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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is going to be long winded but that's the only way because there is A LOT to talk about.

I posted part of this in another thread but I think it really needs it's own thread. None of this is meant to bash anyone for using PnP kits. We all have to start somewhere.
I'm only posting this to inform some people who may not know the facts of HIDs or for anyone wanting to get better light output. Is everyone going to agree and run out and switch their PnP kits for Retrofits? No. But if one person does then I'll consider it time well spent.

PnP HID kits are very popular on this forum for some reason unknown to me. I can count on one hand the number of Magnums I've seen do HID's the right way(retrofit) which is pathetic.

The engineering that goes into producing headlights is enormous. Halogen reflectors and projectors are designed around halogen bulbs. The focal point of HID bulbs and Halogen/HIR bulbs are not the same. When you put an HID bulb into the reflector you end up with light going where it was never intended to go. The result is piss poor light distribution, glare to other drivers, and in many instances DECREASED DISTANCE VISIBILITY. HID kits drastically increase the intensity of foreground light giving drivers a false sense of increased visibility. It's the same effect of staring at a flashlight and then trying to see anything more than a foot away. What it actually does is makes your pupils constrict, hindering your ability to see in the distance. HIDs in the fog lights which are very popular here only worsen the effect.

HIR bulbs have the same focal point as their halogen couterparts. For this reason they will maintain the light distribution that was intended by the lighting engineers. HIR's have a claimed rating of ~1900 lumens. OEM HID bulbs(4300k) have a rating of 2800-3200. OEM 6000k bulbs(not legal in US as 5000k is the highest approved) only produce 2400 lumens. Don't think for a second that aftermarket bulbs are going to produce that. So kit bulbs produce only slightly more light than HIRs. When you add this to the fact that the focal point is not correct and that 95% of aftermarket ballasts do NOT produced the claimed 35/55w, you end up with LESS USABLE LIGHT.


Now on to the HEAT(regarding the use of HIDs in fog lights). Someone posted that HIDs were a better option for fog lights because they are 35w whereas the stock bulbs are 45w so they produce less heat. The watt ratings of HID kits are based on the ballasts. I'm sure you know this. The heat given off by the bulb is not directly proportional to the wattage of the ballast. The quality of the bulb actually drastically changes the heat given off. Also pertinent to damaging reflectors is the UV given off by bulbs. Kit bulbs give off far more UV than OEM HID bulbs and halogen bulbs. If UV rays give people sunburns....duh. So HID's are not a better option to higher wattage halogens. The best bet is using halogen bulbs only slightly higher than stock if you feel the need.

HIDs are only the best option when used in a housing or projector that was designed to use them.
When such a housing or projector is not being used, HIRs are the best option.


Now if you've stuck with me and you want to do HID's the right way, I'll talk about RETROFITS.
A retrofit is when you take a projector designed for use with HID bulbs and you put it into your housing. There used to be only one way to do this. You had to take the projector out of a Luxury car headlight and bolt or epoxy it into your housing. This is still the best way as the best projectors are OEM. It can be difficult though so I will first discuss the easy way to do a retrofit. I will be posting links but am in no way affiliated with the company.

Thanks to Matt at theretrofitsource we have the Morimoto Mini H1(H1 bulbs) and Mini D2S(D2S bulbs-used by OEM).
Bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage III Kit (H1) - Complete Retrofit Kits from The Retrofit Source Inc
The Mini H1 will literally bolt into the stock Magnum headlight with very minor modification. This is no more difficult than installing halos and will only take about 6 hours. If it's your first time, plan on giving yourself a weekend for unexpected set-backs. Here is one of the only threads I found of someone using these on here.
http://www.custommagnums.com/forums/exterior-styling/34897-my-projector-retrofit-practice-run.html Only 26 replies....sad.
Here is a more in depth how-to. All vehicles are essentially the same when it comes to this so one how-to is as good as the next.
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pdf/trs_tech/Morimoto_Mini_H1_Retrofit
This will get you good, usable light and good looks as well.

Now there is a better way. This way will give you even better light output. It will be more difficult though, as I mentioned. This way is retrofitting an OEM projector(or replicas made by TRS). No threaded mounting here. Plan on spending at least 10 hours and upwards of 20-30.
The benefit is that OEM projectors(good ones) provide more light and reliability than aftermarket. You can also use OEM D2S bulbs which, as previously discussed, are brighter. I personally have(not on a Mag) Acura TL projectors which are widely regarded as the best of the best when it comes to bi-xenon HID projectors. To those I added Osram CBI bulbs which, again, are the best of the best. Then I went apeshit with 50w ballasts from TRS which, again, are the best (aftermarket) ballasts available. If anyone near Peoria, IL wants to see what incredible lights look like...hit me up. If you don't want a retrofit after seeing these, you belong in a mental institution.
Here is a good how-to video on doing a retrofit(This is not me. Don't be a brute like this jackass and use pliers on your projectors. Use a dremel. Also I would not recommend silicone. I use Sika Fast Set Anchoring Adhesive. Word of caution...this sets hard in under 5 minutes. JB Weld works also and gives you some time to work.)
How To Build HID Retrofit Projector Headlights on Vimeo
For those that like to read...
How To: Do a Retrofit
If the idea of a permanent epoxy scares you, you can also do this with nuts and bolts.
Here's a Magnum that used that method.
05 - 07 OEM Projector mod
I actually use the hardware method for aiming and then once I test them on the car I epoxy them permanently.

A retrofit doesn't need to cost you a ton of money. You can do this for UNDER $200! Sure, you'll get better output with a more expensive setup but a budget build is still far better than a pnp kit.
http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?47290-Head-Light-Projector-Retrofit-for-under-200

Some motivation
Here is a picture of a Magnum with PnP HIDs(Sorry if this is your car. I mean no offense.)

Here is ONE of the Morimoto projectors I linked


I don't need to point out the difference. That should be obvious.
If you like the blue color that's FINE! While it won't give you the best light output, using an 8000k bulb in a HID projector will still be better than an 8000k in a reflector.

Here's another reason to take your PnP kit out and do a retro...
http://www.custommagnums.com/forums/off-topic/50607-bright-lights-suck.html

If anyone has questions about any of this I'll be more than happy to help.
 

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Interesting info. HIDs are meant to be used in projector housings, I knew that... but the only options out there are hideous aftermarket pieces of garbage from China. I had some and I hated em. The retrofit makes sense. It's not pretty, but it makes sense. Have a bean.
 

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Thanks
I have been saying most of this for years...

Added benefit is that with a retrofit kit, you have the proper cut offs and don't piss off on coming traffic while still remaining super bright to you.


Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
 

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I stopped reading half way through but the thing that pisses me off most when driving at night is staring straight at a PnP HID kit.

Some good info here.
 

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Sounds like someone could start a headlight retro-fit business on this forum...

There's only OEM and junk buckets that are available for our cars. I'll admit that I run the PnP kits in my lows and fogs (but not at the same time). I've been concerned about glare for other drivers. I've considered re-aiming the headlights, but I have yet to do it. Seriously, I'd buy a REAL projector headlight over halos.
 

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Hummm. Strange MY HIDS looks more like the second set of pix..... Maybe the 08 bucket is different? never get anyone flicking the highs at me either......Good Info.....but I will stick with the HIDS.... really don't like projectors....
 

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If you have the x style eye lids, the glare effect to on coming drivers is pretty much removed.

Sent from my magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I stopped reading half way through but the thing that pisses me off most when driving at night is staring straight at a PnP HID kit.

Some good info here.
You missed the best part! Lol

Sounds like someone could start a headlight retro-fit business on this forum...

There's only OEM and junk buckets that are available for our cars. I'll admit that I run the PnP kits in my lows and fogs (but not at the same time). I've been concerned about glare for other drivers. I've considered re-aiming the headlights, but I have yet to do it. Seriously, I'd buy a REAL projector headlight over halos.
Well I'm still looking for a Magnum of my own. A retro will certainly be one of the first mods I do. I'll actually be looking to recreate the concept lights.
I'll look into the possibility of selling more simple retrofits. Prices for a Mini H1 retro would be 5-600 while a true retro would be 700+
If you have the x style eye lids, the glare effect to on coming drivers is pretty much removed.

Sent from my magnum.
The bowl shape of the reflector means that most of the upward light comes from the bottom of the reflector surface.
 

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If you have the x style eye lids, the glare effect to on coming drivers is pretty much removed.

Sent from my magnum.
I was thinking this as well. Someone should do a comparison shot of light output at several distances with lids vs naked.
 

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I agree with your points JL-KA. The light beam available from the projector is much better. The moment I find a housing that I like and is affordable, it will be mine.

My HIDs in stock housings dont seem blinding to oncoming traffic though. Maybe it's just me?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's definitely just you lol. Sorry to say.
There are several types of glare. Even if the upward light isn't increased, the increased brightness of the light source is technically increased glare. There's also glare caused by the reflection of light.
I'm sure oncoming traffic isn't very happy about it. People just don't flash like they used to because PnPs are so prevalent. I don't flash unless it's really bad. Mostly lifted trucks. They get the full wrath of my 50w/CBI/TL high beam...along with everyone else within half a mile also though which is part of the reason I rarely do it.
 

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JL, I got a question for you. Whats the common cause for some PnP HID kits to have to cycle the lights on/off if one side or the other doesn't illuminate the 1st try? I bought a DDM kit for a friends 99 f250 diesel truck to put in his eBay projectors, and he explained that sometimes he has to turn them on/off. I'm going to try and trouble shoot them later today with him to figure out if its the bulb or ballast, but he mentioned that the one side finally went out completely now. BTW, I am not looking forward to warranty exchanges with DDM and waiting on 2 week imports from China. :sleepy:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
It can be one of 3 things. Bulb, ballast, or connection. Swap the non-op bulb to the other side and see if it works there. If it doesn't work, there's the issue. If it does work, swap the non-op ballast to the other side(with the known good bulb). If it doesn't work, there's the issue. If it does work, the issue is in a connection on the non-op side. If using a relay harness, check the ground connections and ballast inputs and tighten as necessary. If not using a relay harness, check the oem socket for dirt and such and add dielectric grease.
DDM is going to ask you to do all this anyways. They won't send a whole new kit.
 

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Thanks for the quick response. I just remembered also it was a H1 projector housing, so I'm going to make sure the ground and connections inside are still good(after figure out bulb/ballast swap)
 

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Why bother with google? just go here lol
That's what I'm.

JL, the ballast was blowing fuses, switched the ballast and it fired right up. Is the ballast surging?
Curious why it would do that.
(going to contact DDM now)...they called right back, should be good to go for new ballasts.
After testing again, we had a hi/low beam not turn at least once every 10 tries. I might be shooting for all new ballasts. My eBay set never failed to turn on in about 2 years. These things are a week old. Ugh! I feel Frost's(& others) frustrations.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's what I'm.

JL, the ballast was blowing fuses, switched the ballast and it fired right up. Is the ballast surging?
Curious why it would do that.
(going to contact DDM now)...they called right back, should be good to go for new ballasts.
After testing again, we had a hi/low beam not turn at least once every 10 tries. I might be shooting for all new ballasts. My eBay set never failed to turn on in about 2 years. These things are a week old. Ugh! I feel Frost's(& others) frustrations.
If it's popping fuses the electronics in it aren't controlling it as designed. They're pulling to many amps at start-up.
What amp are his fuses? If it came stock with 10 you may want to swap them with 15 or 20.
 
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