: 9006 to 9005 headlight upgrade for projector beams



Aurora40
04-01-04, 11:41 AM
I did this mod a while ago, but figured I'd post it up here since the STS/SLS has similar headlights, and not all of them have HID's:

Ok, well I'd thought about getting HID's or something to get more low-beam output from my car. Don't get me wrong, the stock low-beams are great. But I wanted a bit more. By the way, the high-beams are ridiculous on this car. It's like flipping the sun on.
Anyway, I decided to try SilverStars, but to get more light from them, I modified two 9005 bulbs to fit the 9006 socket. This only raises the wattage from 55 watts to 65 watts (9006's have a max of 60 watts in case there is some variance), so I don't think there will be too much current through the system. 9005's also put out 1700 lumens instead of the 1000 that 9006 bulbs put out. HID's put out about 3000 lumens and use about 35-40 watts (though when they first fire, the wattage is temporarily higher, like fluorescents).
Because I have projector beams, I think this is a safe upgrade and won't bother oncoming drivers. Very little light is projected up at drivers. Projector beams have a very well defined beam cutoff at about headlamp height. This means it can be very difficult to read street name signs on unlit roads. Almost none of the headlamp light gets up there. I have to flick the highs on to see them, which I can't do when traffic is oncoming.
I may or may not get HID's some time in the future. In the mean time, this is a cheap way to get an idea of what more light is like. HID projector beams have a different pattern, though. Since they have more light to work with, they cast it more evenly across the whole beam. Halogen projectors cast more light in the center and less to the sides since a halogen bulb doesn't have as much light to work with. So a switch to HIDs will put more light down on the road, but it won't change this pattern much. It won't be the even light of OEM HID's or of HID kits that include new projectors.
Here are my lamps stock (they are Sylvania 9006 Halogen Plus bulbs):
http://photo.starblvd.net/aurora402002/2-2-3.jpg
Here I put a 9005 SilverStar on the left side. Note the beam pattern has changed a bit. I rotated the bulb around to adjust this, but it was still a bit different (it's a different bulb afterall) than the stock pattern:
http://photo.starblvd.net/aurora402002/2-2-4.jpg
Here you can see the whole after effect. I had adjusted both bulbs at this point. Notice how bright or dark the wall is. These first three shots were taken in a closed garage with the overhead lights on. So the relative intensity of the beams caused the camera to expose the shot differently, which results in the wall being lighter or darker. This is a clue as to how much brighter the 9005's are, even though the photo doesn't make them look much brighter.
http://photo.starblvd.net/aurora402002/2-2-5.jpg
Here is a rather crappy shot where I backed the car up so you can see the actual cut-off of the beams. You won't get this with regular reflector beams, and I wouldn't try this if I didn't have projectors:
http://photo.starblvd.net/aurora402002/2-3-1.jpg
And lastly, here is a shot of the car with the high-beams on. Notice how much brighter they are, but also how much higher up they cast their light. They are awesome, and light up everything:
http://photo.starblvd.net/aurora402002/2-3-2.jpg
I'll let you know how I like it more long-term. On our trip back from vacation last night, it was on a lot of pitch-black roads with no lighting, and rainy. The low-beams are pretty good, and the central beams cast out a pretty long way. The high-beams light up the road practically as far as it goes. In fact, the dazzle back off of street signs is fairly intense. Good stuff... :D Even if I had HID's on the lows, the highs would still be helpful because of their superior beam pattern (though it is a pattern that would be incredibly blinding to oncoming traffic).
P.S. I instead did a google search for "9006 9005 convert" for info on how to mod the bulb. It isn't hard, I used a Black & Decker Wizard (like a dremel) and it was a cinch. But the bulb won't stop in place exactly right, since it depends on how much of the tab you trim off. So you have to finagle it a bit. :)

Night Wolf
04-01-04, 03:46 PM
I bought a set of high and low beams from CustomCaddy.com... the blue lights... They seem to light up a little better, and look better at night.... they were $30 for high and low plus shipping....

.... I always wonder if the SilevrStars are better though, and if I should get them to replace the blue ones I have now....

Aurora40
04-01-04, 03:53 PM
I bought a set of high and low beams from CustomCaddy.com... the blue lights... They seem to light up a little better, and look better at night.... they were $30 for high and low plus shipping....

.... I always wonder if the SilevrStars are better though, and if I should get them to replace the blue ones I have now....
Just in case you missed it (don't worry, everywhere I posted it people thought I just changed to SilverStars), it was not just a swap of Halogen Plus's to SilverStars. I changed to a different type of bulb. The stock low-beams are a 9006 bulb, and I replaced it with a 9005 bulb that in addition happened to be a SilverStar. I could have used 9005 Halogen Plus's and just gotten more light but no color change.