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Explorer's Poor Headlights

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by FELIPILLO59, January 30, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. sheltonfilms

    sheltonfilms Active Member

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    Considering that the Department of Transportation approved these lights, Ford isn't going to do anything as they meet federal requirements.

    An easy retrofit kit isn't possible. You can slap an HID bulb into the halogen projectors and it instantly loses DOT approval. Focal point and bowl design of halogen projector is different from HID projector.

    You would have to separate the lens from the housing and replace the projector assemblies.
     
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  3. JAPeterson

    JAPeterson Active Member

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    I just got through driving all last night. I left my home at 11pm and got to my destination at 4pm driving back roads and dark freeways and didn't have any problems with my 16 XLT's lights. I would like them to be a little brighter on the brights but I had no problems seeing what I needed to see.
     
  4. 182RG

    182RG Active Member

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    The cutoff is still there, because that is the function of the projector. However, the DD HID kit makes a huge difference in brightness, and overall makes it much more tolerable. Frankly, it's your only real choice.

    I have cornering, leveling bi xenon lights on my Touareg TDI. Ford, unfortunately, has nothing as good as these.
     
  5. Uaglio

    Uaglio Active Member

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    Yes, I'm aware that bulb swapping is not going to do it - HID projectors are totally different from halogen. I was thinking maybe Ford could offer all the parts used in the HID setup, in a way that they could be purchased and installed in a halogen spec'd car as a retrofit upgrade. I'd buy that immediately. Maybe it's more complex than that, given how the non-HID lights are wired and powered from the factory. It's also unlikely to be commercially worthwhile for Ford.
     
  6. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    There are members who have actually changed the interior parts to accommodate HID. I also think there is a company that sells the complete HID retro fit kit. You'd have to do a 'Search' in the Modified sub forum.

    Peter
     
  7. Palmz43

    Palmz43 Member

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    The company is theretrofitsource.com. The projector which is completely PnP once the headlight is apart is the EvoX-R (https://www.theretrofitsource.com/a...Ford+Explorer&preselect=&preselect_restrict=1). You will then need to get D2S ballasts and bulbs. If you are going through the hassle of doing this retrofit I strongly recommend spending the extra money and going OEM on the ballasts (Denso or Matsushita) and bulbs (Philips 85122 or Osram Nightbreaker). The complete kit for the ballasts and bulbs is at this link (https://www.theretrofitsource.com/d2s-oem-hid-system.html). Its a little more pricey but in the long-run will have way less headaches and way more reliable than the aftermarket kits.
     
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  8. caubs

    caubs New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to get your opinions/assistance on this. I have owned several different vehicles before buying my 2013 Ford Explorer XLT. I love the car, but it has by far the weakest headlights of any vehicle I have ever owned/driven. At night driving in back roads, I can barely see a meter ahead (or the lines on the road) without the brights on constantly. How do all you 5th gen owners deal with this?

    I'm considering doing some sort of headlight upgrade, but know very little about them. The whole HID conversion kits scene seems to be riddled with scams/faulty products. Would love to hear recommendations on how to improve the lighting (whether it's HID/LED/retrofit or whatever the best solution is)?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Machine090767

    Machine090767 Active Member

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    Here's what I did: I installed the 9011 bulbs that are Philips brand HIR. These are NOT like the stock 9005's. They are a lot better. Now, you'll have to cut a tiny portion off the top tab to make them fit into the housings. BUT, they are the same wattage, so no worries about extra heat. What makes these better, is that they produce 2750 lumens. The 9005 produces only 1850. Make sure the bulbs are the Philips brand and that they say HIR "Made in Germany" regular 9011's are NOT what you want.
     
  10. Jon M

    Jon M Elite Explorer

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    I switched to LED headlights. Plug & play. Plenty of good reviews on Amazon for them.
     
  11. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Your thread has been merged with this one found with the 'Search' feature. There also several thread in the 'Modified' sub forum on HID and LED upgrades.

    Peter
     
  12. caubs

    caubs New Member

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    Could you provide a link to the ones you purchased?
     
  13. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  14. caubs

    caubs New Member

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    Thanks Peter!

    I'm debating between getting a set of LEDs (I'm in Canada, so my options are a little more limited) or the halogen Philips bulbs recommended earlier.

    I will also attempt to adjust the headlights this weekend. Hopefully that will improve things a bit. Scary driving this vehicle on unlit highways (pretty common around here), especially in bad weather (also common, haha...).
     
  15. Twilley

    Twilley New Member

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    I just added LED bulbs from Amazon, and it ALOT better than the stock bulbs. I got the "Safego 8000lm 9005 Car LED Headlight Kit Bulbs HB3 Auto Flip LED Conversion Kit" because it has the newer chip on board technology & no fans. It uses heat sinks.

    One note, I had to slice the rubber grommets that go behind the bulk to have the wires, and ballast box outside the enclosure. No big deal.
     
  16. Summers22

    Summers22 Active Member

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    I am a very active member on F150forum.com and have done a retro-fit write up for HIDs and have tested many LED bulbs, including for the interior, exterior (including headlights). If you want real results, look at this website, amazing bulbs/kits and outstanding customer service: http://www.4x4truckleds.com/ Its a one man show, Adam is the owner. Tell him Summers22 sent you. He will almost always offer a discount if its lights he has in stock.

    Here is my old headlights I tore apart and painted, retro-fitted with all components from Theretrofitsource.com before I discovered the ease of LED bulbs.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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  18. Machine090767

    Machine090767 Active Member

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    They wouldn't be rated "Poor" if ford used Phillips 9011 HIR (Made in Germany) as the Halogen headlight bulbs. More Lumens, same wattage, same heat output.
     
  19. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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    Doubtful, if any halogen passes IIHS's test, I'd be surprised. Have there been any such headlights that passed?

    I think I saw the Escape's projector halogens score a marginal at best. Don't know of others.
     
  20. omar302

    omar302 Active Member

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    The Toyota Camry passed with Halogen headlights.
     

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