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Volvo Headlights Upgrade


Jemstone

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One of the frequent complaints about the Generation 2 VNL trucks is their abysmal low beam headlight performance. My 730 is typical and needs the xenon bulb upgrade for any future night driving. Having viewed the video that showed the replacement procedure I realized that I would need to have the job done by someone competent, which disqualified me. Does anyone have a recommendation for a business or person who can tackle the job and is also in the Phoenix metro area?

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Jemstone we upgraded our 730 a few weeks ago, what a difference!!! We ordered a complete light upgrade including new lenses from http://deepspacelighting.com/. Installation was a breeze, 4 10mm nuts to remove lenses. David from deepspace preinstalled the lights into the lenses, so all we had to do was reinstall and plug lights in. You won't believe the difference!!!!!

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Jemstone we upgraded our 730 a few weeks ago, what a difference!!! We ordered a complete light upgrade including new lenses from http://deepspacelighting.com/. Installation was a breeze, 4 10mm nuts to remove lenses. David from deepspace preinstalled the lights into the lenses, so all we had to do was reinstall and plug lights in. You won't believe the difference!!!!!

That is what I did as well. It makes a HUGE difference. Installation is simple if the lense is upgraded at the same time. That is what I recommend. David installed ours, but it really is as simple as Bob described. And adjusting the throw location is very easy to do...

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Here's a link to the Depo housings: http://www.advantagetruckparts.com/volvo-truck-parts/set-of-volvo-vnl-headlights-82329127-82329124/

 

If you have the first version of the kit, it'll swap right over. If you have the later version (no LED), you'll need a different set of mounting brackets (though as of this week there's a new bracket design that works for both).

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David, What do I have and what do I need? Lights were installed earlier this year and there is a long drive coming up. Night driving will be necessary. I'd like to know where the can be bought. If soon enough Chris could install them. It is 2 > 3 weeks 'till I leave for Florida if thing work out with Mom.

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I have David's HID/LED KIT. it is simple to install. Results are fantastic! IHMO the only way to get back a clear plastic lens that holds up is to sand it with 400/600 wet paper and then spray coat with a high solids urethane clear. You can buy a spray gun at HF for about $10 and Summit Racing sells the clear and hardner. Once sprayed even better results are achieved by wet sanding again with 1000/2000 grit paper to remove any irregularities then buff with a mild compound on a foam buff to a glass-like surface. Do not try coating with lacquer or acrylic from a rattle can. It will scratch easily and only last a few months.

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That link takes me to their site with the high and low beams installed.

What to do with a few extra low beam projectors?

Also I must have the first version as the high beam is a LED bulb.

I have had Dave's lights since spring of 2014

Is that a correct assumption ?

 

Greg--that would be the first version. The extra low beam projectors aren't worth much--though I know a few of you have handed the glass lenses to grandkids for "science projects".

 

David, What do I have and what do I need? Lights were installed earlier this year and there is a long drive coming up. Night driving will be necessary. I'd like to know where the can be bought. If soon enough Chris could install them. It is 2 > 3 weeks 'till I leave for Florida if thing work out with Mom.

 

Roger,

 

The housings I linked above will work for you, but you have a version of the kit where the brackets aren't directly compatible. Assuming you're still up north of the border, the best way to deal with the brackets and your timeframe would be to add a standard height nut between the mounting bracket and projector, and replace the 10mm long M4 screws with 15mm long screws. You might need to drill out the upper mounting holes slightly to get everything lined up just right. E-mail me if you need help here.

 

You should probably check in Canada for the housings also--shipping would take a while from NC (where Advantage Truck Center is), and the exchange rate isn't helping you. Just make sure you get Depo housings, not one of the unbranded (or other lesser quality) housings.

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Even without the new housings my lights from David are so much better it is hard to believe. I was driving on new, black and wet pavement while it was raining and the lights cut right through the rain and road spray. This is an incredible upgrade that everyone should have.

I plan on new housings and upgrading my driving/fog lights when they are available.

You can never have to much quality lighting!!!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Closer still. They'll be ready to start shipping January 4th, maybe a little sooner. After it gets dark tonight, I'll take a few pictures and maybe some video comparing the stock fog light to the LED light, but fair warning--it's a pretty big difference. The way it's put together, it's also a super easy install--especially if you have a one-piece bumper where you've got easy access to the back of the lights (a Philips screwdriver being the only tool needed).

 

And for the Freightliner crowd, a fog light kit will be available at the same time, with a brushed stainless mounting ring and the same LED fog lights that will be in the Volvo kit. It'll be a little bit more expensive, but mostly as a result of the extra metal hardware. In both cases, it's a single plug on the LED fog light assembly that connects directly to the factory wiring.

 

The listings for both are up now, and I'll be adding photos and more detail late this evening.

 

20151222_190517-e1451077212742.jpg

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Well, I have the lighting kit for my Volvo. I'm surprised by those of you who quickly and easily installed the components. The box was battered but none of the components appeared damaged. The bulbs arrived in their boxes, not installed. The written instructions to a person of my limited mechanical and electrical skills are daunting. I'm also too recently out of surgery to remove the headlight assemblies, so I'll have a mechanic do the installation. Probably, considering my mechanical gifts, cheaper in the long run.

 

Are there any after market good quality headlight covers for 730/780s? My driver's side plastic headlight cover is more translucent than transparent. I can buff it out, but it will soon be foggy again due to constant small abrasions. There are some amazing materials that would resist abrasion far better than plexiglass or whatever Volvo uses for headlight covers. As it now stands, Volvo's approach to night driving seems to be that it should be done only in emergencies. Therefore, Volvo appears to supply headlights for emergency use only, so the abrasion resistance of the light covers is not so important, nor is the brightness of the low beam. For such a well engineered truck the low beam headlights should be an embarrassment.

 

It's totally unrelated but I've got to mention that we are having a wonderfully warm season in central Arizona. The gem and mineral shows in Mesa, Quartzsite and Tucson kick off in two weeks and this is the time to explore the low desert. If you are a golfer, rock hound, hiker, photographer, birder or mountain biker, but you don't like snakes, now's the time to be outdoors on the low desert. Most of our cold blooded residents are hibernating or are fairly sluggish at this time of year.

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Hi Jemstone,

 

If anything arrived damaged, definitely let me know. And if you need help, don't hesitate to call.

 

As far as the headlight covers, there's really no good fix. Polycarbonate (which is the only material other than glass that gets used on headlights) yellows with UV exposure, and the miles that these trucks see are more than enough to wear off any fancy coating that the manufacturer might put on. The abrasion test is pretty minimal, and the UV exposure test is separate from the abrasion test, so the latter just proves that with a perfect coating it'll last 3 years. Not nearly rigorous enough in my opinion. There are a few outfits that sell replacements, but the amount of effort required to split the light in half without damaging it isn't worth it.

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