A TTAC lurker writes:
Sajeev, I’m local to Houston and greatly look forward to my daily lurk on TTAC. I just had to respond affirmatively to the latest piston slap about HID’s and Panthers.I own 2 CV’s, an unmolested 2003 Sport:…and a 2002 HPP with various mods/tune: you will note the projector headlights in the ’02. I couldn’t agree more with the comments about the cheap HID kits and resulting glare/distraction to other drivers. In my case I went the route of a complete E55 projector retrofit and new wiring harness for a proper and adjustable installation. I’ve included a complete DIY I had posted on crownvic.net under my now-sold PI moniker Blue95 for your reading pleasure! IMO the only way to install HID lighting. Has been installed for about 2 years, no operating issues at all and no problems with state inspection.
First off: you are a hero for preserving a Panther (or any mildly historically relevant car, for that matter) and for doing a really impressive job in your HID conversion on Panther #2. That said, it may not be to the letter of the law as your new headlight bucket hasn’t been approved by the DOT, but whatever. Best and Brightest, that’s for you to decide.
Second off: I think I saw your 2003 Sport at IKEA about 3 weeks ago, maybe on a Saturday. You had me drooling as I walked in. Thanks for that, it sure made the notion of buying press-board minimalist furniture far more enticing.
Third off: upgrading to projector style headlight assemblies makes the HID-hatred far less terrible. Combine that with an OEM-style bulb rating (no blue/yellow/radioactive rated bulbs) and you are within spitting distance of what Dearborn put in that non-Panther thing they call a Taurus. It was mentioned in the previous comments by “turbosaab” to the same effect: you will get away with a good projector assembly, conservative HIDs, and quality wiring and relays/ballasts. I encourage everyone to read the PDF in your letter to see the extent of work necessary to do a “proper” HID retrofit on a car without projectors from the factory.
In our first installment, TTAC Commentator jco wrote:
There’s just no way you’ll get acceptable beam pattern and anything less than atrocious amounts of glare if you wire up an HID kit in halogen-designed open reflector housings….so the housing was designed to shape that type of light. And yes, I see junky HID kits in reflector housings all the time. it just looks cheap and wrong. there are usually huge hot spots at the top of the housing, specifically throwing glare at others. i don’t think there are any OEMs using HID in a non-projector housing.
I installed a well-made (it came with a wire harness with in-line fuses and directly plugged into my headlight harness. it takes the stress of the increased startup power away from the factory wiring) HID retro kit in my truck. But my truck already has projector housings for the low beams. though the lenses are not optimized for that type of bulb, they work about 90% as well a true OEM setup. and i spent time adjusting the level on the beams. i have driven another car in front of my truck at night and it’s not glare-y at all.
some people will take an open reflector housing, pull it apart, and install OEM projector components. if you’re skilled with a dremel tool you can probably do that in just about anything. it’s still gonna look weird in there, but you’ll have a better performing light setup. that’s beyond the level of most people who just buy a kit from ebay and plug it in.
In summation: you want aftermarket HIDs? Get projector housings, make them if necessary. Order HID bulbs that are on par with the brightness of OEM applications. Put it together with quality wiring and electrics. Aim them correctly.
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