec for 10ft.

    Start by pulling in to the shop and get close to the door to mark the bulb centers and measure the height.

    2DD88D2E-2DFC-41BD-A4A0-77177A7EA890.jpg



    BADECDD2-BC96-43EA-B7B9-F6F1D559B0E3.jpg

    The dot that marks the center of the bulb is right at 40” (stock SR with 180 pounds of sand in the bed by the cab).

    Toyota’s spec for aim is the top of the cutoff and/or the center of intensity aka the hot spot should be at the same height as the center of the bulb at 3m, +/-1.57”. So I backed the truck up:

    BBA22035-DC74-47A0-8EA5-67D1FC5B3FF0.jpg

    And measured at the wall

    3D0873FD-FF65-40BE-A29E-5EDC7D657488.jpg

    So, if I’m reading the specs correctly, it’s in spec but on the low side. The cutoff is right 40”, but the hot spot is about 1” low. Therefore I could raise the light as much as 1.57” and be within Toyota’s spec, but man that seems like a really sloppy spec for headlight aim to me. Advice?
     
  5. Dec 4, 2018 at 2:57 PM
    #105
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I'm a little confused by this line:
    Is this 3m away from the wall? If so the +/- 1.57" would seem to be distance from the wall, not vertical adjustment as I read it. It would also seem like lots of slop to specify the center of intensity or the cut off. That said, I have actually had Toyota reaim my lights for me once, and I was not impressed by the quality of the aiming so I went back and got my money back and redid it myself.

    In my experience this is a bit of an estimate and check, then fine tune as needed. Unless you tend to carry 180lbs in the back for the winter, it would be best to do it with the bed unloaded on a half tank of gas as that will affect the aiming angle.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2018 at 3:20 PM
    #106
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    Here’s the Toyota spec:

    CA156D9C-5E01-466C-926F-EAE4E09E40E9.jpg
    AE01778E-4265-4B3A-89F0-572BFAE6EF5D.jpg

    I do plan to keep weight in the bed all winter (which is the only time I’ll use the headlights for seeing, as it won’t get dark from mid April to mid August here) but I didn’t put weight for the driver in the seat and I’m at 3/4 tank (Toyota specs a full tank).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  7. Dec 4, 2018 at 3:59 PM
    #107
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Thanks for the clarification with the spec sheet. 40mm 'above or below' the H line seems like an absurdly large range at 3m for aiming. The schematic shows the preferred cut off line to be equal to your H line, for the right side of the beam. So be sure to measure just to the right of the hotspot for height adjustment, as the left side has the dropped cut off to protect oncoming drivers from glare. I'd start with setting the right side of the cut off at 40, then drive it and see what you think and make minor adjustments accordingly.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2018 at 11:46 AM
    #108
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    So here's the thing, there really doesn't seem to be a difference between the left and right side of the beam at least certainly not the 3/4" difference at 10' that the specs seem to suggest. If anything there's a more or less flat cutoff with a small hump in the middle around the center intensity for the low beams. I decided to adjust my headlights up a little today, about 3/4" based on the right half of the beam, so I'll know what difference it made on my drive home tonight both in terms of visibility and glare to other drivers.
     
  9. Dec 6, 2018 at 9:07 PM
    #109
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    I’m gonna call this one mostly a success.

    Driving home tonight I had much better visibility forward and to both sides, to the point where I almost didn’t feel the need to use my high beams when the roads were clear. It’s not a real test for glare but I wasn’t flashed once on my drive home either. Additionally I think my high beams were more effective as well, as they would have gained the same amount of raise as the low beams.

    I do feel like they’re aimed slightly high, despite not getting flashed and maybe just because I can see so much better, so I’m probably going to lower the aim by 0.25” and see how it feels.
     
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  10. Dec 7, 2018 at 3:47 AM
    #110
    jeremy0510

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    Finally put these in and had 2 nights driving to work this week. Thanks again crash. Its crazy at how much brighter and farther these things shoot. Well worth the money.
     
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  11. Dec 7, 2018 at 5:50 AM
    #111
    SevenXL

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered a set of the GE +130 bulbs from Powerbulbs.
    You think the stock bulbs Toyota uses are bad, my old Wrangler was by far the worst. Glorified halogen flashlights strapped to the grill.
     
  12. Dec 7, 2018 at 6:44 AM
    #112
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    The wrangler sealed beams were pretty awful. I swapped my wrangler lights to an H4 e-code conversion and the difference was significant before even upgrading the bulbs.
     
  13. Dec 7, 2018 at 10:57 AM
    #113
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    I lowered the headlight aim down 0.25" from my original 0.75" raise, which I think will end up being correct based on some math this morning.

    Going off of the IIHS recommendations for headlight range on low beams, the right side head light should reach out to approximately 325ft. According to their tests, the Tacoma only reaches out to approximately 220ft. Knowing that the headlight height is 40" (on my stock SR with 180 pounds of sand in the bed and no one in the driver seat), that would mean that a stock Tacoma's headlights are angled down at 0.86804 degrees, while an "ideal" aim would be angled down at 0.58757 degrees. Back to the wall test measurements... Knowing that my truck is 10ft away from the wall, and that the stock aim is 0.86804 degrees down, I should see a drop of 1.82" vs an ideal of 1.23", a difference of 0.59". Right? Feels right... So raising the stock headlight aim by 0.5" should get me a beam pattern closer to IIHS's ideal than the factory aim, which is why I probably see my 0.75" aim raise as too high.
     
  14. Dec 13, 2018 at 6:53 PM
    #114
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    The GE H11 +130 bulbs arrived today and I installed them after work. I only took them on a quick drive through the neighborhood but they are noticeably brighter than the H9’s and whiter in output as well. First impression actually puts them on par with the non-Phillips 4300k xenon depot kit that I have. Also interestingly they have a much sharper and well-defined been pattern and cut off than the H9’s which were kind of fuzzy for lack of a better term.

    I’m also much happier with my re-aimed headlights. I feel like Toyota went out of their way to both minimize glare and to make the stock long life h11 bulbs look like they were actually doing something by aiming them toward the ground. I ended up up about 5/8 of an inch and I have excellent distance projection and from what I can tell a minimal increase in glare
     
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  15. Dec 13, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #115
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Nice! Glad you like them, GE did their homework with those. I agree they have a sharper more intense focus in the beam pattern.
     

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