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  #1  
Old 12-01-2014, 11:40 PM
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H11 to H9 Conversion

Has anyone done this in the WK2 yet for low beams or fogs?

The basic idea is that the two bulbs are similar and a slight modification to the tabs will allow the H9 to fit. H9 bulbs have a higher output and nearly double the lumens because of that.

When I first read about that my initial concern was the wattage. This mod has been done quite a bit for other vehicles with no adverse effects. The lighting guru himself (Daniel Stern) agrees that it's a worthwhile and safe mod, especially in projector applications.

Anyway, I'm just interested to see if anyone here has done it. I plan to give it a shot in the next few days.

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Old 12-02-2014, 12:26 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

I should also add that 9011 bulbs can be modified to fit 9005 sockets for high beams. These bulbs are a little pricey but should last long since most of us don't use our high beams very often.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:24 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

I tried to get permission to repost the instructions and photos here but the owner did not PM back... not sure if he's inactive.

In any case, here's a link to a write-up. There are versions on many other forums that use our same bulbs, including NASOIC, Tundra, Hyundai, and others. This one was just the most detailed.

How To: Headlight Bulb Conversion (H11 to H9 & 9005 to 9011) - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum

Also, here's a youtube video on the bulb mod.


A couple of tips, if you plan to use the harness extensions to save yourself a mod step for replacement bulbs, don't get the ceramic one. The plastic version is fine and easier to mod. Also, stick with the Phillips bulb over the Sylvania. The Sylvania has extra material on the metal piece that needs to be trimmed and makes it exponentially harder to mod.

With all that said, I'm still considering my options. I just didn't want to leave this without the info in case anyone is interested.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:33 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

After doing a lot of reading and reviewing my options, I've decided to proceed with this little adventure. I'll post some tips and tricks I've encountered but first want to talk about the known alternatives. I'm including rough price ranges as well for comparison (for 2 bulbs)

Headlights H11

HID ($100 - $200)
  • The primo upgrade here is obviously a well made HID kit if you are up for the installation. I was going to give it a go but ended up deciding against it and am working to return the kit. But your best bang for buck is definitely HIDs. It's not as straightforward as making a few harness connections though.

LEDs ($50 - $250)
  • The simple plug-n-play bulbs do not provide sufficient lighting.
  • The high end bulbs (Phillips Ultinon) are getting close but still provide less output than a standard H11 halogen. The claimed lumens and output increase are simply creative marketing. Most reputable companies will tell you these are not intended for headlight applications, even with projectors.
  • The bulbs you find on ebay with the active cooling fans or even the passive cooling heatsinks are not conducive to our application. These bulbs have cooling features for a reason and our vehicles' dust shields makes them a tight fit and does not provide the proper air circulation to ensure longevity. Plus these are notoriously hard to aim in projectors
  • Even the new VLED offering that comes out this month, which allows you to adjust the aim of the diodes, is not a good fit. I contacted them and they agree that fitment and airflow prevent these from being effective in our vehicles.
Halogens ($20 - $100)

  • Hyper White / tinted bulbs simply reduce output. This applies to all of them, even the vaunted PIAA and Phillips brands. Claims that they are brighter is typically due to perception or in some cases, slightly increased wattage, but you are still losing some of the brightness because of the attempt to make them white. Think of it this way... you could tint your windshield light blue. It would make the street lights appear white. But it would also limit your visibility, especially at night. If you are doing it for the look and don't care about output, maybe that's okay for you. It's a personal choice.
  • Finally, the H9 conversion. This uses a safe increase in wattage to increase lumens to from 1350 per bulb to 2100. It's a pretty big difference. The brighter output makes the light a little less yellow as well, but definitely not HID or LED white. It does not have the output of a good HID kit but is likely to have more output than any LED alternative (that doesn't have airflow restrictions) for now.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:44 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

Fog Lights H11

I'll tackle fogs next. Pretty much everything above for headlights still applies since they are also H11 bulbs, however we get to add one more option to the mix for LEDs.

  • The JW Speaker LED fog replacements ($378) are an option for a full lamp replacement. Many people swear by them and they provide a decent amount of clean white output. This is a full swap though so you would be swapping their LED reflector for your halogen projector. Despite the claims, stated light output is still less than a standard H11.

While we're on LEDs again though, let me add this in. We discussed how colored halogen bulbs restrict lumens for the sake of making lights "whiter". The same is true for LEDs. There are no white LEDs. What you perceive as white is another color LED with a coating or filter applied. I think this is why we still can't seem to get decent lumens output in plug and play bulbs... that and the fact they are directional and hard to aim.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:57 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

High Beams 9005

For our purposes, we have much fewer options for high beams.

HIDs are not a good idea due to the lack of projectors. You will get amazingly bright lights but it will not be focused. If you are using brights, you probably aren't doing so with oncoming traffic, so glare isn't the issue, it's uneven distribution and dark spots.

LEDs, as mentioned earlier do not have the necessary output. You do have the possibility of using some of the more powerful LED setups but you will sacrifice light coverage, and, like with HIDs in this application, if you are in need of using your brights, this is not the time to settle for dark spots or uneven distribution.

Halogens
  • You have the same Hyper White options discussed above. In fact you have more options because of the bulb type, but the same issues still apply.
  • You also have the option to convert a H11 bulb with similar effects of the H9 -> H11 conversion. Brighter light with a safe wattage increase.
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2014, 11:18 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

Alright, enough about options and all the things I've learned. This thread is about bulb conversions.

For the H9 - > H11 conversion, the bulbs will run you about $7 - $12 each. You are looking for standard H9 65W halogen bulbs. A quick search on Amazon will reveal 2 common options... the Sylvania brand and the Phillips brand. You can buy these at most auto parts stores and retail chains as well, usually a bit cheaper. I learned the hard way that you should go with Phillips bulbs though.

Phillips
Amazon.com: Philips H9 Standard Headlight Bulb, Pack of 1: Automotive
Get these. Read below for the "why".

Sylvania
http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-H9-65...-2&keywords=H9
Avoid these. I added a review on Amazon as well but I'll sum it up for you.
  • There is nothing special that makes them "European."
  • The description is inaccurate (they are single filament as are all H9 bulbs). That's just nitpicky on my part.
  • The stock photo of the bulb is inaccurate (nitpicky again).
  • The biggest issue I have with these is that the metal piece you need to trim has a double layer on the Sylvania version. It simply is different than the Phillips bulb and makes this task quite a bit more difficult.



Now, typically for this mod, you will see in other write ups that you have to modify the inside of the bulb base as well as the socket ring. If you want to make life a little easier, buy a small extension harness. You can then modify the harness once so you don't have to modify the inside of the bulb base each time. You will still need to modify the socket ring. But you also get the added benefit of a little longer lead for the harness. Also, don't get the ceramic one unless you have an easy way to cut ceramic without breaking the remaining harness. Get the plastic version.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:30 AM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

This picture shows the inside of the H11 harness and the H9 bulb. You can see you would need to remove one of the tabs inside the bulb base for it to fit (doesn't matter which, no polarity). But, you can instead remove a small sliver of plastic in the harness.

Be careful cutting. There are many ways to do it but a utility knife with a fresh blade worked really well, especially if you heat it up a little.



Remove the seal temporarily so you don't slice it. Don't forget to put it back on when you are finished.


Cut slowly and carefully


This is the end result. The base doesn't need to be perfectly straight. You can test fit the bulb to make sure it works.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:55 PM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

The high beam conversion is easier. You can still get an little extension harness if you'd like but there's no modifying the inside of the bulb base or the harness. You just need to modify the trim ring that locks the bulb into the housing slightly. This is covered in more detail in the links at the top, I'm just mentioning it here to add my own tips.

Here's the extension if you are interested. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The bulb you will use is a 9011 aka HIR1. Daniel Stern speaks highly of the OEM AC Delco version used in GM vehicles. Here's a link.
Amazon.com: ACDelco HIR1 GM Original Equipment High Beam Headlamp Bulb: Automotive

Yes, they are a bit pricey for a halogen bulb ($20-26) but since they are high beams, you'll be using them less often thus shouldn't have to replace them as often.

Now for the tips. I usually analyze things and try to be somewhat precise, so I took a 9011 bulb and traced the largest tab, which is the one we have to modify. Then I took a 9005 bulb and traced the tab in the same position to show me just how much to remove.

The portion with the X is what we're removing.


I used my little sketch to line up the cut and then used a cheap set of wire cutters (yes I know this is not their intended purpose - these are my junk cutters) and positioned them perpendicular to the bulb and gave it a good squeeze. Careful here because with just the perpendicular cut, the rest of the tab will fly off. Point it responsibly, maybe wear a glove. The result was really unintended but it worked out nicely. One squeeze removed the entire piece I wanted to get rid of.


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  #10  
Old 12-12-2014, 03:09 PM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

Sorry to jump around, but I want to come back to the H9 bulb modification again. I didn't go over the metal tab trim part because it's covered pretty well in the link and video above. This is probably my least favorite step since it involves small piece and a high RPM tool.

Anyway, here's what I did and a few tips.

First remove the rubber seal so you don't mar it up with the Dremel. It just pops off and back on.

Protect the bulb. Wear clean rubber gloves and avoid touching the glass altogether. I also used one of those soft shop paper towels and just kind of draped it over the glass, holding it in place with the same hand I used to hold the bulb. The last thing you want is the tool creeping up on the bulb or particles of metal flying at it.



I used a Dremel 952 grinding bit in my variable speed rotary tool (shhh it was another brand - don't tell the Dremel purists) on a speed setting of 6 and just slowly worked at the edge until I could get it pretty close to a true H11 shape.



That's it really. Clean the bulb once done and don't forget to put the rubber seal back in place.

I'll work on getting some before and after shots for reference in the next day or two.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2014, 03:44 PM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

Correction to above. My least favorite part is swapping these damn bulbs. The engineers at Jeep are either evil or inconsiderate. My hands and arms look like I lost a fight with a cat.

Completed the swap yesterday. I was unable to get before pics though, so not much help there.

They are brighter, but If I'm completely honest, I think the projectors make the difference marginal. Just a visual estimate, I'd guess lows and fogs are about 10% brighter but within the same focus area. The high beams are much more noticeable in brightness and spread.

For lows, fogs, and highs and the extensions, I'm probably into this for around $100. It was a fun project but not a "must do" for anyone reading along. Just go HIDs or stick with OEM.

Cheers!
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:55 PM
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Re: H11 to H9 Conversion

I'm pretty sure I'm just rambling to myself in this thread.

Anyway, I'm going to be a bit of a hypocrite and try something. I'm interested to see if the increased wattage output is enough to offset any reduction caused by bulb tinting. I noted a visual estimate of improvement in the projectors output of around 10% though I think the calculated lumens increase is more like 35%. I'm going to get some H9 "white" bulbs and try them for sh!ts and giggles.

By next weekend my arms should look like I've been digging in a barrel of thumbtacks.
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