TOPIC: HIR High - Low Conversion / "Off-Road Only" Mod. (1 Viewer)

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As many of you know I set up the most recent group buy on HIR bulbs (that ends 11-30 btw) and ended up learning a lot about these bulbs. On one board in particular I learned something that I hadn't heard here before and decided to test it out.

Because the HIR bulbs are somewhat universal by design and meant to be trimmed to fit, you can actually trim an 9011 HIR High Beam Bulb to fit into the Low Beam housing. The obvious problem with running a brighter bulb in the low socket is that you run the risk of dazzling oncoming drivers with either misdirected light or glare from poorly constructed housings. But on the other hand a GMC Denali has four 9005 bulbs from the factory, so it all depends on the angle and housing design. I bought 2 sets of highs to test with and one set of lows just in case. Trimming the 9011s to fit the low socket wasn't much more than was required for the HIRs to fit in the first place.

1. First trim the top tab to match that of a standard 9006 Low Beam. With the plug socket pointing down, and looking at it from the back, the top tab roughly occupies the space from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock. You need to remove the section from 11:00-12:00.

2. Second, by design the barrel of each bulb housing is also different. The LOW has a 22 mm barrel vs. a 20 mm barrel on a HIGH. To compinsate for the 2 mm difference, remove the O-ring from your old 9006 bulb and double it up with the one that comes with the 9011.

3. The final step when doing a hi-lo conversion is the fitting of the electrical plugs. There are guide ribs inside the bulb housings which assist in mating them to the proper electrical plug. Low beams have 1 rib, high beams have 2 ribs. To make a high bulb mate with a low-beam plug, you remove the 2 ribs entirely. The ribs can be removed with a Dremel tool, small side cutters, a small sharp wood chisel, knife, box cutter, etc.

I've had them in now for about a month and have driven it at night as much as possible. My lights are angled well, maybe even too much so since it sits slightly raked, and the housings are stock 93 to the best of my knowledge. I was only flashed twice the first night, and not once since. Anyway, the light output is amazing! I haven't ever tried the standard 9012 upgrade, so I can't compare the two. And I also have the Slee Harness installed. Some might also consider doing this as an Off-Road Only mod and carry them as spares if they're still flashed after all the angle adjustment you can do.

I just thought I'd post up the results of my testing and make you all aware of the possible modification to an already very valuable upgrade.

Thoughts?
 

richj11

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If anyone is flashing you at all, that should be a concern. Do you really need that much light all the time???

Rich J
 
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Safado said:
only flashed twice the first night, and not once since
If you're blinding other drivers then that's obviously not good. Would hate to feel responsible for an accident just because I wanted the blingiest bulbs going. Not saying that you are, but people flicking their lights at you is enough indication that you may want to revisit what you're doing.
 
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Best check your headlight alignment (on a level surface). I've been running the same lights with the improved harness and have never been flashed by anyone.
 
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hmm...well let me spell out a bit more what I've done then. The first night before going out I had a friend drive around me in his car and he said they weren't too bright for him...but he could have been biased. I passed by at least 200 cars with 2 flashes. Not bad, but I was still concerned they were too bright. Since then I've literally passed by 1000s of cars without a single flash. Isn't that the whole purpose of testing? I've been flashed before by people after the Slee upgrade. Should I have taken it out? No, it didn't seem to be a common trend. Or common amongst any of you here on the board. Somone just thought I might have my high beams on and checked.

How much light does one really need?....honestly, as much as I can without interfering with others. Especially now in the winter with snow and deer all over the place. My first car was a Mazda 323. I drove that thing around with the high beams on for over 3 years and never got flashed. Couldn't see $hit with the lows. Older cars just have poorer designs. That's why we all upgrade, trying to get as much out of them as possible. Why should Denali owners, and others, be able to have 4 high beams? Because the design allows for it and they were tested. And I'm still testing my setup, but I think 2 out of 1000s is looking pretty good.
Does anyone have anything constructive to add/discuss? Different methods of testing? I appreciate the concern for others and share it with you.
 

richj11

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Well, I would really have to see the difference between the "LOW" and "HIGH" to say too much more. If they are the same, merely pointed differently, then whatever works for you I guess.

Funny you should mention snow being an issue. I was driving home from work last night and it was coming down like crazy. I had to slow down to about 20 MPH just to feel safe. I hit the high beams and my IPF driving lights and the brighter the light, the more reflection off the snow and the less you can see....

I feel low beams have there time and place.

Rich
 
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Heck might as well just run your aux. lights as well. See how many flashes you get with 6 lights going. I have HIR both high and low and if I don't dim my stuff rarely do I not get flashed. Course maybe thats an east coast thing.
 
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richj11 said:
Well,it was coming down like crazy.
That's actually one thing that I'm waiting for to try them out on. Heavy snow and/or DENSE fog are my two concerns. We've only had a couple snowy nights so far and they worked fine, but it hasn't been dumping like I've seen it on some nights. We don't get much fog here, but I grew up in central CA and it is BAD there this time of year.

I sometimes do run my spots as well. They're WARN in brand, but I don't know who really makes them and no aux harness. They're not very bright, but they do light up a dark spot just beyond the range of the lows. I have them angled to see right side of the road...keep an eye out for deer on some of those long mountain stretches. Don't hardly get flashed with those either...but I can turn them off if I do.
 
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FYI, I have mentioned doing this mod before, as it was a common upgrade to use a 9005 bulb in place of a 9006 to get more output when there were no such things as HIR bulbs. By doing it with a 9005 HIR you get 2400 lumens for the low beam, getting pretty darn close to the 2800-3200 lumens of an HID but with a much better color spectrum. The downside is the 9005 bulbs have a shorter life expectancy, and the filement is a slightly different size.


Re: Lights for Snow and Fog. You want the same type of light for both, low mounted foglights with a sharp cutoff. The goal is to limit stray up light that reflects back at you.
 
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Interesting mod Safado....I have the HIRs in both high and low beam. I have to say I was really impressed with the Highs, but not as impressed with the Lows. My old quicksilvers seemed as bright as the lows. If I were to do it over again...I would have taken your route.
 

mot

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Safado said:
They're WARN in brand, but I don't know who really makes them

Not sure if they did your particular model, but Koito makes some of WARN's better lights.
 
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cary said:
FYI, I have mentioned doing this mod before, as it was a common upgrade to use a 9005 bulb in place of a 9006 to get more output when there were no such things as HIR bulbs. By doing it with a 9005 HIR you get 2400 lumens for the low beam, getting pretty darn close to the 2800-3200 lumens of an HID but with a much better color spectrum. The downside is the 9005 bulbs have a shorter life expectancy, and the filement is a slightly different size.


Re: Lights for Snow and Fog. You want the same type of light for both, low mounted foglights with a sharp cutoff. The goal is to limit stray up light that reflects back at you.
Thanks for the info once again Cary, I must have missed your mentioning of the first few times through the FAQ, but see it there now that I re-read it for the n-teenth time. But armed with this new information it feels like I'm reading it again for the first time. ;) Is there any reason you didn't mention it again in the HIR upgrade section? With you reminding me of the HID output I feel better about the total output of my setup, and realize that I might just hold on to the spare low HIRs for longevity issues. What is the filement issue you're referring to?

Draken, Do you have the Slee Harness? I put in an order for 68 bulbs for our local club and guys from work, and I have to admit that I've been pretty surprised that the comments from most of them haven't been THAT impressive. I'm blown away with the difference, and hoped that those that ordered the HIR lows would be equally impressed. Just not the case.

Thanks MOT, I'll see if I can pull a model number off of it.
 
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Here is a screen shot from the original GE light specs sheet. Notice the 9011 has a longer filement (allows the higher output). This change in filement length will change the focus and pattern of the light slightly and lead to more stray light. It is not severe as the alignment is still correct and the placement is correct, but still is present.
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