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Author Topic: Halogen upgrades.  (Read 60797 times)
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Mobius
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« on: October 08, 2009, 12:16:41 PM »

Too bad there is no HID option.... so I'll have to make one myself, for the low beams.  In the meantime I'll have to upgrade the halogen bulbs to something a little more acceptable.

So far the most intensive mod I have planned for our new terrain is to modify the headlights to accept a proper HID ellipsoidal setup.  

 The headlight designs themselves are quite different, but I'm curious to know if GM managed costs a little better by using the same halogen projectors in both the Terrain and Acadia, and/or other models.   Which would mean that the Acadia HID lens/reflector would theoretically fit in the Terrain.......   The first step will be to find out if they have the same part numbers I guess.

Barring that, I may pick up a set of AP1 Honda S2000 headlights, since they are by far my favorite as far as spread and cut off are concerned.

Or I could just buy a quality HID kit and pop them in, but that will depend on what bulb type GM uses in the projector housing.   If the focus point looks like it will be very close between the halogen and the xenon bulb (like it seems to be for the Acadia), then I may just go this route.

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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 08:31:16 AM »

True, you would think HID would at least be an option.  Good luck on your mods to your new Terrain.  The more I hear about the Terrain, the more I like it.  Not in the market just yet, but really think the Terrain will take off.  Glad to hear you got one, hope you like it for years to come.  I have a 2009 Enclave, and have had that a year, and it's great.  The Terrain has some of the features of the Enclave, plus a few more newer goodies, some I wish were on the Enclave.  You will like HID lights if you are able to do the mod, keep us posted...and enjoy that new ride!
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 06:58:37 PM »

You might check out XenonDepot, one of the sponsors in the Lambda forums (http://www.acadiaforum.net). He may have replacement HIDs for these as well. It's worth a shot.
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Mobius
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 08:11:45 PM »

Thanks, I will do that.
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Mobius
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 03:58:42 PM »

Our new Terrain finally came in at the start of the week.  The lighting situation is as bad as I thought; with the low beams and fog lights being piddly 1400 lumen H11 bulbs, things definitely need to change.

First things first.  I ordered some of these newfangled Toshiba/GE HIR 9011 bulbs for the high beams ( they will have to be modified a little bit to fit in the 9005 socket).  From the before and after images I've seen, it should make worlds of difference.  The OEM highbeams are pretty decent, but I like to be able to see very clearly, especially with the many deer and antelope who live around here.  The lights have been ordered from www.finemotoring.com.

I considered using H9 bulbs in place of the H11's in the fog lights, but I couldn't find anything that I liked.  Apparently H9's are still quite rare, as far as bulbs go.  So instead I have ordered 2 sets of Osram Nightbreakers from www.powerbulbs.com.   I've heard excellent reviews (supposedly 90% more available light), so we'll see how the do in the fog lights.

I'm also putting a set of these Nightbreakers in the low beam headlights for now, it should be at least a livable improvement for over the winter.  Eventually (read: when it warms up next spring) I'll be doing a HID retrofit.  I'm not a fan of sticking modified D2S bulbs in housings that were not designed for it.  I'd rather do it right.  The retrofit will basically consist of Hella Gen 3 ballasts, Philips bulbs (4300K), and The Retrofit Source's new Honda S2000 replica projectors (when they finally finish them).

Anyway, I'll post pictures of the installation(s) and changes in output as I get there.

Oct 30th:

I received all of my bulbs in the mail.  After reading the Acadia forums, and how inefficiently they were designed with regards to headlight access, I'm glad someone heard the complaints.  Access was easy; a nice little port hole to reach through in the wheel well.  Even the dust/moisture caps on the headlights themselves had a little bar to grab onto for twisting them on/off.

The H11's are a little brighter.  Not too much difference, but as I said before it'll have to do for now.   The HIR bulbs seem to make a lot of difference, especially once they've heated up fully.

Fog Lights:  Before and After



Low Beams:  Before and After



High Beams HIR: Before and After



Before and After pictures were taken using the same settings, in the same environment, in the same night, with the same camera, within a short period of time from each other, and with no photoshopping Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 01:58:26 PM »

Mobius, we look forward to your project! When you start, I suggest you create a new thread and document your project. If history is any indication, that kind of thread will be highly sought after in the months and years to come.
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nadforever
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 11:10:31 AM »

I know i would love some more info on this topic, definetly wanna get HID's in mine!!!
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Terrain
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 05:53:57 AM »

Great info!  Thanks!

I too had read nightmares about replacing headlight bulbs on late model gms.  Glad the engineers provided relative easy access to them.

Still waiting for my Terrain.  It's "in transit" whatever that means.
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bama
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2009, 04:28:40 PM »

Does anyone know if there is a way to disconnect the daytime running lights when using the automatic feature. This would hurt the life of the hid bulb.
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Mobius
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009, 04:42:34 PM »

I haven't really looked into that yet, but I assume there would be some method of doing so.  I also assume that by 'hurting the life of the HID bulb', you're talking about it being reduced by them being lit for long periods of time?

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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2009, 05:14:00 PM »

Yes I was referring to them being lit for so long.  My last car was a subaru legacy gt and I put an hid kit in it.  To shut off the drl all it took was unpluging a harness.  I wanted to do a retrofit but was to scared of screwing the headlight housing up. 
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Mobius
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2009, 07:07:55 PM »

Yeh, that's what I thought.  According to the manual, the DRL's run at a reduced voltage.  This would be very hard on the ballasts if someone decided to just run a PnP kit off the stock harness, rather than making up a relay and new harness straight off the battery.
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Steve A
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 02:18:58 PM »

I'd think there is a relay - somewhere - for the DRL function as you can shut them off with the stalk switch, so imagine that interrupts the circuit to the relay.

May be a totally erroneous guess ?? 

Anybody know, or have a wiring diagram ??
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tbox302
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 02:44:59 PM »

i would love to know this as well, not only for the possibility of doing HID (if it won't void the warranty) but i just don't like using DRL as i always upgrade my bulbs and want them to last as long as possible, so it would be nice to not have to physically turn them off every single time i get in the car...lol
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2010, 03:55:15 PM »

One thing to keep in mind is that you really shouldn't put HID bulbs into traditional reflector (non-projector) housings. The Terrain has a projector housing for low beam, but traditional reflector for high. I like HID as much as the next man, but they just emit WAY too much glare in reflector housings. The only exception I make for this is motorcycles, which quite frankly I don't give a crap how obnoxious my lights are, as it's a safety thing.

When my Terrain arrives, I'll likely put some good Halogen's in for a high-beam and fog, and consider HID for low. I personally wouldn't put in Halogens in for low beams due to their extremely short life span. I was going through a set of Silverstar Ultra's (lowbeam) on my Civic once every 6 months, at about $100 a pop (~80km/day). I bitched at the Osram people on the phone and basically they admit they don't last long.
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Mobius
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 05:59:34 PM »

One thing to keep in mind is that you really shouldn't put HID bulbs into traditional reflector (non-projector) housings. The Terrain has a projector housing for low beam, but traditional reflector for high. I like HID as much as the next man, but they just emit WAY too much glare in reflector housings. The only exception I make for this is motorcycles, which quite frankly I don't give a crap how obnoxious my lights are, as it's a safety thing.

When my Terrain arrives, I'll likely put some good Halogen's in for a high-beam and fog, and consider HID for low. I personally wouldn't put in Halogens in for low beams due to their extremely short life span. I was going through a set of Silverstar Ultra's (lowbeam) on my Civic once every 6 months, at about $100 a pop (~80km/day). I bitched at the Osram people on the phone and basically they admit they don't last long.

With the Terrain, the projector/reflector issue is moot point.  Glare is irrelevant for the high beams, reflector or not.   I used HIR bulbs rather than a PnP HID kit for the high beams because of the conditions of use.  For one, it takes 3-5 seconds (sometimes longer) to warm up from a cold start.  Secondly, the frequent on and off is just asking them to fail prematurely. 

Another thing to consider is that not all projectors are created equally, and not all Halogen projectors are receptive to rebased HID bulbs.  I'm curious to see what the output is like using a HID PnP kit with the OEM projectors, but not curious enough to try it myself.  Even if the width/focus/hotspots/cut off remained the same, I don't think I'd be happy enough with it.  Which is why I'm still waiting for the new S2K replica projectors to come out, or if they don't come out I may just buy a set of actual s2k projectors and make them fit (which will be a lot more work).
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 07:19:44 PM »

I suppose with high-beams it wouldn't matter much, you're right. I use my high beams for letting drivers in front of me know I'm pissed off at them 95% of the time, so the brighter and more obnoxious the better, I suppose. That, and they're not lit up much, so lifespan also isn't an issue. But I had never heard about HIR before, it seems intriguing. I wonder what the lifespans on them are like... I went through bulbs like mad on my civic so I'm kinda turned off ultra-bright halogens.

So what exactly did you put in your terrain? If i read your post right, some HIR's for high and nightbreakers for low and fog? Since I'm lazy, what are the official bulb sizes for the high/low/fog in the terrain?

And you live in Alberta (Olds), if I'm not mistaken? If so, we're a stone's throw away from each other (Airdrie).
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 08:57:22 AM »

which quite frankly I don't give a crap how obnoxious my lights are, as it's a safety thing.


Consider that if you blind an on-coming vehicle and they hit you, or someone else and kill them...  Safety?  Gotta think a little farther ahead to be truly safe.
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Mobius
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010, 09:21:28 AM »

I suppose with high-beams it wouldn't matter much, you're right. I use my high beams for letting drivers in front of me know I'm pissed off at them 95% of the time, so the brighter and more obnoxious the better, I suppose. That, and they're not lit up much, so lifespan also isn't an issue. But I had never heard about HIR before, it seems intriguing. I wonder what the lifespans on them are like... I went through bulbs like mad on my civic so I'm kinda turned off ultra-bright halogens.

So what exactly did you put in your terrain? If i read your post right, some HIR's for high and nightbreakers for low and fog? Since I'm lazy, what are the official bulb sizes for the high/low/fog in the terrain?

And you live in Alberta (Olds), if I'm not mistaken? If so, we're a stone's throw away from each other (Airdrie).
Close, I'm from Drumheller.  There is someone else on here from Olds though. 

Fogs and Lows are H11 I believe.  The nightbreakers didn't make much difference over the OEM bulbs.  The highs are HB3 (9005), but I used 9011 HIR bulbs and modified the tabs a little to make them fit.  These did make quite a difference.  I was considering doing a Bi-Xenon retrofit to the lows to supplement the highs, but I don't think it's necessary. 
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010, 10:00:26 AM »

Consider that if you blind an on-coming vehicle and they hit you, or someone else and kill them...  Safety?  Gotta think a little farther ahead to be truly safe.

Based on my experience with riding motorcycles for many years, oncoming vehicles not seeing you is one of the greatest risks a rider faces. I can't recall how many dozens of times I've almost t-boned a left turning car because they 'didn't see me coming'. I have also had 2 close friends get seriously injured because of... left turning cars not seeing them. One of which I witnessed first hand. Not pretty.

That being said, my lights on my bikes are never that bright, or aimed to blind drivers. But certainly bright enough to get noticed - which is exactly what I want. Most times, I ride with my highbeams on 24/7 anyway. The strategy has served me well.

Like you say, looking and thinking further ahead is ultimately key. That, and Brembo, have saved my ass on many occasions.
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