Headlight Upgrade - Fog light replacement with Hella 90mm

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LittleStevie
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Headlight Upgrade - Fog light replacement with Hella 90mm

Postby LittleStevie » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:01 pm

A few threads have dealt with options for adding driving lights to the R51 Pathfinder, and I recently replaced my stock fog lights with Hella 90mm low beam projector modules. Much of my typical driving is on dark roads with no street lighting, but with substantial oncoming traffic. Kids walking along the road’s edge to the bus stop have occasionally come out of nowhere, increasing the need for lights that reach further. At the same time, I don’t want to have to constantly toggle high beams or driving lights with oncoming traffic.

My SE came with factory fog lights, but the factory switching makes no practical sense in that the low beams must be on to use fogs. Further, in South Florida I have very limited need for a fog beam anyway. The Hella 90mm halogen modules seemed like the perfect solution – projector beams with good cutoff to allow for higher aim but minimal oncoming glare, they fit into the fog light holes for a stock appearance, and could use existing wiring, fuses, & switches for the fog lights. Total cost of the 90mm Hella modules (part #008193027) and sheet metal mounting brackets was $140 (from YellowandBlueLighting.com). Add about 3 hours on a Saturday morning, and it is a well worthwhile upgrade.

Stock appearance, after Hella retrofit
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ConstantNRG had done a similar modification previously, but I believe that his was on a base model setup without fog lights. The attached pictures might be of more use to those with mounting & wiring for factory fog lights. With a little modification, the stock fog light brackets are a perfect mount for the Hella 90mm modules. Using a Dremel tool and drill, I removed the locator boss for the old fogs, cut away material where needed to make room, and attached the sheet metal mounting plate to the plastic fog bracket with machine screws. FYI, snapping the adjuster screws into the ball sockets takes quite a bit of force.

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To avoid changing the wiring connectors to work with the H9 bulb, I simply ground down one of the locating nubs on the bulb with the Dremel, at the suggestion of others. I could always change the wiring connectors later, but this works just fine. The new bulbs are 65 watts, compared with 55 for the fog lamps, but I’m sure that this is in the design margin of the vehicle wiring.

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As I understand from Daniel Stern lighting, the 9007 low beam stock bulbs put out somewhere between 1000-1350 lumens, whereas the H9 bulbs put out 2100 lumens. My perceptions of the amount of light seem to be consistent with this: low beams + driving lights appears to be about 2-3x the amount for my low beams alone (Silverstar Ultras). My digital camera does not allow manual override of the exposure, so the pictures really do not show the difference in quantity of light. The photos do show the increased range and better side illumination though. On their own, the beam pattern of the Hellas might be too defined and edgy (you see the beam’s edges, rather than a uniform dispersion), but they really work well when coupled with the stock low beams.

Low beams only (Sylvania Silverstar Ultra 9007 bulbs)
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Low beams + Hella 90mm
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This is fairly easy and straightforward, but I’ll stay tuned for any follow up questions.
Last edited by LittleStevie on Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Roadwarrior
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Postby Roadwarrior » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:40 pm

Nice write up man, I like the lights.

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ralphwiggums
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Postby ralphwiggums » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:43 am

isn't there a way to make it so only the fogs come on w/o the low beams? (without having to install a non oem wiring/switch)

there's got to be because I've seen Pathfinders around the Vancouver area that have the fogs on as daytime running lights.

maybe swapping a relay or rewiring a harness connector....?

LittleStevie
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Postby LittleStevie » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:33 am

It might be a US DOT thing...I seem to remember (but can't confirm anywhere) that the DOT doesn't allow production vehicles to use fogs without low beams. Maybe the regulations in Canada are different?

I'm sure there's a way to do it, but I have yet to get the confidence to monkey with factory wiring.

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OurPathfinder
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Postby OurPathfinder » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:58 pm

WOW!!! Great idea!!! I like the look of it!

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00void
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Postby 00void » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:01 am

LittleStevie wrote:It might be a US DOT thing...I seem to remember (but can't confirm anywhere) that the DOT doesn't allow production vehicles to use fogs without low beams.
my fiancé's Grand Cherokee can use the fog lights with only the parking lights on. no need for the lo-beams to be on to use the fogs. also, if you hold the stalk back to activate the hi-beams but not pull it all the way back, you can have the hi-beams and fogs on at the same time. her Jetta did the same w/ hi-beams + fogs.

btw... nice work on the install.

TheYuPath
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Postby TheYuPath » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:53 pm

ralphwiggums wrote:isn't there a way to make it so only the fogs come on w/o the low beams? (without having to install a non oem wiring/switch)

there's got to be because I've seen Pathfinders around the Vancouver area that have the fogs on as daytime running lights.

maybe swapping a relay or rewiring a harness connector....?
yea, there is a way. just find power from the parking lights and tap them into the fogs.

albaniandude
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Fog's

Postby albaniandude » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:54 am

Can a guy buy these somewhere as i do not have the time to do this...

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MonkeyMike
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Re: Fog's

Postby MonkeyMike » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:31 am

albaniandude wrote:Can a guy buy these somewhere as i do not have the time to do this...
there is no pre-made replacement with the hella parts. this is 100% diy.
you can buy the stock fog lights if you have a base model PF. even with those, there is some work involved.

~mike

cruzstyle
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Postby cruzstyle » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:43 pm

how much did this project cost you?

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Sven1olaf
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Postby Sven1olaf » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:23 pm

great write up =]

i am going to get around to this some day before the snow sets in out here. now to find which projectors are gonna be the lucky ones.

cruzstyle
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Postby cruzstyle » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:36 pm

so im going to be doing this mod next month. how did you get the different bulbs to work?

bbermann
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Postby bbermann » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:29 am

Thanks to LittleStevie for this post. I had one cracked fog light lens and the dealer quoted a fix at about $100. I was hoping for a warranty replacement due to condensation and freezing/cracking but they did not buy it. It had a single crack across it for about a half a year and I noticed a few ago it basically looked shattered.

Time to act. LittleStevies post came to mind so I decided to replicate this. All went well, so thanks again. In my opinion, not a huge difference from stock but definitely a whiter light with a strong cutoff.

One comment on my experience; I was extremely frustated with the four long bolts which were included and the ball mounting configuration. After mucking around with them for quite awhile, I ditched 'em and simply used some regular phillips long bolts (and nuts and lock washers and washers). All seems to be just fine. I guess I may have lost some adjustability (?) but I don't see any need to ever do any adjustment.

LittleStevie
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Postby LittleStevie » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:26 pm

Glad it worked out for you...

I notice a huge difference from the stock fogs, it might have something to do with the adjustment screws you ditched. I have my lights aimed up a little higher, more like a driving beam, so I get quite a bit more distance and up-road lighting. Although I think that I have the cutoff just below what oncoming drivers would see, I usually only use them on the dark roads where I need them.

I agree that the ball & socket bolts were really a pain. You have to put a lot of force to snap them in. If you have any adjustability with your setup you might play around with the aim and see what you get.

bbermann
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Postby bbermann » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:53 pm

Little Stevie-

Thanks for the adjustment suggestion. I got into it this weekend and pointed 'em up a bit. You are absolutely right, there is a huge difference from stock. These lights really reach out and are worth every penny, especially in my situation where I had a broken stock unit in need of replacement.

These Hellas are a very nice compliment to the Silverstar Ultras I have in the headlights. Lots of nice bright white light.

Thanks again, nice mod.


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