Anyone Retrofit Their Headlights Nowadays? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-27-2021, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
2021GCX
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Anyone Retrofit Their Headlights Nowadays?

Don’t want to spend $2k on stock HIDs. Does anyone retrofit? Never done it before and might give it a try.

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-27-2021, 10:18 PM
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Halogens and HIDs are very different mechanically and electrically, you will need to do a lot of hacking. What model year? Have you found retrofit kits?

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Halogens and HIDs are very different mechanically and electrically, you will need to do a lot of hacking. What model year? Have you found retrofit kits?
No I have not - I’m asking if people have installed them. I have done my fair share of hid installs, just used the stock projectors.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 12:36 PM
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So you want to upgrade stock Halogens to HIDs? The subject comes up here often. If so there are nothing but issues, some have tried and failed. Its much more than shoving bulbs into the housing. Your best path is to trade for a Jeep with HIDs, which is less expensive and hassle in the long run.

Otherwise, to improve lighting, replace the bulbs with higher power Halogens, like silverstars. LEDs may seem brighter but you won't see better. Of course any of these mods, except for replacing bulbs with better halogens, are only legal for off road use.
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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So you want to upgrade stock Halogens to HIDs? The subject comes up here often. If so there are nothing but issues, some have tried and failed. Its much more than shoving bulbs into the housing. Your best path is to trade for a Jeep with HIDs, which is less expensive and hassle in the long run.

Otherwise, to improve lighting, replace the bulbs with higher power Halogens, like silverstars. LEDs may seem brighter but you won't see better. Of course any of these mods, except for replacing bulbs with better halogens, are only legal for off road use.
Ok thank you. Still looking for someone who has done it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 03:36 PM
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I did a conversion in my 2009 Tahoe many years ago. E55 bi-xenon projectors in the factory housings. Trying to use HID bulbs in the stock reflector housing was terrible. Tried a couple different cheap HID kits and finally spent the big dollars. It worked great but was very expensive.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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I did a conversion in my 2009 Tahoe many years ago. E55 bi-xenon projectors in the factory housings. Trying to use HID bulbs in the stock reflector housing was terrible. Tried a couple different cheap HID kits and finally spent the big dollars. It worked great but was very expensive.
This is exactly the reason I’m asking about retrofitting projectors
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-28-2021, 07:46 PM
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I don't recall of anyone successfully doing it and reporting here short of replacing the Jeep. Just saying/explaining why folks seem to give up on it and either use brighter Halogens or LEDs, which can also be a nightmare in the long run.

The halogen WK2 uses four bulbs for headlights (passenger and driver side high and low beams). The HIDs are a two bulb headlight (one passenger one driver) with a shutter and leveling motors.

Are you thinking about putting HIDs in the high beam bulb location, and leaving the low beams halogen? Or are you thinking doing all four bulbs in HIDs? You should care about headlight leveling. You could try to retrofit the HID assemblies into the halogen Jeep and then hack the electrical system. That way you only need one bulb and have leveling motors... but then what are you going to drive the motors with... it goes on and on.

There are bulb/ballast/CANbus/capacitor kits, the best usually fail in about 2 years if they worked well enough to begin with.

All LED and HID bulbs, regardless of marketing claims, are prohibited from street use in vehicles originally equipped with halogen headlights in the USA. Unfortunately more and more states are enforcing it. In this area you have to know someone to guarantee you get a sticker without a fixit ticket.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory;
Current: 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland V8, 2009 Liberty Rocky Mt V6
Previous: 2000 Grand Cherokee Laredo I6, 1979 CJ7 I6 Quadratrac
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-29-2021, 10:50 AM
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The Tahoe had no self leveling system to worry about and not too much in the way of finicky electronics, but it took quite awhile since it was a new thing at the time. The housing is pretty big so that was a huge help. Now you can buy assembled retrofits from places like Black Flame. I can imagine it's only gotten more expensive if you have things like self leveling to address.

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-29-2021, 05:29 PM
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I did my WK using parts from The Retrofit Source and it's spectacular. Zero regrets.

To make life easier, I bought cheap halogen projector housings on ebay, then swapped the halogen projectors for bi-xenon HID projectors. I also swapped dedicated LED projectors into the high beams. The low beams are now excellent, and the high beams (which run the HID and LED simultaneously) feel like I'm harnessing the power of the sun

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post #11 of 16 Old 10-29-2021, 06:07 PM
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This is exactly the reason I’m asking about retrofitting projectors
You may want to take a look at these guys

https://www.anzousa.com/

They claim that their upgraded lamp clusters are plug-and-play. They were asking for people to test/review their products and I signed up and they are sending me a pair to try. I will let you know how I get on once I have them installed.

The big issue I have on my 2012 is the low beams are really bad so on dark roads you need to use the high beams, these are good but when you have to turn them off because of oncoming traffic it's like driving with parking lights which can be really scary at higher speeds.
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post #12 of 16 Old 10-30-2021, 09:03 AM
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@Bilko - let us know how the beta testing goes. I share your sentiment about the poor performance of the low beams. The high beams are really excellent but you know, you shouldn't blind oncoming traffic. I see from their site that at this time they don't have any offerings for the 11-13 WK2s.

@ColdCase - I agree with you that there is very little that can be done besides upgrading your entire vehicle. The videos I've seen on youtube all involve tons of hacking the wiring harness and that is an invitation to disaster.

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post #13 of 16 Old 10-30-2021, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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This is exactly the reason I’m asking about retrofitting projectors
You may want to take a look at these guys

http://www.anzousa.com/

They claim that their upgraded lamp clusters are plug-and-play. They were asking for people to test/review their products and I signed up and they are sending me a pair to try. I will let you know how I get on once I have them installed.

The big issue I have on my 2012 is the low beams are really bad so on dark roads you need to use the high beams, these are good but when you have to turn them off because of oncoming traffic it's like driving with parking lights which can be really scary at higher speeds.
How do I sign up for testing? 😂
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-22-2021, 01:16 PM
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@bryanintowson these are the https://www.anzousa.com/ product for 2011-13, preface lift model years. They appear to be very well made, DOT Compliant and they certainly look cool. The low beam performance is much better than stock. The DRL and Turn signals are very cool. I need to take a video.

Full disclosure the guys at Anzo USA did provide these lights for free but anybody that knows me will be aware I am a straight-talking, honest guy that can't be bought so this is 100% honest feedback.

They look much sleeker than the stock versions even though they are exactly the same size. The second photo shows a side-by-side comparison.

The install looks major but it only took me a couple of hours to perform.

If you go down this path this is a very useful video on how to remove the front bumper facia. The use of decorators tape to prevent scratching is an excellent piece of advice that I followed.


These replacements use all the original connectors so you don't need to cut and splice any wiring. They have an external ballast resistor for the LED DRLs and turn signals but these are easy to mount because they have double-sided foam tape and about a foot of wiring to provide mounting options. The ballast resistors have an in-line connector so should be replaceable if they fail.

The lights work great and there are no post-install bulb fail warnings or flickering LEDs.

The install looks really complicated but all you need is a deep reach 10mm socket, trim tool, and a 1/8 drill bit, most of the 10mm headed fasteners screw into plastic or threaded inserts so you do need to be careful not to over-torque and strip them. Unless you you have experience with the torque of your power tools it's probably best to use hand tools for reassembly. Before anybody points it out based on the photos I do use an impact driver for fastener removal but use a drill on the lowest torque setting to seat fasteners then go manual with a short ratchet wrench to avoid stripping.

You need to take your time when removing the various parts of plastic trim to avoid breaking the snap-in fasteners. Performing this work on a warm day or in a heated garage makes removal of plastic trim easier and reduces the risk of breaking the fasteners or latching tabs.

You do have to drill out the two plastic rivets on each of the fender trims so ensure you have replacements because they can't be reused. These work well and the complete kit cost less than buying the 4 replacements at a dealer.

https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-r..._q=poly+rivets

The most challenging part of the install was disconnecting the original connectors, they get brittle with age so you have to be careful not to break off the retaining latches. Use of a small flat blade screwdriver or a pick tool is going to be your best option to do this.

When mounting the replacements, ensure you position them correctly before fully tightening the three 10mm fasteners that secure the housings, you want to position the assemblies so there is some clearance between the painted metalwork and the headlamp assembly to avoid rubbing that could damage the paintwork and ultimately lead to corrosion.

If you don't have front tow recovery hooks and are thinking about adding them, this would be a great time to install them whilst you have the bumper cover removed.
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post #15 of 16 Old 11-25-2021, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for the review and for the write-up @Bilko . Can't wait to see a low light photo with them on and running!

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