Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > Lexus Model Forums > SC Models > SC 400/300
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

Best HID kit for using stock low beam projectors . . . .

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-30-14, 02:59 AM   #1
Aron9000
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: TN
Posts: 1,079
Default Best HID kit for using stock low beam projectors . . . .

Looking to upgrade the low beams on my 1992 SC300.

I know there are a few threads on this in the "sticky" at the top of the forum, but they seem to be a bit out of date, threads have dates of 2007, 08, 09, etc.

I really don't want to take apart my headlights, as the car has been garaged and babied its whole life. Needless to say the stock headlights are not clouded over, don't have moisture problems, they look brand new.

So what is my best option while using my stock projectors???

Is it even worth my time to upgrade to HID using stock projectors???

Should I upgrade to a different projector lens???


I know they make pretty basic plug/play kits that work with most any car, this is kind of what I'm looking at, trying to keep the budget between $200-400.

My main thing is will these plug and play kits really throw more light onto the road for me. I know if you want to up the wattage/light output with a conventional type of fillament bulb, you really need to upgrade the gauge of wiring, then the bulb burns too hot, melts plastic, uses more volts than your regular 12 volt alternator can crank out, all kinds of problems. This is mainly experience from the late 90's, installing a 6 Hella bulb light bar in my buddy's 1985 Toyota Pickup. That alternator would not generate enough juice to keep the lights on at idle in that truck.

Really I'm just wondering how an HID kit will throw more light on the road without increasing the juice it draws from the battery and through the wiring.
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
Aron9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-14, 08:48 AM   #2
Ali SC3
Na-T Guru
Trader Score: (10)
 
Ali SC3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CO
Posts: 6,908
Default

I think I have an ebay hid 6000k kit in my car for like 5 years now. I would recommend getting the relay harness as it makes them come on more reliably espeicially with the auto headlight years (had to have a relay kit in rx300 or one sides ballast would burn out in 1 min), but on the SC I just plugged them in no relay and they have not given me any issues yet, haven't lost a bulb or ballast. The relay kit is worth the extra time to install though I need to go back and put on in my sc.

You don't have to upgrade the projector lens it is a projector lens you know.
Its not the clearest for HID's but its better than the stock lights.
I would try that first, and then worry about a projector retrofit later, most do not do the retrofit but thats the ultimate in light ouput because the newer projectors are designed more for HID's

An HID kit will output more light because its not a filament type of light where the juice supplied directly corresponds to the light ouput and energy wasted (heat). its a ballast ignitor type of system that needs a super high charge to start the light, and then it draws the same or less as the regular lights. IF you run the relay, you do not have to worry about the stock wiring, and it comes with larger wires so nothing will melt, they are like $10 on ebay for a HID relay kit, and its triggered on by one of the stock light bulb connectors. These days I don't even bother installing one without the harness it makes it super convenient and runs right off of the battery power.
__________________

1995 Lexus SC300 5spd Na-T ( TT Ecu Mod + a few others)

Last edited by Ali SC3; 05-30-14 at 08:54 AM..
Ali SC3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-14, 12:54 PM   #3
wirelesstj
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (1)
 
wirelesstj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: az
Posts: 507
Default

i went with ddm tuning. paid $30 for them and even have lifetime warranty
__________________
Garnet Pearl SC300// 1JZ-GTE/ Holset HX35/ 1ZZ Coils/ AEM V2/ Walbro 400/ ID 850's/ E-85 w/ Flex Fuel/ 30 psi 506whp/501lbtq
wirelesstj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-14, 01:29 PM   #4
scENFORCER
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 2,958
Default

^ DDM tuning 4500K kit for me, paid $60 but I didnt even need the adaptors or brackets that I ordered. Was a straight plug & play kit.
__________________
scENFORCER - 1999 SC400

LSD / PPE / Tanabe / Carbing / BFI / Megan / TMS / Dazien / Volk
scENFORCER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-14, 01:29 PM   #5
Blkexcoupe
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (6)
 
Blkexcoupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,926
Default

Your best option while using the stock projector is a plug and play HID kit with a relay harness like Ali mentioned.

Personally, I do think it is worth the time to upgrade to HID projectors.

I have a set of TSX projectors in my original headlights, and I bought a new set of headlights after that. I couldn't convince myself to tear them apart to put in projectors at the time, so I went out and got a 6k 35watt DDM hid kit. These were the results:

DDM plug and play:
Click the image to open in full size.

TSX:
Click the image to open in full size.

Both:
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I know these pictures aren't the best representation of light output, but you can see with the ddm kit the light is uneven and scattered all over the place.
Blkexcoupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-14, 02:52 PM   #6
jpw
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 194
Default

I used VVME HID's for the low beams. My lenses are mildly clouded over.

The HID I went with were the 4300 K light so it'd look like a real light instead of having a tacky blue ricer tint.

I got the kit and you really should use a relay to not put a lot of stress on the stock wiring. I also went with the digital ballast.

Their (VVME) site is kinda cheesy and I'm sure there are tons of places to buy them, but these have lasted on our Lex about 5 or 6 years with no problems at all.

I'm happy with the beam pattern in the stock projectors.
__________________
'92 Black SC400
'95 Tacoma 3.4L 4X4
'05 Nissan 350Z
jpw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-14, 01:47 AM   #7
KahnBB6
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (3)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 1,876
Default

Restored plastic housings with TSX or similar retrofitted projectors are definitely the best of the best for SC's.

Personally though I went the easier route Ali mentioned above and bought a Phillips 4200k plug-n-play single-beam xenon kit. It's not the clearest or sharpest but it's a tremendous night and day improvement over stock 55W halogen bulbs and gets the job done just fine. Reliable too. I paid around $250 for my kit and ordered it with the optional resistor and a couple of other little things they offered.

Easy to install, can go back to stock (if you wanted to) and required only that the ballasts be given a good location to stay. I tapped a couple of holes in the ducting in front of the radiator and bolted mine in there.
__________________
1993 SC300 5-speed NA | Built R154 | Gixxer_Drew Susp. 600/325 | TT: brakes FR, rims, rear sway, seats | Koyo rad | 4.272 TT Torsen LSD
------------------------
KahnBB6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-14, 03:24 AM   #8
uras300
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (2)
 
uras300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: HI
Posts: 718
Motohiko Hirayu uras300
Default

Honestly, even the high quality plug-and-play HID's (such as Phillips or Morimotos) in our stock projector pales in comparison to today's halogen reflector headlights output; HID conversion is more of an aesthetic upgrade than a functional one if the projectors are not retrofitted.

And DDM is reliable only for the first year or so; the two sets I've installed on different vehicles started to flicker and lost majority of light output after a year. I've been using Morimoto for years without an issue.

And don't just upgrade the projector lenses as it would be a complete waste of money and time; do it right the first time and retrofit a set of good projectors such as TSX, Mini Morimoto, and FX-R.
__________________

1995 (改97+) SC300 Black Onyx 5speed
2004 GSX-R600 Black/White
uras300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-14, 06:32 AM   #9
KahnBB6
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (3)
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 1,876
Default

Uras, respectfully I have to disagree. It may be FAR better to retrofit a modern projector technology into the SC headlight housing but it was a night and day difference between the dangerously dim factory low beams and my PnP Phillips kit. With the factory low beams I found it near impossible to see on roads without overhead street lamps. On desolate mountain roads and even on common highways I found myself flicking on my high beams just to see normally, which would only work for as long as it didn't blind other drivers and I had to turn them off. I had my finger on the high beam stalk constantly at night sometimes.

The PnP kit was not and still is not the absolute best solution but it allowed me to drive my car at night with confidence that I could see where I was going and know that other drivers could see me-- all without blinding them by using my high beams. It gets the job done at a minimum which is more than I can say about the factory 55W bulbs. Silver Star bulbs tend not to last very long as well.

Certainly I'd like to try a true retrofit sometime but it's not at all accurate to say that a PnP HID kit is just an aesthetic choice.

Two things on these cars that I feel always need to be addressed at a minimum for safety:

1) The extremely dim and unsafe factory headlight bulbs --> Any HID system
2) The undersized and unsafe front brakes --> LS400 calipers
__________________
1993 SC300 5-speed NA | Built R154 | Gixxer_Drew Susp. 600/325 | TT: brakes FR, rims, rear sway, seats | Koyo rad | 4.272 TT Torsen LSD
------------------------

Last edited by KahnBB6; 05-31-14 at 06:38 AM.. Reason: Typos and final
KahnBB6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 09:01 AM   #10
bigwes
Lexus Test Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: TX
Posts: 1,118
message me if you want to know
Default

I think 6000k hids only look good on black cars, other than that stick with 4300 or 5000k
bigwes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 07:50 PM   #11
BiGEZ
Pole Position
Trader Score: (18)
 
BiGEZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 324
Default

Check out the Retrofitsourse.com for good quality pnp kits. I have a set a of Morimoto HID kit from them in my GS300 with Infiniti M45 projector and no problem in 3 years. I am abot to do a TSX retrofit in my SC300 in the few weeks. Plan to use the Morimoto kit as well for this. Got the TSX brackets from luxurymods.com.
__________________

2001 GS300 Silver on black<> TTE Replica Lip<> XXR 20x8.5, 20x10 +35mm offset wheels.
96 SC300 auto, black on black<> 99 oem body kit <> LS400 BBK <> Supra TT Suspension <> 6K HIDs. More to come.
BiGEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-14, 07:50 PM
 
 
 
 
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NJ Anyone want to buy my FX-R Projector setup? $650 w/oem lights 1997-2001 ES3_Ray ES300 / 330 / 350 / 300h Classifieds 17 08-19-12 11:40 PM
random idea for "2nd set" of fog lights on the LS ? CJITTY LS460, LS460L and LS600h 8 07-13-11 04:15 PM
FS: Retrofitted headlights. TL & TSX Quad Projector Setup. JeffTsai 2Gen GS430 / 400/ 300 Classifieds (98-05) 19 05-07-07 07:53 AM
Phillips 4100K SC300 Retrofit emoshun Lighting 2 09-30-06 04:08 PM
SCFAQ: Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades O. L. T. SC 400/300 0 01-16-05 06:10 PM


Tags
lense, m45, projector, upgrade

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:24 PM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | JOBS


Get all contact info