Aftermarket Headlamp Unit Replacement 2005 RX-330 - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion


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Aftermarket Headlamp Unit Replacement 2005 RX-330

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Old 02-28-16, 03:10 PM   #1
Tony2
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Default Aftermarket Headlamp Unit Replacement 2005 RX-330

Currently none of the available aftermarket units have AFS. Federal requirements are that all HID units have leveling. Leveling moves the light up and down and is designed to avoid blinding oncoming drivers. AFS is a convenience feature installed in some 2005 RX models and all thereafter which moves the light to the side of a turn to avoid blind turns.

Passenger side headlight failed in my RX-330 in Covington LA and we had to drive across the New Orleans causeway at night with only one headlight – not fun. Next day I went to dealer who told me headlamp unit had water in it (Achilles heel of the RX) and entire unit would have to be replaced for $1900. Saw no other options so I had them go ahead with this and price came in at $1500 (“reused some parts”). When I got the car home found there was water in the remaining headlamp (driver’s) – you would think they might have told me this was going to need to be replaced. I was mad enough to decide to change out the driver side headlamp unit myself.

Ordered driver side Japanese headlamp unit Amazon ($86). Headlamp unit does not come with the ballast or the bulb so those have to be ordered separately. Denso D2S D2R HID Xenon OEM ballast ($96) and Phillips D2S bulb (85122 $68) both available on Amazon. (Most RX cars of this vintage were made in Japan. But production in Canada started in 2003 for the RX-330. If you have a later model, you first need to check VIN number to see if you need Japanese or American made headlamp unit and parts.) Other lights required can be obtained locally before you attempt the repair: 9005 65W standard running light ($20), parking light 992/7440 LL, 168 LL. I used Sylvania. Ballast comes with an input harness that has incorrect plug on car side. There are several parts you will have to reuse from the old unit: input harness to ballast (take it carefully off the old ballast - easy to break), leveling motor which plugs into a dummy cutout in the new headlamp unit (U-Tube videos are bad on this but all you need to do is slip out the dummy ball and slip in the ball from the old unit), rubber gasket on the main light enclosure.

There are multiple really good U-Tube videos. Watch all of Eric Kirkhuff on the headlamp unit and Winston Buzon “DIY How to Remove Front Bumper” is fantastic even though it is about 2002 IS300 (very similar). Yes, you do have to remove the front bumper – dealing with the wiring harnesses will be almost impossible if you don’t.

My repair went nicely. Front bumper removal took about 35 minutes (for a neophyte). Main item here is to keep track of the screws and clip connectors (I ordered 10 Lexus clips online for $6 and when a few broke on removal, not a problem) and put them back in the same place. Unit went in easily.

Only thing I messed up is the reason for this post. I have AFS (Automatic focusing system) light on. If your 2005 RX-330 has AFS there will be two modules in the old unit you don’t see in the U-Tube videos inside the enclosed main light housing. One lies just below the main light and the other to the upper outside. The entire unit has a superstructure added to support this. Putting it into the new aftermarket unit to make AFS work would require taking the entire unit apart and getting it back together correctly – almost impossible. But you CAN take out the two modules (about 20 minutes) from the old unit, tape them together and hook them up to the cable connector going to the bottom of the unit so that the car computer will be fooled into thinking AFS is working and the indicator light won’t come on. You need to check function of the new headlamp unit before putting the bumper back on by turning the car on in a dark garage and making sure leveling function works – lights should move to the top then bottom then level. If AFS light is on at this time, you can extinguish it by hooking the modules to the cable harness and locating this somewhere outside the lamp unit. I didn’t realize I had this problem until car was entirely put back together and I can’t even see the harness involved now. Unlikely to take off the bumper to fix just this. Additional benefit is that if you are replacing just one headlamp unit with aftermarket, other unit will retain AFS if you follow this procedure – I gave this up by not connecting the modules.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:57 AM   #2
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I have the Adaptive Front Lighting System and never had troubles (thankfully)...But why didn't you just get the lights replaced under the supplemental warranty? Lexus covered headlights with water build up.
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Old 02-29-16, 05:17 PM   #3
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Warranty is only good for 9 years. I tried last year on my 2004. The service advisor didn't check, had already installed the new headlamp then called me to say sorry, they had to take it off and put back the old one. I was out of warranty period.
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Old 03-01-16, 09:22 AM   #4
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Oh dang. Well that sucks. :-/
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Old 03-05-16, 08:58 PM   #5
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Found the harness and connected the scavenged module and motor from previous headlamp unit for AFS (outside the headlamp unit). AFS light still on. Anyone know a fix to turn it off?
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Old 04-27-16, 07:31 AM   #6
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[B][ I appreciate the info !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony2 View Post
Currently none of the available aftermarket units have AFS. Federal requirements are that all HID units have leveling. Leveling moves the light up and down and is designed to avoid blinding oncoming drivers. AFS is a convenience feature installed in some 2005 RX models and all thereafter which moves the light to the side of a turn to avoid blind turns.

Passenger side headlight failed in my RX-330 in Covington LA and we had to drive across the New Orleans causeway at night with only one headlight – not fun. Next day I went to dealer who told me headlamp unit had water in it (Achilles heel of the RX) and entire unit would have to be replaced for $1900. Saw no other options so I had them go ahead with this and price came in at $1500 (“reused some parts”). When I got the car home found there was water in the remaining headlamp (driver’s) – you would think they might have told me this was going to need to be replaced. I was mad enough to decide to change out the driver side headlamp unit myself.

Ordered driver side Japanese headlamp unit Amazon ($86). Headlamp unit does not come with the ballast or the bulb so those have to be ordered separately. Denso D2S D2R HID Xenon OEM ballast ($96) and Phillips D2S bulb (85122 $68) both available on Amazon. (Most RX cars of this vintage were made in Japan. But production in Canada started in 2003 for the RX-330. If you have a later model, you first need to check VIN number to see if you need Japanese or American made headlamp unit and parts.) Other lights required can be obtained locally before you attempt the repair: 9005 65W standard running light ($20), parking light 992/7440 LL, 168 LL. I used Sylvania. Ballast comes with an input harness that has incorrect plug on car side. There are several parts you will have to reuse from the old unit: input harness to ballast (take it carefully off the old ballast - easy to break), leveling motor which plugs into a dummy cutout in the new headlamp unit (U-Tube videos are bad on this but all you need to do is slip out the dummy ball and slip in the ball from the old unit), rubber gasket on the main light enclosure.

There are multiple really good U-Tube videos. Watch all of Eric Kirkhuff on the headlamp unit and Winston Buzon “DIY How to Remove Front Bumper” is fantastic even though it is about 2002 IS300 (very similar). Yes, you do have to remove the front bumper – dealing with the wiring harnesses will be almost impossible if you don’t.

My repair went nicely. Front bumper removal took about 35 minutes (for a neophyte). Main item here is to keep track of the screws and clip connectors (I ordered 10 Lexus clips online for $6 and when a few broke on removal, not a problem) and put them back in the same place. Unit went in easily.

Only thing I messed up is the reason for this post. I have AFS (Automatic focusing system) light on. If your 2005 RX-330 has AFS there will be two modules in the old unit you don’t see in the U-Tube videos inside the enclosed main light housing. One lies just below the main light and the other to the upper outside. The entire unit has a superstructure added to support this. Putting it into the new aftermarket unit to make AFS work would require taking the entire unit apart and getting it back together correctly – almost impossible. But you CAN take out the two modules (about 20 minutes) from the old unit, tape them together and hook them up to the cable connector going to the bottom of the unit so that the car computer will be fooled into thinking AFS is working and the indicator light won’t come on. You need to check function of the new headlamp unit before putting the bumper back on by turning the car on in a dark garage and making sure leveling function works – lights should move to the top then bottom then level. If AFS light is on at this time, you can extinguish it by hooking the modules to the cable harness and locating this somewhere outside the lamp unit. I didn’t realize I had this problem until car was entirely put back together and I can’t even see the harness involved now. Unlikely to take off the bumper to fix just this. Additional benefit is that if you are replacing just one headlamp unit with aftermarket, other unit will retain AFS if you follow this procedure – I gave this up by not connecting the modules.
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Old 05-02-16, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakenbake View Post
I have the Adaptive Front Lighting System and never had troubles (thankfully)...But why didn't you just get the lights replaced under the supplemental warranty? Lexus covered headlights with water build up.
Was three months out of warranty
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