FJ62 Sealed Beam Full HID Bi-Xenon Projector Retrofit how-to and HID FAQ (1 Viewer)

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So I was searching and hoping that I'd find a FAQ or how-to on this in here but I couldn't seem to find one. Maybe my search terms were wrong? People seem to love to do the harness and H4 upgrade on here and I'm sure it's fine for some people but having only owned cars with HIDs the last ~10 years I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with even a well engineered halogen system. Hence going HID.

This will eventually (once I get time to start in on the retrofit) be a how-to or FAQ for retrofitting our sealed beams the correct way. I'm sure there are more folks than I who want to do this. But for now it will serve as a FAQ on HID lighting in general, to be updated later (hopefully not much later).

A little bit about HID systems...

The difference between HID and halogen

High-intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) are a type of electrical gas-discharge lamp which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused aluminaarc tube. This tube is filled with both gas and metal salts. The gas facilitates the arc's initial strike. Once the arc is started, it heats and evaporates the metal salts forming a plasma, which greatly increases the intensity of light produced by the arc and reduces its power consumption. High-intensity discharge lamps are a type of arc lamp.

High-intensity discharge lamps make more visible light per unit of electric power consumed than fluorescent and incandescent lamps since a greater proportion of their radiation is visible light in contrast to heat.


Like fluorescent lamps, HID lamps require a ballast to start and maintain their arcs. The method used to initially strike the arc varies: mercury vapor lamps and some metal halide lamps are usually started using a third electrode near one of the main electrodes while other lamp styles are usually started using pulses of high voltage.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_discharge_lamp)

A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten halogen lamp or quartz iodine lamp, is an incandescent lamp that has a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine added. The combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which redeposits evaporated tungsten back on the filament, increasing its life and maintaining the clarity of the envelope. Because of this, a halogen lamp can be operated at a higher temperature than a standard gas-filled lamp of similar power and operating life, producing light of a higher luminous efficacy and color temperature. The small size of halogen lamps permits their use in compact optical systems for projectors and illumination.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen_lamp)

What is an incandescent lamp?

An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light which produces light with a filament wire heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it, until it glows (see Incandescence). The hot filament is protected from oxidation with a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas (or evacuated). In a halogen lamp, filament evaporation is prevented by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, extending its life. The light bulb is supplied with electrical current by feed-through terminals or wires embedded in the glass. Most bulbs are used in a socket which provides mechanical support and electrical connections.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incandescent_light_bulb)

Differences in reflectors/lenses and bulbs

Halogen headlamps and HID headlamps require very different optics to produce a safe and effective—not to mention legal—beam pattern. How come? Because of the very different characteristics of the two kinds of light source.
A halogen bulb has a cylindrical light source: the glowing filament. The space immediately surrounding the cylinder of light is completely dark, and so the sharpest contrast between bright and dark is along the edges of the cylinder of light. The ends of the filament cylinder fade from bright to dark. An HID bulb, on the other hand, has a crescent-shaped light source -- the arc. It's crescent-shaped because as it passes through the space between the two electrodes, its heat causes it to try to rise. The space immediately surrounding the crescent of light glows in layers...the closer to the crescent of light, the brighter the glow. The ends of the arc crescent are the brightest points, and immediately beyond these points is completely dark, so the sharpest contrast between bright and dark is at the ends of the crescent of light.

This diagram shows the very different characteristics of the filament vs. the arc:

hidbeamcomparison.jpg


When designing the optics (lens and/or reflector) for a lamp, the characteristics of the light source are the driving factor around which everything else must be engineered. If you go and change the light source, you've done the equivalent of putting on somebody else's eyeglasses: You can probably make them fit on your face OK, but you won't see properly.

Here are some downloadable PDF tests done by DOT and CalCoast Labs on halogen headlamps equipped with "HID kits":

Test #1, with 9004 "HID kit" vs. 9004 bulb
(http://dastern.torque.net/techdocs/HID/HB1_HID_Retro.pdf)

Test #2, with 9006 "HID kit" vs. 9006 bulb
(http://dastern.torque.net/techdocs/HID/HB4_HID_Retro.pdf)

And here is a documentary done by Auto Express showing the results of installing "HID kits" in UN ("ECE", "E-code", "European") headlamps, which are designed for notably tight control of glare on low beam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y5n38wDe684

(http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html)

Putting HID bulbs in a halogen lens/reflector is BAD…here’s why:

Now, what about those "retrofit" jobs in which the beam cutoff still appears sharp? Don't be fooled; it's an error to judge a beam pattern solely by its cutoff. In many lamps, especially the projector types, the cutoff will remain the same regardless of what light source is behind it. Halogen bulb, HID capsule, cigarette lighter, firefly, hold it up to the sun—whatever. That's because of the way a projector lamp works. The cutoff is simply the projected image of a piece of metal running side-to-side behind the lens. Where the optics come in is in distributing the light under the cutoff. And, as with all other automotive lamps (and, in fact, all optical instruments), the optics are calculated based not just on where the light source is within the lamp (focal length) but also the specific photometric characteristics of the light source...which parts of it are brighter, which parts of it are darker, where the boundaries of the light source are, whether the boundaries are sharp or fuzzy, the shape of the light source, and so forth.

...

The only available arc capsules have a longitudinal arc (arc path runs front to back) on the axis of the bulb, but many popular halogen headlamp bulbs, such as 9004, 9007, H3 and H12, use a filament that is transverse (side-to-side) and/or offset (not on the axis of the bulb) central axis of the headlamp reflector). In this case, it is impossible even to roughly approximate the position and orientation of the filament with a "retrofit" HID capsule. Just because your headlamp might use an axial-filament bulb, though, doesn't mean you've jumped the hurdles—the laws of optical physics don't bend even for the cleverest marketing department, nor for the catchiest HID "retrofit" kit box.

A relatively new gimmick is HID arc capsules set in an electromagnetic base so that they shift up and down or back and forth. These are being marketed as "dual beam" kits that claim to address the loss of high beam with fixed-base "retrofits" in place of dual-filament halogen bulbs like 9004, 9007, H4, and H13. A cheaper variant of this is one that uses a fixed HID bulb with a halogen bulb strapped or glued to the side of it...yikes! What you wind up with is two poorly-formed beams, at best. The reason the original equipment market has not adopted the movable-capsule designs they've been playing with since the mid 1990s is because it is impossible to control the arc position accurately so it winds up in the same position each and every time.

In the original-equipment field, there are single-capsule dual-beam systems appearing ("BiXenon", etc.), but these all rely on a movable optical shield, or movable reflector—the arc capsule stays in one place. The Original Equipment engineers have a great deal of money and resources at their disposal, and if a movable capsule were a practical way to do the job, they'd do it. The "retrofit" kits certainly don't address this problem anywhere near satisfaction. And even if they did, remember: Whether a fixed or moving-capsule "retrofit" is contemplated, solving the arc-position problem and calling it good is like going to a hospital with two broken ribs, a sprained ankle and a crushed toe and having the nurse say "Well, you're free to go home now, we've put your ankle in a sling!" Focal length (arc/filament positioning) is only just ONE issue out of several.

The most dangerous part of the attempt to "retrofit" Xenon headlamps is that sometimes you get a deceptive and illusory "improvement" in the performance of the headlamp. The performance of the headlamp is perceived to be "better" because of the much higher level of foreground lighting (on the road immediately in front of the car). However, the beam patterns produced by this kind of "conversion" virtually always give less distance light, and often an alarming lack of light where there's meant to be a relative maximum in light intensity. The result is the illusion that you can see better than you actually can, and that's not safe. [Emphasis added]

It's tricky to judge headlamp beam performance without a lot of knowledge, a lot of training and a lot of special equipment, because subjective perceptions are very misleading. Having a lot of strong light in the foreground, that is on the road close to the car and out to the sides, is very comforting and reliably produces a strong impression of "good headlights". The problem is that not only is foreground lighting of decidedly secondary importance when travelling much above 30 mph, but having a very strong pool of light close to the car causes your pupils to close down, worsening your distance vision...all the while giving you this false sense of security. This is to say nothing of the massive amounts of glare to other road users and backdazzle to you, the driver, that results from these "retrofits".

HID headlamps also require careful weatherproofing and electrical shielding because of the high voltages involved. These unsafe "retrofits" make it physically possible to insert an HID bulb where a halogen bulb belongs, but this practice is illegal and dangerous, regardless of claims by these marketers that their systems are "beam pattern corrected" or the fraudulent use of established brand names to try to trick you into thinking the product is legitimate. In order to work correctly and safely, HID headlamps must be designed from the start as HID headlamps.

(http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html)

Legality of throwing HID kits/bulbs in halogen lenses/reflectors:

What about the law, what does it have to say on the matter? In virtually every first-world country, HID "retrofits" into halogen headlamps are illegal. They're illegal clear across Europe and in all of the many countries that use European ECE headlight regulations. They're illegal in the US and Canada. Some people dismiss this because North American regulations, in particular, are written in such a manner as to reject a great many genuinely good headlamps. Nevertheless, on the particular count of HID "retrofits" into halogen headlamps, the world's regulators and engineers all say DON'T!

(http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html)

So, how do I retrofit SAFELY and CORRECTLY?

The only safe and legitimate HID retrofit is one that replaces the entire headlamp—that is lens, reflector, bulb...the whole system—with optics designed for HID usage. In the aftermarket, it is possible to get clever with the growing number of available products, such as Hella's modular projectors available in HID or halogen, and fabricate your own brackets and bezels.

Installing HID optics (such as projectors designed to accept an HID bulb) in halogen headlamp housings can be done, but it is a great deal more complicated and difficult to do correctly than is commonly understood. Typically the process involves baking the headlight assembly to loosen the adhesive, removing the lens, cutting the reflector, mounting the HID projector, and using silicone to reseal the lens. Sounds simple? Sure, but there are significant and substantial issues and challenges. The projector has to be mounted very precisely with respect to its centre of gravity; if not, it will shake out of alignment (and eventually off its mounts). Many sealants, adhesives, and paints produce gases that attack and fog lamp optics. The low beam projector has to be aimed correctly relative to the high beam or else the finished headlamp will be aimable so the lows or the highs are pointed in the correct direction, but not both. Once the headlamp has been opened, it is very challenging to get a good and durable seal against moisture and dirt ingress. None of these challenges is insurmountable, and there are outfits specialising in this kind of optical transplant. Shop very carefully if you are in the market, pay careful attention to the guarantee offered on the work, and be aware that even if the transplanted optics come from a legal headlamp, the end result—the modified headlamp—is no longer compliant with the applicable regulations.

(http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html)

A little bit on retrofitting from what I have learned

A common set of quality HID projector housings (bi-xenon or single beam) will cost upwards of $100 bucks, generally around $150 from what I’ve seen. There are various types and styles and some are more efficient than others. Whether or not I, personally, care too much about the relative efficiency (or whether I would notice, rather) is to be determined. My main concern is that I don’t blind people and that I am (at least partially) in compliance with the law. That said, here in Washington State I believe it is illegal to retrofit any vehicle not produced with OEM HIDs. Don’t quote me on that.

In terms of most of our Cruiser styles here aftermarket H4 style projector conversion lenses can be found on eBay for cheap. 4x6, 7x6, and 7” round sealed beam H4 projector style replacements can all be found for between $25 and $50. Most, from what I’ve found, are decent quality as well. That helps justifying supporting a sweat shop full of 12 year olds in Communist China a little easier for me…

It is important to note that when purchasing a new housing like this it doesn't matter whether you purchase a projector or normal halogen because when you retrofit with an HID projector it is self contained and will utilize neither the projector nor lens of the kit you buy. It is also important to note that you REALLY need to get a set with clear lenses. The H4 upgrades using the frosted (or whatever they’re called) lenses will NOT let your retrofit function properly. They will scatter/diffuse your light and you will essentially have converted a sealed beam housing for nothing. Good going. You just wasted a ton of time and elbow grease (not to mention that of a 12 year old in that sweat shop in Communist China I talked about earlier…).

There are a few resources which will help guide in the retrofit process…

The first is The Retrofit Source (http://www.theretrofitsource.com/). They sell the good, high quality stuff and don’t dick you around. I have received good service from them and they are more than forthcoming with any information and experience of theirs which will help YOU in performing their retrofit. They offer sales of kits and associated odds and ends as well as the ability to have them perform the retrofit for you. They also offer a list of local places that they endorse that can do retrofits for you. If you happen to live by one, score. Not sure what the price for something like that is, but I am assuming it would be fair.

HID Planet (http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/forum.php) is a forum dedicated to ALL things HID. There are tons of FAQs/how-tos and it’s a great place to ask questions and get answers.

So, that brings me to the end of my current info. As noted I will post/add an actual how-to on retrofitting my FJ62’s 4x6 sealed beam housings when I get to it (hopefully within the next few days).

Hope this helps. PM with questions, suggestions, or corrections.

-Aaron
 

Spook50

My daughter likes Stitch
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Very curious to see how this goes for you. I've done the harness upgrade and Hella H4 & H1 conversion and love it, but having a set of 55w 50000k HIDs for the low beams would be great if it could be done right.

BTW where in WA are you? Eastern or western?

Sent from OBAMAPHONE!
 

Tapage

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I was around this idea for so long .. never made that happen .. so fall into Trucklite LED rounds ..
 
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Yeah, I bought 35 watters because while 55s are nice, there's no need for them and the 35 watters will put less strain overall on the electrical system (The Crusher likes this...he told me).

And I'm in Wenatchee, Eastern Washington.
 

Spook50

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I wouldn't see the retrofit itself being difficult per se, save for the fact that it protrudes what looks to be at least two inches behind the H4 housing, which in the case of those of us with a G34 battery, makes it a no-go right there. If there ends up being a way to circumvent that, it'd be outstanding.
 
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Yeah, I'm finding the actual retrofit process nothing more than a PITA. Going to pick up some epoxy and aluminum tape now... It's the clearance issues behind the light that I'm a bit worried about.

Good thing I've got a Sawsall and some red paint sitting around. *rolls eyes* Not looking forward to cutting ol' Money Pit up.
 

Spook50

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Yeah, I'm finding the actual retrofit process nothing more than a PITA. Going to pick up some epoxy and aluminum tape now... It's the clearance issues behind the light that I'm a bit worried about.

Good thing I've got a Sawsall and some red paint sitting around. *rolls eyes* Not looking forward to cutting ol' Money Pit up.

How do you plan to circumvent the battery clearance issue?

You taking pics as you go?

Sent from OBAMAPHONE!
 
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Yeah, I'm taking pics. I'm almost done (knock on wood). I've got both projectors mounted in the housings and they're almost ready to be sealed up and put in the rig. I'm actually thinking that I may not have any issues with clearance (crosses fingers). We'll see. I'll report back.

So far it's taken me about 5 hours.
 
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Retrofit How-To

[MOD/S: Could you kindly merge this with post one?]

OK, sorry it took me like a week. Christmas and all that s***...

NOTE: I used Morimoto Mini H1 projectors with "mini gatling gun" shrouds from theretrofitsource.com for this retrofit.

Tools/Parts/Materials Required:

- H4 sealed beam projector replacements
- Full HID retrofit setup (projectors, shrouds, bulbs, ballasts, wiring harness)
- Oven
- Various sizes phillips and flathead screwdrivers
- Epoxy (I found a mix of epoxy putty and normal was helpful to plug larger gaps)
- Aluminum tape (used for sealing ducts -- *not* "duct tape" -- this stuff is actual aluminum)
- Sawsall with metal blade or grinding wheel or Dremmel with grinding attachment
- Razor knife
- Vise
- Rubbing alcohol
- 4-8 hours depending on how handy/lazy you are with this type of stuff
____________________________________________________________

Just to give you an idea of what you'll be doing you can see here that you're trying to fit a fairly large HID projector and shroud assembly into a fairly small 4x6 sealed beam housing. This requires lots of modification and heavy amounts of patience, applied liberally.

HID projector assembly versus 4x6 sealed beam:

97818979.jpg

78548153.jpg


HID projector assembly with shroud versus 4x6 sealed beam:

70685024.jpg

_____________________________________________________________

1. The first step is to procure some cheap-o eBay H4 sealed beam projector housings. These can be found all over eBay for ~$50 for four of them. This is good because it's good to have extras around in case you're like me and break one or two due to the learning curve. You can just buy two as well, but I'd recommend getting four.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you get clear lens covers/clear glass. This whole thing will be hosed if you buy housings with the refractive design (like normal sealed beams).

26208641.jpg



2. Once you've got the new housings you're going to have to remove the reflector and housing from the glass lens. This involves baking them in your oven.

In the case of the eBay junk I bought I found that they had sealed the lens on there with what may have been high temp sealant/gasket maker of some kind. I had to pre-heat the oven to 330 degrees (looking back, 350 might have been better) and I baked them for 30 minutes.

This is the first step to most other OEM mods as well but they use that rubber sealant with the plastic lens covers on their OEM H4 setups and you only need to heat that stuff to ~260 or so and bake them for 15 minutes. I say that so that you know that your eBay crap special may use different sealant. IF, however, they use what they used on mine it will be impossible to separate the lens cover and housing without breaking the glass lens cover if you do not heat it long enough at the correct temp.

So...bake them and then *carefully* use a thin flathead screwdriver to start prying apart the housing and lens cover. Be careful not to put too much direct pressure on one spot or the lens cover (or even possibly the housing) will chip or break.

The one I broke the first round...hence buying four. Shows assembly with halogen projector still in it:

61593338.jpg


3. Remove halogen projector. The ones I bought were held in place with two little nuts/bolts.

Reflector without the projector:

49371019.jpg


4. This is the annoying part. From here you have to measure and cut the reflector part of the housing to fit the shroud. A ball park cut will do here but just for reference...

You can see how much you're going to have to cut by kind of comparing the housing and shroud:

93221856.jpg


Next I just kind of drew a rough line for an estimate of where I needed to make the cut:

14308067.jpg


To cut the housing I used a vice and a Sawsall. The Sawsall made a nice, straight cut that I used a jig saw to clean up a bit but that's about it. This is where someone could theoretically use a cutting wheel or Dremmel with cutting wheel attachment. I figured one long blade would make a cleaner cut. Not sure, but it worked for me.

39781346.jpg


Make the cut and this is what you should have left. You can just see the shroud sticking up out of the top:

79734513.jpg



IMPORTANT: Your shrouds will fit snugly in the housings but you need to make sure that you don't force them in too tight because it will throw off the screw holes you can see in one of the pics below. If this happens you can epoxy the shrouds in there and ruin the whole project because you will not actually be able to fit the projectors in there, nor will you be able to secure them to the epoxied shroud!

In this instance, using the Morimoto Mini H1 projectors, I was able to cut the reflector and mount the shroud permanently first, mounting the projector assembly to it last via the screw holes because this setup is made to mount directly to the shroud. Apparently others may not be designed as such.

5. Once you've got the housing cut and the shroud in there you need to do a little test fitting to make sure that the projector assembly (specifically the lens itself) will not hit the glass lens cover on the front. So shove that thing on through and then hold the lens cover on the front to make sure nothing hits. I gave mine about a half inch of clearance.

6. Use a level to make sure that the back side of the shroud that is poking through the cut housing is fairly level (both ways...lay it across one way, then turn it 90 degrees and level it there too). Once it is, put a couple of drops of super glue on each point of contact between the shroud and cut housing to make sure it doesn't move when you're putting the epoxy on it. Oh...and let it dry too. ;)

The reason for this is that if you check you'll see that the cut you made is most likely NOT nice and straight and level. If you put the shroud in canted or at an angle your whole projector and thus your light output could be totally whacked out and angled wrong and you will be stuck with messed up light output.

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that your shrouds are not only level insofar as facing forward, but make sure that the screws are parallel to the ground and that you have the shroud mounted correctly for the lens you buy. What I mean is that there IS a way to put these in upside down and it is REALLY important to make sure that the whole assembly is nice and level. The light cutoff on these is very abrupt and the projector assembly needs to be very close to parallel to the ground, otherwise your whole light output will be screwed.

Nice and level:

85602035.jpg


Top down shot. Make sure your screw holes are not twisted...and that you have the correct ones on top and bottom. You will more than likely have these fairly large gaps between the shroud and reflector. Once you start checking all this out you'll notice that to get the shroud in there you'll need to cut a pretty big square hole for that round shroud. Even then, it will fit snugly in there.

88502401.jpg


Maybe this shows better what I mean by "level" regarding screw holes and the housing itself:

16leveldiagram.jpg



7. Time for epoxy!! YAY!

But seriously, I hate the way this s*** smells. :mad:

First thing is to screw the HID projector assembly into the shroud using the four screws that will be supplied. Be kind of careful not to break the super glued shrouds. I had no problems, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Second is to clean everywhere that the epoxy will be bonding with alcohol to get any oil or crap off. Some people like to sand the places and then clean them so that the epoxy has a little better bonding area. I didn't have any problems personally, having not done that.

Using the putty, fill in all the big holes around the shroud.

Using the epoxy resin take and smear it all over the putty, up and over the projector's screws and make sure the base and everything is covered well down to the cut H4 housing.

Let that biyatch dry for AT LEAST an hour. I would let it dry longer, possibly let it cure for 24 hours or so, if possible, just to make sure nothing gets broken.

This is kind of what it will look like/what you're going for:

46178161.jpg


8. After the epoxy is dry it's time to break out the aluminum tape and tape over the epoxy. I'd make sure that any lingering oil/epoxy finger prints/crap is wiped off the housing for this too just to make sure the tape adheres well.

Your finished-ish product:

10937946.jpg



Once that is done you're essentially home free and all you need to do is make sure you clean up the actual HID projector lens with alcohol to get any crap off it. I did the same to the inside of the glass lens cover too, as well as the mirrored reflector to make sure I had any random crap out of there.

Before you close it up you may want to take some silver/metallic paint and give a quick once over to the epoxy which will probably be showing around the shroud near the rear of the reflector housing. Some people have blacked out the reflector by using flat black paint but I don't think that would look good on an old Cruiser so I opted not to do so.

To close up the housing you can find some gasket maker or other decent sealant. Make sure all the old seal crap has been removed from the channel that the glass lens cover will sit in, as well as around the glass lens cover. Put a bead of whatever sealant you chose around the lens/in the channel, firmly push the lens cover on the housing and turn the entire assembly to rest on the lens so that as the sealant dries you get a good seal.

IMPORTANT: Don't put too much sealant around the lens cover or in the channel. It could squish out inside and make everything look like crap.

And finally...this is what you're left with:

http://imageshack.us/a/img845/2759/24807388.jpg


Notes/comments...

I wasn't sure whether I would need to remove the lens covers again so instead of permanently sealing the housing with gasket maker or whatever I chose to simply weatherproof/affix the lens cover to the housing by using that aluminium tape. It's water/weatherproof and very durable.

It's a good thing I did that too because I noticed there was some moisture/condensation within the housing itself a couple days later and right now I have the housings off the Crusher and they're opened up drying out. Not sure whether the tape didn't seal them or whether as the epoxy dried there was moisture in it that precipitates out as it cures? Anyway, I will be using a little of what we call "monkey poo" in the electronics industry (something we use to seal antenna connections) to put a small bead around the lens covers and then I'll tape them on again.

Clearance issues?

No, I was able to throw them directly back in to the Crusher's housings and the longer rear end didn't hit anything. Someone asked about bigger batteries and I think that it would actually fit. I'd have to see a picture of your setup and then post one of mine to tell for sure. But I will post a picture of them once they're back in for reference.

Reference...

Passenger's side:

2012122615191060.jpg


Driver's side w/ battery:

20121226151952344.jpg


With the battery/battery tray it actually comes in under the tray so the only thing would be the connections. If your battery is big enough to worry about it you might have to pull it to connect everything.

I will also post a picture of the light output later as well. It's fricken great.

As promised...light output from the new HID system:

20121227184553348.jpg


How do I aim these things???

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?10848-HOW-TO-aim-HID-headlights

OK, let me know if there are any questions/comments, etc.

- Aaron
 
Last edited:

Spook50

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:clap: Bravo sir. Very nice. I'll have to take a close look at the clearance I have between my H4 and the battery to see if this is something I could physically do.

Does your kit (or any of the other available ones) use a E-code beam pattern? What was your final cost when all was said and done?
 
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I'm honestly not sure of the/whether there is a difference between E code and domestic HID patterns? Just out of question, why do you ask? I'm kind of unsure of the general differences between E code and North American in halogens to tell you the truth...

Final cost for me was about $300. ~$80 for the original Kensun kit from Amazon, ~$150 for the projectors and new bulbs from The Retrofit Source, and ~50 for the eBay special H4 housings.

Keep in mind I should have just bought an entire kit from The Retrofit Source but I didn't. I bought Amazon specials (Kensun) and the H4 housings figuring they might be OK but they sucked. At that point I picked up the Morimoto projectors from TRS and had to get new bulbs too because the other ones were for an "H4 conversion" -- not a true retrofit. Also the harness that came with the Kensun kit is not working to power the Morimoto solenoid, so they aren't working as bi-xenon right now. I have to get a new harness from TRS anyway, which is going to be another $35 bucks and an hour of rewiring. :(

So, HAD I just bought from The Retrofit Source (which I highly recommend) I would have paid just a slight bit more and got arguably higher quality ballasts, the correct bulbs and wiring harness...everything...the first time.

Oh well.
 

Spook50

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I'm honestly not sure of the/whether there is a difference between E code and domestic HID patterns? Just out of question, why do you ask? I'm kind of unsure of the general differences between E code and North American in halogens to tell you the truth...

Final cost for me was about $300. ~$80 for the original Kensun kit from Amazon, ~$150 for the projectors and new bulbs from The Retrofit Source, and ~50 for the eBay special H4 housings.

Keep in mind I should have just bought an entire kit from The Retrofit Source but I didn't. I bought Amazon specials (Kensun) and the H4 housings figuring they might be OK but they sucked. At that point I picked up the Morimoto projectors from TRS and had to get new bulbs too because the other ones were for an "H4 conversion" -- not a true retrofit. Also the harness that came with the Kensun kit is not working to power the Morimoto solenoid, so they aren't working as bi-xenon right now. I have to get a new harness from TRS anyway, which is going to be another $35 bucks and an hour of rewiring. :(

So, HAD I just bought from The Retrofit Source (which I highly recommend) I would have paid just a slight bit more and got arguably higher quality ballasts, the correct bulbs and wiring harness...everything...the first time.

Oh well.

Dan Stern explains the difference between E-code (also referred to as ECE) beam patterns and DOT spec patterns much better than I'd be able to. My current Hella H4s use an E-code pattern and I LOVE them. If I could get that same beam pattern with an HID conversion I'd be all for it.

I've already built an upgraded relay harness for my lights too, so i'm wondrring if their harness would still be necessary as well due to the bi-xenon functionality. This would be a good project to take on once I've finished a few others that I'm neck deep in.
 
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So what I'm finding after searching is that there isn't really a "pattern" difference for ECE vs. SAE/DOT HID lights, the difference is in the aiming. ECE seems to be very sharply cut off and defined. Most people seem to think that in the case of HIDs ECE is, in fact, too close and that out-driving the lights is a real issue.

To be honest, I have been messing around with adjusting them for about a week now and I am finding that it's all about that happy medium between overall light coverage (close in and far on) and not blinding oncoming drivers. I've been able to get pretty consistent light coverage far out (far enough to not out drive the light) without blinding anyone and without dilating my pupils either.

The main problem with HIDs and ECE seems to be that they are so bright close in that they dilate the pupils and thus make it even harder to see farther out beyond the cutoff. Something not thought of when the ECE regs were written. Apparently ECE doesn't delineate between halogen and HID, something that may be the cause of this.
 

Spook50

My daughter likes Stitch
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So what I'm finding after searching is that there isn't really a "pattern" difference for ECE vs. SAE/DOT HID lights, the difference is in the aiming. ECE seems to be very sharply cut off and defined. Most people seem to think that in the case of HIDs ECE is, in fact, too close and that out-driving the lights is a real issue.

To be honest, I have been messing around with adjusting them for about a week now and I am finding that it's all about that happy medium between overall light coverage (close in and far on) and not blinding oncoming drivers. I've been able to get pretty consistent light coverage far out (far enough to not out drive the light) without blinding anyone and without dilating my pupils either.

The main problem with HIDs and ECE seems to be that they are so bright close in that they dilate the pupils and thus make it even harder to see farther out beyond the cutoff. Something not thought of when the ECE regs were written. Apparently ECE doesn't delineate between halogen and HID, something that may be the cause of this.

Interesting points. I had just assumed that there was both E-code and DOT patterns for HIDs, just like for halogens. I'm curious to see what your light pattern looks like against a wall once you've got your aim completely dialed in.
 
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Already posted a pic. I put it in the how to post.

I'll try and get one some time that shows the entirety of the light spread, but that might be tricky getting perspective.

And I might be wrong about the ECE/DOT stuff too. I just got that from a few minutes of casual Google searching.
 

Spook50

My daughter likes Stitch
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Already posted a pic. I put it in the how to post.

I'll try and get one some time that shows the entirety of the light spread, but that might be tricky getting perspective.

And I might be wrong about the ECE/DOT stuff too. I just got that from a few minutes of casual Google searching.

I must've missed the pic before somehow. Just saw it. That looks like an obvious DOT beam pattern, though. I would be surprised if there isn't a projector that would give the same beam pattern as ECE halogens. I much prefer having the added illumination to the right of the road so that I can easily see road signs at night or in low visibility conditions. The HIDs in our Avalon have the same flat looking pattern as what your pic shows too.

Sent from my Motorola DynaTAC 8000x
 

2000UZJ

Where's My Hammer?
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Well done :)

I wish I had known you were ordering all this stuff. I would of looked into a small discount for ya. Looks great! I will be taking on the same task for a friend and his 60. I work at TRS, so please let me know if you have any questions.

Nick.
 

Spook50

My daughter likes Stitch
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Well done :)

I wish I had known you were ordering all this stuff. I would of looked into a small discount for ya. Looks great! I will be taking on the same task for a friend and his 60. I work at TRS, so please let me know if you have any questions.

Nick.

Given what he's learned about what's needed, and what's been detailed as far as limitations for space in the FJ62, what are the chances of having a complete-ish (sans maybe the actual H4 housings) kit put together and sold through TRS?

I like what he did and wouldn't mind doing it myself, though for me specifically I would prefer to use a 55w system, given how much backwoods and late night highway driving I do.

Sent from my Motorola DynaTAC 8000x
 

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