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Chupa Mi
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Discussion Starter #1
Sealed beam (W/T style) to Composite (Silverado style) on a 97 Chevrolet 1500.

Ever since I got this truck in July of 2000 I have not liked the way the front grill has looked with its cheap big ol funky headlights. So I decided to do something about it I looked online at various sport truck sites and parts vendors, but they wanted about $500 for the kit (aftermarket stuff not OEM mind you).
I thought to myself I could do this for less if i bought the parts seperatly so thats what I did.

Here is a list of the parts that I used and where I got them.

1. (1) Chrome grill for 94-2000 C/K composite style. $58.00 plus $15.00 shipping
2. (1) Set of (2)composite headlights for the C/K truck. $0.00 From a forum member at MyChevyTruck.com
3. (1) Set of (2)parking/turn signal lenses for the C/K $0.00 From a forum member at MyChevyTruck.com
4. (1) Set of (4) corner lenses for the C/K $0.00 From a forum member at MyChevyTruck.com
5. (2) Wiring pigtails for the 9005 bulbs $3.95 ea. through local auto parts store
6. (2) Wiring pigtails for the 9006 bulbs $3.95 ea. through local auto parts store
7. (2) Wiring pigtails for the 134 bulbs $3.95 ea. through LMC truck
8. (2) number 134 light bulbs $0.69 ea. from auto parts store
9. (8) Anchor nuts for the turn signal screws. $0.65 ea. through LMC truck
10. (8) Bolts for the headlights (you wont be able to use the bolts from the originals they are different) $0.95 ea. through LMC truck
11. (8) Screws for the parking/turn signal lenses. $0.45 ea. through LMC truck
12. (8) Nuts for the corner lenses. $0.95 ea. through LMC truck
13. Misc wiring stuff like tape, solder, heatshrink , and butt-connectors. Various prices from local auto parts stores.
14. Not needed but came in handy for me, a 12 pk of Coronas
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Procedure ,

1. Remove the Parking light lenses by removing the 2 screws (phillips) holding them in and rotating out until they are free





2. Then disconnect the wiring/bulbs from the lenses by pushing the release tab and giving them a quarter turn.

Once those two steps are done then you will have access to all the screws you need to remove in order to take the grill off.

3. Remove the 7 screws holding the grill to the radiator support (9/32"). The screw locations are marked here by green marks. Note that in the second picture there will be one screw behind each of the parking light fixtures you have already removed.




Once the screws are removed place them into a small baggie so you don't lose them because you will need them later unless you bought all new hardware.

4. Now with the screws removed you will need to pop the tabs off of the grill on the bottom to get it free from the bumper filler. On mine there was one on each side and one in the middle. I just reached in and lifted up the tabs on the bumper filler on the sides and in the middle lifted up on the grill tab and the grill came free. There will be one on each side like in the first picture and the second picture is showing the one in the middle.



Once that is done the grill should lift right out of there.


5. Now you will have to remove those big ugly headlights to make room for the new (or in my case new to me) headlights.
There will be two phillips headed screws that are larger than all the rest one on the top and one on the outside edge of the headlight.



Remove those and then remove the spring that is on the lower inside part of the headlamp and they should come out.


Also remove the nylon plastic style anchors that held in the headlight screws by squeezing them and pushing them in they should come out on the back side.

6. Now it will be time to cut off the sealed beam headlight connectors and splice in the 9005 and 9006 connectors. ( OMG he hacked the factory wiring ... relax no big deal )
On mine there were three wires green(high beams) , yellow (low beams) , and black (ground will put both connectors to one ground) I first soldered my connections then used butt style crimp connectors after that I used heat shrink tubing and finally I wrapped them up with electrical tape I also did the same thing for the new corner light connectors that were needed I spliced those into the parking/turn signal lights using the brown and blue wires that are on the original fixtures.

7. Next step for me was to put in the new (new to me) composite style headlamp fixtures. First thing I did was connect the wiring to the headlamps and then bolted them in using the bolts I bought from LMC truck (10 mm) there are 4 on each side 2 on top and 2 on bottom.





8. you have to take the old bowtie off your old grill unless you bought a new bowtie or your new grill came with one. Taking the bowtie off the old grill is easy there will be 2 13mm bolts just take those off and the bowtie will come out and just put it on the new grill and tighten down the bolts.


9. now it is time to put the corner lenses in the new grill. One set will have a hole in them those go on the bottom of the grille and each one will be lettered either L (left) or R (right) those go on with two 13 mm nuts each for a total of 8. Once thats done its time to put the grill on the truck.


10. put the grill on the truck by doing it reverse of how you removed the old grill by sliding the clips together with the ones on the bumper filler and putting the screws back into the same mounting locations in which you took them from the old grill.


11. the grill does not come with anchor nuts for the parking lamp fixtures so put those in now. 4 on each side for a total of 8.



12. Now take those new connectors the corner lamp sockets that you spliced into the turn signal/ parking lights in step number 6 and push them into the bottom corner lenses on each side. After that put the bigger parking lamps/turn signals into the new (new to me) parking lenses in the same way you removed them line up the marks and then quarter turn till they click into place.


13. now screw the fixtures into the grill using 4 screws for each side for a total of 8.


That should complete this project.
This will be an easy project for anyone it was a bit of a pain for me, but that was because I also changed the front bumper along with the grill.
Damn rusty bolts lol I put too much ummphh on the ratchet it popped off and i cut my finger open but luckily i had some medication (the 12pk of coronas) to help me out.
I know I got screwed on the price for the misc nuts and bolts from LMC truck but I really didnt want to go hunting down the right bolts and connectors this way I know I got the right connectors and hardware.

Over all it took me just shy of 3 hours to do with changing the bumper and grill if you are just doing the grill you should be able to get it done in about an hour.

I will tell you one thing.........

...... This is a lot better ......



....... Than this




If you have a W/T style truck I highly suggest this swap it is well worth the time and little bit of $$ involved and if you do decide to go ahead and do it and run into anything you need some help with just drop me a line on AOL IM or shoot me a pm.
 

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I'm back!
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794 Posts
great article! i wouldnt go so far to say that the W/T grille is that bad. 91_bowtie's rig! has a W/T grill and his looks pretty sharp/
 

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Let's Go Hunting
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126 Posts
awsome write up I am going to do the same thing do you have any pics of the splicing and everything like that mine is a cheynne grille not a w/t so I think there are four wires for the lights where any advice would be greatful
 

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Thanks a million for this write up. I successfully converted my sealed-beam front-end to a composite front end, and the truck looks completely different!!

There is only one thing I did differently, and I wanted to share it. I was having problems with my headlights so I took the complete wire harness from the donor truck and replaced the old one with that one, all the way from the plug on the firewall. It can be a pain to remove the socket from the group of sockets that plug in, but I think its the best way to do it. No splicing, no fuss. Best of all, now my headlights work again!!
 

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im brand new to this forum and thank you for the information. i looked all day for this info. I just finished putting on a grill and composite lights from a 93 full size chevy blazer two door onto my 99 chevy tahoe that had sealed beam lights. Everything went smooth and to my surprise, fit quite well. some minor mods were needed but it looks great. thanks again.
 

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i know this is a old thread, but i am currently doing this swap and i just got my pigtails from Napa and both wires comming out of the plug are black, so im assuming it doesn't matter witch wire goes to the positive? and i was also wondering witch bulbs are the highs and witch are the lows in the light itself
 
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