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Converting Hella 700ff's to HID


Mtrhd0024

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Converting Hella 700ff's to HID in 10 steps!

Alright, so I saw how a guy converted his driving lights to HID, using a little bit of crafty fab work and some ballasts he bought off the internet. I've just converted my lights, and I figured I'd share how I did it! :D

Disclaimer:

I'm simply showing you how I did this mod. Everything I did is irreversible to my lights, and cannot be undone. I had to drill holes in my lights, which means you cannot convert them back. These lights are also not street legal, they are for offroad use only. Although they are correctly focused and do not scatter light like many factory headlight housings with HID's, they still project a long bright beam, they are extremely bright (4-5x brighter than a 55w Halogen bulb) and could severely blind oncoming traffic if you were to use them on the street. Use any information seen here at your own risk. If you get a ticket for having these on your truck, its not my fault!! If you hook these up wrong and your truck goes up in smoke, its not my fault!! If God strikes you down with lightening for having the only thing brighter than sunlight strapped to the front of your truck ITS NOT MY FAULT!! Get the picture? :D :icon_rofl:

With that out of the way though... Have fun! The results of this mod are AMAZING, and will kinda blow you away! I hooked one of my lights up tonight, and ONE of these was brighter than the two Hellas that my dad has on his truck with 100w Halogens. I have four of these that are all going on the front of my truck. Yea...they're gonna be BRIGHT! :D

For those of you that don't know, the advantage of HID light (High Intensity Discharge) is that for a given wattage, they produce far more visible light than a Halogen bulb of the same wattage. (4-5x more) HID produced less infrared light, which means less heat than a Halogen bulb also. They also produce a far whiter light, which makes everything much clearer at night than it is with a Halogen bulb. HID is what Silverstar bulbs "strive" to be. But there is nothing like true HID light.

The only disadvantage to this mod is that these lights draw a little more than 55w at start up (just for a couple seconds) and the bulbs have to warm up. They come on very bright, but it takes about 10 seconds for the bulb to come to its FULL brightness, and to appear at its whitest.

Anyway, lets get started:

You'll need this stuff to do the conversion.

1 Hella 700ff driving light
1 HID Bulb and Ballast (I got mine from DDM Tuning)
1 Phillips screwdriver
1 small Flathead screwdriver (for mixing and applying epoxy)
5 minute epoxy
Scrap of cardboard to mix epoxy on
Small piece of sandpaper
A drill
A 7/8" drillbit
Paper towel to clean up epoxy.



Here's a picture of two 700ff's, one that's been converted, the other which hasn't.


Here's a closeup of the light before the conversion:


Here's a closeup after the conversion:


The first step is to disassemble the light. This should be fairly straightforward, but I'll walk you through it anyway.

1) There should be a small plastic piece held in place by a screw at the bottom of the light. Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove that screw, and then flip the plastic piece down (somtimes they "hinge" other times the plastic bit completely comes off. This one came completely off, don't worry about what yours does, it doesn't matter.)


Here's the plastic piece and screw removed.


2) Now gently grab the bottom of the glass lens and pull outwards. There's a locating tab at the top of the light that the lens and reflector assembly will hinge out on. Pull the reflector out of the plastic housing, and you can go ahead and pull the wires through the rubber grommet, they aren't going to be reused.

This is what you're left with.


You're also left with a plastic outer housing. This is what we're going to have to modify:


The HID bulb has the wires coming directly out of the back of the bulb. You can't use the standard H3 bulb clip to hold the bulb in, and you have to route the wires directly out the back of the light housing. To do this, we're going to drill a hole in the back of the housing. The rubber grommet that comes with your HID bulb and ballast kit will fit snugly in this hole, retaining the lights waterproof nature.

3) Take your HID bulb and there should be 4 wires going through the rubber grommet. Two of them go into the bulb itself, and then each wire has a plug on it. The second pair of wires go into a single plug, and each of them has a spade connector on the end. Carefully pull the wires with the spade connector through the grommet, without tearing the rubber. You can also cut the spade connectors off to make this easier, if you plan to solder them into the harness on your truck (recommended). DO NOT cut the wires that come directly out of the back of the bulb. These are high voltage wires, and they will cannot be soldered back together, they are very delicate. If you cut these wires you will have to order a new pair of HID bulbs.

The spade connectors will come through the grommet and you'll end up with two harnesses just like this:


Here are the two "harnesses" side by side. As you can see, I pulled them through the grommet without tearing the rubber or cutting the spades off, so it can be done!


4) Next, take your 7/8" drill bit and using the molding "point" in the center of the back of the light, drill a hole for your grommet. Go slow and let the bit do the cutting so as not to put too much pressure on the plastic and bust the housing. Don't worry though, they're pretty tough.


You should end up with a housing that looks like this:


5) Use your sandpaper to smooth the edges of the hole, and then test fit the rubber grommet in the back of your light. It should be pretty easy to get in, but it should also fit snugly so it doesn't fall out.


Here's another view from the other side, with my HID bulb still in its protective casing. Don't take it out yet, you shouldn't touch the bulb, and you don't want it damaged.


Now you can pull the grommet back out of the plastic housing and set the bulb and the housing aside.

6) Looking at the back of the reflector, you will see a gold colored clip holding the the standard H3 bulb into the reflector. If you haven't already done so, remove the blue and black wires that came with the light. You can discard these if you like, they won't be needed. Press in on the clip and let it hinge up to free the standard H3 bulb. Set that aside, you won't be needing that either.

Now you have to remove that gold colored clip from the housing without bending the tabs on the reflector. I'll leave this up to you to figure out, but you basically just have to pry it gently to one side and one side of the "hinge" will pop off, then you can just move it to the side and lift it off.

Your reflector housing will now look like this:


7) Next we will be attaching the new HID bulb to the reflector. The standard clip won't hold it in, so we are left to devise our own ways of holding the bulb in place. Some people insert the bulb, and then bend the two tabs down to hold it in. In my opinion, this won't be all that secure, and it will allow the bulb to rattle some. I chose to use two small dabs of 5 minute epoxy, one on each side of the light. It doesn't take much to hold the bulb in securely, and if you don't use tons, you will be able to apply pressure and pop the bulb out at a later date and replace it if necessary.

Take your sandpaper and holding the light on its side or upside down, sand ever so slightly in between the tabs where the base of the bulb will sit, and where you'll be applying epoxy. This will rough up the paint a bit, and cause the epoxy to stick a bit better. Make sure you hold it on its side so you don't get debris down in your light. Carefully wipe the dust away, and you're ready to mount the bulb.

Get your HID bulb ready, by unscrewing the protective base from the bulb, and getting it out of the way. The 5 minute epoxy sets up fast, so you need to be ready to place it quickly before it hardens. Once you have it free from the base of its protective capsule, lay it back inside to protect it until you stick it in the light like this:


Now mix up your epoxy. You only need to mix a SMALL amount, no more than a pea sized amount of the hardener and the epoxy itself. Mix it with your small flathead screwdriver, and then CAREFULLY place a SMALL dab of epoxy on the reflector where the HID bulb will mount.

This should look something like this:


Now carefully, without touching the glass on the HID bulb (grab it by the plastic base) insert the bulb into the reflector. Make sure you're aware that there are two different locating tabs on the bulb base, so it will only go in one way. DO NOT get epoxy on the bulb. You need a steady hand for this. Carefully align the bulb and push it down into the epoxy. If you didn't use too much, it shouldn't ooze everywhere. Now take your screwdriver, and apply a tiny bit more epoxy on the edges of the base of the bulb, while holding it firmly in place. It should only take a couple of minutes for the epoxy to set, depending on which type you used and how much hardener you used.

It should now look like this from the back:


Hold the bulb in place until the epoxy sets (around 5 minutes if you used 5 minute epoxy)

8) Now that the epoxy has set, you need to carefully reassemble the light. Remember, the epoxy has only just set, it hasn't fully hardened, so you still need to be careful about how you apply pressure to the bulb.

Feed the wires from the bulb up through the hole you made in the plastic outer housing. Then carefully push the large rubber grommet into place in the 7/8" hole you drilled. Then carefully lower the plastic outer housing, pulling the wires through the grommet, and making sure that they aren't twisted behind the bulb inside the housing.

This should look similar to this:


Push the housing down all the way, making sure you alighned the tab at the top of the housing with the little notch in the top of the reflector. If you don't the reflector won't fit in the housing.

Now your light will look like this


9) From here, all you have to do is turn the light over, and screw the tab which holds the light all together, back onto the front of the light.

Your finished light will look like this:


10) Now all you have to do is test your light!

Hook your ballast up by plugging it into the bulb, and then plugging the other wires into the ballast. My ballast was pretty fool proof, there was only one way I could hook everything up.

The two wires left (black and red) are your power wires. Hook em' up to a car battery and be amazed!!

Here are a few shots I have left over that I took:

Closeup of the HID bulb in the reflector:


And a couple beamshots that I took in my room (these lights aren't on my truck yet) All of these shots were taken in my room with the lights out at night, and with the camera settings all the same. They were back to back on the same battery and everything, so it should be a fair comparison.

First for comparisons sake, the 55w Halogen bulb that comes in these lights standard:


And again:


Shot directly into the light with 55w Halogen bulb:


Pretty bright right? :D

Not when you compare it to the HID! :D

First shot right as the light turns on:

You can see how its not as bright as the next shot, and its got a blueish yellow tint to it. But its still brighter than the Halogen!

Here the light is fully warmed up:

You can see now how white the light is, and how intense it is compared to a 55w Halogen.

Here's a shot from behind the light:

Is it daylight inside? :D

Here's a shot directly into the HID.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this thread, found it useful, etc. If nothing else, hope it was a good read for ya!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a bit of a light junkie. I think four of these on my truck might be a bit of overkill... But we'll see! :D

Also mods, you have my permission to put this in the tech section if you think it will benefit others! Any questions, comments, etc, just comment or send me a PM! Thanks!
 
Last edited:


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 70D65189E6D8FF: January 5th, 2022

Doom's Day Custom

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How much did everything cost you to do this ?????
 

Mtrhd0024

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How much did everything cost you to do this ?????
This is the advantage to doing this yourself, as opposed to paying for Hella's HID lights. The 700ff's were around $75 a pair, and the HID ballasts and bulbs are $40-50 for a pair, depending on whose HID kit you buy. You can buy much more expensive ones, but the ones I got have a lifetime warrenty on the ballasts and a 1 year warranty on the bulbs, so I figure if they break I can send them back.

So to answer your question, to do all four lights cost me about $230. Hella wants $6--.00 PER LIGHT for their HID 4000 series.

Now admittedly the 4000 series are bigger lights (I think they're 10" instead of my 7" 700ff's) but I'm also running a 55w HID kit in each light, whereas Hellas 4000 series are only 35 watt per light I believe. These things still throw a HUGE amount of light down the road, and I don't have room for four 10" lights on the front of my truck anyway.
 

Doom's Day Custom

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I know the kc hid are 70 watts hids and they look really good man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Mtrhd0024

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I know the kc hid are 70 watts hids and they look really good man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All the KC lights are 35w HID unless you go for the carbon fiber ones. The normal KC HID's are over $600 apiece, and the 70w 7" carbon fiber ones are over $1000 apiece. Look em up on the website! Yea, they're nice, but considering each light cost me about 1/5 the price of KC's equivalent 8" HID light, and 1/10 the price of their Carbon fiber ones, I'll settle for my Hellas! :D
 

Doom's Day Custom

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All the KC lights are 35w HID unless you go for the carbon fiber ones. The normal KC HID's are over $600 apiece, and the 70w 7" carbon fiber ones are over $1000 apiece. Look em up on the website! Yea, they're nice, but considering each light cost me about 1/5 the price of KC's equivalent 8" HID light, and 1/10 the price of their Carbon fiber ones, I'll settle for my Hellas! :D
yeah i know man i just think 70 watts would be insane to run and the price you paid to do this mod was well worth it and i thought about doing this mod years ago but never had the money to do it..
 

Mtrhd0024

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yeah i know man i just think 70 watts would be insane to run and the price you paid to do this mod was well worth it and i thought about doing this mod years ago but never had the money to do it..
Yea, I mean I'm sure the 70w KC's are insanely bright, but they won't be THAT much brighter than mine, and considering it would cost me almost $4500 to put four of those KC's on the front of my truck... I think I did well only paying $250... :p

You should defo do this mod though man! There aren't that many people that have done it yet, which is why I made the tutorial! Pretty much if you have the tools I showed you in the beginning then you can do this mod, its reallyyy easy! It makes for some pretty friggin awesome lights, ESPECIALLY for the money!! I mean for about 110 bucks you could have two of these on your truck!

Also if you were that desperate for 70w HID, I know there are a few places out there that you can buy 75 HID bulb and ballast kits. They're a bit more expensive but they're out there!
 

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yeah i only have 4 100w harbor freight lights and no money so that mod will have to wait..
 

Mtrhd0024

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yeah i only have 4 100w harbor freight lights and no money so that mod will have to wait..
Ah I know how ya feel man! I bet those HF lights still put out a lotta light though! I put two 6.5" Hellas on the front of my dads Dakota and installed some 100w halogen bulbs, and those things are still darn bright!!! Those Hellas were ancient as well, he bought them back in the early 80's and put them on a VW rabbit that he and his brother had. One of them broke while on the rabbit, so he only has 3 now. Installed 2 of them on his truck and I was still impressed!!
 

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Just wanted to make a quick post, regarding these lights and their effectiveness.

I found on a Tachoma forum, a guy who did this exact conversion, and posted results. So I'm just posting the photo's, to give an idea of what the beams look like in use!

Low Beam:


High Beam:


High Beam with two HID Hella 700ff's up front: :D


Don't know about you, but thats rather shockingly bright! :O
 

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they make HID that use an H3 bulb, most car audio stores have them then its just plug and play, running about $100-$150 for both lights. just fyi
 

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they make HID that use an H3 bulb, most car audio stores have them then its just plug and play, running about $100-$150 for both lights. just fyi
The kits I used are H3 HID bulbs. :)

Maybe I should take some more pictures to clarify, but the problem is that the standard bulb clips in the 700ff's go over the back of the H3 bulb to hold them in. The problem with this is that the H3 HID bulbs have the wires going directly out of the back of the bulb, and therefore you cannot use the standard clips...

So the sockets and all fit, and the source of light on the HID bulb is the same depth inside of the reflector as the normal H3 bulb, (which retains focus) however the normal bulb clips will not work. They also tend to break if you attempt to modify them at all! If you're patient, and have suitable wire, you could probably bend yourself some nice little clips that would hold these bulbs in place. But so far, a small dab of epoxy has worked sufficiently!
 

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Hey guys!

So I realize this is a relatively old thread, but I was just curious if anybody else on here used my tutorial to make lights like this! If so, I'd love to see pics of how they turned out!

I just wanted to do a quick follow up with my experiences, and add a few more pics! I've had mine installed on my truck for over a year now, and I LOVE them! They're super bright, and I haven't had even the slightest problem with my wiring or the DDM tuning balast/bulb kits I bought. So props to DDM tuning I guess! I also haven't had any problems with the Hella lights... No cracked or broken glass, broken housings, mounts, etc... No water inside the light. They're as bright as the day I installed em, and I use them every time I drive at night! :headbang: (I live out in the country!)

With that said, here's a few pics:


Here's a pic I took on the side of the road at 1am about 2 weeks ago. I was towing a trailer at the time and stopped on an off ramp to check it out. You can see, they're SUPER bright! :icon_welder:


Here's a picture from inside my truck, with just my Bronco II low beams on. They're brighter than they appear in the pics (brand new housings modified for silverstar 9007 bulbs!) but still not that bright.


Here's a picture from the inside of my truck with the Bronco II high beams on, plus the driving lights. They're about 5x as bright in person as they are in the picture (its hard to give a good impression of light output on camera) but you can still see the difference!


This last picture is one I took about 2 months ago while I was at my family's beach house... The house is on Pawleys island, and we're on the creek side, so we have an 800ft pier extending out from the back of our house so we can park our boat. The house is on stilts so you can park your car underneath. I parked it with the driving lights on, and walked to the end of the pier to take this picture. So this is from 800+ feet away. The tiny specs of light you see directly to the left of my truck are the lights from the windows of my next-door neighbors house!!! There is a house on the mainland across from us, and when I was standing on the pier, my driving lights were illuminating their house. I have no idea what they thought it was, but I could see them peeking out of their windows and looking like WTF!!! :D :icon_rofl:

Anyway, just thought I'd provide a one-year-followup for anyone who might have been interested/is interested in making something like this! :)
 

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Im getting ready to do a set of 500ff's the same way. Ill post up how they work.
 

Foxracin

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Have any pics of where you mounted the ballast?
 


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