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Discussion Starter #301
Emailed theshadow27 but haven't heard any response yet so I thought I'd try finding him/help here. I am fairly certain I've connected everything properly but as this is my first install maybe I've just missed something. The issue is that when the car turns on the lights come on for a second then simultaneously go back out. No bulb out warnings. I've tried to hook the same system up with a relay harness to help diagnose the problem and the lights come on but since I don't have an anti flicker capacitor on hand those don't stay on for more than a couple minutes without issue either. I've tried quite a few things and now don't really know what to do. Any ideas?

Hi WestCost - Sorry, I didn't see any email, please PM me with your address?

Nick is right, if they turn on and go back off it is a DRL issue - make sure the LSM is in position II. You can do a DRL Disarm or DRL Disable to prevent this from happening by accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #302
Hey guys, tried installing skbowe and having issues. Wondering if I could get some help here? Thanks
Are you SN #077? I replied to your email on 10/20 and never heard back, maybe check your spam:

Sorry to hear you are having trouble, I will gladly help.

The shutdown-after-2-seconds is a soft current limiter. If it is accompanied by a bulb failure warning, then it is the ballast computer, otherwise if no warning (it’s a silent code) then it is the CEM limiter.

Soft shutdown means your setup is drawing too much power. This could be caused by a number of things:

1) DRL position- 99% of the time this is the cause. make sure you have LSM (headlight switch) in pos II (“on”) or have DRL disarmed/disabled at all times when using HIDs. See
https://www.skbowe.com/a/issues/#drl_and_hids

2) bulb burn in- sometimes with brand new bulbs/ballasts the bulbs take extra current to burn in. Solution is to run the setup off DC for a while until they are burnt in. Check if they stay on if you activate via the high beam stalk (lock high beams on) with the key out for DC.

3) there is a short circuit somewhere - note that this is less likely, each side is independent so both sides would have to short the same way for them to turn off concurrently. Check all the wiring especially the high voltage side for nicks, loose connections. Add dielectric grease to the HV connectors (I already added some to the SKBOWE ). Make sure that insulation didn’t fray inside of headlight housing, it gets very brittle with age.

4) weak charging system - this is a long shot, but sometimes if the alternator/battery are on their way out the voltage at the ballast will be so low that they draw excessive current. Check your battery voltage, it should be over 13v when off and over 14 when on.

Each SKBOWE goes through a 30 minute burn in on the trestbench which simulates the CEM so I am fairly confident that they are ok. If they turn on at all the polarity is correct.

Let me know if you can narrow down some of these scenarios and we will get you up and running ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #303
Do you have DRLs? Sounds similar to what happens when you try to start the lights with the switch in position 0 and the ballasts can't handle the low voltage. Turn them to position II (on) and try again?
+1; but to clarify, you have to turn the ignition off key out first, then LSM to position II (on), then ignition back on. Once the "short circuit" silent code trips, you have to restart the car.
 

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Hey, sorry I never received your email theshadow. Yes I'm s/n 077. I am aware of the drl issue with our cars, pretty sure I had it in position 2. Unfortunately I'm going to be away from my car for a couple days so I won't be able to check. When I get back I'll take another look and report what I find. Thank you guys!
 

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The customs finally relented and SKBOWE arrived at my door today! Their idea of "customer service" was a cool three weeks' delay, the original trackable shipping was lightning fast, though.

I haven't had time to even open the package yet but I've already made a plan for the weekend, laying SKBOWE units, Retrofitlab bixenon kit and both headlights on a table and completing the conversion in one sitting. I just moved and most of my tools are still boxed up all over the place (and locked up - where the heck did I put the tool cart keys?) but this seems straightforward enough to be completed with the limited contents of an emergency tool box.

If I figure out where I packed the SLR, I could take a couple of before/after shots with fixed aperture/exposure/ISO/shutter for comparison. Maybe even lumen readings, providing that I find the lux meter too. So here we go, this is going to be interesting.
 

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Mid-installation update (sorry, couldn't find my camera yet)...

This is the easiest HID retrofit I've ever done, by a huge margin. It took me literally less than ten minutes to remove the passenger headlight, replace the halogen projector with a bixenon unit, plug in the SKBOWE between power supply and ballast, attach the ground wire and tuck in everything for testing functionality.

It works right off the bat. No error codes, no problems at all, nothing. Just a normal faint buzz from the ballast powering up and it's done, like a factory option. Without the fear of blowing up the wiper module or anything.

Combined with a bolt-on bixenon retrofit kit (Retrofitlab S40/V50 kit also has plug-in connectors for high beam solenoid) SKBOWE is probably the hottest sh*t that has happened in P1 lighting upgrade field ever. MASSIVELY installation-friendly, and now I just have to find a place where to secure it and the ballast by screws. It'll probably take longer than the actual installation.

Hats off to theshadow27, big time! I really wish a solution like this existed to the numerous electrical and lighting issues I've stumbled across in other vehicles over the years. I'm only kicking myself for not placing an order sooner, the difference in brightness is as pronounced as ever when upgrading from low beam projector halogen to bixenon. And so far I've only tried the mediocre XD35 bulbs and 35W ballasts that came with the kit. Philips XtremeVision D2S bulbs and 50-ish watt ballasts may well be the ticket for an ideal balance between candlepower and longevity.

To be continued...
 

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just finished the install. everything went well with a few hicups but none the less wow great output and massive improvement over basic headlights.
found a pair of oem second gen bi's at the junkyard so got pretty lucky there. switched over the projectors to the hids, no problems.
the only problem is how did yall get your ballasts to fit on the passenger side....very tight fit. might have to redo the set up in a while but so far it works and i spent way to long (all day) installing these.
will post pics soon .
but again super imporvement over hids. thankyou Shadow for doing this for all of us.

Morimoto xb55 ballast 6500 35w bulbs oem second gen projectors .
 

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Mid-installation update (sorry, couldn't find my camera yet)...

This is the easiest HID retrofit I've ever done, by a huge margin. It took me literally less than ten minutes to remove the passenger headlight, replace the halogen projector with a bixenon unit, plug in the SKBOWE between power supply and ballast, attach the ground wire and tuck in everything for testing functionality.

It works right off the bat. No error codes, no problems at all, nothing. Just a normal faint buzz from the ballast powering up and it's done, like a factory option. Without the fear of blowing up the wiper module or anything.
So, if I understood this correctly, you did what I am planning on doing to my 2007 V50 T5 AWD:

* Acquire bi-xenon headlight housings from the newer models (eBay has 'em used by ~$300 a pair, probably less if I check a salvage lot)
* Purchase SKBOWE to avoid error codes
* install both, enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #310
So, if I understood this correctly, you did what I am planning on doing to my 2007 V50 T5 AWD:

* Acquire bi-xenon headlight housings from the newer models (eBay has 'em used by ~$300 a pair, probably less if I check a salvage lot)
* Purchase SKBOWE to avoid error codes
* install both, enjoy.
Not exactly, it is actually more work to use the bi-xenon housings than it is to replace the projectors in halogen housings. With the Volvo Bi-Xenon housings you need to do some re-wiring internally and splice the SKBOWE into the factory harness on the car-side of the headlight harness.

That said, the projectors are very easy to remove and replace from inside of the housings (3 screws). So with a pair of AL projectors and all of the right parts, with a lot of experience, it is possible to replace them in 10 minutes per side.
 

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It's sad to say that my last post here was this month last year and I still have not done this retrofit. We've had some car shuffling over the last year. I was driving the S40 at the time, then we bought the current S60 which I started driving and my son got the S40 for a while. This fall he went off to college and took the S60 and I've been driving the S40 since fall. It looks like I'll have it for a while until the right V50 falls into my lap. For now I'm back at it, and just bought a used EHPS pump to retrofit my '05 version so I'll have more room on the passenger side for ballast mounting.

Here's my question for now. Last year I bought two used headlights and one of them had a broken mount for the cap retaining clip. Here's a few pics. What do you guys think the best fix would be? Or is there even a fix to be had?






the good side
 

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The second option would be for long term vehicle longevity for Low/High beam, meaning the high beam would also need a reflector, adding to the cost.

Is there a list of what HID kits are recommended? Being new to this, really just want to get the bang for the buck, as night driving is something I do often.
(I moved this conversation from the halogen upgrade thread here where it's more appropriate)

The cost for decent baseline bixenon modules with bulbs and ballasts is usually somewhere between $250-350, compared to $70-150 for simple H-base bulb and ballast kits without replacing the low beam only projector module.

My shortlist for acceptable ballasts may be a bit dated, but Kensun, Ollo, Morimoto and more recently Aharon have proved to be decent bang for the buck. Brand-name ballasts like Hella, Koito, Bosch etc. are better but 2-3 times more expensive. As far as bulbs are concerned, most H-base "kit" bulbs are hit and miss and not very long-lived so it's a good idea to keep a spare pair. Brand name bulbs aren't available with H-base, only D-base, so you'll more or less have to make do with whatever comes with a kit.

It's also a good idea to keep the color temperature at 5000K max, preferably between 4000 and 4500K. Lower color temperature bulbs are typically more efficient, ie. more light to the road per watt, and physiologically the human eye has better light sensitivity and depth perception at around 4000K, depending on the color reproduction qualities of the light and its spectrum. Nearly all of my HID bulbs are 4300K, the only exceptions being some higher quality bulbs (Philips XtremeVision etc.) that are only available in 4800-5000K. Anything above 5000K is a dealbreaker for me.

Good luck. Unless you choose an el-cheapo no-name eBay kit it's hard to go wrong and the difference between halogen and HID is substantial.
 

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Discussion Starter #313
@beachnut - lol procrastinate much? Re: the broken housing, it’s glass reenforced nylon which is really hard to get epoxy to adhere to. My suggestion is to bend some stainless steel sheet metal into a T shape. Fold the top of the T into a U that fits snugly around the sides of the post with the vertical part of the T facing upwards. Then, fold the part sticking up back down inside the post, so that both sides of the break have metal. Really rouhen up the surfaces with 36 grit sandpaper make sure it is clean and dry. Use nylon-compatible epoxy (check the labels, might need to look online) to secure the metal in place. Before it cures, add 2-4 1/8” pop rivets to provide mechanical strength. Once it’s cured, you can drill back out the hole for the retaining clip.
 

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Whens the next batch going to be ready?
 

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Discussion Starter #315
Targeting a Jan15 ship date. Haven’t had a chance to update the inventory yet, I think there are 9 left? Serial #90 just preordered.
 

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Did my retrofit last night. Thanks to Jacob for the help!

Currently running with the stock projector housing and H11 HIDs. Aside from cutting a hole in the back cover, this is a plug and play setup and low beam performance is literally a night and day difference (pun intended).

Morimoto 55w ballasts, ignitors and 5500k bulbs.


Laying out the connections with the SKBOWE:


To get the bulbs to fire up, I had to flip the connector at the bulb end:


Comparison:








 

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Has anyone had any issues with their SKBOWE and HIDs in the cold? Mine don't always like to start on the first try in the cold. Usually have to restart or turn on home safe lighting and then start the car. Only happens when it's really cold out. Using an SKBOWE and DDM Tuning HID kit.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
 

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Has anyone had any issues with their SKBOWE and HIDs in the cold? Mine don't always like to start on the first try in the cold.
Not with SKBOWE but with crappy HID kits in general. Chinese el-cheapo ballasts and bulbs have often started malfunctioning prematurely and requiring several attempts before they finally light up. I'm not sure what the overall build quality of DDM kit is, but an educated guess based on their product pictures (plastic base bulbs, generic bulk-type ballasts) isn't necessarily too encouraging.

That's the main reason I insist on D-type (D2S etc.) bulbs to be able to use brand-name items and pay close attention to ballasts on main headlights. Auxiliary lights may well be either cheap or totally experimental because they're not used on daily basis and if they fail you can make do without them. Even then I keep at least one spare ballast/bulb pair in the trunk on longer trips, just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #319 (Edited)
Did my retrofit last night. Thanks to Jacob for the help!
:beer:


Has anyone had any issues with their SKBOWE and HIDs in the cold? Mine don't always like to start on the first try in the cold. Usually have to restart or turn on home safe lighting and then start the car. Only happens when it's really cold out. Using an SKBOWE and DDM Tuning HID kit.
Not with SKBOWE but with crappy HID kits in general.
+1

The SKBOWE is rated to operate between -55°c – 105°c (-67°F - 221°F), so unless you are in Antarctica, it's probably your ballasts :)

Remember DDM is the "Budget" option... they are able to sell an entire kit for the cost of one D2S bulb by cutting corners, and cold-weather performance is one area where this shows.

Edit: Looks like the car is only rated down to -40°c, so if you are in Antartica, you've probably got bigger problems...
http://new.volvocars.com/ownersdocs/2005/2005_s40/05s40_12a.htm
 

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+1

The SKBOWE is rated to operate between -55°c – 105°c (-67°F - 221°F), so unless you are in Antarctica, it's probably your ballasts :)

Remember DDM is the "Budget" option... they are able to sell an entire kit for the cost of one D2S bulb by cutting corners, and cold-weather performance is one area where this shows.
Oh yeah, I know it's definitely not sure problem with the skbowe. Those things are like bricks lol.

I have been thinking about upgrading to a morimoto kit. I contacted DDM and they want me to buy a harness to "add more voltage to the lights". Id rather just get the morimoto kit than add another harness. Thanks for the info!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
 
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