HIDs, LEDs, and Halos. The long story.

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
So, this is how it started. A year ago or so I started messing around with lighting on the Buick. After trying multiple set ups, I came to finalize something I could live with last weekend.

I have been using using smoked headlight covers for a few years now. I never liked the way the aftermarket ones fit so I made my own. The ones I made looked good but they were too dark. Every time I drove at night I would have to take them off. Annoying.

Another thing. I can't ever use a true sealed beam headlight in my high beam location. My twin turbo set-up is configured to wrought the upper IC pipes from the turbos behind the header panel through that location. I don't have enough depth to accommodate the back of the housing.

I also was given (for free) a set of LED tail lights from a friend. I never really liked the kit much because I didn't like the way you could see the individual dots behind the red lenses. Also, the kit didn't look complete to me. I didn't like the use of the factory incandescent bulb in the center. So I never installed them.
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Skipping all the "do it twice" stuff, this is what I did.

HID kit's sold on E-Bay are complete Chinese garbage!!!! I ended up ordering 3 different kits and parts before I ended with a combination that was both bright and worked properly. I still don't know which pieces from which kit are specifically being used. However, my current installed set up is finally acceptable. It is relayed, 3500 K, 55 watt lamps and ballasts, with the internal high beam option. The internal high beam still doesn't work well but it's as good as it gets. I have no option for a separate high beam assembly.

I bought 4 halo sealed beam conversion housings . I figured that even though my high beam was going to be fake it would be cool to have a light source there to help with the illusion of a functional light. I installed the head light housings pretty much as is. But I cut the back off two of the housings for both the high beam locations. I bought that cheap reflective plastic used for generic side view mirror replacement. Cut it to shape, drew some lines on it with a silver sharpie and siliconed it to the back of the housings to make my high beams look functional. I even glued the lamps little internal reflector in there. The halo function remains operational because it's just LEDs around the perimeter on a separate low current circuit. See day time pics below.
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This is the fake headlight above and this is the real one next to it below. Not bad.


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Next I had to fix what I didn't like about the LED tail lights. I called Spaghetti Engineering and had them send me 2 additional panels for the tail light center compartments. Problem is, they don't fit. So out comes the Dremmel. I scooped away the edges of the chrome cups to allow for more depth. I knew if I could move the LED panels further back and apart then you would not be able to see the individual dots of the LEDs. Also I had to ignore the placement shown in the instructions in order to get all 3 panels to fit. This was slow and careful work. I cleaned and painted silver the internal cups for the reverse lights, and scooped out some room on the little license plate light housing as well and made a lens for it. I never liked the way you could see the bulb poke out from under the trunk's lower trim line.

I figured, why not do everything LED! So I did the 3rd brake light, tail light side markers, reverse lights, and license plate light as well.

This is how the rear lighting turned out. Night time pics are a pain in the ass because of the brightness. I had to turn down the bightness mode on the I-phone. In person, you can't see the dots at all!

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Now it was time to do the front marker lights. I hated the fact that you could see the two panels in the housing. I also hated that it was clearly 2 separate panels. So I walked down the Ghetto Isle at Autozone and bought 4 LED 12" yellow strip lights and used them two tie the panels together down the center. This extra light helps blend the two panels together. Now I set them farther back. And off course, out comes the Dremmel again and I also had to carefully cut the housings way back to set the lights further from the lens. This time, I also slipped a piece of florescent ceiling light lens into the housing to help diffuse the light even further.

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A few years back, I added some lights to my engine compartment for car shows. The kids love them! The good thing is, no one sees them if there not on. I did the same thing inside the GNX louvers. I turn them on every now and then at night sometimes just to get a little attention on the street. It's not that bad because it's quite subtle. I figure I should show you guys this stuff too.

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GNX louver lights above. Engine lights below. This stuff looks much more dramatic in person!

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It can be difficult updating your TR with modern type lighting without it getting too tacky. I'm actually quite conservative when it comes to Turbo Buick styling. But, I feel it didn't turn out that bad. I wouldn't bother with any of this stuff if my combination wasn't pretty much all done. Sure, I have to stay on top of performance work. But every now and then I like to get playful with some of the other stuff.
 

Phoneguy

Cometic HG stress tester
Well done !

I have always hated the LED tail lights for the same reason, they just looked unfinished.
I'm close to the point of being happy with the performance of my car so maybe sometime soon I can do some visual upgrades

Bryan
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
Well done !

I have always hated the LED tail lights for the same reason, they just looked unfinished.
I'm close to the point of being happy with the performance of my car so maybe sometime soon I can do some visual upgrades

Bryan

I was carefully trying not to get tacky or
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
I was carefully trying not to get tacky or
Sorry, wasn't finished yet. I was trying to be careful not to get tacky or ghetto. I'm sure there are some purists who would never even go this far, Normally I would have been one of them. But, if you work at it, you can get it to look right. I love that our vendors are always producing some stuff with a cool Idea. But sometimes it's just not there yet. You have to go the extra step on your own.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
Nice lights in the fender vents!
The GNX louver lights get a lot of attention on the street and at night time car shows. Again, I wanted it to be subtle. However, if your driving along side of me and also back about 3 car lengths, it looks kinda sick! I remember turning them on at the track one day and 10 of my Buick buddies laughed there frigg'n heads off!:cry:
(You guys know who you are)

Oh well. you can't make everyone happy:(.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
Nice! What did you use for the under good lights?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's the flexible LED lighting from the Ghetto/Ricer isle at Autozone. I placed masking tape over the individual LED dots and sprayed the strip satin black. This blacks out and hides all the little logos and circuitry that are all down the clear strip. When it's not lit you won't notice it unless you look for it.
 

Nasty Wendy

Perverted Lurker
I have plans to add a subtle light in my GNX vents as well. Your workmanship is great. I'm probably way outnumbered on my opinion of the headlights. If you are going to use HID lights you should use HID projector housings. It is a real PIA of on coming drivers to have that HID glare to contend with at night. HID projector housings present their own set of challenges when being incorporated into the gbody lights. Your headlights look nice. Its just that housings are reflector housings.

Here is an old thread but you can see where myself and another member actually fit HID projectors into the 4x6 headlights of these old assed cars. LOL.
http://turbobuick.com/forums/threads/true-4x6-projectors.359923/#post-2870881
 

rodruckus

Taking out the Euro trash
You know they sell H4 4x6 sealed beam headlights with projector lenses, right? These ones don't have that stupid blue city light or halos.
 

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NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
I have plans to add a subtle light in my GNX vents as well. Your workmanship is great. I'm probably way outnumbered on my opinion of the headlights. If you are going to use HID lights you should use HID projector housings. It is a real PIA of on coming drivers to have that HID glare to contend with at night. HID projector housings present their own set of challenges when being incorporated into the gbody lights. Your headlights look nice. Its just that housings are reflector housings.

Here is an old thread but you can see where myself and another member actually fit HID projectors into the 4x6 headlights of these old assed cars. LOL.
http://turbobuick.com/forums/threads/true-4x6-projectors.359923/#post-2870881
I understand your point, and I have read the old thread. And I agree. Remember though, I am putting back on my dark tinted headlight covers. I'm hoping this tunes things down a bit. I also spent a little time aiming them just a little low for the other drivers sake. I'm hoping it wont be that bad.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
You know they sell H4 4x6 sealed beam headlights with projector lenses, right? These ones don't have that stupid blue city light or halos.
I chose the halo option because it makes my high beams look real. Remember I had to hack the back off the rear because I don't have the depth to use an actual housing of any type. As for the projectors, generally these work like crap anyway unless they are high jacked as OEM from another vehicle. Besides, when they are not on.......they look like the car is wearing safety goggles.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
You know they sell H4 4x6 sealed beam headlights with projector lenses, right? These ones don't have that stupid blue city light or halos.



Here, take a look below. You see, I would always have to hack off the back of the housing. I have no choice.



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