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Thread: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    I just took delivery of a 2018 Toyota 4Runner, and one of the first things I decided to do was upgrade the lighting. Perhaps I should've asked these questions before actually doing the conversion, but this may sway whether I keep it this way or not. There's also plenty of info about how to do this procedure on the 4Runner forum, but I decided to ask this on here since there's a tremendous amount of lighting specific knowledge here.

    Stock high beams were 9005's in reflectors, so I put some Philips 9011 HIR's in their place after making a minor tab modification to them; this conversion worries me the least since they match the stock wattage, so I think everything should be good to go here.

    Stock low beams were H11's in projectors, so I modified some Philips H9's to go in their place. This is the conversion that concerns me the most. Based on wire gauge, I think I'm fine with the additional 10W per bulb, but I've started to worry myself about possible damage due to heat inside the projector. I've seen no evidence to support this, but just wanted to run it by you guys to see if this is a valid concern. I think the Camry might have similar reflector housings, but not certain. Have any of you seen damage to Toyota projectors by going to an H9? Would the Philips extreme vision be a better choice here due to the potential for damage, or do you think I'm good to go with the H9's?

    Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner



    Quote Originally Posted by KP Texan View Post
    I just took delivery of a 2018 Toyota 4Runner, and one of the first things I decided to do was upgrade the lighting. Perhaps I should've asked these questions before actually doing the conversion, but this may sway whether I keep it this way or not.
    It's right up there with "measure twice, cut once". Not asking first can cost you some time, effort, and money.

    Stock high beams were 9005's in reflectors, so I put some Philips 9011 HIR's in their place after making a minor tab modification to them; this conversion worries me the least since they match the stock wattage, so I think everything should be good to go here.
    Yep, there are no electrical or thermal concerns with that particular upgrade.

    Stock low beams were H11's in projectors, so I modified some Philips H9's to go in their place. This is the conversion that concerns me the most. Based on wire gauge, I think I'm fine with the additional 10W per bulb,
    A voltage drop test is the best indicator of the capacity of the wiring.

    but I've started to worry myself about possible damage due to heat inside the projector. I've seen no evidence to support this, but just wanted to run it by you guys to see if this is a valid concern. I think the Camry might have similar reflector housings, but not certain. Have any of you seen damage to Toyota projectors by going to an H9? Would the Philips extreme vision be a better choice here due to the potential for damage, or do you think I'm good to go with the H9's?
    Heat damage sometimes takes a little more time to reveal itself. I don't have the data on the lamps' ability to handle the extra heat, myself. That voltage drop test might tell you if your wiring isn't up to the task of the extra electrical load, at least.

  3. #3

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Alaric's probably right about electrical/thermal issues. The other issue to keep in mind is the amount of light you'll be zapping other drivers with (glare/dazzle). A 4Runner's headlamps are mounted at a pretty high height, and if you throw a load in the back of the vehicle (or tow a trailer) the lamps are going to be aimed upward.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    A 4Runner's headlamps are mounted at a pretty high height
    The height alone, without tongue weight/loading issues might proscribe the use of the H9. Reaiming them before towing (with everything loaded the way it is) might help, but then you cost yourself distance viewing then you lighten the loading. Also, you're putting your low beams in the rearview mirror of that car in front of you when you're at a stop sign.

    These are issues that normal cars, with their lower headlamp heights, don't face as much. I'd stick with the XTreme Vision H11 for the low beams.

  5. #5

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    since the search feature is less than stellar could some one point me to a voltage drop test procedure and how to determine the results? I have a 2019 Tacoma and has H11 in a projector, bulbs are fine for now but want to do my research now before I need new ones, will be doing another halogen just not sure if it will be an H11 or H9, I want to balance performance and lifespan and price. the iron law of good fast and cheap I am sure applies to lights as well.

  6. #6

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    i swapped h11 for h9 in my honda pilot, it's a noticeable improvement.

    the simplest way to measure voltage drop is to measure voltage when the lamps on, measure h11 and h9, compare working voltage, simple dmm would do the trick. thou i'm not sure why you'd need to, just read the info on your bulbs, lifespan and lumens are listed there. i'm sure those numbers are pretty accurate, as long as you get bulbs from reputable brand.

  7. #7

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    the simplest way to measure voltage drop is to measure voltage when the lamps on, measure h11 and h9, compare working voltage, simple dmm would do the trick. thou i'm not sure why you'd need to
    To make sure the greater current draw of the H9 doesn't cause a problem. It's one of several important safety considerations that have to be taken into account when thinking about a swap like this. Another: headlamp mount height, as discussed in most of the previous posts of this thread (Boghog1, take note!).

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Quote Originally Posted by Boghog1 View Post
    could some one point me to a voltage drop test procedure and how to determine the results?
    A real accurate procedure is described here: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ys/relays.html (Scroll down a bit)

  9. #9

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    To make sure the greater current draw of the H9 doesn't cause a problem. .
    according to you it wont cause any problems. neither wires overload, not heat issues, nor aim issues. this question popped up many times, and as many times you yourself recommended such swap as safe.
    it is also 2019 car, so "improving" wiring yourself most likely will affect warranty, or worst.
    Last edited by alpg88; 03-15-2019 at 01:24 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    according to you it wont cause any problems.
    Please don't put words in my mouth, thanks; apparently you have not understood what I've consistently said: the H9 swap is safe in certain cases. In others, it isn't. That has always been the case, and it is always what I've said. It is not a universally good idea, and it never has been.

    it is also 2019 car, so "improving" wiring yourself most likely will affect warranty, or worst.
    Nobody suggested modifying the wiring. The object here would be to determine if an H9 swap would be electrically safe in this particular case, but other concerns (such as lamp mount height) make it pretty much moot.

  11. #11

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Thank you all, the rabbit hole is deep when it comes to automotive lighting but well worth the effort I am finding.

  12. #12

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Rabbit hole or maybe ant warren! Yeah, it's not simple, and there's constant noise of unwise-at-best "upgrades" being promoted and recommended every which way you turn.

    Given the mount height of your lamps, probably best to stick with a good premium H11 bulb, like this one. And a careful aim job.

  13. #13

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    those phillips were the exact ones I was leaning towards, seemed to be a great balance of price/output/life

  14. #14

    Default Re: H11 to H9 Conversion - 2018 Toyota 4Runner

    Having a 2018 Tacoma that is basically the same light setup, I found a huge improvement going to the Phillips Xtreme H11. I have also tried a standard trimmed H9 and a GE +130 H11. All of those three alternatives to the stock bulb appear to be functionally identical. Measured with a Minolta Flashmeter 6 in various areas of the beam pattern, they were all within 1-2 tenths of an f/stop from each other, or basically identical. Once your eyes have adjusted to the dark, and assuming you have good night vision, any of these three choice are very effective on a dark highway with no street lights to interfere. Actually make driving at night fun again.

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