1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

The ultimate headlight upgrade H4 (not LED or HID)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by crashnburn80, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. May 17, 2018 at 7:14 PM
    #1241
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    One of the best stock wattage low beam bulbs, I run them in the Girlfriend's truck. Though high beam output suffers due to the blue coating over the high beam filament.
     
  2. May 28, 2018 at 9:29 PM
    #1242
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    Wanting only the best high wattage bulb performance, I have ordered a handful of differing high wattage bulbs from several different manufactures to determine what is scientifically the highest performing option after the loss of the 85/80w German Osrams.
     
    Biscuits, lynyrd3, Norton and 5 others like this.
  3. May 31, 2018 at 12:00 AM
    #1243
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    Taking suggestions for high powered H4s to test in case I overlooked any.

    So far:
    Osram Hyper 85/80w (Germany) - Discontinued
    Osram SuperBright 100/90w (Germany)
    ARB IPF X4 60/80w (Japan)
    Nokya clear 100/90w (Korea - the non-evil one)
    Philips Rally 100/90w (Germany)
    Xencn More Bright 85/80w (China) - By TW request

    What I am looking for is brands of exceptional quality. The highest performing bulb is going to be combination precision bulb in addition to high wattage, like the Hypers. Usually cheap cost is a identifier of a non-precision bulb, I'm not likely to include any other Chinese bulbs. Other considerations, Hella, GE, Bosch, later 2 not available in north American markets. Cost is not a factor. Not looking to exceed 90w for low beam as bulb life tanks.
     
    Biscuits, vssman and MattCowsmasher like this.
  4. May 31, 2018 at 7:43 PM
    #1244
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    Comparing filament axial precision on a stock wattage Osram bulb (Toyota OEM) where filaments are perfectly aligned on the axis which is important for beam precision and distance projection

    BC72FDB7-3F03-439D-BC4D-1C6E18D554BA.jpg

    Compared to ARB’s IPF x4 that cost $85/pr, which have misaligned filaments. For an insane $85/pr I expect Space X precision. Going to contact ARB to see if this is a fluke.

    8E0A07BC-E859-47F5-825F-16BAE02D6B31.jpg
     
  5. Jun 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM
    #1245
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    Biscuits, BenMara and Tsinajinii like this.
  6. Jun 1, 2018 at 6:27 PM
    #1246
    OSUTacoma

    OSUTacoma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Member:
    #171697
    Messages:
    700
    Gender:
    Male
    OHIO
    Vehicle:
    2012 Dbl cab 4X4
    Jumpers LEDS , ImMrYo mirror bracket , Cali Raised light bar w/Mojavemadman flush mount bracket , Gator trifold tonneau cover , Redline hood lift kit
    I have the GE Megalight 130's , and I agree about GEs packaging . I guess I need to do some adjusting because Im not that impressed . My low beams are brighter than my high beams . When I click the high beams on , I see an actual blue tint on the road and what I guess I could describe as a washed out light , not helpful at all. As soon I quit working so much I plan on trying to get these suckers straightened out . This topic is extremely helpful but for someone who is a tad bit older , it can make your head hurt.
     
    crashnburn80[OP] likes this.
  7. Jun 1, 2018 at 7:12 PM
    #1247
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    No adjusting should be needed. The issue is that the high beam filament on the Megalight 130s is coated, like a Silverstar and the coating significantly reduces output to lower than stock levels. Philips Xtreme and Osram Nightbreaker have the same issue. That is why I recommend the Megalight +120 instead of the +130 which does not have a coating over the high beam filament for maximum high beam performance.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2018 at 10:13 AM
    #1248
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Member:
    #236115
    Messages:
    303
    Vehicle:
    1998 Tacoma 4x4 SR5 TRD MANUAL TRANS 3.4L V6
    2.0 FOX COILOVERS FRONT, 5100 BILLSTEINS REARS

    So the lumen output is greater doing the conversion, instead of doing projector/LED conversion?

    Any updated input for my 98 tacoma 6cyl? Trying to figure this out, which route to go projector vs harness/housing upgrade, which ones to get and all. Any help much appreciated.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2018 at 3:54 PM
    #1249
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    My statement there is not accurate. Lumen output will exceed LEDs, it will not exceed HIDs.

    There really is no good way to run LED headlights unless you have an entire headlight housing built around the LED design, similar to what TRS is doing for their new 3rd Gen headlights due out later this year. Drop in replacement bulbs attempt to mimic a halogen filament, but do not produce omi-directional light and cannot produce a light source as small or precise as a halogen filament, so they don't actually achieve it. Side effects are then "loss of throw" of the beam and usually a shift in the beam to more foreground light while losing distance light which reduces you ability to see distance at night. Unfortunately this greater concentration of light immediately in front of the driver usually makes them think this must be an improvement, without realizing what they lost. This is important because while you may switch to a halogen projector to control glare from the LED, you still have these fundamental design flaws and shortcomings of trying to use an LED in a halogen assembly.

    If you are going through the effort and expense to switch to a projector, you would be much better off switching to an HID projector. (Halogen and HID projectors are optimized for their respective light source). An HID projector will be properly designed to utilize an HID light source and HIDs will be brighter than halogen or LED. Drawbacks of the HID are complexity, you need ballasts to run the bulbs and the ballasts will emit EMI which may cause other interference issues if not well shielded. Since the H4 combines high and low into one bulb and the HID does not have multiple filaments like a halogen, you get some sort of sliding shield inside the housing to mimic high/low or lose your high beams all together.

    The nice thing about the halogen upgrade is that it uses the existing lighting system and optics in the way it is designed to be used without trying to reinvent it into something it is not. You get 2x the output in a very simple reliable system and everything operates like stock. If your stock housings are in good condition it is also very inexpensive by comparison (around $120) vs a projector retrofit.
     
    Biscuits and SaphiraTaco like this.
  10. Jun 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM
    #1250
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Member:
    #236115
    Messages:
    303
    Vehicle:
    1998 Tacoma 4x4 SR5 TRD MANUAL TRANS 3.4L V6
    2.0 FOX COILOVERS FRONT, 5100 BILLSTEINS REARS
    Ok, thanks for the feedback.

    Talked to the guys at the retrofit source, very helpful. Thanks to Jimmy and Andrew for answering all my questions. Think I'm going to go HID's! Need to get new housings anyway. Can just get the cheap ones, because will have to crack'em open and reseal anyway. I'll clear coat and wax the front, so hopefully not get the yellowing/fading down the road.

    Here's a helpful thread: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/1st-gen-retrofit-walkthrough-morimoto-mini-h1.213080/

    After careful consideration, going to go with the D2S, good light patter and availability of replacement bulbs.
     
    crashnburn80[OP] likes this.
  11. Jun 15, 2018 at 11:09 AM
    #1251
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    There are dedicated products to prevent yellowing and oxidation on headlight lenses, like this from Meguiar's:
    https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G17804-Clear-Headlight-Coating/dp/B01M4RVVX6
     
  12. Jun 17, 2018 at 11:55 AM
    #1252
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2017
    Member:
    #236115
    Messages:
    303
    Vehicle:
    1998 Tacoma 4x4 SR5 TRD MANUAL TRANS 3.4L V6
    2.0 FOX COILOVERS FRONT, 5100 BILLSTEINS REARS
    cool thanks!
     
    crashnburn80[OP] likes this.
  13. Jun 20, 2018 at 1:41 AM
    #1253
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    Biscuits, SaphiraTaco and BenMara like this.
  14. Jun 25, 2018 at 9:55 AM
    #1254
    GC4x4

    GC4x4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Member:
    #223418
    Messages:
    122
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Greg
    Vehicle:
    2016 Tacoma DCSB Limited 4x4
    Suspension: Front: King Coilovers SPC UCAs Rear: Deaver U402 Stage I King RR 2.5 Shocks Archive Garage Hammer Hangers Other: OME Carrier Bearing Drop Kit Diff Drop Kit Wheels: OEM SEMA 4Runner TRD Pro Wheels 285/70r17 Falken Wildpeaks Other: TRD Pro Grille Chrome Delete (mirrors, handles, badges, fogs) Bike Storage: Dakine DXL Tailgate Pad and RockyMounts

    Thanks for putting so much work into this recommendation! Does the wiring harness you mention above work with 3rd gens?
     
    This site contains affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.
    MattCowsmasher likes this.
  15. Jun 25, 2018 at 11:32 AM
    #1255
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    For 3rd gen you need to follow this thread, as it uses H11 instead of H4:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-ultimate-foglight-upgrade-h11-not-led-or-hid.435419/

    Same results, 2x the output. However you can get a good bump in output by using a modified H9 to take your output from 1250 lumens to 2100 lumens though bulb life will be shorter. Make sure you read over the update 1/2 way down that thread which covers the modifications necissary. Using the harness to increase voltage plus the H9 will will push output further to ~2x the output.
     
    Biscuits likes this.
  16. Jul 25, 2018 at 10:57 PM
    #1256
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
    I purchased some used 3rd gen assemblies for an upcoming headlight project. Unfortunately one of the assemblies was worse off than described in the ad and appeared to have been impacted in some sort of accident. It had a very heavy scuff across the lens, gouging the plastic to the point there was plastic transfer into the lens from whatever hit it.

    hr48G8NYTCOwvjm7gCyHRA.jpg

    Pictures do not really do justice in this case, these were some non-trivial groves in the plastic. While I knew I could certainly reduce the appearance of the damage, I was unsure to what extent I could get it to look like it never happened.

    I used Philips Headlight Restoration kit provided by Steve from @XenonDepot. As I'm sure many are aware, I am a big fan of Philips brand products as they are high quality and very thoughtfully engineered. And I am a stickler for detail. The kit consisted of 3 different grades of sandpaper, and various buffing/polishing compounds. The lowest grit sand paper, 600 grit, was designated as only necessary for severe use cases. This was definitely severe and likely well beyond the intended design use of the product. The 600 was then followed by by 1500 and finally 2000 grit after which a polishing compound is applied and then finished off with a protective sealing compound.

    Part way through the wet standing
    CIvfHNqUQ%KQZa2p3dxqVw.jpg


    End Result: What plastic gouging impact scuff???
    gR47KSX1Q4ew+6+spOm6eQ.jpg

    Now I did apply the procedure twice on this kit, because I am detail obsessed and the damage was pretty bad. While the Philips kit did an outstanding job of clearing up the headlight, I did not feel their final level of clear polish was on par with clear plastic polish of Meguiars. So I went over the headlight with Mequiars PlastX after finishing with the Philips kit to really give it that like new finish. While the Mequiars product provides great transparency to lenses, it could never have completed what the Philips kit accomplished, it was just a nice addition to push the restoration the final 5-10% of the way across the finish line to looking like new.

    The Philips box also contains one of my favorite quality phrases, "Made in the USA".
    creRyKu9T6uADSVA9pE6zQ.jpg


    Whenever you 'restore' a headlight assembly that involves sanding, you are sanding off the UV stabilizing coating of the polycarbonate lens. Polycarbonate is extremely susceptible to UV and will rapidly degrade and cloud/yellow under exposure. This is why many people who 'restore' their headlights have them result in being far worse off a few months later. It is very important that if you sand your headlights removing the UV protection, that you reapply a UV stabilizer coating to the headlight assembly to prevent UV breakdown. Philips includes such a coating in their kit, as do many. This is a maintenance item and not a permanent solution. What sets Philips apart is the longevity of their coating, an outstanding service life of 2 years.

    If you are trying to restore badly damaged headlights, Philips headlight restoration kit followed by Mequiars PlastX seems like a great way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    lynyrd3, tacomgee, Tsinajinii and 4 others like this.
  17. Aug 5, 2018 at 1:54 PM
    #1257
    Unchained 5150

    Unchained 5150 Rick

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Member:
    #139054
    Messages:
    65,410
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rick
    Auburn Ma
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD Poser Pro Manual.
  18. Aug 5, 2018 at 2:04 PM
    #1258
    Unchained 5150

    Unchained 5150 Rick

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Member:
    #139054
    Messages:
    65,410
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rick
    Auburn Ma
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD Poser Pro Manual.
    Just ordered a set off Power Bulbs with discount was 32.00 bucks.
     
    Norton, MattCowsmasher and FastEddy59 like this.
  19. Aug 5, 2018 at 3:00 PM
    #1259
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Member:
    #156893
    Messages:
    14,638
    Gender:
    Male
    Kirkland, WA
    Vehicle:
    2003 DCSB TRD OR
    Go Hawks!
  20. Aug 5, 2018 at 3:01 PM
    #1260
    Unchained 5150

    Unchained 5150 Rick

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Member:
    #139054
    Messages:
    65,410
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rick
    Auburn Ma
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD Poser Pro Manual.
    I'm going to order the H11's as well
     

Products Discussed in

To Top