bulb options for 97 Tahoe

leigh1962

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Hi

I have always had a "thing" for 2dr pickup based SUVs so finally picked up a gem. It's a 1997 Chevy Tahoe 2dr. Near mint condition.

Now, based on previous experience from a mid 90s GM truck, headlights were terrible.

From what I have been able to learn here, my options are limited to keeping the 9006 spec and maybe using the Phillips X treme vision? The headlight fixture has no tip to cover the end of bulb so HIR bulbs are off limits, correct?

Is this a correct understanding of the situation or is there something else available. I have looked at various aftermarket vendors and even their clear "crystal" lens reflectors do not offer a way to use HIR bulbs.

BTW, a few years ago, I installed Toshiba HIR bulbs in my Buick and loved them.

Thanks for your help
 

-Virgil-

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Welcome to the board! "Ooh, hey, I know this one". I had a '95 and a '96. The slimline aero composite headlamps on those trucks are complete junk, no matter what bulbs are in them. The aftermarket ones (whether they're phony original-types or "crystal/diamond/euro/blah blah blah") are even worse junk. The trick is to change over to the factory optional grill/headlight setup that takes the big rectangular 200 x 142mm sealed beams, then install something good (lots of choices) in place of the sealed beams. Send Dan Stern an email; he'll send you the "recipe".
 

leigh1962

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Hi

Thanks for the prompt response. The slimline aero fixture was actually installed on models upgraded from base.

I suppose a sealed beam grill and the fixture itself may be available although as replacement parts. I doubt GM still offers these parts so quality may be suspect.

Assuming I can do it, what bulbs would be a upgrade?
 

Alaric Darconville

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The slimline aero fixture was actually installed on models upgraded from base.
It's an aesthetic upgrade, but not a photometric upgrade.

I suppose a sealed beam grill and the fixture itself may be available although as replacement parts. I doubt GM still offers these parts so quality may be suspect.
It will be part of the "collision catalog", and there may be surprisingly large numbers available, as many fleets opted for a "work truck" front end to reduce servicing costs.

If you go with the "work truck" front end, it's not bulbs but complete lamp assemblies-- the 200x142mm sealed beams are just that: Sealed beams that require a complete replacement when one fails. If I did that front end swap, I'd use the JW Speaker Model 8900 Evolution. Available with a chrome or black inner bezel (part numbers 0550071 and 0550111, respectively).
 

Hamilton Felix

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I still have my 1996 Suburban - sitting, needing a transfer case. About that time, as noted above, the Work Truck had black bumper and grill with large rectangular headlights. There was also some sort of "Sport" package on half tons that did the same thing, but painted the bumper and grill to match body color. Depending on the color of your truck, you might run across one of those. Thought I'd mention it. If I ever get my suburban back on the road, I think I'll check the junkyards and do the swap. It would be great to have nice big rectangular real glass headlights.
 

Hamilton Felix

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The H6054NH GE Nighthawk bulbs are currently $19.20 at Amazon. Of course, having a standard size allows you many choices, limited only by your budget. I'm sure JW Speaker could make you very happy - for a price.
 

sadtimes

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Hi

What did you use for bulbs?

I went with Trucklite LED's. Since I had the grille out, I ordered new side markers/ turn signals/ etc, from GM... I was disappointed to find that the new GM turn signals were made in China... oh well.

The grille swap is probably the best thing I have ever done to it.

I forgot to say, I have always had a thing for the 2dr tahoe, so when I found mine in 2003 with 126k miles, and only one owner, I quickly jumped on it. It currently has 285k miles on it, I got 283k miles out of the original motor, and it would probably still be going if I had not let the wife drive it..

When I ordered the turn signals and reflectors from GM I went ahead and had him look up the retention springs and screws for the headlight buckets, he said I got some of the last ones in the country, I dont know if that is true or not, I do know that he had to wait for them to come in from other dealerships, so if you have a hard time sourcing those, send me PM, I am pretty sure that I ordered a spare set..
 
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JasonOk

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Just throwing this out there. My favorite place to get oem gm parts is gmpartsdirect.com
also lmc truck has execelent inventory though not all of it is oem parts
 

-Virgil-

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As far as I know LMC Truck sells zero OEM parts, only aftermarket.
 

JasonOk

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As far as I know LMC Truck sells zero OEM parts, only aftermarket.
Your probably right considering if gm parts direct doesn't have it its most likely out of production leaving only aftermarket. That opens the question are they using old oem equipment to manufacture the products or just something close either way discretion is advised
 

-Virgil-

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Alaric's right. That said, it's a whole lot less critical with things like turn signals, which are a lot easier than headlamps to make to work acceptably.
 

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