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Discussion Starter #1
NOTE:[/color] Also, proceed at your own risk.
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NOTE:[/color] I need to make a disclaimer. If you do not find this thread useful and not your cup of tea, that is OK with me. I do not need or want to start debates or negative criticism. This is just something I want to try. I state this because at times, things are not appreciated by some.
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I've recently started trying out some LED headlights, just because I enjoy trying out new things that I may find useful. In the process, as many know, the GM projector (and halogen high beams for that matter) have a dust cover over them. When converting to some HID and many LED H11 headlight replacements, the GM dust cover makes for a tight fit if it can be still used at all. So, I endeavored to modify the GM factory headlight dust covers to remedy this.

I wanted a decent looking outcome without spending a lot of cash. After trying various off the shelf "parts", I used the ever helpful process of "thinking outside the box". I purchased 4 GM dust covers for about $9ea which are used on many new GM vehicles:

Part No.: 23486492 COVER ASM-HDLP BULB ACC

I purchased these both to have potential spares for my other vehicle (2017 Chevy Colorado) or in case I needed a sacrificial prototype. . . In other words, buggered one up. But all went well and I made a couple pair. Of course, you can always just mod the ones your vehicle comes with and save $$. The only other items I needed were the "Custom Dust Cover Extensions" and some adhesive sealant to secure them to the GM dust cover after a bit of manicuring.

I initially tried some smaller diameter extensions and found it too much trouble to implement since the H11 bulb does not sit centered behind the GM dust cover. Therefore, I opted for a dust cover lobotomy and removed a good portion of it that yielded a lot of potential room. This leaves very adequate space for HID wiring/connectors, etc as well as the bulk of LED cooling apparatus be it cooling fans/fins or those braided wire strips. The pictures show an unmodified GM Dust Cover and the result after using a 1.5" hole saw to cut 3 overlapping holes into the top and then a dremel to finish out the rest. I am also thinking of adding a few ventilation holes with filter media behind them to allow more heat to escape from the bulb housing. The filter media will keep most dust out, but allow air to move through.

In all, the "Custom Dust Cover Extension" cost less than $2 each plus a little adhesive. I happened to have and recommend some automotive Goop brand adhesive which works well. It adheres to most plastics.

I am using some H11 LEDs which I will post here and are working very well. They are the best for the $$ I have found unless I wanted to spend +$80 to $100 or more. And these seem to have both a good low beam pattern as well as lighted distance ahead of the vehicle. There are a few that are slightly better, but then it is in the higher price range as mentioned. I found the H11 LED headlights I used for $35 the pair on 'Zon when they had a coupon price. Normally about $50. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MXMIRY6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/color]

NOTE:
[/color] By the way. . these H11 LED replacements require no capacitor or other wiring to remedy DRL flickering. They are plug and play.

2017 LED Headlight Reviews: [/color] - - -https://10carbest.com/led-headlights-bulbs

In reading the LED reviews, be mindful that things vary depending on the bulb type they replace. . H11, H16, 9004, 9005, etc. I noticed in the review listed here they use a 9007 replacement. The beam pattern on the H11 LED I bought is much better than shown in this review, and this Simdevanma LED H11 still comes up as #2 in Best for 2017 as tested in this review.

But back to the Custom Dust Cover Extension for $2. I thought I would have some fun and not divulge exactly what I used and let the forum members guess. I'll edit this and update for specifics so that others might do the mod.

I need to make a disclaimer. If you do not find this useful and not your cup of tea, that is OK with me. I do not need or want negative critics. I state this because on some other forums, and even this one at times, things are not appreciated by some.

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Jay - What happens to the lights when they are in DRL mode ? Do they light at half power, or not at all ?

Also, I find that Silicone does not adhere very well to plastic,s but I have great success with Shoe Goo.

When will you tell us what the black cap is that you used ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi . .

I used Automotive Goop. They also had Shoe Goop on the same rack as I recall when I bought it some time ago. Is that the same as Shoe Goo? Mine says "Automotive" on it. They actually have 4 or 5 different types now. Wonder if they are any different?

- - -NOTE:
[/color] By the way. . these H11 LED replacements require no capacitor or other wiring to remedy DRL flickering. They are plug and play. They light up at what appears to be near full brightness as DRL.

Oh. . I am liking these LEDS. The first ones I've found for under $50 a pair that seem decent so far. And, in DRL mode the light ouptut seems the same as on night time mode, but I will get my meter out and measure it. I would say they are notice ably brighter than the stock halogen and also have a better spread. Center bright spot seems the same as my OEM halogens. While running with one LED and one OEM halogen I could barely stand looking at the orange/yellow of the halogen. I mainly wanted a whiter light and they are that as well as better spread pattern and throw seems about the same as OEM stock.

They have no extra "ballast" type box. Just a short braided cable and the mating connector to the standard H11. Cut off seems the same as the halogen OEM. I ran around for a week with just the driver side LED and the passenger side OEM halogen. They say a 2 year warranty. But who knows ?

So. . . you're supposed to guess what I used for the Custom Cap Extensions. . .. . I will answer tomorrow.

Stay tuned! ( This Equinox/Terrain Forum needs more people traffic. :D )
 

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JayT2014 said:
Hi . .

I used Automotive Goop. They also had Shoe Goop on the same rack as I recall when I bought it some time ago. Is that the same as Shoe Goo? Mine says "Automotive" on it. They actually have 4 or 5 different types now. Wonder if they are any different?
I once called them to ask that exact question, and they said they is a minor change in the ingredients, and for the most part, they are interchangeable. I just ShoeGoo, and never had any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bigb12359 - - - - winner! :thumb:

Sharp eye you have there. They are black plastic caps used on corrugated plastic drain tile. I found these at a local home supply store. Now, there are different brands of these and some are shaped differently.. These are Prinsco brand and ther are the 3" model EC03.

Here is a link with the brand and model number. And a couple of places to get them.

http://www.theisens.com/drain-tiles/prinsco-corrugated-end-cap-ec03

https://www.prinsco.com/prinsco-markets/fittings-accessories/external-end-cap-stormwater/

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rit. . . I PM'd you last night. . .
 

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Hi ,

JayT2014 always excellent reading , and thanks. Beer is the prize ? Lol.

What's your opinion thus far on the LEDs ? I have been using aftermarket LEDs for 6 ish years now. My 2016 Sierra are loaded from factory at every location....absolutely great.

The only time I have had to do the dust cap mod , which was the way you did , was in a 2011 Terrain. 3 Nox's, I have not had to modify.. Did you need to b/c the led bulb was a longer version ?

Again great write up ,
:cheers: :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi BigB . . .

I've been waiting to go LED headlights for 2 years. The performance and prices are now starting to come of age IMO. The bulb designs still seem that they are better suited to projector housings which is what I have in both the Equinox and 2017 Colorado. I did have to adjust the headlight downward a bit to make sure the cut off line does is not so high as to blind oncoming drivers, so now it is fine. I do like the clean white light and wider field of light output.

I had to mod the dust cover because, yes, the LED bulb is too long by about 3/4", but also I thought it would be healthier for the LED bulb with more space around it to allow better cooling. Also, I think the bulb and it's electronics are a bit larger since the driver is integrated into the entire assembly. It now seems there are scores of these new integrated LED headlights available and for a very low cost compared to even a year ago or so. There are some using CREE COB elements for as low as $20 to $25 in the H11 size. I am sure they all vary in quality, but the one I purchased uses Philips LED chips and seem to be a good build. There are some pretty wild claims of light output also.

I have been using LEDs for interior lights, backup lights, and so me other uses as well for 5 years or so. For headlights, I suspected that it would just take some time and they would match or exceed HID performance and for lower cost.

Did the LED headlight bulb you chose use fans or braided cooling ribbons?
 

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IMO the new lights are just too bright for oncoming drivers. Aiming the beams low will still blind an oncoming driver if your vehicle is going up a slight incline.
I had a car behind me with super white lights the other night, the interior of my Nox was completely lit up a bright white and I could hardly see forwards. I had another car a few nights ago approaching me up a slight incline ... I could not see anything but his lights.
 

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I see that also from some cars and trucks. Likely, it is caused by cars/trucks that have regular "Reflector" housings and the owner installed cheap non DOT approved LED replacements. Unfortunately, there are quite a few individuals that install anything that they think "looks cool" rather than study and research on it. Reflector housings are much more sensitive to the location and size of the light emitting element be it an incandescent filament or LED chips. If you are observant, there are many vehicles out there on the road with the characteristic, white headlights that do not blind or glare. This is because they have been properly installed and are DOT approved whether with factory installed LEDs or aftermarket in the proper housing.

The GM housings I have in my truck are also used in other GM vehicles now with LED lamps. So they handle it properly as long as the LED replacement is DOT approved for proper light emitter element position in the headlight housing.

There are, and mine are, DOT approved LED H11 replacement headlight bulbs. I checked the cut off line of my lights BEFORE installing the LED H11 bulbs, and then adjusted the line to the same points on both headlights. It was only a minor adjust and this should be done even if replacing an incandescent bulb, since specs may be slightly different.

One other thing that affects "blinding" is that some folks install LED headlights and foglights in "Lifted" trucks. If someone does that and fails to account for it, then blinding for other drivers will occur. I have also seen where vehicle owners seem to deliberately aim headlights higher for who knows what reason?

As far as over all brightness goes, these LED H11 bulbs I purchased are about as bright as a brand new premium H11 incandescent bulb . The real value in HID or LED bulbs is that they maintain their light output and do not age as quickly as incandescent bulbs. I wish to be safe by having proper lighting throughout the bulbs life. While halogen bulbs are said not to "age", their light color does seem to yellow after use and even dim somewhat due to the high temperature they operate at and the metal can deposit on the inside of the glass bulb. The filaments inside a halogen bulb literally boil metal off of them and are redeposited all over the inside of the bulb, hopefully mostly back onto the filament, but not always. This changes light quality. This does not occur in LED or even HID bulbs.
 
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You have any output shots? Preferably comparison between halogen and led? I have yet to see any LED bulb, especially for H11 that has equal or greater output than halogen. Every one I've seen throws out too much light in the foreground so you can't see as far as with halogen and they tend to glare too much above the cutoff
 

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Discussion Starter #16
fsanti87 said:
You have any output shots? Preferably comparison between halogen and led? I have yet to see any LED bulb, especially for H11 that has equal or greater output than halogen. Every one I've seen throws out too much light in the foreground so you can't see as far as with halogen and they tend to glare too much above the cutoff[/color]

I will try and take some pics. I tried earlier but my camera doesn't seem to work so well for these kind if pictures.

Did you mean to say "LEDs" in the highlighted above rather than halogen?
 

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hi ,

JayT2014 , great info !

I agreed with the headlight adjustment for sure .

I have used both H11 leds with the fan , and with the antiflicker model plugged in to the H11 but have not tried the braided wire version .

very cool !!!

:cheers:
 

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JayT2014 said:
I will try and take some pics. I tried earlier but my camera doesn't seem to work so well for these kind if pictures.

Did you mean to say "LEDs" in the highlighted above rather than halogen?
No I meant in 99% of applications you can see farther with halogen than with pnp led. I see these all the time and I have yet to see a single pnp led that can outshine halogen. It's typical for pnp LED's to only give you more light in your foreground, which gives you the impression that it's better but it's actually worse for night driving. Also doesn't help that the companies selling them throw out theoretical numbers and overdrive the LED's while underestimating the heat dissipation needed to keep them from failing.

I love the ingenuity in extending the bulb cap and everything and I wanna like pnp LED's, but the technology just isn't there yet.
 

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I tended to agree with you about LEDs not throwing their light out as far as a halogen and that's why I've been waiting for them to improve.
When was the last time you tried LEDs? The chip technology and design of the bulbs has changed and improved quite a bit. Especially in the past 4 months or so, integrated driver design, chip size and placement and output have all improved over what I've seen. There still are a lot of copy cat suppliers, but some of the newer offerings have light output that approaches or is nearly 360 degrees. They still are not great for people who want to put them into reflector housings as replacements for halogen, but I am surprised at the improvement.

I've tried a few over the past 2 years and sent them back. This is the first set of LEDs that are acceptable to me. I have another set on the way and want to compare the two. The ones I have now use Philips chips and the ones on order are a newer design from CREE.

For driving around town I find the low beams are working fine. When I go out on the many semi rural roads I also drive on the LEDs still seem to work well for light throw and at times I do use high beams which I did with the halogens as well because of rolling hills and any low beam in pitch black going down hill isn't going to do much for distance viewing.

Perhaps I am not as fussy as you, but cut off is clean and the light pattern is wide and even across the field all the way up to the cut off line.
 

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I follow a group that's all about automotive lighting and new guys are always coming in showing off their led "low beams" and no matter what brand, how much better they say their product is than the rest, however many thousands of lumens the box claims it puts out, how many lifetimes they say they'll last, they always fall short.

Excessive foreground and no hotspot is a consistent trait with nearly every single pnp led that gets posted. Even the professional shops in that group that deal with headlight mods post comparison pics and videos once in a while showing the difference between different pnp and oem bulbs, and halogen beats led every time.

I'm just passionate about forward lighting and doing it right because headlight optics are extremely sensitive and I see people every single day glaring with pnp hid and led bulbs and I when I see them at night their low beams look like fog lights because most of the light output is only maybe 20-40 feet in front of them.

There's a reason that oem led units have massive heat sinks directly behind the diodes and no (easily) swappable parts, while pnp is essentially LED's glued to a stick with a little ribbon or fan attached. And even then, the average oem led projector is barely better than halogen projectors with halogen bulbs.

But I mean if you're happy with it and can still see just fine :cheers:

Sorry for derailing lol but it's an everyday occurrence that people bring up that same thing about how "LED's have come a long way" or that they're "better than they were a few years ago" but output shots prove otherwise

/rant
 
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