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Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade #5329157 01/21/20 09:41 PM
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JeffKeryk Online Content OP
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A while back I noticed the headlights were not too good on our old Tundra; it has just shy of 200K on the clock.
Click-click-click on Amazon for some cheapo LED replacement lamps and Maguire's Restore Kit.
The kit worked pretty well, I'd say. I've never done this before.
I am very happy with the results. I love my old truck, as do my neighbors.


Tundra Light 04.jpegTundra Light 02.jpg
Last edited by JeffKeryk; 01/21/20 09:42 PM.

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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329172 01/21/20 10:14 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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and now you're probably illegally blinding other drivers. There are expensive housings that have the proper focus. There are no cheap LED lamp drop-ins that do.

The restore kit was a good idea if you don't have the abrasive components to DIY without one, but a new incan bulb is the correct solution for an incan housing.

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: Dave9] #5329176 01/21/20 10:32 PM
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AC1DD Offline
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Originally Posted by Dave9
and now you're probably illegally blinding other drivers. There are expensive housings that have the proper focus. There are no cheap LED lamp drop-ins that do.

The restore kit was a good idea if you don't have the abrasive components to DIY without one, but a new incan bulb is the correct solution for an incan housing.


Finally SOME of the cheap kits have the proper light exit points on the bulb and diffuser that will allow the bulb to mimic a traditional incandescent.
But you really have no assurance that the product is correct with no name stuff !

One thing you can do is have a friend or family out on the road pass you by a few times with the lights on at night.....what did they find?

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329203 01/22/20 01:46 AM
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02SE Offline
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Looks like light scatter above where the cut-off should be. Yes, you are likely blinding oncoming drivers now.

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329218 01/22/20 03:43 AM
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eljefino Online Content
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Let's see a picture with one halogen and one LED.

Here was my car, came with LED, went back to incandescent:

[Linked Image]

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: eljefino] #5329252 01/22/20 05:53 AM
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Perfect illustration of what's wrong with LED capsules. Jeff, put one of the old bulbs back in and compare, if it looks like this you might want to put in new incandescent bulbs. It won't be the cool kid blue light but will be safer for oncoming traffic.

Originally Posted by eljefino
[Linked Image]



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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329290 01/22/20 07:13 AM
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I did this on a friend's 2008 Tacoma. It was easy enough to just re-aim the headlights down a bit so they wouldn't blind oncoming drivers. We found a quiet straight road near my house and tested it a few times. He has not been high-beamed yet and they've been in there about 6 months.


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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329307 01/22/20 07:55 AM
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JeffKeryk Online Content OP
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Thanks for all the comments. I will do an oncoming driver test. Sometimes you can overdo a good thing.
I do believe the beam has shifted upward somewhat.


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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329316 01/22/20 08:12 AM
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mk378 Online Content
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Back up some and get a picture like eljefino did. It also may help to kill one light by unplugging or standing in front of it.

What you are looking for is a sharp "cutoff" at the top like the one on the right of eljefino's picture. If it's like the one on the left of eljefino's picture you'd have to tilt it down so far to keep the top of the pattern out of other driver's eyes that you won't be able too see much.

Last edited by mk378; 01/22/20 08:13 AM.
Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329381 01/22/20 09:23 AM
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There are a couple brodozers in my neighborhood that have lights like these. They are quite blinding to oncoming traffic, I have seen people give them a one-finger salute out the window as they pass. You can always tell the individuals that install these lamps just by the color, it is obvious even far down the road.


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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329491 01/22/20 12:13 PM
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I never understood the logic of aiming lamps downward to fix glare.

It's like buying a brighter flashlight to see further, and then pointing the flashlight at your feet.

Last edited by Dave_Mark; 01/22/20 12:13 PM.
Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329499 01/22/20 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I do believe the beam has shifted upward somewhat.

It's not just the 'shifting upwards' that's a problem, from your photo it looks like there's little - if any - central 'hot spot' in the beams (see eljefino's pic). The hot spots are what give you light farther down the road when you're actually driving. You've likely lost a significant amount of light at the distances that actually matter when you're driving at speeds greater than 15mph at night - light that projects far enough to allow you to see and react to obstacles/hazards on the road.

Also, if the headlamp assemblies are the original ones, they're almost 20 years old. It's not just the lens that degrades over time, the reflectors also degrade. The only real fix is to replace the assemblies.

Ideally, you'd replace the headlamp assemblies with genuine OEM's, install a set of premium H4 halogen bulbs (e.g. Philips X-treme Vision or GE Nighthawk Xenons), ensure that the bulbs are getting full voltage (might need to use a quality aftermarket headlight harness), and get everything aimed correctly. Then if you still feel like you need more light at distance, you can install auxiliary high beams to supplement what you already have.

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: jeff78] #5329524 01/22/20 12:48 PM
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JeffKeryk Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by jeff78

It's not just the 'shifting upwards' that's a problem, from your photo it looks like there's little - if any - central 'hot spot' in the beams (see eljefino's pic).


The picture is pretty close to the fence...
Thanks for your help. I will do more testing.


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Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329553 01/22/20 01:33 PM
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Not even thinking about the wash up on the lattice - but there is a central pattern seeming high. Find a medium dark sheet and secure to that spot. That aim should not be upward - level them out and go for a ride.
What I do with mine is lower the driver light and have the RH side reach further - that will spot a deer on the shoulder and let you watch the relative shoulder position when a flamethrower is headed towards you.

Re: Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade [Re: JeffKeryk] #5329667 01/22/20 04:17 PM
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frankbee3 Offline
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BITOG just referred me to this website last week. Danielsternlighting.com

There is a lot of really great material on this website about headlights, bulbs, aiming and more. This is an information rich website.


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