Been a Jeep lover for years but an actual owner for just over a month. Feel like a kid in a candy store with all the options I have. Running an '05 SE, just changed the stock 215's to 31's which I like a lot better. Next upgrade is an H4 headlight upgrade. I am going cross-eyed!!! So many choices but after TONS of research I am looking at the Autopals Ecodes on Ebay. Why do I need to do a wiring upgrade? If I run the bulbs that come with the housing, do I have to upgrade or can I upgrade when I move to a larger bulb. Also, need to stay on the economical side. Let me know your opinions and I will gladly accept any suggestions/criticism. HAPPY JEEPING!!!!!
10-21-2011 11:36 PM
I just bought my Jeep in May. I too noticed the anemic headlights. Last Saturday I install the KC Hi-Lite replacement headlights (with H4 bulbs.) They wired directly to my existing wiring for about $100 via Quadratec. Should you go this route (I know you didn't mention it directly but I'll reference it anyway) be advised that they are not ...great. On hi-beams, they are worth $200. On the lows, the pattern is all over the place. The ditch on the left is brightened up about 10 yards in front and off to that side, the right is about 20 and I can't get the patterns to change despite maxxing the adjustments to full cross-eyed position. And, the pattern directly in front of me is fairly uneven and has dark holes in it. I have shortened up the distance of the beam to fill in the holes but now I'm not comfortable having headlights that shine 30-40 feet in front at highway speeds. I'm going to raise them up to get some distance. I know that dark hole is going to return at about 30 feet though. I've worked the adjustments from one spectrum to the other and I just don't have that satisfied feeling.
And, the reason I chose these lights is because I could use the stock wiring without modification. So, I hope that helps you in your quest. These lights are brighter but they are like old school Mag-Lites - you spin the head and the pattern goes wide but you can hide a bus in the dark hole in the middle. It's disconcerting when the ditches are bright white but it's dark in front of you. I'd pass on these.
10-21-2011 11:51 PM
I installed my KC headlights about a year ago and like you I'm not impressed with their performance either.
10-21-2011 11:53 PM
After more research I am leaning towards the Hella E-codes right now. About 80.00 and no wiring upgrade.
10-22-2011 12:38 AM
E-codes are they way 2 go! Did them a year ago with some DDM tuning 6k hids. I would never go back to anything less
10-22-2011 01:26 AM
Unless you want Hella in particular the Autopals are the same e-code and half the price. There is a thread going about that right now...
10-22-2011 07:45 AM
Well, my install is not H4, but since you mentioned Hella and Ecode lights,..... Figured I would chime in. My install was a Hella HB2/9003 bulb and lens kit. This is a common bulb, and if you look at the bottom of my link below, you will see the light pattern in the dark - pretty good I think.
I'm in central MD, and the cops are strict on jeeps. The non-E code lights were all I had a choice of. Since Hella was highly rated here on the forum, I took a look at them and bought them. Here's my install.
If you want another picture of light distribution at night down a long road, I think I can accommodate. Just let me know.
Best of luck!
10-22-2011 08:05 AM
i just upgraded to the rampage headlight kit $82 at the qtec tent sale earlier this month. i stuck with the bulbs they send with the kit which are the highest they can provide and while the low beams aren't great ( sounds alot like the KC kit) the high beams are better. the lenses are glass so i can use a higher bulb and not melt them. the low beams are still better than the factory lights. the kit is plug and play which is what i wanted and other than Pa state laws have no restriction on the bulbs i can use.
10-22-2011 09:32 AM
I just bought the Autopals from Fleabay. Devel Dog Doc is very convincing and he has a passion towards these lenses so I will try them out. Will run the bulbs thay come with the kit and looking at maybe some HID 6000 later. We will have to see. Small mod but excited. Every small progress gets us closer to our goal. Thank you for everyone's input. Will be posting pictures of my ride and the install. HAPPY JEEPING!!!