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Unread 03-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
starsonmyarm
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Hid conversion

If I buy these http://www.hidkit.com/Jeep-Cherokee-HID-Kits/ do I still need to buy replacement headlights? I've seen the sealed lights online but there's so much out there I get confused

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Unread 03-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
Tom95YJ
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Yes you will, Do NOT get H4 housings and swap in HID bulbs in them they are not designed for hid lighting you will have a horriable cut off , and produce a huge amount of glare and scattered light for oncoming traffic.

You need to research a little more and go a proper retrofit, or keep saving and buy some led headlights from Speaker or Trucklite
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Unread 03-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
1995_XJ
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Thats some good advice. If the housing isnt made for HID, then not only is it unsafe for other drivers.. it also gives you less visibility. Which is the reason for HID upgrade any way if for brighter lights. You will get more performance out of halogen bulbs in the factory housing.

I know a lot of people who run it that way though, and it sucks.. but they love it because their "blue headlights are awesome"

If you want HID, its going to cost some money. If your not going to spend the money on the correct hardware then I would'nt do it at all. I can not help you with the correct housing, because I have no idea where to get them for our jeeps. I never even thought about it really, I might upgrade sometime, maybe not HID. But I plan on getting a LED light bar at some point
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Unread 03-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
starsonmyarm
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I agree completely to all of the above, grated advice. I definitely don't want the "blue" lights, I prefer function over aesthetics but wanted to find the best solution. I googled the speaker and truck lights and found some good clues, thanks for the help
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Unread 03-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
Tom95YJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starsonmyarm View Post
I agree completely to all of the above, grated advice. I definitely don't want the "blue" lights, I prefer function over aesthetics but wanted to find the best solution. I googled the speaker and truck lights and found some good clues, thanks for the help
Another option that will run you less then $100 total would be Getting some Autopal H4 (Euro Beam) housings and a Putco H4 harness. I did that on my XJ and it made a huge difference in lighting output. It probably doubled my light output. I have some pics in my build thread
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Unread 03-03-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
starsonmyarm
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Can you post it?
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Unread 03-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
mschi772
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HIDs just aren't worth the headache in my opinion, and unless they are done right, they are very dangerous to you and everyone else on the road. sbxj has a writeup on how to retrofit proper HID projectors into our square headlight housings HERE, but try switching to European code headlights and upgrading your headlight wire harness first because you'll still need those parts to do the HID properly anyhow. I hesitate to recommend the Putco harness anymore after getting it myself. It does the job, so if you are uncomfortable doing your own wiring or can't then it's an OK low-cost alternative, but they cut so many corners in constructing it, and building one right yourself isn't much work, isn't much more expensive depending on where you get the materials from, and will be a much better harness. Instructions and material list HERE.

Daniel Stern (http://danielsternlighting.com/home.html) is a fantastic resource (if a bit awkward as a website), and will even answer questions via email, so don't be shy. Here is a sampling of info from his site that should all be very educational.:
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
TexasXJ97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom95YJ

Another option that will run you less then $100 total would be Getting some Autopal H4 (Euro Beam) housings and a Putco H4 harness. I did that on my XJ and it made a huge difference in lighting output. It probably doubled my light output. I have some pics in my build thread
Cost benefit, this is hands down the best option. $40 for the housings on eBay, $25 for the wiring on amazon, $10 for 100/55 Hellas and you're ready to go. Even the girlfriend noticed..
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:27 PM   #9
cruiser54
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Here's some good info on headlight mods:



Originally Posted by xjsnake http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/head...151196/index2/ - post2069179http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/headlights-151196/index2/ - post2069179
Upgraded headlights the legal (ish) way...

1) Get a new headlight harness.

You can make your own http://www.go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoHeadlightLoom.htm

Or you can buy one: http://www.eautoworks.com/Putco-H4--...s-PRD7540.aspx

The eautoworks harnesses used to be quite cheap until everyone on this forum started recommending them and the price was raised accordingly.

You can pick them up for $29.99 here http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/csd/full.aspx?Page=48 part number 36-3580. It says it fits a chevy blazer but it's the same as the eautoworks harness and I'm running the LMC harness in my XJ.

There are other more expensive options for pre-made harnesses but I'm not super familiar with those.

2) Upgrade to H4 housings

There are two types of regulations pertaining to headlight housings. There are DOT approved housings which are legal in the US and there are Ecode lights which are European housings and aren't legal in the US although many people use them as they are considered superior housings due to the light pattern.

DOT
Rampage http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_501.htm
IPF http://www.quadratec.com/products/97017_1600.htm
Delta http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_121.htm
Hella http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_02.htm

Ecode
Autopals (look on ebay for Autopal 200mm H4 housing)
Hella http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=744
Cibie http://www.clearcorners.com/products/cibie/

Personally I won't buy housings that have plastic lenses, I much prefer glass but your mileage may vary.

3) Get good bulbs

Some of the above housings come with bulbs included with them. I tend not to recommend bulbs as the choices are extremely vast and everyone has their own preferences as to color and wattage.

4) Aim your headlights properly!

I can't say enough how much improperly aimed headlights annoy me on the road plus you are wasting all that time and effort to upgrade the lighting if you don't aim the light where it does the most good... http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=78017

5) On HID Lights

I do not recommend HID's for use in XJ's... People will show links to cheap HID kits and "Projectors" off of ebay and other sites which will give you a lot of light and will also throw a lot of light in all directions making you very visible to police and possibly blinding other drivers.


Read http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...nversions.html for a well written description of the problems with HID kits.

When using HID's you need a true projector housing. I'm sure people will chime in and say they run HID's and ebay housings and have had no problems but I'm describing the legal (ish) way.

If you want to go down the road of HID's, take a look at what true projector housings cost http://www.kbcarstuff.com/6054-200mm...-p/xd-6054.htm
http://www.brightheadlights.com/hid-upcoming.htm
or you can buy the projectors and retrofit them into existing housings if you are so inclined: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f58/hea...9/#post1391556

There are a myriad of options available to consumers with the limiting factor being cost. One can spend under $100 and have significantly upgraded their lighting or they can spend $1000 and upgrade their lighting more. It's all in how much money you want to spend.

For those wanting to do some of these upgrades but not necessarily all I would do them in the following order:
1) Headlight Harness (major improvement even with sealed beams)
2) Housings and Associated Bulbs
3) Hid and Projectors (Cost prohibitive to do correctly)


For installation of the harness and housings see this excellent write up: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f59/my-h4-upgrade-114440/

Disclaimer: Always check your local and state laws as some places have more stringent lighting laws than others... I am in no way associated with any of the above companies and none of what I say should be taken as the absolute truth or only way to do things. Flame on...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

An index to over 25 write-ups can be found in Post #1.

Cruiser's Mostly Renix Tips
My Jeep Technical Photos

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/g/album/1725214
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
cruiser54
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1990 MJ Comanche 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Posts: 10,158
Here's some good info on headlight mods:



Originally Posted by xjsnake http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/head...151196/index2/ - post2069179http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/headlights-151196/index2/ - post2069179
Upgraded headlights the legal (ish) way...

1) Get a new headlight harness.

You can make your own http://www.go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoHeadlightLoom.htm

Or you can buy one: http://www.eautoworks.com/Putco-H4--...s-PRD7540.aspx

The eautoworks harnesses used to be quite cheap until everyone on this forum started recommending them and the price was raised accordingly.

You can pick them up for $29.99 here http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/csd/full.aspx?Page=48 part number 36-3580. It says it fits a chevy blazer but it's the same as the eautoworks harness and I'm running the LMC harness in my XJ.

There are other more expensive options for pre-made harnesses but I'm not super familiar with those.

2) Upgrade to H4 housings

There are two types of regulations pertaining to headlight housings. There are DOT approved housings which are legal in the US and there are Ecode lights which are European housings and aren't legal in the US although many people use them as they are considered superior housings due to the light pattern.

DOT
Rampage http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_501.htm
IPF http://www.quadratec.com/products/97017_1600.htm
Delta http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_121.htm
Hella http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_02.htm

Ecode
Autopals (look on ebay for Autopal 200mm H4 housing)
Hella http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=744
Cibie http://www.clearcorners.com/products/cibie/

Personally I won't buy housings that have plastic lenses, I much prefer glass but your mileage may vary.

3) Get good bulbs

Some of the above housings come with bulbs included with them. I tend not to recommend bulbs as the choices are extremely vast and everyone has their own preferences as to color and wattage.

4) Aim your headlights properly!

I can't say enough how much improperly aimed headlights annoy me on the road plus you are wasting all that time and effort to upgrade the lighting if you don't aim the light where it does the most good... http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=78017

5) On HID Lights

I do not recommend HID's for use in XJ's... People will show links to cheap HID kits and "Projectors" off of ebay and other sites which will give you a lot of light and will also throw a lot of light in all directions making you very visible to police and possibly blinding other drivers.


Read http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...nversions.html for a well written description of the problems with HID kits.

When using HID's you need a true projector housing. I'm sure people will chime in and say they run HID's and ebay housings and have had no problems but I'm describing the legal (ish) way.

If you want to go down the road of HID's, take a look at what true projector housings cost http://www.kbcarstuff.com/6054-200mm...-p/xd-6054.htm
http://www.brightheadlights.com/hid-upcoming.htm
or you can buy the projectors and retrofit them into existing housings if you are so inclined: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f58/hea...9/#post1391556

There are a myriad of options available to consumers with the limiting factor being cost. One can spend under $100 and have significantly upgraded their lighting or they can spend $1000 and upgrade their lighting more. It's all in how much money you want to spend.

For those wanting to do some of these upgrades but not necessarily all I would do them in the following order:
1) Headlight Harness (major improvement even with sealed beams)
2) Housings and Associated Bulbs
3) Hid and Projectors (Cost prohibitive to do correctly)


For installation of the harness and housings see this excellent write up: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f59/my-h4-upgrade-114440/

Disclaimer: Always check your local and state laws as some places have more stringent lighting laws than others... I am in no way associated with any of the above companies and none of what I say should be taken as the absolute truth or only way to do things. Flame on...
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

An index to over 25 write-ups can be found in Post #1.

Cruiser's Mostly Renix Tips
My Jeep Technical Photos

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/g/album/1725214
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Unread 03-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #11
Hussler
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Skip the HIDs and go for LEDs
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Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Sometimes a restoration project is a labor of love, at which point cost, time, and labor involved become irrelevant.
Quote:
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I see you also twizzled your scart lead. Well done! :thumbsup:
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Unread 03-04-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
chriskeenan
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Posts: 2,236
I actually have one of the Truck-lite LEDs mounted on my bike (ninja 250), the cut-off is beautiful and the light is very even. But for sheer brightness, my XJs upgraded H4s appear brighter.

Jeep is on the left, bike on the right, both are running at idle, bike is on kick stand, jeep has one headlight disconnected for test. Both are on low beam. The fence is ~25ft away.


Same test, both high beam

Jeep has IPF glass housings, 10ga wiring harness, 40amp relays, standard 55/60w DOT sylvania bulbs.
Bike has Truck-lite LED 7in round in EMGO bucket, stock wiring.

For the price on the jeep i dont feel comfortable recommending them, they are great lights, they throw a great pattern, but the LED tech isn't quite ready to replace the H4s yet. It is very close though. Granted my current headlights are about as bright as a DOT legal H4 system can get.

On the bike however its great, frees up a lot of the stator output for other accessories. and on small bikes, like the ex250, with a stock 60w power budget, the extra watts saved with LEDs can go to heated grips or something more useful without running down the battery. Its also much brighter than the stock headlight system.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 03:10 AM   #13
starsonmyarm
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Thanks again for all the info!
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