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Experiment DIY: Getting that HID cut off. (LHD)

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by eNtraxGT88, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    DIY Retrofit Legit Projector Headlights

    Projector + HID Mod < link

    My first two prototypes were experiments with the H4 sealed beam replacement housings with HIDs. DON'T USE THEM.

    If you don't have a contrast between light and dark like below, you're doing it wrong!

    However, some of us have opted for HID's in our H4 housings just because we can. This provides issues because THERE IS NO GOOD H4 HID "conversion" kit. THEY ALL SUCK. There are 4 kinds of H4 hid's with low/high beam and a combinations of both or either. The goal of this thread is NOT to argue whether or not HIDs are bad in reflector housings, it's to produce the best beam possible with HIDs without fabbing up proper projector lens into our cars.

    If you're gonna use HIDs at all in any H4 housing, I suggest sticking with H4-1. This is only low beam and this way, we can focus on one light source aiming the right way. Let's start with a standard H4 run of the mill bulb. You'll see that the top shielded portion is the low beam and the high beam is the bottom portion. The shield makes sure the light beam only goes to the top of the reflector. Top of reflector = beam towards the ground. The unshielded bottom portion allows the light beam to reflect on all parts of the reflector = beam pointed straight forward.

    Now if you compare your regular "H4 HID conversion kit" bulb with the bases at the same height. You'll see that where the HID light arc is nowhere near the low beam OR high beam, this is the reason why H4 HIDs give a different cut off than standard H4 bulbs in the same housing.

    So I'll be sharing my findings here over the next few weeks. I've been experimenting with spare H4-1 HID bulbs. The goal right now is to match the location of Filament in Halogen vs. Arc in HID.

    Prototype 1 (fail):
    IMG-20120309-00344.jpg IMG-20120309-00345.jpg IMG-20120309-00346.jpg IMG-20120310-00347.jpg
    Pic 1: Disintegrate the base where the bulb sits and move the whole bulb up.
    Pic 2: Line up the HID arc to where the low beam H4 filament is. Note the base should be the same height.
    Pic 3: Left: Modded HID, Right: Untouched HID (I put back the Casper Shield back before trying out pic 4)
    Pic 4: Left: Modded HID now has cut off, Right: Untouched HID with glare. Both in Autopal housings. Different color because the test bulb on the left is 6000k while my daily usage bulb right now on the right is 4300k.

    Two notes:
    1) This won't work because the plastic base is made out of some material that insulates high voltage and prevents voltage arcs from forming between the two wires. When I broke it off and sealed it back with electrical tape, 20000 volts just goes through it. Seems to have only affected off/on cycles. Hot bulbs need more voltage to start up the light arc again.
    2) If you look at a standard halogen H4 bulb facing down, the bulb compared to the base is rotated a few degrees clockwise, this provides the rise up light towards the right side (see first picture of thread). I will need to rotate the Casper Shield clockwise to reproduce this effect.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  2. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    listen..I don't want to be an ass but if you buy a descent set and use aftermarket H4 housings....it WILL work. I had both cheapass and high end products and the high end had a perfect angle and the cheap ass in the same housing was shit. It all depends on perfect angle and measurements and the cheap ones have small differences in that which causes all these problems. So the same as with most performance upgrades, buy the high end stuff and drive safe or buy egay shit and have issues all the time.

    my 2 cents on it. :)
  3. cliffmeister3

    cliffmeister3 Well-Known Member Donated!

    What are some "high end" brand?
  4. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    and i have my reasons to disprove that. there is absolutely no problem with the egay housing (autopal, not those "diamond cut" bullshit). proof = first picture of thread using halogen. it's the same as the halogen cut off as a hella i tried out in comparison (i returned it in favour of my $25 Dot-approved ebay item)

    as is the premise of the original post: it's the HID bulb that's a problem. most people blame the reflector, but in the specific case of H4, it's the HID bulb. there is NO proper replacement bulb that can copy the standard halogen hi/lo h4. it's simply in the wrong position relative to the optics. go grab a HID bulb and put it beside a halogen bulb and you'll see what i'm talking about. basically, if you have a H4 plug and HIDs and you haven't modded it at all, you're not doing it right.

    i've done a lot of research into this, and i will bet you some canadian maple syrup that if you put H4 hid's, regardless of what brand, into any H4 reflector, OEM, Hella, Bosch, Cibie, anything, and you are not going to get a proper beam, period. the point is simply put: if i can get a great beam pattern with halogens, i should be able to put light sources like HIDs, candles, fireflies, on an identical spot and get the same result. i would love to be proved wrong, no offense taken, whatever helps is good.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  5. 187flatliner

    187flatliner Seat Breaker Donated!

    i have cheap ebay housings and my hid's have no problems at all and shine where they're suppose to.
  6. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    got picture of the cut off and beam pattern on a wall? if you're bored on a saturday do it!
  7. 187flatliner

    187flatliner Seat Breaker Donated!

    maybe if i had a phone with a camera that was working.....ill see.
  8. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    I used the Pilot HID's. Don't know if they are available in the US. Not only me but also some of my friends bought these and some cheaper HID's all resulting in the same conclusion. With Pilot in nonbranded and oem housing it's fine but replacing it by another bulb (friends also had 1 broken bulb replacing it by ebay bulb) the light was scattered and not good anymore.

    Conclusion I already gave, it is a reflected beam so the reflector is important but also the dimensions of the bulb.


  9. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    if you don't mind, could you take a pic of your set up lit against a wall? perhaps 5 meters away from a wall?
  10. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    Prototype 2:

    So I've finished with prototype two, and i've got to say, there is a LOT of engineering involved with headlight optics.
    - The bulb has been raised off it's old base + a new shield that just let light out from the arc in 180 degrees of light
    - Here's the output with the same Autopal housing that sucked above.
    426818_10150601499796017_644241016_9454931_1613861717_n.jpg 424962_10150601498816017_644241016_9454924_818222286_n.jpg
    (camera was a tad bit blurry)

    The only problem is you can see the hot spots on the left and right ends of the beam. After more research into HID arcs, there's a perfect reason why. Here's a comparison of the strength of light depending on the location of a halogen filament vs HID arc:
    Halogen filament: <====>
    HID arc: >=--=<
    In other words HIDs have the brightest portion on the ends of the light arc, while halogen filaments have them in the middle.

    The mods done on this cheap ebay HID bulb results in a beam pattern that is DEFINITELY BETTER than just throwing them on.

    With that said there's a few ways to do this properly and get a proper pattern:
    - Lone Wolf's Pilot H4-3 HID ($180) + whatever housing (eBay $40)
    - Cheap eBay HIDs ($15-40) + These real projectors: http://www.norcalmr2.com/pegasus/ $200 (Low beam only)
    - Get a real projector and retrofit it like this: http://geometroforum.com/topic/2650787/1/#new (Low beam only, but can use a different projector and have high beams)
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  11. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    If you only said that earlier...when swapping to the turbo I took the HID out and put normal bulbs in, as I almost never drive in the dark and I hated so much cabling and transformer boxes when having almost no room left allready :).

    I have put it in my Corolla (also H4) so will try to make a picture of that for you. Should have some pictures somewhere though,...even though my laptop got stolen last year I believe I had some online, will search. My lights where angled in a shop which showed perfect angle as well... I had a picture of that but think that was on the stolen laptop... dam those freakin thieves !!
  12. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    thanks, i hope you find them! yeh, the only way it doesn't affect space considering all the wiring is behind the front corner lights. the cables can go to hell. i will be doing something different. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxXxrWw1r0o
  13. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    no pictures :( sadly sadly :(
  14. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    next time you're near that corolla at night!
  15. lone wolf

    lone wolf Well-Known Member Donated!

    I really like those pegagus lights but without high beam it's a no go for my car :( so that sucks...
  16. Jamezzy

    Jamezzy Well-Known Member Donated!

    Hey that guy in that forum in your retrofit link, his friend has a ST162! lol But really those preofectors are so crisp. Nothing like it
  17. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    yeh he's posted that geo metro forum link, mattcr2d2 i think?
  18. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    So I trashed my earlier experiments because it provided shitty brightness and I went with the retrofitting projectors into the Autopal housing.

    is where I got the projector, they have GREAT customer service, and if you email them about the 'value' ones, the ones with little scratches that don't affect performance, it's only $55. On top of that, I bought D2H 4300k bulbs ($40) as they are the shortest in size, so it fits in our flip-ups. These bulbs will plug into your regular HID ballasts.

    • First things first, you need to have a H4 housing like autopal/hella/cibie or those ebay ones, it doesn't matter which one as we're only using this as a container. The projector goes inside the housing that we have. So that means the glass has to come off
    • Preheat a kitchen oven at 350F, when it's ready, put in your housings for 5 minutes, and the glass should pry off.
    • Now when you put in the projector (this step is direct fit), you'll notice that there are two problems:
      • The glass won't go back on because the projector is too big in the front.
      • The glass won't work anyways since like the one I have is ribbed, it will disperse the straight beam.
    • So I went and bought some plexiglass, made a mold using the autopal glass cover with some wall filler, added a lump for the projector to fit and melted the plexiglass onto the mold. (A vacuum form would be real handy here but I didn't have one)
    • Cut the leftovers using a band saw with the finest/smallest teeth you can find, no matter what you'll find that when you cut through it, they melt back together so you might need to cut through the same spot a few times. Belt sand off excess.

    Burnaby-20120403-00429.jpg Burnaby-20120403-00430.jpg Burnaby-20120403-00432.jpg Burnaby-20120403-00433.jpg Burnaby-20120403-00437.jpg
    Burnaby-20120403-00438.jpg IMG-20120404-00439.jpg
    then NOW you have a glass cover for the projector+housing. put it on using some kwik seal.

    Finished Product:
    Got Color Flicker? When you straddle the camera along the cut off

    The most important part, the output:

    By the way, these are bi-xenon projectors...so I have HID highbeams along with a very proper HID low beam.
    Total cost $155:
    Autopal housings $25
    Projectors $55
    D2S bulbs $40
    Generic 35w ballast $20 from a friend
    Plexiglass sheets $15
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  19. 187flatliner

    187flatliner Seat Breaker Donated!

    Nice...but are they real projectors?
  20. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    yes they are legit projectors. there is no way in hell you're gonna get the same output and clear cutoff if you buy ebay crappers, or ANY combination of HID/reflectors even if it's top brand for that matter

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