Piston Slap: Of HID-retrofit Hatred, Panther Love…PART II
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.
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.And lastly, have a look at another excellent post from the last Piston Slap that deserves the oxygen of publicity:
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.
Send your queries to email@example.com . Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Art Vandelay I’d grab one of these if I’d spent my working life at GM for sure!
- Analoggrotto The factory is delayed due to an investigation of a peter puffery ring lead by VoGhost, Tassos, EBFlex a Chevrolet Volt.
- FreedMike Looking forward to the protests at the factory accusing Toyota of excessive woke-ism. First, EVs...next, grooming. Lord help us all.
- MrIcky I remember when Gladiators came out and everyone was shocked at how expensive they were. Now all the off road specials have caught up or passed it financially. I like this truck a lot, but I'd still take my Rubicon over this. I'd take this over the Ranger Raptor or Tacoma TRD though. When I found out the increase in track for the new TRD was just wheel offset-I knew they were just phoning it in. Why spend so much R&D on those stupid seats when you could have r&d'd longer arms or a front locker.
- Alan Hmm, I see a bit of politicking here. What qualifications do you need to run GM or Ford? I'd bet GM or Ford isn't run by experienced people. Anyone at that level in an organisation doesn't need to be a safety whip, you need to have the ability to organise those around you to deliver the required results.
I may be mistaken, but I believe that there are some OEMs who install HID bulbs into housings that do not use projectors. For example the original Lexus IS comes to mind, here's an ebay link to the headlight: http://bit.ly/whql8H Just curious if anyone knows what they do differently in order to accommodate the HIDs without using projectors.
Interesting topic that I don't really know a great deal about. I think here in the Netherlands you're not allowed to retrofit xenons on cars that don't have washers installed for the headlights, because even dirt on the lenses can apparently cause a lot of glare. I thought most of the people retrofitting these lights did it for style mostly (which is ironic, cause the look is ofentimes not that great). Consequently, a lot have gone to leds now (shiny bright angel eyes in bimmers wih halogen lights and stuff). Sometimes it doesn't look half bad (sometimes it really does though) but in almost all cases, it doesn't look OEM and that's usually not a good thing (tacky, cheaply made).