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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There seem to be 2 ways to get projector headlights. One is to get Town and Country HID headlights and the other is to open halogen headlight housing and retrofit HID or LED.

1. Town and Country HID headlights: Ebay shows $200-$300 used housing each. I suppose I need to buy the bulb/ballast. I read about moisture intrusion and shorting of ballast. Any other issues that I need to be aware of? Are aftermarket bulb/ballast available? Can I use an LED bulb instead of HID/ballast?

2. Halogen housing retrofit: Opening the housing seems to be a task by itself. If anyone has done this, please advise on difficulty of the whole process.

Thank you.
 

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There are aftermarket projector housings available. Eagle Eyes is the only company that I know makes them. You could get the set for under $400 when I looked years ago.

For ballasts, you can find bulb and ballast kits for 07-13 Escalades for about $35 per side, maybe cheaper. The ballast mounts up just like the factory one; because it is, just Hella and not Mopar branded. Not sure why they don't list them as fitting the T&C lights.

If you do this swap you will need to change the plug on your low beams. If you can't find the connector as a T&C HID connector, it's the same used on a Chevy Ecotech ignition coil.

You will also need to enable HIDs with AlfaOBD or FCAdiag to stop the bulb check from frying your ballasts.

All that said... Don't do it. A good set of LED bulbs in the halogen projector housing is far better than HIDs. With HIDs you pretty much get slightly better than halogen output with a lower cutoff. You'll clearly see what you're running over, not what you could have avoided. With LEDs in halogens I could see the reflector tape on the border of road signs a quarter mile away glitter... in the daylight. Switching to HIDs was a serious downgrade. If you want to do a retrofit, do a LED projector and not a HID one.
 
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If you buy the factory T&C HID headlights the ballast is mounted inside and on the bottom of the headlight housing, so no need to worry about this.

All that you will need is the electrical plugs for the HID headlights as they are different between HID and non HID, and programming as Sienile mentioned above.

I have mixed feelings about the HID's. They are said to be the brightest headlights available (minus lasers but that's another story) and I think they do great at illuminating the road when it's dry, they are said to illuminate a third of the sides of the road more then normal reflective housings for LED's and halogen bulbs. When the road is wet, I've noticed that they don't do quite as well at illuminating it. And I've noticed this enough for it to bother me. But besides this, they really are amazing.

I don't have a comparison photo but here's a night shot of those HID's (the factory HID's in the T&C vans from 2008-2016). You can see absolutely everything in front and to the sides of the road as well. So I was very impressed with them.
Automotive lighting Car Vehicle Road surface Sky

But going back to what I said, when the road is wet they don't do too well, and it has to do with wavelengths and colors of light. Yellow is best for wet roads, rainy nights, snow, fog, and overall poor diving conditions and this is why you see people have yellow fog lights or yellow headlights. The white and blue does a worse job with inclement weather, but on dark nights with dry roads these HID's do very well. I will borrow the van with the HID's and take it for a late night drive and compare these HID's to my van's halogen headlights sometime hopefully soon.

So opinions vary, it's really up to you. I'd like to have HID's eventually on my van, but for now I'll be getting a set of LED's, maybe even have the LED's permanently depending on how well they do compared to the HID's in the same weather conditions at night and with wet roads. And since my van is a 2009 Dodge caravan, the headlights and front bumpers are different between quad headlights and the single light I have, which means the front bumper also must be swapped out and a few other parts like the grille and headlight/bumper support pieces. So for me it's a bit more then a simple headlight assembly swap, plug modification to make it work, and programming job.
 

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If that pic is HIDs, then there must be something wrong with how one of ours is aimed. On mine the lens cutoff is at the bottom of a typical pickup's rear window from 2 car lengths back. Seems like yours is aimed high enough to be shining directly in people's rear view mirror.
 

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If you buy the factory T&C HID headlights the ballast is mounted inside and on the bottom of the headlight housing, so no need to worry about this.

All that you will need is the electrical plugs for the HID headlights as they are different between HID and non HID, and programming as Sienile mentioned above.

I have mixed feelings about the HID's. They are said to be the brightest headlights available (minus lasers but that's another story) and I think they do great at illuminating the road when it's dry, they are said to illuminate a third of the sides of the road more then normal reflective housings for LED's and halogen bulbs. When the road is wet, I've noticed that they don't do quite as well at illuminating it. And I've noticed this enough for it to bother me. But besides this, they really are amazing.

I don't have a comparison photo but here's a night shot of those HID's (the factory HID's in the T&C vans from 2008-2016). You can see absolutely everything in front and to the sides of the road as well. So I was very impressed with them.
View attachment 64614
But going back to what I said, when the road is wet they don't do too well, and it has to do with wavelengths and colors of light. Yellow is best for wet roads, rainy nights, snow, fog, and overall poor diving conditions and this is why you see people have yellow fog lights or yellow headlights. The white and blue does a worse job with inclement weather, but on dark nights with dry roads these HID's do very well. I will borrow the van with the HID's and take it for a late night drive and compare these HID's to my van's halogen headlights sometime hopefully soon.

So opinions vary, it's really up to you. I'd like to have HID's eventually on my van, but for now I'll be getting a set of LED's, maybe even have the LED's permanently depending on how well they do compared to the HID's in the same weather conditions at night and with wet roads. And since my van is a 2009 Dodge caravan, the headlights and front bumpers are different between quad headlights and the single light I have, which means the front bumper also must be swapped out and a few other parts like the grille and headlight/bumper support pieces. So for me it's a bit more then a simple headlight assembly swap, plug modification to make it work, and programming job.
Agreed, the HIDs I retrofitted into my parents van are fantastic and leaps ahead of the halogens it came with.

I have LEDs from the factory in our Prius and my Jeep, and they too are quite good.

There is a difference for sure when it's wet out though, not enough for me to want to go back to halogens. Maybe play with the colour temperature of the bulbs you use in the HIDs/LEDs to get better wet road visibility?
 

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If that pic is HIDs, then there must be something wrong with how one of ours is aimed. On mine the lens cutoff is at the bottom of a typical pickup's rear window from 2 car lengths back. Seems like yours is aimed high enough to be shining directly in people's rear view mirror.
Are they? A quick google search said the low beam length according to National Traffic Safety Administration says 160 feet or 47.8 meters, I think that distance in my photo looks a bit more then that but not by much but I am very bad at estimating distances.
 

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Aimed to where every single person I pass doesn't flash me (about 1/5 still do, it was EVERYBODY :p) I might get a distance of 100ft, with a strong emphasis on might. Aiming any higher and it does no good because everyone brights me and I can't see from that. I'm not sure the beam would even reach to 160ft. Maybe the first day the bulbs were in, but they do lose a bit of brightness over time. I'm almost down to halogen output now after 3 years. 40ft night rain visibility, yay! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
................All that said... Don't do it. A good set of LED bulbs in the halogen projector housing is far better than HIDs. ..........................
Thank you for this advice. If LED bulb in a reflector housing is nearly as good as projector headlight, I am happy. My only concern is blinding other drivers.

Agreed, the HIDs I retrofitted into my parents van are fantastic and leaps ahead of the halogens it came with.

I have LEDs from the factory in our Prius and my Jeep, and they too are quite good.

There is a difference for sure when it's wet out though, not enough for me to want to go back to halogens. Maybe play with the colour temperature of the bulbs you use in the HIDs/LEDs to get better wet road visibility?
I read your posts on retrofit. I hope photos were still there. I have a question for you. Is headlight retrofit basically a cannot-go-wrong project though time-consuming? Opening of the housing seems to be a daunting task. Please share your experience. Thank you.
 

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Thank you for this advice. If LED bulb in a reflector housing is nearly as good as projector headlight, I am happy. My only concern is blinding other drivers.


I read your posts on retrofit. I hope photos were still there. I have a question for you. Is headlight retrofit basically a cannot-go-wrong project though time-consuming? Opening of the housing seems to be a daunting task. Please share your experience. Thank you.
I would highly recommend opening up aftermarket headlight housings, as they are much easier to open! Although their UV coating is inferior to OEM, so you will need to put a UV coating on them to keep them from yellowing.

Otherwise, it's a time intensive project, that I'm sure could go very wrong, but I think as long as you take your time and do your research you should be good. There are some good threads on here that would be good to read through before seeing if you want to do it. (Or buy a set of the OEM HIDs)
 

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I work with a guy that does custom lights. It can go VERY wrong. Watch some videos on the process and only attempt to do it if you have a spare set to work with because there is a chance of ruining them if done wrong. When Rodney switched up the guys that were doing the headlight opening, he didn't test them with cheap stuff before giving them a set of Porsche lights. He felt that for a while. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the warning. I watched a pro saying, "I hate permaseal." That speaks loudly to me. I will go slowly with a spare set.

You'll clearly see what you're running over, not what you could have avoided.
I suppose this explains the cutoff light projection is not all that good and some un-blinding light needs to be above the cutoff line(?) I never thought about it. I never owned a vehicle with projection headlights.

A good set of LED bulbs in the halogen projector housing is far better than HIDs.
Please let me know which one(s) you are using. I don't want to make other drivers mad at me. I don't want to be shot at.

I checked the ebay price of aftermarket housing ($160 set) + LED projector ($100 set) = about the price of 1 used OEM HID housing ($250) + bulb/driver. Most likely I will go with aftermarket housing as recommended. I can add a UV protection film from amazon. Thank you.
 

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Were there changes over the years on the Grand Caravan headlights? Are the ones on the newer models better/different than older models?

M
211229
 

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HIDs were the same throughout 5th gen. Halogens changed design from 08-10 to 11+. Sometime about 2016 the black bezeled ones became available, but are otherwise the same.
 

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I personally decided to go the OEM HID route (waiting for the Pass assembly as I type this. Decision for me was the added heat helps with snow (in Illinois) and they are OEM. I tried a couple pair of LEDs, while the light was improved, I got Radio static (no Sat subscription in that car currently). I put a bit better Halogen in them as well and I think the that headlights just suck. my Charger and son's Cruze have projectors and have HIDs in them. I have a1990 Corvette I put some hardto find now 6057 Nighthawk LEDs in and those work great, I also have LED fog lights int he 1990 and Charger. I will probably add LED Fog bulbs to the Caravan as well, just need to look for a good set that fits
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought OEM headlight housings from craigslist. I plan to cut the lens off as YouTube Chris (sky rider?) did. My preference is LED projector over HID as suggested here. I should have asked these questions earlier.
1. 2016 GC low beam is not pwm, right? No one seems to mention flickering headlight for 5 gen Grand Caravan (not Town and Country). Mine is SE, the basic trim level.
2. What about high beam? Is DRL high beam reduced voltage or reduced pwm (on time)?
3. I see up-down adjustment but no left-right adjustment knob on the housing. Did I miss anything?
Thank you.
 

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I bought OEM headlight housings from craigslist. I plan to cut the lens off as YouTube Chris (sky rider?) did. My preference is LED projector over HID as suggested here. I should have asked these questions earlier.
1. 2016 GC low beam is not pwm, right? No one seems to mention flickering headlight for 5 gen Grand Caravan (not Town and Country). Mine is SE, the basic trim level.
2. What about high beam? Is DRL high beam reduced voltage or reduced pwm (on time)?
3. I see up-down adjustment but no left-right adjustment knob on the housing. Did I miss anything?
Thank you.
1) I thought it was PWM but don't know for sure, my assumption is based off of the option to set or not set HID in Appcar

2) I believe the DRL is set to 30% of the battery voltage.Again based off of settings in Appcar

3) can't answer that, but which housings did you get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
1) I thought it was PWM but don't know for sure, my assumption is based off of the option to set or not set HID in Appcar

2) I believe the DRL is set to 30% of the battery voltage.Again based off of settings in Appcar

3) can't answer that, but which housings did you get?
Thank you for the reply.
1. Because I have heard only good things about AppCar and AlphaOBD, and neither gives PWM % on low beam, I assumed the signal was straight voltage. Could it be the HID setting outputs full voltage whereas non-HID setting throttled voltage? I wish I had a scope.

3. I got the regular halogen housing. It has only one adjustment knob on the back.

I have another question. They are selling used halogen projectors (OEM). If I buy the projectors and add LED bulb, will they be nearly as good as dedicated HID or LED projectors? Is it an option?
 

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In case anyone is curious, there is also a self leveling version for the HID's, post by Steffen:
Steffen's self leveling HID's

Sieneil, I saw someone asking you about the headlight connector and you said you thought it was for the self leveling, can't find the tread anymore so here's a link to Steffen's official post on self leveling headlights (I think the person wanted to add it?)
 

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I bought OEM headlight housings from craigslist. I plan to cut the lens off as YouTube Chris (sky rider?) did. My preference is LED projector over HID as suggested here. I should have asked these questions earlier.
1. 2016 GC low beam is not pwm, right? No one seems to mention flickering headlight for 5 gen Grand Caravan (not Town and Country). Mine is SE, the basic trim level.
2. What about high beam? Is DRL high beam reduced voltage or reduced pwm (on time)?
3. I see up-down adjustment but no left-right adjustment knob on the housing. Did I miss anything?
Thank you.
Low beams are PWM. For HIDs, you want to disable that functionality by enabling HIDs in AlfaOBD. Else it will fry your ballasts with the bulb check signal. Low beams are regulated at about 12.5v in PWM mode.

High beam is also PWM. In DRL mode they are regulated at about 7.5v, and 12.5v when on normally.

Left right adjustment is Euro only. Blame the US politicians in the 90s for that.
 
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