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Rebuilding Projector Headlights for 2005 Silverado

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by TRPLXL2, May 16, 2009.

  1. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    Three years ago I bought a set of Matrix Projector headlights with the halo's and LED's, I didn't get a chance to install them until 6 months later when I checked them I found out they were DOA. The only thing that worked on them were the headlight bulbs, the LED's and Halo's were non-functional. I wasn't able to return them so I put them on the truck, well a few weeks later they filled up with water and fogged horribly so I took them off and threw them in my closet until here recently. Here is a picture of the headlights when I pulled them out of the closet, I love the looks of them but the functionality of them is more to be desired.
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    I took the hair dryer and went around the housing to get the silicone to soften up, and then I worked a flat blade screw driver around the lense to get the headlight apart. After about 10 minutes it finally came apart with no damage done, you can see a couple of pry marks in the picture but I flattened these out with a pair of needle nose pliars easily. This is the back of the headlight housing after seperation, notice the grey silicone around the perimeter. A lot of people will leave that bead of silicone in and just reheat it and seal them back up, but I wanted to start from scratch so I pulled it all out. I used a philips screw driver and started a pice of silicone on the end, and then I just rolled it like you would spaghetti on a fork it worked almost 100%
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    This is the inside of the front of the headlights, the red and black wires that are exposed are for the halo's.
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    This is the chrome insert seperated from the clear headlight lense, it was held in place by 4 tiny screws which I used an eye glass screw driver to get them out. The halo's were also taken out in this picture, each halo was held in place by 2 small screws and the wiring was carefully pulled through the narrow slot at the bottom of the halo opening.
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    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  2. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    I pulled the rubber boot off of the back of the high beam socket, this shows the H1 bulb that came with the headlights along with the metal retaining hardware from inside the headlight. The rubber plugs in the background are from the back of the headlight housing, the wires from the halo's were ran through 2 tiny holes in that plug. Everything was in good shape for the high beams on both sides, but the same couldn't be said for the low beams.
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    This is a picture of the low beam wiring when I pulled them out, the driver's side had been burnt through and the insulator was fried. Prior to taking these headlights out of the truck, I noticed a flickering with the driver's side bulb and it finally went out but the bulb was still good. After seeing this I know why I had that problem, this was stock wiring too no fancy stuff! Instead of jerry rigging it, I cut all of the wiring out and replaced it with brand new wiring and connectors myself.
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    I removed the projector bracket by taking out 4 philips head screws, this allowed me to pull out the lense itself which is pretty cool looking in it's self.
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    These are the stock halo's that came out of the headlights, they originally had 22AWG wire, but I wanted to upgrade so I put some 18AWG wire in place which in turn took up more space.
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  3. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    The high beam reflector is on the right hand side, and this is a shot of the low beam projector without the lense in. You can now see the cut-off plate in there (silver), this is what gives you the nice cut-off line at night time versus light scattered everywhere. I did take this out and and try the headlight without it thinking it would make it brighter, but it actually made the light go all over the place making it even worse. I ended up putting it back in reluctantly, but it does serve a purpose believe it or not.
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    This when I took the whole projector apart, you can see that cut-off plate really good here on the left hand side. On the right is the low beam projector completely stripped down, it is definately cool to see it like this!
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    This is yet another thing I found broken inside of these headlights, the low beam adjustment screw snapped off and left the projector dangling. The projector itself was just floating in the housing, basically they had it held in place with some glue and a plastic tab inserted into the back of the projector. I have the pencil in there to show how much it was off, this made it unable to adjust these at all the way I got them.
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    The bottom screw is the one I took out of the headlights, it only allowed for minimal adjustment at most. I believe these headlights are only meant for stock vehicles, my truck is lifted 6" which means more downward angle adjustment which in turn broke the adjuster from to much strain. They don't tell you this when you buy them though, I have had a ton of people PM me telling me the exact thing happened on there headlights due to the extra height of the lift. I went to Auto Zone and bought 4 adjusters for a Chrysler 1988+ vehicles for $1.99, and wouldn't you know it they worked perfectly!
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  4. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    The original adjustment screw is on the left hand side, and as you can see the one on the right has a lot more room for adjustment. They do fit under the headlight lense without modification, and they enabled me to adjust them almost all the way down on the ground if I wanted to.
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    This is the completed projector after the new adjuster was installed, this is the adjustment I needed to compensate for the lift kit. It is about a 35-45 degree angle down, but I didn't want to blind anybody either. Another thing I did was get rid of all of the plastic pieces from their adjuster, and mine is all metal which is better for wear.
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    These headlights and marker lights came with 5 LED's per side, they were just two wires per LED so instead of having a ball of wires behind the headlights I made up a harness of my own. I used 18 AWG wire and I also used some Delphi metri-pak connectors, this is the only connector I use on my truck mostly because of the durability and the fact that I have never had one fail yet! This harness plugs directly into my running lights too, I always try not to cut any wires If I can help it.
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    These are the different bulbs that I have ran in my truck before, they are all 194 style bulbs and they are relatively easy to find. The yellow base are the amber color street legal bulbs, the white base are white but they look more like blue. And the blue base are what I was running until I got a fix-it ticket, they are color changing LED's which change automatically. This is about $100 worth of bulbs, in case you were curious.
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  5. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    I will show you real quick how you can make a GM connector that will match up with the factory stuff, I have probably 50 of these on various vehicles I own and I love them to death. They range from 1 pin all the way up to 6 pin connectors, and then you can also buy what are called duetsche connectors which are used for PTM/ECM modules DLC connector ABS modules or anything really. This is a picture of a 2 prong metri-pack connector, I used these to hook up all of my LED's and halo's and all the off-road lights too. The male connector is on the right hand side, and the female is on the left hand side.
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    These are the actual terminals that go inside of the connectors, the male terminals are on the left and the females are on the right hand side. They do come in all different sizes, ranging from 14AWG all the way up to 22AWG.
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    You can't use a regular crimper on those terminals, because they will basically just smash them and not make a good connection. MSD ignition makes a set of specialty crimpers that will do the job, I bought mine at Summit Racing along with the appropriate dies for these connectors.
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    I got lucky and found these at a local tool show and got them for a great price, these are also a necessity if you are really going to get into the wiring heavy. The purpose of these is to be able to remove factory prongs without damaging the existing sockets, when you are messing with the ECM or PTM you must have these to do the job right.
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  6. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    The green things in front are the weather proof boots for the connectors, they get slid over the wire before you do anything else. They also come in different colors, grey, green, blue, yellow.
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    After you slide the weatherproof boot over the wire, strip back the wire 1" from the end and twist it to make a tight spiral. Slide the terminal over the end of the wire, and take your crimpers and put the terminal in the appropriate slot. The black wire at the bottom is already crimped, noticed the nice tight crimp that made the teeth bite into the wiring. It also hods onto the wiring insulation itself with a loop further back, the crimper does all of that in one step no need for multiple crimps.
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    Once you finish crimping the wires appropriately, you just slide them into the connector until you hear them click into place. Then once they are seated slide your rubber boots into the back of the connectors, this seals the back of the connector from moisture and dirt.
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    This is what the complete connector looks like, the male side has the waterproof boot built into it(right side). Once these are connected they are air tight, they can only go together one way thanks to a safety clip on the back side. Long story short that's how I do my wiring, It works for me that's all I care about!
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  7. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    This is the stock setup in the halo's, it is soldered to a little mini board.
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    When I cut open the heat shrink I found a resister and a diode in line with the hot wire, I found out that they were running a 220 ohms resistor and a IN4007 diode.
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    Then it was time to do some major shopping, first I bought some high temperature headlight sockets to prevent the melting I had before. AutoZone had them for $11.99 for a set, so I bought two sets one set for high beam and one set for low beam.
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    I bought a tube of RTV clear sealant to seal the headlights back up, and I also got this at AutoZone for $6.50 a tube.
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  8. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    I also purchased some reflective tape from Walmart for $1.97 a roll, this is for a later step with the halo's.
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    I went to Summit Racing and bought a set of PIAA H3 extreme white plus for a side project.
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    While at Summit Racing I decided to buy two sets of PIAA H1 extreme white bulbs, they are 55 watt bulbs rated at 110 watts of output. 4000 kelvin each.
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    A member on this forum told me about a site that I could make my own halo's, even though I didn't have to I still wanted to try it anyways. I can't find the link right off hand, but you can google "homamade angel eyes" and it will come up for you. Long story but it does work, here is a picture of my first batch they are pretty close to being perfect.
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  9. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    My homemade halo is on the left, and the stock one is on the right hand side. The one's I made are slightly smaller in diameter but close enough, I was relatively happy with the results.
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    I then experimented on a larger scale, these are halo's I made up for my 6" off-road lights on my truck.
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    This is one of the stock halo's with their setup, which consisted of two 1mm white LED's one 4007 diode and one 220 ohms resistor. This is how dull they were from the get go, to me that's not bright at all!
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    This is my setup in the stock halo, two 5mm white LED's, two 4007 diodes, and two 390 ohms resistors. I had to go with a bigger resistor, because of the larger LED's drawing more.
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  10. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    The halo on the right is the halo before, and on the left is the halo after I put reflective tape on the back of the halo. It keeps the light from escaping out into the headlight, I did also notice it intensifies the color too.
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    This was my side project, I mounted two 6" Pro Comp lights behind the grille. I am currently waiting on the PIAA harness for them, it is on backorder so it could be a while.
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    This sticker was on both housing's when I bought them, this is why I didn't go with HID's. It's gotta be there for a reason?
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    Here's a behind the scenes look at the lights behind the grille, there is a good 8" between them and the radiator. I have had them on for a couple weeks now, and I have not noticed any increase in operating temperature so far. I used pre-existing holes in the grille shell for mounting the lights, the billet insert strengthens the shell making it possible to hold the lights.
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