9004 to 9007 bulb conversion
I wanted to change my wimpy 9004 bulbs to 9007. At first glance the bulbs look identical, but in fact they are quite different. The 9004 bulb has a wattage rating of 45 watts on low beam and 65 watts on high beam, where as the 9007 bulbs have 55 watts of low beam power and 65 watts of high beam power. Already we know that the extra 10 watts are going to help. Differences don?t end there. The socket looks the same but the wiring is different. For a 9004 bulb the terminals are high, low, and ground. For a 9007 they are high, ground, and low. Also, the bases have different indents for the nubs that stick out inside the headlight housing. The bulb like a key and it only fits into the headlight one way, and like keys they are not interchangeable. The 9004 bulb won?t fit 9007 housing and vice versa. The upper one is the only one in the same location. Now the biggest and most significant difference is the orientation of the filaments. The 9004 bulb uses transverse filaments meaning they are perpendicular to the bulb base. The 9007 bulb uses axial filaments, meaning they are parallel to the bulb base. Plain and simple the beam patter of a 9007 is superior to the 9004. If you haven?t noticed, Nissan doesn?t use 9004 any more. This should mean something. I should also mention that out 9004 housings were not designed for 9007 bulbs. Now this in a way is a bad thing. We are not getting the full potential out of the much-improved 9007, but the improvement is still very noticeable. Also the output is not uncontrollable like a HID conversion kit, which is actually very dangerous. Our housings cannot be aimed properly and because of this HID retrofits produce terrible oncoming glare. 9007 is the next best thing. Now that you know the story lets get modding.
You can do a basic 9007 install using the stock wiring. First swap the low beam and ground wires on both harnesses. Either pull apart the connector to switch the wires or cut the wires and swap them. The low beam wire is green with a yellow tracer for the driver?s side and blue with a black tracer for the passenger?s side. The ground for both sides is black with white dots. Then file down the two lower nubs on the housing where the bulb goes in. Put the 9007 bulb in and plug it in. Aim if needed. That?s it.
For an upgraded harness you could buy one and modify it slightly for the differences between the 9004 and 9007 wires. Or you can also get more involved by making an upgraded headlight harness. There is a great write up to be found at http://www.geocities.com/craigbrace/. I used these directions for my set up. I have a plug and play set up, meaning no cutting or splicing wires. If I want to I can use 9004 bulbs with the stock wiring at any time. What I did was use an old bulb, took it all apart, and soldered the wires directly to the terminals. This is the harness that triggers the relays: high, low, and ground. Pretty simple but it?s not fun taking apart a bulb. To keep the passenger?s side stock harness clean I used another bulb to make a water tight seal. It?s just the plastic base with the end full of hot melt glue sealing up the holes.
You can do this for the cost of new bulbs. The Xtravision are $10 each, pretty good deal if you ask me. You can buy everything you need to make your own from Wal-Mart. They have the 9004-9007 sockets, 12 gauge wire, solder, soldering iron, electrical tape, wire loom, miscellaneous connectors and terminals. I don?t think they have the relays and I know they don?t sell the Xtravisions. I have at least $30 into my harness. If you don?t have a lot of electrical stuff lying around you?re better off buying a ready-made harness. APC sell an upgraded harness for $40 or so.
I drove last night and this morning in the pitch dark. The low beam is much brighter, spreads better, and the cut off is more abrupt. The high beam patter is totally different too. It?s like having high beam and low beam on together. The light is great with visibility much improved. My fog lights are not really needed anymore. I will take beam pattern pictures soon, with a comparison between 9004 and 9007 high and low beam. One huge note is that I?m using 9007 Sylvania Xtravisons that are supposed to be 20% brighter anyway. The color temp is the same as stock but it is much brighter. I do like he color of my 9004 Wagner Truviews but I?m sure they are not as bright as the Xtravisions.
This is the driver's side harness. It shows my plug and play connector using a regular light bulb base.
Here are some close ups of the two light bulb bases I modified:
Hot melt glue is my friend.