I finally got around to installing my custom HID projectors, got them all aligned and working as they should and I wanted to share the info with you guys. As you know, Jeep made a limited number of Commanders with OEM HID projectors but it seems that they no longer manufacture the replacement parts for them so it's hard to add them to non-projector equipped Commanders. The only other option is to retrofit projectors into the OEM headlight assemblies. This is DIY project or you can have someone build them for you.
There are a few companies out there that retrofit projectors and I decided to try www.HIDProjectors.com
since I saw another member of this forum using their headlights. This company offers quite a few options for customized projector headlights. They can retrofit projectors for both low and high beams, add halos, color coat the inside of the housing, and add demon eyes to the projectors. I decided to go for more of an OEM chrome look with a projector for the low beams only and 6000k HID bulbs. HID bulbs take time to ignite and reach their full brightness so this is not ideal for high beams, I wouldn't recommend it. It'll be fine if you drive with high beams often and would like the look and performance of HID bulbs for highs but you won't be able to use the "flash to pass" feature.
If you're not familiar with the retrofit process it basically requires heating the headlight assembly in an oven to a temperature where the seal is malleable but does not melt the housing, then the lens can be removed. Once the lens is removed you insert the projector, possibly making cuts to the housing to make the projector sit well against the back of the reflector, then sealing it up again. Here's a video of how it's done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRP5Uxe-BkU
. It's not too difficult but it's easy to screw it up, which is why I decided to have someone with experience build them for me instead.
The headlights are plug and play. They will arrive with the bulbs already installed, ballasts, and a relay harness. They are shipped very well so that they will not get damaged during shipping. When I first received my custom headlights one of them was either in the oven too long or the heat was too high which melted a lot of the tabs that hold the headlight to the frame, including a cutout where the front bumper is supposed to be inserted into, you'll see it on the pictures below. Once I contacted Tom at HIDProjectors.com he was quick to replace it and felt that it shouldn't have left their workshop like that and apologized. Major kudos for owning up to it, it shows their excellent customer service level. Two weeks later I received a replacement headlight that was in great shape.
When I finally got around to installing them the HID bulbs burnt bright and looked great but I realized that something wasn't right. When my headlights would turn on either manually or via the auto headlights option they would not turn off until the engine was off. Even if I switched the headlights to the off position or if my Commander was sitting in the daylight the lights would not turn off. I contacted Tom again and he wasn't sure what was causing that either. Eventually I narrowed it down to the relay harness. The one that was supplied with the headlights was configured for a bi-xenon setup and since are Commanders have independent high and low beam bulbs the relay wouldn't receive the "off" signal as it should. I eventually purchased a Morimoto HD relay harness and it looked and felt of much better quality than the one that was supplied. It's also specifically design to work on Chrysler vehicles to prevent flickering and other issues. Here's the link for the harness: https://www.theretrofitsource.com/co...6#.VpBtjE7SlPY
. Again, Tom provided excellent customer service and offered a refund for the relay harness he supplied. His company specializes mostly in making custom headlights for Jeep Wranglers, which do use bi-xenon headlights, so that would explain why this harness was supplied by default.
Also, another issue I ran into was that the driver side cutoff was misaligned. If you're not familiar with projector beams just imagine that the cutoff is super sharp and you should see a straight horizontal line where the light cuts off, you'll see the pictures down below. I was able to fix this by removing the bulb, inserting a pair of pliers in a couple of notches directly behind the projector, and turned it until I felt it was enough to have the cutoff straight. You can also do this by applying pressure against the bulb adapter but my projectors were pretty tight that they wouldn't budge this way.
Now that everything is working as it should I'm very happy with how the projectors look. They are really bright, the cutoff is super sharp so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic, and color of the HID bulbs is a nice bright white with a hint of blue. Again, I cannot stress enough the awesome customer service. I would definitely recommend www.HIDProjectors.com
for your custom headlights.
I hope this was helpful for those considering retrofitting HID projectors. Pics will follow in the next posts. Feel free to ask questions.