JDM headlight swap help - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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JDM headlight swap help

Hi guys,

One of the headlights on my '04 developed a seal failure & let in a bunch of moisture during a bout of heavy rain, so the HID and/or related ballast are toast. I was planning to upgrade to some darker headlight housings anyway, and figured I'd go with some black JDM headlights that I got a decent deal on.

Thing is, the JDM lights take 9005 halogen bulbs, so I assume an adapter of some sort will be needed, as I'd prefer to keep them halogen for long-term maintenance to be less of an expense. I've trawled YouTube & poked around on here trying to find some answers, but couldn't.

Anyone out here done this and can offer guidance? Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by protzenegger View Post
Hi guys,

One of the headlights on my '04 developed a seal failure & let in a bunch of moisture during a bout of heavy rain, so the HID and/or related ballast are toast. I was planning to upgrade to some darker headlight housings anyway, and figured I'd go with some black JDM headlights that I got a decent deal on.

Thing is, the JDM lights take 9005 halogen bulbs, so I assume an adapter of some sort will be needed, as I'd prefer to keep them halogen for long-term maintenance to be less of an expense. I've trawled YouTube & poked around on here trying to find some answers, but couldn't.

Anyone out here done this and can offer guidance? Thanks!
Just buy the plug connector at the auto parts store. Wire into the power leads going to the power connector that went to the ballast.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 07:46 AM
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I just did some angel eyes rings in mine , heated up in oven broke open the seal and installed the rings reheated put back together looks dope also painted my housing black neat upgrade my first time doing so . Also used a clear silicone on the lenses to insure no water getting in , it’s been a month and had plenty rain as well no leaks . Good luck , not actually a swap but an upgrade no doubt and you’ll keep your stock lights even if u don’t do the angel eye rings can still paint housings , you tube a big help in disassembly of lights
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Solar, will check out the parts.

Jstorch, that doesn't really answer my question but good job on the install. That said, I'm trying to avoid messing with any seals - if anything I'll be reinforcing the JDM lights with silicone just in case.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 02:17 PM
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No need to open up your lights or anything, but installing the JDM lights on a US car might be a challenge, since they bolt up differently. But if you can swap all the wires over, you should be good to go.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I'd post an update to this tale. Scored a good deal on a set of black JDM lights with a clear turn indicator lens in place of the usual orange one. Had them installed last week by a shop, as I had neither the time nor the know-how to do a proper job of it. Was a bit pricey, but I regret nothing - they made it completely reversible if I should ever decide to switch back to stock. I did spend an evening restoring them to clarity though, as they were quite yellow when I got them. Will have PPF put on to keep from having to do that again.



For all the expense, I'm delighted with how this turned out. I steered clear of the much cheaper aftermarket black housing option simply because a neighbor has a Solar Yellow with those, and I'm not sure why, but they look so flippin' dark that I felt they took away some of the elegance of the IS. Totally subjective, of course, but for me the JDM black lights are in that sweet spot of looking more aggressive than the somewhat blingy USDM lights without feeling cheap.

For anyone considering the same route who might find this thread, I should add the 9006 low-beams (not 9005 as I thought previously) are perfectly usable. I never got a chance to restore my USDM lenses before one of the HIDs failed, thus for as long as I've had the car I'd been driving around in some variation of poor lighting.

So while I'm sure they're a downgrade over what a set of brand-new HIDs would have been like, these are still a massive improvement over what I was dealing with, and I spent less on these than it would have cost to buy just 1 OEM housing to match the good stock headlight.

The halogens actually have a pretty impressive throw, and I haven't noticed any difficulty seeing further out. It's also been quite foggy here this week, and the yellow of the fog lamps transitions quite nicely into the warmer tone of the new beams. I dare say it's easier on the eyes than those blinding daylight bulbs I see Teslas drive around with.

For the real test, will have to give it a try on a really dark road soon.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by protzenegger View Post
Hi guys,

One of the headlights on my '04 developed a seal failure & let in a bunch of moisture during a bout of heavy rain, so the HID and/or related ballast are toast. I was planning to upgrade to some darker headlight housings anyway, and figured I'd go with some black JDM headlights that I got a decent deal on.

Thing is, the JDM lights take 9005 halogen bulbs, so I assume an adapter of some sort will be needed, as I'd prefer to keep them halogen for long-term maintenance to be less of an expense. I've trawled YouTube & poked around on here trying to find some answers, but couldn't.

Anyone out here done this and can offer guidance? Thanks!
i switched to jdm headlights awhile back and used 9005 HID conversion if you want to use HID, but halogen bulbs should work fine
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the update and picture! It does look great. I agree that the cheap black housing USDM headlights do cheapen the car's look a bit and take away from the aggressive look. Yours look great, and match the fogs perfectly.

Lots of people do prefer halogen lights over HID or LED because of their warmer softer light. Brighter is definitely not necessarily better. But since those are OEM headlights, they're going to have better output than the aftermarket headlights anyway, even with halogen VS HID
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TobiasSing View Post
Thanks for the update and picture! It does look great. I agree that the cheap black housing USDM headlights do cheapen the car's look a bit and take away from the aggressive look. Yours look great, and match the fogs perfectly.
Thanks for the feedback! I did end up driving out to West Marin a couple of weeks ago, and having no light pollution just reaffirmed how good the new setup is. Visibility was fantastic - like you say, OEM headlights have better illumination either way, and it definitely shows.
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