Exterior Semi-Tech General discussion of exterior for the Ford Ranger.
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stock headlights

Old 11-01-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 38
stock headlights

hello again everyone, I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to make stock headlights look better without replacing them completely. I have a 1997 ranger and think the stock headlights just look butt ugly but I dont want to spend the money to replace them. I love the look of prejector headlights and halo lights but am not sure if you can achieve this look with the stock lights. any help is appreciated just looking for a cheap way to make my lights look better. Thanks!
Old 11-04-2016
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,667
If they're yellowed, you can try to polish them, or wetsand then clearcoat to clear them back up; but really, you get what you pay for with headlights.

You *can* install projectors and halos into the stock housing, but honestly, just buy a set. I don't know what all is involved, but I'm pretty sure that if you screw something up, you won't see properly, nor will the guy coming towards you.

In short, there's no 'cheap' way with headlights.
Old 11-05-2016
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 12,744
Google: ford ranger headlight upgrades

Lots of option, but Cheap won't get much of an improvement, as usual.

Not a fan of HID simply because of cost, I just had to pay $130 for ONE low beam HID for my car, stock HID, didn't realize that.
Cadillac CTS, low beam bulb was out and you have to pull the front clip off to get at the 4 headlight bulbs, so I bought the 4 halogen bulbs at $17 each, which is listed as stock bulb, and would change them all at the same time.
Apparently HID bulbs were an upgrade option, and I had it.
Went back to my parts store with the halogen bulbs to get the HIDs, never bought an HID bulb before.
My parts guy looked them up and said "oh ****", I knew that was NOT good, lol.
$189 each was list price, for a light bulb........a light bulb!!!
These are not GM bulbs just off the shelf 55watt HID bulbs so not a Cadillac/GM thing
He sold it to me for $129 and I only got the one, to replace the bad one
This is Canadian $$ so 30% higher than US but still.............

So I decided to look up the benefits of HID over other bulbs.
Lasts 3 times longer.........3 halogen bulbs would be $60........so a big SO WHAT
Uses less power........not driving an electric car, I make my own power.......another SO WHAT
Whiter light..........???, I drive my Ranger and this car at night I have NEVER noticed a difference, I can see fine with either
Looks better, "that dog don't hunt", for me anyway

Just not seeing any benefit
Old 11-05-2016
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: WA
Posts: 92
There's look better and there's look brighter.

If you're just after a color change then they do make halogen bulbs that will give them a more HID color look at the expense of brightness.

But if you want them brighter then I'd suggest what ArcticWolf and RonD suggested. And, you might also try comparing the brightness of the headlights when using the headlight switch versus when connecting one of them directly to the battery. Some vehicles (not sure if the Ranger is one of them) ran full headlight power through the switch and so the headlights never got full voltage. On those if you bypassed the switch and ran a relay using the switch only as a signal to turn on the relay, the headlights could sometimes be dramatically brighter. But again, I don't know exactly how the Rangers have this set up.

Or if you are talking about the cosmetics of the Ranger headlights you could maybe try a Morimoto upgrade kit that uses true HID bulbs and projectors but it will be spendy.

Last edited by Soledad; 11-05-2016 at 12:10 PM.
Old 11-05-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 38
Im looking more for looks better because the stock headlights look like total crap but also want to be able to see well
Old 11-06-2016
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: WA
Posts: 92
You know, there are some headlights that only came on the Rangers from Brazil or Mexico or South America or something like that. They have a more distinctive look than the US Rangers. I actually like them more than the plane jane lights we get here. Every now and then they pop up on Ebay. Could be something to do some research on. And I don't think they are prohibitively expensive.

Last edited by Soledad; 11-06-2016 at 06:35 AM.
Old 11-06-2016
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Sterling
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by Young_Ford_Fanatic View Post
Im looking more for looks better because the stock headlights look like total crap but also want to be able to see well
Are you saying you do not care for the styling of the head lights? the physical design? The look of that generation ranger could be viewed as somewhat dated.

Is something like this what you had in mind?


Like anything else it is all a matter of taste and there is no right answer.
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