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-   Express & G-Series Vans (https://chevroletforum.com/forum/express-g-series-vans-30/)
-   -   can you update to new style headlights and grill? (https://chevroletforum.com/forum/express-g-series-vans-30/can-you-update-new-style-headlights-grill-35559/)

ssincity August 28th, 2010 6:43 PM

can you update to new style headlights and grill?
 
Noob with a question.

I just bought a 03 1500 express. It has the small square head lights, but first year for the newer style front end.I have see a ton of other 2003 now that have the newer style head lights and not the small one like ours? I used the search function but no luck. Can I just change out the grill and lights?

Thanks

zuren October 9th, 2010 3:57 PM

Bump. No one knows if the chrome grille is directly compatible and quad headlights have the wiring present for plug'n'play?

USA 1 January 20th, 2011 9:04 PM

comp headlight conversion
 
see my response to this on the earlier model years.

the wiring is different and you will need to do some alteration. well worth it in my opinion.

https://chevroletforum.com/forum/express-g-series-vans-30/front-clip-swap-39307/

anjy834u January 21st, 2011 4:19 AM

of course u can change the headlights and grills. but tale help of a dealer. to get compatible parts check amazon.

zuren January 21st, 2011 9:23 AM


Originally Posted by USA 1 (Post 170339)
see my response to this on the earlier model years.

the wiring is different and you will need to do some alteration. well worth it in my opinion.

https://chevroletforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39307

I thought I would update this thread. It does appear that the different front ends can be swapped rather easily. Mine is a 2005 cargo van. Parts needed:

- Grille
- Composite (quad) headlights
- Radiator support for composite headlights
- Wiring harness for composite headlights

I'm electing to swap out the radiator support which presents a bit of extra work. Lines for the A/C and the transmission cooler pass through cut-outs in the support so the A/C needs to be evacuated and the transmission may need to be drained before those lines can be disconnected. I have everything except the Composite light wiring harness that I'll probably need to buy at the dealer.

Does anyone have a part number for that wiring harness? I'd like to avoid the dealer prices if I can.

Thanks!

USA 1 January 21st, 2011 1:06 PM


Originally Posted by zuren (Post 170393)
I thought I would update this thread. It does appear that the different front ends can be swapped rather easily. Mine is a 2005 cargo van. Parts needed:

- Grille
- Composite (quad) headlights
- Radiator support for composite headlights
- Wiring harness for composite headlights

I'm electing to swap out the radiator support which presents a bit of extra work. Lines for the A/C and the transmission cooler pass through cut-outs in the support so the A/C needs to be evacuated and the transmission may need to be drained before those lines can be disconnected. I have everything except the Composite light wiring harness that I'll probably need to buy at the dealer.

Does anyone have a part number for that wiring harness? I'd like to avoid the dealer prices if I can.

Thanks!

Most salvage yards will sell you that harness for 20 bux or less in our area.

It's worth the time you take to go and get it as you may find other items to upgrade your van. Of course, that's easy to say for an old retiree.

Try a mass Craigslist search by typing a google search like: 2005 Chevy Express Van Parts site: craigslist.org

My total swap over cost for the grille, headlights and bumper was a whopping $210 cash. 1 hour at the wrecking yard in Mason, MI plus 1 hour in the driveway to cut and assemble.

Good luck with your conversion. BTW, getting new extruded nuts for your conversion is smart if you are in a salty winter environment. Trade Fastener in Redford, MI has these in stock if you cannot find them locally.

USA 1 January 21st, 2011 1:26 PM


Originally Posted by anjy834u (Post 170357)
of course u can change the headlights and grills. but tale help of a dealer. to get compatible parts check amazon.

Who in hell wants a dealer to help? Too expensive and I believe this forum is more of a do it yourself venue.

brianr513 August 24th, 2011 11:22 PM

2003-11 Express Headlight Conversion
 
Actually this is a simple swap. I bought my parts from CERTIFIT.com. I purchased (1) RH Composite Headlight Assembly complete with light bulbs, (1) LH Headlight Assembly complete with bulbs about $45ea., (1) Chrome Grill assembly about $85.00, (2) 9005 headlight socket @ autozone $6.00ea, (2) 9006 headlight sockets $6.00ea.
I removed old sealed beam headlight bulb/buckets, turn signals, grill and hardware. I reused all clips/bolts from grill and installed on new grill including Bowtie emblem. I then cut off sealed beam sockets and using wire connectors installed (2) black wires from each new socket (9005 high beam and 9006 low beam) and crimped on existing black wire from harness and installed remaining wire from each socket and installed on remaining green/yellow wires on harness. Should be a yellow wire and green wire, test which is low/high beam and crimp onto new sockets. NOTE: You DO NOT have to remove core support. The factory sealed beam ABS plastic has a faint line surrounding the round hole. This can be cut out using a dremel tool. Be careful not to cut anything behind the support. You can go to CERTIFIT (check to see if one is local) and take a picture of the composite headlight core support and use it as a guide for the cut out, that is what I did. After cutting is finished, connect new sockets to preinstalled light bulbs, install speed nuts in corresponding holes in core support, slip lower tabs of headlights into cut out slots in existing core support and insert 2 screws into speed nuts in upper headlight holes on core support. Snap grill into place and reinstall (2) bolts in upper grill and (2) bolts behind turn signal assemblies and reinstall turn signal assemblies. DONE!

zuren August 25th, 2011 9:55 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I forgot to close this thread out. The swap was completed earlier this year. The grille was a bit more than quoted above but the light housings were right around $50/ea. The are no salvage yards that are conveniently close and I didn't want to screw with soldering new connectors onto the existing harness, so I bought a new harness through GMPartsDirect.com. Then I did as described above leaving the existing radiator support in the van, using a Dremel to follow the raised outline to make the composite lights fit and buying some speed nuts and stainless hardware to bolt the housings in. I reused some of the connecting hardware from the existing grille. Overall, it wasn't terribly difficult. Now I have a raditor support for composite housings and a sealed beam grille I'm trying to sell without much luck (I had already purchased the support).

Before
Attachment 12635

After (also showing 1" body lift and Offroad Warehouse light bar [for Silverado] installed)
Attachment 12636

Attachment 12637

OpelBlitz September 1st, 2011 10:45 AM

I have my eyes set on anExpress very much like yours, except a different color. Thanks for the thread; this will be useful information.


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