I'm going to make this thread as simple as possible. I think many of you are wanting to get HIDS in your ride. Thats cool. But which way should you choose?
1) buy a HID "kit"?
2) retro in projectors from an OEM HID setup? (eg...Audi/s2000/bmw/etc)?
I will try to be as neutral as possible.
1) Buying a HID kit, for example a catz kit, means you are getting HID rebased bulbs to fit into your halogen housings. Also you are getting the necessary wiring along with ballasts to power the bulbs.
Now the first thing wrong with these, is that they are illegal to sell. "but that doesnt mean they are illegal to put in my car right?" Well, that is governed by state law and in most states its illegal to modify your stock housings.
Second thing. HIDS thrown into halogen housings can mean disaster. There is no one kit that will guarantee perfect results because housings differ from car to car.
The thing is, what most people don't comprehend, is that they are putting bulbs that put out 3 times the output that their stock halogens do, into a housing that is NOT EVEN CLOSELY designed to handle HID. This goes for projectors or reflectors.
Now i have seen good results in some cars. But its very rare. ANd most of these cars that put out good results had e-spec housings, or newer projectors.
We're talking about the lovely H4 housings which try and use a bulb that has 2 filaments for high and low.
HEre's some picts of hondas that i've seen. one was on this board, and i'm sorry if it offends you, but this is the ugliest thing i've ever seen in my life interms of throwing in a kit.
from a different car:
So why even risk buying a kit? Well some will defend it buy saying they can buy these sheilds that will cover up most of the glare. What they don't know, is that those shields are far from perfect, they block most of the glare, but they block some of the usable light as well.
Seeing the results on the road is another thing to consider. If you haven't seen an OEM equipped HID car (for example the s2000) then you have no clue what a true OEM setup can do.
From my experiences, i've seen more horrid results than good. Also have had many friends who've tried to do the same, yet miserably failed. They then go on to ask me, well which kit is better, because i want to try again. My response to that, is that the kits on the market dont differ THAT much. There is NO perfect kit out there.
What it all boils down to, is you are going to be spending $400+/-. Do you want good results? I hope the answer is yes.
Then why do people continually risk taking a chance with a "kit" and HOPING they'll get good results? I honestly have no clue. I've heard the excuses, and each one i've heard, has been a weak attempt to try and validate why they went the route they did.
Here are some of the good results ive seen. One the first was in the STI projectors. These are H1's with rebased bulbs. Now the reason that these have good results are because of the projector design. The thing is with most aftermarket projectors for our car, is that their design is total crap. I know, because i took my denji's apart, and was amazed how crappy they really were. Cheap/crappy cutoff sheild/crappy lenses/etc.
Here's the STI's pic
taken from HIDforum)
You can't get better results from a halogen designed projector than these. This is in OEM HID projector output/cutoff territory.
Plug and play usually
Can take out and used Halogen bulbs if you sell your car
Dont have to open your housings up
Illegal on the road
Usually non-quality components used ( i empasize USUALLY)
lose your high beams in most cases
pricey for the results you get
This IMO is the best way to go. Anywhere from $250-$450 you can buy a set of used or new OEM HID projectors from an Audi/BMW/S2000/etc to swap into your own housings.
For our EG housings, this can be somewhat interesting. You see, our lenses are fluted (not totally clear like newer housings). Now by keeping these lenses, it COULD affect results.
Most people have told me to buy clear lens housings so you don't even have to worry about the thought. I did just see an example of a Del Sol (has fluted lenses) that retro'd in projectors with Awesome results. The cutoff line was sharp as ever. The thing i'm wondering, is if he lost a little bit of output do to the non-clear lenses. There hasn't been any tests done to prove this on any forum i've seen, so its kind of a mystery.
I bought Denji projectors like the following:
They supposedly have one of the better construction qualities interms of aftermarket housings.
My goods - bi-xenon projectors/bulbs/ballasts/ignitors
You first have to go about taking your housings apart to get your projectors installed. In my case, i heard you could put them in the oven for 10 minutes at about 250 degrees. The thing i didnt know, is that you should put your lamps on the middle rack, NOT THE TOP. Thus, i melted the hell out of the top of my housing, still workable though.
Then take your housings out, and pry them open with a knife or something similar. Here's my housing taken apart.
Then i went on to take my halogen projector out so i could swap in my bi-xenon projector. But wait, how am i going to mount this thing in there, so i can use these stock adjustment screws? I had to get creative, so i chopped up the stock projectors, so i could use the base (which included pieces where the adjustment screws attached to) and then JB WELD them to my bi-xenon projector
Heres the shroud/base where the adjustment screws went through. I had to dremel the base of this off.
This is whats left after the cutting:
From there i JB welded these pieces on to my bi-xenon projectors:
Then i mounted them back in the projector housings.
After that i sealed the housings back up with some more silicon.
Problems that i ran into other than JB welding the base to my projector.
The length of my OEM HID projector was longer than the stock projector. thus, i had to cut a bigger hole in the back of the housing.
Finding a way to seal up the back of my housings now.
Pros of retroing:
Cost can be cheap ($250+)
OEM HID output/cutoff/no glare/etc
Takes some thought in some cases although retroing them into regular EG housings would be MUCH easier than what i had to do being you dont have to worry about the adjustment screws.. My bro's 00 SI lamps were a breeze!
Cant just "take" them out and throw halogens back in. But who would want to?
Still can be illegal, although you shouldnt have to worry, because your setup wont have glare. As long as you don't throw in 12000k bulbs, you'll be fine.
Ok, misc. pictures and info:
What bulbs should i get if i go with HID?
4100k-4300k are used in every OEM HID setup on the road right now (although i heard a couple cars were using philips 6000k ultinons).
With HID bulbs, the lower the K rating, the higher the lumen out put (light thats actually hitting the road). If you really worry about the color of your HIDS, you shouldnt be doing this mod anyway. HIDS are for more lighting/better safety, not for looks as many would think around here.
If you are going the looks route you can do two things, while still getting lots of light out. Actually make that three things.
1) buy used bulbs
Me and my bro both have HID projectors retro'd in. I had a new set of philips 4100k and he had an old set. His output was great, and so was mine, but his color was much more blue/silver/white. Mine was really yellow, but when you'd look at it from the right angle, you'd see a huge band of purple. This band is around the cutoff line, for example:
Taken from hidforum:
As you see, there is a bunch of purple/blue there. This is due to the optics/design of a projector. With HID's its much more pronounced, because of the design/time put into these. Even some halogen projectors i've seen have a color band at the cutoff that you can see during the night.
Anyway, me and my bro did a test. We swapped bulbs. When he had the new bulbs in his smaller projectors, he put out a BUNCH more light than i as you can see here:
My bulbs had alot more color though than his newer ones, but sacrificed on output.
When we switched bulbs back, i had the new ones, and was putting down ALOT more light than his old bulbs. This only proves that the older the bulb, the less lumens it will put out, but the more color it will put out. Thats why, when you see and OEM HID car, for example an Audi A6, you may see that the color will vary from car to car because of how much use the bulbs have had.
2) buy ONLY philips 6000k Ultinons
These are the only "high temp" bulbs i'd recomend if you wanted more color. Quality pieces, still nice lumen output, although very pricey for around $220.
3) Bend the shields (for experienced users)
If you "push" in the sheild of the projector (before they are sealed up in your housings obviously) inwards, you can created a thicker color band where the cutoff is. The cutoff line will then become not as sharp, but in some cases thats a nice thing.
With projectors, especially HID projectors, you can't see shat above your cutoff line. What does that mean to you? Well, interms of reflector setups, there is NO real cutoff line, meaning you light up trees and other things higher up, compared to projectors.
Finally, here's some more picts of my setup.
Blurry, i know.
If you have ANY questions, let this be the place to ask. I know there are a few others on this board whom i know have retro'd in projectors, and many who've went the kit way.
Let this be a place to debate/discuss/post picts and ask/answer any questions you have.
All in all, its a decision left up to you.
A great site to get started as well, is:
Thanks for looking, and hopefully an admin will archive this sometime down the road
Guys, look at the links in my sig if you are looking for HID parts. I have two separate links, one are HID parts that you'd need to complete a retro. The 2nd being a set of retrofitted lights for a 99/00 civic! Thanks..
Modified by ill_take_one at 2:37 PM 4/24/2007