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Old 11-01-2012, 08:13 PM
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DIY: Convert headlights to HID!

As part of project Jeep rebuild, I've decided that it was time to ditch the old Halogens and replace them with some real candlepower! HID's!
Here's a simple DIY that should turn night into day for you as it did for me. I got the aftermarket items off eBay for a grand total of $56.00!

First of all you will need the following items pictured here to make installation a snap:
-Rachet with socket and extension
-Screwdriver (I prefer a power one as shown)
-Needlenose pliers
-CLR
-Double-sided tape with scissors
-Simple Green and rag
-Lube
-Compressed air
-Magnet pick up tool*


The aftermarket headlights I ordered. H6054 7X6 H4 SEALED BEAM CRYSTAL DIAMOND CUT HEADLIGHTS from 4 Car Option:


Here is the HID conversion kit I ordered. Diamond White H4 Xenon HID Conversion High Low Beam Kit from Motor Sport Partz. 35W High Low Beam 6000K Xenon HID Kit. Manufacturer Part Number: HIDLBK2-H4-6K:


STEP 1: Remove the aftermarket headlights from packaging and also remove the stock Halogen headlights from the Jeep. Remove the metal ring from OEM Halogens and affix it to the aftermarket headlight assemblies (shown here):


STEP 2: Turn the aftermarket headlight over and remove the dust boot. You will see the aftermarket bulb held in place by a metal retaining clip:

STEP 3: Remove the metal retaining clip from the aftermarket bulb. NOTE: The retaining clip will stay attached to one side:

Note the clip is still attached and removal of aftermarket bulb is now possible:


STEP 4: Carefully remove the aftermarket bulb:


STEP 5: Open the HID conversion kit and locate the bulb (seen here next to the aftermarket bulb):

Carefully remove the HID bulb from protective plastic cover. DO NOT TOUCH THE BULB ITSELF!

Note that the HID bulb should have the same tabs as the aftermarket bulb. These simply line up on the headlight housing before the retaining clip holds it in place:


STEP 6: Once the HID bulb is securely fitted in place of the aftermarket headlight, carefully replace the retaining metal retaining clip:

Here you can see the complete light with ballast ready to be installed:


STEP 7: Remove the metal 'outer' dish from the headlight assembly (I will simply call these the "outer" and "inner" "dishes" for simplicity:


STEP 8: The main (OEM) headlight connector will most likely be pretty corroded and mucked up. (If not, then skip to the next step.) Dip the entire plastic connector in CLR for about 3 min. to loosen up any crud stuck to it and clean the metal prongs:

Brush any remaining residue out of the prongs with a stiff bristled brush:

Finally, blow the connector out with compressed air to make sure all traces of CLR and debris are out and unit is dry:

A look at a much cleaner OEM connector:


STEP 9: Now is a good time to lube up the retainer spring attached to the inner dish. Chances are, it's really dry and corroded as well:


STEP 10: With the ratchet, socket and extension, remove the inner dish. Be mindful of where you set down all your screws!:


STEP 11: Clean the area with Simple Green (or another cleaner) and rag where you will be attaching the ballast with double-sided tape:


STEP 12: Attach the double-sided tape to one side of the ballast:


STEP 13: Attach the ballast to the area that you cleaned inside the innermost firewall behind grill plate:


STEP 14: Begin to reasemble the headlight housing. NOTE: You will have to run ALL the wires through BOTH the inner and outer dishes PRIOR to screwing either of them back into place:


NOTE: The HID wires are white to black -- red to red:


STEP 15: Shove ALL wires behind the inner dish as you begin to reasemble it back into place. This is a bit tricky and you'll wish you had another set of hands (*This is where that magnet extension tool comes in handy to fish screws out from behind the bumper etc when you drop them... and you will):


STEP 16: Reasemble the outer dish and don't forget to reattach the spring that we lubed earler. It may come off and head down into the darkness as well where you'll be employing that magnet tool again. Take your time with this and don't overstretch it when reassembling it as it may break.
Here is the complete aftermarket headlight complete with HID conversion kit in place:

Do the same for both sides and you should end up looking like this:


Lights on!!:


If you have any tips or corrections, please let them be known here so that I may post them in the original body of text here.
Thanks for looking!
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:08 PM
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Tripwire Tripwire is offline
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Quite a nice write up, my first concerns are..

Are these street legal? In all 50 ?

I would be intersted in seeing before and after night pics in a matched placement on the road,because brighter is not better if the beam is not focused correctly

Is there a increase in amp draw on the alternator?

What about bulb replacements? Can you find them at any nappa or shucks? Or mom and pop stores?

Do you have to re aim the lights

Thanks for sharing your work
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Last edited by Tripwire : 11-01-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:16 PM
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I have a tool that pops those factory plugs right apart, makes for easy cleaning..I may try the clr thought
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwire
Quite a nice write up, my first concerns are..

Are these street legal? In all 50 ?

I would be intersted in seeing before and after night pics in a matched placement on the road,because brighter is not better if the beam is not focused correctly

Is there a increase in amp draw on the alternator?

What about bulb replacements? Can you find them at any nappa or shucks? Or mom and pop stores?

Do you have to re aim the lights

Thanks for sharing your work

Thanks! I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

As far as being street legal in all 50, I believe they are as most new cars come with them standard. I could be wrong about this but my M3 has them OEM and I'm pretty sure I could drive that car anywhere and not get a ticket.

Unfortunately I don't have before and after pics. Agreed on your concern about beam focus. Thankfully (as I'm sure you know) the headlights on these rigs are adjustable. I will try to get a few pics of the beams at night from the drivers POV. As far as light output, these are putting out a LOT more light than a standard halogen. These are 6k which produces a white (almost blue tint) light as opposed to an 8 or 12k which produces a very dim looking purple light. I would never run those as I think they both look ridiculous and may in fact be illegal in most places.

Alternator... again, I don't believe that there is an increased amp draw as the ballast is converting the normal amp draw to produce the increased light output. I'm no scientist by any means and maybe someone else could answer this a bit better than myself. I will conduct a little YTU (YouTube University) however and try and get to the bottom of this. I can tell you that a 35W HID light source produce 3 times the lunmens light source when compared with standard stock 55w halogen light bulbs. It's less wattage so I can only assume less amps.

Bulb replacements will most likely not be found at chain or mom n pop stores. At least I've never seen them. Usually they only carry the standard OEM halogens and whatnot. HID bulbs are supposed to last about 3 times longer than a standard bulb and produce considerably less heat. The cycle on a typical HID bulb is 5000 hours.

As for re-aiming the lights, yes. When you replace the whole light as I have, naturally you have to readjust the beam via the adjustment screws. Very easy process.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:59 PM
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I have been accused of being both eclectic and anal-retentive. From now on I will refer such accusations to this thread!

thanks for posting this! There are a few things I would have done different, but definitely not better.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDONE
I have been accused of being both eclectic and anal-retentive. From now on I will refer such accusations to this thread!

thanks for posting this! There are a few things I would have done different, but definitely not better.

Haha yup that sounds like me alright! I will take that as a compliment.
I love the art of overkill sometimes. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well!
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:09 AM
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Excellent write-up!!! I'm definitely going to bookmark this one.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:46 AM
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Curious to see your beam pattern. Afaik all oem systems use projector housing to create a very sharp transition in the pattern for the sake of on coming motorists. Check this thread for images of the housings and beam pattern
http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9402
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Last edited by depogrig : 11-02-2012 at 08:59 AM. Reason: images too large
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwire
Quite a nice write up, my first concerns are..

Are these street legal? In all 50 ?

I would be intersted in seeing before and after night pics in a matched placement on the road,because brighter is not better if the beam is not focused correctly

Is there a increase in amp draw on the alternator?

What about bulb replacements? Can you find them at any nappa or shucks? Or mom and pop stores?

Do you have to re aim the lights

Thanks for sharing your work

Nice write-up!

Trip, the link is to the DOT page regarding vehicle lighting requirements. Its quite lengthy, and in a nutshell it reads that the housing and bulb shall be designed and tested together and meet the standards within DOT standard 108 and carry the required DOT symbol cast into the lense. From there you can come to your own conclusion.

With that said, HID's are awesome when installed in a projector housing as mentioned above. I have HID's on my bikes and they make all the difference at night.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regul...=r49CFR571.108
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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Sorry if this rains on your parade -

First, to depogrig, there is a size limit for pictures. Check the posting guidelines. Your oversized pictures will be deleted when the mods come across them.

Second, I would not want CLR anywhere around my wiring. CLR is quite acidic, and would only possibly be ok if it were properly neutralized. It's a plumbing product, not an electrical product. Dunk a little copper wire in some CLR and see what happens to it. Same thing happens if you use acid core solder for electrical wiring - green, crusty corrosion, and no more wire.

Instead I would use electronic contact cleaner, mechanical cleaning (scraping), or nothing. If you worry about the plug condition, get some replacement plugs and wire them in with proper waterproof splices. The headlight plugs are available in ceramic, which will better withstand the heat of the high-wattage bulbs.

Otherwise very interesting.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:03 AM
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Good tip on the CLR. I personally have never had a problem with it when cleaning these types of things but your comment is noted and appreciated. I did make every effort to remove all of it prior to re-installation.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:05 AM
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serehill serehill is offline
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Yeah a few more things

A good set of Hi low beam HIDS are much better. These are quartz low beam & HID Hi beam. Notice the little quartz bulb on the side these are known as
Kmart sets. The first set I bought was like that. I really did not like the quartz beam. Since then I've seen another set that was opposite quartz high & hid low. I thought I was getting a good deal until a buddy showed me his set which was hi & low beam HID. They were 20 times better. Also they get really hot. The plastic sockets will melt in time. Just like the ones that come with the chinese bypass harness. CLR will corrode the brass/copper coating as described. Porcelain sockets are the best & only way to do this. Even though the procelain socket does not go on the bulb it's good to use them for the best connection. Porcelain sockets cost about what a can of CLR cost. Also the ballast will cause the headlight switch & dimmer switches to run hotter than normal & fry usually taking the connectors on the wiring harnesses with them.
Read the articles on Bypass harnesses in the Home Grown vendors section for info on this. I went through 3 chinese harnesses got stranded on the side of the road is how I know this. I've had HIDs for 3 years. 3 harneses & a dimmer & headlight switch later I figured it out. I don't claim to know all about this stuff but it can be a mess if not done correctly I spent 6 hours in the middle of nowhere because I had to wait until daylight to drive to a place to get parts because I had no headlights. The left headlight socket melted on the headlight & blew up my switch & the ballast & the bulb. The next day the dimmer quit. I knew when I got back home I was going to build a better mouse trap . Your set up will last a while especially if you don't drive a lot at night. Keep an eye on your headlight switch & good luck. If you smell something burning look here. I'm not trying to shoot your project just try to help you make it better. I went down this road.

These are 50 state legal. Some states do restrict color though. Some new cars are comming with factory HIDs.
They would require adjustment.
They do slightly to heavily increase load depending on which HID set you use. There are set ups you can get from 35 to 100 watt HIDs. these appear to be 35's but I'm guessing I've never seen 55's with quartz. Your alternator will have no problem with extra load.
Your right Trip brighter is not better if not a well built focused lamp. The cheaper ones are that way but the most importasnt part of the focus or beam is the housing which is just as important as the lamp. This housing in this install is a great unit. My newer bulbs are set up to only radiate about 320 degrees whith the dead spot pointing down in the housing to keep light from being lost that would be going up. It focuses the light forward. The first set I had brought on a lot of oncomiong headlight flashing because they did have a flood light wide angle effect. The second set I got has a more spot light projected effect. I've never messed with the projection housings it would be interesting to get some feedback on that. I will tell you the only ay to go with HID is the clear front diamond cut housings like these in this thread. Round or square. Prismatic will not work
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If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 11-02-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:28 AM
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I would make sure you are using relays and getting power direct from the battery for your HID lights or you will toast your light switch and or wiring harness.

These draw a lot more power - volts than stock.

You can also get a HUGE improvement with just upgrading your lighting harness to a relay based system- and H4 lights can be from 55-100 watts. I am running H4-55 watts and a relay harness and have great light at low and high beams. You can also wire to run Low and High beams at the same time.

Otherwise looks good.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serehill
These are 50 state legal.
this could not be further from the truth. as previously stated the HID bulb and housing must be made to match together, this is a conversion kit, not made for one another. as you should all know, factory HIDs have a very strong cut off line to keep oncoming glare from blinding other drivers. halogen housings do not have this strong cut off line because they do not have near the light output. for example, halogen light housings put 80% of light in the usable beam pattern, 20% is lost elsewhere, including oncoming drivers eyes. this is normal and DOT approved at 35w and does not cause too much glare to other drivers. factory and DOT approved HIDs however have around 95% of the light directly on the road and only 5% dispersed elsewhere. this is because of the 3x the light output that HIDs produce do not create glare. if you put an HID bulb in a halogen housing you are now dumping 20% of that 3x brightness out at other drivers. this is not only illegal, it can kill you or another driver when they cannot see the road from your blinding headlights! the safest way to convert standard headlights to HIDs is using projector style housings as they have the direct beam pattern like HID housings, somewhere along 95%/5%... but this is still considered illegal.

another thing to consider is those cheap aftermarket halogen housings that are being used here. do they have a DOT stamp, and even if they do, are they legal? not everything with a DOT stamp is street legal. I have a set of those same cheap housings with H4 conversion halogen bulbs in my 91 XJ. the beam pattern is HORRIBLE. if i used it as a daily driver i'd switch them back to standard sealed beam units. the pattern puts probably 60% of the light about 10 feet in front of the jeep, the rest is scattered to the sides where it can't be used. there is also considerable glare to oncoming drivers just as i pass them. i would never put HIDs in these housings unless it was an off-road application only.

Al
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:06 PM
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serehill serehill is offline
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really

If you notice there are several Automobile manufacuturers running non projection systems My brothers Nissan Z is not projection from the factory. It has HIDs. I have a friend that is running these housings & they were trash with these bulbs. Then he changed to a better bulb & it works great as previously stated if everything matches you're better off I agree. None of these housings are specifying they are for HId's or Incadescents if you read the specs. Mine went through inspection & my neighbors with this square set did too. WE BOTH PASSED. They check headlights around here especially if you have HID. The first bulbs I had did blind people. A state trooper did pull mer over & told me then I was in spec. Same housings better bulbs & stopped the oncoming issues. We travel through the worst roads for DOT. They have checked my lights several times & my buddies since we fish together he's been with me. So what is up with that?? I have seen failures on the road & at the inspection staions. The troopers won't let you drive if you lights are illegal. There's a stetch of Road called Highway 198 in Henderson County Ask Lindel about it. The state troopers are everywhere they will nail you for anything they even test all window tints when they pull you over I drive through there all the time they would nail me if they were illegal. So maybe there is some Fact & truth to the statements.
HIDs are 50 state legal if proper. I wasn't trying to be the watch dog though. But you can. Yeah you can make anything Including Incadescent illegal.
Also Light is measured in Candle power or more popular Lumens. Wattage has nothing to do with brightness. Wattage is how much electricity or load the lamps need to operate.
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If you can't make it better why waste your time. No use repeating the orignal mistakes. I'm to old to push it that's why.

Last edited by serehill : 11-03-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:38 PM
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Like the idea, but the heat and focus were my concern. I used to run HID headlamps when mountain biking at night, and HATED THEM. Main reason was inconsistency of the light spectrum. Didn't matter when on just dirt, but when on wet leaves, snow, etc., as the bulbs heated up, the spectrum changed from whitish, to blue, making leaves look like rocks and messing you up in the head a little. Leading to number 2, the heat. Without air flow, you run the risk of melting the housing. Not saying it WILL happen, but it COULD happen. HID headlamps specifically say to dim the lights when not moving, hike-a-bike, etc. I just wouldn't leave them burning on high if you are stopped for a long period of time. Might not matter as much in a vehicle application, though. I'm sure cars that come with them stock are designed to handle and distribute the heat.

How many lumens are they? My HID headlamp was ~600 and LED is 900 and MUCH cooler.

Other than that, this is a good and thorough write-up, which I appreciate if you have a good result, it might be worth a try, especially if you don't have issues with the spectrum changing.
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Last edited by Dumpy : 11-03-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:21 PM
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Good write-up and discussion, my only question from a novice's perspective, is will the double sided tape hold up?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:18 AM
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Alright guys so here's the thing. I was really just looking for more light output as I don't even have an option for brights on my rig. At least not that I know of (I'm pretty sure my '77 had a switch on the floorboard for brights). Ah who knows.. it's been awhile.

Anyway, a couple things. First off, I live in Southern California where legally speaking, there's so many people with so many different things going on with their rides, that me putting in some normal looking headlights complete with HID bulbs doesn't really bother me regardless of whether or not the bulb and housing go together for DOT to approve. With that said, I AM concerned about safety issues. If there's a chance that I can burn up or somehow ruin my switch itself then obviously it's simply not worth the risk and it's easy enough to simply pull the housings out and swap the halogen bulbs back in. I could even put the stock units back in as I saved them and I may end up doing just that. Second, it's hard to do any real tests or find out how many people want to flash there brights at me as I don't even have pistons in the rig at this point.

Proper testing and pictures to come. I hope it works out I really do but at the end of the day if not, I'm not out that much $$ and it's easy enough to simply return to a sure thing. Also, not to sound insensative, but trucks in general, whether they have HID's or not, tend to be in your face a bit more than passenger cars when it comes to headlights. I'm not completely heartless however and part of my testing will be to discover just how blinding (or not) these really are and deal with that accordingly.

I do appreciate all of your feedback here and only posted this to serve as a detailed how-to regardless.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:23 AM
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Following this, dim headlights being kind of a big issue up here in Alaska, especially in the winter!! Thought about just buying the E-codes from BJ's and running those, not really a problem up here.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atla
Good write-up and discussion, my only question from a novice's perspective, is will the double sided tape hold up?

Having used it on ballasts for an HID conversion I did on my old Evo IX, I can say definitely! 3M makes a pretty darn sticky product.
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No Headlights! MrFurious General FSJ Tech 18 06-17-2006 08:30 PM
Headlights on = voltage drop 'til battery is near dead....... billyrb General FSJ Tech 6 02-20-2004 12:02 AM


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