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How to convert your 1g sealed beams to H4 HIDs.

Posted by tsi1991awd, Mar 19, 2009
Articles: Exterior/Interior -

  1. tsi1991awd

    tsi1991awd Proven Member

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    I didn't see an article on here about doing the HID conversion on a 1ga, but I've read a few threads about people wondering how to do it, etc. I was planning to do this all along and this is the best way I've found out how to do it. It is pretty straight-forward, but I will try and include as many pics and a detailed description. It took me about an hour to do total, not too bad.

    Before I start, I want to say that there are a few different housings that you can get. The one I chose was just a standard 6.5" x 4" housing with the beam pattern on the reflector NOT on the glass. You can get one with the beam pattern on the glass, but it will look like you have a sealed beam bulb...I like having the clear glass - I believe it may help with visibility but I'm not 100% sure. You can also get ones with "projectors" and all that...not my style though. I also chose an 8000k HID kit. You can choose any temperature you want, obviously.



    There are a couple ways you can do the conversion. They both include buying new headlight housings and H4 bulbs. The first way (not what I did) is to just buy H4 harnesses from Pep Boys or Autozone and try and splice wires and hope you get the polarity right. The second (and better way, IMO) is to buy a conversion harness, for a true plug and play installation. The conversion harness has a male H4666 (stock headlight) plug on one end and a female H4 plug on the other end. The wires are all solid (meaning they are not soldered or crimped) and the polarity (positive, ground, highbeam) are all wired to the correct corresponding end. These can be bought on eBay ($30 shipped.) You can save $10 and buy the H4 harnesses at Pep Boys and cut off your stock plug and try to wire everything up that way...I chose not to. Pics follow:

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    Now, on the HID kit, there are a few connectors but they are really self exaplanatory on what goes where. There is no way you can confuse putting the plugs together. On the balast side, there is a female and male plug. On the H4 HID light itself, there is a female and male plug. Connect the female from the balast to the male on the light...connect the male on the balast to the female on the light. Then, there is a harness all by itself...plug the male end of the harness into the female end on the balast itself. The other end of the harness is the male H4 side...this will plug into your conversion harness. Note: the plug I just mentioned only has 2 prongs, opposed to 3. This is because there is NO highbeam on the kit...you will still plug everything up as if there were 3 prongs though. Pics follow:

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    After everything is wired up, go outside and take out your sealed beam headlight and trash it. I chose to take out the signal light and then the plastic trim around the headlight itself. Once you've done this, there is a metal "cage" held on by 4 screws. Once you remove those 4 screws, the headlight is free and comes right out.

    At this point, unplug the connected going to the back of the headlight. On mine, the passengers side wires were red with stripes. On the drivers side it was a different looking connector with all black wires. Whatever is connected to the headlight itself is the correct harness you need.

    Feed the HID bulb through the engine bay and into where the new headlight housings will go. Put the bulb into the housing and secure it. Now, put the metal "cage" around the headlight housing and fit the light. Note: You may notice that the screws you took out are NOT long enough to secure the cage to the headlight bracket. This is because the new housing tabs on the backside are thicker than the H4666 (stock) sealed beam. This is OK. Get a sheet metal screw and just feed it through the hole. This is all I did and it went in just fine and everything lines up, etc.

    After you have the housing secure, put the plastic trim and signal lamp back on. Now pull the harness that you disconnected from the back of the stock H4666 headlight through to the engine bay. Connect the male plug of your conversion harness to the female plug on the wiring harness you just pulled into the engine bay. That's it. Go do the same for the other light now. Pics follow:

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    Mounting the balasts was a bit tricky because there isn't much space in the engine bay to do anything. I mounted the passengers side balast to the upper intercooler piping, above the air filter and the drivers side on the bracket for the A/C line. I may try to figure out another place for them eventually. Note: Keep your balasts and all wiring away from moving parts. Also, the bracket holes were a bit too small so I had to drill one of them out a bit so it would fit the bolt for the A/C line bracket. While doing so the drill bit binded inside the hole and twisted the bracket up. I straightened it out the best I could with some pliers...so that's why the bracket looks mangled in the picture below. Doesn't affect anything though. Pics follow:

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  2. tsi1991awd

    tsi1991awd Proven Member

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    You can see both balasts mounted here:
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    Here are some daytime and nighttime before/after pictures. I'm not sure why the before pictures turned out looking like the light is white, when in reality it was yellowish and dim....but whatever. At least the beam portion is accurate.

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    Before I adjusted the beam:
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    After adjusting the beam some:
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    Any questions, PM me. Hope this helps someone out.
     
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  3. tsi1991awd

    tsi1991awd Proven Member

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    Here is the beam pattern...this was taken during the day at a parking garage. Also, I want to point out that these lights are VERY bright...usually it's hard to see your stock lights on the road if it is wet/rainy out but driving home in the rain last night I saw every line in the road. Every sign lit up and pretty much the entire 4 lanes of the highway lit up. When I got into town, two people turned their highbeams on at me....just be aware that these are very bright. The pictures did not turn out well, but you can see how far the light goes.


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    The dots of light are signs that were lit up.

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  4. tsi1991awd

    tsi1991awd Proven Member

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    A few people have asked if this is a single or dual beam (low/high) kit. It is a single beam kit. The problem I've seen with the dual beam is that either A) the highbeam portion is halogen or B) you're spending quite a bit of money to get a kit with a highbeam HID...and with that, it will take a second to warm up the beam when you switch to the highbeam portion (so you can't really flash your highs at people). The single kit is PLENTY bright (to me at least) so you really don't need a highbeam at all.

    I also want to point out that there are two ways you can connect the BULB itself to the balast. If you connect it with the retainer clip facing OUTWARD, the light will not come on, so you have to switch the polarity. This is very simple. Simply remove the plug from the balast itself and flip it around so that the retainer clip is facing INWARD....this will reverse the polarity going to the bulb and the light will come on. This MAY also depend on the kit that you buy, but I'm sure a lot of them are built the same way. (Refer to pictures 6, 7, 16, 17, 20...notice in picture 16 how the retainer clip is on the outside and in picture 20 the clip is on the inside. To run these correctly, the clip needs to be on the inside as in picture 20)
     
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