> A 2003 Dodge Durango SLT.
The headlamps are now 11 years old -- long past the duration
they were designed to last. Take careful note: when
"plastic" (polycarbonate) headlamp lenses are yellowed or
clouded or fogged, it's time to replace the lamps with new
original-equipment ones. There are various
polishing/restoration kits on the market, none of which will
do anything but postpone your need to install new headlamps
because what you are doing in "polishing" the headlamps is
scrubbing off the anti-UV/anti-scratch hardcoat that was
applied and crosslink-cured under cleanroom conditions when
the lamps were manufactured. With this coating gone, the
degradation will come back faster and worse than before.
Many of the kits contain what they claim to be a coating,
lotion, wax, protectant, sunscreen or other such goop; none
of these does anything to slow or stop the degradation.
There is no field-applicable coating that can come even a
little bit close to duplicating the factory coating's
performance (which itself is inadequate to the task, as a
walk through any parking lot shows -- the regulations are
too lax). Don't get aftermarket headlamps; all of them --
whether original-type or restyled (projector, halo, LED,
angel eye, etc.) are unsafe junk, no matter how fervently
they claim "SAE/DOT approval" and "OEM quality".
So, step one is a new set of genuine Chrysler lamps.
Friendly pricing at www.tascaparts.com
The wiring on these trucks is WAY too thin for the job. Put
in relays with parts kit RIK-HB5, $59. The RIK is not a
harness, but a _parts kit_ containing all relays, brackets,
terminal blocks, terminals, plugs, sockets, fuses and
fuseholders. You supply your own wire (or your mechanic
does) and use the parts from the kit to build up your own
wiring harness to take the workload off the switches and
bring full power to the lamps. Specific instructions are
provided, and the concept is explained at
Parts are specially made premium-grade items (e.g. ceramic
headlamp sockets) that accept large-gauge wire; this is not
the "consumer grade" junk you can find at the parts store.
Or, I can have my harness builder custom build you a
ready-to-install harness assembly using the same components.
Cost for this option is $161.49 (including parts and labour
- you pick _either_ one relay kit _or_ one custom-built
harness to do the entire job. It costs more than the $40 to
$90 cheapy prefab harnesses because it is not a cheapy
prefab harness). Installation is simple: you run the marked
wires to battery positive and to battery negative, snap the
harness plug onto one of the vehicle's original headlamp
sockets, snap the harness sockets onto the headlamps, and
secure the cable runs and relays neatly out of harm's way.
Either way, parts kit or built-up harness, the in-car
switches continue working normally, and you will not need to
cut or otherwise disturb any of the vehicle's original wires.
Bulb selection is easy: The best 9007 bulbs presently on the
market are the GE Night Hawk Platinum 9007NHP or the Philips
Xtreme Vision 9007XVS2:
Do not buy blue or "extra white" bulbs (Silver Star, Crystal
Vision, TruView, Hoen, PIAA, etc.); despite the heavy
advertising push and claims of "brighter and whiter" light,
they actually produce _less_ light due to the blue glass
Can also make your front sidemarker lights 60% brighter for
safer side-on visibility of the car at night, $4.59/bulb.
Your turn signals are presently invisible from the side,
because your front amber side marker lights are not
currently wired to flash with the turn signals -- they only
burn steadily whenever the parking lamps or headlamps are
on. But there is a very easy modification you can make to
their hookup so that they do double-duty as side markers
_and_ side turn signal flashers, see
is a very good safety improvement, as your turn signals
become visible to
the side instead of just front- or rear-on. With the
two-wire front side markers on your car, you can do this
with without any new parts (except a few wire connectors)
using the cross-feed method described at the link. If you'd
rather do this using the module method described in the
linked article, the module kit is $49 (one module does the
whole job, left and right).
Daytime running lights significantly reduce your risk of
being in a crash during the daytime, and are required
equipment in Canada, throughout Europe, and in a large and
growing number of other countries throughout the world
because they are a very cost-effective safety device (i.e.,
they work). You can easily enable this functionality in your
vehicle using a DRL-1 module ($49); see
example installation. This is the best way to put a daytime
running light function on a vehicle not originally equipped
(or which has had its headlamp-based DRLs disabled for
installation of headlight relays). The module enables the
steady-burning operation of both front directional signals
as daytime running lights (except, of course, when you're
signalling for a turn). They produce a light distribution
with a wide view angle, are generally well located for DRL
service at the outboard edges of the front of the vehicle,
consume considerably less power than any headlamp-based DRL
implementation, use light sources of generally much longer
life than a headlight bulb, do not encourage improper
nighttime use of lights, and do not require additional
lighting devices to be added. Most recent Cadillacs,
Chevrolet/GMC large vans and minivans, Corvettes since 1997
in the US and since 1990 in Canada, some Toyota and Lexus
models, certain Saabs and new Lincolns, various Fords and
Chryslers and assorted
other vehicles use this implementation. It is steady-lit
operation of the bright amber turn signals (except when they
are flashing to signal a turn) -- it is not steady operation
of the dim parking lamps; parking lights are not bright
enough and don't have the right view angles to serve the
daytime running light function. Turn signal DRLs comply with
US and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards #108 and are
approved in all states, provinces, and territories.
HOW TO ORDER:
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