Solarforce 5-mode drop-in running dim?

Hello all,

Can a drop-in be damaged in a way that reduces light output but still functions? A damaged driver maybe?

I am flashlight newb who recently was inspired by Match’s Mini-Maglite P60 mod. I used a Solarforce LC-XP G 5-mode (4.2 to 8 v) drop-in while attempting to put this together. I used this one as it was the only one that would work with the two AAs; my generic Superbright R2 modules would not light at all. Of course I dropped, sanded, and generally fumbled the pill in the process. It worked, but I found the light output to be disappointing. I assumed this was just the result of using two AA batteries, but after trying two 14500 batteries the light only marginally improved. So I dropped the pill back into the P60 reflector and back into a 2 CR123 host, and it is still dim.

It still cycles through all 5 modes, but a Mini-Maglite with a cheap Nite-ize LED conversion nearly equals its output on high. This thing used to be much brighter!

Thoughts appreciated, thanks,