BO TIE SS's Tahoe appearance mod thread

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Some of you are aware that my DD is a 2001 Tahoe (GMT820)
This will be my thread for my exterior mods.

Here is the picture from the day I bought it...
Tahoe001.jpg


There are a couple mods started but not finished, I'm just going to post the unmodded pic for now.
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Mod #1 -
Since the DRLs on this truck are not integrated in to the headlights or high beams, I decided to keep them.
OF COURSE, it was necessary to change them to LEDs.

DRL1.jpg


DRL2.jpg


Mod #2 -
No picture for this. A 2001 GMT has a glass mounted cell-like Onstar antenna. GONE!

Mod #3 -
I replaced the mirror mounted perimeter lighting bulbs with LEDs. Once I get a few more pics of that, I'll make a how-to article.

before...
PerLt01.jpg


PerLt02.jpg


after...
PerLt03.jpg


PerLt04.jpg
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Mod #4 -
I had to search for a while to find projector headlights without halos. I found a set made by Depo...

2012-02-04_10-14-11_307.jpg


This is stock...

IMG_5817.jpg


One of each...

IMG_5818.jpg


Both...

IMG_5821.jpg



I have not purchased HIDs for the lows yet. I need to figure out a quad-beam mod since the 2001 high beam switch is a click-on click-off type instead of what's in the Trailblazer. I also need to find out if the auto-lamp sensor can be fooled with the same resistor as the Trailblazer.

Mod #5 -
I also changed my DRLs a little


Before...
DRL2.jpg

After...
IMG_5820.jpg


Mod #6 -
Then, I rewired my old DRLs to be my parking lights...


Parking lights + DRL...

IMG_5823.jpg


Parking lights + Headlights...

IMG_5822.jpg




Next mod...
35W 5000K HIDs
+ Quad beam mod - figured out an easy way using a SPDT relay

2012-02-18_10-15-36_694.jpg



HID Relay with Quad Beam Diagram:
View attachment 18953

Mod #7 -
Quad beam with HIDs

2012-04-29_19-51-01_20.jpg
 

Attachments

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BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Mod #8 -

Tail lights...
So, I decided to paint my tails. They turned out okay, but I couldn't resist ordering some LED Depos. (must have been the tax return) But, until they come...

Before

2012-03-19_18-23-59_655.jpg


After

2012-04-09_12-08-42_100.jpg


edit - 4/17/2012...the Depo set arrived today.
I thought about shooting them with a little VHT, but decided against it.

2012-04-17_10-37-04_279.jpg


2012-04-17_10-37-23_681.jpg
 

jkdubz

Member
Dec 27, 2011
121
Are these mods relatively easy? I'm having a hard time finding a trailblazer I like in Florida, but i have found a few Z71 Tahoes I am thinking about getting. Your '01 looks nice man!
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
Instead of a direct replacement with LED bulbs, I would have put in amber LEDs and wired them to the turn signal. Or wired both sockets with switchbacks for dual DRL/park/turn functions. But as they stand now, they look good. :yes: It's super annoying seeing most people drive with only one burnt out. :hissyfit:
 

willn513

Member
Dec 4, 2011
918
DJones said:
It's super annoying seeing most people drive with only one burnt out. :hissyfit:

Yeah I totally agree- the "Cyclops" is how the GMT820 is lovingly referred to on a bunch of other forums.
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
jkdubz said:
Are these mods relatively easy? I'm having a hard time finding a trailblazer I like in Florida, but i have found a few Z71 Tahoes I am thinking about getting. Your '01 looks nice man!
Thanks :thumbsup: I'm going to put together a how-to on the perimeter lighting mod soon. Not very hard if you have basic soldering skills.

Blckshdw said:
Keep the LEDs coming Sam!! :thumbsup:
You know it my friend! :biggrin:

DJones said:
Instead of a direct replacement with LED bulbs, I would have put in amber LEDs and wired them to the turn signal. Or wired both sockets with switchbacks for dual DRL/park/turn functions.
Putting LEDs in the DRLs was just a start. I have some other things in mind for the front. First step will be to replace my flasher relay with an LED compatible one. (I'm not a fan of load resistors)
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
BO TIE SS said:
Putting LEDs in the DRLs was just a start. I have some other things in mind for the front. First step will be to replace my flasher relay with an LED compatible one. (I'm not a fan of load resistors)

Can't wait! I hate load resistors too, and anything that goes click-click-click-click.
 

08AvySkillz

Member
Jan 21, 2012
8
Sam, what's the reason behind not liking the load resistors? I just did switchbacks in the avy, not liking the ones from ddm tuning the white stays on all the time so I got the ones from v-leds where there true switchbacks... just waiting for a nice day to switch em out
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
08AvySkillz said:
Sam, what's the reason behind not liking the load resistors?
Nothing more than personal preference. I would rather replace the flasher with one that's LED compatible than wire in load resistors.
 

08AvySkillz

Member
Jan 21, 2012
8
Ahhh gotcha

Do you have the led mirror blinkers on ur truck too? I saw u did the post on the puddle lights gonna have to look at the avy see if its the same
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
08AvySkillz said:
Do you have the led mirror blinkers on ur truck too?
No. I don't know what year they started putting those on, but it was after 2001.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
You definitely cleaned up the look of the light. I like it!
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
What bulbs did you use for you DRLs. Gm has the DRL voltage problem, any issues with the LEDs burning out?
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Irishboy02 said:
What bulbs did you use for you DRLs.
When my DRLs were in the factory location, I used an LED bulb from Autolumination.com. (which are now my parking lights) The "euro" looking ones are from Ebay. They really turned out to be junk, so I'm going to build my own. They are like these...

Audi Style LED Daytime Running Light DRL Kit Fog Day Driving Daylight BMW | eBay
Irishboy02 said:
Gm has the DRL voltage problem, any issues with the LEDs burning out?
No problems yet. But, that's why I went with LED.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Irishboy02 said:
What bulbs did you use for you DRLs. Gm has the DRL voltage problem, any issues with the LEDs burning out?

What voltage problem? Are you referring to the 70% PWM signal?
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
Awesome. Thanks for the response. Yea iv been using autolumincation for a while too, great products. Your flood lights, are they festoon bulbs or reg bulbs? Mine say regular style (as per sylvania bulb guide) but when i crack them open theyre festoon bulbs


Im not sure of the technical jargan, however this body style gm DRL the bulbs have a pulsed signal varying anywhere from 12.3 to 15.5. The recommended bulb from factory was 3156 but when they found out about this issue it was due to blowing these bulbs like crazy. It would also overheat the sockets and even melt the housing from running too hot. They then switched to now recommended 4114 bulb, sent out a service bullitan, same socket but able to handle up to the possible supplied voltage to handle the surge.
 

BO TIE SS

Original poster
Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
Irishboy02 said:
Your flood lights, are they festoon bulbs or reg bulbs?
I don't know what "flood lights" you're talking about. :confused:


Irishboy02 said:
Im not sure of the technical jargan, however this body style gm DRL the bulbs have a pulsed signal varying anywhere from 12.3 to 15.5. The recommended bulb from factory was 3156 but when they found out about this issue it was due to blowing these bulbs like crazy. It would also overheat the sockets and even melt the housing from running too hot. They then switched to now recommended 4114 bulb, sent out a service bullitan, same socket but able to handle up to the possible supplied voltage to handle the surge.
I hadn't heard that there was a pulse in the DRLs on the full size trucks. I don't understand the need for one. I did notice that they burn out a lot. Mine were both working when I bought it, but I wanted the whiter light of an LED. (and the longer life)
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Irishboy02 said:
Awesome. Thanks for the response. Yea iv been using autolumincation for a while too, great products. Your flood lights, are they festoon bulbs or reg bulbs? Mine say regular style (as per sylvania bulb guide) but when i crack them open theyre festoon bulbs


Im not sure of the technical jargan, however this body style gm DRL the bulbs have a pulsed signal varying anywhere from 12.3 to 15.5. The recommended bulb from factory was 3156 but when they found out about this issue it was due to blowing these bulbs like crazy. It would also overheat the sockets and even melt the housing from running too hot. They then switched to now recommended 4114 bulb, sent out a service bullitan, same socket but able to handle up to the possible supplied voltage to handle the surge.

OK, yeah that's the PWM. The voltage can't go above the voltage output of the alternator (which shouldn't go above 14.5 or so), but the PWM signal can and does kill bulbs faster than a steady voltage.
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
Ok then yes PWM is what i was reffering too. If you install 4114 bulb in place of 3156 bulb you eont have the burnout/melting lense issues anymore.

Sorry i was slightly under the influence last night haha. I meant puddle lights, under your mirrors.

And i apologize for whoring up your thread here
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Sparky said:
OK, yeah that's the PWM. The voltage can't go above the voltage output of the alternator (which shouldn't go above 14.5 or so), but the PWM signal can and does kill bulbs faster than a steady voltage.
PWM waveforms can be damaging, but not because the voltage flies up higher than the alternator's max. It's the excessive switching on and off, hundreds of times a second, that causes issues. An incandescent lamp has a filament that glows white-hot. But when it turns off, it takes a large fraction of a second to get cold and go dark. Switching that sort of load on and off faster than the filament's mass can react, and faster than the eye can see, is no problem. And that's what the GMT360 designers intended to have for headlights.

The electronic ballast of HIDs wasn't designed for the fast on/off switching, and there are inductors inside the units that demand excessive current when switched too fast for their design. That damages the electronics, can burn them out, and the pulses of excess current can overheat connectors.

But it's my nature to correct the misperception that the PWM signal can create voltage spikes.

Any LED lamp with a built-in current stabilizer circuit can also be designed to work with PWM signals, but I suspect most of them are cheap and don't. That's why some LEDs can burn out. Trailblazers didn't have DRL circuits for running lights, just the headlights, IIRC. Full-size platforms do.

The 4114 incandescent lamp issue was a separate one, as far as I can tell, of the old 3156 incandescent lamps not having a filament rated for the newer alternator setpoints of over 14V. A filament running at hotter than expected temps MIGHT be more sensitive to a slower PWM signal, perhaps not causing visible flickering due to the persistence of vision, but enough to vibrate the filament (which acts as a tiny inductor due to its coil shape.). A vibrating filament will have a shorter life.
 

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