CJ-7 Projects


Lightforce Lights - H.I.D. High-intensity discharge Upgrade

HEI Ignition System (GM Style) Installed in the AMC 360 V8
Getting rid of gremlins and improving performance

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Autogage Tachometer Installation

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 Centralia PA
Project CJ-7
Offroaders Guide
to Gearing up
for Offroad

From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights


Jeep Dana 300 TeraLow - 4:1 Gearset for the Dana 300 Transfer Case

AMC V8 Engines
GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V-8s (1956-1966) through to the GEN-3 AMC Tall-deck (1970-1991)

Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines
Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines Manufactured by General Motors - Production: 1955?2002

Hemi Engine - All about the Hemi Engine

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8 Cylinder Engines manufactured by Ford

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351 cubic inch V8 Engines manufactured by Ford

Chrysler Hemi Engine

AMC V8 hp/Torque, Compression & Bore/Stroke by year

Engine Size Conversion Table
Converting engine displacement from CID, Liters, C.C.

Engine Overheating Basics - 16 Common Causes of an Overheated Engine

Fan Clutch Diagnosis
How to tell if the Fan Clutch in your Cooling System is failing or has failed.

Automotive Gauges & Instrument Functions
Information they display & their importance.


From the
Department of Cheap   Tricks and Useful Tips

Ultra-Cool Hand Throttle for Free!

Jeep V8 Swap Tips

The Exploding Clutch

Radiator Protection using 6 bucks worth of material

Cracked Under Pressure - Fixing a smashed fingernail

A Cheap, effective alternative to undercoating

Home-built Saginaw Gearbox Brace for the cost of lunch!

Ammo Box Storage - Mounting Them for Quick Disconnect

Home-built Serious Skid-Plate protection for the Oil Pan for under 20 bucks!

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index  What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.




Project Jeep CJ-7
H.I.D. Upgrade
for Lightforce Lights

Back to Project Index

First Impressions of the
High-intensity discharge (HID) Lights


The lights were installed over a weekend.  A few nights prior to doing the installation I took “before” pictures pointing into the woods behind my house, just so I could get a controlled comparison of the Halogen lights vs. the Xenon lights.  The night I took the “after” set of pictures, my first professional comment was ... HOLY CRAP. 

These things are flame throwers. It’s not just the beam straight out but the residual light dispersed around the front of the vehicle. And they're not just brighter but more of a whiter light and definitely cooler running (cooler to the touch of the reflector housing).  I focused the beam of light to a wide angle, which is easy with the Lightforce lights with a simple rotation of the housing.  the images below say it all.  The shot on the left is the Halogen.  The beams were a little more overlapped than they should have been hence the circular pattern in the Halogen shot but that how I ran them to concentrate the light down the trail to see more.  The shot on the right is the Xenon.  With that shot I had a wider spread of the beams.  I found that I could do this because I had so much light to work with.  The incredible thing I found was the amount of spill-over light that the lights created, which made it possible to walk around the perimeter of the front of the Jeep and actually see the ground in the areas where I was walking.  The following pictures were an attempt to capture the results of the upgrade, however it's always hard to show the actual improvement in pictures.  Click for a close up.



With the Xenon bulb, the length of the bulb over the Halogen bulb is a bit longer.  Therefore the focal length of the bulb within the reflector will be a little different than the Halogen bulb in this case.  With the HID, the light source sits deeper into the reflector.  The net effect is that you will have to adjust the reflector out a little more with the Xenon bulbs.  Further than the Halogen to get the same light spread.  This is not a problem as the Lightforce reflector has a triple O-ring seal and a long threaded neck.  I may put a slightly larger O-ring on the neck to ensure there is a good seal and maybe put a little lithium grease on the seal to allow it to slip when adjusting.  Just be sure not to get any grease inside the reflector and especially not onto the bulb.   Just to ensure there is an adequate seal, I move the o-ring that would be used if the reflector was full seated, to the base of the threads, where it would be in use.  In this location, it would actually work as an additional o-ring seal again when the reflector is rotated out for a wider beam.



Lightforce Lights Tough Test
How Tough are they?
Watch this ...


Information about HID - High Intensity Discharge

The HID (High-intensity discharge) light has basically 3 modes of operation, start, warm-up and run.

There are three components in the HID system, the bulb, ballast, and igniter. Most HID systems have the igniter located in the ballast, some have it located with the bulb and some as a separate component.

The bulb before start-up, has an open-circuit impedance, so during the start mode, the igniter fires a short duration pulse of 2000 to 5000 volts. After the arc is established, the bulb impedance reduces dramatically and the warm-up mode begins. During warm-up mode, the ballast supplies an AC square wave, 400 or 500hz at about 50volts and ramp up to about 80 volts in a few seconds, then it’s in run mode.

There is another case, where the light is turned off and then turned back on, called re-light. Depending on bulb temperature, re-light may take up to 23,000 volts to re-establish the arc, thus the need for a 23,000 volt ballast.

The wiring to the HID bulb is rated at 25kv, and 50kv with the wires. There is no common mode such as vehicle ground, so it’s very safe. Even so, care must be given not to damage the wires.

During operation, ff an arc cannot be established during start mode, the ballast will cease operation until it is cycled off then back on.


Not all HID Lights are created equal

For the Philips HID bulbs, notice the metal structure securing the bulb to the base, these have spot welds.  For the "made in china" bulb, which includes their version of the D2S, notice the lack of metal support structure.  Instead there is some type of cement.  In some testing during the development of this kit, one bulb had become loose in the cement, possibly from heat or vibration, (there was little or no vibration during the testing). This was one of several noted problems.  The bottom line is you are going to get what you pay for.

Philips HID bulbs

China Made HID bulbs


About Xenon

Xenon is a member of the zero-valence elements that are called noble or inert gases, however, "inert" is not a completely accurate description of this chemical series since some noble gas compounds have been synthesized. In a gas filled tube, xenon emits a blue glow when the gas is excited by electrical discharge. Using tens of gigapascals of pressure, xenon has been forced into a metallic phase.

This gas is most widely and most famously used in light-emitting devices called Xenon flash lamps, which are used in photographic flashes and stroboscopic lamps.

Continuous, short-arc, high pressure Xenon arc lamps have a color temperature closely approximating noon sunlight and are used in solar simulators, some projection systems, automotive HID headlights and other specialized uses. They are an excellent source of short wavelength ultraviolet light and they have intense emissions in the near infrared, which are used in some night vision systems.

High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps include these types of electrical lamps: mercury vapor, metal halide (also HQI), high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium and less common, xenon short-arc lamps. The light-producing element of these lamp types is a well-stabilized arc discharge contained within a refractory envelope (arc tube) with wall loading in excess of 3 W/cm² (19.4 W/in.²).

Compared to fluorescent and incandescent lamps, HID lamps produce a much larger quantity of light in a relatively small package.


Where to get the Ligthforce HID Kit:
Off-Road Lights
Give them a call at:
for a great price on a set.





Project Jeep CJ-7 
H.I.D. Upgrade
for Lightforce Lights

Back to Project Index




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Latest trips Offroad
... trail reports with the Project CJ-7
click here.

Sounds System, Raised the Rear Seat
Storage below and a great place to mount 6x9 Speakers for Great Bass ... In a Jeep!

York AC Compressor Conversion.  What used to pump Freon, now pumps compressed air to the front and rear bumpers.  125 psi,  2 gallons of storage, air fittings at the bumpers, enough CFM to power air tools!.  Click Here for more  Details


Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle ? Project CRUSHER

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

ARB Air Locker Install
Jeep Wide Track Axles Swap

Mud Tire Reviews

Building a Garage?
Need a Garage Plan?

Reader's Rigs and Seriously Stucks!


Jeep Trans Swap Info
T-18A Transmission Rebuild & Short Shaft Conversion