Headlight Reflector Mod to Improve Cutoff/beam Pattern??? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-17-2011
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Headlight Reflector Mod to Improve Cutoff/beam Pattern???

Hey, this is something I've though about once or twice before and I've been wondering if anyone has ever attempted it before? After having HIDs installed I can't help but notice how brutal the beam pattern and cutoff for the ranger is (I have a 2008). The options seem to be to crank them down so low they're not that useful, crank them up and blind people, retrofit a projector... or sell your truck and buy a factory equipped HID/projector vehicle lol.

But I was wondering if by strategically blocking out sections of the reflectors you could potentially improve the cut off of the stock headlights? It may eliminate too much light for stock bulbs but for hids... if you were somehow able to understand the mechanics of whats reflecting where.. use trial and error with temporary cutouts or tape, followed by actually blacking out reflectors with paint to create a reasonably clean cutoff along the top?? Just a thought....

I was so disappointed with my HID headlights/foglights I'm actually having them removed and just putting in a higher quality bulb than oem.. maybe down the road when money permits tackle a retrofit.... or buy an awd audi instead??

PS: Anyone who is familiar and comfortable with opening up their headlights, if you're curious about this thought of mine I encourage you to open them up and play around with blocking out sections of the reflective surface to see how the beam pattern could be manipulated and modified to potentially reduce the scattered beams and create a decent cutoff... then feel free to post a how to with images of what sections of reflectors you've blocked off (if it worked)

Last edited by TaggyTagz; 01-17-2011 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 01-17-2011
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Interesting. Most people ate extremely happy with the light output and pattern of hids. Sorry to hear you're removing them.
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Old 01-17-2011
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Interesting. Most people ate extremely happy with the light output and pattern of hids. Sorry to hear you're removing them.

**BTW, the distances i mention below for light output are simply for example.. I have no idea what the actual light output is like in distance etc.

So am I :(. I mean the light output is great... but still limited. Very bright for an area around you and probably for a greater distance than stock halogens. But... I have a magnetic hi/lo setup, and its basically useless.
Say my lo beams created a beam of light for 50ft infront of me... the first 25ft would be really bright and great, with a patch of very bright light... then it just becomes scattered beams etc and it fades off....
when I switch to hi beam.... it takes that more focused light, and just moves it about 15ft down the road... I don't suddenly have great all around light and great side view etc... its useless... plus the bulbs seem to bounce around like crazy when in hi beam so it looks like ****.

My boss has an F250 with all stock bulbs headlights etc... I dream of a day that my headlights could have as clean a beam pattern and cutoff as his truck... theres just a consistently bright patch of light all around the front of the truck, and a clearly visible cutoff line a few feet off the ground, not as perfect as projector cutoffs.... but enough to make me very jealous :(
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Old 01-18-2011
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i know what you are talking about. i have HID's as well and the projection is horrible.
there are bright spots in random places, etc.

i also have the hi/lo feature and when i swich to high beam, it is basically pointless because the beams just spread out all over the place and dont even shift upwards
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Old 01-18-2011
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I have the best performing HID headlights for the 2001 and newer rangers. I have a build thread you can look at.

https://www.ranger-forums.com/f18/ul...roject-111284/
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Old 01-20-2011
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I have the best performing HID headlights for the 2001 and newer rangers. I have a build thread you can look at.

https://www.ranger-forums.com/f18/ul...roject-111284/
Thanks Jp7. I've read your thread before, and I've contemplated a retrofit but its more than I want to spend right now and probably a bit beyond my skill.... or at least, making it all fit together may be a challenge. I figure I'll go back to my standard halogens.... projectors will have to wait for now at least.
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Old 01-20-2011
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Originally Posted by TaggyTagz View Post
Thanks Jp7. I've read your thread before, and I've contemplated a retrofit but its more than I want to spend right now and probably a bit beyond my skill.... or at least, making it all fit together may be a challenge. I figure I'll go back to my standard halogens.... projectors will have to wait for now at least.
There are easier projector retrofits, the projector output is just not as good as the Morimoto ones though. Still much, much better than halogen.
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Old 01-20-2011
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Whats funny Is I have been thinking about the reflector block off every time i see factory equipped HIDs in reflector housings with somewhat clean cutoffs.

I plan to do a retrofit in the future with the morimoto projectors with 50w Philips bulbs and ballasts unless something new and better comes out before than
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Old 01-20-2011
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Whats funny Is I have been thinking about the reflector block off every time i see factory equipped HIDs in reflector housings with somewhat clean cutoffs.

I plan to do a retrofit in the future with the morimoto projectors with 50w Philips bulbs and ballasts unless something new and better comes out before than
50w setups are NOT good for morimotos
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Old 01-20-2011
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Its says warranty void over 50w.\

So why wouldnt 50w work
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Old 01-20-2011
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Its says warranty void over 50w.\

So why wouldnt 50w work
Even the 35W bulbs cause problems when you use them with a crap brand (like DDM)

Having these projectors for a few months right now, and driving with them daily - you will not need anything more than the original H1 Morimoto bulbs and Morimoto 35W ballasts.
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Old 01-20-2011
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i found these on ebay

01-10 RANGER CCFL HALO HEADLIGHTS HEADLAMPS BLACK PAIR - eBay (item 170587533232 end time Feb-05-11 1559 PST)

a lot better light beam projection forward

i will be buying these in the very near future
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Old 01-22-2011
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it would be interesting to see how aftermarket headlights beam pattern is compared to stock...
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Old 01-22-2011
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i found these on ebay

01-10 RANGER CCFL HALO HEADLIGHTS HEADLAMPS BLACK PAIR - eBay (item 170587533232 end time Feb-05-11 1559 PST)

a lot better light beam projection forward

i will be buying these in the very near future
How bright are these things?
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Old 01-22-2011
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i had seen these on ranger around october last year , man were they ever bright

almost blinding in a way , if you looked at them a certain way

notice how the reflector is recessed and surrounded by ccfl ring

the lighted ccfl ring help focus the light beam forward

i finally found where he got them from
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Old 01-22-2011
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the lighted ccfl ring help focus the light beam forward
I'd like to hear how optically that is possible... lol...
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Old 01-22-2011
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it is hard to describe , but the ccfl ring helped the reflector focus the light output more directly forward

plus the reflector is recessed unlike the ford factory lense is flush allowing the light to escape out the sides / top / bottom of the lense

the output was not washed out , it was like a direct beam of light forward
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Old 01-22-2011
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More than likely, the ring merely blocks some of the off-axis reflecting of the beam because it's simply in the way.

To the op's question: installing an HID bulb in a non-HID reflector will always yield poor focus, because of the way reflectors are designed, and the fact that the bulbs emit light in completely different ways.

A halogen bulb has a small filament which is usually horizontal in the bulb, and this is where the light is emitted. HID bulbs send an arc through the bulb lengthwise, causing the salts inside the bulb to glow, emitting light from the majority of the bulb. When engineers design the reflectors, they have to shape them to focus the beams from these perspectives. When you put a bulb in a reflector designed around a different light pattern, it spreads the light and gives you the glare. The best way to retrofit a vehicle with HIDs is to use a projector, or to retrofit a reflector from an HID equipped vehicle.
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Old 01-24-2011
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Originally Posted by cheese_man View Post
it is hard to describe , but the ccfl ring helped the reflector focus the light output more directly forward

plus the reflector is recessed unlike the ford factory lense is flush allowing the light to escape out the sides / top / bottom of the lense

the output was not washed out , it was like a direct beam of light forward
Maybe on a set of magical headlights.

Too bad all the lights I have work on principles of physics and optics.
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Old 01-24-2011
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All this stuff is the reason I am reluctant to do HIDs. I always get flash backs of I have to close my eyes every time I pay an Audi or Mercedes or BMW. I don't want to do that to other people. Sucks driving for 3 seconds with your eyes closed or retinas on fire.
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