HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Apr 21st, 2008, 11:24 am Thread Starter
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HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I have a 02 LT which I'm installing a H3 HID high beam system into. (LOW HID installed working fine) I've got it all hooked up and working however once every 6-7 start ups I get Arcing (and a failed start up) to the Headlight housing from the Vertical Insulated Electrode (ceramic) Wire going to the Top of the Bulb to the Housing. Thinking that Silicone was a good insulator I put some Black RTV around the Electrode and although it helped, now it arcs and fails every 10-12 start ups.

-Has any body else had this problem and what did you do?


Gary S.

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post #2 of 17 Old Apr 21st, 2008, 12:30 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

If it is arcing you have a crack in the bulb insulator or the lead.

...............
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post #3 of 17 Old Apr 21st, 2008, 1:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

You're kidding......It's a new bulb but I guess I'll check it out well and put another bulb (I bought two H3 HID's) and see if I also does it. I guess I just assumed it as too close to ground source.........
-We'll see, and I guess there has been many people here with HID high beams with no similar problems.
-Guess that would explain it though................
Gary
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post #4 of 17 Old Apr 21st, 2008, 3:19 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

High voltage is some wicked stuff. You can't "tape" over it, usually like you do with regular voltages... and that is what "starts" the light by jumping the gap.. very high voltage...

If you got new bulbs to fix this, then the problem is likely with the "lead" wire... (most likely) and the problem caused by pulling on the wire or just "vibration" breaking it down.

The ONLY way to "fix" that, that I know of, is replacement.

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post #5 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 9:21 am Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I checked my other "New" bulb and it also Arc's, guess I bought a couple bad bulbs. BTW it arced between the Ceramic wire and the bulb....
I ordered new H3's and I let you'all know what happens with the next batch........
Gary
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post #6 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 9:44 am
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

grind an area near the return electrode on the holder so that no metal is closer than 1/4" to electrode.
It also helps to disconnect the ground from the clip that holds the light.
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post #7 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:07 am Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I got out my dremel tool with a small diamond bit and put a large Radius around the return wire, well I thought it was large, I'll measure to see if it's 1/4". At first it arced to the light housing and enlarged the area to prevent this before I started the thread (with the above method). I then put RTV silicone over the exposed metal where I ground it down.

One side note: After It kept arcing after grinding and RTV, I put more and more RTV on and then it switched from arcing to the housing to the bulb itself. Guess you can put on to much RTV (i'm assuming RTV insulates??)

I know air is a good insulator and if I have to I'll grind more.

I know people around the area here (wash state) who ordered a kit for the LT and had No problems. I purchased a generic HID kit with the retofit H3 bulbs.

My other HID projects all worked well.............I want to run down the street naked waving my arms in the air..................

Gary
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post #8 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 7:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I put both bulbs under a high power magnifier and much to my surprise, Both Bulbs had completely cracked through the Return Wire (Ceramic) tube at the Base of the Bulb. This real hard to see with normal vision, but would explain why it's Arcing........

The bulbs must have been dropped during shipping cuz I treated them like eggs..........it's been too long to return them, damn.......

Thanks all for your help!

Think I'll run down the street now.............
Gary
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post #9 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 8:51 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

Just be careful with those HID's if they do not work exactly as expected. The STARTING voltage can be well in excess of 13000V. Enough to either kick your butt or even kill.

Once burning the voltage across the bulb is much lower, but still enough to kick yo ass (~90V)

High voltage is nothing to play with.

Disclaimer: I have HID lights in every vehicle, and they are the best solution, but you have to be aware that touching those wire while firing up the lights can be SERIOUS stuff.
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post #10 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 9:04 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Just be careful with those HID's if they do not work exactly as expected. The STARTING voltage can be well in excess of 13000V. Enough to either kick your butt or even kill.

Once burning the voltage across the bulb is much lower, but still enough to kick yo ass (~90V)

High voltage is nothing to play with.

Disclaimer: I have HID lights in every vehicle, and they are the best solution, but you have to be aware that touching those wire while firing up the lights can be SERIOUS stuff.
I wonder what the amps are on those ignitors. I know ignition coils must have very low amps to be pushing anywhere from 20,000 volts to 35,000 volts. Which I must say tingles just a little bit every time I get hit by it.

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post #11 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 9:47 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I don't know the exact amps, but there IS enough power behind an HID ballast to wreck serious havoc. All there needs to be is a couple of variable come together like bad heart, pacemaker, touching the bulbs while it is igniting, ... and since the those lamps have an operating current of about .5 amps (which is approx. 10 times more than is needed to stop a heart) you can safely assume that it is NOT safe to touch those wire. It's the same and worse as touch blank electrical wires in your household.
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post #12 of 17 Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 11:04 pm
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
I don't know the exact amps, but there IS enough power behind an HID ballast to wreck serious havoc. All there needs to be is a couple of variable come together like bad heart, pacemaker, touching the bulbs while it is igniting, ... and since the those lamps have an operating current of about .5 amps (which is approx. 10 times more than is needed to stop a heart) you can safely assume that it is NOT safe to touch those wire. It's the same and worse as touch blank electrical wires in your household.
yeah the ole 110 or 220 blast has got me a few times too. I have learned to be a leetle more safe while electricity is in my vicinity.

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post #13 of 17 Old Apr 24th, 2008, 10:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I guess taking a Piss on the old bulbs cuz i'm mad is a bad idea then.........
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post #14 of 17 Old Apr 24th, 2008, 11:26 am
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipergman2
I guess taking a Piss on the old bulbs cuz i'm mad is a bad idea then.........
Be sure to plug them into the ballasts first for maximum enjoyment.

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post #15 of 17 Old Apr 24th, 2008, 12:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I'll make sure to plug it in..
Think I'll also put a standard 110v light bulb in my mouth to see if I can get it to light up????


I looked at my headlight real close last night and I belive I know what happened.........

Before I ground down the extra area around the return wire in the headlight housing, I installed the "then" new bulb, turned it on and noticed it arcing, so I installed the other "new" bulb, it arced. I now think the return wire did not fit into the housing from the get-go and the return wire "Hit" / "Rubbed" the housing "bowing" it and thus cracking the Ceramic Tube..........Yep I think that's what belive. Once you have the bulb in the bulb holder and stick it in the hole you can't tell / see what's happening, unless you at the same time look though the headlight glass. I ground quite a bit off the bulb hole.....

-New bulbs should be in on Fri-Sat an I can tell you I'll be looking close when I install them.....

Gary
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post #16 of 17 Old Apr 25th, 2008, 2:04 am
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

I had to take a round file to the reflector and give it a 3/16"-1/4" gap to the wire on the bulb. Disconnecting the ground from the housing will help also. The HID light grounds back through the wires whereas the H3 grounds back through the mount.

I think your old bulbs will be usable if you file down the reflector.

dan
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post #17 of 17 Old Apr 25th, 2008, 3:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: HID High Beam Arcing to Light Housing

Got my new H3 bulbs in today, went home at lunch installed them and "Worked" like a charm! Woooohooo back in business!!!

-"Cfell" was correct the Bulbs had Cracked Return Wire Insulators....

-Be real Careful when you install your bulbs that you have enough clearance for the return wire!!!!!

-My last bulbs had a different Return wire location then my new bulbs and I had to use a round file to make way for the return wire. (So now I have two rounded out areas)
Since I checked before hand and made room for it, all worked well.

Hope you'all can learn from my mistake.....

thanks for all the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gman
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