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HID upgrade on Gen2 w no delay relay (yet)


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#1 Top_Speed1

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

So I have done the dreaded, taken apart the nose cowling on my brand new FJR and installed Hi-End premium digital AC ballasts 50w H4 Bi-HIDs. I have read plenty of posts on one of the capsules not firing and needing a delay relay. OK, nothing new to me as my Silverado PU (HID'd) sometimes does the same thing (always the farthest lamp from the battery harness BTW). Anywho, an easy solution to this is a quick flick to hibeam before the ign start-up. It's a diesel and w the 2 batteries it only happens on the cold longer cranks.

On my FJR-
I have found this Premium AC ballast HID kit (could even be the lower-end DC ballasts kits) that if I start the (Gen2) bike in neutral that the power doesn't get applied to the headlights until after the ignition switch is released. This seams to lamp-up the 50w capsules each time BUT noting that my bike is brand new (so is the battery then)...
A> will it go down hill after the battery weakens and I should add a time relay anyway?
B> is it the Gen2 feature of not applying the juice to the headlights until after the starter button is released?
C> is it the AC ballasts that make the difference?

Hmmm... wondering "B" if those reported HID misfires are mainly Gen1 bikes that ignite the headlights during ignition crank?

Thanks for any input or experience!
-Speed

Edited by Top_Speed1, 03 April 2012 - 07:54 AM.

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#2 TomInCA

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:17 AM

FWIW Gen I bikes don't fire the headlights until after the crank. I wouldn't worry about mis-fires. Make sure the system starts up before you reassemble and you should be good to go. In my experinece, the weak link in most of the aftermarket HID kits is the wiring harness not the ballasts or bulbs. I'm curious why you would opt for a 55 watt kit rather than the usual standard 35 watt. The use of an AC ballast seems to be a good idea if it actually has the conversion and voltage regulator required.

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#3 Fred W

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:33 AM

A> will it go down hill after the battery weakens and I should add a time relay anyway?
B> is it the Gen2 feature of not applying the juice to the headlights until after the starter button is released?
C> is it the AC ballasts that make the difference?


As Tom just said, all FJRs (both gens) have a signal from the ECU to flip the Headlight relay #1, delayed until after the starting. The reasoning behind this feature is obviously to allow fullest power application to the starter motor from the wimpy battery. So that means that, yes, as your battery ages there will be more likelihood of having an HID misfire.

I am not familiar with the differences in ballasts (AC vs DC vs Digital?) but I do know that anything that you do that creates an added load on the battery during and immediately after starting will increase the no fires. As an example, if you have a set of aux lights or heated gear that is turned on when you start the bike, these will make a big difference.

If you have been reading all about it, you'll probably have come across my solution to the problem. It is a little delay circuit that simply delays when the ground signal from the ECU energizes the headlight relay #1 by approximately 10 seconds. This solution has been in place for about 3 years with no problems. And my headlights both fire up (almost) every time. There has been one occurrence in all of that time when one headlight didn't fire upon a hot restart. I believe it was caused by the fact that the radiator fan was running due to a heat soaked engine. Had I been thinking about it I could have just revved the engine up to get full juice from the alternator and it probably wouldn't have happened.

All of the above said, I wouldn't bother buying or making a delay unless/until I experienced the problem first. There is certainly enough variations in the different aftermarket HID systems out there that you might never experience a problem.

In other words... YMMV! :P

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#4 Top_Speed1

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the clear up, Sry I thought I read the Gen1's were not delayed by starter.. my bad. I'm learning the Yami stuff slow but sure thanks to you guys!!

@Tom
I've done well over 50 HID installs to my credit since '99 (here's a laugh for u) I then paid $1850 for my 1st german made kit. (they call me the HID-King over on www.gm-volt.com) haha:) and on both my HID fitted Ski-Doo sleds (H4's as well) I knew the reflector hi/lo shield had an approx 15-18% light loss (in lumen output) compared to non contained capsules. Having this hi/low deflector is crucial of course to keep oncoming drivers from getting blinded and to subject the reflector to the correct diffusion. My tests and prior 35w H4 bi-xenon with servo control had a definite loss of light having the capsule "wrapped" like it is. So to offset we tried the 55w ones in our sleds and found a very nice counter balance. In summery, I don't want to spend watts unnecessarily but I also don't plan on putting on any clearwater or other aftermarket light housings (personally just don't like the cluttered up bike look, but I'm weird lol). The 55w is my choice to be seen as a visibility thing factored in.

@Fred
The AC ballasts in that kit I linked to is all digital and as an added bonus they are ceramic which is the #1 best to dissipate the heat. My No.1 supplier was www.v-leds.com but they dropped the HID line (for now anyway), they had very good kits in their premium line. From reading posts here you guys already know about buying a good quality set (like Philips osram) but few will punch out the bucks for those and like others (here) I have tried the cheap kits on eBay with not much luck. I also found the luminosity to be down on those, yes we have a lumen meter in which we test with. Some on other sites fell in love w DDM Tuning's kits where as I did not, I probably have at least a dozen 9006's in my possession non installed as well and my quest for the best HID always continues. I am a student to you guys for the FJR as I probably won't be able to contribute much in that area but as far as HID's or LED's go.. well lets' say I'm very well schooled.

@Nobody in particular ;)
Also by the buy... I read so much about color temps and all the mis-information out there, it is almost enough to make a sober guy puke. First and foremost, different vendors see colors not quite the same as the "real" Kelvin scale. This makes purchasing your correct color difficult, and it probably costs a lot of folks good money cuz one vendors 6K is probably not the others. The bad part of this is 'fake' coloring the bulbs to get certain blue's etc. Here's a fact, if you have a so called 6K and it's a baby blue in color, it's fake or altered w salts. The Mfgr has added salts and other chemicals to fake these colors. TRUE (pure) Xenon gas at 6K will actually have a white with purple hue (almost a fluorescent glow). Yes, that's right and the lumens will kick azz compared to that baby blue so called 6K. Don't get this purple hue mixed up or compared to a 12K (dim) capsule, it's not and the lumen's prove it. When looking directly at a high load xenon capsule at 6K it will look white with an almost haze or rainbow effect (like the planet Saturns rings) of purple. In the industry we call it the HID Areola :)

Here's a pic of a 6K pure xenon that will blow away (lumens wise) any fake baby blue in 6K ....2 fold!
Posted Image
This 6K is very unique in that it only has a slight tint of purple, not like you would normally find on a 10K or 12K bulb. This color temp offers excellent light output and visibility while giving you that high end exotic look of the premium brand vehicles like Mercedes Benz and BMW.

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#5 TomInCA

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:44 AM

The reseller I have been using for a while seems to be taking a dump on quality lately and I've been looking for a label that is worthy of referral. This one fits my power needs better based on considerably less output on my stator and the fact much of my light comes from the Clearwater Kristas. I also favor the 4300K color in general, but I understand what you're saying about differences among manufacturers. I find most 6000K bulbs simply dazzle reflection back at me from reflective signs.

Interesting stuff, I'd like to hear more about how you measure the light output. You're in a class by yourself in doing something besides the usual qualitative descriptions. Have you ever measure the actual power use by a 35 or 55 watt ballast? That has been a frequent argument (by Skooter) that the claimed power savings are non-existent.

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#6 Top_Speed1

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:12 PM

Sorry but I'm new here to this forum so you guys have had some power draw discussions... awesome!
I have discussed this extensively elsewhere in my Snowmobile and Cadillac forums and more importantly in my Chevy Volt forum where we try to save as much as we can to get a few more miles in Electric mode (the less draw we have the farther we can travel on electrons vs. the gas (ICE) engine kicking in.


So your saying somebody says the halogen 55 watt consumption is less than the 35w HID w/ ballast? Well most think its 55w vs. 35w = 20w BUT the ballast do consume energy (to up-transform the voltage) and is varied a bit, I have tested some analog hogs that are about 6-7 watts and some digi slims that only run about 1.5watts (these run quite a bit cooler also!) Add your capsule of 35 (which is at least usually +/-1 btw and you should be in the range of 36.5 to 41 watts apiece (ea. bulb / ballast combo). Some of the cheap eBay kits may be even more, not sure and haven't wasted out time testing those. To test the load we have to subtract the bulb to get the ballast consumption, just so you know the bulbs (capsules) could load the transformer also. I have not tested my new Ceramic digital AC ballasts and now that they're installed in the cowling I would have to take the FJR apart again... naaa, that was a pain in the arse! BUT I will be purchasing another pair however for another project coming up!

We tested this watt draw over a year ago for the Chevy Volt forum. We used this simple clamp meter (a new version of the ammeter clamp my Dad use to use, basically a portable doughnut tester)
Posted Image

So bottom line, yes HID (35w kits) will consume less load easily but not quite the whole 55-35=20 deal, there is a small wattage loss in the transforming process. Depending on the Kit (and efficiency of ballast), I would say a savings of ~15w a piece or ~30w for a set, not a whole lot but for us Chevy Volt owners it counts up.

-Speed

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#7 Top_Speed1

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:36 AM

Got a couple of inquiries wanting to know about the 55w ceramic AC ballasts w inverter, here's a pic (the tape measure is a mini jfyi). The depth is 1/2". The label Sportiva also has many of the cheaper DC ballast kits out there.

Posted Image

Here's their BS on the diff

All Premium Sportiva HID Conversion kits utilize AC Ballasts. Why do so many competitors still use DC ballasts, because they are cheap to manufacturer, hence cheap to sell and when a company only thinks about having the lowest price they Do Not care what variety of product they put out there, they only care about quantity and sales, not about what is very best for the CUSTOMER and their car.


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