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How long did it take you to replace your front headlights?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Caslon, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:08 AM
    #1
    Caslon

    Caslon [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2003. New light assembly pairs are only about $45. For some reason, mine are now showing some fog which is on the inside of the lens. I was hoping it was from pressure washing my engine compartment at the car wash and that it would clear up over time. 5 days later the fog is still there. Granted, I've driven very little at night since then. Will doing that dry up what looks like water fog?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  2. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:15 AM
    #2
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    $45/pr for headlights is going to get you a garbage product, your experience is to be expected and is normal for something in that price bracket. While costing significantly more, OEM is the way to go. Most all aftermarket assemblies have poor optics and performance and leaking/fogging is not uncommon, as is UV degradation. OEM will perform far better, last longer and not have these other issues. But if insisting on aftermarket look to spend 2-3x more than you did for something semi-decent. In 2nd Gen, people seem to like 'Depo' brand for aftermarket, but I'd still recommend OEM. I replaced my 2003 lights with new OEM assemblies and the improvement was significant, with no issues at all.
     
  3. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:39 AM
    #3
    Caslon

    Caslon [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Huh? These are the original lights. Even so, the most expensive I saw (Googling them) was $75 a pair.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  4. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:44 AM
    #4
    roadking1

    roadking1 Well-Known Member

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    On my piece of shit Ford I drilled a small hole in the bottom of the plastic headlight housing... it allowed air in and eliminated the moisture inside..
     
  5. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:51 AM
    #5
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Oh, so you are talking about the 17-18yr old original lights? $45/pr lights will have you right back where you are at in no time, so don't go that route. The seals have likely failed/leaked. You could pull the bulbs to allow air to dry, or run the headlight constantly to try and dry out the inside with the rubber caps removed off the back of the light. If it happened with a pressure washer, you may be fine for normal driving use, just avoid the pressure washer near the headlights in the future. I'd pull the bulbs, maybe hit it with a hair dryer if you were so inclined and let it sit with the bulbs out overnight, reinstall the next day once the moisture has cleared and monitor for moisture under normal driving conditions.
     
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  6. Jun 25, 2020 at 12:54 AM
    #6
    Caslon

    Caslon [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I would probably drill a very tiny hole attempting this, hehe. I'll see if night driving dries them out. I haven't driven that much at night since noticing the fog up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  7. Jun 25, 2020 at 5:00 AM
    #7
    -jon-

    -jon- Member

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    I replaced a fogged/yellowed headlight on my '04 with a light made by TYC. I felt comfortable going that route after a quick search on the forum. Install was extremely easy. Remove five screws and pop off the grill. 20 minutes maybe? I haven't driven the truck at night since I did the install so I can't comment on the light output, but it has to be better than it was. Truck is very new to me and it's mainly for my daughter so my experience with it so far is minimal.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2020 at 6:29 AM
    #8
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    If you're going to do that then at the very least add some moisture barrier stickers or a proper vent.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jun 26, 2020 at 9:16 PM
    #9
    Caslon

    Caslon [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Using those plugs, could I then drill out somewhere unnoticeable rather than just drilling thru the front lens? Maybe inside the engine compartment somewhere? I take it those plugs will let moisture out but not in. What size are the threads? Also, what are they called and what site would have them?
     
  10. Jun 26, 2020 at 10:35 PM
    #10
    joe25rs

    joe25rs Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. I recently picked up a set of the TYC CAPA certified lights and was completely underwhelmed. Sure, the lens were fresh and clear, but the light output was total garbage. Keep in mind this is despite buying the recommended CAPA housings.

    I was so frustrated and disappointed that I decided to just buck up and buy new OEM replacements. They arrived yesterday afternoon, hope to swap them on as soon as time allows.
     
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  11. Jun 26, 2020 at 11:57 PM
    #11
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    It would be awesome if you could swap just one to OEM and do a night wall shot comparing TYC CAPA vs OEM so that people could see the difference.
     
  12. Jun 27, 2020 at 3:34 AM
    #12
    Harryhood87

    Harryhood87 Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused. A lot you on here say the oem lights have poor output. Then some of you buy aftermarket oe lights and say those have bad output, then spend the ridiculous amount of $ for oem and are happy again. But aren't you just wasting money all around if you still aren't getting good light out put? Wheres the thread on the best headlights/housings for first gens...?
     
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  13. Jun 27, 2020 at 5:32 AM
    #13
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    When it comes to lighting - listen to @crashnburn80

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-ultimate-headlight-upgrade-h4-not-led-or-hid.398066/
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  14. Jun 27, 2020 at 8:18 AM
    #14
    joe25rs

    joe25rs Well-Known Member

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    @crashnburn80, that isn’t a bad idea. I don’t have a light meter like in your tests, but hopefully a photo will sus out some differences between the two.
     
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  15. Jun 27, 2020 at 8:27 AM
    #15
    joe25rs

    joe25rs Well-Known Member

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    Crazy pills, right? I felt trapped in a logic fallacy of my own creation. I figured that with my stockers fogged up, the “cheap”, practical option (TYC) falling short of expectations, and a projector refit not in the cards; just get new OEMs and be done with it. In the end I have a new factory light housing. Throw in some Philips bulbs and call it done. Besides, I have Baja Designs auxiliary lighting I rely on for when you really need some light :D
     
  16. Jun 27, 2020 at 9:58 AM
    #16
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Others have done this as well, you won’t need a light meter. The patterns are highly unlikely to look the same, it should be pretty evident which is OEM and which is aftermarket.

    OEM is best. Problem is many are not running the right bulbs, the assemblies are in poor condition or the assemblies have replaced them with poor quality aftermarket units. Output can easily be improved over stock but many pickup Silverstar bulbs from the local autoparts store to do so, which while whiter many are lower output than stock. Here is the first gen thread, which uses the same upgrade as the linked 2nd Gen thread:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/proper-headlight-upgrade.407879/
     
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  17. Jun 30, 2020 at 6:59 PM
    #17
    -jon-

    -jon- Member

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    For whatever it's worth, here are a couple photos at night ... left side is new TYC headlight and right side is yellowed light (quite possibly original headlight, but no guarantee). Make your own judgement. Unfortunately, we have a streetlight next to the driveway, which drowns out the headlight output, otherwise I would show a distance photo or two.

    2020-06-29 21.45.23.jpg 2020-06-29 21.46.27.jpg
     
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  18. Jun 30, 2020 at 8:29 PM
    #18
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Here is another TYC vs OEM. Unfortunately it is somewhat difficult when comparing a worn out light vs a new one. In the case below though the TYC’s pattern is obviously poor.

     
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