HID headlight conversions any good?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by arceeguy, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Here's the deal - I am getting sick and tired of replacing H3 halogen low beam lamps in my 2001 Tiburon. The car has been eating these bulbs since the car was new. On average, a set of headlights will last from 3-6 months. I've tried Sylvania Standard, Sylavania Silverstars, Philips, Osram, and some e-Bay "HID" look bulbs that had blue colored glass. lol I've literally spent hundreds on headlights. Luckily, the car has been trouble free otherwise.

    I've had the wiring and charging system checked out by the dealer, two independent garages (+ myself) and everything looks OK. No other bulbs are burning up, just the headlights. They'll pop while you are driving or within 10 seconds of turning them on. It's been driving me nuts for 8 years.

    Anyway, I see that I can buy a conversion kit to use those fancy shmancy HID headlights and they say that they are guaranteed for two years and have an average life of 2500 hours.

    Anyone have any experience (positive or negative) with these retrofits?


  2. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    Gotta check you local laws, the HID conversion kits are illegal in some locations, but they are very nice.
  3. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I'm thinking that because they aren't OEM and DOT approved, they are technically illegal. I really don't care as long as they don't burn out as often.

    I see a lot of people on the road that have HID conversions, and while they are brighter than the halogens, they seem to keep the same focus pattern and not blind oncoming traffic. This, along with general reliability are my main concerns.
  4. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    As long as you do not have a safety check sounds like you are good then! my understanding is Hawaii just changed to allow them, used to be an instant failure.
  5. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Enforcement is lax here in NJ. They don't care if your Harley has straight pipes and rattles windows for several blocks, they don't care if you retrofit your headlights, they don't care if your brake linings are worn down to the metal backing, they don't care if your tires are as bald as James Carville.

    But God help you if your HC emissions are 1 ppm (parts per million) over their set standard.

    Or if you are not wearing your seat belt during the "Click it or TICKET" "awareness" campaign - or you are going 3 mph over the posted limit during the "OBEY the signs or PAY the FINES" "awareness" campaign

    I love this (police) state........
  6. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    It's not the "Police State", it's what the State trains thier clones to write revenue for!

    Same here Brother! Wish I've tried them but havn't had probs with my car yet... Friends have used them w/o problems but it sounds like your getting wicked voltage spikes. If this happens randomly, check all of your grounds, everything! Sure it ain't happening when you turn something else on? When the motor fan starts or AC kicks on?

    Pop a bulb out and hook up your meter right to the lights. Good luck!
  7. heathyoung

    heathyoung Member

    IIRC tibs are a projector style headlamp?

    There are two styles of H3 conversions - Go for a H3C not H3 as they work FAR better in this style of lamp - The sort that offroaders use in their driving lights. They look different to all of the other 'rebase' bulbs that use D2S internals.

    Look at http://www.hid-lamp.com/products/HID-Bulb-H3C.htm

  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    They could be popping because you actually touched the bulbs (knowingly or unknowingly). When I was working at Advance Auto Parts, I had no idea that if the oils on your fingertips get on the bulb that they are ruined and will explode eventually. Luckily, the customer knew that and we were able to swap that out with a clean bulb.

    As for the HID conversion kits... it's too much work for me. I remember last year at BimmerForums.com that they had some kinda replacement bulbs for stock setups that were like 75% of the brightness of HIDs, but no conversion kit necessary. Don't remember anything else besides that.
  9. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Yes - the tibby has projector style headlights. If I do this, I will get the H3C's - thanks for the tip!

    Sparky - in all the failures, the filament is broken and the quartz envelope is fine. If the bulbs failed from oil contamination, the quartz would have ruptured.

    Marty - While I havent checked the voltage at the socket, I have hooked up a data logger to the diagnostic port and everything looks fine under driving conditions. No spikes.

    I was also thinking about wiring a resistor in series with the headlights to drop the voltage maybe 10%. Problem is that I will lose brightness. With the HID conversion, the lights will draw 40 watts less per pair, and have more lumens. Well, at least for the 4300K models, the "blue" looking ones have less light output. Since I'm not trying to look like a Mercedes (lol), I'm happy with white light, not blue tinted light. (HID's are common now, so they've kind of lost that luster)

    Thanks for the suggestions guys!
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

  11. heathyoung

    heathyoung Member

    HIR's are only available in 9004/9005 IIRC - not in H3's. From what I have heard, they don't have the output yet to match HID.

    4300K is what all factory HID's use anyway. Its the best in terms of colour rendition and fatigue. 5000K bulbs are dim and annoying to drive with. I have a set of bulbs from an old beamer with a heap of klms that have colourshifted to about 5000K, they are as dim as halogens now :)
  12. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    While they're not HID, HIR bulbs seem to be good enough for most. Certainly an improvement over regular halogens with no extra current draw, so they last longer. There doesn't seem to be really any negative side to it other than the fact that it's so "underground" and you have to buy from somebody on eBay or other small websites... and you can't just go to Advance Auto and pick 'em out today. It's the Corporatocracy, I say!!

    Arceeguy, you should really try some HIR bulbs if they fit your car and let us know how they work out for ya! I'd buy some for the Bimmer if I wasn't so interested in my ROI. :cool2:
  13. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    You're right. I think Hyundai purposely designed the headlights to blow so they could make money off of the bulbs, which are inherently a high profit item. Probably costs a few cents to manufacture a bulb in China with slave labor to sell here for 40 bucks a pair. What I need is a good American bulb made with union labor, and they would probably last for years. Come to think of it, my Chrysler minivan is 15 years old, and you know what? I don't think I've ever replaced a headlamp. (maybe a brake light or two though.....)

    In any case, these $60 aftermarket HID headlights are probably the same as the $600 dealer option for HID's on cars that you can get them on. More corporate greed in action. I'll just have to do it myself and eliminate the greedy corporate middleman!
  14. stealthc9

    stealthc9 Member

    EBAY HIDS FOR THE WIN...Ive used ALOT from ebay. they are worth it and ur tiburon has projector headlights so ur good to go my brother :) seriously u wont be dissappointed. The conversions are sooo cheap its dumb not to get 'em
  15. stealthc9

    stealthc9 Member

    and hyundai is the korean mitsubishi which is known for wiring headaches I love mitsu but wiring does degrade over time unfortunately. and yes they really are a subsidiary of mitsubishi motors. Alot of the engine components interchange and run off the same computers etc (hyundai elentra 2.0 and eclipse 2.4)