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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just curious if the later style teardrop headlights in the 2005-2007 LWB vans were noticeably better than the common earlier style. I only have experience with the earlier style. Logic says since they were updated on the highline models, lighting must be better but real world experience could tell a different tale.

I'm considering switching to the newer style lights if they are much better. I hit a deer that obliterated my right headlight. I had aftermarket black headlights and bright halogen bulbs that I was considering upgrading to LED. The newer lights require the newer harness pigtails along with the light housings and bulbs. I have to repair the harness anyway from the deer hit. Just figured it might be cheaper to buy used newer style housings and restore/customize them instead of buying another pair of black headlights that the price has gone up $20 in the last year. I thought about taking a regular light apart and painting it black/restoring the lens, but I see that the reflectors are different from the aftermarket one I have. Just trying to save money and time for a worthwhile upgrade.

Thank you for your consideration and experience.

Edit: Just found a pic of my van used on ebay for some black headlights. I was trying to see if I could find just a right side one.
 

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I have no experience with the swb 4th gen headlites, but, I think those might be 9003 bulbs?
My lwb t&c has the teardrops, they are 9008/h13, and seem to be very similar in performance as h4's. Very good road lighting and a pretty good cut off, mucho better than 9003. Only real issue I have with them, is that on more than one occasion, I have not be able to find replacements at the flaps.

Danial Stern lighting has a great website covering automotive lighting.
 

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Standard housings take 9007 bulb, teardrops take 9008. The pigtails are easily spliced, full harness is not necessary. Or you might find adapter harness/pigtail.
It's not just lights, if you want to fit teardrops to earlier 4th gen, you'll need to get the late gen facia (bumper cover) or hack away at the old one - the housings won't fit otherwise.

Performance - standard housings do a decent job of lighting the road, the pattern is more scattered due to somewhat irregular reflector. Teardrops are more efficient because of larger reflector and light pattern is more even with small 'hot spot' in the middle (and less sideways and top 'leakage').
High beams are much better with teardrops, cover more distance and more consistent luminosity (brightness doesn't vary nearly as much as standard housings).

If you go used route, take a close look at the housings you're getting - the OE reflectors produce far superior pattern to anything I've seen in aftermarket. Aftermarket teardrops have odd shaped hot spots and can have uneven brightness (cheap reflectors with crap casting geometry)
On the outside edge of every housing cover should be a manufacturer lettering, if you can find a pair of Mopars to restore go with them vs TYC or other aftermarket.
 

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while we're on this subject, the actual body of the vehicle requires no modification to get the larger lights, right? you just replace the front bumper?

much much harder to find non teardrop euro headlights, they moved to the teardrop very fast and dropped the old ones
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, I learned a few years ago to look at the bottom edge of the lens for the Mopar star, to get OE used lights with the best reflectors/optics.

I'm thinking of splicing the newer pigtails on, in addition to what's already there so I can use either capsule style at will (and tuck the unused plugs away). I've confirmed that the newer housings WILL fit the older style bumper fascia - although it does look odd. My standard lights seem to have a gap below them anyway, like the cover is sagging or something. Being everything is black anyway, it won't be that noticeable.

I found a pic a while ago where someone had put the newer lights and older bumper cover together, so I know what to expect. :ROFLMAO:

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I found a pic a while ago where someone had put the newer lights and older bumper cover together, so I know what to expect. :ROFLMAO:
Take a look at the headlight aim, it could prop the housing up enough to throw off vertical (glare cutoff) adjustment. Though if that gap is wide enough, you might get away with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got some lights, bulbs and wiring pigtails this weekend from junkyards. I have two right side headlights, because the first one I got had a broken clip mount. Found one today that was undamaged, on a van that was being filled up with junk in the aisle about to be crushed! They still need restoration/customizing, but they are all Mopar headlights. (y) I'll check that the adjustment hardware moves/works before installing too.

My right side headlight wouldn't hit the bumper cover right now... :p
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fix it if you can
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At least the fender looks mostly intact and washer reservoir didn't get loose :)

I just had to epoxy stainless inserts into the mounting nut 'arches' on LH, the moonscape roads don't agree with 18 y.o. plastic.
 
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