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Murano/Corolla LED headlight retrofit

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Vman455, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Looking to lower the power consumption of various peripherals, I've been using drop-in 18W LED headlight bulbs for more than a year. Output was okay--usable in town, abysmal on the highway. Drop-in LED bulbs in halogen projectors tend to put out a lot of foreground light, more light through the squirrel finders than halogen bulbs, and more even light but less light overall. Unhappy with the performance, I started looking for alternatives that would give me a) better lighting, and b) lower power consumption than 55W halogen bulbs.

    I was considering HID projectors when I came across Murano and Corolla LED projectors (same chip, different lenses and heatsink) at The Retrofit Source, in their closeouts section for less than half the price of HID projectors. Sold! Today, I finished up the headlights, which now run 11W Corolla projectors with round lenses in the stock shroud. On to the pictures:

    Originally, I thought about doing quad projectors, so I purchased a set of Murano LEDs and Corolla. I eventually decided against this, but having both sets allowed me to mix and match to get the best combination of fit and small size. The Corolla projectors have a much smaller heatsink which will fit in the Prius headlight housing with no trimming, so I swapped the Murano bowl and lens holder (one piece) over and installed TSX-R clear lenses.
    [​IMG]

    Corolla on the left, Murano on the right. You could make the Murano fit, but it would require significant trimming.
    [​IMG]

    I scavenged the H11 harnesses from the old LED bulbs to solder onto the Corolla input wires...
    [​IMG]

    ...and baked apart the headlights.
    [​IMG]

    After disassembling the halogen projectors, I trimmed the stock bracket to fit the new projector.
    [​IMG]

    Then I bolted the LED projectors to the brackets, and brackets back to headlight buckets after some trimming.
    [​IMG]

    The LED controller fit inside the housing, with only the harness sticking through the back. I used some PVC plumbing fittings to fill the holes in the stock rubber gaskets, then sealed around the wires with silicon (not shown).
    [​IMG]

    I baked the headlights back together, and voila!
    [​IMG]

    The new projectors are 1/2" smaller than the stock ones, so I didn't have to worry about being absolutely accurate with their placement.
    [​IMG]

    Got them properly aimed.
    [​IMG]

    And out on the road.
    [​IMG]

    The difference between these and the stock halogens is pronounced, and the difference between these and the drop-in LED aftermarket bulbs is night and day. These projectors have incredible distance, but not quite as much width as good HID projectors. Light output is even and consistent across the beam, and the cutoff, sharpened by the TSX-R lenses, still has a fair amount of color.

    Total cost: less than $150 (Corolla projectors at TRS are currently $125, lenses were $10 B-stock, and I spent a couple bucks on bolts and silicon at the hardware store), significantly less than replacing with OEM Prius LED headlights or HID projectors. Total power consumption is 11W per chip, or 22W total, a reduction of 80% from the stock halogens.
     
    #1 Vman455, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
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  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Wow, great job on fabbing it up to fit. So, the height adjustment is done using the oem bolt/screw on the back of the headlight housing?
     
  3. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Correct, everything looks and functions like OEM, except the light output is much better and power consumption drastically lower. I'm very happy with this mod so far.
     
  4. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    What do the Corolla or Murano LED bulbs look like? Aftermarket LED bulbs give uneven light because the LEDs are mounted on boards so you get uneven light in 4 directions or however many depending on the LED design. This contrasts with HID and Halogen that outputs evenly all 360 degrees. At most you get a hotspot in the middle. I'm curious to know how Toyota accomplishes even light distribution in a single projector lens.
     
  5. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    There is a single LED chip facing upward, with a reflector bowl above that concentrates the light and reflects it forward to the lens.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's no cutoff shield, as in an HID or halogen projector; all the available light is projected upward into the bowl and then forward through the lens.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Also, it should be noted the design is not Toyota's but Koito Manufacturing's, and is used in several Japanese models from Toyota and Nissan.
     
  7. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    If I'm looking at the pictures correctly, the problem was solved by using one massive LED attached to a gigantic heat sink. It doesn't look like LED bulb (diode?) replacement will be an easy affair but I guess they may be lifetime bulbs.
     
  8. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Yeah, they're supposed to last a long time--the life of the car, usually. We'll see. It might be possible to replace the chip itself if one goes out; the leads are all attached to the plastic surround that's held on by two small screws, but I'm not sure how the board is attached to the heatsink, it may just be glued. In the cars that use these, I believe the headlights are intended to be replaced as a unit, so the engineers probably weren't concerned about user serviceability.
     
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  9. Nakamoto

    Nakamoto Junior Member

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  10. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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  11. Nakamoto

    Nakamoto Junior Member

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    Cool.. are you saving the murano for high beam conversion? I have manual lens leveling on my prius - do you think if this mod would still work?
     
  12. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Retrofitting the Murano LED highbeams would be quite difficult, I think, as the reflector is a completely different shape. If I want LED highbeams in the future, I'll probably just mount a light bar in the grill, but I never use the highs anyway.

    Do you mean "manual lens leveling" or "auto leveling"? I thought auto leveling was only available with the stock Prius LED headlights on the 5 and Advanced Technology package.
     
  13. Nakamoto

    Nakamoto Junior Member

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    I have a European prius it has got a stock manual leveling from a rolling switch in the dashboard.
     

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  14. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Ah, I see. This should still work, as long as the leveling mechanism acts on the whole headlight bucket the new projector would be bolted to.
     
  15. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    Thanks looks good! any issues with heat build up? does the headlight get super hot after long drives? that heat sink has nowhere to vent to. very tempted to do this. ive been waiting for someone to try it out. Did you have to drill the bracket or the headlight bracket itself? or stock screws screw right in?
     
  16. Vman455

    Vman455 Senior Member

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    Next time I'm out at night I'll see how hot the headlight housings are. On both the Murano and Corolla, the heatsinks are entirely inside the headlight assembly. You'll have to drill one hole in the stock bracket after trimming; use the existing hole on the left side (looking at it from the front) and the uppermost hole on the heatsink flange, stick a bolt through to keep them aligned, place the bracket on the headlight bucket, and level the projector with the bucket, mark the hole on the opposite flange, remove and drill.
     
  17. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    No different than any other enclosed projector (halogen/HID), heat remains in the headlight housing and dissipates eventually.

    In the case of the LEDs, the heatsinks remove heat from the LED assembly which is heat sensitive, and allow the heat to dissipate away from the heat sensitive bits. It doesn't matter if it's still enclosed within the headlight housing. It's still most likely a lot less heat than halogen or HID setups.
     
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  18. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    Except you get a lot more heat with LEDs. On most, if not all, LED factory-fitted cars, the heat sink is exposed to the atmosphere--which is the whole point of a radiator. I retrofitted BMW X5 LED foglights (2014 OE) into my BMW foglights and they get HOT. The metal tape has turned brown (burnt) over time.

    I have lots of retrofits under my belt.. but never headlight LEDs.

    See this BMW 2-Series with factory LEDs... see the exposed heat sinks right on top?

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    I don't know, engine compartments get pretty warm, making larger heatsinks necessary to dump even more heat into an already warm area, or perhaps a bit of over engineering? Maybe the Japanese engineers figured it was adequate to dissipate the heat into the housing and let the heat radiate passively through the lenses and housing?
     
  20. andino

    andino Senior Member

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    Hey Vman, Can you mount different lenses to the Corolla bowl/holder? Or did you need to swap the Murano bowl/holder to use the new lenses?