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Thread: Sick of the ZJs lighting

  1. #1
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    Default Sick of the ZJs lighting

    So I pulled the pin on the light grenade. First, I HATE HATE HATE stock lighting. And ZJ lights are just horrible. I've been through a lot of bulbs over the years and Silverstars are OK, but I always want more. I'm not a fan of always running my foglights just to feel like I'm lighting the road in front of me. I never understood why Jeep had the foglights ABOVE the bumper.

    I moved them under the bumper a couple years ago where they work SOOO much better. Funny thing, the foglights on my Jeep sit higher than the headlights on my Neon...

    But back to my original thought, I recently tried modifying my headlamp housings to use 9007 bulbs. But I wasn't as happy with that swap as I had been with my old 1987 Caravan. I found out about something new thanks to friends on Facebook. LED technology is pricey and I want to see someone else get some first. But I also found out about somethng called Solux Technology and decided to give them a shot. $40 later, same as Silverstars, and I had some shiny new bulbs to try.

    9007 Silverstar left, 9004 Solux middle and 9004 basic bulb right. No, the bulbs are all the same size, the 9004 looks bigger thanks to my bad photography. Quick answer, I will never ever buy Silverstar bulbs again. The Solux bulbs give me a better light at low beam, but are so much better than Silverstars for high beam. Turns out, if you look on Amazon and search for your type of bulb and Eico, they are cheaper... And worth every penny. Still, I want more. Never satisfied, and once the lighting monster bites, too much is never enough... Perhaps its time for some Euro housings. And a HID projector retrofit.

    So, with the headlights about at their limits, its time to use the Harbor Freight KC knockoffs I've had for a couple years. I always meant to build a front bumper for... Oh well.

    So I called Mark at Detours USA. Had a great conversation after accidentally hanging up on him twice. Lucky for me, he had a pair of A pillar brackets in stock, so I wouldn't have to wait for him to build a set. The link shows XJ brackets, but call him and ask for ZJ pieces and he will work with you. A few days later, I had them in hand and took them to work to paint them. And today, I got them installed and wired up the HF lights.



    I used self drilling screws, but will replace them with cheese head Phillips screws and hope the weatherstripping lays better. Might be an issue when going doorless next summer. At highway speeds, I nearly lost the door weatherstripping. I need to find a better way to hold that down along the light brackets. These wound up feeling a lot more solid than I expected. Mark at Detours was careful to remind me not to use too long of screws so I wouldn't break my windshield. So I used 1/2" deep screws on the sides and 3/4" on the top.


    I think they look pretty good. Although, I did have to cut 1/2" from the mounting bolt so the windshield wouldn't get broken.


    I mounted the brackets higher than I wanted to, but I also wanted to minimize light glare off the hood. Mark leaves where you mount them entirely up to you.


    About 20' from the garage door. With the fog lights I have up front and close well covered. 9004 Solux bulbs are better than Silverstars, and give me a great low beam, better high beam. And now with the Harbor Freight lights on the A pillars, I have a better distance vision. Lights need better aiming, there is a slope to my driveway. Absolutely can't use these on the street. I have other lighting projects, including for my Daily Driver Neon...

    I need to visit this site more often...

  2. #2
    Time n Money Ghost00TJ's Avatar
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    Those mounts came out pretty nice, like you said some flathead type screws and you're golden.
    F'it, aint my Jeep!
    Beer does a Jeep Good

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    I might trim the windshield surround to get it a bit tighter and fit the weatherstripping better.



    I have also added 18 Watt LEDs in the fog light spots. These put out 1800 lumens and are 30* spots. Kind of wide for spots. I am going to need to find a way to fill the gaps around the LEDs... And I might fab different mounting for the LEDs, especially if I get some Hella fogs.


    I also have this 15" 72 watt lightbar, I haven't decided how best to use yet. Yet. Although it would fit just fine in the lower grill if I moved my license plate. I have a buddy cutting some pieces on his plasma table, to build a small pushbar/lightbar, and I'm mounting 2 8" Procomp pencil beam lights to that. I work in the desert, having enough light to see critters is a must. I'm just taking it a bit farther than many would like. Oh and, heaven forbid you don't dim your lights for me. I'll be happy to remind you with all the "weapons" at my disposal...
    Last edited by zjrog; 01-21-2014 at 13:10.

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    As stated above, the Neon gets more lighting and a little front end protection.

    Nobody makes anything, so I designed my own and a friend CNC cut it for me...

    And of course, I need some Zombie illumnating lights, or Vampire killers my daughter calls them...



  5. #5
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Nice write up sir!
    And I'll second that Mark at Detours is good people! I got the Dana 44 for my CJ from him and got to hang out a bit at his hous when I went to pick it up. I blame him for my desire to one day buy a Mag drill but he has a really cool shop and his small production is always top notch!
    Have you thought of running the LED bulbs in your headlights? I've been reading of folks doing that in XJs and they seem a happy medium between upgrade bulbs and full tilt LED replacments. Now granted the ZJ is different due to the lenses but no reason it can't be done?

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    I am just not sold on the LED bulbs yet, and the crappy ZJ housings don't help anyway. I've got a friend that keeps saying he's going to try them. Kind of waiting to see what he says.

    Last week I loaded up the front of the ZJ with lights to see if the LED lightbar would be any better than the 8" Procomps.

    This was too heavy and would bounce if I tried to drive with them on...


    Showing that the LED cuts out about where the 8" lights take over. The LED wasn't bad, but the 8" lights win... Maybe a 24-30" LED bar might beat the 8" lights...

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    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    I wonder what the PC term is for those with a light fetish? lol

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    Zombie Slayer... JoeySnow70's Avatar
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    Nyctophobia


  9. #9
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    Hehe... Interesting...


    At least I'm not as bad as this guy...

  10. #10
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    I'm the kind of guy that turns my headlights off in the drivethru when there is a car in front of my Jeep or truck. As low as my Neon sits, I'd have a tough time blinding anyone. Even so, I'm still not wanting to blind other drivers with glare, which I felt was really bad with the HID bulbs I tried in my projector lows. I even had a truck driver friend of mine look at them, he wasn't upset, but I didn't like the output. So I yanked the HIDs and have a better quality bulb in the projectors again. I'll retrofit a better projector later...

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