Forward Exterior lighting improvements
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Forward Exterior lighting improvements in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    Ludacrisvp's Avatar
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    Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    I've been planning to 1-up the current intellibeam we have for a while now
    I've mostly completed the first phase of this with a bi-xeon HID retrofit into the fog housing to replace the fogs with the Morimoto Mini H1 from TRS.

    I plan to make the following improvements as well as time / money allows.
    Replace the D1S low beams with these lamps that are 5000k and produce 3200 lumens per lamp which I believe is more lumens than our xenstart phillips lamps.
    D1S: OSRAM XENARC 66144 CBI
    Then replace the 9005 halogen high beam lamps with 9011 HiR lamps from amazon they just require a little trimming of the tab to be used in our lamps.
    Some figures about the 9011 and 9005 bulbs.
    9005's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 1700 lumens, +/- 12% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts.
    9011's (high beam bulb) DOT light output spec is 2300 lumens, +/- 15% at 12.8v, maximum 70 watts.
    What this means is that the DOT guidelines for bulbs states that a 9005 bulb has to put out between 1496 and 1904 lumens, the 9011 has to put out between 1955 and 2645 lumens. So the 9011 will always put out at least 500 lumens more than 9005 if they are meeting spec at all and up to about 1100 more lumens at the extremes of spec.

    The 9011 lamps are about $40 for the pair from amazon and the new D1S lamps are $200 from TRS, I considered just doing the 9011 lamps now but I don't want to take the bumper off to do one then the other again later, I also have to replace the peanut lamps with some decent LEDs but haven't located a good set so far.

    Lens cover removed (heated in oven for about 7 mins @ 250°F to weaken the rubber seal)


    Back of reflector housing:


    Mounting equipment for the stock H3 projector:


    Comparing the 2 projectors:


    Cleaned up the excess rubber to allow me to reseal the housing with butyl glue instead:


    Modified the projector holder to hold the new projector:


    Another Angle:


    Another angle:


    Fitting new projector into mounting:

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  3. #2
    Ludacrisvp's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Projector lined up horizontally:


    Another angle:


    Test fitting:


    Another angle:


    Another angle:


    Unable to close the lens cover due to extended size of projector lens, trimming needed on the reflector to allow this to fit.


    Material trimmed from reflector:


    Comparison of modified to non modified:


    New projector poking out in the housing:


    Completed:


    testing output of projector:


    original Fog light output only:


    Lows and fogs:


    New fogs only (iphone camera changed exposure a lot between testing, these are deceptive photos):


    New Fogs and lows:






    I still need to make some height adjustments as they are a bit too low right now and I still have to integrate the High beam feature of the fog lamps but have been having some wiring difficulties.
    PontiacV8 likes this.

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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    After some discussion with ddalder about the Auto highbeam relay I decided to tap into the highbeams at the driver side headlight harness.
    The Auto Highbeam relay is apparently in the dashboard between the radio and your right knee in the center console area, this sends the power to the highbeams through the firewall and into a connector under the relay center that I probably could have tapped into but it wasn't easy to locate the wire harness and I didn't want to open a can of worms electrically by removing the relay center to access this harness.
    So I pulled out the Airbox instead and tapped the Highbeam +12v power source to provide the trigger for the solenoids and did a chassis ground to complete the circuit.

    Now when the halogen highs are triggered the solenoid is activated and the bi-xeon lights drop their shield to provide additional highbeam coverage.
    Intellibeam still works as expected, however it seems to turn off more frequently when passing street signage due to the extra light from the car reflecting back.
    When the lights are dimmed on, there is a slight delay (almost undetectable) before the solenoids are activated (likely due to voltage ramping up) when it turns off the highs they deactivate instantly.
    I feel this really helps provide a more even coverage of light at night.

    Lows:


    Highs:


    Lows:


    Highs:


    Highs:


    Lows:


    Highs:





    Various exposure settings on the camera:
    Lows:


    Lows:


    Highs:


    Highs:


    Lows:


    Lows:


    Lamp color:
    PontiacV8 likes this.

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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    While I was messing around with things I noted that my car uses a 3rd style of HID ballast for the OEM D1S lows.
    There is a thick Phillips XenDrive which was in the 2005 assembly I bought from eBay a year or so ago, there was talk of a round ballast being used in some years of the STS and mine has a very thin Phillips XenDrive ballast.

    Thin ballast:


    Thin ballast:


    Thin ballast:

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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Bump for 1BadCadSTS

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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Thanx

  8. #7
    Guy.Seminerio is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    How big was the osram ballast you replaced the oem Phillips one with? Any issues fitting it in the existing housing for the ballast in each light? I know the ballasts fit in the housings with plenty of room to spare to begin with.

    The output on those lows seems pretty impressive. Wish you took a before on the oems so there would be something to compare the osrams to. Granted the oems would have had about 6-7 years to dim out so even replacing them with new oems would've made a difference, but do you happen to have similar pictures with the oem ballast?

  9. #8
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    So far I've only replaced the H3 halogen projector with the new H1 HID bixeon projector, integrated the foglight's new highbeam into the intellibeam system, forced foglights to stay on during highbeam usage.

    I attached the ballasts for the HIDs in the projector to the bottom of the fog housing.
    In the post where I showed the phillips ballast that was a size comparison of the 3 known ballasts used in the STS headlight, there are two rectangular versions that fit inside the housing and a round one that attached to the bottom of the housing.

    I still have to buy the Osram D1S HID lamps (not wanting to spend the $200 right now).

    The photos are very hard to compare as the iPhone isn't the best camera as you can't really control any of the settings...
    So If you look at both of these photos (first one is stock lighting setup, second has the new fogs) its really hard to tell what is better due to the way that the camera likes to auto adjust. And the way the camera autocorrects it almost makes the new setup look worse but its really much better.




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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Round ballast mounts on the side like the square its just mounted externally rather than internally, not on the bottom like the SRX (1 gen) XLR and CTS (1 gen). Just FYI.

  11. #10
    Guy.Seminerio is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    So the headlights and fogs are both on in those pictures right?

  12. #11
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy.Seminerio View Post
    So the headlights and fogs are both on in those pictures right?
    Correct.
    The first one is stock HID lows (Phillips) and halogen projector H3 fogs.

    The second one is stock HID lows (Phillips) and morimoto mini bixeon HID H1 projector fogs.

    The morimoto mini H1 that I used for the fogs is the same projector I've used for the headlight retrofit for the Monte Carlo, Jetta, Deville. Most people on the hidplanet forums consider it to be too larger of a projector to use for fogs and as a great mid range headlight.

  13. #12
    Guy.Seminerio is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    So I take it there was concern that the stock projector in the foglight wouldn't be able to handle the HID?

  14. #13
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    The stock foglight projector is really small and wasn't made to handle the heat and UV light output that HID lamps produce, nor are they optically designed to handle the location of the arc in the HID lamp compared to the location of the halogen filament in the H3 lamp. The heat and UV combo is known to burn the mirror finish off of the inside of the projector bowl, which is common on BMW OEM HID setups too.

    Imagine that below is a HID lamp laying down on its side and the O is the location of the arc with the wires coming out of the left side.
    _____________
    |_______O____|

    Compare that to the H3 lamp location .. same setup:
    _____
    |__O_)

    What this ends up doing is putting the light so far out of the optimum location that now you aren't able to take advantage of the projector setup as the light source is too close to the lens and it isn't able to reflect properly to project an even beam of light. The light source from the HID lamp is basically touching the cutoff shield inside the fog housing.


    So if you look at this photo its easy to see that when the wrong lamp is put in and goes further in than designed you would lose a lot of light as there isn't anything reflecting the light back in when you get past the bowl to the point of the lens spacer and holder.


    I still have the stock fogs laying around .... not sure if I have a spare ballast, if i do I'll take a comparison shot of old vs new for HIDs in stock H3 projector.

  15. #14
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    (all of these photos were taken in a dark basement with no other lights on)
    OEM H3 halogen foglight:


    w/ D1S lamp:


    Hard to tell in those pics but the light distribution wasn't very even in the HID photo...

    Here is a shot of the foglight I replaced it with:



    Compared to the stock headlight...

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  16. #15
    Guy.Seminerio is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Forward Exterior lighting improvements

    Nice. Thanks man.

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