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2014 ATS-4 2.0 (RIP), 2015 SRX4, 2008 STS4 V6
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After countless hours of researching, I decided to do a HID upgrade. As others have noted the stock 9012 halogens are good lamps in their own way, however I believe the output of the headlights is marginal and should be and deserves to be improved upon. I do have some trouble with night vision, so any improvement that I can make is worth it to me. In looking at options I was at first scared off since the car has the DRLs with pulsed voltage. However it seems good quality components (capacitors and canbus cancellors) can correct for this. Not that I am overly concerned about running DRLs as it is not a law in the states, I am more concerned about damage to the ballasts with the pulsed voltage. So figuring on installing good components and maybe getting in the habit of manually shutting off the DRLs upon starting, this can be mitigated. I do want full functionality of the auto headlights, which this setup should provide.

Before going the HID route, I had tried Putco bulbs, but was not satisfied with the outcome. Aside from a whiter appearance I did not perceive much of a brighet output. So I committed to the Morimoto kit after reading up on good results with them and input from other helpful forum members I had PM'd and were kind enough to answer

I will be installing the kit as soon and the weather lets up, as it is snowing again today, and warms up slightly which should hoprefully be in a week or two. I want to install them over a weekend so I have some time to vet out any issues before the upcoming work week.

Since Stevo Supremo's HID sticky at the top of the page, I have read up more and offer thoughts below. Some new info on bulb type is provided too

Power for the system - Many people choose to install a relay harness to obtain power directly from the battery. This is a tried and true method. I have read quite a few posts about harness relays buzzing due to the pulsed voltage. I also believe that the extra work is not necessary to perform for our ATS, as utilizing a canbus harness(with built in capacitor) would yield a working system. Without crunching numbers, I suspect sticking with a standard 35w ballast as opposed to the higher 50W helps to have a successful result.

Type of bulb - My intention is to maximize the light output. The bulb color comes into play here as the OEM HIDs are 4300k which is closest to daylight and not as harsh on eyes as higher K colors. That range also provides the highest level of lumens.

Fitment of bulb - Morimoto now offers a 9012 bulb to fit the headlight. A 9006 does not need to be used. The new 9012 bulb is the new XB model and offers better output than their previous 3Five series. In addition, the return electrode placement is adjusted. It will now sit at a 4:00 position in the housing, hopefully this would alleviate having to trim the tabs to rotate the bulb to avoid a shadow.

Projector retrofit - This can be a sore subject if brought up in other forums. Yes, the housing is designed for halogen filament bulbs. Will it work well with a rebased HID bulb? Based on posts I have read and photos, and hopefully soon from my own experience, yes. Can a projector designed for HID provide a better beam pattern? Maybe, however I personally don't think the result would be worth removal and disassembly of each headlight. Another issue is glare to oncoming cars - this should not be a major concern with a projector setup as it would be for reflector housings. Also using a 35w as opposed to a 50w HID would reduce any effects as well. As another note, a more objective observation regarding the use of the halogen projector with a kit was made after I compared a 9012 halogen (the Putco I am not using) side by side with the HID 9012. The HID capsule sits almost at exactly the same distance off of the mounting base as the halogen filament, which should help deliver a focused source of light.

Quality components - I have used a couple of Amazon kits, and I can say that the quality of the Morimoto is evident. Wires, casings, bulb, clips are better than what I have previously seen. My thought is after all this is a Cadillac we have.

I am by far not an HID expert, just someone who has researched this ad nauseum and is ready to see the results.

I have attached photos of the bulb, including one of how it sits in the housing large tab at 6:00 and electrode off to the side and another side by side with a halogen 9012.

I will update this as the installation progresses.

John

9012 HID base.jpg 9012 HID side.jpg Bulb position in headlight.jpg 9012 HID and halogen sm.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE: I was able to install the kit over the weekend as the weather let up slightly(but not enough). Overall the light output is noticeably brighter. This is apparent at the edges/sides where I felt the stock lighting was lacking. The projectors provide a decent beam pattern and even cutoff. My wife was driving in front of me and said the lights were not brighter because they did not blind her I guess she expected a PNP kit to be blinding like you see when installed in a reflector or improperly aimed lights,

As far as functionality, the lights come on and off just like stock. In DRL mode no flickering is apparent. The lights provide a white beam with a tinge of yellow, which is comfortable to see with at night. Reflection off of signs is improved both distance and brightness wise.

The installation is not the easiest but not too difficult. I accessed the housing thru the wheel wells. I kept the tires on - I would have removed them in hindsight and set up the car on stands had I had a little more time and warmth. Once the housing covers and stock lamps removed, the 9012 ID bulbs fit in the sockets perfectly, with the return wire below the centerline so no shadow is generated. They locked in fairly tight, but in reassembling the housing cover with the connection wires dangling out, I had jostled the HID lamp out of the socket and had to reinsert and be mindful of this so as not to have it reoccur. Mounting the ballasts and other components was a little difficult. I ended up mounting them alongside the headlight housing and securing to a frame piece with zip ties. I may revisit this location when I have a little more time.

I would recommend this kit over others I have used based on the fitment and quality.

John
 

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When I installed HID's on my old ATS there was a slight glare as the cutoff was not "clean" so to speak with the halogen projectors. If you can get a pic of the light cutoff against a wall that would help others out. I also purchased an extra set of back covers and used rubber grommets to feed the bulb wiring out the back of the headlights. Great write up tho!
 

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2014 ATS-4 2.0 (RIP), 2015 SRX4, 2008 STS4 V6
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Discussion Starter #5
Finally had a chance to take some photos. It is with an iphone so quality is so-so. The first are at a wall on a fairly level area, not such a good shot of the cutoff. The others were at my garage door, slightly downhill. For a kit I believe it is a decent cutoff. Some of the light above the cutoff only shoes in the photos.
 

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2014 ATS-4 2.0 (RIP), 2015 SRX4, 2008 STS4 V6
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Discussion Starter #8
goofygoober said:
Your mentioned oem color in your first post, what did you go with?
4500k. They offer 5000k and 6000k also
 

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Current 2014 red CTS Vsport/ Black Raven 2013 3.6 ATS4 gone
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Anyone here know why the hell I would be driving down the road and out of the blue my aftermarket hid's just shut off. No high beam either?. Then they will just come back on again a couple minutes later? I have some Idea like the relay, bad ground but has this happened to anyone else? I want some suggestions before I start tearing into this.

I posted this on a couple threads not knowing where the best place to get an answer. Sorry
 
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