'06 Vette Need Headlights

MarkUSAF

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
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2
I have a '06 C6. I recently hit a deer and I'm in need of headlights among other things. The body shop my insurance company suggested wants to install the standard replacement halogen headlights, but I was thinking I could use this opportunity to spruce up the car with something modern-looking. I asked around on the Corvette forum and they suggested that I look into full-LED replacements. I did some research and found that Morimoto made lights for my specific car. I've used plenty of their products in the past and found them to be extremely well-built, high-quality, and customer support was always top-notch. However, I've never spent close to four-figures on one of their headlight assemblies, and I didn't find many people who have taken the plunge yet.

Does anyone have any experience here with their headlights?

I'm aware of the DOT laws and the product has proof of compliance with DOT laws, which is swaying me to getting these instead of the stock halogens, since these, being LED, should be brighter than stock and help me avoid more deer.

Looking forward toward your opinions, thank you.

Happy New Years to everyone too.
 

jzchen

Enlightened
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Jan 16, 2015
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Arcadia, CA
Morimoto was frowned upon last I read about the brand on this forum, but things change so I'll wait (eagerly for the moderators) to chime in....
 

MarkUSAF

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Dec 29, 2019
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I specifically asked them if the lights were DOT legal and they responded yes, with evidence, as I am fairly sure my insurance company's body shop would refuse to install any non-legal equipment, and I didn't want to be out $1000 dollars :faint:! They even emailed me the DOT testing data and to me, it looks good. They said something about looking at the numbers for "0.6D, 1.3R" and how the bigger the number here, the better, and how typical halogen headlights hit 20,000-25,000.

I can't post attachments but here is a link to the testing data in my Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Op8ydrsXw_e0jak3Rknh_uo7lnRhXvPa
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
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Mar 26, 2004
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There are plenty of red (and "reddish") flags here. For one thing, testing out of that part of the world is notoriously unreliable -- there is a strong tendency for lamps to "pass" when they should fail...because the test lab feels loyalty to whoever paid for the test, because there's a connection between the test lab and the maker of the lamp (or just because the lab wants to keep getting business from that maker or that customer)...because lab practices and equipment are not what they should be...because the requirements are not correctly understood or applied. This doesn't happen all the time/every time, but it does happen frequently enough that responsible companies have full testing done by reputable labs with a track record of providing legitimate test results even when that means telling a maker or customer that the device fails.

Speaking of "full testing": the linked tests are very far from complete. There are whole categories of test missing: water and dirt ingress resistance. Vibration resistance. Thermal cycling tolerance. Lens durability (resistance to chemical attack, physical abrasion, ultraviolet exposure, etc). Basically all the tests that show if the lamps will be piles of fallen-apart junk in a year or two. Those tests are important with prices like you're talking about spending.

(0.6D, 1.3R) is one of many test points in the low beam pattern. It is not appropriate or realistic to try to judge whole beam patterns by comparing the intensity at one single test point. Looking at these incomplete tests and assuming (for the sake of argument) that they're legitimate: the LED headlamps' performance looks OK, not awesome and not awful. It's easy to get stars in your eyes because "Oooh, cool, all the newest cars have LED headlamps, they must be better", and there's plenty of marketing efforts to set that hook and reel in your money. But the fact is there are good, bad, and mediocre headlamps of every possible description. Some halogen headlamps are better than some LED headlamps, many (but not all) HID headlamps are better than many (but not all) halogen headlamps, some LED headlamps are better than certain HID headlamps and vice versa, etc. Morimoto's stuff does not have the track record you seem to perceive in terms of its (real) quality and (real) performance. It has gradually been improving, but it still has a pretty long ways to go. These units you're considering will be largely outperformed in any/all realistic terms by a new set of the stock GM headlamps with their HID low beams and halogen high beams (whoever told you you have halogen low beams as standard equipment was not telling the truth). And the performance advantage of the stock lamps will grow even larger with a set of upgraded low beam bulbs (these). And, very consistently, the durability and build quality of the GM lamps is far superior to the aftermarket units, too.

Whichever headlamps you wind up choosing, it is crucially important that they must be aimed correctly and carefully using an optical aiming machine (looks like a scope or big video camera that gets placed in front of one lamp at a time) -- NOT with a "shine on the wall" type of method, which is a loose approximation at best.
 
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