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Discussion Starter #1
I've been pretty happy with my Silverstar headlights for the past 2 years but am ready to try something different. I'm not sold on HID yet, both because of the cost and added complexity. I've spent a lot of time trying to make my jeep work better, and make it simpler. I'm not big on electronic ballasts from Japan, extra wiring and relays, and $80 bulbs. More likely to add a set of HID driving lights that supplement, rather than replace, the headlights.

Anyway, saw these in the new qtec catalog and thought they might be worth a shot. They're new from KC Hilites, and under $100 including the lenses and the bulbs. The bulbs are under $20 to replace, so cheap enough to keep a spare or two in the jeep.

Curious if they're really much better than the factory bulbs and can't find much online in the way of reviews. Anybody have them?


http://www.kchilites.com/feature-products/headlight-jeep-tj

http://www.quadratec.com/products/97009_7000.htm

 

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The KC's sure are expensive, and kinda funny looking.

H4 headlights are about the first upgrade I make to any vehicle. I run the Hella reflectors in my LJ but have used Delta, Cibie and Autopal E-codes on other vehicles. You will certainly notice a difference over sealed beams using typical 55/60 watt bulbs. Add relays and step up to 80/100 watt bulbs and you'll have all the light you're likely to ever need.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, good info.

That's expensive for the reflectors and bulbs? I didn't realize -- will check out the Hella reflectors.

Thanks,
CR
 

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The KC's and the similar Rampage H4 SMR headlights sold by QuadraTec are a new headlight design called "multi-surface reflectors" (MSR's). These are characterised by multiple angled reflector surfaces, a round metal shield in front of the H4 bulb, and a clear lens. This is a very different design from either the DOT H4 headlights or the E-Code H4's. The older designs have parabolic reflectors and flat segmented Fresnell lenses molded into the front glass (or plastic) cover.

I don't have any experience with either the KC or Rampage aftermarket MSR's. But I have driven my daughter's 2005 Jeep Liberty, and the stock headlights in that Jeep are also the MSR design. They offer a wide light pattern with a less distinct low-beam cutoff than the E-code H4's, more like the DOT headlights. I believe they put more light on the road in low beam than do the other H4's, and slightly less light using high beams. I liked them about as much as my Cibie E-Code H4's with 100/80w bulbs.

I see the KC's cost $94.99 and the Rampage MSR's are $89.99 a pair at QuadraTec. The only difference is that the KC model has a glow-in-the-dark "KC" logo. That would be a reason to choose the Rampage MSR for me.



I would be interested to see a set of MSR reflectors after a HID conversion were done. I happen to believe that the DOT H4's and E-Code H4's should NEVER be converted to HID tech, because they dazzle oncoming drivers after the conversion. But I would not pre-judge these MSR's in that regard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting, thanks. I went for the IPF housings which are not MSR, but expect a huge improvement regardless!

Would be great to see a side by side with MSR and traditional IPF type both running the same bulb.

Our 06 WK is MSR design also, and puts out some great light -- best headlamps I've ever had. I'm hoping my IPF's in the TJ will give it a run for the money though ;)
 

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What bulbs you going to run in the IPFs? Are you going the wiring upgrade or just going to run it as is for now... I ask cause this is something I have been thinking about. I'd like to run the LEDs.. but DAM$$$$$$
 

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i had the rampage housings in my 04 tj and they worked great with standard bulbs. although when i got the lj rubi i had a quest for a little bit more and i went with the skinnypedal HID conversion and love it.

both are great options you just need to choose what you like best.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went with the Fatboy IPF's, I think they're the X41 p/n but am not certain. They were like $80 for the pair, and DANG they're bright! A quick test drive around the block it was like I was driving under a streetlight the whole way, they're really great.

I did upgrade the harness, I found mention of suvlights.com on JF and tried them out, it's a really nicely made heavy duty harness for $50, includes the 2 relays, is all pre-terminated and heat shrunk, couldn't be easier.

I like the H4's because if cash is tight when I have to replace the bulbs, I can go to a different H4 for $20 each; the lenses are $30 each and that's it. HID's are nice, but when a ballast goes it's not cheap. I'm sure what SkinnyPedal has are high quality, but I'm not interested in putting more electronics under the hood of my jeep, it's an oven in there with occasional mud dunkings....not a good place for keeping expensive electronics!
 

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The IPF housings, Fatboys and Skinny pedal's harness was an excellent upgrade for me. Took me forever to get them aimed low enough to not get flashed by oncoming traffic. Then Josh came out with the Hid kit. I sold my bulbs and harness and installed the HIDs. It was as big or more of an improvement as the Fatboys were over the stock headlights. I'm not concerned with the electronics getting wet or muddy. If, I get into water or mud that reaches the radiator support struts I've got other problems to worry about.


 

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X2 on Skinny Pedal's HID. Cost the same as the setup you're looking at, puts out about 3X as much light. I can't say enough good things about mine.
 

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X3 on the Skinny Pedal HIDs. I was running the IPF and Fatboys and went with the HID kit with the IPF housing. LOVE IT! Really a great and pretty darn inexpensive upgrade.
 

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The skinny pedal kit looks identical to the kit I put in my dual sport bike. I have been really happy with it. I run two lights, one is a standard halogen that I use in the city, and as DRL, and the HID is my high beam, and holy moly, when I turn it on, I light up things even during the day. I briefly had two HID lights on that bike, and it was way, way overkill. If I was riding desert at night, it would be appropriate. I put on back in the box, and keep it as a spare.
I wish I could find a housing that used the standard H4 or H7 bulbs, as a accessory light, to replace the weak lights on the bumper. Then I could use the extra HID I have.
 

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I have the rampage H4's ... I really like it compared to the sealed factory bulbs. You can get replacement H4s pretty much at any gas station and truck stop even in the most remote places.

Brightness wise though, they are still fairly dim similar to the factory setup. If you like to have the convenience and the added options with H4 bulbs, go for it. But if you want better lighting, you'll be much better served with any set of decent aux driving lights. My 4" hellas do an excellent job to fill the far ahead region in front of my jeep while not blinding on-coming traffic.

I have the stock fogs pointed a bit wider for foul weather situations and have a 130W KC spot at the windshield though I almost never end up using that.

Edit:
Oh and as far as HID, long ago I made a promise to myself that I am going to keep the jeep as simple as possible and damnit, it's tough to keep that promise :)
 

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which Skinny Pedal bulbs are you using? 4500k,500k or 6000k? If you buy the kit is it basically plug and play? Thanks.
 

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drl650 said:
which Skinny Pedal bulbs are you using? 4500k,500k or 6000k? If you buy the kit is it basically plug and play? Thanks.
"Mostly" plug and play. You have to make a ground connection, plug the headlight harness into the ballast, mount the ballasts (2). Install the lights and housings. Everything is simple.
 
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