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Old 08-22-2017, 01:29 AM   #1
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Default repair headlight bucket on 96 Dodge B3500 van

I repaired the reflective area of the headlight bucket on my Dodge at a cost of around $10 versus $120 for a new one. I think it is value for my money.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootertramp View Post
I repaired the reflective area of the headlight bucket on my Dodge at a cost of around $10 versus $120 for a new one. I think it is value for my money.
+1


Well done !
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:07 PM   #3
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Nice job. I would definitely consider doing the same thing in a pinch! Not to "bag" on you though, but headlights are a very important safety feature and the reduced factory reflective coating could easily reduce your headlight brilliance and efficiency by half. Be careful.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:39 AM   #4
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Congratulation on your ingenuity but want to point to 2 specific issues induced by this type of repair.

1. Silver color paint will change the original collimated light beam to a diffused one, fundamentally loosing optical beam pattern for low or high beam. Result would be practically unacceptable light coverage for driving at a speed.

2. The diffused beam will blind upcoming traffic to an unacceptable level, so don’t be surprised to see the upcoming traffic flashing lights at you.

Headlights are optical devices and quality of their reflective surfaces and refractive front elements are necessary for them to perform as originally designed. It is possible to professionally resilver (ancient) or aluminum vacuum coat reflective (modern) surfaces but costs of these services will likely be higher than costs of replacement parts.



Sorry about pouring cold water on your project.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default effect of headlight restoration

Being unencumbered with the thought process at times---I decided to visually check the difference between the painted/rebuilt headlight and the original chromed bucket that was in good shape.
The picture shows the rebuilt bucket on the right/passenger side has a nice focused beam--and the original bucket on the driver side is not focused. I washed and cleaned/polished the original as best as possible, and put new bulbs in both sides--but the reconditioned side is the "clear" winner.
I will be reconditioning the driver side this weekend.
Just sayin!
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:49 PM   #6
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I don't know if that is high or low beam, but the aim of the headlights will have a huge effect on the road pattern you see, and they often are set to give an overlap area on the road, and to the right side on low beam.

If you get a chance, it would be interesting to see two pix, on of each lamp on by itself with the other off, to see the actual pattern of each lamp.

You often will find that the left and right lamps intentionally have different patterns than each other to give the desired pattern, which makes the composite lights different than the old sealed beam lamps that were the same on both sides.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:13 PM   #7
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I agree with previous comment about difficulties in judgment of your experiment results. Your next step will ultimately provide you with ultimate results, personally, I think you will be going to the automotive store for 2 new headlights.

Not having good headlights for you is of the story, the other side is upcoming traffic and they can get flashy angry.
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