Del's Build: SLC IR/8

- Drew and cutout orange inlays for the HVAC knobs, although just temporarily since I plan to get them powdercoated orange and add black inlays so would have to draw them anyways.
- Installed onboard battery charger with external outlet so can easily plug it up.
- Found some 90deg based HID bulbs that will clear the access panel for them. This is literally the only place/brand that sells 90deg based bulbs (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YWPELA/)
- Test fitted some generic PPF on the carbon tub where I put my feet to get in the car. FYI don't use heat, it will make the PPF opaque. I'll redo and not go all the way to the edge towards the door, when it dries and no heat used it's very hard to see what's protected and what's bare.

Noticed my Hella projectors have no cutoff shield inside them like I expected. Is this normal?? Some point down the road I'll have to get the JW Speaker LED replacements, not a fan of blinding oncoming traffic and especially with HIDs. Will leave as is since I rarely drive it much after the sun goes down.

Inlays



Battery charger




HID 90deg bulbs & output



PPF


 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
It looks like whoever mounted the Hella lights did not clock them correctly. If you look at the back of the housing you can see a "top" indication. The allen bolt head should be exactly at a 12 oclock position. Yours looks to be at approx 11 oclock.

With your hood open in the next picture you can actually see the cutoff pattern of the right lamp matching the 11 oclock position of install.
 
It looks like whoever mounted the Hella lights did not clock them correctly. If you look at the back of the housing you can see a "top" indication. The allen bolt head should be exactly at a 12 oclock position. Yours looks to be at approx 11 oclock.

With your hood open in the next picture you can actually see the cutoff pattern of the right lamp matching the 11 oclock position of install.
You are correct sir, I noticed it first time I turned them on. I believe it is due to lack of space because I asked for my low beams as the outside headlights instead of the inner ones. Honestly, even if they were clocked properly there's no cutoff shield on the Hella's so I'll have scattered light regardless.
 

Ken Roberts

Supporter
The Hella projectors do have a cut off pattern when operated with a OEM halogen bulb. Nothing wrong with the housing. The problem is you replaced the halogen bulbs with hid bulbs not designed to work with a projector housing. All bets are off at this point.
 
The Hella projectors do have a cut off pattern when operated with a OEM halogen bulb. Nothing wrong with the housing. The problem is you replaced the halogen bulbs with hid bulbs not designed to work with a projector housing. All bets are off at this point.
I've been meaning to try a halogen bulb for kicks, but from my experience normally replacing a halogen projector bulb with HID you get some sort of cutoff although may not be as defined. I looked inside my projectors and there's not a cutoff shield inside them as I expected.
 
Hella makes good stuff, but I suspect the halogens are wimpy due to regulations on maximum wattage and lumen output. When you're shooting the low beam through the glass enclosure, then through a poly lens at a steep angle, it's going to do bad stuff with total output. Though there may not be a cutoff shield inside the low beam the project housing is most definitely designed to cast a hard cut-off at the proper elevation. I played with these same Hella housings about 16 years ago and was surprised by how well the cut-off was established - try swapping a standard halogen in place and you'll see, or flip back and forth between your high beams and low beams; the high beams don't have a cut-off.

That said, it's true what Ken says - there's no LED bulb in the world that can swap in for a halogen without creating some amount of scatter - it's physically impossible. LED bulbs use an array of LEDs to create light. A halogen bulb uses a very tiny wire located at a very exact position within the bulb. So the focal point for an LED bulb is huge because light is emitting from a big array stack. On a halogen, it's pinpoint accurate. These projector housings have internal contours that collect the light and focus them outward - and those contours are based on having the light source at a single position in space, and that's how they can tightly control where light is projected without scatter.

So with all that said, I'll confess that I too, installed an LED bulb in place of my halogen. There's simply not enough light output with a halogen bulb for night driving. I almost never do any night driving but I'm willing to be that prick if it means other drivers will see me coming, and I can see the road ahead. Because the headlights are mounted so low in the vertical plane, getting proper aim is critical. It's a very small degree difference between getting a decent cast distance vs blinding oncoming traffic, halogen or not.

LED low beam vs halogen high beam, low beams in the inside position.







 

Neil

Supporter
A long time ago I owned a '65 Pontiac GTO. I removed the chrome trim around the grills and added two General Electric 4537 aircraft landing lights in chrome housings. The illumination pattern was long vertically so as to illuminate a runway and there was a glare shield to keep light out of cockpit windows, so I just turned them 90 degrees and they were perfect. There was a dimming procedure- LL off then high beams off, otherwise the transition from the two very bright 200,000 candle power landing lights directly to low beams was too severe. Those 4537s fit into standard large headlight buckets..... just another possibility.
 
Thanks for the replies! I'm totally with ya'll on being impossible to not get scatter using LED or HIDs (LEDs due to array and HIDs due to length of bulb) for any projector that is designed for halogen but typically projectors with HIDs is usable for the most part....at least ones with a cutoff shield. I didn't use LEDs in my low beams like you Cam, I chose HIDs for the extra lumens and of course expecting Hella's to have a usable cutoff.

Cam your LED bulbs look nice, white and bright with a decent cutoff, what brand bulbs did you use? I agree with how little most of us drive at night, I'd MUCH rather people see me coming due to glare that not see me at all, the latter I fear is likely even more common at night. With it getting darker and darker on the way to work every morning as we approach DST, I'll possibly be driving the SLC more in the dark as the weeks go by so have some stuff to consider.

My non-existent cutoff sounds like it's a combo of a few things. No cutoff shield, HID bulbs being longer than halogen bulbs, as Cam pointed out them having to go through a polycarbonate lens as well as my low beam being on the outside where the lens bends on it possibly could be skewing the output too. I haven't fully tested the new Morimoto ballast to make sure all is good, but already decided if some how they're still giving me fits I'll be swapping over to LED bulbs till I get time to figuring out a better solution. I do think there is one, just a matter of finding the right parts and figuring out how to make it work.....or suck it up and get a pair of JW Speaker 90mm LED for ~$400.

My original idea was to run quad hi/low projectors with HIDs, but all the ones I found at the time were all longer than the Hella low beam housing so was a no-go. Quad lo/hi idea was based on what I did couple of years ago on my old WS6, took a lot of digging to find a sealed bi-beam projector with dimensions that would work with pop-up headlights. Ugly as sin if your buckets are up and no lights on, but huge light output with defined cutoff. If wondering why there's no step on the cutoff or they don't appear to have a very wide beam, it's because they're actually fog light projectors.




Lows

Highs

Backroads with low beam



One day I'd like to make a real carbon overlay that would fit under the poly lens, similar to what I did for my dual MH1 retrofit on the busa.


 
That's really sweet - I wish I'd made a mold of my headlight buckets before I started working on them so I could make a carbon insert. I may give it another run some time in the future when I have the plastidip ripped off and I have time to do some more messing around with it. Some have told me there's carbon overload on my car already ... :p
 
That's really sweet - I wish I'd made a mold of my headlight buckets before I started working on them so I could make a carbon insert. I may give it another run some time in the future when I have the plastidip ripped off and I have time to do some more messing around with it. Some have told me there's carbon overload on my car already ... :p
Thanks, retrofits are fun things to do! I've done a few others as well, but the carbon overlay is my favorite. I think those don't have good tastes! :p I fully believe you can never have enough carbon, partly why I love Koenigsegg and Pagani. Carbon insert for the buckets would be awesome. I'm pretty sure you could sell a few as well, I know I'd be down.
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Hi
Matt black under the Perspex covers will help stop some of the light scatter.
On my GT40 this was white then done in Matt black and huge difference was noticed.

Ian
 
Hi
Matt black under the Perspex covers will help stop some of the light scatter.
On my GT40 this was white then done in Matt black and huge difference was noticed.

Ian
I didn't think about that being another reason lots of owners make that area black. I'm kind of fond of them being body color though, I have some stuff to figure out for sure on the headlights.
 
Figured I'd bump my thread, because I'm slightly excited that I MAY have found someone to tint my windows. They're confident in doing it and are tinting a Porsche GT3 right now with Lexan windows. I am told they put a liner on it before the tint to protect the lexan and make sure tint adheres to it. While it makes sense, not quite sure what this liner is made of, but I'll definitely let them have at it. Downside is it's in Houston, ~2hrs 1-way. I'll probably see what it would cost to ship and return shipping, just so I don't have to waste a Saturday away from the family....but if needed, I'll be making the trip ASAP.
 
One big concern of tinting the side glass is the compound curves, is the tint shop aware the film needs to conform to such a surface? kind of like applying to the inside of 1/4 of a football.
 
I'll be interested to see how this turns out and to hear more about this liner. My installer didn't use a liner and I'm getting some bubbles forming where my screws come in to secure them to the door. I push down on them which helps but they eventually return. It's an eyesore seeing bubbles but the benefits of the tint far outweigh a few bubbles ... OCD calm down ...

After messing around with my windows, I could get a better appreciation for why my installer struggled so much. Out of the door frame, these poly pieces are super flexy and it makes working on them very difficult, everything is always moving. Contrast that to a rigid piece of glass that holds its shape, which makes it a lot easier to get pressure down on the film as you're applying it. You also can't use very much heat with these because it'll warp the poly pieces.

I would recommend you do the drive and bring the car down to your installer so they can do it while the windows are in the door frame. That'll help keep them stiff so they can really get some pressure on the film. My installer went through 5 unsuccessful attempts in the process of tinting my windows - I'm sure he lost money on my job!

The GT3 side windows are pancake flat in comparison to the SLC windows. Application onto convex curves is a LOT easier than concave. If I ever rip the tint off my windows I'm going to make another run at application on the OUTSIDE, taking a hit on durability in exchange for better adhesion. You can buy the film and apply it yourself at a reasonable cost if you plan to semi-routinely change it out. It won't be as high quality as the pros use, but every little bit helps - the sun intrusion through the side windows is surprising.

A short story because it's funny and topic appropriate - I was driving around a few weeks ago and may have done a fairly hard speed pull. When I backed off and started braking I felt a sudden increase of heat on my legs. I thought crap! - I just ruptured a line or something at the front of the car and now my footbox is getting washed in hot coolant. But I didn't see any steam coming from my front and my temperatures were in check. I moved my hands around and felt the underside of my dash and it was cool - wtf? That's when I realized the sudden heat I was feeling was that the sun had broken through the clouds and the sunlight was hitting me on the thighs! I had a pretty good chuckle as my heart rate came back down. But - goes to show how much of an impact sunlight has on cabin temps. Because the windows have such a high opening you're more exposed to the sun when it's right above you, when it's most potent. In a typical sedan the sun is mostly blocked by your roof, not much direct sunlight is actually making it in through the side windows.
 
I'm curious to see how this pans out as well. I'm hopeful, but know there's more of a chance this won't work out. They're aware of the shape of the windows and are confident, so I'll see how it goes. It's not likely I'll drive the car there, still have a ways to go before I feel comfortable making a 2hr trip in it, although I know it's mostly in my head. If I did take the car there, I'd get my windshield tinted 50% too, if they'd be willing.

Cam, did you tint you're entire window? I assume so since you removed them, but always been curious. I feel it'll look funny if I don't tint the entire window and has been main reason I've been putting off attempting static cling tint. Also Cam, if you want professional tint, just stop by any tinting place and ask to buy some. From my experience they'll be more than happy to sell it you. As much as I'd like 5%, with attention this car gets I think I'll stick with 35% which is legal in Texas, but a shade darker than legal in Louisiana although cops don't seem to care. 5% will also show any bubbles way easier too.

If anyone is curious windows need a min of 42"x20" tint. I wish I had time to go this Saturday since it's Houston's C&C. I'm leaning on making the drive, have a feeling it won't be cheap to ship something that big 2-ways. If they'd let me I'd like to watch them plus see what this liner thing is all about. Watching someone tint curved glass (or in this case lexan) is mesmerizing for me
 
Del - I tinted the entire side window, I went with 35% as well.

I did some more reading and it seems the issue with applying film to poly is that it will out-gas with heat. Perhaps that's why I'm seeing bubbling. In any case one suggestion that seems to have worked for some is to apply a clear PPF first, then apply the tint over the PPF. The PPF is porous and will allow the gases to escape via the PPF layer instead of pushing up on the tint. So my guess is this liner they're talking about is similar and its purpose is to allow the gases to escape.
 

Dan Carter

Supporter
I have not tried it on poly, but we routinely put clear paint on headlights to refurb them. When customers want tint, we add some black to create tint. Don’t want to address UV and what not, but the clear holds very well......never had a peel issue.

Not sure about Poly as it’s another plastic that we have not this too that I’m aware of. Just an idea if someone wants to experiment. Film will struggle to stick to poly.
 
Coincidentally, I found this place through YouTube about PPF. Using PPF makes perfect sense for the liner, never crossed my mind that's what they may use. That's what I've read too about the out-gas and tint.

I also tried a few other routes, like contacting the supplier of our Lexan windows to get a tinted version but I was told RCR owns the tooling for these windows and need to be purchased through them. Contacted RCR to ask about purchasing a tinted set, but am told they'd need to order a batch of windows. I asked to see how many would need to be ordered to be considered a batch and was going to inquire on here to see if there's any interest on a tinted version, but then was told they won't be able to order them at all. A new set of clear windows are $325 last I checked.

Dan, I had wondered about clear with some black mixed in to get them tinted. The bonus is you can spray it on the outside of the windows and polish like paint. I wish I had some spare Lexan from my car laying around to test on. I only have VHT nightshades on hand, but at least it'd give me an idea to see if that's a feasible in lieu of tint.
 
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