Mini-write up: HID's in KC Daylighters - Jeep Wrangler Forum


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:30 AM   #1
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Default Mini-write up: HID's in KC Daylighters

Figured I would share. I decided that my 100w halogens just weren't bright enough anymore, so I decided a retrofit was in order. I ordered up a DDM Tuning 55w 5000K Slim Ballast HID kit (I already had one on hand from a motorcycle- didn't wind up working properly in that application) to begin the fit.

http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DD...rcycle-HID-Kit

I've had success with DDM Tuning, and all of my buddies use their lights. If you are willing to wait for their shipping, then it's worth it (they are local, but 55W kits are mail order only).

DISREGARD THE FOLLOWING STEP. See post #12 for proper installation.

Really all I had to do was remove the old bulbs, fit the new bulbs, and solder the bulbs to the wire. I decided not to use the plugs for the initial installation, but they will be going back in when I find the time to do some soldering (and when I get more heat shrink tubing). I taped the ballasts to the support rods for a temporary "test run" fit.



At this point I still wasn't sure with how I wanted to mount them. Everyone I know just zip ties them to the inside of the fender- I am however incredibly annoyed at such lazy-ness and that is not acceptable to me for a permanent fit. I remembered reading about RadioShack project boxes one time in a magazine article, but I didn't know if they would be big enough to house 2-3 ballasts if I wanted to go that route. I cruised on by just to check them out, and they happened to have a pretty big box that I knew could house at least 6 full size ballasts comfortably, so I bought it. Was about $8.

De-soldered my ballasts from the bulbs, drilled a hole in the box, ran the cool rubber boot i got with the lights, and began re-soldering wires. I had to extend the wires from one ballast all the way to the drivers side which was over 6 feet.



Got them all installed nicely and then went to flip the switch to turn them on. BUZZ. One of the lights didn't fire up- the drivers side. Takes several attempts to get it to fire.

Got my troubleshooting hat on and began switching ballasts. Then bulbs. all with the same result. It became apparent that something was up with the wiring running to the drivers side, and after going through it making sure all of my solder joints were correct, I still couldn't figure out what was up. Finally I came to the conclusion that perhaps the wire is creating too much resistance for the fire up. These bulbs need about 25Kv to ignite so the wire was causing too much resistance- possibly it was tricking the ballast into thinking there is a short somewhere so it shut down for safety.

Anyways, I decided the best route was to get another smaller project box to mount on the drivers side.



Didn't have a cool rubber boot for this one, so I applied some electrical tape and kind of jammed the wires through it to seal it off.

Soldered the lights up and they flick on perfectly every single time without hesitation. To mount the ballasts inside of the boxes I used some 3M double sided foam tape- DON'T use more than a 1" long piece or you will never get the ballast out in one piece as I discovered... 1" strip is more than enough to hold it in, I fear that not even a nuclear warhead could remove the other ballast. Don't know HOW I got this one out but it took a long time, a lot of patience, a lot of heat and a lot of elbow grease. Even then it tore the back metal plate off of the ballast, so I had to spend some time carefully straightening it back out and then I stuck it back in, luckily it fits snugly and flush.

There's plenty of room in each box for more components. I am going to move the relays and fuses for the lights into the bigger box. Here's what they look like:





Yes, the bulbs are a different color. I may have ordered a 6000k initially, and thought it was a 5000k, but it's not that noticeable on the trails. I have adjusted them ever since, and I have seen objects over 4,600ft away with ease (as per google earth ruler tool). The next step is to retrofit the headlights to HID's- not sure if I want to go to projectors or use a high/low beam HID light. After that will be another pair of spots on the windshield with the DDM Tuning 55w HID's.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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Only $40 to convert them? Sweet! My wife isn't gonna like this...

How about a pic inside that box?

Ive heard that the ballasts give off some heat, are you worried about that in your little box?
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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The heat they give off after running for a couple hours is negligible. When I get some time i'll pop open the box.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:10 AM   #4
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Here's a couple of shots for you.



That sign is almost 1000ft. out, and it's lit up like daylight. The roads are very lit up as well.



This is basically just showing a distance shot. The rocks barely visible at the end of the light beams are almost 4000ft. away. Again, this is just 2, 6" round KC Daylighters with 55 watt HID's in them.

500 feet out is lit up like daytime. 1000ft. out you can easily see something in details. Even if you were moving at 80mph through the desert like a lot of desert racers do, you would easily be able to see objects in your path.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:39 AM   #5
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I would like to see them with a flood reflector. Jeeping doesn't require that much distance, at least not for me.
Do you have plans to do this to some floods?
Good write up!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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I'm planning to do this to several sets of floods for work lights...

Whats the power consumption like versus 55w halogens?
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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I so want to do this, but I'm too busy right now but please keep this thread going to make it easier when I do it.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RikRotorhead View Post
I would like to see them with a flood reflector. Jeeping doesn't require that much distance, at least not for me.
Do you have plans to do this to some floods?
Good write up!
sorry, no flood lenses. I'm buying more long ranges to put on the windshields. Honestly, the light output is so bright that it floods the trail in front of you and off to the sides enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otahyoni View Post
I'm planning to do this to several sets of floods for work lights...

Whats the power consumption like versus 55w halogens?
a 55w HID draws less than a 55w halogen. I could wire up 4 55w HID's on the same KC wiring harness and it wouldn't mind it, wouldn't even draw as much as the pair of 100w bulbs.

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Originally Posted by havasu View Post
I so want to do this, but I'm too busy right now but please keep this thread going to make it easier when I do it.
Call in sick! Takes a couple of hours to work it all out but once you do it's worth the effort.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
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HIDs seem to be a popular upgrade for lighting can we get a sticky on this and the other HID one xpress posted.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:20 AM   #10
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Thank you for the sticky. Sometime down the road we will be buying another pair of KC spotlights that will also get HID's in them. At that point, I will do a full writeup with lots of pictures. Not sure if I want to buy another $120 KC daylighter kit, or buy some individual lights and make my own relay. Might not do the latter...

I don't think I mentioned it, but you NEED the KC Daylighter style lights for HID bulbs. The bulbs are about an inch longer than the H3 bulbs, so if you get slim lights like the KC Apollo series, then you will need to drill the back out a little to get the HID bulb to fit. I have done this already, but on a motorcycle:



My dry weather only toy, so that is why I was fine with doing it. Am going to need to fit some heat shrink over the bulb again to get it to fit snugly, seal it off a bit from sand. BTW the tape was for testing purposes only, to see if I did the hours and hours of re-wiring the entire bike correctly. A quick flick on/off was all it took to tell me that it worked, it has since been properly insulated. You can also see the original hole the H3 bulb wires stuck out, but since the bulb is so long I had to drill a new hole.

If your toy is a dry toy only then you can use the less expensive KC Apollo series lights if you want. The plastic is enough to handle the heat from the bulb. The above is a driving beam pattern, when I get the time i'll take the bike out to a good long stretch of road to show the light pattern. The stock headlight was basically crap for brighter bulbs. The halogen bulb worked fine on trails you know well, but unfamiliar territory (like Gordons Well for example) definitely needs more light output, and I've found that KC has designed their lights so well that they can handle some serious light without giving off those annoying hot spots.

One more thing: I used the stock KC Daylighter relay harness for my lights, with all of the stock Daylighter fuses. Everything has been working flawlessly, so this is almost a plug and play kit. If you aren't afraid to drill out the back of your KC Daylighter lights, then you can even fit the bulky connectors through it for a literal plug and play kit.
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Last edited by Xpress; 02-08-2012 at 05:29 AM.
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