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PostPosted: August 13th, 2017, 1:13 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
This is switching topic away from the thread titled "Ford Badge", and is specifically about changing the headlight lenses.

For about $75 online, you can get combination lenses & LED running lights like pic below. For about $110, you get both the headlights and front corner turn lenses. There are also black versions which look especially nice on grey Millenium painted front ends.
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I wired the new headlights' built-in LED running lights to the adjacent front parking lights. So now I often run in daylight using just those LEDs, without the actual headlights having to be on.

Skillet wrote:
Next question: For the LED daytime running lights that are built-in, did you purchase a DRL harness or just wire 'em up with your own wire?

I used T-Taps wire connectors to tap into each respective side marker light.
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Skillet wrote:
Last question: I've been watching some Youtube videos on removing the headlights but was wondering since you did it, do you have a description on here where you explained the process? I think it would be easier to understand on here.

At the top of each light are two retaining tabs. You push them back to unlock them, then pull up about an inch. This frees the pins sticking out the back of the headlight assembly (be ready to catch the lens, although the bulb wire helps do that as well). The pic below shows the leftmost tab and its two pins. The other tab is half visible at the far upper right.
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As you can surmise, the headlight pins stick into the body holes and then through the large hole sections in the retaining tabs. Pushing down on the tab forces the smaller hole sections around the pins to hold them tight.

Getting them out is easy. It's getting the retainer slide tabs to lock again that's often difficult. Sometimes they just don't want to slide down over the headlight pins again, especially new ones. (Some people have even resorted to swapping in the old pins, which is often not possible)

I've used two tricks to help. 1) Dremeling a bevel on the top of a resisting pin to help help guide the retainer into place - as seen on the back of Pin 1 above, and 2) using a hammer to lightly tap on the top tabs to help them lock.

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1994 Concourse dinette, Ford 7.5L, wood & tile floors, tin ceiling, custom lighting


Last edited by kdarling on August 15th, 2017, 9:51 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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PostPosted: August 13th, 2017, 4:36 pm 
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Location: Northern Virginia
Brilliant, thanks for both!

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2017, 3:21 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
An important note about wire connections:

1). I can't believe I only recently learned about T-taps. I wish I'd known about them two years ago when I was connecting my rear camera to power, or installing reading lamps, etc.

Unlike side-by-side taps where the tapping wire is permanently attached, a T-tap instead crimps on a female connector, where you can easily connect/disconnect a wire with a spade end. Everyone should buy a bunch of these in various gauges, they're so useful!
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2). Note from the first post's photo, that if I ever wanted to pull the headlight lens completely out again, I'd also have to remove the turn signal lens in order to reach the LED T-taps behind it. (I left the LED wires very long to aid in this.)

So in addition to the T-taps behind the turn signal, I recommend splicing another connector into the LED wires, but behind the headlight (leave enough wire to pull the lens out far enough to be able to disconnect!). That way, you can simply undo the headlight bulb connector and the new LED connector, both without having to remove anything else.

Being fancy-schmancy, I bought some two-wire waterproof connectors which I intend to insert in the LED wires just behind the headlight.
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Of course, any kind of connector would probably do ;) But I often spray water to clean the grille.

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PostPosted: August 27th, 2017, 10:21 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2016, 9:25 pm
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I picked up a set of OEM ford units used at the local salvage yard for $30. The first set i pulled looked like new but they had tawain stickers on the back so i kept looking. Few rows later i found another set that were like new so i yanked them out of the van and they are OEM fords so i bought them.


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2017, 4:12 am 
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Location: Northern NJ
Doug, does your Chinook look younger now? :D

Besides peeling clear coat, I think two major external appearance items can really make a Chinook look unnecessarily old:

- Yellowed fridge access door and other vents
- Clouded over headlight lenses

And both are pretty easy to fix.

We often get used to them, and don't notice the subtle negative effect older pieces have. The first thing I did was replace the lenses (and the grille). Then I painted the yellowed plastic trim pieces both inside and out. What a difference that made!
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For some reason though, I never did much with the pumbing vent at the left rear roof. So when I was prepping to Zep coat the roof a couple of days ago, I finally got around to cleaning up and painting the vent and its cap. Well, well, that made a nice difference too. I guess it had never hit me before how dingy it was. But even neighbors stopped to comment that the roof looked better somehow! It's always the little things that make a diference.

Makes me a bit jealous of the desert dwellers. Their roofs always seem bone white, versus the moisture and tree induced green and brown spots that we get here in the wetter climates :D

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PostPosted: August 29th, 2017, 2:51 pm 
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Yes it looks better now. I cant stand yellow headlights. My grille is metal and looks like this one so i didnt have to spruce it up any.


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