[xj] Xenon?

hi all,

Just wondering: with these Xenon/HID sets being cheap as
chips (80 euros and legal overhere) these days: can anyone
using them actually report an improvement over the standard
(Lucas H4) lighting system? If you do I’ll buy 3 sets in one
go; get me a decent discount;) My parents have a factory
installed system on their '03 Merc ML but that’s cr@p…
Still have to sort out my dim/dip issue, not to mention the
propshaft bracket btw…too many cars/too little time. I did
manage to sell the Frogeye to Germany today, so now I’ve
only 4 more XJ’s to get rid of;)

BTW found this as a sig. on another forum. no offense if you
happen to be from that area, just thought it was quite
hilarious:

FOR EVERY WELL THOUGHT OUT AND WELL EXECUTED PRICISION JOB
EVER CONCIEVED, YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT SOMEWHERE IN WALSALL
OR THE BLACK COUNTRY THERE WILL BE A BLOKE TRYING TO ACHIVE
THE SAME BY MEANS OF ‘‘ITIN IT WI LUMP AMAR’’–
Arnoud
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In reply to a message from Arnoud sent Sat 27 Feb 2010:

Have thought about replacing the lights on my XJC with HID, but not
sure what the after market units would be like. I’ve got them as a
factory fit on my Z4 and they are BRILLIANT!
If installed on a Jag you would have to ensure that it is rewired
so that the low beams always stay on even when high dip is
selected, cause as you may be aware they take a little while to
adjust and warm up. As such if this mod is not implemented you will
find yoursely in total darkness for a few seconds on that dark
country road, when dipping from HID High Beam to the HID Low Beams.

Cheers;–
The original message included these comments:

Just wondering: with these Xenon/HID sets being cheap as
chips (80 euros and legal overhere) these days: can anyone
using them actually report an improvement over the standard
(Lucas H4) lighting system? If you do I’ll buy 3 sets in one


John Mann, Jaguar XJ4.2C, Rover 75 Tourer, 827 Vitesse, Z4
Melbourne/Vic, Australia
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In reply to a message from xjccat sent Sat 27 Feb 2010:

now, that would sure keep things interesting;)–
The original message included these comments:

adjust and warm up. As such if this mod is not implemented you will
find yoursely in total darkness for a few seconds on that dark
country road, when dipping from HID High Beam to the HID Low Beams.


Arnoud
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In reply to a message from Arnoud sent Sat 27 Feb 2010:

I don’t know much about them. I had thought they needed some sort
of self leveling motor to keep them from blinding oncoming
traffic? The Zenons seem to be a bit of an acacronism on the older
Jags to my eye. How about some aircraft landing lights? You’d
need 24 volts but they will light up the road (-;–
The original message included these comments:

Just wondering: with these Xenon/HID sets being cheap as
chips (80 euros and legal overhere) these days: can anyone
using them actually report an improvement over the standard
(Lucas H4) lighting system? If you do I’ll buy 3 sets in one


John Testrake 74XJ12L rhd, 84 XJ6 700R4
St.Louis, United States
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John,

GE 4537’s aircraft landing lights will fit in a standard headlight socket (if memory
serves me right) and its rated at 14 volts.

Lights up the ENTIRE COUNTRYSIDE (again if memory serves me right) from the
front end of my 1966 Triumph Spitfire.

Joe AOn 28 Feb 2010 at 9:28, John Testrake wrote:

In reply to a message from Arnoud sent Sat 27 Feb 2010:

I don’t know much about them. I had thought they needed some sort
of self leveling motor to keep them from blinding oncoming
traffic? The Zenons seem to be a bit of an acacronism on the older
Jags to my eye. How about some aircraft landing lights? You’d
need 24 volts but they will light up the road (-;

The original message included these comments:

Just wondering: with these Xenon/HID sets being cheap as
chips (80 euros and legal overhere) these days: can anyone
using them actually report an improvement over the standard
(Lucas H4) lighting system? If you do I’ll buy 3 sets in one


John Testrake

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In reply to a message from John Testrake sent Sun 28 Feb 2010:

You could go for some 5 3/4 aircraft landing lights which are a
140W sealed beam and available in 12V versions plenty on ebay and
these will be a relatively straight forward replacement of the
existing inner high beams.

But beware, you MUST upgrade your wiring and terminal light bayonat
connections, as these will be drawing a higher current of 10 - 12A
each whilst the existing lights draw in the order of half that. I
had these on a previous XJ and they worked a treat! Keeping all
that in mind, it would probably be worth going through and
upgrading all your lights wiring to something that can handle 10 -
15Amps to start with and you WILL notice a difference in doing that
alone as the few strands of wire that were used out of the factory
are just not rated to what they should be (This is particularly the
case with the Series II and possiby the Series III, to a lesser
extent).

For your own interest, if you check your voltage at the battery and
then at your lights, with a multimeter, you’ll find that there is
almost a 1 Volt drop!!

So the bottom line is, UPGRADE your wiring first and go from there.
Assuming you have a good set of halogen lights (Hella or Bosche)
already installed with 55W/65W globe combinations, you may find the
result is more than satisfactory.

Cheers;–
The original message included these comments:

Jags to my eye. How about some aircraft landing lights? You’d
need 24 volts but they will light up the road (-;


John Mann, Jaguar XJ4.2C, Rover 75 Tourer, 827 Vitesse, Z4
Melbourne/Vic, Australia
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In reply to a message from xjccat sent Sun 28 Feb 2010:

Hi John et all,

If memory serves me right my parent’s pool has a 12V 400W 7’’
sealed beam lamp that looks remarkably similar to a plain
headlight; only downside is that it needs to be liquid
cooled so I could only use those in severe rainshowers…:slight_smile:
I guess you’re right when it comes to classic car vs modern
(ie very white) lights, but since I hardly ever use my
headlights during daytime I don’t think it’s a big problem.
In NL only cars built after 2003 need the electric
adjustment and wiper to comply; all others are excempt.
Upgrading the wiring is not a bad idea in any case.

cheers,–
Arnoud
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In reply to a message from Arnoud sent Sat 27 Feb 2010:

If I’m correct, you can buy (usually at the same price) HID
Xenon lights in different colour temperatures with similar
light output.

In other words, you can retain to classic ‘yellow’ look to the
light, yet with the brilliant light output of HID.

Don’t quote me on that, though. That’s just what I’ve been
told.–
1985 Jaguar Sovereign 4.2 - Series III
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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In reply to a message from mthirlwell sent Sun 28 Feb 2010:

I’m using Osram Night Breakers from - startled rabbit.com
they are much brighter than standard halogen bulbs +90%
claimed but still 55/60 watts much cheaper than HID.
As to Arnouds black country quote it’s known as percussion
engineering in this part of Wales - working in a titanium
rolling mill out maintenance staff are very good at it!–
Keith Turner '79 XJ6 based Aristocat,
Swansea, United Kingdom
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Hi All

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve only just seen this thread.

I have fitted a set of HID Xenons to my DD6 S3. Had quite a discussion
about it at the time if you search for a thread title “HID Xenon on an
XJ” from 22 January 2009 you should find all the details - I’ve got it
but only in my email.

The leaving Lows on when High is selected isnt actually a problem on
my car’s setup as the low never actually go out.

If you want any further details let me know

SimonOn 27 February 2010 20:23, Arnoud cooper997@hotmail.com wrote:

hi all,

Just wondering: with these Xenon/HID sets being cheap as
chips (80 euros and legal overhere) these days: can anyone
using them actually report an improvement over the standard
(Lucas H4) lighting system? If you do I’ll buy 3 sets in one
go; get me a decent discount;) My parents have a factory
installed system on their '03 Merc ML but that’s cr@p…
Still have to sort out my dim/dip issue, not to mention the
propshaft bracket btw…too many cars/too little time. I did
manage to sell the Frogeye to Germany today, so now I’ve
only 4 more XJ’s to get rid of;)

BTW found this as a sig. on another forum. no offense if you
happen to be from that area, just thought it was quite
hilarious:

FOR EVERY WELL THOUGHT OUT AND WELL EXECUTED PRICISION JOB
EVER CONCIEVED, YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT SOMEWHERE IN WALSALL
OR THE BLACK COUNTRY THERE WILL BE A BLOKE TRYING TO ACHIVE
THE SAME BY MEANS OF ‘‘ITIN IT WI LUMP AMAR’’

Arnoud
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

===================================================
The archives and FAQ will answer many queries on the XJ series…
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Simon,

One year on with the lights, how do you like them? Was it worth the work and cost?

Thanks,

Joe AOn 4 Mar 2010 at 14:06, Simon Crozier wrote:

Hi All

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve only just seen this thread.

I have fitted a set of HID Xenons to my DD6 S3. Had quite a discussion
about it at the time if you search for a thread title “HID Xenon on an
XJ” from 22 January 2009 you should find all the details - I’ve got it
but only in my email.

The leaving Lows on when High is selected isnt actually a problem on
my car’s setup as the low never actually go out.

If you want any further details let me know

Simon

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Hi All,

I’ve received quite a few emails regarding my xenon’s installation. I
did make an effort to find the original thread so i could just forward
everyone on to that but I’m afraid i couldn’t find it. I’m going to
assume others are having the same problem so have included my original
post below. I’m actually hoping some kind soul will be able to use
this to find the whole thread and post a link. There were some quite
interesting discussions following on from the post but including them
as well would make this post huge.

As a little update to the original post, we’re about a year on and
they’re still here. To be honest they’ve been on there so long I’m
just used to them now and don’t even think about. I had to borrow a
friends car (2000 pugeot 306) and was quite shocked when i turned the
lights on, they’re no where near as good. It is worth saying I’ve not
been driving the car as much lately but its due to a persistent
overheating problem and certainly not during the bad weather, so
whilst its true to say from a reliability stand they’ve lasted a year
i wouldn’t really call it a year of full use. That said i’ve not even
had cause to look at the lights in anyway they just work.

About the only problem I’ve come across that may be worth highlighting
is if the battery is low (car been left for a while) you can’t turn
the lights on while cranking the engine - they make a zapping noise
and one or both fails to come on. If you do it before or after the
actual cranking its fine. If there has been a problem you just switch
off and on again and they both come on. I’m assuming it something to
do with the starter motor robbing off with all the voltage. Personally
i just always wait till the engine is going to turn on the lights now.

http://www.jag-lovers.org/snaps/snap_view.php3?id=1232997576&n4=

The pictures are from the driving seat of a 87 XJS vs 83 DD6 with
xenons, taken ten mins apart.

It is slightly mis-leading in so much as the camera is apparently more
sensitive to the whiter light of the xenon in some way. I don’t claim
to understand it, but it makes the XJS’s lights look un-driveable. In
reality they’re no worse than a standard XJ’s are. But i remembering
saying at the time the relative difference between the two shots is
representative of the difference between the two setups you experience
as a driver and i’d still stand by that.

I’ve no metrics of any sort to back that up but it is what it felt
like. If you’ll pardon the expression “it’s night and day”.

Would I do it again ? Absolutely, without doubt the difference is
amazing. In terms of money I’ve spent on the jag so far the cost is
tiny, I’d do again if it cost twice as much.

If there is anything else people need/want to know drop my a line more
than happy to help anyway i can.

Simon

===> Original Post ==>

I was going to post this as a reply to the dim lights thread but i
thought it’d be better for the group to post under a new topic
allowing those who are not interested to ignore it completely.

I got the Kit(s) off ebay, i actually got three separate auctions.

The first two were individual kits for the different head lights
(outer = h4, inner = h1) these were standard conversion kits and were
advertised as

Bi-Xenon HID Conversion,H4,Flex H/L,6000K,Slim Ballast £70
Xenon HID Conversion Kit,H1,6000K,Super Slim Ballast, £50

I also got some new headlight lenses. They are advertised as “HALOGEN
HEADLAMP KIT RHD” but they are actually slightly different design to
the ones in the car (84 DD6 - which had halogen anyway) in that they
don’t have the dish/reflector in the middle inside the lens the
itself. I’ll come back to why later.

The bulb for the H4 conversion are actually a bit odd… they have a
ballast and everything like normal xenon lenses but the bulbs
themselves have an outer sheath more or less the full diameter of the
bulb hole in the lenses and the full length of the xenon bulb. The
sheath has a cutout at the top to allow the light properly and allow
the lens to give the proper scatter pattern without blinding other
drivers. Simply putting xenon bulb in our lenses would cause all sorts
of problems for the on coming car. Modern cars have projector
headlights that are shaped vastly differently so as to not cause the
all over scatter that our lenses would with naked xenons.

Just to make it clear for those not aware of this (i wasn’t till i
started my research) :- when high beam is switched on halogen lights
actually swap filaments entirely the low beam filament switches off
and the high beam switches on - hence the two different wattages on
the packaging each referring to the individual filament. In a halogen
bulb the high beam is placed further back than the low beam. So when
the high beams switch on, not only is there more light, the source of
light actually moves a few millimeters. This is actually part of how
the lenses throw the light differently for hi vs low.

Things start to get interesting when you engage High Beam on the xenons:-

In the kit i have there is only one light source (not sure its
actually correct to call it a filament when you’re talking about
xenons) and this never moves. The sheath round bulb actually slides
forward fractionally when main beam is engaged, I’m assuming by way of
a solenoid. This allows them to mimic the halogen bulbs moving light
source and therefore use the same lenses. Our lenses have a
dished/reflectors built into the lens that i assume covers the dipped
beam somewhat too. In the xenon’s the sheath is shaped like that at
the end, so it does this job instead. However this sheath on the bulb
would have probably fouled the dished reflector in the standard lens.
So i got the above mentioned halogen kit that had different lenses to
which don’t have the dish in them. Obviously i also got a few bulbs
etc that i didn’t really need too.

I didn’t look into simply removing the dish as i thought the
reflective surface of my orignal lens were probably in bad shape
anyway - when i took them off they were actually looking pretty good
and think had been replaced fairly recently anyway. Hey-ho…I also
didn’t look at fitting the xenon bulb to the lens with this reflector
left in place, it may have just worked…

One down side of this design is the moving sheath is open to
mechanical failure. These are a reasonably new product but all reports
seem to suggest they hold up alright. Most reports saying something
along the lines of been in a year or two and no problems etc. If
you’re reading the archive drop me a line i’ll let you know how i
we’re getting on !

On the other side of the coin this design also has a subtle advantage
over most conversions :-

Halogen lights come on pretty much straight away when they get power,
xenons on the other hand take a good 3 to 4 seconds to “warm up” and
start off not particularly bright. This isn’t so much a problem on the
dip beam as you tend to switch them on and leave them on, usually cos
its dark. However the main beam usage is sporadic depending on
traffic. This can make the warm up time a bit of a problem. Given the
operation of halogen bulb cars are wired to turn off the dip beam when
main is engaged this can plunge you into near darkness momentarily as
the xenon’s fire up. Its probably fractions of a second to be fair but
i didn’t like the sound of it. My boss has recently converted his
car’s dip beam to xenon but left his main beam halogen for this very
reason. He now finds swapping between the two different colors, xenon
vs halogen, quite distracting.

However with the sliding sheath design the same xenon bulb is doing
both Hi and Low beam, this means when the sheath moves the bulb is
already at full brightness as its been doing dipped beam, so you get
main beam instantly. On the XJs it’s a bit different as the the inner
lights will take that bit longer to get warm and be putting out full
brightness, but the outers have swapped to main beam instantaneously
so you’re not getting plunged into darkness - I’m actually growing to
quite like that the beam pattern changes first then the main beam gets
gently brighter not so much for the eyes to cope with. For flashing
people at junctions {insert your own joke here} they seem be okay but
you do have to hold the stick up a bit longer to give them time to
react - the lights not the other car.

One last thing. I’ve read so pretty strongly worded posts about
getting xenons and being prepared to clean your lenses at least twice
a week in mucky weather. Apparently xenon lights are at risk of dirt
reflecting back into the lens and this bounce round and ultimately
bouncing out of the lens at unexpected angles. My DD6 has head light
washers so i wasn’t really that bothered but if yours hasn’t it might
be something to consider. Also older lens can have a “sandblasted”
effect on their surface due to road salt over the years and this can
have the same effect - again mine being new lenses i wasn’t that
concerned.

Once they’ve actually warmed up xenons take a lot less power than
even halogens. so shouldn’t be putting any extra strain on the
electrical system of the car.

For my part I’m really chuffed with the “extra” light available - in
the past I’ve sometimes been tempted to be use my fog lights on
country roads just for a bit extra light and increased spread but the
xenon’s have completely eliminated this desire and indeed on full beam
you get so much more confidence in what your doing because you can see
so more.

I hope this helps anyone considering getting xenons.

Simon===================================================
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Further to my last post some pictures.

http://www.jag-lovers.org/snaps/snap_view.php3?id=1232824398&n4=

To this who read the post first time, sorry if i’m just repeating a
lot information you have already seen - there did seem to be enough
interest to justify the repeat. I’m not mailing bombing you I promise
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