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Old 11-17-2020, 03:31 PM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texadelphia View Post
New OEM '97 style housings look to be about $200/piece. Why they still stock the '97 style but are out of the '99+ style escapes me. I'd prefer to upgrade to the '99+ style but several Amazon reviews indicate that the TYC units have a problem with the position of the bulb shield on the driver's side units. It appears they're using the passenger side bulb shield in the driver's side assembly. I suppose I could roll the dice and see what they look up when they show up and return them if they look off.
Would using 100/80w "blasters" be a problem for oncoming traffic if they're aimed correctly? I don't want to be "that guy" and spend my days getting flashed by oncoming cars.
I put 99+ housings on my 98. They are a direct fit. I have had no issue with the bulb shield or any other fitment. The TYC's have a plastic back with a glass lens, just like the OEM Toyota parts. They are the closest things to OEM you can get and fairly cheap, all things considered.

Definitely get 99+ housings, they have a much better beam pattern than the 96-98's. The 96-98's tend to focus all of the beam in the center and the peripheral is pretty bad.

Since the 100/80W keep the OEM beam pattern, they have the DOT approved beam cut-offs for oncoming traffic and are safe. Just remember to turn off your high beams when passing . This is not the case with LED bulbs and non-DOT approved bulbs.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:49 PM #17
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Toyota headlights in this generation of 4Runner, the FZJ-80, and most of the other vehicles I've driven and worked on are utter shiite. You'd be better off driving with a decent LED flashlight hanging out the window.

The root of the problem is the wiring. In order to get full power out of even the stock bulbs, you need heavier gauge wire and a direct connection to the power source. Stock runs through the switch in the dash, and the power drop is atrocious.

Slee sells a harness kit that will be a drop-in replacement for the FZJ-80. Did that in mine, and it solved the problem, along with using the HIR bulbs. For the 4Runner, I did something similar and wound up commissioning a custom harness from Susquehanna Motorsports that would replicate the setup I have on the FZJ-80. That setup gives me a relay-switched direct connection to my battery/charging system and allows fully power to the bulbs. The other thing I did was add a set of Hella driving lights, also from Susquehanna. Between those and the now fully-powered stock headlights, I've got an easy half-mile visibility at night in the mountains around here. Also, the driving lights turn off with the dimmer switch, so I don't blind oncoming traffic with them. The power switch for those pops right into one of the standard dash locations, and looks like it's stock. I think the switch is even original Toyota...

Fix the wiring, and solve your headlight issues legally. I don't think there's a single HID retrofit kit that's truly DOT-legal, and the downside to a lot of them is the issue I had with the ones that the previous owner put in--The damn projectors kept falling apart inside the headlight, and would not tolerate any kind of vibration at all, like off-road driving.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:28 AM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rglsr View Post
Or just pick up some nice used OEM Toyota '99-02 headlights, they are out there, since they are glass they hold up better than the plastic ones. I got a nice set off FB Marketplace recently for $50.
Thankfully, these OEM headlights use a glass front lens, but please note that a 20 year old housing is almost certainly going to have reduced light output because of the inevitable dust and airborne deposits collecting on the reflector. Aside from disassembly being already ruled out by the OP, cleaning the reflectors is probably also out as an option, due to the physically soft material of the Al reflector coating. Any wiping will instantly scratch it, and ...of course...reduce output. Buying the 99+ reflector housing and then transplanting it into a pre-99 assembly seems like something worth looking at.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:40 AM #19
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Originally Posted by pluton View Post
Thankfully, these OEM headlights use a glass front lens, but please note that a 20 year old housing is almost certainly going to have reduced light output because of the inevitable dust and airborne deposits collecting on the reflector. Aside from disassembly being already ruled out by the OP, cleaning the reflectors is probably also out as an option, due to the physically soft material of the Al reflector coating. Any wiping will instantly scratch it, and ...of course...reduce output. Buying the 99+ reflector housing and then transplanting it into a pre-99 assembly seems like something worth looking at.
This is why I didn't want to mess with the housings. I was looking at upgrading headlights on another car years ago and the reflector paint was super fragile and I was sure I'd mess it up.

I placed an order for 99+ housings, high wattage bulbs, and those harness adapters yesterday. I actually ordered OEM housings but I'm going to try to cancel that order and get the TYC housings. It sounds like the TYC housings are decent and 1/4 the price of the OEM housings. That way if I do decide to retrofit HIDs at some point, I'll have less heartburn about tearing the housings apart.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:59 AM #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texadelphia View Post
...It sounds like the TYC housings are decent and 1/4 the price of the OEM housings. That way if I do decide to retrofit HIDs at some point, I'll have less heartburn about tearing the housings apart.
Err... wouldn't you use the OEM housings you're going to replace right now? No heartburn at all to use something that you otherwise have no use for (and has zero resale value). Or did I miss something?

And I've been stuck with this too. I don't mind doing the HID work, but they look atrocious to my eye, I just don't think I could drive the truck knowing those were visible... shallow? You betcha! But we all have personal taste preferences. I've most everything I need to build a relay harness, just haven't don it yet (building one for a '66 Beetle too, which has better lighting than the 4-runner even on stock sealed-beam bulbs).
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:18 PM #21
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I bought a pair of 99-02 TYCs from Rock Auto earlier this year, running them for the time being while redoing my HID projector retrofitted pair.

The beam pattern is actually pretty decent, but horizontal alignment is terrible on the driver side so there's a lack of illumination to the left. I already maxed out the adjuster so I ended up adding some washers between the mount where the adjuster rod pops into and the headlight housing itself. It did help a little, but cosmetics wise the headlight definitely doesn't sit as flush with the grill and hood compared to when I had OEM headlights. In fog I can actually see how the driver headlight's beam has a definite inward "tilt" to it
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:22 PM #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian. View Post
Err... wouldn't you use the OEM housings you're going to replace right now? No heartburn at all to use something that you otherwise have no use for (and has zero resale value). Or did I miss something?

And I've been stuck with this too. I don't mind doing the HID work, but they look atrocious to my eye, I just don't think I could drive the truck knowing those were visible... shallow? You betcha! But we all have personal taste preferences. I've most everything I need to build a relay harness, just haven't don it yet (building one for a '66 Beetle too, which has better lighting than the 4-runner even on stock sealed-beam bulbs).
No, you need the 99+ style to do an HID retrofit. I did an HID retrofit on mine and love the functionality and looks, but I get it's more work than some people want to do. FYI, I used DEPO housings for mine and thought the quality was great.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:49 PM #23
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I bought a pair of 99-02 TYCs from Rock Auto earlier this year, running them for the time being while redoing my HID projector retrofitted pair.

The beam pattern is actually pretty decent, but horizontal alignment is terrible on the driver side so there's a lack of illumination to the left. I already maxed out the adjuster so I ended up adding some washers between the mount where the adjuster rod pops into and the headlight housing itself. It did help a little, but cosmetics wise the headlight definitely doesn't sit as flush with the grill and hood compared to when I had OEM headlights. In fog I can actually see how the driver headlight's beam has a definite inward "tilt" to it
That's disappointing to hear. I wonder how much variance there is between batches. I have one of my current original headlights maxed out on the l/r adjustment similarly. So I wonder if there's just some variability to how it was assembled. I guess I'll get these mounted and see if they're off and if so return them and get the OEM ones.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:52 PM #24
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Err... wouldn't you use the OEM housings you're going to replace right now? No heartburn at all to use something that you otherwise have no use for (and has zero resale value). Or did I miss something?

And I've been stuck with this too. I don't mind doing the HID work, but they look atrocious to my eye, I just don't think I could drive the truck knowing those were visible... shallow? You betcha! But we all have personal taste preferences. I've most everything I need to build a relay harness, just haven't don it yet (building one for a '66 Beetle too, which has better lighting than the 4-runner even on stock sealed-beam bulbs).
The lens on the 97s is textured so I don't think HIDs would work very well with that set up compared to the "clear" lens of the 99+.

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Old 11-18-2020, 09:11 PM #25
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I looked at the structure of my ≈1 year old 96-98 OEM headlight assemblies and found that, from what I could see, there is a metal screw attaching the reflector/lens to the bracket that is threaded into plastic. I've already had this screw fail on one of the original OEM headlight assemblies that came in my 97 SR5. I'm not willing to tamper with this weak design point in order to transplant a 99-02 reflector/lens onto the 96-98 brackets.
However, today I found that Amayama still sells (from the UAE) the OEM 99-02 complete headlight assembly, and, feeling stupid and richer than I really am, I ordered one each, left and right.
I'll report back here when they come.
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:31 PM #26
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Retrofits are super easy on these, especially since you just remove the little bulb shroud, stick the projector through, and use a tabbed locating washer. I just used a set of TYCs and swapped them out with the stockers after I spent a couple hours building them.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:04 PM #27
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I looked at the structure of my ≈1 year old 96-98 OEM headlight assemblies and found that, from what I could see, there is a metal screw attaching the reflector/lens to the bracket that is threaded into plastic. I've already had this screw fail on one of the original OEM headlight assemblies that came in my 97 SR5. I'm not willing to tamper with this weak design point in order to transplant a 99-02 reflector/lens onto the 96-98 brackets.
However, today I found that Amayama still sells (from the UAE) the OEM 99-02 complete headlight assembly, and, feeling stupid and richer than I really am, I ordered one each, left and right.
I'll report back here when they come.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rglsr View Post
Looks like it, I looked up the rear housing p/ns '97 vs. '00 and they are the same. (p/n 81105-35231 and 81106-35211) and they appear available too. ($23 each) So even though the complete headlight assys are not available, each individual component seems to be. I could take a couple of photos, I've got a loose pair of headlights if you want.
Not sure if you saw this but you can still buy the rear bracket separately. Just buy a new lens/reflector and a new bracket and assemble.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:06 PM #28
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Retrofits are super easy on these, especially since you just remove the little bulb shroud, stick the projector through, and use a tabbed locating washer. I just used a set of TYCs and swapped them out with the stockers after I spent a couple hours building them.
But you still have to take the lens off the reflector housing correct?
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:30 AM #29
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Not sure if you saw this but you can still buy the rear bracket separately. Just buy a new lens/reflector and a new bracket and assemble.
That might solve the problem of the metal screw into plastic....doing it once, like the factory did when they assembled the headlight. I wish I had scoped out this possibility when I had the old headlights out and before I threw them away!
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:30 AM #30
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Weird, I think retros look great...
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