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2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium 5-door, *old* 2009 Kia Rondo LX 4cyl 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, after trying an Ebay HID kit that was a total failure, in my opinion, I've finally settled on what I think is the best solution for upgrading the dim stock H11B's, fitting H9 bulbs in their place. After a very long trip in my Rondo, much of it at night, I can say that the stock headlights have a great spread, just not enough light, like butter scraped too thin. An H11 bulb max will put out 1200 lumens, while the H9 will output 2100. The H9 bulb is a 65W bulb, while the H11B is a 55W, however, it's only a 1A draw difference for each bulb. Hardly enough to be a problem.

I purchased a pair of Hella H9 65W bulbs (Made by Osram for Hella and branded thus - good quality) and a pair of H9 sockets/harnesses from Autozone. I crimped on spade connectors on the harnesses and shoved them into the H11B connector. I did have to trim down the connector where it plugs into the bulb so it would fit in the headlight housing, but I was able to get everything to fit right eventually. The result is a MUCH better light, without the issues of cheap HID kits.

FYI, Daniel Stern Lighting recommends the use of H9 bulbs in H11 projector beam applications. He is a very good resource when it comes to vehicle lighting questions.
 

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2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD; 2016 Kia Forte5 SX 1.6T A/T
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A few questions:

1. Why HID was a failure?

2. Why so much hassle? Why did not you go with... H9B. It would be a simply direct replacement.

And one comment (65W vs 55W will have no noticeable change...) as for lumens to be exact 2100 vs 1350 :D
But what I wanted to say is that they significantly differ. H11 (B or not) has a black "cover" on the top of the light bulb, while H9 (B or not) does NOT. I am not sure what influence it would have on projector housing, though.


Is the cut off line same? Don't you get any "bright spots" or unwanted light?
 

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2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium 5-door, *old* 2009 Kia Rondo LX 4cyl 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #3
I went through several "replacement" parts with the HID kit I purchased, none of which fixed the issues I was having (flickering/light shifting, light shutting off after a few minutes of being on, etc). I just didn't trust that the lights would work reliably enough for use in a primary vehicle for me. That's why I returned the kit and got the H9's instead.

As for the H9B, I like the idea a lot, but availability and price hindered my choice. From what I found, there is only one place to order the H9B from, and it would cost $68.81 for two bulbs with shipping. The H9's I purchased were $20 for two shipped. In a pinch, most autoparts stores also carry the H9 bulbs as well.

The cut-off line is the same, there is just more "spill" and a brighter hot-spot. No "unwanted" light or glare. I just put them in last night, so I will try driving around more with them soon to get a better feel.

Putting an H9 bulb in a reflector H11/H11B housing is not generally recommended, however, with a projector beam application, it is just fine. Not having the cap/cover on the end of the bulb does not affect the beam negatively, due to the design of the projector housing. If you search other car forums, the H11 to H9 swap is a very commonplace thing to do. In my case, I didn't even need to modify the bulb base with tin snips as some forums suggest (trimming the metal tab to fit easier into the holder), it just fit in no problem.
 

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2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD; 2016 Kia Forte5 SX 1.6T A/T
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yeah, you are right. I did not suspect there would so big problem with getting them...

When I was looking in the Osram catalog on the base of both it appears that H9 is upside down comparing with H11B - is that right?

How did you manage to avoid collision with the contacts from the H11b snap-on connector?

Pictures (especially comparison) would be great.
 

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2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium 5-door, *old* 2009 Kia Rondo LX 4cyl 2.4L
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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure about the base being upside down... I didn't look that close.

I removed the H11b snap connector from the bracket so I could just push it into the empty space in the housing with the H9 socket connectors plugged in.

I didn't take pictures of the H11's, but I could take some of the new lights in.
 

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2010 Rondo EX V6 5 passenger
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I'm all confused now...I read here a few months ago that options include going from H11B to H11 and switching some wires or going to H7 and switching backplates. I would like to get brighter low beams (I don't really have a need for high beams) like Sylvania/Osram SilverStar Ultra or GE Nighthawks for example, but I could not find a direct fit and since bulbs cannot be returned, I played it safe, waited and did nothing...

Brighter halogen bulbs mean shorter life but I don't do much night driving anymore and I don't want to go to HID's. Wattage is only part of the story when using traditional filament bulbs; "long life" bulbs equal yellowish light and dimmer output. There was a chart on some Sylvania bulb packages (if I remember well) that showed a comparison between the different bulbs they were making so one could pick the best suited for the specific needs. I bought some very bright high beam Philips bulbs at Costco a few years ago and they burned out in record time and I ended up with no DRL (could have gotten a ticket here in Canada, they are mandatory); Costco stopped selling them shortly after and I can imagine why!

Any suggestion is welcome as I'm getting older and alas, my night vision is not what it used to be and the laser eye correction made it a bit worse than when I was wearing contacts but that's another story; I have a lifetime garantee but they told me the difference is too small to get surgery again and they suggested I get glasses for night driving (sic).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The H11B and H11 are the exact same base, just one is the "snap-in" connector and the other plugs in. The H9 is almost exactly the same base, with just the larger tab a couple millimeters more to one side than the H11/H11B. It fits without any modification in the H11/H11B base, though.

The Osram Nightbreakers are pretty bright, but they have a shorter life than the Hella/Osram H9 (500hrs) bulbs and don't put out as many lumens.
 

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2010 Rondo EX V6 5 passenger
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From what I understand nowthe H9 base fits directly in the housing but the connector has to be changed
 

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I am more interested in making my high beams brighter. Anyone do anything with that? Didn't find anything on search.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Freedom55, yes, you are correct. In the original post, I linked to the connectors I used.

GregsKia, you can take a look at the Candlepower store for H1 bulbs for the high beams. Personally, I think the stock high beams are plenty bright enough. I would stick with 55W bulbs, as the high beam setup is a reflector setup and not projector beam like the low beams. Narva makes some good products. A stock H1 bulb is 1550 lumens, a Narva +30 is 1690, and a Narva +50 is 1780.
 

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Thanks Rev Pizzaguy I just ordered the connectors locally and got some basic H9 GE bulbs that they had in stock; this is walking distance from my home and the prices are good, no shipping, handling, duty charges etc. I'm supposed to get the connectors Monday.

What do mean exactly by "I crimped on spade connectors on the harnesses and shoved them into the H11B connector", you did not have to cut the original connector? The spade connectors you crimped on are they standard 1/4" quick-connect? Not a big deal but I don't want to remove the headlight assembly then realize I need to buy special connectors meaning I may have to put the headlights back on the car as DRL are mandatory here...Many thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I crimped these on the harness/socket leads:



It then plugs into the H11B snap-in connector, which you will need to slide off the bracket. If you look in PLP's post on HID installation, the part about plugging in the connectors is the same.

Oh, also, depending on how big the ends on the harness/socket are, you may need to trip some plastic from them. If you get a smaller one, it fits fine, the ones from Autozone (like I got) have a lot of extra plastic that gets in the way and you can't fit it in the housing without trimming it down.
 

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I'm supposed to get the Dorman connector/harness same as yours Rev Pizzaguy. I could not help but take apart the headlight assembly, it's so easy to do! I can see that standard 1/4" spade terminals will fit as they just slide into the side of the original socket, unusual as normally they are of the push-in type; thanks for the link from PLP, you guys are just oustanding contributors to this forum! Now I'm thinking about upgrading the fog lights...
 

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I crimped these on the harness/socket leads:



Oh, also, depending on how big the ends on the harness/socket are, you may need to trip some plastic from them. If you get a smaller one, it fits fine, the ones from Autozone (like I got) have a lot of extra plastic that gets in the way and you can't fit it in the housing without trimming it down.
You got that right! I installed the driver's side today and I had to trim off most of the plug that came with the harness. I also had to trim off about 1/8" from the H9 bulb socket (could be I have a longer socket than yours) as the round cover would not engage since one of the tabs was hitting the socket of the bulb. Instead of trimming some metal from the metal base of the bulb as some forums mention, I simply file away a bit of plastic from the base of the low beam ring. I did not do the other side because I want to compare at night but in broad daylight I could see the difference already, much brighter and somewhat whiter than the original bulb!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Glad to hear you got your new bulbs in! It's a little interesting getting everything to fit, since Kia doesn't give you much room to work with in the housing, but I like having the brighter beams a lot!

One thing I might mention, the Hella H9's (Osram H9's) have a 500hr life. From what I can tell, the standard GE H9's are rated at 125hrs. Hope you got a long life GE...
 

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I don't have the long life GE but I don't do much mileage and they're not expensive. I went for a quick test drive and I can see the improvement! I'm doing the passenger side tomorrow as I ran out of spade connectors.
 

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I would like to go for this mod, but would like to have few clarifications.

Freedom55 says he needed to file away some plastic from low beam ring! Is it base of the bulb or housing? I want to keep the housing original.

If this is just the connector that needed to be modified, I am ready for this. Any photos would help.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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HELP ! :(

I bought the H9 bulb and ordered the H11-H9 connectors as was suggested here.
(i have a 2007 rondo and need more light from my low beams)

i installed it all (i had to cut some of the plastic housing to squeeze the connectors in)

BUT - now the output from the projector is much LESS light than i had with the stock H11Bs

what did i do wrong?

what do i do now?

thanks for any help you can offer,
mark
 

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Discussion Starter #20
telesave, did you mount the bulbs all the way into the metal mounting bracket? If the bulbs are not fully in the bracket (one side not in, too far back, etc), it will cause the light to not fully reach the lens. Look at this diagram to see how a projector beam functions:



Also, have you checked the voltage at the connectors to make sure you don't have a bad connection/wire giving too much resistance?
 
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