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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys I have a 04 Coupe 4200 with standard headlights. i.e. dim.. I would like to get them upgraded to the HID Xenon type.. does any one have any experience in doing this?
 

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Can't be done, at any reasonable cost. I looked into it. I had them re-aim the headlamps a hair higher than spec, and that was an improvement.
 

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it would be cool even if we atleast are able to change the bulb for a xenon one.

willie
 

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Actually If you willing to do it your self, it will not cost much. I converted the normal light to Xenon on my previous car. My Coupe has xenon as an option so I dont have to do that again.

The light on Coupe/Spider, the high and low beam are not on the same bulb so that it is almost plug and play system to convert. Just buy a good Xenon aftermarket set off ebay. I think it should cost less than $400 for a set. Just for low beam, you do not need high beam to be xenon cause it take time to be fully bright.

The biggest problem is the light unit on our cars are hard to reach. I think, the best way to reach is take off the wheel then take off the plastic wheel well. Even to adjust the aiming of the light, I have to take the wheels off.
That is the way they design to make money for the service. Too bad..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks - useful advice :) I'll have a look at the set-up this weekend and make a judgement call... do you know which bulb we have in as standard noon-xenon.. ?
 

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Guys after some further perusing I am going to leave the whole idea based on the following from another forum..

"I asked Daniel Stern ( http://www.danielsternlighting.com/ )automotive lighting expert, about the HID kits where you just replace the bulb in the existing lens with HID's here is his reply:

Quote:
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There are many unsafe, illegal and noncompliant products on the market, mainly consisting of an HID ballast and bulb for "retrofitting" into a halogen headlamp. Often, these products are advertised using the name of a reputable lighting company ("Real Philips kit! Real Osram kit!") to try to give the potential buyer the illusion of security. While some of the components in these kits are sometimes made by the companies mentioned,
the components aren't being put to their designed or intended use.

Reputable companies like Philips, Osram, Hella, etc. NEVER endorse this kind of "retrofit" usage of their products.

Halogen headlamps and HID headlamps require very different optics to produce a safe and effective -- not to mention legal -- beam pattern. How come? Because of the very different characteristics of the two kinds of light source.

A halogen bulb has a cylindrical light source -- the glowing filament. The space immediately surrounding the cylinder of light is completely dark, and so the sharpest contrast between bright and dark is along the edges of the cylinder of light. The ends of the filament cylinder fade from bright to dark.

An HID bulb has a crescent-shaped light source -- the arc. It's
crescent-shaped because as it passes through the space between the two electrodes, its heat causes it to try to rise. The space immediately surrounding the crescent of light glows in layers...the closer to the crescent of light, the brighter the glow. The ends of the arc crescent are the brightest points, and immediately beyond these points is completely dark, so the sharpest contrast between bright and dark is at the ends of
the crescent of light.

When designing the optics (lens and/or reflector) for a lamp, the
characteristics of the light source are *the* driving factor around which everything else must be engineered. If you go and change the light source, you've done the equivalent of putting on somebody else's eyeglasses -- they may fit on your face OK, but you won't see properly.

Now, what about those "retrofits" in which the beam cutoff still appears sharp? Don't fall into the trap of trying to judge a beam pattern solely by its cutoff! In many lamps, especially the projector types, the cutoff will remain the same regardless of what light source is behind it. Halogen bulb, HID capsule, cigarette lighter, firefly, hold it up to the sun -- whatever. That's because of the way a projector lamp works. The cutoff is simply the projected image of a piece of metal running side-to-side behind the lens. Where the optics come in is in distributing the light (under the cutoff). And, as with all other automotive lamops (and, in fact, all optical instruments), the optics are calculated based not just on where the light source is within the lamp (focal length) but also the specific photometric characteristics of the light source...which parts of it are brighter, which parts of it are darker, where the boundaries of the light source are, whether the boundaries are sharp or fuzzy, the shape of the light source, etc.

There are more "gotchyas" when pondering halogen-to-HID "retrofits". The only available arc capsules have an axial (fore and aft) arc, but many popular halogen headlamp bulbs, such as 9004, 9007, H3 and H12, use a transverse (side-to-side) and/or offset (not directly in line with the central axis of the headlamp reflector) filament, the position and orientation of which is physically impossible to match with a "retrofit" HID capsule. Just because your headlamp might use an axial-filament bulb,
though, doesn't mean you've jumped the hurdles -- the laws of optical physics don't bend even for the cleverest marketing department, nor for the catchiest HID "retrofit" kit box.

The latest gimmick is HID arc capsules set in an electromagnetic base so that they shift up and down or back and forth. These are being marketed as "dual beam" kits that claim to address the loss of high beam with fixed-base "retrofits" in place of dual-filament halogen bulbs. What you wind up with is two poorly-formed beams, at best. The reason the original equipment market has not adopted the movable-capsule designs they've been
playing with since the mid 1990s is because of the near-impossibility of controlling the arc position accurately so it winds up in the same position each and every time. There are single-capsule dual-beam systems appearing ("BiXenon", etc.), but these all rely on a movable optical shield, or movable reflector -- the arc capsule always stays in one place.

The OE engineers have a great deal more money and resources at theirdisposal -- if a movable capsule were a practical way to do the job, they'd do it. The "retrofit" kits *certainly* don't address this problem anywhere near satisfaction. And even if they did, remember: Whether a fixed or moving-capsule "retrofit" is contemplated, solving the arc-position problem and calling it good is like going to a hospital with two broken ribs, a sprained ankle and a crushed toe and having the nurse say "Well, you're free to go home now, we've put your ankle in a sling!"

Focal length (arc/filament positioning) is ONE issue out of several.

The most dangerous part of the attempt to "retrofit" Xenon headlamps is that sometimes you get a deceptive and illusory "improvement" in the performance of the headlamp. The performance of the headlamp is perceived to be "better" because of the much higher level of foreground lighting (on the road immediately in front of the car). However, examining isoscans of
the beam patterns produced by this kind of "conversion" reveals *less* distance light, and often an alarming relative minimum where there's meant to be a relative maximum in light intensity. When you *think* you can see better than you can, you're *not* safe.

It's tricky to judge headlamp beam performance without a lot of knowledge, a lot of training and a lot of special equipment, because subjective perceptions are very misleading. Having a lot of strong light in the foreground, that is on the road close to the car and out to the sides, is very comforting and reliably produces a strong *impression* of "good headlights". The problem is that not only is foreground lighting of decidedly secondary importance when travelling much above 30 mph, but having a very strong pool of light close to the car causes your pupils to close down, *worsening* your distance vision...all the while giving you
this false sense of security. This is to say nothing of the massive
amounts of glare to other road users and backdazzle to you, the driver, that results from these "retrofits".

HID headlamps also require careful weatherproofing and electrical
shielding because of the high voltages involved. These unsafe "retrofits" make it physically possible to insert an HID bulb where a halogen bulb belongs, but this practice is illegal and dangerous, regardless of claims by these marketers that their systems are "beam pattern corrected" or the fraudulent use of established brand names to try to trick you into thinking the product is legitimate. In order to work correctly and safely,
HID headlamps must be designed from the start as HID headlamps.

The only safe and legitimate HID retrofit is one that replaces the
*entire* headlamp -- that is lens, reflector, bulb...the WHOLE shemozzle -- with optics designed for HID usage. It IS possible to get clever with the growing number of available products, such as Hella's modular projectors available in HID or halogen, and fabricate your own brackets and bezels, or to modify an original-equipment halogen headlamp housing to contain optical "guts" designed for HID usage. But just putting an HID bulb where a halogen one belongs is bad news all around.

--

And anyone who chooses to try to argue with the laws of optical physics isn't worth wasting time on.

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End quote
 

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Not only chasing the laws of physics, but the risk of fire or at least burning up a section of your wiring harness. Not worth it.
 

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not to be the bad guy , but after reading that bible i was:

a) sleepy and,

b) not that impressed.

i have upgraded the bulb on the past 3 of my BMW's that i have had (e60 530, Z4 3.0, M3) and i have never ever but ever had any problems.

i do agree that there are a lot of companies that sell bad products, but we are all smart people. we are not going to put a $25.00 bulb in a $100.00+ car...

but hey, it was very smart/tricky of the writer to incorporate physics into the mix to legitimize his argument...(i am far to simple of a man to go against physics)

but i will say that from my experience this is actually safe, easy and it works...

O.K. i will end this post, because i just criticize the bible from the other forum and i think i am doing the same thing. jajaja :)


-willie
 

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I've done bulb upgrades before, but an HID system is much more than a "bulb upgrade"! Let's not confuse the two issues.

I think you might be able to get away with a brighter bulb with a different chromatic range and maybe a bit more wattage. But installing a "true" HID system is a different matter...
 

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correct.

i personally have not done a true HID conversion, i did have some one offer it to me at al and ed's, but i was not interested at the time.

willie
 

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willie said:
correct.

i personally have not done a true HID conversion, i did have some one offer it to me at al and ed's, but i was not interested at the time.

willie
I did the true HID conversion. For my case, it is pretty complicate cause my previous car has H4 bulbs which have high and low beam in the same bulbs.

But for the only low beam bulb, it is pretty easy in my opinion. I like to work on my car and comfortable with hand tool. I like the look of the HID light. It look way better than standard. It is up to you that you want to try or not. You have to find the quality set. Read the post above and make up your own mind. For me, if I don't have HID on my car, i will convert to HID anyway.

By the way, it will take time to reach the light and change it.
 

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By installing the HID system onto the car, it is totally a different light output compared to any halogen bulbs.

More information can be found on:

http://www.auraxt.com.au/

This company also makes conversion kit for the H4 bulbs (High and low beam)

I'm using their 6000K bulb and personally find it very good.
 
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