In August, 2009, I took a trip to Stoney Lonesome OHV, in Cullman, Alabama and had a run in (literally) with another Jeep during a winching operation with an incident. Needless to say, my Jeep took a hit. Summary of the damage:
• Light bar peeled backwards
• Winch plate bent
• Winch motor housing cracked
• 2 shattered IPF housings
I know it is part of the hobby, but I hated to see my IPF’s shatter like that. Fortunately, and surprisingly, the lenses and bulbs were 100% intact! Just the housings were destroyed. There’s hope yet! (There was no damage to the other Jeep – go figure!)
To fix the situation, significant planning, designing, and building led to a stronger bumper grille hoop and a forward canting stinger, all welded in place with support braces.
Now what to do with my lighting situation?
I contacted IPF about my situation and they informed me that they do indeed offer replacement housings for the 968. COOL! Got some of those sent to me. Now I really wanted to address my Hella situation so I could have useful lighting up top. IPF told me the 968’s work well up there. Their beams are a mix between fog and driving light, but in stock form have the same glare problem as the Hellas. However, they have a version available with stone guards that attach to the housing. No more light glare from the side and my windshield lights would be USABLE!
Since my Jeep is ARB, OME, and IPF equipped, I liked the idea of being consistent so I got another set of 968’s for the windshield, but added the stone guards. I’m not really one to mix and match a whole lot. Besides having a great product in their lights, IPF’s look great too!
One of the biggest factors that had me return to IPF for more lighting was their customer service. IPF is owned/operated by ARB USA, which also owns the ARB locker line and the Old Man Emu suspension systems. EVERY time I have called them with basic questions or had small issues with the locker (compressor leak), they helped me every step of the way with a very pleasant customer service experience.
To me, customer service is selling a great product, but it is a lot more than that. Even great companies with great products have issues, so how they handle things after the sale and installation is crucial to me. I have no experience with Hella or KC customer support, but honestly, I’ve had no need to do so. I can only hope that those who own those products and need support get the service that IPF and ARBUSA provide.
Okay, off the soap box! Let’s get to the real work!
Replacing the housings is extremely easy and a cheaper solution to buying a new set of IPF’s (or ANY fog lights). It’s that much easier when the old housing is shattered.
Unscrew the screws on both sides of the housing.
Unhook the bulb from the wiring built ‘into’ the old housing.
Here is the new set of housings.
To assemble them, simply attach the bulbs to the wiring included with the new housings then screw the lens assemblies back into the new housings. Done!!! It took me less than 10 minutes, but I also cleaned up the old lens assemblies and took photos while doing it. It is honestly a 5 minute job.
The IPF 968’s come with both 55w and 100w bulbs. The 55W bulbs are loaded at the factory. I put the 100W bulbs in mine previously and they were still in there. You can see in the shot above how the 968 lens pattern would lend itself to both fog and driving light conditions/requirements.
My new grille/stinger design doesn’t have a good place to mount the IPF’s without it looking like Mickey Mouse, so the OEM fogs have been removed and the IPF’s are going back onto the bumper.
Here is the Jeep with the new IPF housings installed on the bumper. The Hellas have not been replaced yet.
The existing IPF harness is still intact and the wires are in great shape. If I examined them and found any issues, I would have replaced the wiring with a custom 14 gauge setup (with relay). The set of wires I ran for the lights previously mounted on the light hoop are still attached in the Jeep, but pulled back into the engine bay and covered up/sealed until I come up with a use for them.
The repaired 968’s plugged right up to the original IPF wiring harness I already had and I have more light!