DEPO Projector Headlight Retrofit 2002 Silverado

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

1998chevy1500

TYF Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Posts
12
Reaction score
1
Hello all,

I know this is a forum for the Tahoe and Yukon, but being the 2002 Silverado has the same front end as the Tahoe and also that in my searching your forum seemed to be the most active on this subject I figured here was as good of place as any to share my findings. This is still a work in progress and I will update as I learn more.

I just bought a set of DEPO brand projector headlights, part number 335-1119PXAS.
https://www.amazon.com/335-1119PXAS...005XRQDBA/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
With the intent of swapping their included halogen projector for a HID retrofit projector. A company named Custom Brackets and Designs makes some metal brackets to adapt from the DEPO projector mounting points to a Mini H1 style projector mounting.
https://custom-brackets-designs.mys...vrolet-silverado-tahoe-suburban-mh1-c-bracket

When I bought all this I figured it would be a quick remove and replace type project. No custom fabricating, just take out the old projectors and bolt in the new ones. So far it's not shaping up that way.

So, first just for fun I mounted up the DEPO projectors on my truck and took it for a spin to see what they looked like in the dark. Yeah, these are headlight shaped objects. The low beam projectors throw weird streaky uneven patterns all over the ground, put on the high beams and they seem to throw just as much light to the sides as they do down the road. If you are buying the DEPO projector headlights as a lighting upgrade on your vehicle, save your money. You are much better off looking into upgrading your stock headlights with 9012 and 9011 bulbs (do some internet searching for how to do this upgrade).

First step in the process was to remove the DEPO halogen projector from these headlights. First remove the screws holding all of the brackets and projectors. Then unseal the projectors from the headlight body. Normally baking them in an oven at around 275*F for 10min would soften up butyl rubber or even permaseal glue, but it appears DEPO chose to use neither. These projectors seem to be glued in with a gray silicone. No amount of heat seems to do much good. So I just kept baking them at 275*F alternating between the two lights with a screwdriver and lots of muscle to pry on them. After a bit of breaking of the projector (luckily the headlight body survived) and a lot of prying I was able to break the seal between the projectors and headlights. Once removed I still had to take a knife to trim away the remainder of the silicone from the headlight opening.

At this point I figured it would be a easy as stuffing the new projectors into the housing and sealing it all back up. Not so much. Turns out the inside diameter of the shroud is slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 projectors I am installing. Measuring with a caliper the inside of the shroud is 68.2mm diameter while the outside of the Mini H1 projector is 70.1mm diameter. Also, the mounting of the DEPO shrouds is by clipping to the front of the halogen projectors and these clips don't line up with the clipping indentations on the Mini H1 projectors. So even if the opening were large enough, they wouldn't properly clip on anyway.

I am taking a break and pondering my options at this point. It doesn't appear that I can remove the front lens from the headlight as it appears to use the same silicone sealant as the projector did. So removing the front to better work on shroud mounting isn't a option. Any trimming of the shroud to make it fit the Mini H1 would have to be done with it inside the housing and with some kind of mechanical means (cutting/clipping/etc.) as I don't want to spread plastic shavings all over the inside of the housing.

I have ordered some of the Mini H1 Gatling Gun Shrouds and once they arrive I am going to see how they fit and look. My current thoughts are to cut the DEPO shrouds into pieces and remove them out through the opening replacing them with the Mini H1 Gatling Gun Shrouds. We'll see how it looks when they arrive.

In the mean time, I will share some pictures and measurements.
DEPOProjector.jpg is just a picture of the DEPO projector that I removed from one of the housings. You can see some of the gray silicone sealant in the grove around the base of the projector.
RearOfDEPOHeadlight.jpg is a picture of the rear of the headlight with the projector removed. Do note that the DEPO shround fell forward in the headlight in this picture. It normally sits a little closer to the camera when fully seated.
RearOfDEPOHeadlight_Measurements.jpg has some measurements I made of the headlight openings. I made all the measurements in mm as its easier to work with than a bunch of freedom unit decimals and fractions. Feel free to convert to freedom units as needed. The measurements and colors are as follows:
Red 68.2mm Diameter of the lens opening in the shroud
Green 91.3mm Diameter of the smaller shoulder in the projector opening in the rear of the headlight.
Blue 98.6mm Diameter of the projector opening in the rear of the headlight housing.
Orange 30.6mm Depth from the rear of the projector opening to the start of the smaller shoulder that was measured in green above.
Purple 41.4mm this one is a bit of a rough guess, but with the DEPO shroud pulled all the way back in the housing where it belongs this measurement is from the little lip on the shroud to the back of the projector opening. So roughly approximating the depth from the mounting surface for the new projector to the opening in the shroud for the lens to poke through.

RearOfDEPOHeadlight_Measurements.jpg

DEPOProjector.jpg

RearOfDEPOHeadlight.jpg
 

05Single

afraid of the dark
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
8,183
Reaction score
11,449
According to CB&D brackets it should be a straight swap. I don’t see the brackets in the pic

Funny cause I just got my depos in today and I’m about to jump on the TRS Black Friday sale which include the 7.0s . I’ll be digging into the same exact project here in the next couple of weeks
BDFEAC8B-92CF-4EFA-A5CE-6AA891334DDB.jpeg
Next to my current acme H1 retro
 
OP
OP
1998chevy1500

1998chevy1500

TYF Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Posts
12
Reaction score
1
A bit of an update.

I was wrong before, the DEPO shroud does fit out through the projector opening in the back of the headlight. It doesn't seem like it will fit, and you have to wiggle and jiggle it and it still drags quite a bit on the edges to fit out through the opening, but it will fit. Once removed, all of the back of the shroud needs ground off to clear the Mini H1 7.0 projectors. With the shroud back inside the headlight housing it will need aligned with the projector before being glued in place.

Before positioning and securing the shroud I mounted the Mini H1 7.0 to the CB&D bracket. I used #8 x 3/4" screws. I mounted the bracket on the front of the projector to space the projector more rearward. Qty 3 #8 washers were also added between the bracket and projector to space it back far enough to clear the DEPO shroud.

Once the shroud was roughly in place I tacked it with a small glob of butyl rubber until I had it exactly where I wanted it. I then followed up with some JB Weld steelstick to hold it in place.

When mounting the CB&D brackets to the light housings I found the screws included with the headlights were too short and didn't provide enough grip without stripping out. I ended up using some #10 self tapping screws I had around that I cut down to length. Most of the screws ended up 3/4"-7/8" in length. I'm not so sure I'd recommend doing what I did vs finding another method. While the screws did grab quite well in the plastic I had 3 of the 6 mounts in the headlight split in two. One I was able to patch with super glue, the other two required JB Weld. In the end it all worked out, it was just a bit messy. When screwing these in it was one of those where you treated it like tapping steel, lots of 1/4 turn in then back up and clean the threads.

As you will see in the pictures I used a roll of butyl rubber to seal everything up. I put a small bead between the headlight and the CB&D brackets as well as laid a bead down between the brackets and the projector to fill the gap. More butyl rubber was also globbed around the cutoff shield solenoid connector to keep it clean and dry.

As for wiring, I used a 9006 splitter to power both the high beam bulb and also the projector cutoff shield. I did not use a harness to power the ballasts, I just ran them off the vehicle wiring harness. Do note, these trucks 9006/9005 connectors are backwards polarity from what is accepted "aftermarket standard". As such, when I just got it all wired up tonight my ballasts would not power up and current was flowing through the suppression diode on the cutoff solenoid when I put on the high beams. I had to get a bit creative to plug everything together. Luckily the 9006/9005 connectors are reversible except for the retention tab. So I just plugged everything in backwards and held it all together with zip ties. A bit trashy, but its too damn cold out right now to fool around more right now.


My thoughts.
The light output of the Mini H1 7.0 is very nice. A smooth even lighting across its width. Much much better than the DEPO projectors.
The headlights have the "DEPO shake" that has been mentioned on here and in quite a few Amazon reviews. It's not bad, but with the sharp clear lens cutoff that the Mini H1 7.0 has it is noticeable. Too bad they don't sell a Fresnel lens version to diffuse the sharp cutoff. I kept all of the headlight packing material in case I end up stuffing chunks of foam behind the lights to correct this. Time will tell.
I think my drivers side height adjuster may have already stripped out. I couldn't get the drivers side to raise up to where I wanted it and I'm not sure if I have something in the way behind the headlight or if I'm just missing the adjuster screw with the socket or if its actually stripped. With our lovely weather right now I'm going to let it set for the night.
Still need to adjust the lights a bit as I don't feel I have as much distance on low beam as I'd like. At the same time, I don't want to be the guy blinding oncoming traffic.
High beams are awesome. Not sure if it is the Mini H1 7.0 or the new 9011 bulbs in the high beams, but between the two it seems very nice. Granted I have only driven 1/2mile so I need some more seat time to decide how I like them.
I used the Hylux ballasts. They draw 5A on startup and that drops down to around 3.8A once they warm up which takes a good 30 seconds. While 5A is more than the typical 55W bulb would have drawn (4.6A) its not by much and its not for that long. I personally feel that I'm going to be fine without a wiring harness and will see how it all works out. The same size wire feeds the high beam bulb which is 65W (5.4A) so I don't see an issue.


Parts list
DEPO Projector Headlights 335-1119PXAS
CB&D brackets linked in the first post
Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 projectors
Hylux 2A88 ballasts
Morimoto XB 4500K H1 Bulbs
Morimoto MotoHo1ders
9006 splitter qty 2
Butyl rubber
JB Weld SteelStick
JB Weld


My pictures

Completed headlights

CompletedLights.jpg


DEPO shroud sitting in the housing after grinding it, held in with butyl rubber
DEPOShroud.jpg


Mini H1 mounted picture 1
MiniH1Mounted1.jpg

Mini H1 mounted picture 2

MiniH1Mounted2.jpg


Mini H1 mounted picture 3

MiniH1Mounted3.jpg
 

05Single

afraid of the dark
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
8,183
Reaction score
11,449
I was wondering about those side brackets. There’s no spot to bolt the up to the h1 bowl. Good use zip tying the headlight wires to it
04044822-53E1-4630-987C-B34C530B24E1.jpeg

Also while you had it out you should’ve added passive demon eyes 4F502345-823C-4242-9A7D-21BB8F02B13C.png

And that bracket should sit flush right ? BD63405A-07F6-46A4-B75A-9C0234046D13.jpeg
 
OP
OP
1998chevy1500

1998chevy1500

TYF Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Posts
12
Reaction score
1
I was wondering about those side brackets. There’s no spot to bolt the up to the h1 bowl. Good use zip tying the headlight wires to it
Thanks. Didn't know what else to do with this part of the bracket. I've seen some other posts where folks made some bracketry that glued to the headlight to take advantage of these extra mounts, but I was lazy and it seemed like too much work and I wasn't sure it was really needed.

Also while you had it out you should’ve added passive demon eyes

I understand the appeal, but they are just not for me. Call me an old fogey, but I like more of a stock+ look. If the styling didn't come from the factory, often in a more up model trim than I have, I usually don't go for it. These projectors were done more for a functional upgrade than looks and even then I am trying to make them look as close to stock as possible.



And that bracket should sit flush right ? View attachment 235297

So no. The lip on the large opening for the projector actually sits proud by around 1/4" compared to the screw mounting bosses. The CB&D brackets sit flush (well there is some small unevenness gaps that the butyl rubber fills) on this opening leaving the 1/4" gap you circled when you tighten the screws down. This gap coupled with the thickness of the brackets all contributes to the issue of the DEPO projector mounting screws being too short. Thus my #10 self tapping screws to get enough bite into the headlight housing.


Some more updates. Drove the setup for around 30 miles tonight in the dark. I like the lighting, but the lights still need some adjustment, the low beams are aimed too low (especially the drivers one that I believe has the stripped adjuster). Also the lights are a bit cross-eyed as the cutoffs cross at 50 or so feet out on the road, so I need to get them pointing straight down the road. The width and even lighting provided by them is outstanding though. I like the 4500K bulbs as they provide a nearly pure white light with no blue at all. Really lights the road well without being ******* your eyes. High beams are amazing!! There is no perceivable increase in foreground lighting over the low beams (which is a good thing), its just gobs of light being thrown way down the road and off into the ditches to either side.

I know a lot of people adjust their cutoffs to look like this: (edit, this didn't post at all like it looks in the editor so think of the ..... as whitespace when you visualize what I tried to draw)
......._____________
____/ _____/

but I have mine set like this:
...................._________
.........______/
_____/

and think I am really going to like it. You get better illumination of the right ditch on low beams without really making any more glare in the oncoming traffic lane. Of course my lights still need to be better adjusted so we'll see what the oncoming traffic thinks of it when I get things pointing where they belong.
 

05Single

afraid of the dark
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
8,183
Reaction score
11,449
Hopefully that adjuster is not stripped. I was looking at the bracket and looks like with some small creative shaving of the bracket the factory adjusters would fit

Also thanks for all the details and pics. I’ll probably messege you once I dig into mine.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
1998chevy1500

1998chevy1500

TYF Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Posts
12
Reaction score
1
So I messed around a bit with the DEPO adjusters and I don't think the one was stripped, but using them they feel so cheesy that I'm not sure they will even hold the headlights in place once final adjusted. Knowing they are junk, I set out on a quest to rid myself of them. My first attempt was to swap over the OEM adjusters and the OEM bracket onto the DEPO headlights...that was a failure. While I had the clearance on the OEM bracket (I trimmed it a bit cause I only had 1/8" between the H1 wires and the bracket in one spot) it turns out that the orientation of the OEM bracket is all wrong. With it all mounted up when I tried to put the abortion in the truck it wouldn't fit and when I finally got it mostly in place the headlight was facing completely the wrong way no matter how I moved the adjusters. So, yeah, in my experience using the OEM bracket on the DEPO headlights is a no go.

On to plan ...C?... OEM adjusters on DEPO headlights and brackets. This one seems to have been moderately successful. I had to notch the steel bracket that we have discussed above so that it has two "ear" notches in it. This allowed the nylon clip thing on the end of the OEM adjuster to fit into this bracket and lock. I initially tried removing the OEM nylon clip from the end of the adjuster and putting the DEPO clip on it, but the ball sizes on the adjusters are different and it wouldn't fit properly. With the notch in the steel bracket it still isn't perfect as the steel is thinner than the nylon clip is expecting so there is some play there. For now I have taken the slack up with a piece of toothpick jammed in there, but long term I need a better solution...thinking JB Weld slathered on there over top of the jammed in toothpick. Yeah, not the most professional technique, but it seems to me the most effective idea right now.

To make the OEM adjusters fit I also had to notch the bracket where the adjusters protrude through the back as the OEM adjusters are bigger. Additional screw holes were drilled to line up with the holes on the OEM adjusters. Also for the vertical adjusters I had to thin out the bracket some so the adjusters could sit centered where the DEPO adjusters were since the OEM ones are bigger. I realize this description probably isn't much help, and I didn't take any picture as I was winging my work as I went along. Hopefully someone else working through the same process can do better to document their work.

Lastly, and I did take a picture of this, I had to notch the bracket above the adjuster to allow access to the OEM adjuster screw with the headlight in the vehicle. The OEM adjusters are much nicer as they take an e-torx (external torx) of unknown size or a T15, whereas the DEPO ones use a little 4mm socket.


OEM adjusters mounted to DEPO brackets. These were almost complete at this point. You will note when comparing to the completed picture below that I have one of the DEPO screws temp jammed in the vertical adjuster until I got a #6 screw with nut to put on them. You can see my toothpick jammed in the vertical adjuster where it meets up with the steel bracket if you look close.
AssembledWithOEMAdjusters1.jpg AssembledWithOEMAdjusters2.jpg



Completed headlights with OEM adjusters on them (well completed up to this point, time will tell if I fuss with them more)

CompletedWithOEMAdjusters.jpg


Notching of the steel bracket to allow for the "ears" on the OEM adjuster to fit and lock in. My cutting/grinding with a dremel wasn't pretty but it seems to work.

NotchedBracket.jpg


My notch to reach the OEM adjuster screw. This notch is probably 3/8-1/2" deeper than the hole DEPO has here.

NotchToReachOEMAdjuster.jpg
 
OP
OP
1998chevy1500

1998chevy1500

TYF Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Posts
12
Reaction score
1
Obligatory output shots.

High Beam This is both the Mini H1 7.0 cutoff shield down and the 9011 bulbs in the DEPO high beams.

HighBeam.jpg


Low Beam

LowBeam.jpg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
130,402
Posts
1,831,918
Members
94,014
Latest member
blackVenom
Top