2007~2015 Headlight Improvement

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2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Anybody else find that their headlights suck? I did an HID projector retrofit in my previous car and they were awesome. I figured the CX-9 having factory HID projectors would be great, but I am so disappointed with their output. I was going to upgrade the bulbs, but they are already Osram 66240's, which are a very good bulb.

Wondering if changing the ballast's and ignitor's would help.
 

sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Have you tried replacing the bulbs yet? I would try new bulbs first. When I replaced the 7-year old HID bulbs in my 08 IS250 with Philips HID bulbs, there was a visible improvement in output.

From what I've read, ballasts and ignitors will either work, or they won't, meaning their age will not be reflected in the light output. If the lights are flickering or if they don't turn on at all, that could be a ballast/ignitor issue. If light output isn't good, but it's consistent, it's most likely a bulb issue.
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
I changed the left bulb, but didn't notice a difference. I put the old one back in because it was freezing cold and the right side is a biatch to change. I was saddened to find the bulbs in there were the Osram's; they should be performing way better than they are. I bought the Morimito XB's, same as what I had in my old car, and they were awesome.

I agree with you on the ballast and ignitors. Other than the poor light output, everything is working as it should. Maybe I will wait for some warmth and just swap both bulbs out
 

sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
It's a bit of a long shot, but I wonder if it could be an electrical issue as well, like maybe the headlights aren't getting enough current or something. Do the lights dim when the A/C or heater kicks on?
 

helbigtw

T-Rav
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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
That's weird. I'm still running original bulbs and they are still crazy bright (2008). Best lights by far of any car I've owned.
 

sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
Could your bulbs be misaligned or installed incorrectly? I know you've got some technical knowledge under your belt, so I'm sure you know what you're doing under the hood, but I know that I've missed simple things before. Hell, I'm not even sure if the bulbs in the first gen can be installed wrong, haha.

How do your lenses look?
 
V
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2015
Im running Osram NBLs on stock HID housing and output is amazing...though low and high does not have any significant difference on the stock projectors
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
That's weird. I'm still running original bulbs and they are still crazy bright (2008). Best lights by far of any car I've owned.
Im running Osram NBLs on stock HID housing and output is amazing...though low and high does not have any significant difference on the stock projectors
And this is why I am questioning my lights.



Could your bulbs be misaligned or installed incorrectly? I know you've got some technical knowledge under your belt, so I'm sure you know what you're doing under the hood, but I know that I've missed simple things before. Hell, I'm not even sure if the bulbs in the first gen can be installed wrong, haha.

How do your lenses look?
Bulbs are seated and aligned properly. Yes, I have been in the automotive biz for 30+ years and have built and modified many a vehicle over the years, so I like to think I know a little. LOL And yes, missing the simple and obvious can always happen, thus why I am never afraid to ask. The lenses are pretty good. The left one had some slight hazing when I bought the car back in August. I gave them both a quick polish and most of the hazing is now gone. I do plan on giving them both a wet sanding in the spring to make them even better.
 

helbigtw

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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Tried an amperage test on incoming pigtail connectors to confirm good power to the assemblies? This is first I've heard of this problem on a GT. I've heard some that blew an ignitor but the only people who have ever mentioned low output are halogen owners. Keep us posted
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Tried an amperage test on incoming pigtail connectors to confirm good power to the assemblies? This is first I've heard of this problem on a GT. I've heard some that blew an ignitor but the only people who have ever mentioned low output are halogen owners. Keep us posted
Hmm, ok. I will do that for sure.
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Here is a good comparison. Images taken in almost the same spot. The CX-9.....

Headlight_001.jpg



And my old car with my home made projector retrofit (further from the wall, but more intense light).....

Headlight_Retrofit_129.jpg
 

helbigtw

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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Your cutoff is set really low. Mine are much higher. I have only adjusted a couple of times but I would road test then find a wall, make an adjustment, road test again, adjust again. That seems like a really low aim.
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Your cutoff is set really low. Mine are much higher. I have only adjusted a couple of times but I would road test then find a wall, make an adjustment, road test again, adjust again. That seems like a really low aim.
The cutoff is higher than my car. If I adjust the with the dash dial, they get worse as they move up. Notice the lack of forefront light. That is my issue. It's like the intensity of the bulb isn't there. I will keep this in mind though.
 

helbigtw

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PA
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08 CX-9 GT FWD
Dash dial is for towing. Rear end weight you dial the beam down. Otherwise the aim is adjusted via white plastic inlet on top of headlamp housing. I will post pics later
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Dash dial is for towing. Rear end weight you dial the beam down. Otherwise the aim is adjusted via white plastic inlet on top of headlamp housing. I will post pics later
All good, I know how to adjust the headlight housings. And yes the dash dial is for towing or lots of heavy passengers; it still lowers the cut-off. My point was that the light is aligned low and the output (forefront) sucks. Raising the cutoff makes the output even worse.
 
V
2014 Ford Explorer Sport, 2009 CX9(Wife's)
Pictures can be deceiving, your CX9's seem a little dim, but not terrible.
Were the pictures of the CX9 and the other car taken with the same camera settings (not Auto).

Also, I don't think comparing an aftermarket kit to OEM is a fair comparison.
What are the specs on your other car's lights?

Last, not sure how the output changes when raising the lights. What do the lenses on you headlights look like? Are the clear, no yellowing? Actual output should not change, but the perceived output may since you are casting further down the road and not focusing as much as the foreground. More light in the foreground looks brighter, but your eyes adjust for that brighter light and you actually less in the distance.

You should see the output from my 2014 Explorer with halogen bulbs. I drove my wife's 09 CX9 yesterday and her lights are much brighter than my Explorer's.
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Pictures can be deceiving, your CX9's seem a little dim, but not terrible.
Were the pictures of the CX9 and the other car taken with the same camera settings (not Auto).
Yes, pictures aren't always the best. The two images I posted above were taken in the same underground parking lot, with my iPhone on auto, the CX9 was about 5' closer to the wall.



Also, I don't think comparing an aftermarket kit to OEM is a fair comparison.
What are the specs on your other car's lights?
True. My point was that my car had the smallest projector due the size of the housings, vs the CX9 being a large projector. My old car had the Morimito 4.0 projector and Acme standard H1 5k & 6k bulbs.







Last, not sure how the output changes when raising the lights. What do the lenses on you headlights look like? Are the clear, no yellowing? Actual output should not change, but the perceived output may since you are casting further down the road and not focusing as much as the foreground. More light in the foreground looks brighter, but your eyes adjust for that brighter light and you actually less in the distance.
The most output is right below the cutoff, so when that is changed, the output changes. Lenses are pretty good; I polished out some hazing in the left side a few months ago. I know lighting very well, and these suck. LOL
 
V
2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
Just wanted to post this for future reference. The first image is my old car and the second image is the CX-9; same location and roughly the same time at night. It shows what I am talking about; the amount of light produced by the old car is WAY more than the CX-9.

020.jpg


0021.jpg




And here is the CX-9 with the foglights on as well (you can hardly tell).....

0022.jpg
 
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