* Headlight Conversion / Upgrade *


HeadlightsBefore

Our 2003 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage came with headlights supposedly from a 1997 Mercury Mystique. I was not able to match them to those specific lights, but figure they are a year or so off that. They never worked well, although having them aligned early on helped a great deal. Still, on low beam they didn't light up the road well at all. After some research, I replaced the low beam bulbs with HIR bulbs. THere was a noticeable difference in brightness, but still not great. Add nearly a dozen years of use and weathering, and they were even worse than original. Due to the shape of the headlight buckets, it was difficult or impossible to clean up / polish the lenses. Then the driver side fixture came loose from the front cap ...the metal mounting bracket was glued to the fiberglass, and the glue gave way. The fixture was pretty tightly wedged in place, but I added a bungee cord to ensure that it would not try to fall out while driving. I imagine the fixture vibrated/wiggled while driving, but we rarely drive at night so the bungee cord safety net stayed in place for a year or two.

Then, in 2015 I discovered a group of talented people at Xtreme Paint & Graphics in Nacogdoches TX. Their speciality is headlight conversions and motorhome makeovers, and they are just 50 miles from our home base! While in the area with our Winnebago local chapter I paid them a visit to discuss the possibilities. About six months later I made an appointment to drop the coach off for the upgrade. We had discussed some ideas, including use of OEM 2004 Ultimate Advantage parts that included projection type fixtures and a piece of anodized aluminum filling in the groove across he front. After looking into that possibility, we found it would be quite expensive as the entire lower front cap would have to be replaced. So, after some discussion, I left the design to their team.

The result a few weeks later was great! They did fiberglass work, put in Hella headlight fixtures, led turn signals, and led side markers. The high beam and low beam fixtures use the same H9 bulb, so if a low beam bulb burns out you can swap a bulb from the high beam fixutre so you will have two working low beams. The conversion required a repaint of the lower half of the front, so I had them paint the rest of the area under the windshield too as there was some gravel damage and pealed clearcoat there. The end result is more like this coach should have looked from the factory. With OEM Hella taillights and fog lights, why not have Hella headlights too?

HeadlightsAfter

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