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Gypsy's custom headlights build


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#1 KnightOwl

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:24 PM

Inspired by wstefan20 and his Spyder retrofit, I decided to embark on a similar project for my GP. Instead of projectors or HIDs, I've decided to try using aftermarket halo fog lights in place of the headlights. Yes, there will be issues to overcome.

 

And here we go.....

 

I purchased a set of salvage yard projector housings from Imp558 (Thank you sir!) So this is my start point.

IMG_6267-M.jpg

 

I did as much disassembly as possible before preparing to separate the housings and lens. However, just like wstefan20, I discovered the supplied projector wasnt great quality and the low-beam hood seemed too large to me.

IMG_6268-S.jpg

 

I watched a video on pulling housings apart which called for the oven at 270 for 7 minutes. Following those guidelines, the lens would move was very stubborn. I returned the housing to the oven for another 3 minutes and the lens came off but unfortunately the housing broke in the process. Its a pretty clean break and I think it can be repaired with epoxy and since it bonds to the lens on reassembly, should be okay...I hope

IMG_6269-M.jpg

 

Just like with the Spyders wstefan20 took apart, the supplied halos were little more than a clear plastic ring with 2 LEDs at the bottom.

 

IMG_6271-S.jpg

 

The projector lens itself was a domed magnifying glass. Not sure if they all are like this but at least a heavy glass piece. However this wont be going back in with my current plan.

 

IMG_6272-S.jpg

 

This is the crucial part to my build. I'll be scouring eBay for LED halo fog lights in the proper diameter to fit these holes. It looks like the low beam location will accommodate a 3 inch and the high beam a 2 inch. There appears to be ample room behind for the housings and I'll have to seal the back to prevent moisture fogging.

 

IMG_6270-M.jpg

 

This is an example to the type of light I'll be looking for, and I'll have to do something to shield a portion of the low beam lens similar to the projector housing...but since LEDs dont generate much heat, I may be able to use a good vinyl decal or foil tape.

LEDs-M.jpg

 

While the housings came with a wire harness, I'm sure I'll need some guidance with hooking things up properly. Electrical has never been my strong point so this may take some doing to work out properly.

 

But I'm off and running! LOL (or breaking as it were...)


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#2 KnightOwl

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 12:52 AM

i want to retain the wire harness that came with the headlights so I can "plug-n-play" with the car connections. Making sure the halo rings burn with the DRLs and all else working as planned will take some doing and I'll certainly be posting questions on the problems as I go.

 

I was also considering using LED bulbs for the turn signals (3157) but I noticed all of them require a resistor to be installed. This goes where?

 

I'd also like to swap out the small side marker bulbs but not sure what number they are or if LED replacements are available?


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#3 Imp558

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 01:18 AM

Sorry to see the housing broke like that, at least it didn't fracture and left you with two puzzle pieces.

 

When you replace a turn signal bulb with a LED light the LEDs draw significantly less current than a filament bulb. That being said flashers are essentially auto reset thermal circuit breakers so we will end up drawing less current and they will either not draw enough current to pop the "circuit breaker" or not draw enough to pop it quickly enough and they will flash too slow.

 

The resistors would go in parallel with the LEDs to draw more current for this reason, alternatively one could replace the flasher with an electronic timer style.


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#4 KnightOwl

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 03:42 AM

Would the electronic flasher simply plug-n-play in place of the stock flasher?

 

Before I pull the other one apart, I think I'll try 10 degrees more oven heat and 10 instead of 7 minutes

 

Also, what is the best material to re-seal the lens back together?


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#5 KnightOwl

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 08:36 PM

Ordered the lights today so maybe I can start re-assembly next week   ;)  :)


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#6 Imp558

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:04 PM

I've never had to use an electronic flasher. They may plug in but I would imagine it would need at least a ground. That's pure speculation.

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Her Stuff: 1996 SSEi - 2001 Monte Carlo SS


#7 wstefan20

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:21 PM

i want to retain the wire harness that came with the headlights so I can "plug-n-play" with the car connections. Making sure the halo rings burn with the DRLs and all else working as planned will take some doing and I'll certainly be posting questions on the problems as I go.

 

I was also considering using LED bulbs for the turn signals (3157) but I noticed all of them require a resistor to be installed. This goes where?

 

I'd also like to swap out the small side marker bulbs but not sure what number they are or if LED replacements are available?

Awesome start by the way! Glad to see others following in the same path! You can use a load resistor to slow down the blink, but I ended up opting to get a different relay to solve. I used this link on grand prix forums: http://www.grandprix...ash-delete.html

 

I think the side markers are just a 194 if I recall. most any work, but you have to get the polarity right. I'll have to look up the schematics, but I remember that stock, these side markers actually pass current both directions which potentially could fry the led. I'll get back to you on that though.

 

Strange on the rubber, usually 270 for 7 works every time for me unless it's oem. You should definitely be able to glue that back or might look into plastic welding. that saved my rear and works really well! I think $15 at harbor freight.

 

Can't wait to see progress!



#8 Imp558

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:05 PM

When I did LED side markers in the regal I used 2 omron relays to run them. An LED won't get hurt by reverse polarity but it will not light either.
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Her Stuff: 1996 SSEi - 2001 Monte Carlo SS


#9 KnightOwl

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:41 PM

I've decided to leave the second housing intact until I finish the first...mostly to use it as a wire harness guide so I connect everything properly.

 

wstefan20, you mentioned 270 for 7 worked well for everything but oem....what setting /time have you used for those?

 

I'm also curious what to reseal them with. I know RTV is a good sealer but lousy adhesive. Do you opt for one of the various silicone adhesive found at Home Depot or is there a dedicated kind of goop just for this application?

 

Sealing the back will be another ball game but I'm going to explore some different rubber plugs for that.


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#10 wstefan20

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:30 AM

I've decided to leave the second housing intact until I finish the first...mostly to use it as a wire harness guide so I connect everything properly.

 

wstefan20, you mentioned 270 for 7 worked well for everything but oem....what setting /time have you used for those?

 

I'm also curious what to reseal them with. I know RTV is a good sealer but lousy adhesive. Do you opt for one of the various silicone adhesive found at Home Depot or is there a dedicated kind of goop just for this application?

 

Sealing the back will be another ball game but I'm going to explore some different rubber plugs for that.

Probably a good idea! 

 

As far as the temp, I usually just leave them a minute or two longer, try to pry (gently), if it doesn't work, pry again, if it doesn't work, stick it back in for a few minutes again, and keep doing that. You shouldn't need that much to get them off though. 

 

Best thing to use is "retro-rubber" which is basically butyl rubber. You can buy it online and in some auto stores. Think it's the same thing used to seal windshields. Just make sure you heat them up once apart and "scrape" out the old rubber. 

 

Let me know what you find for sealing the rear. I'm still dealing with that since my projector protrudes out the back a slight bit...



#11 wstefan20

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:31 AM

When I did LED side markers in the regal I used 2 omron relays to run them. An LED won't get hurt by reverse polarity but it will not light either.

Well.... if you're cheap like me and use ebay/China leds, they do indeed break when reversed! lol

 

The relays are definitely a good idea though! I'm still making up my mind on what I want to do. For now, I wired them just for parking.



#12 Imp558

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:57 AM

Well.... if you're cheap like me and use ebay/China leds, they do indeed break when reversed! lol

 

 

That shouldn't be a thing, most LEDs are china made. Maybe they had a resistor in parallel internal that ended up getting overpowered without the voltage division or something. 


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#13 wstefan20

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 04:57 AM

That shouldn't be a thing, most LEDs are china made. Maybe they had a resistor in parallel internal that ended up getting overpowered without the voltage division or something.

You're probably on to something there. You could tie them together, run a ground, and place diodes to keep them from back feeding. I'm still playing around with that stuff myself

#14 KnightOwl

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 04:55 PM

I ordered some amber LED 194 replacement bulbs and an electronic flasher. I'm also looking online to get a roll of the butyl rubber sealer (I honestly didn't know you were supposed to put it back in the oven to reseal...read and learn!)

 

I also think I'm going with 3M foil tape to create the low-beam shield. I should be able to cut a half-moon shape to fit the fog light lens. This might involve mocking up the housing on the car before I re-seal the lens to get the proper effect. The 3M foil tape is supposed to be weather-proof, flame retardant and conforms to shape. We'll see what happens.

 

I also need to post a pic tonight of one of the wire adapter plugs...one wire has come out and I need to know if it can be repaired?


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#15 Imp558

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:01 PM

Aluminum flashing material comes on a roll, cuts with scissors and can be polished. Amongst it's many uses it's fantastic for making templates for body work and brackets and stuffs.

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1996 Buick Regal L67/4T65E-HD swapped - 1995 Buick Regal GS - 1980 Dodge Sno-Commander - 1968 Empi Imp on '67 Pan - 2001 Chevrolet Express 3500  

Her Stuff: 1996 SSEi - 2001 Monte Carlo SS


#16 KnightOwl

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:26 PM

Does anyone have an old set of GP corner housings they want to get rid of? I was thinking about covering the 194 bulb area with amber reflector like the factory corner...not crazy about the bare chrome corner with the bulb sticking out the middle.


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"All we know is...its NOT The Stig, but the Stig's fat American Cousin!"

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#17 Imp558

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:18 PM

Uhhh, can you post a picture? I have boxes of stuff from the strip-n-scrap that gave you the headlights.
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Her Stuff: 1996 SSEi - 2001 Monte Carlo SS


#18 wstefan20

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:28 PM

lol you can always use a big screwdriver to break the housings at the junkyard and they fall right out. They're not glued in or anything. Then the're small enough to "pocket"


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#19 Imp558

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:35 PM

Oh I see, yeah I had a stock set of headlights but we sold them at the 3800 gathering last year.
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"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough" - Mario Andretti

1996 Buick Regal L67/4T65E-HD swapped - 1995 Buick Regal GS - 1980 Dodge Sno-Commander - 1968 Empi Imp on '67 Pan - 2001 Chevrolet Express 3500  

Her Stuff: 1996 SSEi - 2001 Monte Carlo SS


#20 KnightOwl

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 03:11 AM

Yup a couple of these amber lens/reflectors

 

CornerLens-S.jpg

 

I'll check the local salvage...like wstefan20 said, maybe I can "pocket" a couple ;)


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