SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2022, 03:36 PM   #1
agentclank777
Junior Member
agentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 28

1995 SL2
Idea Poor Headlight Performance

I have a 1995 SL2 and was hoping someone knows where I can find a projector housing upgrade or something to make the headlights more like the light of these new cars I see on the road. I already installed 35W HID bulbs in the high beams which helped some but the spread and distance of the light is still pretty disappointing on dark roads. I have considered switching to 55W HID bulbs as they have more light output but am not sure it will actually help. I would greatly appreciate any input or suggestions on the matter, different bulbs, fog lights, links, etc.

1995 Saturn SL2 226K Miles, Just a little smoky [De-Catted]
agentclank777 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 01-31-2022, 05:00 PM   #2
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 363

2000 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

I've never seen any projector lights for the early Saturns, I'm sure they're too "not relevant" enough that no one would put the time into making them.

How is the chrome in your housings? Have you gotten any moisture inside them? I just recently upgraded my low beams from the standard bulbs to the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra's, the ones just before you get into the ZXE ones and I get good enough output. High beams are still nasty yellow, but I haven't been using them as much since I put in my new driving lights (have a whole other post about that).

I have seen projector kits you can buy. You're supposed to hack off the back half of your housing and slide them in, but I can't imagine that working very well, seems like a breeding ground for moisture, even if you did seal it.
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 05:49 PM   #3
agentclank777
Junior Member
agentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 28

1995 SL2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

I don't believe I have any moisture in them but my right headlight is cracked (jerk with a trailer hitch backed up into me and sped off) as far as the chrome in them I'm not sure how I would go about checking that. The lenses of them are definitely not crystal clear any more due to oxidation.
agentclank777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 07:00 PM   #4
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,597

2001 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Most of us, go to walmart and get a headlamp assembly polishing kit. $20, a battery operated drill and a half hour and crystal clear again... for at least a year.
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 08:46 PM   #5
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,854
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

agentclank777, a word of advice - don't put HID bulbs into reflector light housings. All this does is make your low beams into blinding high beams. HID bulbs are designed to work in projector light housings with a cutoff plate (low beam) on the lower half to cut off the upper beam (that blinds opposing traffic) with a distinctive horizontal cutoff line when shining headlights onto a wall. HIDs in reflector light housings guarantee blinding everyone. Projector headlights are the small diameter lens unlike reflector headlights.

If you search for conversion from reflector to projector lights, cutting and removing the reflector housing is needed to custom fit projector lights. This can present several problems; aiming correctly for beam pattern and sealing against moisture and dirt. Venting allows for normal moisture build up to vent while preventing inside fogging and droplet formation. Be aware of this if considering modifications to existing headlights.

If you polish the old lens with any polishing kit, you might go one last step with vapor deposition using acetone. Acetone melts vehicle headlight lenses (polycarbonate) when applied to like new appearance after polishing. Here's one youtube video (of many) using vapor deposition; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNf49ldXuMs. I tried a low cost method using disposable gauze pads and carefully wiped my lenses paintbrush style. Acetone dissolves polycarbonate lenses so a single wipe is like clear coating without spraying.

If you can get used headlights to replace the cracked one, you can try practicing on the damaged one with plain hardware store acetone to see immediate results. Some lenses have a factory coating that turns yellow so polishing removes this layer while removing most scratches in preparation for polishing. Using acetone with either gauze pad or steam cup vapor deposition melts fine rough surfaces into a clear lens, better than polishing.

Search for past threads using HIR bulbs as an upgrade from halogens. This and polishing the lenses may be the lowest cost upgrade to better lighting.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 09:48 PM   #6
agentclank777
Junior Member
agentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 28

1995 SL2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

I already have HID high beams and they are far from blinding I am told compared to other vehicles. I Guess I will look into seeing If I can get replacement housings for the cracked one or polish the ones I have but that is only going to work so many times.
agentclank777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 09:59 PM   #7
agentclank777
Junior Member
agentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 28

1995 SL2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

How shiny is the chrome inside them supposed to be? I've see some that are super shiny and mine are not
agentclank777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2022, 11:33 PM   #8
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,854
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

If you are honest about being high beamed at night, have someone drive your car with high beams on while you drive the other car and approach each other at night. You can't judge high beams from behind your own HID high beams until you sit in an car driving into your own high beams.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2022, 12:00 AM   #9
agentclank777
Junior Member
agentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the roughagentclank777 is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 28

1995 SL2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

I have already done that actually, as has my brother who states "they look like headlights" and that nothing really stands out about them other than the color. It could be from worn out reflectors in the housings but at least from what i've seen as well as others, they don't seem to cause a problem. It could also be due to the fact that the 95 (at least from what i'm told by professionals) has a very poor headlight design. I did just get back from a drive in which I changed one bulb from HID to a regular halogen to see if it would improve sight and several people agreed the halogen was far worse than the HID other than the color (More of a neutral white) so I might just have to get different HID bulbs that are also brighter. Please feel free to offer more suggestions as long as they aren't "strap a 30K lumen light bar on it"
agentclank777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2022, 12:41 PM   #10
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,854
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Strap a 100k lightbar and light up the town.

27yr old yellowed, faded headlight lenses may be the reason for lower light output, possibly including deterioration of flashed vapor deposition of aluminum(?), creating mirrors inside light housings. A youtube video revealed how automotive reflectors made of heat resistant plastics flash smooth surfaces with aluminum in a vacuum to create perfect mirrors. I discovered wear/flaking on the inside upper portion of my 19yr old halogen projectors where heat travels upwards from 55w bulbs. A slight improvement was made with 6k HIDs but the light pattern is uneven, probably due to reflective material wearing off. A new set of headlight assemblies should brighten my low beams, including transferring inexpensive HIDs/ballasts. A side benefit was retaining low beam DRLs. I've never been flashed with HIDS in the stock projectors (originally equipped with halogens) and I attribute this to the cutoff plate.

I won't know if the new headlights with HIDs improve low beam lighting until I aim them against a wall at night and drive in New Jersey where less local road lighting allows headlights to show themselves.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2022, 12:57 PM   #11
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 15,182
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Cheapest way would be to hack the pop-ups from the SC's onto it, then get super common 4x6 projector housings for those.

Then there's retrofitting projectors. Not sure how much of a guide or info is here, but 6s probably has a proper guide somewhere: https://forum.sixthsphere.com/forum/...ector-retrofit

You can pop the headlights apart and clean/polish the inside as well. Take every metal clip and screw you see around the edges off then bake at 200f for 15min. 200f isn't hot enough to bother the plastic but will return the sealant to pliable form and then you can pry them apart. Don't pry entierly on one side, go all around until it's apart. The glue is kinda like RTV so you'll want to wear gloves, ratty clothes and maybe have a wax paper working/prying surface.
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2022, 02:34 AM   #12
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 363

2000 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Most of us, go to walmart and get a headlamp assembly polishing kit. $20, a battery operated drill and a half hour and crystal clear again... for at least a year.
Yep, the newly cleaned and polished lenses need to be clear-coated to ensure proper UV protection and damage from debris. You MUST use a two part clear coat with hardener, nothing you buy in the stores will last and will eventually yellow or peel OR both.

There is no such thing as a "one kit does it all". Ignore all the youtube vids about "this clear coat is good enough". I've actually researched this, factory lenses have actual automotive clear coat applied, no other clear coat will do.

It's why you see headlights yellowing, after time the clear coat is degraded, it's worse in dry/hot states like down south. We never think to wax our headlight housings, that would help keep them from burning up.

Spraymax 2K clear is the best alternative to buying a spray gun and mixing it yourself. I've used it on multiple headlight/tail light cleanup jobs and it works great. I even used the same on the pillars of my car where the sun ate away all the clear coat (strange it was only those select parts).

It's available on eBay and Amazon, around $20-25 a can, depending on the mood of the seller.
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2022, 12:43 PM   #13
alordofchaos
Super Member
alordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud of
 
alordofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 13,320
 

2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Here's an old HID thread, if you feel like reading

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...highlight=1995

I'm surprised no one (especially cujoe_da_man, lol) mentioned adding LED fogs

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=269996
...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles
alordofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2022, 06:15 PM   #14
mbr
Member
mbr will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 328

1998 SW2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

There's a GM quad headlight mod that will keep the lows on when the highbeanm are on. It helps a lot, but only when the highs are on.
...
Accuracy MATTERS!
mbr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2022, 08:31 AM   #15
sc2 saturn
Member
sc2 saturn will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: canada
Posts: 224

2001 SC2
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

HID Don't blind people not sure where you got the info from i had HID in my Saturn for years never had a issue if you adjust them properly like any aftermarket headlight bulbs i wouldn't do hid tho been they take awhile to warm up fully id just get led leadlight bulbs for the car lowest wattage for lows so there not bright and the highest wattage u can get for high beams for my car i had 110w as pair for highbeams n hid lows which were find for traffic
sc2 saturn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2022, 04:22 PM   #16
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 363

2000 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I'm surprised no one (especially cujoe_da_man, lol) mentioned adding LED fogs
Oh, the thought had crossed my mind, but since he said headlights specifically, I figured he wasn't interested in adding more lights

Plus I'm not quite done figuring some things out with it. I still have them mounted to the foam behind the bumper cover instead of something more solid, but I need it to be a lot warmer so I can do some more work. That black trim piece is literally right in the way of every single place I can think to put the lights.
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2022, 08:24 AM   #17
SLfun
Advanced Member
SLfun will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Toronto, Ontario.
Posts: 736

1998 SL2
2006 ION Red Line
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

I installed LED headlight bulbs into my S series, they work great, much brighter and they don't blind anyone. Nice cut off point.

And if your housings need to be polished, go with the Sylvania polishing kit, they guarantee the results, comes with UV protection.
...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.
SLfun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2022, 01:40 PM   #18
RobertGary1
Master Member
RobertGary1 is a name known to allRobertGary1 is a name known to allRobertGary1 is a name known to allRobertGary1 is a name known to allRobertGary1 is a name known to allRobertGary1 is a name known to all
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 4,354
 

1996 SC2
2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Most of us, go to walmart and get a headlamp assembly polishing kit. $20, a battery operated drill and a half hour and crystal clear again... for at least a year.
Does that do anything for glass? Only seen that used for plastic headlights.
RobertGary1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2022, 07:18 PM   #19
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,597

2001 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

These kits are only for plastic.
You basically sand the lens with progressively finer grit and then the final step turns the cloudy lens crystal clear again.
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2022, 08:03 PM   #20
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 363

2000 SL1
Default Re: Poor Headlight Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLfun View Post
I installed LED headlight bulbs into my S series, they work great, much brighter and they don't blind anyone. Nice cut off point.

And if your housings need to be polished, go with the Sylvania polishing kit, they guarantee the results, comes with UV protection.
I won't say you're wrong, Sylvannia makes some decent stuff, but don't be fooled by the marketing.

They guarantee it won't yellow your lenses for about a year, maybe. Any kit that has any kind of UV protectant either doesn't tell you or has in fine print that you have to reapply the stuff every 6-12 months to maintain proper protection.

It's the same with any kind of automotive wax or protectant on the market, even ceramic waxes and coatings need to be reapplied just like regular wax, just not nearly as often or in such heavy amounts.

This is while failed TikTok remedies like toothpaste or tomatoes or some other dumb **** doesn't work.

You still have to UV clear-coat your lenses or you will be out there every year scraping, sanding, polishing, and sealing again.
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Poor a/c performance at low speeds. 02 LW300 L-Series Tech 2 07-19-2019 01:52 PM
Poor a/c performance ONLY at idle PlasticCarsRock S-Series Tech 39 06-17-2012 05:24 PM
Poor Performance - No SES balerman S-Series General 12 09-22-2005 10:48 PM
poor performance Gardenof_E S-Series Tech 15 12-13-2002 11:14 PM
SES and poor performance Dane Thorson S-Series Tech 7 09-20-2002 08:33 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:24 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.