Foxfury Breakthrough
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

  1. #1
    Flashaholic tay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    295

    Default 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    Hi folks,

    This is crossposted by me on the Maxima forum that I'm a part of, but I figure that the information is relevant here as well.

    There is a lot of buzz about the 9007 conversion.

    Stock 89-99 Maximas use 9004 bulbs. The 9004 is a dual tranverse filament bulb with a 45w low beam and a 65w high beam. It's rated for a 700 lm lowbeam and a 1200 lm highbeam.

    The 9007 is a dual axial filament bulb with a 55w low beam and a 65w high beam, rated for 1000 lm and 1350 lm, respectively.

    There are plenty of threads with photos of this conversion, including a how-to. I will not attempt to replicate that. It's in the stickies already.

    What is lacking is any detailed A/B tests of them. There's probably a hundred down-the-road camera shots showing how "bright" a 9007 is. Automotive lighting is very difficult to photograph, and really can only be accurately represented by a true photometric test. Since I don't have one of those sitting in my closet, this is probably the best that can be done.

    My tests are done against a white wall. This removes any artificial coloring from the beam. They are all from the same headlight, a Nissan factory 99 left side headlight. The headlight is exactly 20 feet away from the wall. Ambient light has been minimized, and is consistent from photo to photo. The bulbs are powered off of a regulated 12v power supply, so there is no voltage fluctuations from picture to picture. The camera is at the exact same spot every time, and it is on manual settings at a very low exposure, so the beam is not washed out. All the light will look dimmer in this, but it allows you to see the hotspot more clearly.

    Due to the design of my basement, I took two shots of each. One is the light pointed high up, so that you can see the width of the beam and the lower portion. The other is the light pointed level, so you can see the excess light above the hotspot (glare).

    I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

    First, a control shot, to show ambient light levels:


    9004 low


    9004 high


    9007 low


    9007 high

  2. #2
    Flashaholic tay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    9004 low


    9004 high


    9007 low


    9007 high


    I came in skeptical about it, and while it wasn't as bad as I expected, a 9007 conversion in 9004 headlights is ineffective.

    Although it is brighter, there is no longer a real difference between lowbeam and highbeam.

    9004 gives a dim lowbeam, but it is distinctly lower than the highbeam, for reduced glare. The headlight is pretty much at the same angle in all shots, so you can see how much higher the 9004 high beam is than its low beam. Our 4th gens actually have a pretty good high beam. 9004 gives a dim lowbeam, but its fine for driving in congested or well-lit areas, and does not glare as much. The high beam is pretty wide and bright on it, and is noticeably angled above the lowbeam, so that the lowbeams will not glare but the highbeams will have better throw.

    Whereas the 9007 is definitely a brighter lowbeam, it loses highbeam functionality. Going from highbeams to lowbeams there is no fundamental change in the beam pattern, just a minor change in brightness. If anything, I think the 9007 highs have a smaller hotspot than the 9007 lows.

    This means that if your lights are aimed properly for 9004, and you drop in 9007, you will be driving around with highbeams on all of the time (which is why people claim it is brighter - of course it is, you're using highbeams).

    If you put in 9007s and properly aim them, then you will lose your highbeam, since they will have to be pointed more downwards.

    In conclusion, a 9007 conversion is not an upgrade if you are stuck with dim 9004 headlights.
    Here are some options
    -Restore the plastic lens to like-new condition with a restoration kit
    -Use an upgraded heavy duty wiring harness
    -Try a Philips Extravision or GE Nighthawk another upgrade +30% 9004 (the 'good" +50 and +80 don't come in 9004, afaik), but not blue tinted or "JDM" or any of that ebay ricer crap.
    -Search for the lights from an export model or a foreign domestic market (as long as it is right hand traffic) that may be improved
    -Add auxiliary driving lamps that are only used along with the high beam
    -Retrofit a projector into your existing headlight.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    From these photos, we can clearly see that a 9007 "retrofit" into a 9004 headlamp completely destroys beam focus. True, most 9004 headlamps have poor focus to begin with, but that 9007 "low" beam shows a total lack of beam control, basically a flood light with grossly excessive glare regardless of how you would aim the lights. Candlepower's got a tech bulletin about it on this page and pretty much everything in it is true and correct.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic tay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    The 9007 output is very similar to the 9004 high beam. This is where it seems like the claims that it improves headlight performance come from.

    Yes, it does make the headlights brighter, and give them more throw. Because it's lighting up the highbeams! What do you expect?

    9004 gives you a crappy lowbeam without too much glare, and a decent highbeam.

    9007 gives you two decent highbeams, and no lowbeams.

    I like the functionality of being able to switch from my crappy lowbeams to my bright highbeams. If I had 9007s, I would either have to aim them down and lose my highbeam throw, or keep them aimed where they are and glare like crazy.

    I just wanted to take some pictures. Yeah, it might not be as good as one of those beam scans they have at some websites, but IMO my basement lighting comparisons do a decent job of making a direct A/B comparison between two lamps. It's worlds better than the typically blurry and overexposed down the road shot of "look how brite my new 9007s are", with no before-and-after, and not all of the variables constant.

    THe only thing that changed from picture to picture was the bulb. The same headlight was in the same spot, running off of the same regulated power, with the same camera from the same position at the same settings with the same ambient light.

    You should totally check out the HID projector comparisons done by JVX over on HIDPlanet. Somehow, he has access to this big gymnasium with dim orange arc-sodium lighting, so he takes all these comparison shots of projectors from like 50+ feet away, and controls all of the variables from each photoshoot to the next, so it is excellent for comparing different projectors.
    Last edited by tay; 01-15-2010 at 12:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down the road from Pleasure Point.
    Posts
    3,852

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    Quote Originally Posted by tay View Post
    -Try a Philips Extravision or GE Nighthawk another upgrade +30% 9004 (the 'good" +50 and +80 don't come in 9004, afaik), but not blue tinted or "JDM" or any of that ebay ricer crap.
    the Xtravision is made by Sylvania. The Philips Vision Plus 9004 is a decent +50 bulb(for 9004 anyway)

    A combination of a harness kit and Vision Plus bulbs made my 9004 lights bearable. Not ideal, but miles aheado f what I was running with factory wiring and long life bulbs.
    Last edited by 270winchester; 01-15-2010 at 12:09 AM.
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  6. #6

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    Another important thing to keep in mind: there is only one workable clock position for a 9004 bulb, and that is with its filaments horizontal, low beam above high beam. With 9007, there's a large range of possible clock positions. The high beam filament is on axis, and the low beam filament "orbits" the high beam filament as you rotate the bulb about its axis. Depending on the optics, the low beam filament may be at "12:00" directly above the high beam filament, or it may be rotated to some degree. For any given optic, there is only one correct bulb clocking position, but that position is not the same for all optics. It's possible the 9007 "retrofit" pictured in this thread would be less awful if the bulb were rotated this way or that way, but the only way to do that would be to grind off all three of the indexing nubs in the headlamp's bulb seating ring so the bulb could rotate freely, and then there'd be no way to lock it in place.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic tay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: 9004 to 9007 - myths dispelled

    Hmmm, I did not try that. Two of the three tabs were removed on my test headlight. I was doing a retrofit for a friend, and he had cut the tabs to do 9007, iirc, the socket was in pretty much the same position (flat part up, round part down) as it had been with 9004.

    Too bad I didn't think of that when I was testing. And there's no going back - this is what they look like now:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •