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SEMA eNews, Vol. 10, No. 18 – May 2, 2007

GOVERNMENT CLAMPS DOWN ON HID CONVERSION KITS
NHTSA Does Not Recognize “For Off-Road Use Only” Disclaimer

As SEMA has reported in the past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is targeting high-intensity discharge (HID) conversion kits for enforcement actions.

The NHTSA has concluded that it is impossible to produce HID conversion kits (converting a halogen system to HID) that would be compliant with the federal lighting standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108. The noncompliant kits frequently include a HID bulb, a ballast, an igniter, a relay and wiring harness adapters. The NHTSA believes this equipment presents a safety risk to the public since the kits can be expected to produce excessive glare to oncoming motorists. In one investigation, the NHTSA found that an HID conversion headlamp exceeded the maximum allowable candlepower by over 800%.

Halogen equipment uses an electrical current to heat a metal wire coil filament to incandescence, while the HID conversion kit’s light source incorporates a discharge arc to produce light. HIDs require a ballast for operation. Under FMVSS No. 108’s Section S7.7 (replaceable light sources), each replaceable light source for headlamps must be designed to conform to the dimensions and electrical specifications for the headlamp source it is intended to replace. For example, if an HID kit is marketed as replacing an H1 light source, then it must match the H1’s wire coil filament size and location, the electrical connector size and location and the ballast design for use with an H1 light source (which is impossible since there is no ballast). Consequently, companies that are manufacturing HID light sources (e.g., D1S, D1R, D2S, D2R, 9500, etc…) with incandescent light source bases (e.g., H1, H3, H7, H8, H9, H11, H13, HB1, HB2, HB3, HB4, HB5, etc…) should be aware that this light source design would not be one that conforms to FMVSS No. 108, and could not be imported and sold in the United States without violating Federal law. (The importer is treated as the manufacturer and subject to the same fines and penalties that apply to a domestic manufacturer.)

The NHTSA has also determined that a commonly used disclaimer “for off-road use only” has no legal meaning and is not recognized by the agency as the manufacturer, importer and retailer are not in a position to control use once a product has been sold. Any equipment offered for sale which is covered by FMVSS No. 108 (headlamps, taillamps, side markers, etc.) must comply with the standard.

On a related topic, the NHTSA has also stepped up enforcement against restyled combination lamps that are missing required functions existing on the original-equipment lamps. This would include replacement front- or rear-combination lighting equipment that do not have a required reflector, amber or red light, “DOT” marking or mismarked wattage. The issue is the same: any equipment offered for sale which is covered by FMVSS No. 108 must comply with the standard.
 

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It's about time, I'm so f***ing tired of oncoming traffic having those, it's so obvious and so very unsafe for other drivers. I got to the point to whenever that happened I high beamed them letting them know how it feels.
My question is is it illegal to have them on your car if it is already installed? I'm sure several other people on here would like to know as well so they can avoid "fix-it" tickets.
 

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Yeah I've had a few that really just piss me off and always on tuner/japanese cars mostly, very annoying. However I like the idea of having brighter/bixenon headlights on my fusion just nothing blinding for others
 

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Yawn. It's another sign of just how backwards US lighting standards are. Almost every factory-equipped older BMW/Audi/Acura vehicles' HID lamps are so out of whack that they blind oncoming traffic here in WA because there is seems to be no enforcement or real regulation. Requirements for auto-levelling systems like in more "civilized" countries just don't exist. Agreed, those crappy little Hondas with their aftermarket HIDs are especially obnoxious.

My lamps (OEM 4300K) are kept properly adjusted, and after driving countless hours in the dark I've never been flashed by civilians or police. It's called respect for other's (and your) safety. Speaking of which, I'm amazed how much better they are compared to any stock US-spec system...and much safer...
 

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Just another spoof to scare HID markets and retailers or future buyers. They said this on 2000 and so on. And from the look of it, they still make more and people still buy them. Its like them passing a law saying "Tinted windows that are darker then 28% is illegal" but do you see people going by that law no. They go 5% limo tints.

Plus another factor, how many officers know which are OEM or which are aftermarket unless they pull you over and check the headlights housing which if your car came with halogens from factory then they will say Halogen on the housing and for OEM HIDs it will say Xenon on their housing.

But seriously, why would a cop waste his time pulling over every single car that has HIDs just to look at his light housing to see if its legal or not? 70% or more of the cars on the road have HID's and most of them are OEM or they are a retro fit.

Unless there is a ricer with super purple HIDs or with that blue green HID then yea your screwed but if you keep it to a safe 5000k to 6000k level a cop couldnt tell the diff between aftermarket or OEM.

Yea it might bother somepeople but thats why you aim them down after install. And if you are real sensitive to HID lights, then go try and shut down Mercedes, Acura, BMW, Bently, Rolls Royce, Lincoln, Cadillac, GM or any other auto company that produces their high end cars with Xenon lighting aka HID. Which that its impossible because xenon lights a better road view source for night driving rather then the weak light output of a regular halogen light bulb.
 

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[quote author=MidNiteKnight link=topic=78345.msg1438998#msg1438998 date=1180191462]
Just another spoof to scare HID markets and retailers or future buyers. They said this on 2000 and so on. And from the look of it, they still make more and people still buy them. Its like them passing a law saying "Tinted windows that are darker then 28% is illegal" but do you see people going by that law no. They go 5% limo tints.

Plus another factor, how many officers know which are OEM or which are aftermarket unless they pull you over and check the headlights housing which if your car came with halogens from factory then they will say Halogen on the housing and for OEM HIDs it will say Xenon on their housing.

But seriously, why would a cop waste his time pulling over every single car that has HIDs just to look at his light housing to see if its legal or not? 70% or more of the cars on the road have HID's and most of them are OEM or they are a retro fit.

Unless there is a ricer with super purple HIDs or with that blue green HID then yea your screwed but if you keep it to a safe 5000k to 6000k level a cop couldnt tell the diff between aftermarket or OEM.

Yea it might bother somepeople but thats why you aim them down after install. And if you are real sensitive to HID lights, then go try and shut down Mercedes, Acura, BMW, Bently, Rolls Royce, Lincoln, Cadillac, GM or any other auto company that produces their high end cars with Xenon lighting aka HID. Which that its impossible because xenon lights a better road view source for night driving rather then the weak light output of a regular halogen light bulb.
[/quote]

I guess where you live 70% drives "high end cars" because around here it's probably less then 5% have HID lights. You also must be lucky because the cops swarm around here and have nothing better to do. It's pretty obvious when the HIDs aren't OEM, but maybe you've become accustom to it and can't tell the difference and all a cop has to do is ask to pop your hood and they look at the wiring. Sure you can say no, and the cop can say "turn around" and cuff you. That's pretty extreme but they can do it if they think you're housing something illegal, but they would most likely just write a "fix-it" ticket an make you prove that they are either original or legal by paying to have someone look at it.
I haven't had problems with the new cars that have HIDs, when they turn their brights off you can tell, and you're not being blinded anymore.

Oh and with the tinting situation, I've known people to get tickets for that, and until you get it fixed you can keep getting fined. It's pretty unsafe when it's the middle of the day and you watch someone back into a policy car because they can't see them through their tint. It was quite funny actually, but I didn't hang around to see how many tickets they got for that one.
 

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Remeber, you are in California. Americas strictest State. So there is no luck involved at all. And if you know what you are doing, you deff can get away with the wiring. And second HID on high end cars run the same system as aftermarket.

They both consist of a Ballast, igniter and the bulb. Both use the same system, and the only diff is the harness and the labeling on the ballast which you can peel those off and put a OEM label and hide the harness.

As for Retro fit, they are completely legal. Just read the post I did for retrofits. you are taking Xenon housing and projectors from vehicles that came with factory xenon lights. And on the housing it says DOT xenon such and such. Dont belive me go on HIDPLANET.com and do some research.

And im not use to it at all. Ive been in the automotive industry for a while now and serviced many vehicles and trucks. So trust me bud, I live, breath and eat cars and trucks.

As for window tinting. I have limo all around. and 50% on my windshield to protect my interior. I pass by sheriffs, state trooper, DOT's and undercover cops everyday of my life and they dont bother me for my tints or lights. Even if I got pulled over for expired tags they never questioned my tints or lights and that was at nite.

And you have to be a moron to install super dark tints if you have bad eye vision. Everything revolves on common sense. So think about it.

Remember we come from two diff states, your state is strict and stupid and thats not to be rude but its a fact. And my state its just simple and normal.
 

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Yea I know this states has been messed with way to much by the liberals, I've also noticed something about your situation. You have a 50% tint in the front and limo(guessing 5%?) on the rest of your car. That's why you think the stock lights are good enough, you're basically wearing sunshades at night. That also makes to where you don't have near the problem that people who don't tint on their front windshield by oncoming HID conversions. <<this is your common sense.
 

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I will have to indicate a few factors for you buddy.

1. Ive been runing the HIDs ever since the car came out of the dealer ship with perfectly clear windows.

2. Ive been runing HID retro fits on all my past vehicles.

3. My headlights are retrofits from a 2004 Lincoln Navigater Xenon light housing shield. And aimed by Ford techs.

4. Do you know how clear 50% tints are? Its just another simple clear piece UV protector.

What school did you get your automotive degree from because brother you still need to learn a few things. This is not no backyard mechanics situation no more. Now and days things are getting advanced and slick with murder. Remember an auto electrical tech gets paid more the a drivetrian or undercar tech or a "lube machanic".
 

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[quote author=MidNiteKnight link=topic=78345.msg1439519#msg1439519 date=1180208819]

4. Do you know how clear 50% tints are? Its just another simple clear piece UV protector.

[/quote]

UV tint, yes I know, buddy. I'm sure you know what UV tints are for, reducing heat and GLARE.

Also, I read http://www.fordfusionclub.com/index.php?topic=52244.0 your little write up and it seems to confirm what this post was originally posted for, that straight replacement of halogens with HIDs should be illegal because it's dangerous to other drivers. NOW, for what you have done with the Navigator set-up. You retro fitted and had ford techs aim it(the fact that you even aimed it has you beating 90% of HID converters), I'm assuming that it now complies with government law on the aim and doesn't have the glare that blinds other drivers. If this is true, good, that's how HID conversion should be done, the problem, almost nobody does it right like that.
 

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How well did you read the post? From what it lookst not enough.

1. When you take the reflectors out of OEM xenon lighting you are controlling the patter of the light out put and elminating the glare. Dont you see the pictures. Therefor the system is 100% legal.

2. The post was as a warning on me giving the an alternarive and investing a little more of cash for better peformance and 100% DOT approval.

3. I am sure you know how clear the 50% tints are, and no I didnt buy them for no glare reflector, I bought them to protect my interior.

And the difference between an HID conversion and retrofit is,

Conversion: Plug and play and go enjoy them

Retro fit: Remove the head lights, housing, remove the halogen reflector cap. Make a whole to the preference of Xenon housing, lets say the projectors from a BMW M3, install them, modify the component, seal the housing back up, install the ballest and igniter and run the wiring and aim them to spec. Which takes alot of math, craftmanship, patience and electrical backround.


See the huge difference there. One is 100% legal because DOT approves of this modification and the other is at your own risk.

How you like them apples?
 

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From the looks of it, I dont want to insult you at all or no hard feelings but man, why argue over something you dont know much of?

Its like a Jiffy lube employee aruing with a Ford master tech over a diagnostic situation. Not that im saying im a master tech but I do know plenty and done plenty to argue over the situation. Trust me we learn new things every day, dont let your ego hang you by the balls. I learn new things everyday. I get sent to schooling every 6 months for a new system or vehicle.

No one knows it all but when someone has a full background on a subject there is no arguement.
 

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[quote author=MidNiteKnight link=topic=78345.msg1439561#msg1439561 date=1180210868]
How well did you read the post? From what it lookst not enough.

1. When you take the reflectors out of OEM xenon lighting you are controlling the patter of the light out put and elminating the glare. Dont you see the pictures. Therefor the system is 100% legal.

2. The post was as a warning on me giving the an alternarive and investing a little more of cash for better peformance and 100% DOT approval.

3. I am sure you know how clear the 50% tints are, and no I didnt buy them for no glare reflector, I bought them to protect my interior.

And the difference between an HID conversion and retrofit is,

Conversion: Plug and play and go enjoy them

Retro fit: Remove the head lights, housing, remove the halogen reflector cap. Make a whole to the preference of Xenon housing, lets say the projectors from a BMW M3, install them, modify the component, seal the housing back up, install the ballest and igniter and run the wiring and aim them to spec. Which takes alot of math, craftmanship, patience and electrical backround.


See the huge difference there. One is 100% legal because DOT approves of this modification and the other is at your own risk.

How you like them apples?

[/quote]

I read it just fine, but it's obvious you didn't read mine because you repeated what I said. I was complementing you on how you retrofitted instead of a plain conversion.

[quote author=mechanicboy18 link=topic=78345.msg1439535#msg1439535 date=1180209606]
that straight replacement of halogens with HIDs should be illegal because it's dangerous to other drivers.
[/quote]

I've been saying that the plug and play, as you called it, should be illegal as it's dangerous to other drivers. You even agreed in you other post that it
[quote author=MidNiteKnight link=topic=52244.msg840271#msg840271 date=1153689737]

You are waisting your money... The Halogen lamps will not control the H.I.D beam pattern. It will throw the light every where and it looks like a big mess. Trust me I know because I have them. :bash:

[/quote]
Makes a big mess, that's the part that's the problem.

I'm tring to argue that conversion is wrong, but I think that you think that I'm trying to argue against retro fits. Those are apples and oranges.
 

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Ok yea but why stress over stupid lights and invest more time on aggressive drivers, drunk drivers or those under the influence who are actually a danger to the road the some stupid lights. Your eyes should be focused on to where you are going and not to those oncoming drivers.

Why not take that investment and do a speed trap and DUI bust on all of our roads? That shows how screwed up our government is. Focus on the #1 killer on the road. Not on what you can do or not do the our vehicles.

Trust me the Range Rover has brighter lights then these plug n play lights. Or how about the trucks that a lifted of the ground and their lights aiming to your rear view mirror? Is the law bothering them. not much because I see them every day on every southern state. It doesnt bother me because big trucks are my thing also.

As a simple fact, this law is just another waste of time. Plus it will take effect on strict states but it wont even tickle easter, northern or southern states. This law has been around for years and every two years they bring it back out and it goes away because its just another waste of time for the cops.

Reguardless people are still going to buy them and install them just like limo tints even tho they are illegal.

I say this argument is over and nothing will happen unless ur in Cali.
 

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I'm going to piggyback on the limo tint thing here. I know where I live they have really cracked down on illegal tint, so much in fact that they have even taken the illegal tint supplies out of the local parts stores. No qualified tint installer will even touch anything that doesn't comply because they are indeed "on the hook" if someone is caught with illegal tint. On top of that, don't think of looking for a state inspection sticker with illegal tint, it won't happen. And all of this is in Southern Mississippi...not California. You know what else they are hard on? Neon and license plate lights. I work at an auto parts store and people come in all the time because they just got a ticket.

I am bothered by the poor "HID" systems around here as well. To say they need to worry about drunk drivers instead of things like this is ignorant. I'm sorry, man, but whose to say they ARE neglecting those things and solely concentrating on this? People are going to buy crack too, does that mean it should be legal?

I would applaud it if they were strict and enforced the lighting regulations. They are certainly strict in most Euro countries (I know, I've lived in Germany twice and I've had my vehicle inspected there) and passing a vehicle inspection is quite a task (requires headlight adjustments, tire tread depth etc). I see too many aftermarket HID systems that are unsafe to oncoming traffic. Those are the systems that I despise.
 

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MidNiteKnight, to say CA is stupid because they enforce regulations is funny. Perhaps more states should abide by the laws and perhaps we wouldn't have this conversation. It's all about standards. That is the main problem. You have a state like CA that is pretty strict and enforces that standard, then you have states (from your posts, like FL) that don't. This is what makes the system a joke...not because they are trying to standardize the lighting situation instead of "setting up checkpoints on every street".
 

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I read the retro-fit kit and that looks nice. If those are legal, I'm all for that though. How much does it cost to do something like that?
 

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I'm running HIDs in my '06 Zephyr. Luckily the Zephyr(MKZ) has the same projectors whether you have HIDs or regular halogens. Someone backed into my car in a parking lot and when the body shop was doing the repair they thought the adjuster messed up. They thought I had factory HIDs and the adjuster wrote halogen on the estimate. The light pattern is perfect and there have been no flashes from other drivers.
 
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