TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Headlight conversion to HID on the Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by Tovar, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Tovar

    Tovar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've heard some owners are upgrading their Roadster headlights to HID by baking them in an oven to loosen the seal, and
    then cracking the sealed enclosure open to replace the incandescent bulbs. Does anyone have any details or a procedure,
    and recommendations for HID bulbs?

    Thanks
     
  2. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
  3. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,075
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    I purchased some 35w xeon ones from DDM and two years later they are still working great. They are noticeably brighter than stock and at $35 were very reasonable. I did not need to crack the cover and took me about 3 hours from start to finish
     
  4. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    737
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I also went the DDM route. Have had (2) ballasts go bad, both within 6 months. I believe the new ballasts are better as the replacements (under warranty) have worked fine.
     
  5. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,906
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    #5 wiztecy, Feb 22, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    TRS (The Retrofit Source) created a full HID conversion kit at my request. That's where you'd need to split your headlights to replace the low beam projector / glass. I've compared the DDM and Tesla HIDs to the TRS I have. The TRS output, coverage, and brightness is identical to the Telsa HID. That's why I wanted to have the projector replaced. I looked at the Tesla halogen projector vs. the Tesla HID projector and they have different focuses. A higher intensity of light and output so needs to have the focus changed or else its not perfect. The DDM scatters the light rather than focusing it evenly. You'll see some streaks and its not as bright since its not focused evenly on the road. There are no streaks or scattered light with the TRS. I had other Roadster owners say the DDM doesn't scatter light, but then when I compared my lights to theirs they could see the difference.

    The DDM is better than the stock halogen, but I don't approve of the company. But if you want to spend around $300-$370 for a set of real HIDs, projectors and ballasts and not afraid to do the work yourself or contract the work out to someone professional then go for the TRS. If price is not an issue, go for the pricey Tesla HIDs.

    Also DDM uses shady tactics. They've posted in forums as a customer, saying the competitor is junk and that the DDM product they just installed is incredible and they highly recommend. Then a person looked further into the user and found out it was DDM, not a real customer who wrote the review! This is pure unethical and untrue advertising techniques. Any company who chooses that route to gain business I really don't want to support nor do I want their product.

    One link of people discussing DDM's shady business tactics:
    DDM Tuning Shady Business Practices? - SaabCentral Forums
     
  6. Aspirant

    Aspirant Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    48
    I've still got the notoriously dim stock headlights. The high-beams are fine. Has anyone tried simply lowering the aim of the high-beams so they don't point as high and can just be left on during night driving?
     
  7. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    SW Florida
    With all four bulbs lit people will know you have your brights on. Also the high beams don't focus like the low beams, so it will be too bright for oncoming cars.
     
  8. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    laguna beach, ca
    Hi. I looked over the headlight bulb replacement procedure in the link that you sent and wonder if it is necessary to lift the car and remove the wheel for the procedure. Looks like there is pretty good access to the rear panel by just turning the wheel. thoughts?

    I took my 1.5 roadster into a shop to have the headlight lenses polished and the results were really good. All except one thing....now my passenger side low beam doesn't work and I get the message on my screen to "check the low beam". I already checked that the fuse is okay. The guy that polished my headlight lenses swears that he didn't do anything that could have caused the low beam to go out. However, it would obviously be a weird coincidence if he didn't cause it. I'd appreciate any advice.
     
  9. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3,207
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    It's a bit of a reach to get the new bulb up and into the holder in the headlight assembly. I needed to get my body part way into the wheel well to get the angle right but if you are more flexible than me maybe you could do it.
    I'm guessing he used a power buffer and the vibration broke the filament. Since you're planning to do the HIDs anyway you won't need those old halogen bulbs any more.
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. Carl W

    Carl W 2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    laguna beach, ca
    Thanks, Strider. I decided to do a check for a loose wire and by turning the wheel to the right, I could get the panel off, pull out the rubber cap, and access the wires to the bulb. With only a bit of pushing on the wire assembly, my headlight came back on! I think you're correct about the vibration causing the issue, but apparently just loosening the connection rather than breaking the filament. All that said, I will upgrade to HIDs in the future and at least I learned something! thanks again for your advice.
     
    • Informative x 2

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC