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Thread: Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

  1. #1

    Default Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

    From what I understand, the 98-00 LS400s were offered with two headlight options--halogen and HID.

    The lens are the same for both the halogens and HIDs.

    So, would dropping in aftermarket HIDs be acceptable, given that theheadlight design is the same for both the halogens and HIDs? It seems as if only the bulb differs.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ls400 View Post
    From what I understand, the 98-00 LS400s were offered with two headlight options--halogen and HID.

    The lens are the same for both the halogens and HIDs.
    The outer lens (which even when made without a visible pattern/fluting, but instead looks 100% clear, can have optical properties optimized for the headlamp it goes with) may appear the same, but are not identical. It's especially true of this vehicle; the pattern inside the lens is different, but it doesn't end there.

    The reflectors inside the lamps are different by as well: The halogen headlamp uses the HB4 (9006) but the HID headlamp uses the D2R. The shape of the reflector is different to accommodate the different shapes of the actual light source (filament vs. arc). There is no adjustment, no shimming of the bulb, no angling of the bulb, no reaiming of the headlamp, that will make a D2R work in a lamp assembly designed for the HB4; the reverse is ALSO true.

    The only legitimate way to put HID in your LS400 is to get genuine Lexus (they may actually be branded Toyota, like lamps on the '99 RX300) headlamp assemblies. (You could also buy complete Hella 90mm lamp assemblies but those would look a little odd sitting where the factory headlamp used to be.)

    I've gotten excellent pricing from Lexus of Melbourne (they're in Florida, not Australia) when my friend needed sidemarker lamps for his '99 RX300. On that vehicle, the exterior glass and all the lamp assemblies are branded Toyota, not Lexus, so don't be surprised if the part you order says Lexus on the outer box but Toyota on the lens.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-28-2018 at 07:55 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

    Alaric is right. The optics are not the same -- not even close, no matter how similar they might look to the naked eye. This is one of those pieces of "internet wisdom" that has no basis in fact. HIDs (or LEDs) in halogen headlamps are not acceptable, safe, effective, or legal, ever. Full info is here.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

    One thing you could do is use 9011 bulbs in the high beam, and 9012 in the low beam. You have to trim one of the tabs on each bulb.

    Or, of course, you could always get the OEM Toyota/Lexus HID buckets. Used assemblies may be available online or at your local junkyard.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dropping aftermarket HIDs into 98 LS400?

    Also note that in addition to messing up the beam pattern, dropping HIDs into reflectors designed for halogens will very likely scorch the reflector itself since halogen reflectors aren't built to survive the UV emissions of HID. Judging by the state of the many vehicles in my region with 'HID kits', you might even manage to toast the outer lens as an added bonus for even more glare.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

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