Check this guy out. Some pretty good info.
Basically, I found some guides on how to use 9005 bulbs (stock high beams) in the low beam positions (stock is 9006).
The reason someone might want to do this is that the 9005 bulbs are brighter (1700 lumens vs 1000 lumens for the 9006's). They also have no coverd tip like the 9006's.
Here's the guide:
9005 - 65w, 1700 lumens, stock high beams
9006 - 55w, 1000 lumens, stock low beams
The conversion is probably not legal, but you would be hard pressed for the officer who could tell the difference (if your lights are adjusted correctly).
Anyone have some input on the:
Advantages : brighter, cheaper than HID or ecodes, more.
disadvantages: possibly illegal, too bright for oncoming traffic maybe [though HIDs are 3200 lumens and they are not TOO bright when appropriatly adjusted], damage to wiring or lenses, etc.
BTW - does anyone know how to adjust your (non-ecode) head lights manually (like a certain height against a wall at a certain distance on a level surface)?
My only concern would be that the filament is not necessarily in the right place, therefore reflecting the light different inside the housing and possibly having them aimed badly because of that.
Good points. I'm hoping that if the lighting adjustment is off I'd be able to alter it with the instructions linked to above.
Which brings up my next question:
The guide above says, "If your US DOT headlamp lenses are marked VOL, VO or VOR, they can be aimed visually." . . . so are B4 lenses VO, VOL, or VOR? Anyone know off hand?
Thanks for the feedback, I think I'm gonna give this a try if there is no threat to the electrical components (e.g. the wiring harness is not likely to fry). But any input to increase my chances of success if hugely appreciated!
I'm gonna try it soon with some "cool blue" sylvanias, I know that they are not the best by a long shot, but I got the pair for $13 shipped so I don't mind doing some experimentation on them.
Also, I found a place that has Philips Vision Plus 9004, 9005, and 9006 bulbs for $20 for a pair, so I might get those soon too. they are supposed to be better than the Sylvania silverstars and on par with the Osram silverstars. I'm starting a poll in the lighting section:
Any other things to look out for? I'm a little nervous about the difference in wattage (55-->65w) and possible negative effects on the wiring, AND I want to know if this will cause my DOT headlights to crack or melt or whatever (but I'm assuming that if the hi beams are not so hot as to melt it then the same heat shouldn't treat the low beams much differently).
Thanks for all the help,
I don't expect you to have any problems due to the increased wattage. If you were stepping up to 100W, then I would worry, but I believe the wiring is the same for both bulbs, so your stock wiring can support either the 9005 or the 9006. And since both shine out of your headlights without melting anything now, again I say you shouldn't have any trouble.
Geez, looks pretty nice!
I don't have any before and after pics, but I can say for certain that even with the low end Sylvania Cool Blue bulbs, this looks MUCH better.
Basically, I took the 9005 bulbs (Sylvania cool blue, not very high quality, but a bit birghter than stock) and removed a bit of the top notch and the two plastic ridges in the middle of the female plug (on the bulb, not the headligh wiring). They fit perfectly and shine brighter, whiter, and in nearly identical patterns as the stock 9006's.
The light seems very white to me, not blue at all really, but that's probably because of my yellowed, old, stock lenses.
The differnce is noticible for certain, seems significantly brighter, and the lights themselves look whiter when on. When comparing them side by side (my old 9006 on the passenger side VS new cool blue 9005) the difference is pretty impressive, but not mind blowing
I'd recommend this to anyone who's looking for a cheap alternative while waiting to order ecodes or if you simply cannot afford them ecodes or hid's, etc.
I have some Philips Vision Plus 9005 bulbs in the mail, I'm planning on doing the same thing with them and moving these cool blues to the high beams (because I use the low beams more often, I may as well use the nicer Philips bulbs on the lows I figure).
Here's my understanding of the quality ranking of halogen bulbs:
Philips Vision Plus = Osram SilverStar > Sylvania Silver Star > Philips Crystal Vision Extreme Blue/White > Sylvania Cool blue > Sylvania Xtra Vision > Sylvania stock replacements.
(PIAAs are in there, probably very near the quality of the Philips and Osrams, but not worth it at minimum $40 each plus shipping.)
Here's a place that has Philips Vision Plus bulbs for $19.99 (about $25 shipped). I ordered from them and I'll report if they are reputable or not soon.
I need to return to a friend's house where I took some pics after my fog light install so I can do a comparison of before and after, but basically the biggest difference is that now my lights are WHITE rather than yellow and they more than just a bit brighter (but nothing like HID, don't get your hopes up )
That's the report, hope some others find this helpful, I really like it in terms of decent lighting power increase for minimal cost (so far only $13 shipped for a pair of Sylvania Cool Blues from eBay, shipped in 3 days).
Give it a try!
The procedure you linked to says it is only for ellipsoid lights. I wonder why? Maybe the non-ellipsoids on BMW's use different bulbs, but I was surprised that this guy in Europe had lights with US bulbs in them. Anyway I wondered if it was not a good idea to use an uncapped bulb in other types of lights.
I would hold off on recommending this to other people until you try it and prove that it works well without blinding others.
Alright, my only test of if this would be blinding was conducted in a friend's camry I pulled up in front of the Passat, facing same direction, and then slowly pulled away with the rear view mirror set normally. It was the same as my previous lights, exactly as far as I could tell. Not distracting at all.
Then I tried the same test but this time the camry was approching the passat. The lights were not distracting, certainly couldn't be mistaken for having the brights on. There were no stray beams of light which I noticed entering my field of vision.
I also took the car up to a plain gray wall (side of the chemistry building on campus) and the light pattern is the same as before, I didn't take a pic then (I'll get one soon), but here is a pic from before:
I'll return to where I took that picture and take another for comparison, I hope that helps.
Thanks for the input, I want to make sure this is a workable mod and I do hate it when others have lights which are so bright or mis-aimed that they are distracting, so I'll avoid that for certain, but I have not been able to see any such mis-aiming or distracting light so far, I'll keep everyone updated.
How do I clean a reflector lamp?
Cleaning the outside of a headlight should preferrably be done with soap and water, and is considered very streigth forward.
However, cleaning the inside of a headlamp becomes more tricky since you will face the same challenges as cleaning the inside of a bottle:
1. Remove the headlight bulb.
2. Remove the headlight from the car.
3. Fill the headlight about 1/2 full of distilled water and put in a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
4. Cover the bulb opening and shake the housing for a minute or so.
5. Pour out the soapy water.
6. Fill the headlight about 1/2 full of distilled water.
7. Shake, drain.
8. Repeat rinse.
8. Rinse again with 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol added (promotes drying).
10. Let headlight dry, open end down (overnight), or you can use a hair dryer to speed things up.
11. Reinstall headlight.
12. Reinstall bulb.
The lights are working great!
They really are brighter and the light pattern is exactly the same as far as I can tell. I took out the driverside 9005 bulb and replaced it with one of the stock 9006 bulbs. I then drove to my local nations burgers where there is a large white wall next to the parking lot.
Comparing the lights side by side from 10', 25', 50', and 100' the light 's appear at the same levels. Then I drove across the street and pointed the lights as the same wall from another parking lot (I'd guess about 300') and it was not visible at all really (outta range )
I drove behind my girlfriend yesterday and asked her to look at my lights a tell me if they were annoying in her rearview or when just turning around. She was about 30-40' in front of me and reported no problems (then called me an idiot for asking stupid questions about my car when we were supposed to be checking out a problem with her automatic tranny )
She said that the passengerside light was whiter, but not that it was "pointed any differently or anything . . . why, did you break something again?"
Anyway, I feel a bit safer suggesting this to anyone who wants to get a bit more UMPH out of their stock headlights. Though I'd recommend some better bulbs than the Sylvania Cool Blues (try Osram Silverstars or Philips VisionPlus).
I know this is an old thread, but I did this mod on my Jetta today...
One thing that makes it easier to remove the tabs inside the plug is a hot screwdriver.
Take a flat screwdriver and heat it up with a torch... I used a propane torch. Get it it nice and hot and then melt/scrape the tabs out of the inside. Worked better than trying to grind them out with a Dremel tool...