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Unread 04-01-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
Aj86
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Cherokee Head lights

Looking for recommendations for new headlights for my 2000 Cherokee. Any good ones, bad ones?...

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Unread 04-01-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
TexasXJ97
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Easy answer.


-Putco harness
-New housings (I prefer Autopal Euros, but Hella, Rampage and other also offer a H4 housing)
-Hella 100/55 bulbs

Others will disagree on the bulbs, making your own harness, the light patterns on the housings, etc, but for $70-80 bucks, you can't go wrong. Much better deal than dropping $50 on Silverstar 6054s..
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Unread 04-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
mschi772
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Thanks for searching for this info first. I know Google can be tough to use and that hundreds of pages/threads discussing this very thing scattered all across the web is hardly enough info to go on, so I understand why you had to make your own.

XJ headlights suck for two reasons. The wiring in terrible and has a ton of voltage loss, so buy a wire harness with relays or build you own. Lots of people use the Putco harness, but I'm thoroughly unimpressed with it and regret wasting $30 on it. I believe this is a case of Jeep guys all jumping onto a bandwagon so blindly that no one even considers quality or alternatives anymore (CSF radiators being another example). It's the cheapest pre-made harness out there, but you get what you pay for. Instructions for building your own if you're interested in that are here--http://jeep-xj.info/HowtoHeadlightLoom.htm

US DOT standards for headlights are pathetic, and the old sealed beam headlights that are stock in XJs are especially bad. Buy some H4 headlight houses that meat European standards (E-code). Cibie are the best but carry a big price tag. Hellas, IPF, and Autopal are commonly used and don't cost as much.

If you want to learn even more about lighting, poke around http://danielsternlighting.com/ or even just email the guy any questions--he's a fantastic expert.

Whatever you do, don't you dare put plug and play HID's into H4 housings. It's a waste, and it incredibly dangerous for other drivers. If you want to do HID for some reason, do it right--mount them in HID projectors. There are some headlights sold for this, but they're VERY expensive. Alternatively, sbxj has a night writeup on how to do a retrofit yourself here--http://go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoBiXenonProjectors.htm
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Unread 04-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
Steelo805
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Buy my h4 housing $24



image-4241538252.jpg
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Unread 04-10-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
NW99XJ
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Just about ANY of the H4 housings are a good buy.....
I'm running the cheapest ones available, (plastic lenses) but they hold an H4 and I couldn't be happier over the sealed beam I had in there befre.


Bulbs are going to be user preference, but IMHO the "blueish" ones suck....and the high performance PIAA style h4 bulbs arent worth the money vs. their longevity. (ask me how I know)
These LOOK awesome, but wont last long. I have ran these expensive PIAAS, the Sylvania SilverStars, and finally have settled on some no name 55/65w plain-jayne parts store h4's...been going strong now for over a year. No burnouts, ...where as the other ones I mentioned didnt last even 6 months.


An absolute MUST is going to be upgrading the harness,
I went with the E-AutoWorks Headlight Harness ($35 roughly...maybe less...been a while)


Upon pulling the harness out and inspecting it, i noticed something I thought might pose a problem in the future. The plug ends (connector) for the lights, were not sealed up, and the contacts, although locked into the connector body, seemed to be a bit loose, and not protected at all from possible shorts to the body, or the elements.


So i did two things: i secured the wires together with a zip tie, close to the connector body, and then wrapped the whole thing in electrical tape, sealing off the exposed portion of the connector.



I did the same thing to the one factory harness plug that wouldn't be connected to the new harness. (the harness uses only on of the plugs for a signal to trigger the relays.)


After that I routed the harness, i decided to go under the radiator vs. over the top, because it seemed easier to get the ends up thru the various cavities and openings than to do it from the top. I didn't get any pictures of this part of it all, but the main part of the harness went thru the opening in the fender just to the side of the battery and got routed down behind the passenger side light then into the space behind the bumper, under the radiator. One plug (on the longest part of the harness) goes to the driver's side, and two plugs go to the passenger side. One for the new light and one to plug into the old factory harness end to use as a trigger source. Here we see the the two harness' plugged into one another, and the one new pigtail for the new light:


I didn't get any pics of the electrical connections at the battery, as that's pretty self explanatory. I did however fuse the positive side of the harness as a safety precaution, it does NOT come fused from E-AutoWorks.
Easy enough to put into the housings, REMEMBER: DONT TOUCH THE BULB GLASS!!
First I needed to pull off the rubber "doughnut" seal on the back:


Then just flipped back the lock spring on the housing, and line the bulb's three tabs up with the corresponding indents in the housing for proper alignment, and ensure they're seated securely:


Replace the rubber doughnut seal making sure its tight up against the back of the housing:


And these are ready to go in:


The difference was huge! The beam pattern is quite different, not to mention the amount and color of light that comes out.
Old:


New:


And here's a shot of the beam difference, (note; Left is old, Right is new, and the old one was only held in by one screw so it appears to be a bit high:


The brights... well lets just say you could probably see them from space.This is by far one of the best mods i've done so far. I HIGHLY recommend that ANYone with a Cherokee do this as soon as possible.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 03:08 PM   #6
Finallyajeep
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If you don't mind spending some cash I really like my Truck-Lite LED headlights. They are pricey but plug and play, and a great upgrade over stock.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
Steelo805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finallyajeep
If you don't mind spending some cash I really like my Truck-Lite LED headlights. They are pricey but plug and play, and a great upgrade over stock.
I'd consider that more than "some" cash. Lol
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Unread 04-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
Tom95YJ
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I run a set of Autopal H4's (E code non daimond cut lense) with a Putco harness It made a huge difference in output and pattern .

I have pics on them in my build thread IIRC on page 2 or 3
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Unread 04-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
CJ7-Tim
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AutoPal E-Code and white H-4 bulbs. If the budget has some room, Hella, IPF, or Cibie housings.


Any headlamps that look car-show cool, Ricer, or are plastic, will be a waste of money. Blue tinted bulbs are for High School boys.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
Steelo805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim
AutoPal E-Code and white H-4 bulbs. If the budget has some room, Hella, IPF, or Cibie housings.

Any headlamps that look car-show cool, Ricer, or are plastic, will be a waste of money. Blue tinted bulbs are for High School boys.
Are the cibies I got at the jy with my header panel better Thant autopalsv never thought to put them on...
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Unread 04-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
raypla
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Cibie's are pretty much the cream of the crop, those truck-lites look pretty darn cool but they're substantially more than the Cibie's.

Here is a pic of a Cibie w/55/60 bulb/stock sealed beam w/the stock harness. (I had upgraded my 5 mains which made a difference on my stock beams) Before my stock sealed beams were able to crap the bed I searched around for 6 m to a year before I found a good deal on ebay for $110 for both lights and Osram bulbs. Do you already have some Cibie's already

?
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Unread 04-10-2013, 10:25 PM   #12
Steelo805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raypla
Cibie's are pretty much the cream of the crop, those truck-lites look pretty darn cool but they're substantially more than the Cibie's.

Here is a pic of a Cibie w/55/60 bulb/stock sealed beam w/the stock harness. (I had upgraded my 5 mains which made a difference on my stock beams) Before my stock sealed beams were able to crap the bed I searched around for 6 m to a year before I found a good deal on ebay for $110 for both lights and Osram bulbs. Do you already have some Cibie's already

?
Yes. I posted a picture up a few posts. I was selling them for $25... Lol maybe ill change my mind
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Unread 04-12-2013, 11:06 PM   #13
Finallyajeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelo805 View Post
I'd consider that more than "some" cash. Lol
Ok fine "alotta" cash
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Unread 04-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #14
myslo50
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NW99XJ-
what headlights are those and where did you get them at?
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Unread 04-22-2013, 08:11 AM   #15
NW99XJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myslo50 View Post
NW99XJ-
what headlights are those and where did you get them at?
The housings I think are the "Pilot" brand.
I got mine off of Craigslist for like $15 or something ridiculous like that.
You can get them on AMAZON for like $30.00


The actual bulbs themselves are (were) the PIAA "Intense White - 4100k" H4's....available anywhere that PIAA bulbs are sold.


NOTE: I would not go this route if I were to do it over again......
The pilot housings are a poly-carbonate (plastic) lens, not glass, and not only are weaker than the glass ones, but are also prone to heat/stress fractures......the bulbs?....well they didn't last even 6 months before one went out on me..... YES, they are bright, and have a brilliant light that honestly, I haven't found in any of the other bulbs I have tried. I have used the PIAAS, Sylvania Silverstar's, BOTH of which didn't last, and finally have settled on the CHEAPO-no-name generic auto parts store brand H4's....these so far have lasted the longest, and do just fine as far as illumination goes.

If I were to do it all over again, the only thing I would change would be the housings (I would go with glass) and my choice of bulb.
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