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KC vs. the rest

Discussion in 'Performance Lighting' started by arsoul, September 25, 2000.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    Tank, what kind of light do you want? I mean if your not going to be racing with the lights on, then fog or driving would be better. If you don't need as much light close to the vehicle and need it further down the road, then driving or pencil. If you need it real close to the vehicle, and want a good amount of light close to the vehicle (not just directly in front but also out towards the sides) then the fogs would be better... Pencil beams are really only designed for if you need to light something up far away, like your going 60 mph in baja racing in the middle of the night and need to see what is 1/2 mile away so you have time to react to it... in situations like that the light close to the vehicle isn't needed... but if your rock-crawling at night or just regular wheeling, it doesn't matter what is 1/2 mile away because you won't be there for another 45 minutes :).
     
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  3. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Tank,
    Unless you are going to be desert racing, you don't need pencil beams. I have a simular setup to what you are thinking about. I have 4 PIAA Pro80xt's on my roof rack. Two are fog and 2 are driving. The fog lights are on the out side and the driving are inside. This is the pattern
    (F)(D)(D)(F)
    I also have a set of PIAA 520's in driving lights, but will soon change them to fog, because we do get alot of fog here in the central valley in California. They are mounted to my Serria wraparound, just under the winch. I chose the fogs because I know that they will light up more area directly in front of me and to the sides, so I can see what I'm driving over. Hope this helps
     
  4. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    that reminds me Ray, do you still want to switch lenses?
     
  5. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Matt,
    Yea, if I can get my truck back. I would like to have fogs.
     
  6. jwrezz

    jwrezz Elite Snow Shoveler Elite Explorer

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    Been following this for a while, and here's my two ¢. I just got a Manik grill guard, and had to have some lites to fill up that big space in the middle. I'd been looking at lites for a long time, and knew that I wanted good lites, and didn't mind paying for them. I got the guard at OK 4x4 in Stewartsville, NJ and they had PIAA, Hella, IPF, and many other brands of lites. I thought I wanted the PIAA lites (the dual driving/fog -980 was the model I think). But those IPF's really looked nice. I saw them on "TRUCKS" and asked the guy behind the counter about them. He didn't seem biased, and both lites were around $300, so I din't think he cared which one I purchased, but he said they were both very comparable, but a lot of the guys there (at OK 4x4) were partial to the IPF's so I went w/ his advice. I got the J01 hybrid fog/driving. I don't have any candle power figures, but the fog beam (they call it "J Beam") is "55 = 85 watt" and the driving is n 85 watt dichroic bulb. Installation took all of 1/2 an hour, and every thing works great. You can set up the 2 button switch to turn on either, or both the fog or driving lites. I've never personally used any aux. lites before these, but am VERY happy w/ their performance. I can't use the driving lites unless there's no one on the road, and the fogs lite up great all the way around to the sides of the truck. Does any one have any tips on precise aiming of the fog lites? I think I got it pretty much where I want it, but could use some advice. Hope this helped some of you.
     
  7. JayR

    JayR Active Member

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    Mounting to the bumper?

    has anyone mounted piia's to the bumper, just the bumper, im just planing on using the regular stock bumper, or getting a prerunner bumper
     
  8. 4x4Hunter

    4x4Hunter Active Member

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    I'm not trying to incite anything. I tend to agree with Matt on alot of issues. What I think is the most humble response from him is that he doesn't have alot of experience with using KC lights. Myself however, I haven't had the opportunity ( cash :) ) to install them on my rig, but did get to put a set on a friends Blazer... When we went to install them there were several parts that were either cracked or lenses that were smashed. I made a quick call to KC's home office and was setup with the part numbers for replacement parts. We recieved the parts quickly and had the 4 6" daylighters shining in a nite. After several trips to the mud pit.. a marsh on this kids grandfathers' farm....the lights still worked. I was amazed by the ruggedness of the lights. I would like to know more about PIAA's lifetime warranty. Would they cover the cost of a new light if a rock got thrown from my tire and smashed it, or if I burried my pre runner into a swamp and shattered it? I'm not trying to cause trouble... SERIOUSLY .. 'm curious to know. If the warranty does cover those aspects of off road use...PIAA will QUICKLY take the #1 spot for my light choice. Right now KC and PIAA stand toe to toe for 1st in my estimation depending on your fuctionality involved.. And yes.. Hella's :p I didn't have good luck with my Hella' fogs...
     
  9. JayR

    JayR Active Member

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    I just read about the new warn lghts , does anyone have any experience with these lights and i think they are rather new, anyone???
     
  10. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    too many posts to respond to... LOL... first off, 4x4hunters...
    While PIAA's lifetime warranty doesn't cover damage done by such things as running a rock into it, you also don't have to worry about breaking the light due to a rock hitting the lens, because if you can break a PIAA with a rock being flung from your tires, then your a much better man then I :). When I was installing the PIAA's on my roof I accidentally dropped one on the cement driveway below... figure at least a 7 foot drop... landed lens side down of course, got one scratch adn one small little chip in the lens, that's it... plus I've runt hose lights directly into tree branches (not on purpose of course, things just happen) without covers on and the lenses haven't cracked at all, or chipped, or broken... the ones on my winch mount have been drug in sand, submerged in mud, banged against rocks, and they keep on ticking :) The only time I've ever heard of a PIAA breaking due to physical damage was when MikeX rolled his Explorer and it broke the lights on his roof... you can't expect a light to support a 4000-6000 lb. vehicle for a long amount of time though :). There was a post a whiel back about someone who has PIAA's in there car, the car rear-ended another car, completely destroyed the front end, and the PIAA's came out just fine, they were the only part that didn't have to be replaced in the front end. That to me tells me you will have a very hard time breaking a lens, no matter what you do :).

    Now on to the question about warn lights... there was some other post regarding the warn lights, I responded with what I thought of them (much like before, I try not judge without trying, and I was neither thouroughly impressed by the lights nor disappointed with them, they look like they could take a lot of abuse and keep on going. The only thing I didn't like about them was their mounting, but not all warn lights are the same I'm sure so the mounting might vary from light to light. Mounting requried four holes be drilled for screws, for the base, then the light was placed in teh based and tightened down using one horizontal bolt. Once installed it'd be good but installing them (especially in a bumper or some other extremely hard metal) would be a pain int he butt. Also JayR - I know of a few people that have installed PIAA lights into the stock bumper, no sweat... now you couldn't fit PIAA 80 Racing's in there (those are the nearly 9 inch tall, about 6 inch deep lights), but most of their other lights shouldn't have a problem with...
     
  11. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    JayR.....to answer your first question, if you don't have airbags you'll be fine. If you do have airbags it could be trouble. A post went on a while ago and the answer never was found.

    As for the Warn lights.....They look like a very good light. They've got a h4 110 bulb and the wire looks to be well built. However I've never seen them in action. I am interested in getting some, but if I don't see them in action I'll go with Piaa's. They also have a mounting system that is very solid. You do need to drill 4 wholes(am I right on this one matt???) to mount them correctly.

    Jerk beat me to it, but I've go pictures

    [​IMG]



    [Edited by leebo on 10-01-2000 at 07:25 PM]
     
  12. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

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    What do airbags have to do with anything?

    Now, about the anti-Hella sentiment going on around here. I'm not exactly pro-Hella or pro-anything for that matter but I do have 4 Hella 500s on my truck and they work just fine. I thought installation was relatively straightforward. I have been off roading on several occasions and never had a problem. The way some people talk about Hella around here you would think that the factory screwed up and accidentally made 2 pair of good lights. And I was fortunate enough to be the one to buy them. Now regardless of your personal experiences with Hella lights the fact remains that they are one of the most popular lights used in professional off road racing. I think they look pretty good and do a fine job of lighting the trail ahead of me. Are they the brightest lights? No. Are the 500's the best off road lights? Far from it. Are they a POS? Absolutely not. The pair cost around $60.00 and I haven't had any problems yet. And as far as people compiling about the complexity of installation, I would hate to be around you when you change your spark plugs! I spent less then an hour wiring them to my brights and mounting them to my grill and roof rack.

    And just because product A is better then product B doesn't ipso facto make product B a POS. An example would be that the Lamborghini is better then the Mustang. Does that make the Mustang a POS? Of course not. And I'm sure I could find plenty of people that bought a Mustang they ended up not liking.

    Cant we all just get along?
     
  13. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    one drill bit into an airbag sensor could cause some nice cash. I'm still not sure where the sensors are in the Explorer, nobody has yet to be able to tell me.

    ps.....if you notice I RUN HELLA'S TOO
     
  14. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    Cameron, I think what makes this board great is the differences of opinion that actually help stimulate conversation and get people more interested in specific products. I also think it's great that people have differing opinions of various products, such as Hellas. I express my opinion about lights, you express yours, it makes it great. I've used both and can say that I was extremely dis-satisfied with the product. That's my opinion of them. Your opinion is that you used them and liked them, thats your opinion. It's what makes this board great. I have a long list of why I don't like Hellas and why I like PIAA's I can post it if you'd like, but everyone would attack me for being partial again. I hear a lot of stories from people about their Hellas, and I receive a lot of stories from people about their PIAA's, and I have experience with both lights, and I've based my decisions on my opinions alone.
     
  15. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks leebo, I didn't know what your were talking about with the air bag thing. I thought I remember reading that the sensor for the airbags was located somewhere under the hood. I'll look it up in my Helms manual when I get home tonight.

    And my Hella rant wasn't aimed at you. It was a general comment to all the anti-Hella people out there.
     
  16. Tank

    Tank Active Member

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    all i have to say is........

    i installed my kc stainless daylighters last weekend...i am very happy with the workmanship, the install was no-brainer and took all of an hour to do.... it would have been much less time but i had to jump thru a few hoops because of the design of my brushguard..... i took them out to some farm land at night and did the final aim adjustments and was very happy with the amount of light they produced. havent had them off road yet but will find out soon enough...... one thing that i did really like that really does not matter is the covers... i bought the soft covers for them, black with a white "KC" in the middle .... looks awesome ...i mean really awesome on my black truck
     
  17. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    Tank, I agree, those soft covers are pretty sweet... wish PIAA had them as well, but I have no complaints about the PIAA covers either. The cool thing about the KC covers is you can get them in many different colors, so you could get them to match the vehicle hypothetically. Definately a plus. Glad you like em!
     
  18. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Leebo,
    The airbag sensor is not on the bumper, it is on the frame, so you can drill away on your bumper and not worry about it.
     
  19. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    THANK YOU. It's been 3 weeks now and thats the first answer I got. Now if only I had a sensor to worry about.
     
  20. mattadams

    mattadams Moderator Emeritus

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    hey I've got pictures too now :). Just to prove I did once own a vehicle with Hellas (for about a month before I switched to PIAA's). Here's one of my 98 F-150 when it had Hellas, and one with me standing next to it when it had the PIAA's. I was at Bandimere Speedway drag-racing it, which is why tehres a number on the windshield :). By the way, those are PIAA 520 fog lights on top, and PIAA 910's in the bumper.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [Edited by mattadams on 10-04-2000 at 06:54 PM]
     
  21. Tank

    Tank Active Member

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    one complaint and question

    my one complaint with the KC lights is there were absolutely no directions or any other paperwork at all with them .... i didnt have a problem but someone else might have .... and shouldent there have been a warranty card ?

    my question is ... what i wanted to find out is what is the amp draw per light ..... what i want to do ...if i can is run all the power thru a keyed switch then to a dash light then to the switches.

    then i will be able to lock out the system ... when the system is open the dash light will be lit ... and then i will have my 2brushguard lights on one switch , the 2 inner light barlights on one switch, and the 2 outer lightbar lights on a third switch. i know it sounds fancy but wiring it is not a problem .... just dont know what size wire to use to carry the amps for all the lights .
     

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