Automotive '90 Chevy Pickup Headlights

Diesel_Bomber

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A friend of mine just bought a 1990 Chevy pickup, and 19 years of exposure have not been kind to the plastic light assemblies. One headlight is broken and both headlight and turn signals are yellowed and cloudy. We've already decided it's not worth trying to salvage them, we'll just replace them. The turn signals are useable but he'd like to replace them too. Before we call the dealership, can someone recommend some quality aftermarket replacements, if available? Projectors would be nice but not necessary.

A quick bit of Googling showed me these, but I have no idea who makes them or what their quality level is.

Thanks all! :buddies:
 

-Virgil-

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There are no quality aftermarket replacements; the aftermarket options range from "mediocre" to "trash". The low price is attractive, but the quality, performance, and durability are all significantly inferior to the genuine items (which is really saying something, because the originals weren't especially good lights). And that's just applicable to the OE-lookalike units -- there's another whole level of crap coming in from China...projector headlamp conversions, clear-lens conversions,
etc...none of it worth the box they come in. There's no optical engineering behind any of the aftermarket replacements, they're just cruddy physical copies. "Perfect OE fit and performance" is the usual language in the ads for the copycat lamps. Nice theory, too bad about the reality: look at this report on a large DOT-sponsored test of OE vs. TYC vs. Depo (biggest-name aftermarket) versions of simple, cheap American-car headlamps. Epic fail for the TYC & Depo units (see page 21 and 30 if you don't have time to read the whole report).

There are options for better lights if you are willing to work at it. This truck was sold in Brazil with European-code lights (front/side/rear) nicely made by Arteb. Their website is only in Portuguese, but the vehicle make and model search is right there in the top right corner of the front page. Put in GM, then Silverado, and you can see pics of the lights. The E-code headlights take the same bulbs as the DOT lights (9006/HB4 low beam, 9005/HB3 high beam), but produce the European type beam patterns and have a city light. The problem, of course, is getting them! I had a left one (only) but sold it some time back. If you have a "man on the ground" friend in Brazil, it looks like these headlamps can be ordered online here and here (don't freak; they use the same "$" sign for their currency as we use for the dollar, R$261 is about $118 USD).

You could also grab the brackets for the quad mini rectangular sealed beam lights off an '88-'90 Chevy or GMC truck so equipped, and instead of the useless mini sealed beams put in these H4 units. No grille change would be needed. Or for a more substantial seeing upgrade, you could swap on the grille and headlight bezel/bracket setup that looks like this, then put in some good (Cibie, Bosch, Hella...here again, stay away from the off-brand junk) large rectangular H4 headlights, or reasonably decent and better than the DOT aero lights GE Night Hawk H6054NH sealed beams. Tromp through your local wrecking yards or search online for the grille and bezel/bracket parts. Lots of interchangeable variants available...with Chevrolet bowtie, with GMC logo, chrome, painted, etc. Search 1997 Chevrolet 1500 pickup, first look for grille, then for headlight assembly; in each case you'll have to choose right/left and paint/chrome and composite/sealed beam (obviously you want the "sealed beam" setup).
 

Diesel_Bomber

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Thank you gentlemen, that was precisely the kind of information my friend was looking for.

:buddies:
 

Diesel_Bomber

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Update: My friend went with Hella's new 60mm modules and is in the process of fabbing brackets. The mockup looks pretty good!

Any tips on good replacement turn signals? I wouldn't think they're quite so picky as headlights..........

Thanks again. :buddies:
 

Taliano

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Update: My friend went with Hella's new 60mm modules and is in the process of fabbing brackets. The mockup looks pretty good!

Any tips on good replacement turn signals? I wouldn't think they're quite so picky as headlights..........

Thanks again. :buddies:

uhhh, its called the SEARCH BUTTON

it can work wonders for noobs like you
 

-Virgil-

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Update: My friend went with Hella's new 60mm modules

That's a solid, sound choice. Those are pretty good optics. The only drawback is bulb life — they use an HB3 (9005) bulb, which is optimized for high luminance rather than long life. But even good quality 9005s are inexpensive, and this also means they can be effectively and safely upgraded with 9011s.

Any tips on good replacement turn signals? I wouldn't think they're quite so picky as headlights

But they are -- remember, the turn signals are also safety devices. There's a lot of junk on this market, too; clear-lens "Euro style" junk, etc. Probably easiest and best just to install new stock turn signals.
 

Diesel_Bomber

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Thank you gentlemen. I've emailed a link to this thread to my friend and urged him to join CPF himself if he has any more questions.

Obviously the final choice is his, but I'll urge new stock turn signals. Thank you again. Doesn't Hella make 60mm module turn signals too? Hmm.....

:buddies:
 
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