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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am thinking about upgrading my headlights to something that shines a little better.

My question is, how big of a P.I.A. is it to change them and what can I expect to pay. I have done little research on them and have seen some as low as $350, is that good?
 

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Super easy to change, 4 bolts to remove each headlight. It is kinda tricky without a magnetic bit holder. A lot of aftermarket headlamps have different bulb that fits into them so do some research. Recon has had some positive and negative feedback, but everyone has their own opinion. They have some projectors for our trucks though. HID's in the original housing work fine for me though.
 

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Super easy to change, 4 bolts to remove each headlight. It is kinda tricky without a magnetic bit holder. A lot of aftermarket headlamps have different bulb that fits into them so do some research. Recon has had some positive and negative feedback, but everyone has their own opinion. They have some projectors for our trucks though. HID's in the original housing work fine for me though.

My bad, I just realized you had an 03, different housings than the 05's. Someone else will chime in with removal and replacement process's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ahh, thanks though
 

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Yeah it's a Turbo Diesel
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Do a hid retrofit yourself or have black flame do it for ya.
 

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replace your 03 lights with 05-07 style lights. styling upgrade and they are brighter.

they fit right into your current header with a little bit of trimming
 

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I wont beat this to death, but Do a PROJEcTOR HID Retrofit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wont beat this to death, but Do a PROJEcTOR HID Retrofit.
OK, now I am lost, please explain, just a little bit...
 

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OK, now I am lost, please explain, just a little bit...
High Intensity Discharge or HID bulbs are much brighter than halogen bulbs, but are designed to be used in a projector style housing. Our trucks come from the factory with a halogen bulb and a halogen style reflector in the headlight housing. There a ton of HID retrofit kits all over the place, but they don't work to their full potential because they are just poped into the stock halogen reflector. If you have ever seen a riced out honda civic with bright white or blueish tint lights that blind oncoming traffic, that is a HID retrofit kit in a stock reflector. Factory halogen housings are designed to deliver a certain light pattern, This pattern is dependent on the position of the bulb's arc from the reflector. HID bulbs are not the same as halogen so the light reflected in the housing is scattered and inconsistent. Retrofitting a projector into the headlight housing fixes this. Projector housings are how OEM HID housings are designed.

OEM Lincoln HID projector:
 

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Yeah it's a Turbo Diesel
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That's what I was implying, my bad not just an HUD bulb kit, a retrofit of an entire HUD system. Your exactly right^^^, I can't beat it to death enough. I hate when people just out the HId bulbs in the stock reflector housing.

I'm doing a retrofit right now on my 08


Thread is in the 6.4 electronics section
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I dont really want to beat the hell out of this either, but what light system do I order then?

It sounds like I have to order a whole light kit for a newer pickup...

I want to do it right, make it look good, not annoy everybody on the road, and most of all make it work RIGHT
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Yeah it's a Turbo Diesel
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No those are crap. Any "projector" aftermarket lights are crap. You'll be disappointed. You need to do a retrofit or have somebody do it for you, you'll be glad you did!
 

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There are a couple of different ways to go about it.

Option 1. Clean the stock housing with one of the kits available at the auto parts store. You're truck is 9 years old and probably has more crap on the lenses than you realize. Cost 10-20 bucks depending what kit you use.

Option2. Clean the housings and upgrade the halogen bulb to a newer higher output bulb. I did this on my old land rover and was very happy with the results. This is often overlooked and provides almost as much light output to putting a HID retrofit kit in a halogen reflector. Don't rule this out since Halogen bulbs dim over time, and yours are 9 years old so if they haven't been replaced they are due.
Cost 40-60 bucks depending on your choice of bulb and cleaning kit.

Option 3. Swap your housings for a set of halogen housings from an 04-07. The 04 facelift included clear light housings without the diffuser molded into the lens. These put out a brighter more defined beam pattern. Add high output bulbs from option 2 for the best effect. Don't buy aftermarket housings. I've been playing with cars for a long time and have yet to see an example of an aftermarket light housing that has better fit and finish than OE. This is why people go to the trouble to modify their OE housings.
Cost ~400 bucks with OE parts and good bulbs.

Option 4 Mod your existing housings. I wouldn't do this. Your reflector and lens are inferior to the late model parts, so why start with it? The fluted lens will affect projector performance (there is a reason all OEM HID Projectors have clear lenses).

Option 5 Buy aftermarket projector housings. I don't like this since you can't control where the beam output will be and they are usually made in china. I have yet to find one that matches the OEM quality.
Cost ~400-500 bucks with bulbs and ballasts.

Option 6 Mod new OEM housings. This will cost the most as you will need new 04 and up housings, projector assemblies to install into the new housings and hid bulbs and ballasts. This will give you the best results though since you can dial in exactly where the beam will fall, what cutoff pattern you want to use etc. It is also the most work.

If it were me? I'd update the nose of my truck with the new OEM headlights and run good bulbs.
 

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Yeah it's a Turbo Diesel
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My kit was $300. Retrofit the 05-07 lights
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Holy sh!t, I am not sure if I want to get into this or not...

It seems like the margin for error is WAY to small for me...

GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Then run to the parts house and get some lens cleaner and good bulbs, 60 bucks and you're better off then where you are now. Then if you decide that isn't enough you can order some oe housings and put a projector retrofit into them.
 
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