TTAC Commentator flipper35 writes:
I have a 2000 Dodge Durango (wrote about the brakes on it before, all is good with them) and the lights are not the greatest. After replacing the passenger side due to a deer ramming its butt into it, its headlights no longer match. I’ve looked on several Mopar forums and there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on which lights are good — but they can all agree on what is crap.
So, I am willing to spend $300 on a proper headlight upgrade if that’s what it takes. I see a few conversions where you bake the headlights at low temp to release the glue and then put bi-xenon with the flappy shield in with the ballasts and wiring kit. They sound reasonable but there are some other projector-style lights out there that would be less work if they are focused and aligned properly. I’m mechanically inclined but with family and other projects I would rather spend less time on these and more time on replacing stuff like the worn grommets on the electric seat adjustment screws and such. (At 190,000 miles, it needs front suspension bushings, too.)
(UPDATE: This Article was corrected in a newer post.)
While a 2000 Dodge Durango isn’t the easiest application for headlight upgrades, there are options aside from the non-DOT legal, light-up-every-rooftop-in-your-neighborhood kits found online. Your Durango’s 9007 headlights can easily follow the path of my 1988 Cougar’s 9004 upgrade, which was a stunning improvement. Hence my recommendation:
- Install new headlight assemblies (i.e. with perfect lenses and reflective coatings inside) of the DOT-legal variety. Surprisingly, these units are both legal and have the “crystal” complex projector look of newer vehicles. Very nice, and only $140-ish of your $300 budget.
- Upgrade your 9007 bulbs to a superior model that’s still DOT legal. I recommend the GE Nighthawk Platinum series, but Philips X-tremeVision has good options, too. Either will be $30-ish via Amazon/eBay.
- Last bit is the toughest: Install headlight relays with larger gauge wires for maximum bulb output. Note the sixth reply on this post. I ponied up the cash for Daniel Stern’s relay kit and used leftover wire from Home Depot. All the good quality stuff should be $100-ish total, then budget several hours for installation.
Adding it up? You’re under the $300 budget, the headlight’s beam will be significantly fatter/brighter, and it’s all DOT legal.
The headlight assemblies in my hyperlink are my favorite as they don’t mess with the original stylists’ vision but add some flare via complex reflector projectors. While it’ll never impress the showboating crowd, it’s worth the cash and you’ll enjoy looking back at your handiwork every time you walk away from your Durango in a parking lot.
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