Ford Escape Automobiles Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent the weekend back home, with a buddy who retrofits E36 BMW M3s with HID/projector setups from late model Acura TSXs. Got to see what HIDs look like with a real projector setup. He said he'd tried drop-in replacement kits on his Integra GSR and his girlfriend's RSX, with mixed results; in the RSX, the beam pattern was terrible and she constantly had people flashing their lights at her for sake of being blinded. Obviously, putting a xenon capsule into a "reflector bowl" headlight (like our cars) instead of using a projector lens (like all the OEM vehicles that come with HIDs) involves some compromises in effectiveness and beam pattern.

That said, I see lots of photos of HID drop-in kits being used on Escapes, but 90% of the photos are looking at the car, which doesn't tell me anything. I mean, yeah, they look nice on the vehicle, but I'm mostly concerned with what the light actually does.

Can people post photos of the beam patterns from the HID kits on their escapes? Against a wall, or illuminating a road, or preferably both. Projectors put a nice sharp cutoff on top of the beam to prevent blinding people. What happens without the projector? Isn't the focal point of the xenon capsule completely different than that of a stock halogen bulb?

I heard this sentence this weekend: "Sure, a drop-in kit gives you more light... but it's not usable light, just glare." I'd love to see evidence to the contrary; bring it on!

edit: and make mention of what version you have, since the 01-04,05-07, and 08-09 headlights are completely different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I agree in order to have a proper kit you need a good retrofit or a projector, that will give you good cut off and projection, but there are some awesome kits installed on this site, Hopefully they don't mind me posting this for them, but in Weezy504's thread here http://www.escape-city.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1710&st=0&sk=t&sd=ashows some of the work he goes through to properly do a retrofit. Quality work, and here in Smartdude's thread http://www.escape-city.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2086&p=43689&hilit=smartdude24#p43689 you can see some of his work, totally worth the work!

These kind of installs will give you Usable light... in terms of drop in kits and usable lights, people refer to the terrible cut off and amount of random light you shine etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ooh, Smartdude's retrofit basically looks exactly what my buddy does with M3s, except he uses TSX projectors like Weezy.

...so do the $150-$200 drop-in kits with digital ballasts just look like total garbage in terms of cutoff and useful light? I am dying to see a photo of what they look like up against a wall.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
I saw a picture a couple of years ago of a 2005-2007 style headlamp HID retrofit. The beam pattern wasn't too bad - not a sharp cutoff like a proper setup, but the light wasn't scattered everywhere and lighting up second storey bedrooms.

When I'm asked about those kits, I tell them that a retrofit with the stock reflectors is possible, but be prepared to scrap the project and eat the cost if the reflectors aren't up to the task. So far, I've managed to scare off everyone who has had a serious discussion about HID retrofits with me. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
jbartlett79 said:
ooh, Smartdude's retrofit basically looks exactly what my buddy does with M3s, except he uses TSX projectors like Weezy.

...so do the $150-$200 drop-in kits with digital ballasts just look like total garbage in terms of cutoff and useful light? I am dying to see a photo of what they look like up against a wall.
I'll try and find a photo for you, but basically what happens is scattered light, and an un controllable cut off, you can aim them but it's just not comparable to projectors... It's not easy, but the pay off is totally worth it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
I have an HID kit installed on my Escape that I paid $50 for on ebay, and from my perpective the road looks like daytime while I'm driving. Right now they're aimed a little too high, but as soon as I get a chance I'll lower them down. Even as is, I've only gotten people flashing their brights a few times, always on winding roads without any streetlights (from coming over the hills, they would be blinded even with projectors). If you want any pictures let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
i did not have to even adjust mine, mine light up the road like no tommorow. No flashes from any one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
andjayik said:
i did not have to even adjust mine, mine light up the road like no tommorow. No flashes from any one.
can you take pics of what the beam looks like up against a wall or a garage door? lilshimy too (since those are the 05-07 style)? i'm curious how sharp the top end of the beam is on each headlight style, and how different the light distribution is with the different focal point from the xenons when compared to the OE halogens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
will do
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I did take pics before and after the install of my HID kit - the light was definitely different between the two. Unfortunately my camera could not correctly capture the difference, so the before/after pics are very similar. Due to the non-removal of the battery while installing the bulb I tweaked the position of the left headlamp which I easily aimed back down to match the right side.

I think that the HID kit offers the same pattern of light on the road as before, simply much brighter. I have never had an issue with oncoming traffic thinking I have brights on. I will say that at night you can always tell the difference of someone who used a kit vs. projectors, because no matter how clean the lens is, it seems to illuminate the entire housing. From the front, it looks like the entire housing is illuminated. I have compared with a 2005 Nissan Murano with HID projectors ad I feel that the lighting on the road is very similar.

Very pleased with the performance and quality of the kit, additionally I rather enjoy the ability and peace of mind that I can return everything to stock in a few minutes.

This pic below has the is both the HID's on the escape and the HID on my motorcycle. The tach goes to 17k ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
I will post pics as well when night falls. :beer:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The pic from the 05-07 looks good. I wonder if that's because the reflector bowl for the low beam is designed to have a pretty good cutoff anyway?

I don't entirely understand why the beam pattern changes from high-beam to low-beam in the 08-09 headlights, since it's the same bulb doing the dirty work. Is it just a matter of focal point (in which case the HIDs will, as previously referenced, "light up second floor bedrooms" and not just the road)?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,362 Posts
It's definitely a matter of focal point in the 2008 and newer models, all Mazda Tributes, and in the 2001-2004 models, since they all use single bulbs with dual filaments.

Even a difference of a few millimeters, that close to the reflector, can make a huge difference in the beam pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
jpark said:
Even a difference of a few millimeters, that close to the reflector, can make a huge difference in the beam pattern.
this brings me to the following question:

does a xenon HID capsule illuminate along its entire length, or just at the little "bubble" in the center? if it's just in the center, I suppose one could use spacers to try and replicate the location (and thus the focal point) of the low beam filament in the halogen. if the whole thing illuminates, lock up your daughters, and welcome to glare city.

edit: answered my own question.

an HID capsule is illuminated at the little circular portion in the center, the arc. i don't know how the bi-xenon kits position these, but it sounds like not all kits actually do a decent job of replicating the light positioning of the bulbs they replace. here is a thread from a pontiac forum about a guy who went to pretty great lengths to make sure his HIDs aligned perfectly with the halogens they replaced, and you can see the BIG difference in beam pattern (especially in terms of glare) that a 0.1" shift made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
Here are my picks of my 6000K that i have and selling. Pictures not the best. Bi-Xenon.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
andjayik said:
Here are my picks of my 6000K that i have and selling. Pictures not the best. Bi-Xenon.
Actually, that has a really nice cutoff. I'm surprised. Are you sure you don't want to start selling 4300K kits as well? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
no 4300k with these kits i asked. They are not popular. 6000k are the most common and whitest before going to blue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
andjayik said:
no 4300k with these kits i asked. They are not popular. 6000k are the most common and whitest before going to blue.
that photo you took is of the low beam, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
yep :thumb:
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top