: Disappointing OEM HIDs in the STS ...



Ludacrisvp
11-09-12, 12:10 AM
So I have been looking into possibly improving the HIDs in the STS since I feel rather underwhelmed in the quality of light I am getting from them.
I am an active member on the HIDPlanet forums where many members are retrofitting OEM and custom aftermarket HID projectors into their non-HID equipped cars. I have done this in my 02 Deville DTS (traded in) and my 01 Monte Carlo SS and the girlfriend's 03 Jetta, I used the aftermarket projectors ($120 for the pair) in those cars. I feel that they provided considerably better lighting than OEM has for this ~$70k Luxury car. The SRX and CTS have much better OEM HID lighting than the STS does, I just cannot understand what GM was thinking in the design of these headlights.

I went on eBay and picked up a used HID headlight from the STS for $150 and ripped it apart.
I've taken a lot of pictures of the insides and some short videos showing the lack of a smooth reflective surface in the projector bowls.

My plans were to make an adapter plate of some type that will allow an alternate projector to mount in-place of the old one(s).
I was thinking of replacing the low beam projector with something that is bi-xeon like this for example which would give me very nice quad highbeam setup to really light up the world:

This is what I wanted the STS HIDs to look like, the projectors below provide amazing light output.

(Note: each image is from a single projector)
Indoors:
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g297/jvxdriver/hidplanet/DSC_5247h.jpg
Outdoors:
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g297/jvxdriver/HID_Comparison/DSC_5263h.jpg
Highbeam (this is from the 1.0 version of the FX-R projector so its slightly different on the new revision):
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g297/jvxdriver/LensTest/Set2/DSC_1536h.jpg

This is a really shocking difference in output that you can see from old lamps to new lamps.
Comparing old lamps to new ones (Audi A4 projector used but should apply to any lamps estimated use of lamp was about 1000 hours or ~2 years of use):

The HIDs used in the STS have a 2000Hour life according to the label on the bottom.

Old:
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g297/jvxdriver/LensTest/Set2/DSC_3846h.jpg

New:
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g297/jvxdriver/LensTest/Set2/DSC_4001h.jpg
And then we get to the STS… I'm sure all of you know what your lighting looks like at night but here is mine up against the garage wall.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7134/8167236221_0bf0e9e8e1_k.jpg

A close up of a single projector shows a rather narrow bright spot in the middle as if the projectors were designed with Halogens in mind. The effect of this while driving is like having laser beams of light shooting from the front of the car while driving along. The output looks quite a bit different than the other lighting we saw.

Here is the inside of the housing with the projector bowls removed showing the fixed cutoff shields.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7126/8167265466_544a9e989b_k.jpg

Here is a side shot of the two projectors.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8204/8167227711_cdbefbd40f_h.jpg

From the front lenses removed

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8062/8167259948_692a736e81_k.jpg

Lens sitting on ballast showing that there is a slight frosting of the lens making the cutoff of light fuzzy.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7270/8167229037_99ab6de714_h.jpg

Now the main issues I see, the reflective coating of the projector bowl is not smooth at all.
This should be a mirror like finish…

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7266/8167263684_e203b7e2eb_h.jpg

Burned reflective coating at the top of the image. This usually is an issue with BMW HIDs…
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7132/8167231893_9aed39df83_h.jpg

The high beam halogen bowl is no better.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8344/8167233847_8b95dcd9a9_h.jpg

Both of the videos are done in HD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP8aNUIAKtY


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOQwNsNSuLw

Ludacrisvp
11-09-12, 12:11 AM
Light loss prediction curve:
(official output chart pulled from Philips product info for 85122)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v131/taylorcans/outputrediction.jpg

(user created chart)
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b42/berberoglu/hidoutputcurve.jpg

So based on these charts you can see that the amount of light from the HIDs goes down into the Halogen level after a while.

I was expecting to see something closer to what I see when taking apart the fog lights.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8070/8167245199_62b0f54373_b.jpg

As you can see there are some obvious mounting tabs that you could easily fabricate an adapter plate to swap out the whole projector housing with a better one.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8350/8167244911_3f0f18ac9d_h.jpg

chazglenn3
11-11-12, 07:03 PM
Damn...my driver side headlight housing is letting water in and I have been looking for a reasonably priced replacement on eBay for awhile now. I wish I could find one for $150...that was a killer deal. All the ones I see are $350-$500. I removed it and applied silicone but it still is getting water in.

Ludacrisvp
11-12-12, 12:03 AM
Well the one I found for 150 the owner had water issues too as the lens cover had been obviously removed and sanded too. Looks like they also had drilled about 12 small holes in it first to try and drain the water out. So for what it's worth I didn't destroy a headlight that was actually worth using.

eatyoursandwich
11-13-12, 02:16 PM
There is a halogen donor on ebay for $60.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cadillac-STS-OEM-Right-Halogen-Headlight-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-Lamp-/380512538328?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5898508ed8&vxp=mtr

chazglenn3
11-15-12, 03:23 PM
Glad to hear you didn't destroy a usable headlight :D I have HID headlights, so I assume that I need a HID assembly...

chazglenn3
11-26-12, 05:24 PM
Hey Luda;

It turns out that the water is getting in through the door on the side that accesses the ballast and parking light bulb. Any chance you still have the foam rubber seal that goes there...mine is torn. My local dealer says you can't order it and I'm hoping Chris from Rippy has better news for me, but I thought I would ask you...

Ludacrisvp
11-27-12, 01:15 AM
Hey Luda;

It turns out that the water is getting in through the door on the side that accesses the ballast and parking light bulb. Any chance you still have the foam rubber seal that goes there...mine is torn. My local dealer says you can't order it and I'm hoping Chris from Rippy has better news for me, but I thought I would ask you...

I'll look tomorrow. I know one of them was torn on this one too.

eatyoursandwich
12-17-12, 05:07 PM
Starting to work on getting everything together for the retrofit.

Luda, do you know off hand if these are 2.5" or 3" lenses?

TIA

Ludacrisvp
12-17-12, 10:12 PM
Starting to work on getting everything together for the retrofit.

Luda, do you know off hand if these are 2.5" or 3" lenses?

TIA

They are 3" lenses and about 1.5" deep.

Ludacrisvp
12-17-12, 10:14 PM
I'll look tomorrow. I know one of them was torn on this one too.

The spare I have is torn on the ballast cover.