Question about Passat headlights.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by deusexaethera, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I found a set of headlights for my 1999 Passat (see link below), and I'm intrigued by them. I have a few questions, though, if anybody feels up to answering them.

    http://www.c3cars.com/parts.cfm?M=1&PMode=I&VIID=6197

    1. They are projectors, but they use regular halogen bulbs. Is this kosher? I know that HIDs mounted in reflector housings are not only illegal but dangerous, but I've never seen regular bulbs in projector housings. Would this setup work better/worse/same compared to a reflector setup?

    2. They don't say that they're US DOT approved. Then again, they don't say they aren't US DOT approved, either. What are the chances I'd be buying myself a set of headlamps that I'd have to get rid of in order to pass inspection?

    3. These lamps come with levelling motors; that's a nice touch, but my stock lamps don't have levelling motors -- though they do have some of the gears in place. What would be required to use the levelling motors? Is the mechanism self-contained and powered from the same wires as the headlights themselves, or would I have to add extra power cables (and god forbid, an external controller) to use them?

    - - -

    While I'm at it, which aftermarket diverter valve is better: Forge or Hyperboost HX? The Hyperboost is prettier, but I'd rather have the beter one. Keep in mind that I'd rather have smoothness instead of absolute maximum performance.
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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  3. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

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    1. Somewhat kosher. They will be better then a reflector housing setup. Get an HID kit to utilize those projector housings if you want to maximize your lighting.

    2. They aren't DOT approved. They are Euro-spec aka E-code headlights, meaning they are approved for european roads. I don't for sure your laws down in Virginia, but if they require you to have DOT approved headlights, these headlights will fail. Not to say they are junk or anything - quite on the contrary... They are much better and brighter than DOT headlights, but the fact is that they are NOT DOT approved headlights.

    3. To utilize the leveling motors, you will need to wire in power to them, and they are controlled by a OEM-European headlight switch. On European VW cars, leveling headlights are fairly common, so alot of the cars that had them have a headlight switch that also incorporates the leveling part. I don't have a pic of a B5 switch, but here is one of a B4 passat Euro switch w/ leveling option:
    http://www.flatoutperformance.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/b4 passat euro switch w leveling.jpg

    As for a diverter valve.. I've never heard of Hyperboost before, so I cannot comment on them, but I will say that you cannot go wrong with a Forge unit. And :gives: WTF they look like?
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    1. So HID bulbs are also classified by the same "H1", "H7", etc... standard that regular halogens are?

    2. Hmm. I guess I should check on that. I'm pretty sure that E-code headlights are illegal in the US because of the upward tilt on the right-side headlight, which is fine for Europe's two-lane roads, but could cause problems for people in the right lane of a US highway if someone behind them in the left lane uses E-code lights.

    3. I've already ordered a Euro-spec headlight switch for my car, because it has settings that I'm more familiar with. It looks like the round part of the B4 switch you linked to, except that the extra switches off to the side are instead built into a pull-straight-out mechanism in the rotating part of the switch.

    4. I'm not particularly concerned with the appearance. It would be nice, though, if I could roll into a dealership for service and tell them "if the part is blue, it's aftermarket -- don't touch it!" Forge's don't come in colors. Though, I suppose I could always paint it, if I really want to be a stickler about the color...
     
  5. dr.zed

    dr.zed DR.ZED OT Supporter

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    It is my understanding the upward tilt, or Z pattern is North American. The European is flat.
     
  6. saxman

    saxman Burninating the peasants

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    1. There are tons of halogen projector set ups out there... works fine, they're an improvement over a reflector set up, when high quality projectors are used. There are lots of aftermarket set ups using projectors that are very low quality.

    I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to drop hids into them though... some halogen projectors do ok with hids, some do very poorly... it's a bit of a crap shoot... either way, it's nothing compared to a projector designed for hids.


    HID bulbs come in a couple varieties, with D2S being the most commong. They don't come in the standard H1, H7, etc variation, unless part of a cheap aftermarket hid kit where they've been rebased. Note that using them in this manner is just as illegal as using them in reflector set up.


    For cut offs, the Z pattern is usually referred to as a DOT pattern, with a smaller, more abrupt step is usually referred to as an ECE pattern. There are no headlights with a flat cut off. There are plenty of cars in the states with ECE pattern cut offs... it usually has more to do with where the car is manufactured, however, this is certainly not the rule.


    In this photo, you can see the two different kinds of cut offs...

    [​IMG]
    on top is a DOT cut off in a right hand drive projector
    on bottom is an ECE cut off in a left hand drive projector.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    1. I hate HID lamps anyway; they have a very sparse color spectrum, and they try to make up for it with sheer brightness. I can see much better at night with halogens (which are naturally full-spectrum, because they generate light through heat like the sun does) than I can with HIDs. I do prefer the slight bluish bias of Sylvania Silverstar halogens, though.

    There are two reasons I want projectors; more consistent diffusion across the width of the beam, and cooler-looking headlamps. From what you've told me, these projectors that I've found would accomplish both things without actually posing a danger to anyone, though they may still be illegal -- unfortunately, I can't be sure until I see the little "DOT" stamps on the lenses.

    2. So...is the ECE cutoff the same as the E-Code cutoff, or is it a third standard? More importantly, is ECE similar enough to DOT that vehicle inspectors don't really care?
     
  8. saxman

    saxman Burninating the peasants

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    there are some forms of HIDs(i.e. D1S systems over the standard D2S) that have a much higher CRI and address some of those issues.


    the ece cutoff is the same as the ecode... you just need to be sure they're meant for a left hand drive car.

    I think you'll run into more issue with the lights not having a dot stamp than the cut off being ecode
     
  9. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    no, they have different numbers
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Okay. That question was obsolete, actually, but it's good to know.
     

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