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Old 01-11-2020, 08:38 PM #1
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Lightbulb Dim projector?

I finally got around to restoring my headlights today but Iíve basically had this issue since I bought the truck (used, back in 2014), so I thought Iíd ask if anyone else has run across this issue.

My driverís side projector is significantly brighter than the passenger side. Iíve tried re-aiming but that doesnít seem to be the issue, just the output itself. Itís almost as if the passenger side bulb doesnít fit right in the projector (too far forward or back, it does click into place just fine) or something. Looking head-on the driverís side is blinding but I can essentially stare at the passengerís side without an issue.

Any ideas?


Driverís side.


Yeah passengerís side.


Output difference.

The passenger side does have a seal leak (that allows some moisture ingress) thatís been there since I bought it. No idea how that would effect the projector itself though.

My thought was to just replace these down the road but I thought Iíd ask yíall for some insight in the meantime.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:08 AM #2
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align the lights at a wall, also your halogen bowls might been burned up, swap bulbs just to confirm.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:27 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riceandpho View Post
align the lights at a wall, also your halogen bowls might been burned up, swap bulbs just to confirm.
x2 on trying new bulbs and eyeballing everything to see if you can spot an issue.

Are you stock? Do yourself a favor and replace the h11 low bulbs with h9's at least. You'll half the lifespan but you will nearly double the brightness (a worthy trade off in my opinion) at a comparable cost.

comparo:
Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

mod to fit:
9005 to 9011 High Beams + H11 to H9 Low Beams | Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

I did this on my 07 prior to fitting HID's. It was worth the few min to mod the bulbs to fit in my opinion.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:07 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riceandpho View Post
align the lights at a wall, also your halogen bowls might been burned up, swap bulbs just to confirm.
I've done that...the cutoffs seem to be even. Swapped the bulbs before, same dimming on pass side. You might be on to something with the burned halogen bowls - the passenger side projector seems only lit up in the middle looking head on, while it's basically the opposite on the other side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adkfinn View Post
x2 on trying new bulbs and eyeballing everything to see if you can spot an issue.

Are you stock? Do yourself a favor and replace the h11 low bulbs with h9's at least. You'll half the lifespan but you will nearly double the brightness (a worthy trade off in my opinion) at a comparable cost.
Funny enough, the passenger side is actually H9. The driver's H9 blew so I have the old H11 in there and it's still significantly brighter. I also have the 9100 HIRs in the high beams. Though, if I can figure out this projector issue I might give those Auxbeam LEDs a shot.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:42 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift Monkey View Post
I've done that...the cutoffs seem to be even. Swapped the bulbs before, same dimming on pass side. You might be on to something with the burned halogen bowls - the passenger side projector seems only lit up in the middle looking head on, while it's basically the opposite on the other side.



Funny enough, the passenger side is actually H9. The driver's H9 blew so I have the old H11 in there and it's still significantly brighter. I also have the 9100 HIRs in the high beams. Though, if I can figure out this projector issue I might give those Auxbeam LEDs a shot.
It sounds like you have an issue other than bulbs based on the pass beam being dim even after you switched bulbs. If the reflector coating behind the projector lens is toast you should be able to see it easily. Not sure how easy it will be to see that with the housing assembled, but once you tear down far enough to confirm it should be easy to see. PM me if you end up at that point - I have the factory projectors from my stock lights in a baggie in my 'take-off's' parts bin and would happily send you one for the cost of shipping. My suggestion - if you actually bake the lights apart and confirm that it is the reflector coating that failed - is to replace the projectors with a quality bi-xenon or LED setup.

I ran h9's, then HIR bulbs, then a Morimoto xenon h11 kit, and now run NGK G5 projectors and Osram Nightbreaker D2S bulbs retrofitted into the factory housing. If I was going to do it over again - I would go straight for the full retrofit from the beginning. It is a bit of cash and time to do the work and get everything set up nice, but the performance is excellent. I do run nice LED's in my fogs and high beams, fwiw.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:11 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adkfinn View Post
It sounds like you have an issue other than bulbs based on the pass beam being dim even after you switched bulbs. If the reflector coating behind the projector lens is toast you should be able to see it easily. Not sure how easy it will be to see that with the housing assembled, but once you tear down far enough to confirm it should be easy to see. PM me if you end up at that point - I have the factory projectors from my stock lights in a baggie in my 'take-off's' parts bin and would happily send you one for the cost of shipping. My suggestion - if you actually bake the lights apart and confirm that it is the reflector coating that failed - is to replace the projectors with a quality bi-xenon or LED setup.

I ran h9's, then HIR bulbs, then a Morimoto xenon h11 kit, and now run NGK G5 projectors and Osram Nightbreaker D2S bulbs retrofitted into the factory housing. If I was going to do it over again - I would go straight for the full retrofit from the beginning. It is a bit of cash and time to do the work and get everything set up nice, but the performance is excellent. I do run nice LED's in my fogs and high beams, fwiw.
Has to be something like that...also if you look closely at the picture, the passenger side projector isn't sitting centered in the housing either - it's shifted upwards. Something is def wonky with it.

I considered possibly doing a full retro...I've always wanted to but I'm not sure I'm really up for it. Are my 14 year old housing even worth re-using for this? If not, another set of OEM housings is gonna cost a pretty penny for starters.

Are there any drop in kits that just bolt up and don't require me to do any custom fitting? I ask this because downtime is going to a factor unless I do the retro on a new set of housings...it's my daily driver after all.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:23 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift Monkey View Post
Has to be something like that...also if you look closely at the picture, the passenger side projector isn't sitting centered in the housing either - it's shifted upwards. Something is def wonky with it.

I considered possibly doing a full retro...I've always wanted to but I'm not sure I'm really up for it. Are my 14 year old housing even worth re-using for this? If not, another set of OEM housings is gonna cost a pretty penny for starters.

Are there any drop in kits that just bolt up and don't require me to do any custom fitting? I ask this because downtime is going to a factor unless I do the retro on a new set of housings...it's my daily driver after all.
Took a second look at your pics. The one projector is def aimed up way higher than the other. This could be part of the problem and if it isn't should also be addressed anyway since your light will be aiming at the trees/sky even after you fix it. If it is only an aiming issue and not due the projector somehow coming loose in the housing you can adjust the projector down via a/the screw/nut on the back of the housing. Iirc, it is both a phllips/JIS and a 10mm and should be easy to turn given you can find/reach it. I'd go somewhere level and do something similar to the following after I make any adjustment: How to Adjust Car Headlights: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

There are drop in bulbs, there aren't drop in retrofits (not really). You could replace the entire housing (with factory or aftermarket) if you chose, this would be about as 'drop in' as it gets.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:16 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adkfinn View Post
Took a second look at your pics. The one projector is def aimed up way higher than the other. This could be part of the problem and if it isn't should also be addressed anyway since your light will be aiming at the trees/sky even after you fix it. If it is only an aiming issue and not due the projector somehow coming loose in the housing you can adjust the projector down via a/the screw/nut on the back of the housing. Iirc, it is both a phllips/JIS and a 10mm and should be easy to turn given you can find/reach it. I'd go somewhere level and do something similar to the following after I make any adjustment: How to Adjust Car Headlights: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

There are drop in bulbs, there aren't drop in retrofits (not really). You could replace the entire housing (with factory or aftermarket) if you chose, this would be about as 'drop in' as it gets.
Yeah that's how i adjusted them before, with the 8mm bolts on the back. I still think the positioning isn't causing the lack of output though, it's gotta be something internal to the projector itself.

Yeah...but then the gauntlet of projector/bulb choices to comb through, finding the best current choices and then narrowing them down to which would fit in the housing with relative ease and all the other small details...sigh. I have always wanted to do retro though...
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:45 AM #9
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The projector bowl was burnt/corroded. Leaving this here for future searchers.

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