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Retrofit Headlamp Housings for HID on the '98 Explorer?

'Been looking at HID retrofit kits for the past few months, but am seeing nothing that really would benefit night driving outside of getting a whole new reflector/lens system specifically-designed to work with the HID arc, as opposed to halogen filaments. Currenly running after market diamond cut lamp housings with 90/100W non-colored bulbs. Still can't see the road at night and every month or so, a connector burns up and I lose one and sometimes both lights within a day or two of the first failure.

After burning through yet another set of connectors this week, despite using a high current aftermarket harness and 90/100W 9007 bulbs (connectors are still made of meltable plastic), I have finally had it. The vehicle will go up for sale this fall with stock bulbs if I don't solve this problem by end of summer.

The taillights are poorly designed too. I got a citation yesterday for having a headlight AND a taillight out. I was surprised about the taillight, because after a lady rear-ended me at 40mph last winter, I got a whole new back door, fenders, bumper and taillight assemblies. They were not 6 mos old when already there was a socket failure, (not the bulb, but the socket itself was intermittent). What a piece of junk, as far as all of the important lighting goes.

Back to my point:

Since there is a strong demand for a GOOD after-market replacement light assembly that incorporates HID projector technology (the Explorer has GOT to have the WORST lumen output of ANY vehicle made since 1948), why is it so difficult to Google a supplier of such a kit, or hasn't one been made yet? (The company that makes a good retrofit assembly will make a killing, with thousands of Explorers needing a lighting system that one can actually SEE the road with at night.)

What's new in 2008 for retrofit kits (not just HID bi-Xenon bulbs and ballasts), but a whole lamp assembly that can replace the OEM?

The wife's already talking about trading it in toward a Japanese SUV.
I need something that works!
 



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shortstack

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umm their is someone who custom makes them for the X, just be prepared to spend over $600 (i think), explorers don't have the worst lumens output i know for a fact a 98 neon is WAY worse, i couldn't see anything, it was night and day (X vs neon), if you switch to HID even the $72 ones on ebay they'll last longer then your bulbs your using now, they wont burn up sockets, plus use less energy, and are 3x brighter. Now go out and buy HID's!
 






m4dc0w

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Trebor

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if your looking for custom projectors the Josh at IZNTRIBAL makes them and yes he sells them upwardsof 600 bucks. but thats also cause he hand makes them built using whatever projector you want.

and if your like me with lil money to spare, just stick with the H.I.D.S like the other guys suggested. and if your really bent on getting the projectors to better utilize the light pattern of the hids, then read the stickies there has been a few member who have done their own retrofit. theres a how to on it floating around here somewhere in the stickies
 






not8taxi

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i would suggest if you are handy, you can tackle the job of retrofitting a projector inside the housing...im on my second retrofit due to the fact that i crashed in the snow and broke my headlights...anyways...if you go hidplanet.com they have many projector kits and also a forum that could help you out...i put the acura tsx single projector in my housing and love it..u might spend around 500 bucks but its worth it...maybe you can even find some deals on ebay or on that forum...people always selling there stuff and it would cut the cost down...heres a few pics from my 1st retrofit
 

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CobraSVT1184

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Actually i think explorers have great headlights...i still swear that my headlights are brighter then almost every car that is next to me. My friend with a Acura TL with projectors wishes he didn't have em...my headlights outpreform his in every way.

Get a HID kit and be done with it....end of story.
 






not8taxi

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i beg to differ that a halogen housing headlight would outperform a hid projector but hey thats one man opinion..
 






shortstack

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i beg to differ that a halogen housing headlight would outperform a hid projector but hey thats one man opinion..

^^^ i don't think his friends aura tl has HID's, just projectors im guessing
 






not8taxi

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^^^ i don't think his friends aura tl has HID's, just projectors im guessing



all the acura tls come with hid projectors...guess the setting didnt really tell what kind of output that hid really has...
 






mweiss

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Appreciate the responses.. and, guess what? The new replacement connectors I spliced in on July 1 have burned up in just 3 weeks' time. The lights are completely out AGAIN on BOTH sides now (those AutoZone connectors are just awful) and now I must find an HID kit PRONTO.

I'm looking at a couple on eBay, but all seem to be made in China nowadays. Prices are affordable, about $108 for ballasts, bulbs and harness, but I'm not confident that the Chinese kits will last very long.

I was hoping for a solid, reliable kit with a respectable track record.. like Osram.

I don't have time to DIY a retrofit.

I looked at the kit referred to at:
http://www.vvme.com/product/detail-20022.html
however, it is the telescopic type, and since the filaments are side by side, not axially mounted for lo and hi beam, this would not result in a correct beam pattern.
Also, the site has a poor checkout system which makes it just about impossible for me to tell what the shipping charges are prior to committing to a credit card payment. Some of these Chinese outfits really whack you on shipping.

So I'm considering a kit like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...STRK:MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=120285334855&rd=1

and

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...STRK:MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=170241092702&rd=1

and

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...STRK:MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=320274623788&rd=1


I suppose any of these will work, but I don't want to be replacing the ballasts or bulbs in the middle of January because of premature failure.

As much as I hate mechanical toggling bulbs, at least these move the arc in the correct relative positions that mimic the locations of the filaments in the original bulbs.

So what's the concensus on the eBay kits that I'm considering? Anyone use these?
 






Trebor

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no offense but if i were you id go with the vme kit before i buy one off ebay. and as far as the filament goes, it telescopes just like the ones u showed on ebay. and vme also charges 26 dollars for all shipping cost. and no you dont have to submit a credit card number to find out the charges.
 






Dre

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I would not use chinese sh** too. I did a conversion a while back and used original Bosch kit from an Audi. Worked perfect. Spend a little extra and get a whole lot more.
 






vroomzoomboom

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you could try this site http://shop.3bspecialties.com/main.sc . two of my buddy's got there kits from him about 3 years ago, and i got one from him last summer. it survived this past winter here which was on the coldest days -47C without the wind chill. i got a kit off ebay about two years ago, and one of the bulbs blew out within 9 months.
 






IAmTodd

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I found my drivers side HID to be out this morning. If its actually a bulb out and not just a bad connector I'm going to look into retrofitting projectors into the housings. The output of even the diamond cut housings is spotty and very unfocused.
 






mweiss

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no offense but if i were you id go with the vme kit before i buy one off ebay. and as far as the filament goes, it telescopes just like the ones u showed on ebay. and vme also charges 26 dollars for all shipping cost. and no you dont have to submit a credit card number to find out the charges.

Just to clarify, the kits on eBay do not telescope--they toggle--which is the only reason I was considering them. Telescoping would move the arc in and out of focus with the reflector, not up and down like the kits I referenced on eBay. HID retrofit kits have at least two popular modes for bi-xenon operation and they are toggling the bulb on a pivot at the socket, or telescoping the bulb in and out (toward and away from) the socket.

But thanks for clarifying the shipping cost from vme. That makes vme the least costly. But I have to get them to clarify what they mean by 'telescopic' because to me that means in and out along the axis of the bulb (which some kits do) but for the Ford headlamps that is optically wrong. The light output has to be as close to street legal as possible. Blinding oncoming motorists is unacceptable, which is what an out of focus alignment between arc and reflector would accomplish.

I looked at my connectors today and once again, the center pin is cremated (which is odd because I've stopped holding 'flash to pass' to get more light, knowing the damage it does to center terminal. They smell like burnt flesh, a sickening odor. It appears that the contact preserving grease I put on there may have combusted. This was the shortest lifespan of a connector I have seen so far on this truck.
 






spkhone

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i have the vvme kit. i've bought 3 of them and they all worked great. no problems with them. i'm running just the low beam setup in the x with the clear lenses. light is scattered but after adjusting it, its a whole lot better than stock. yes i do get occansionally flashed at. if i had the money, i would've done retro. for single beam would be 75 and hi/lo would be about 135. shipping is quick. takes like 4 days.
 






mweiss

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Thanks for sharing your impressions of the VVME kit.
I have e-mailed them with my questions about focus between lo and hi beam and the reflector with regard to telescoping 9007-3 bi-xenon bulbs.
I hope this works. I've got a lot of night driving to do in about a week and a half.
 






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