Decopification: Seeing and feeling
KITT222 last edited by KITT222
A smaller update than planned, but banking for a better one next week...
I like really good lights. This has led me down the path of HID and LED retrofits for my Pontiac Vibe several times, culminating in my current Vibe's headlights which feature a pair of Morimoto MLED 2.0 projectors. They're badass and I love them.
^ They aren't on in that pic, but it's the closest I've got on my computer to feature them. Anyway, the Caprice has some H11 projectors with some poopy halogen bulbs in them. I could drive at night but I didn't like it very much, so I set out to rectify that by doing what I tell people not to: Buy some LED drop-in replacements.
Now now, let's not get too worked up here. LED drop-ins can be decent, but the second you say that, someone is going to think Amazon shit is acceptable (and it's not). I referred to the gurus at Headlight Revolution and their fantastic Youtube showdowns to help me out.
The top bulbs in this comparo are the GTR Lighting Ultra 2.0, costing a pretty penny. However, I went with the Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0 bulbs that are too new for this comparison. One reason I did that was that initial tests showed they're pretty badass. Another is that they have a low-voltage mode for the DRL, and I don't want to play with my DRL right now (eventually I'll change it to the eyebrow lights instead of the low beam BUT WE'LL GET THERE). While I was there I grabbed a pair of LED 921 bulbs. One for the eyebrows, one for the license plate lights because I had a bulb out anyway...
Behold the adequate glory!
The Vibe was very helpful letting me aim and adjust her little sibling's new headlights.
Alas, these low beams are temporary... Apparently you can retrofit these lights without even removing the lights from the car, which blows my mind. So I'll have proper bi-LED projectors going in... eventually. I also have a sidemarker out, but that's not important...
So that's the 'seeing (part 1)' of this title, how about feeling?
Many years ago I went from the injection-molded foam wheel in the Vibe to a leather one, and I haven't looked back since. The difference is beyond tangible to me, and a must-have. This was proven by how nasty the Caprice PPV's steering wheel felt when using it... I just felt like I had to wash my hands after touching it. Thankfully, a Pontiac G8 in the local junkyard came to my rescue!
Oh, but the silver trim wasn't great, and the leather needed polishing. I polished the wheel, and decided on vinyl wrapping the trim. I'd never done such a thing, but I had a heat gun and a 15 foot roll of metallic silver to work my way through.
And after four tries, I got this!
With some hole-poking and setting in the sun, it got better. Then after some fiddling inside a big white sedan, I ended up with...
The final piece to my full leather interior! And it feels so much better. I can't really describe it, but I love that this was the first thing I grabbed. I actually owned the wheel before I bought the car.
Alas, I made a small oversight. I kept the buttons because I think the phone hangup button will be more useful once I get my unlocked radio into the car. But that means these buttons came from a Pontiac...
Red Pontiac buttons. White Chevy buttons... Nah, I can live with this. I kind of dig it, actually.
ANYWAY, next time on Decopification: Of Rare Parts, and KITT's Wants
PS - I love writing these long posts and telling a story. Thank you for entertaining my need to have a fun with my writing.
Dr. Zoidberg last edited by
@kitt222 Nice work! Do you own a steering wheel puller tool or something?
@dr-zoidberg Nope, the wheels in the Vibe and the Caprice don't need them. They're not tapered, just splined, with the Caprice featuring a master spline. Super easy once you get the nut (Vibe) or torx screw (Caprice) loose.
derp last edited by
azw123 last edited by
@kitt222 Wow, that steering wheel looks great. Nice work.
jminer last edited by
@kitt222 This looks great. While the red buttons would drive me nuts it actually doesn't look that out of place with the red gauge needles right in front of the steering wheel it almost looks on purpose.
@jminer Eventually I may also do a new gauge face to make it fit even better. I've grown fond of all the red in my Vibe, so carrying some over might be fun.
HFV last edited by
@kitt222 the red buttons match the speedo and tach needles. I like it.
pyroholtz last edited by
@kitt222 I've been on-again-off-again about replacing the h11 halogens behind projectors in Grand Cherokee, for a while now. These Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0 sound like a good option and I like the low output option for DRL.
- Did you have any issues clocking them?
- How tight (overall clearance around the back of the bulb) was the fit compared to stock?
- Did you require any additional anti-flicker hardware?
- Might I ask where you purchased them and what you paid?
- I didn't actually clock them, in part because I couldn't figure out how to. But I'm pretty happy with how they are
- They fit possibly better than stock, but the fans and such hand out farther. The wire to the drive comes out the side, which helps with clearance. TRS says they are 34mm long outside the housing. I bought some housing cap extenders but BARELY didn't end up needing them. The driver fit inside the housing, and is just sitting there inside the headlight.
- No anti-flicker hardware. If your GC uses its low beams as DRLs you can see if they're PWM, or pulse-width modulation, type. PWM will need the anti-flicker harness, which can be ordered at the same time.
If you keep your eye on TRS, they do a Black Friday sale every year that's pretty substantial. I'd also look into how easy it is to replace the projector in the GC with another, like how I found out it's super easy to replace the projector in the Caprice.
pyroholtz last edited by
@kitt222 this is great info, thanks!