Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) Tech Guide

In the world of automobiles, there are three main types of lighting used today; Halogen, Xenon (HID), and LED. Halogen is the most common and also the oldest and most tried technology available. Halogen bulbs are used in every aspect of daily life, not just on your car. Most household bulbs are Halogen, they are cheap to make and have been in use since the early 1900′s. Halogen bulbs consist of a metal filament that glows when electrical current is sent through it, and Halogen gas inside the bulb is used to help promote long life and durability.

Xenon High Intensity Discharge, or HID, is a newer technology with many benefits over a standard Halogen type bulb. Instead of using a metal filament that is prone to failure over long term use due to high heat, Xenon bulbs use Xenon gas to create light instead. A steady electrical current is sent through the gas causing it to ignite which gives you the brilliant white light we have come to love from Xenon. There are a few advantages to using Xenon over Halogen, one being the significantly longer life, another being a brighter white color vs. Halogen’s yellowish light. Xenon technology also uses less wattage than a Halogen bulb and therefore Xenon runs significantly cooler than it’s Halogen counterpart. This lower temperature reduces risk of fire and premature failure. The white light emitted by Xenon bulbs also better represent daylight and make nighttime driving easier on the eyes.

LED technology, or Light Emitting Diode, is the newest technology available to the automotive lighting world. These tiny bulbs come in many colors, sizes, and shapes. They use the least amount of power out of the three technologies and run cool by comparison. They also have the longest life of all the bulb types because there is no heat to cause component failure. The downside to LEDs is their brightness, they are rather dim by comparison, and in order to create a similar amount of light to that of a Xenon bulb, you would need dozens of the smaller LEDs.

So now that we know how they work and what the benefits are, it’s pretty easy to see why HID technology has really dominated the automotive market when it comes to headlamps. You get the brightest whitest light available in a package that outlasts Halogen and runs cooler. Another advantage to Xenon technology is the ability to offer different “Color Temperatures” with different kits for different applications to fine tune the perfect look for each and every customer.

Typically HID color temps range from 4300k all the way to 12,000k. Although you may assume a higher number means the light is brighter, it’s actually the exact opposite. A 12,000k HID bulb emits a blue almost purple light, however this blue light isn’t as effective when it comes to illuminating a night road. Many people assume that the higher the number, the brighter the light…this is incorrect. The higher the color temperature the less usable light you have to use. A 4300k tempurature will create a pure white light that peirces through the night, and is by far the best at lighting up a night road. The kelvin rating is for color, the output is measured in lumens. A 35W HID bulb outputs 3x the lumens that a 55W Halogen bulb would output. The image below shows the differences in color temps from 4300k to 12,000k.

If you are looking for an HID package that will not stand out too much and will offer better visibility without the blue tint, 4300k is the perfect temperature for you. This is a pure white light that is the closest to a Halogen bulb’s color output. 6000k is our most popular temperature as is adds a bit of stylish blue tint without reducing visibility. There is almost no difference in visibility between a 4300k HID and a 6000k HID. Once you get to 8000k and above you start losing a small amount usable light, but you get the stylish blue tint that many enthusiasts demand from their HID kits. No matter what you choose in terms of color temperature, it will almost certainly be an improvement over your stock Halogens. Not just in terms of light output, but in longevity as well.

Now that we’ve covered the technology and color temps, what about the hardware? Included with every HID kit are ballasts. The job of the ballasts is to regulate electric current through the Xenon gas within the HID bulb. Without the ballast, the current would vary and the light would flicker. Ballasts come in many shapes and sizes, and depending on the quality of the kit their materials will vary. Cheap kits use plastic ballasts that are prone to overheating and pose a fire risk. Quality ballasts are constructed of metal materials and will last significantly longer in the harsh environment of your engine bay.

Below are some customer images showing different color temperatures:

4300K

6000k

8000k

10,000k

For more information on StangMods HID kits, visit our store and view our HID selection at: http://www.stangmods.com/Mustang-HID-Lighting-s/61.htm – Here you will find kits for late model Mustangs as well as kits for Non-Mustang applications.

Boss 302 TracKey System

Shortly after the new Boss 302 was released Ford Racing Development came out with the innovative “TracKey” system. You purchase the TracKey, take your new key and your Boss 302 to Ford and they will set up a custom tune that improves throttle response, cam timing, and allows you to use a launch control system and much more. This is all pretty awesome, but where exactly is the TracKey? It’s been almost a year now and the key still isn’t available to the public. Luckily that’s all about to change. The delay was primarily brought on by California’s strict emissions laws which would make the use of the key illegal. Finally the state of California is giving the TracKey a green light, and Ford is to announce the sale of the TracKey system for sale to the entire US at SEMA 2011.

The TracKey itself will be available from your favorite Ford Racing retailer, however you will be required to take the key to your local Ford dealer along with your new Boss 302 for proper tuning. The tune effects over 600 engine parameters within the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) which increase driving pleasure, not just things you can feel, but also things you can hear. Since the release of the new Coyote 5.0 engine, tuners have realized the true potential of the new engine and the tuning possibilities. We are looking forward to some more detailed information about how real world 302′s are affected by the upcoming TracKey system, we have already seen how the launch control system works and how the tune makes for an aggressive cammed exhaust note, but considering how comprehensive this tune is supposed to be, there have got to be other improvements felt while driving the car with the special red key. Keep posted for more information in the next few months about the final release of the TracKey system!

In the mean time, check out this video courtesy of Ford Racing which shows the difference in exhaust note with the standard key and the TracKey.

Facebook Fan Page Store

Over the weekend we will be launching our Facebook Fan Page Store! Here you will be able to find a few of our most popular items at discount compared to on our website. Over the years we have gotten great feedback and support from our customers on Facebook, so to give back we are excited to offer these discounts to anyone who visits our Fan Page. Better yet, all of these items are In Stock and Ready To Ship!

To find the store on our Fan Page, click the “Social Store” tab on the left side of the page under our profile photo. Click Here to check it out now!

SSS Exhausts Back In Stock for 99-04 GT, Mach1 & Bullitt

After a long backorder from the manufacturer we finally got a shipment of these stainless steel exhaust in for 99-04 V8 Mustangs (except Cobra). For those of you in the market for a high quality stainless exhaust system for your 1999-2004 look no further than SSS’s great systems.

The Terminator system is loud and aggressive. The Adrenaline system is a bit more low key but still gives a very aggressive exhaust note. Two different sounds but both have the same exquisite build quality. Being stainless steel, these systems won’t rust like cheaper steel systems and will give years of performance and good looks.

We have a limited supply so act quickly!

You can find the two systems at the following links to our store:

Adrenaline Cat-Back Exhaust for 99-04 GT, Mach 1 & Bullitt

Terminator Cat-Back Exhaust for 99-04 GT, Mach 1 & Bullitt

New StangMods 2010+ GT LED Running Lamps

We recently received these new LED running lamps for 2010+ GT Mustangs in! They are bright white in color and are very similar to an HID 6000k color temp.  A great way to class up the front of your GT and are a great add on to any HID equipped car. They are very bright and can be seen from great distances, they really transform the way the front of the GT looks. Make people wonder what’s coming up behind them in their rear view mirror…

Let us know what you think! These will be for sale on our site and come with all needed hardware for installation. LEDs use very little power and wiring is a simple splice job. They require three small holes on either side in the lower side grills of the  GT bumper, and fasten with locking washers and nuts. Each kit comes with a template so you know exactly where to drill the holes for the lights to mount.

The LED bars then slide into the holes you drilled. The wiring must also be fed through the third hole to ensure a clean install. We opted to remove the bumper to make installation much easier, but the install can be done without removing the front bumper, it just requires more time and patience.

On the back side of the bumper you will see the two threaded posts and the wire coming through. Using the included locking washers and 5/16th nuts fasten the bar to the bumper for a secure fit.

BBK Parts Now Available!

We are in the process of adding BBK’s comprehensive line of Mustang performance parts to our online store. BBK has been in the Mustang industry for over 20 years and manufactures in-house many exhaust systems, intakes, throttle bodies, and much more. All their parts are manufactured in the USA and are tested on cars to ensure maximum performance potential. Affordable, high quality, and durable for long lasting use on street or race applications. Check out our line of BBK parts in our BBK category.

View Our BBK Selection