Delta Tech H4 conversion housings and bulbs - Headlight Shootout 2012!
First off, thanks for the chance to play Doc. This write-up is in reference to this thread ---> Test Group
The lights that I am testing are the Delta Tech H4 Conversion Housings and Bulbs.
First impression right out of the box:
Image from the Delta web page:
First thing I noticed.... they don't look like *Jeep* headlights, it caught my eye pretty quick. The Jeep housings are contoured and the Deltas are flat with a lot more going on (deflectors etc..) than the stock housings. Not a show stopper.. just caught my eye.
They were ready to install right out of the box.. pure plug and play.
Install was very simple... 20 minutes start to finish tops, even when taking photos etc...
Remove the grill by pulling the push fasteners that line the top of the grill just under the hood. There is a tool for it or you can simply use a #2 flat tip screw driver to ease them out. Once they are out just give a sharp tug on the bottom part to pop it out. Unplug the running lights and set it aside.
Remove the 4 torx screws in the trim ring holding the headlight in place. Don't forget to push the little red tab away from the plug to unplug the headlight.
Install the Delta setup by simply plugging into the stock harness, replace the torx screws and your done...
Waiting for night....
Quick look and I realized that I would need to adjust the Delta side down quite a bit, hopefully that means MORE light towards the front!
From the Delta web site:
"Delta developed a series of xenon headlight replacements for JK, TJ and CJ with DOT optics which outperform any stock headlights 4 to1. The JK series come with an adapter converting H4 system to H13. The headlights feature lead-crystal prismatic glass lens, vacuum metalized steel reflectors and rubber boot with vents to seal from dust and moisture. The set consists of 2 (ea) headlights, 2 (ea) H4 Xenon bulbs 60/55 Watt, 2 (ea) rubber boots and 2(ea) H13 adapters (JK model only)."
So Delta claims a 4:1 improvement over stock... this shouldn't be hard considering that the stock headlights are terrible IMO.... bad color and my watch light puts out about as much light as the stock setup. Anything would be an improvement - The Deltas, so far, are a simple plug and play option if their claims hold true.
I had a little time to kill while I waited for it to get dark so I decided to install the Xpel protectors... after reading the instructions on the back of the package it was clear that they are basically as set of stickers (thick, clear stickers) that install over your headlamps.
The instructions made it clear that the surface had to be clean, free of dirt/oil/bugs etc. clean the surface using a 3:1 alcohol/water solution then wipe down with a lint free cloth. Fortunately the new housings were nice and clean so this part was very easy.
The headlight protectors come pressed together - just separate the two and set them down - they need to be warm so the conform to the surface of the headlamp better so a blow drier or automotive heat gun is just about a must for a clean install. Just like installing window tint, vinyl stickers etc... using soapy solution makes it go pretty easy - don't forget to spray your fingers or you will leave fingerprints on the film. I was able to separate the backing from the film without touching the sticky side. Spray the film and spray the surface of the headlamp (and your fingers again) then position in the center. Use the provided squeegie to push the water outwards from the center while using the heat gun to keep the film warm and pliable. The Deltas have a slight contour so the heat gun helps it mold to the surface. This install isn't something that you want to rush through... take your time and it will come out just fine.
No need to notch the film with the Deltas
The one thing that I noticed is that there is excess film that needed to be trimmed after it was dry
A razor can easily clean up the edges, just take your time and work your way around the edges to get it cleaned up.
I only installed one to see if I could tell a difference with light output. I will install the second one tomorrow.
Delta on the passenger's side and stocker on the drivers side
You can see a significant difference in these photos...
Both Deltas installed
More light to the front for sure (I will get a pic of stock on both sides tomorrow for comparison)
From the front (Deltas on both sides)
**I will get some better pics from the road during the next 10 days**
After having run them to work at 4am a couple of mornings I can say that they are better than stock... they don't "blow me away" by any means and seem like a decent product for the price (housing/bulb/adapter). I will place the other protector on this weekend and take a pic of a newly installed one and one that has been on for a week to see if the clouding (moisture) issue that the mfg highlights is resolved or at least resolving. There is zero output difference between the two lights (film vs no film).
As stated.. much better than stock - I have no way to verify a 4:1 improvement as the mfg states but there is a significant improvement over stock which doesn't take much.
I am still up in the air as to whether I would purchase these vs saving up the money for the higher end lights (LED/projector) which can be double of what you can expect to pay for this product. From a "DOT approved", simple plug / play and price point angle - its a good value for the money.
I took some more photos (stock vs upgrade) and will get those posted tomorrow.
I am also slowly adjusting them upwards to maximize distance and will stop the first time someone flashes their brights at me... then back off a tad.
First, because I forgot to mention it earlier, if you want to adjust your headlights without removing the grill you will need a "skinny" T15 driver. Vatozone sells a T15/T20 set for $4. I had the bits but my screwdriver(s) were a little too fat to get in there without forcing them in which could scratch the grill.
Some stock vs upgrade photos.
Fstop = F/3.9
ISO = 1600
Focal Length = 5mm
Max App = 3.93
A few notes about the pattern... the two "lines" that are on the right side of the pic are from the same side of each headlight, when I adjusted them they would move with each side.... weird how they are one the same side (away from oncoming traffic) - I don't know if there is a tech reason for this and you don't notice it when driving. I will take the extra light in that direction but just thought it was strange. The lamps are set up properly side to side. I used them to make sure that the lights were exact on both sides.
Still need to update one photo but thought I would go ahead and give my .02 after a week of testing.
Brighter - yes (w/different pattern which seems to be focused more to the front)
Easy install - yes
Good value for the $$ - yes
Would I buy these - no, because I want the LEDs, this is simply personal preference as the LEDs are significantly more money but the **cool** factor is about a 8 on a scale of 10.
The protector thingies... good protection for the investment of a new accessory, it is made to be there just in case you need it so it's hard quickly to quantify the return in investment. They are easy to install if you be patient and follow the directions.
The lenses are cut that way to one keep the cut off low enough to not blind oncoming traffic and two, it flares up to the passenger side to better illuminate signs, exits and such.
My cebie's are the same way, I thought of ordering one European one for the drivers side to see if there was a benefit but never got around to it. And yes anything is better than stock, I can't tell you how many times I got stopped and told to turn my headlights on. I always ran with the fogs since they were better.
My fogs cover the little dark spot below the headlights just right. It would aggravate me if I didn't have my fogs.
Installed the second of the two protector films today and took my time. As stated, very simple if you be patient. I know I hit it earlier but figured it needed it's own post.
Working with the Xpel Headlight Protectors, handy stuff - they have kits that protect hoods, doors etc.. think - film like you put on your phone to protect your headlights etc.. I may put some on the leading edge of my hood just to protect from rock dings and bug goo.
First - the surface needs to be completely clean of bugs/oil/wax etc... the directions call for a mixture of alcohol/water. I had some solvent made for that kind of stuff so I just used that. Also make sure that your hands are clean!
The box that the lights came in made a pretty good working platform...
I used a stolen hair drier that the MrsRG hasn't noticed missing yet so I presume she has a spare. I set the hair drier up and pointed it at the film to get it nice and pliable so it forms to the lens better.
The directions say to spray the film, and fingers, with the same mixture of alcohol/water. I had a spray bottle of ActionTac that is used for stickers etc.. and it works very well, dries up quick with no residue. Make sure to spray your fingers with whatever film solution you use.
I was able to remove the film backing without touching the sticky side of the film - if you touch it with a dry (or dirty) finger you will leave a print on there forever so take your time and it won't be an issue
Center the film on the lens, I set the drier up to keep the film warm throughout and believe it made it go smoother.
Use a squeegee to work out the bubbles from the center outwards
Once the middle stuck I decided to trim the edges thinking it would make it easier to work the bubbles out. I am not sure how much it helped, time wise, over the way I did it the first time. Either way works fine. I can't cut a straight line to save my life so just go slow and spin the box to keep the work at the right angle to get it nice and clean.
Finished with the trimming then continued to work the bubbles out while watching tv....
Once all the bubbles were out and the film was stuck I left the drier on while I fooled around in the shop. Went back a little while later and everything was nice and dry. Some of that "hazyness" was three but it is expected and can verify that after a week you can hardly see it on the other headlight, should be all gone in a few more days. This was the reason that I waited a week to install the second one.. wanted to compare the two and it seems to be working as stated by the mfg.
Good stuff to protect your headlights!!
The Xpel website is very informative, there are tips, videos and good FAQ available so just about anyone can figure out if they can get it done or not. There is also a phone number for tech support for questions that are not found on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Answers to some of the most common installation questions...
Headlamp Protection Products
"I have installed the kit on my headlights and they looked fine, but now they look foggy. Did I do something wrong?"
When using the wet application technique, this is normal. The fog is the result of the alcohol/water solution evaporating from beneath the plastic. The water vapor that is produced results in a hazy appearance for several days. The haze will clear as the vapor dissipates.
"Is it best to apply your light protection kit to the lenses wet or dry?"
We have found that the wet installation yields the best-looking installation with the least amount of difficulty in most cases. On larger headlamp pieces, bubbles and improper alignment of the material are far less likely using the wet installation method. However, on smaller pieces, such as fog lamps, the dry installation method is sometimes easier. This is especially the case if the lamp is spherical in shape.
"The lights on my car are heavily contoured. Is your kit hard to install on this type of light or should I have them professionally installed?"
Our headlamp protection material is extremely pliable and can easily be contoured over dome shaped surfaces. Professional installation should not be necessary provided that you follow the instructions closely. If you still feel uncomfortable attempting installation on your own, check our installer finder for an installer near you.
"I have the headlamp kit almost completely applied using the wet application method, but I can't seem to get the edges to completely stick down. What am I doing wrong?"
It is absolutely imperative that a hairdryer or heat gun is used in this area to seal the edges. The heat serves two purposes. First, it helps evaporate the remaining alcohol/water solution from under the edges, and second it makes the plastic more pliable so that it can contour to the edge of the light. Be careful if you are using a heat gun to warm the plastic. It takes only a small amount of heat to apply the material. If you apply too much heat you can damage the surface of the plastic.
"What if I want to remove the shields at a later date?"
The removal process is just a matter of warming the plastic, and peeling them off. They will require some muscle to get them off, but they normally peel off without any residue left on the lens. If any adhesive at all remains behind, it may be removed by simply rubbing it with your thumb. The adhesive will then ball up and roll off.
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