2017 GMC Denali Custom Headlights

Paintwork, Projector Swap


An all-too-common situation: a customer calls wanting a simple service and is completely unaware of potentially more-desirable services available.  In this case, the client originally just wanted to black out all of the interior chrome on his headlights in order to complete his truck’s blacked-out theme.  I proposed that we replace the weak OEM projectors with upgraded aftermarket ones while the headlight assembly was apart.  He was thoroughly unimpressed with his current nighttime visibility and was all for the upgrade.  Cool, let’s get to work!


The truck arrived and the grill and some necessary trim was removed.  Headlights were removed from the vehicle and then disassembled, as per the norm around here.


This was my first time working with (read: removing) a D5S bulb/ballast combination setup.  Pretty cool compact stuff with decent performance, but certainly nothing to brag about.  The projectors themselves were also extremely subpar and were great candidates for replacement.  For this build, we utilized the NHK G5-X projector assembly.  These projectors have a substantially higher build quality which results in a brighter, wider, and more clear beam output compared to the OEM equipment.


Installing the new NHK projector was rather straight-forward with the appropriate RetroQuick bracket.   When it was all said and done, the headlight assembly looked… well… exactly the same.  Not very exciting, I know.


The original intention of this build was to paint everything gloss black.  In order to accomplish this, all of the trim was disassembled.  Then all of the chrome was stripped off and a black base coat went down followed by an automotive clear coat.  Then the diffuser inserts were re-installed and the trim was put back into the front lens.  Good stuff.


Time to fully assemble the headlights and take some completed pictures.  Looking good!


The Morimoto 50W ballasts (driving the Morimoto D2S bulbs) were properly installed along with a relay harness and capacitor link in order to guarantee a lifetime of reliable performance.


Testing…. testing…. oh yea, now that’s a pretty cutoff.


Fully assembled and showing off the truck in the shop:



And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the reveal of the headlight beam pattern!  Oh baby this thing was beaaaautiful.  Once it was aimed in correctly, it allowed for fantastic visibility all the way down the street without blinding any oncoming traffic.  Great success!


And that’s the conclusion of this fantastic headlight build story.  Have yourselves a wonderful evening!



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