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Headlight upgrade

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by misanthrope, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Just got my 98 GMC 2500 and was looking to upgrade the headlights from the sealed beam to something better even if it means swapping out the grill. These sealed beams are garbage. Anyone bother upgrading theirs/
  2. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Yours has sealed beams? My 97 runs composite...... I used 100 watt bulbs I got on ebay for like $10. They work great and are bright. No they have not melted my plugs either.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    GM did offer a 2 bulb sealed beam setup on some of the base model trucks of this year, but I suspect you have the trash composite setup.

    I pulled the composite lenses off my truck, and installed a 4 bulb sealed beam setup. GM used this up through 91 I believe. These headlights rock.


    I didn't have to swap the grill, but I did. The radiator core support is the same.
  4. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    You should only have to change the headlight mounting buckets and possibly the wire ends to go from composite to sealed beam. If you dont want to go that route, LMC truck has some very nice crystal clear headlight sets for 150 bucks. The part number is 37-7350 (I have the book in front of me, lol) I will be getting the crystal clears for my 92 Blazer here soon since the original lenses are junk and faded
  5. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    How about some pics !!!! Of the new style ...
  6. purplehavoc

    purplehavoc Member
    Messages: 97

    My 99 Gn (old body style) had the work truck front with the single sealed beams which
    Put in a set of Hella crystal clears,and what a difference.Then you just replace the bulb as any other bulb replacment,and you have a wider choice of bulbs too.
    The set form LMC are pretty much the same and make a hell of a difference as i also have those in my 86 GMC.
  7. Pic of front..... the head lights SUCK!!!!! Hence the question on upgrading.....

  8. !!!!

    I would take your old setup in a second!. I would get new lenses.
  9. I think that might be the best route......i thing they run $40 a pair. Then i can toss some OSRAM Silver stars in.
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I'm not sure if your rad support would need to be changed or not to change style. I know LMC offer a rad support for the GMT400 that will work with any headlight system

    Sounds like the Hellas or LMC lenses are the easist way to go.
  11. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    I would install some Silverstar sealed beams in it and call it a day.
  12. purplehavoc

    purplehavoc Member
    Messages: 97

    Same front end as mine,and the light difference is huge.
    My flashlights are brighter then the stock sealed beams on my truck.
    In my LMC lens i have silerstars and i put a set of Piaa extrem white bulbs in my Hella lens.
    Cheap route to go for being a bolt in deal.
  13. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    You've actually got a great option in the Hella e-code headlamp housings. If you're good at wiring, you can wire up a headlamp wiring harness using relays that draws the power from the battery and uses the stock headlamp wiring to trigger it. Otherwise, there are a number of pre-made harnesses available that can be used as well. Once you do this, you can run 55w low/100 w high beams, or even 80/100 bulbs. Don't run the higher wattage bulbs without upgrading the wiring as you can fry the stock wiring.

    The e-code lamps have a sharp cutoff and it makes them very easy to aim so you're not blinding oncoming traffic.. The Hellas use the H4 bulb. I had e-code headlamps on my old S-10 and they were very impressive.

  14. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    I'd be more worried about the wiring than the housings. You are pushing the limit in terms of the current that the stock wiring can handle, and you're going to have a ton of voltage drop. Also, have you noticed that your switch gets really hot? If it hasn't fried yet, it's going to, just a matter of time. If you wire in a relay, you'll be amazed at how much brighter the bulbs are.

    All that being said, the original composite housings suck as they throw a lot of glare with stock wattage bulbs, let alone higher wattage. You're going to be blinding oncoming traffic by running overwattage bulbs in them.
  15. welded wrenches

    welded wrenches Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    got light

    headlights redneck idea put in four 3 million candle power spot lights up front.for headlightsyou,ll be light years ahead. :D