How I Converted Hella 700ff’s to HID - FYI
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Posted: January 04, 2010 at 10:33 PM / IP Logged
Hey guys! I'm new here and this is actually my first post! I saw you guys while looking for information on installing a car alarm in my truck, and figured this was the place to be! For you truck owners out there, I actually wrote this tutorial to post on TheRangerStation.com, but I figured it fit in well here too, and that some of you guys (especially you light junkies!) might appreciate it! With that in mind, here's the tutorial I did on how to convert Hella 700ff driving lights to HID, using a little elbow grease and a bit of your time. They are bright with halogen bulbs, but with the HID kits, they're just UNREAL, and definitively worth the effort when you consider these cost me about 1/10 what Hella wants for their factory HID lights, and they're really just as bright.Disclaimer:I'm simply showing you how I did this mod. Everything I did is irreversible to my lights, and cannot be undone. I had to drill holes in my lights, which means you cannot convert them back. These lights are also not street legal, they are for offroad use only. Although they are correctly focused and do not scatter light like many factory headlight housings with HID's, they still project a long bright beam, they are extremely bright (2-3x brighter than a 55w Halogen bulb) and could severely blind oncoming traffic if you were to use them on the street. Use any information seen here at your own risk. If you get a ticket for having these on your truck, its not my fault!! If you hook these up wrong and your truck goes up in smoke, its not my fault!! If God strikes you down with lightening for having the only thing brighter than sunlight strapped to the front of your truck ITS NOT MY FAULT!! Get the picture? :DWith that out of the way though... Have fun! The results of this mod are AMAZING, and will kinda blow you away! I hooked one of my lights up tonight, and ONE of these was brighter than the two Hellas that my dad has on his truck with 100w Halogens. I have four of these that are all going on the front of my truck. Yea...they're gonna be BRIGHT! :DFor those of you that don't know, the advantage of HID light (High Intensity Discharge) is that for a given wattage, they produce far more visible light than a Halogen bulb of the same wattage. (2-3x more) HID produced less infrared light, which means less heat than a Halogen bulb also. They also produce a far whiter light, which makes everything much clearer at night than it is with a Halogen bulb, because of the increase in contrast. HID is what Silverstar bulbs "strive" to be. But there is nothing like true HID light.The only disadvantage to this mod is that these lights draw a little more than 55w at start up (just for a couple seconds) and the bulbs have to warm up. They come on very bright, but it takes about 10 seconds for the bulb to come to its FULL brightness, and to appear at its whitest.Anyway, lets get started:You'll need this stuff to do the conversion. 1 Hella 700ff driving light1 HID Bulb and Ballast (I got my H3 HID kit from DDM Tuning, they're 5000k)1 Phillips screwdriver1 small Flathead screwdriver (for mixing and applying epoxy)5 minute epoxyScrap of cardboard to mix epoxy onSmall piece of sandpaperA drillA 7/8" drillbitPaper towel to clean up epoxy.Here's a picture of two 700ff's, one that's been converted, the other which hasn't.Here's a closeup of the light before the conversion:Here's a closeup after the conversion:The first step is to disassemble the light. This should be fairly straightforward, but I'll walk you through it anyway.1) There should be a small plastic piece held in place by a screw at the bottom of the light. Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove that screw, and then flip the plastic piece down (somtimes they "hinge" other times the plastic bit completely comes off. This one came completely off, don't worry about what yours does, it doesn't matter.)Here's the plastic piece and screw removed.2) Now gently grab the bottom of the glass lens and pull outwards. There's a locating tab at the top of the light that the lens and reflector assembly will hinge out on. Pull the reflector out of the plastic housing, and you can go ahead and pull the wires through the rubber grommet, they aren't going to be reused.This is what you're left with.You're also left with a plastic outer housing. This is what we're going to have to modify:The HID bulb has the wires coming directly out of the back of the bulb. You can't use the standard H3 bulb clip to hold the bulb in, and you have to route the wires directly out the back of the light housing. To do this, we're going to drill a hole in the back of the housing. The rubber grommet that comes with your HID bulb and ballast kit will fit snugly in this hole, retaining the lights waterproof nature.3) Take your HID bulb and there should be 4 wires going through the rubber grommet. Two of them go into the bulb itself, and then each wire has a plug on it. The second pair of wires go into a single plug, and each of them has a spade connector on the end. Carefully pull the wires with the spade connector through the grommet, without tearing the rubber. You can also cut the spade connectors off to make this easier, if you plan to solder them into the harness on your truck (recommended). DO NOT cut the wires that come directly out of the back of the bulb. These are high voltage wires, and they will cannot be soldered back together, they are very delicate. If you cut these wires you will have to order a new pair of HID bulbs.The spade connectors will come through the grommet and you'll end up with two harnesses just like this:Here are the two "harnesses" side by side. As you can see, I pulled them through the grommet without tearing the rubber or cutting the spades off, so it can be done!4) Next, take your 7/8" drill bit and using the molding "point" in the center of the back of the light, drill a hole for your grommet. Go slow and let the bit do the cutting so as not to put too much pressure on the plastic and bust the housing. Don't worry though, they're pretty tough.You should end up with a housing that looks like this:5) Use your sandpaper to smooth the edges of the hole, and then test fit the rubber grommet in the back of your light. It should be pretty easy to get in, but it should also fit snugly so it doesn't fall out.Here's another view from the other side, with my HID bulb still in its protective casing. Don't take it out yet, you shouldn't touch the bulb, and you don't want it damaged.Now you can pull the grommet back out of the plastic housing and set the bulb and the housing aside.6) Looking at the back of the reflector, you will see a gold colored clip holding the the standard H3 bulb into the reflector. If you haven't already done so, remove the blue and black wires that came with the light. You can discard these if you like, they won't be needed. Press in on the clip and let it hinge up to free the standard H3 bulb. Set that aside, you won't be needing that either.Now you have to remove that gold colored clip from the housing without bending the tabs on the reflector. I'll leave this up to you to figure out, but you basically just have to pry it gently to one side and one side of the "hinge" will pop off, then you can just move it to the side and lift it off.Your reflector housing will now look like this:7) Next we will be attaching the new HID bulb to the reflector. The standard clip won't hold it in, so we are left to devise our own ways of holding the bulb in place. Some people insert the bulb, and then bend the two tabs down to hold it in. In my opinion, this won't be all that secure, and it will allow the bulb to rattle some. I chose to use two small dabs of 5 minute epoxy, one on each side of the light. It doesn't take much to hold the bulb in securely, and if you don't use tons, you will be able to apply pressure and pop the bulb out at a later date and replace it if necessary.Take your sandpaper and holding the light on its side or upside down, sand ever so slightly in between the tabs where the base of the bulb will sit, and where you'll be applying epoxy. This will rough up the paint a bit, and cause the epoxy to stick a bit better. Make sure you hold it on its side so you don't get debris down in your light. Carefully wipe the dust away, and you're ready to mount the bulb.Get your HID bulb ready, by unscrewing the protective base from the bulb, and getting it out of the way. The 5 minute epoxy sets up fast, so you need to be ready to place it quickly before it hardens. Once you have it free from the base of its protective capsule, lay it back inside to protect it until you stick it in the light like this:Now mix up your epoxy. You only need to mix a SMALL amount, no more than a pea sized amount of the hardener and the epoxy itself. Mix it with your small flathead screwdriver, and then CAREFULLY place a SMALL dab of epoxy on the reflector where the HID bulb will mount.This should look something like this:Now carefully, without touching the glass on the HID bulb (grab it by the plastic base) insert the bulb into the reflector. Make sure you're aware that there are two different locating tabs on the bulb base, so it will only go in one way. DO NOT get epoxy on the bulb. You need a steady hand for this. Carefully align the bulb and push it down into the epoxy. If you didn't use too much, it shouldn't ooze everywhere. Now take your screwdriver, and apply a tiny bit more epoxy on the edges of the base of the bulb, while holding it firmly in place. It should only take a couple of minutes for the epoxy to set, depending on which type you used and how much hardener you used.It should now look like this from the back:Hold the bulb in place until the epoxy sets (around 5 minutes if you used 5 minute epoxy)8) Now that the epoxy has set, you need to carefully reassemble the light. Remember, the epoxy has only just set, it hasn't fully hardened, so you still need to be careful about how you apply pressure to the bulb.Feed the wires from the bulb up through the hole you made in the plastic outer housing. Then carefully push the large rubber grommet into place in the 7/8" hole you drilled. Then carefully lower the plastic outer housing, pulling the wires through the grommet, and making sure that they aren't twisted behind the bulb inside the housing.This should look similar to this:Push the housing down all the way, making sure you alighned the tab at the top of the housing with the little notch in the top of the reflector. If you don't the reflector won't fit in the housing.Now your light will look like this9) From here, all you have to do is turn the light over, and screw the tab which holds the light all together, back onto the front of the light.Your finished light will look like this:10) Now all you have to do is test your light!Hook your ballast up by plugging it into the bulb, and then plugging the other wires into the ballast. My ballast was pretty fool proof, there was only one way I could hook everything up.The two wires left (black and red) are your power wires. Hook em' up to a car battery and be amazed!!Here are a few shots I have left over that I took:Closeup of the HID bulb in the reflector:And a couple beamshots that I took in my room (these lights aren't on my truck yet) All of these shots were taken in my room with the lights out at night, and with the camera settings all the same. They were back to back on the same battery and everything, so it should be a fair comparison.First for comparisons sake, the 55w Halogen bulb that comes in these lights standard:And again:Shot directly into the light with 55w Halogen bulb:Pretty bright right? :DNot when you compare it to the HID! :DFirst shot right as the light turns on:You can see how its not as bright as the next shot, and its got a blueish yellow tint to it. But its still brighter than the Halogen!Here the light is fully warmed up:You can see now how white the light is, and how intense it is compared to a 55w Halogen.Here's a shot from behind the light:Is it daylight inside? :DHere's a shot directly into the HID.Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this thread, found it useful, etc. I know its long, but good detail comes at the expense of a long thread!! If nothing else, hope it was a good read for ya!If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a bit of a light junkie. I think four of these on my truck might be a bit of overkill... But we'll see! :DAny questions, comments, etc, just comment or send me a PM! Thanks!
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