Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/29/21 12:17 p.m.

Both of the Headlights are cracking on the inside on my 2004 lancer Ralliart wagon. They're working OK for now, but I'm gonna have to replace them. In a car of this age, I'm doubtful about getting a decent set of used ones. That means I'm going to have to go aftermarket. 
 

I've seen a lot of negative comments about the functionality of aftermarket headlights. Any suggestions?


 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/30/21 12:36 p.m.

Bumping back to the top. Multiple on line purchase options, are they all the same Chinese low quality that I've read about? 
 

There's lots of different options for upgrades but I don't want something that's going to blind oncoming traffic. I'd prefer to have them look stock, too. 
 

I don't know where to begin. 

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
1/30/21 1:06 p.m.

Are new OEM ones out of the question?

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
1/30/21 2:15 p.m.

The Sherman people offer replacement lights (P/N 3736-150Q -[1 or 2, left or right]) that they say meet DOT/SAE and FMVSS standards.  They are also "Rigorously tested by Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA)." And the website is in readable English, so there's that.  I found them here:

NMNA, but they're in stock and $150 each, which seems reasonable if it solves the problem.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/30/21 3:10 p.m.

In reply to Stealthtercel :

Looks like that's what I need. Thanks.

TGMF
TGMF HalfDork
1/30/21 6:28 p.m.

Can verify, if they are CAPA cert. Lamps, they have  passed fmvss108. 

Depo or TYC are the primary suppliers. 

freetors
freetors Reader
1/30/21 8:16 p.m.

My experience is thery're not quite as good as a brand new set of the OEM lights but they're a heck of a lot better than old, cloudy lights.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/31/21 9:04 a.m.

Hard to beat OEM design.  Aftermarket upgrades are usually a cheap light stuffed in a questionable reflector bucket.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
1/31/21 11:30 a.m.

My pleasure, Doc.  Happy to help.  (And if they come without bulbs, Daniel Stern can hook you up.)

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
1/31/21 12:05 p.m.

The G35 had a set of Chinese assemblies in it when I bought it. They were horrible. Lots of light everywhere you didn't need it. 

OEM assemblies were $$$$ and I didn't want to get stuck with more Chinese junk. 

I ended up building my own using Hella assemblies. I was very happy with how they turned out. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/31/21 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) :

That's an interesting idea. I'm further towards the opposite end of the fabrication skill spectrum. It's not inconceivable that I could be able to do something like that,but that's if I'm not the first one to try it. Do you have more photos? I'd still have to buy new housings, since these lenses are getting pretty shot, with cracking within the plastic and not just a haze on the surface.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
1/31/21 12:25 p.m.

There was some fabrication and some trial and error. I made a couple of mounts out of aluminum to adapt the new fixtures to the old assemblies. 

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
1/31/21 12:29 p.m.

A couple of other shots.

20200216_173233.jpg

 The aluminum pieces were used to mount the new fixtures to the adjusters for the old fixtures. 

20200216_162246.jpg

20200216_163050_HDR.jpg

 

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
1/31/21 12:30 p.m.

To get the assemblies apart, stick them in the oven at 200 degrees to soften up the adhesive that holds them together. 

 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/31/21 12:37 p.m.

I'd say your cracks are on a cosmetic part of the light. I rather have cracked factory lights than cheap aftermarket crap. 

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/31/21 11:14 p.m.
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) said:

To get the assemblies apart, stick them in the oven at 200 degrees to soften up the adhesive that holds them together. 

 

I would be tempted to open yours up and fix the internal cracks and paint before putting everything back together.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/1/21 7:54 a.m.

Many plastic lights are "permabonded" together. Basically plastic welded. Cooking those doesn't work to loosen them up. All lights with a glass lens use sealant that can be heated, but with that particular vehicle, the aftermarket may not have anything with a glass lens.

Usually in addition to poor copies of optics, aftermarket stuff seems to also have really poor chroming that doesn't project the light at all. I'd really consider just polishing the ones you have and ignoring the cracks for a bit unless there is a truly good aftermarket stock-replacement option. TYC and Depo are the two stock aftermarket options I have used with some success for whatever that's worth, but they still had some shortcomings. The adjusters and brackets are usually crap and you're better off swapping the replacement light into the OEM mounting if it's possible to do.

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