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why are A4 dip beams so rubbish?

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Tom_B, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    I was just on euro car parts and spotted these xenon conversion kits at £33

    Ultra HID Xenon Conversion Kit - H7 (477) - 8000k

    then I was wondering how all that candlepower gets lost in the headlamp units - after all they use the same bulbs that work well in every other car so what is it about the A4 that makes them as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot.

    what do we all think?
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  2. Broonie
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    Broonie Member

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    It's almost a 20 year old design ;)
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  3. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    But they are spectacularly bad don't you think?
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  4. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are shocking, the pre facelift ones especially. First improvement I did was to add genuine facelift headlamps (not found decent pattern projectors yet) and then I fitted a 35w HID kit at 6,000k colour temp. This transformed the lights but only really makes them acceptable and operate as I would want the standard kit to.
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  5. Gunny110
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    Gunny110 Member

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    That is exactly the set up I have, as you say I see them acceptable but not the complete transformation like I had with my 2001 focus
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  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    The number of cars i've seen recently with badly retrofitted HID's gives me Red Mist!

    Every single one with the chavvy blue cheap **** HID kits from ebay, fitted to reflector headlamps and blinding everyone in the universe.

    I think the first reason everyone says they're **** is that every other motor these days has HID's, so you feel like your driving around in the shade whenever a HID equipped car is nearby.

    If your going to retrofit, I urge you to do it properly, and buy a set of proper D2S HID projectors from the likes of TRS, and install those into your headlamps. The beam from HID lamp is a completely different shape to the halogen lamp, and proper HID projectors are designed correctly to deal with this beam. You can also take the opportunity to buy BiXenon projectors, and get the advantage of HID high beam too. You can even buy the cheap Depo units new and use them as a base to convert as they're cheap.

    If you dont want to goto that effort, then buy PROPER D2S lamps, and use the D2S to H7 adaptor rings, rather than the utter ****e ebay H7 HID bulbs that are totally the wrong color. Also, NEVER EVER retrofit HID's to a reflector headlamp. Its fcking dangerous.


    I've got proper S4 HID's in my cars and they're pretty good, though the PFL set on my saloon are significantly worse than the FL set on the avant. The PFL lenses are knackered, and i suspect the chrome reflectors in the projector assembly is tarnished causing the reduced output compared with the FL ones. I've got a set of Halogen Facelift lamps which i'm (Slowly!) retrofitting with some BiXenon projectors from TRS and i'll replace the PFL ones with those once i get them finished!
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  7. Iceash
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    Iceash Member

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  8. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    I would buy proper Osram or Philips lamps. I'm sure TPS do them for about £25 each. Lots of fakes around on ebay ETC, so i'd rather buy from somewhere like TPS where your fairly sure of the supply chain.

    Are you wanting to retrofit the projectors as well?

    I bought these(well an older version of):

    Bi-xenon: FX-R 3.0 - HID Projectors from The Retrofit Source Inc

    However i've been told these are easier to fit on the B5:

    Bi-xenon: Morimoto Mini D2S 2.0 - HID Projectors from The Retrofit Source Inc

    If your not wanting to retrofit the projectors, then you'll need the adaptor rings like this:
    H7 to D2S/D2R Adapters for Philips Osram Xenon HID Bulb | eBay

    Then you'll need ballasts, you can get renault laguna ones from ebay that neatly install into the bottom of the facelift valeo headlamp:
    RENAULT LAGUNA MK2 2001 - 2005 XENON HEADLIGHT BALLAST UNIT 4 PIN | eBay


    Also dont forget that legally you need headlamp washers and automatic levelling too. Most folk seem to ignore that bit though.
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  9. Iceash
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    Iceash Member

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    Epic write up love it :)
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  10. Mr K
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    Mr K Member

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    They are dreadful on dipped beam, may as well shut your eyes.

    Decent bulbs, like philips extreme vision help a lot.

    Dont you normally fit HID onto the full beam? showing my ignorance towards HID/Xenon etc here.

    My old S8 had Bi-xenons, which where incredibly good.
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  11. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    I feel its a bit of a subject of contention.

    People post up about it being a legal requirement, like its become muscle memory when typing about HIDs but I've yet to be told of anyone personally or on a forum about anyone failing due to HIDs and not having the needed washer or levelling.

    It might have been written about in some paper somewhere but as long as your lights are aligned correctly, correct colour (not blue) and not blinding everyone for miles in front of you, you should be ok.

    My HID kit is still sat in a box in the loft as I'm unsure if I want to go HIDs or get some OEM xenons fitted.
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  12. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    Yes I replaced all the bulbs with night breakers or some such and there was some improvement but I was fairly astonished that all the candles just disappear - whether it's the bulls eye focussey lenses that soak up all the watts I don't know. I am not driving 80 miles a day down country roads every day so it's not so critical.

    I like the idea of the s4 set up though, do they come up on eBay often/ at all?
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  13. creechy
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    creechy New Member

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    I got a set of S4 xenons off the classifieds on SRS. The difference is nothing short of amazing, save your beer tokens and keep an eye out for someone breaking an S4. I made sure they are set correctly and not had any probs with oncoming traffic. Looking to collect the parts together for auto-leveling and possibly washers.
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  14. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    Adamss24 on here is a selling a set or two.
    I was tempted but I think the house comes first.
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  15. Tom_B
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    Tom_B Member

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    Bloody hell Scott - those S4 lamps must be expensive then, I didnt realise I would need to take a mortgage out on some new lamps.
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  16. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    For an MOT the testers manual states that where fitted the self levelling and washers must work. The items not being present does not constitute a fail. Providing they are aligned correctly with a good beam pattern they cannot fail you.

    Colour temp is a bone of contention, technically speaking the bluer the light the better but in reality I wouldn't want to go beyond 6000k.
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  17. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    I picked my complete xenon units up for £80 posted and there genuine !!

    i tried to do the H7 to D2S adaptors but the OEM bulbs catch on the inside of the H7 projectors and dont sit flush and dont allow the retaining springs to hold the bulbs inplace neither !!

    so it will be a projector swap job !!
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  18. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    ^^^ in fact it was the return wire that catches the seat for the bulb you may be able to shave some off but then you would have to find some way of holding the bulb in place !!
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  19. crazy88
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    crazy88 Loving the anonymity

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    OEM xenons FTW!

    I hate any colours above about 5000k though. Blue light just isn't pleasant on the eyes.
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  20. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    +1 ^^ :p
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  21. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    I want OEM xenon :(
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  22. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    Your eye is less sensitive to blue light, which is why the OEM's use 4300k. The cheap lamps are always blue because the salts required to make a 4300k HID lamp are expensive.

    While the car may pass an MOT, what actually matters is the Construction and Use regulations. A vehicle can pass the MOT, but be unsafe or illegal according to the C&U regs, because the MOT is essentially just a basic safety check. HID's are not allowed under the C&U regs AT ALL. However European type approval does allow HID's to be used subject to certain criteria being met, and those type approval regulations override the C&U regs.

    So, if you want to use HID's you need to conform with the Type Approval regs which clearly state the car must have washing and levelling fitted. Theres an exemption to the levelling on a car with very stiff suspension (say a Pagani Zonda or something) where large changes in height arent likely, or vehicles with self levelling suspension. When you consider the differences between HID and halogen lighting, you can see why these items are requirements.

    Most folk will take the view that the MOT is the only time their car gets looked at by anyone in authority, and if it passes that, then its fine. Ofcourse while rare, VOSA checks do happen from time to time, and should you be in a serious accident, it may be noticed that your car has illegal lighting and perhaps these were to blame (especially if theyre cheap crappy blue ebay kits!)... Ofcourse, its upto you to decide what you want to do, so long as you know all the information and can make a proper informed decision.
    #22
  23. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you file the lugs away either side of the tab?
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  24. T3nnant
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    T3nnant Active Member

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    over the years iv had ebay kits on all of my cars, and I cant drive without them now.. I do hate seeing cars with 10k-12k+ even 8k is really blue.

    iv always had 6k which I find a nice inbetween, my lights have always been properly aligned and iv never had projectors.
    Iv always passed MOT and never been questioned.
    iv never been stopped by police and iv never been flashed for them blinding people.

    End of the day im not going to pay £100-£200-£300 just to have a headlight conversion to make the "proper lights" fit.
    im not made of money sadly.
    A "cheap" ebay kit does the job for me and lasts.
    #24
  25. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    Sorry mate but that really isn't the case, when the light levels are lower the rods in the eye are far more active than the cones and they are far more sensitive to blue (and green actually) light. This is one of the reasons blue light is often used back stage at theatres as the eye responds so well to it so you can have low levels that aren't obtrusive to the main stage. The problem lies with the poor colour rendering with it. I am at 6000k in mine at present and I have also got a set of 4300k which I took back out as I found the 6000k a more suitable temp for me. I wouldn't want to go further than 6000k as it gets too blue and just makes things look a little odd.

    I'm a street lighting engineer and actually attended a course a month or so back and this was discussed, albeit briefly as we were ther efor something completely different. A lot of people seemed rather surprised, including myself as I was under the same impression as you. Still, learn something new every day
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
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  26. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    yep filed them and when they are about to sit flush it pushes the the bulb downwards and causes the return wire to catch the housing so you would have to use a carbide grinder etc to allow clearance then you have the issue of the big bulky connector on the bulb which doesnt allow the retaining spring to hold the bulb inplace so i think the only route is to dismantle and swap the projectors for proper D2S ones !!
    #26
  27. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    Had 3/4 sets of ebay kits and all have blown a ballast or bulb especially when its cold weather it seems to kill the ignitor !!

    after 3 sets i went OEM and havent had problems at all with flickering or bulbs intermittently working and also there a much neater fit and dont make the engine bay look tat with zip ties and sticky pads that eventually loose there stickyness and leave you ballast bouncing around the bay !!
    #27
  28. griswold
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    griswold Member

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    Hids definitely cause a reaction off people, I find it more annoying that some people drive with one light working or forget to put them on at all when I drive to work at night.
    When standard H7 bulbs fitted light was terrible I found the Hids an improvement, I have a 55w hid kit on way to replace a 35w one so lets see if that makes a difference? May try oem If I find a set.
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  29. Rallyman
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    Rallyman LPG Abuser & have VAGCOM

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    This old chestnut again!
    I went from normal bulbs on my "projector lens" headlight after being tugged for having my fogs on. I explained to plod why I had them on and after the "radom" breath test I asked him to sit in the car and see how s*** they were - he agreed and said why didn't I fit some xenons*- I explained that they need other "bits" however he wasnt really bothered!!! * read hid
    I had tried super tan bulbs and considered 100w plastic melting bulbs but ....went and got a hid kit off ebay - hey one went wrong but they swapped it and while its loads better it still isnt as good as my E reg mk2 cavalier with 130 / 100 watts in !!!! :)
    Ive not been pulled for using these in 4 years now, and are a better substitute for fitting similar priced over rated sun tan incandescent bulbs !
    But please dont fit these to a normal headlights cos people will think you should be at the local drive thru with the saxo boys
    #29

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