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Unread 07-05-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
bobholthaus
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Adjusting the headlights (high beams mainly)

Okay, gentlemen, I upgraded my low beams to true HID's (www.cqlight.ca) I've had them on the GC for about a week now. I have these same lights on my wife's MDX and on my BMW K1200GT motorcycle. They are great. $180 a pair shipped, complete plug and play.

My problem is this: I used the very clearly marked headlight adjustment screw (torx-20) tonight and had to turn it about 10 times to the left (just turns of the wrist, not full revolutions) to adjust the low beams up higher. BUT, there is a considerable gap between the top of the low beams and the bottom of the high beams, and the high beams appear to be moving with the adjustment screw as well. So, now I have my low beams where I want them (adjusted properly to give non-glaring illumination down the road), but when I put the high beams on (or they go on with the smartbeam system), they are shining up in the trees and there is clearly a dark section between the two beam patterns (as the low beams never go off). Is there a way to adjust the high beams independently, up and down? My high beams are rendered almost useless at this point except for spotting owls.

And, while we're on the beam adjustment topic, I couldn't see the screw, but it appears that there is another screw that is perpendicular to the one that is verticle (it points back towards the engine), that adjusts the left and right of the beams. Mine seem to be aligned correctly, so I didn't have to mess with it, but for others' sake, is this the correct left to right adjustment screw? It looked like I would need to put my torx bit into a right angle socket to adjust that screw. I searched the glossary of the manual for light adjustment but haven't taken the time to read through the entire headlight section again to see if my questions are answered in there. Thanks!

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Unread 07-09-2007, 08:36 AM   #2
madrabbitt
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The problem is pretty simple, yet common.
You've installed HID's into housings that werent designed for them. You may think its a simple concept, but it really isnt. The focal point of the hid bulb isnt in the same place as the focal point of the halogen bulb. Thats the first problem.
At least you were responsible and tried to aim them properly, but that added the new problem, mainly, the high beams being out of focus.
Thats because, on most north american cars, the two beams are supposed to be connected together physically so the aiming adjustment happens on both at the same time, in fact, most car's aiming standard, you aim the high beam properly (25 feet, midline, track width) and the low beam is also correctly aimed.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

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Unread 07-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
bobholthaus
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You are correct... I've used these same HID kits on my BMW motorcycle and my wife's MDX and haven't had this problem. I wonder if this bulb isn't going into the housing as far as the stock one did, hence the aiming problem? And I agree that it does make it easy to have the low and high beams controlled together because the average person wouldn't want to have to adjust two different screws. So, does this mean I'm screwed?!

If so, then I'm thinking about adding some PIAA driving lights up front, but hate to take away from the stock look of my front end. Since the fog lights aren't really doing much now that I have the HID's, I guess one option would be to mount some PIAA 910's (driving lights) in the same spot at the factory fogs (and then wire the PIAA's into the high beam circuitry). Not sure if the 910's would fill that space perfectly, but it seems like they might. I have some old 959's that use the same housing as the 910's, so I guess I could take out the fog light housing and see if it will work. Does anyone know how to get the fog light housing out without taking the bumper off? If I have to take the bumper off, is that a big deal and do I need any special tools? I am very handy around an engine bay and have a decent set of tools, but I'm no mechanic. Thanks for the feedback, by the way!!
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Unread 07-09-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
madrabbitt
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i think that having low beam hids on there would probably be a far amount of fabrication, mainly, finding projector assemblies that would be correct for the hids, and getting those to fit in there.
Not impossible, and i've seen it done.

What year was the MDX? I did some work for a former boss, he had an 04 MDX, with projector low beams and reflector high beams. If that was the wife's setup, i can see how it was doable, since those are usually independant aim, plus projectors are easy to drop hids into because of the sharp cutoff.

I honestly think your best bet on this project would be give up on the HID low beam idea, and go with a very high quality set of HID driving lights.
Something small, like the hella micro de hid, that would integrate will into your front end, yet give you the extra down-the-road light you're looking for.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

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Unread 07-09-2007, 09:19 AM   #5
bobholthaus
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Madrabbit, the HID's are already installed. They are completely plug-and-play and took about 10 minutes to install. The HID bulb plugs into the factory reflector and then there is a ballast and ignitor that go online between the HID bulb and the factory wiring harness (just used the supplied doublesided tape to install them in the engine bay, which there was plenty of room for). They are awesome... a ton more light than the factory setup, although like we are talking about, I had to adjust them way up to get the proper illumination down the road. $190 shipped. I'll try and take some pics this week of the color of the HID's and the install job. So simple, you don't even need a singe tool to install them. They are 5000k in color, by the way.

The MDX is an 06 and you are correct the HID's with the projector cutoff are perfect. The only issue we had was towing our trailer (and I'll have this issue on the GC): because the HID's are not self leveling, if you have a heavy load and the car droops, you HAVE to re-aim the lights because they will blind people. The MDX setup is better than the GC because of the factory projector housing of the stock headlights (but you know that... typing it here for the others reading). Also plug and play, 10 minutes, no tools, same company (www.cqlight.ca - if you do use them, don't go higher than 5000k... I went with 6500k on my BMW Motorcycle and the light is VERY blue almost purple (which I don't like... looks like imitation bulb instead of true HID...) had already installed it all on the bike when I figured it out, so I went with 5k for the GC and MDX).

HID driving lights would be nice, but I'm not sure if I want to spend the money. I'm going to try and pull out the factory fog light housing and put my 959 in there and see what it looks like. I know guys have done this on dodge pickups that have the round fog lights in the bumper (like ours) with very good success. The PIAA's in that opening look stock and the 910's put out incredible light (at least the BMW motorcycle guys say so). I just added some PIAA 004XT's to my bike and they are incredible at 55watts (smaller housing that's why I went with them). I can't imagine what the 910's would put out at 85 watts (which PIAA calls 135 watts b/c of their technology).
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Unread 07-09-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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If you remove the front bumper, you'll need a pop-rivet tool plus some plastic pop rivets to reattach at the wheel wells. Doable, but be prepared.

When I removed my front bumper, I removed the grille as well. I think this made it easier for bumper removal. Tow Hook instructions give some hints for how to remove the bumper:
http://site.justforjeeps.com/guide/82208987.pdf
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Unread 07-09-2007, 09:36 AM   #7
bobholthaus
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Can I get a pop-rivet tool at home depot? And do I need to get the specific rivets from the dealer only? Thank you for pointing this out... I had the dealer install these... guess I should have done it myself to learn the ropes.
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Unread 07-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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The rivet tool is an autobody specific tool since it's for the plastic rivets. Some NAPA stores will have them. I lucked out and know someone at a body shop who did it for free. It's just 4 rivets and less than 5 minutes of work, so I just couldn't bring myself to buy the stuff for $30 or so.

In the meantime, I used those cheap ridged "bolts" that you just shove in to hold stuff together.
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Unread 07-09-2007, 12:47 PM   #9
bobholthaus
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Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'll let you all know when I get to this project. It's so hot in St. Louis right now, I just want to ride around in the AC rather than working on ANY part of the exterior!!
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Unread 07-09-2007, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobholthaus

HID driving lights would be nice, but I'm not sure if I want to spend the money. I'm going to try and pull out the factory fog light housing and put my 959 in there and see what it looks like.
This thread has some pix that might help:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/aftermarket-fog-lights-367631/

As for accessing the back of the foglight housing, bumper removal is not necessary, plenty of room behind there.
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Unread 07-09-2007, 08:01 PM   #11
madrabbitt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobholthaus
Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'll let you all know when I get to this project. It's so hot in St. Louis right now, I just want to ride around in the AC rather than working on ANY part of the exterior!!
Digital thermometer mounted on my wall.
Inside temp 68 degrees.
Outside sensor (which is in the shade, mind you) 94 degrees.
And its 8pm.

I understand that you already installed the hids. I was just saying, that, because of the type of reflector and housing, this project might require more effort then you want to put in for it to be done properly
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 07-09-2007, 09:41 PM   #12
bobholthaus
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Madrabbit and Gornoman, thank you both for the input. I just drove home from a zoning meeting (they all suck) and was on a dark road and can't tell you how much I love the HID's. They put out a clean, white light that is far better than stock. I switched the fogs on and off and have come to the conclusion that I really don't need them if I can find some great driving lights to mount in the factory slots like gornoman did (except I do like driving at dawn and dusk with just fogs and running lights, so I'm bummed about that). Anyway, once I check the fit of the PIAA 959's (and hence the 910's), I'll let you know. Great insight though.
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'07 GC CRD Limited - OEM 08 HID's - OEM 08 Chrome 18" Wheels - 265/60-18 Bridgestone Revo 2s - Valentine 1 - Weathertech Cargo Liner & Mats - UConnect - PIAA 1000 Driving Lights - Garmin 750 - Cargo Area LEDs - Mopar Remote Start - HID fogs
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Unread 06-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
Cherokee30D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobholthaus View Post
And, while we're on the beam adjustment topic, I couldn't see the screw, but it appears that there is another screw that is perpendicular to the one that is verticle (it points back towards the engine), that adjusts the left and right of the beams. Mine seem to be aligned correctly, so I didn't have to mess with it, but for others' sake, is this the correct left to right adjustment screw? It looked like I would need to put my torx bit into a right angle socket to adjust that screw. I searched the glossary of the manual for light adjustment but haven't taken the time to read through the entire headlight section again to see if my questions are answered in there. Thanks!
Can anyone clarify if this second torx screw lower down does adjust left to right??

Cheers, Craig
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