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-   -   Yet another HID Kit Review: APEXCONE Raptor V2 (http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129072)

alaskajoel 01-16-2010 11:55 PM

Yet another HID Kit Review: APEXCONE Raptor V2
 
HID threads are becoming nearly as numerous as threads asking “which type of oil should I use?”, but unlike most of the numerous oil threads, I think many of you will be benefited by my findings here.

Firstly, I mean no disdain towards vendors selling other types of kits, or HID setups. I have bought from two separate vendors here, enjoyed a positive experience overall and appreciate their patronage to our site. I am not affiliated with, nor do I have anything to gain by this review. I have simply endured various types of frustrations with other kits, and have found what I believe to be a superior value. Again, I only wish to better our community by offering another option for those of you looking to enrich your automotive lighting experience.

DDM Tuning is a United States distributor based out of California for various brands including Bilstein, Eagle eyes, Apexcone, H&R as well as their own DDM branded products. Many of you, myself included, have used the DDM Slim kits sold by various vendors on our site and others at a great value. Although using these kits are effective methods of installing a basic HID setup on your vehicle, their reliability, as reported by myself and others, is subpar in many cases. I recently did a review of the VOLT HID kit, and compared and contrasted to my DDM Slim here: http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100651

I had been very impressed with the VOLT kit, until I used one in an install that didn’t work much better than the DDM Slim kits I had used previously. I decided to branch out, and try a new setup offered by DDM Tuning. These are Apexcone’s new Raptor V2 line of economy hid kits. After speaking with some of the folks over at DDM Tuning, I decided to go with the 55 watt setup over the 35 watt setup for a few reasons. The 55w ballasts are slightly larger than the 35w ballasts because the components are built better so as to sustain the increased electrical demands. I am also told that their redesign is considerably more robust and durable than the raptor V1s. Additionally, they provide more light output, although I will get to that later.

Upon initial inspection, I have to compliment their exterior design and durability. They’re much heavier than other ballasts I’ve used, and appear very well built. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Both top and bottom are very reflective, with etching on the one side explaining model, wattage, etc.
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000296.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000294.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000295.jpg

Bulbs look to be fairly standard, and connections also look to be similar to those used in other ballasts. (IE you can buy another set of bulbs in different color or size, and they plug directly into the ballast) I opted to buy the Wiring harness instead of making my own so I could test the setup both with and without it.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000315.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000312.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000316.jpg

I also purchased new bulb caps to drill, so I can return to stock if it becomes necessary. (part number 84953AG060)

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000311.jpg

Install took about 20-30 min. (same as any other hid kit install) One of my gripes about this kit is the difficulty associated with mounting a larger ballast in our engine bay, and still having it look clean. No mounting hardware was included, other than a pair of zip ties. I completed the install first with the relay harness, and then again without it and never reinstalled it. (I will explain this later)

At 6000k, light output was marginally better than other 6000k 35w hid offerings. I say 35w because I have used other 55w kits that seemed to produce substantially more light, however at those levels there is little to gain in terms of more visibility. Pictures Below:

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000272.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000275.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000261.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000267.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/d...l/P1000265.jpg

Now, all of these pictures are taken with the kit installed without the wire relay harness. I said above that there was not a noticeable difference between installations. The legacy’s electrical supply is more than ample to successfully ignite, and continue to burn them even through the car’s ignition process. Not only was this true with the legacy, but also on the same WRX that struggled with the VOLT kit as mentioned at the end of my VOLT review thread. The video below shows the kit installed, with the car turned off, but the headlights turned to the ‘on’ position. I then start the car, HIDs ignite, survive crank, and continue to burn. All without a single problem, or change in the output of light.




For under 50 bucks, I don’t think you can do better. If your legacy is like mine, and likes burning out h7 bulbs at least once a year, these are well worth it. The price even includes a lifetime warranty.

If you’d like to learn more, the web address is: www.ddmtuning.com

They also frequent BMW enthusiast sites where a large part of their customer base is. (Which is how I did a lot of the research and communication) The largest of which is located here: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=286

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

tbssubaru 01-17-2010 02:30 AM

nice writeup , are these low beam only kits ? meaning you lose your high beams ? I understand they are brighter ..

alaskajoel 01-17-2010 08:09 AM

No, they only replace the low beam H7 bulbs. High beams are still 100% functional. At one point in the video, I even flash high beams, but it's hard to tell because the lows are so much brighter.:)

lucas569 01-17-2010 01:34 PM

these are temping, seems as the bmw crowd doesnt have alot of nice things to say though...

alaskajoel 01-17-2010 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucas569 (Post 2788259)
these are temping, seems as the bmw crowd doesnt have alot of nice things to say though...

A lot of them were very grouchy :lol: Honestly though, after talking to the folks at DDM it's really an issue of demand exceeding their ability to supply. People complain about prices, so they lower them. Then they complain about the measures taken to reduce said prices (reducing the number of people working, picking up the phone, etc.) They are opening a new joint in the OC and have hired several new faces. Over the holidays, their orders were in excess of several thousand per day and they couldn't keep up. I waited 3 weeks for my set because they were backordered, but at least one other member here here has bought in the last week, and they shipped within a few days.

naimouasta 01-17-2010 02:01 PM

good write up! i had the 55watt ddm slim before and their reliability was really bad. these new versions do look good, especially with the bigger ballast. i'm currently using the DIGITAL brand, 55watt and have good reliabilty. it has a large ballast also. i've had it for a little over a year with no issues. compare that to the slim ddm i had that would go bad every 3-4 months.

doccrowley 01-17-2010 06:02 PM

Raptor V2 from DDMtuning.com review
 
**I'll have a review to add tomorrow night for the H7 low beams and the H3 fogs. **

Thanks to Joel and his experience with several different HID set-ups, I placed an on-line order directly with the ddmtuning website last Monday. After reading their website's recommendations I purchased an H7 kit, 55w 6000K and another H7 kit, 55w 8000k and an H3 35w kit 6000k for my fog lights. (After so many complaints about long delays for warranty claims and needing back-ups in case of failure for other HID kits, I thought that $39 bucks for a complete backup of ballasts and bulbs was easily justified!)

I worried that I had made the wrong color choice for the H3 fogs and decided to call to hear their recommendation for matching color choices for the 55w vs 35w. Their website STRONGLY recommended the 55w be avoided for the fogs due to heat output.

I called first thing Tuesday and their phone number was busy 4 times in a row before ringing through. I spoke with Sales, heard several voices in the background and they were very busy. I was told that my order was on back-order, that my color choices would be negligible and that even the H7 and H3 in the same heat and wattages may not be the exact color match and that my order looked fine. I was told that they receive a shipment every Wednesday and that my order might ship as soon as Friday. I asked why the delay until Friday to ship if I had paid for expedited shipping (I'm currently down the drivers side low beam and fog after a CV boot change last week at the dealer ??? and need bulbs ASAP)? I was told they had a long line of orders in front of me and that they would fill in a first come first served basis.

My bulbs shipped Thursday night and will arrive tomorrow! $29 bucks for a 35w kit and $39 for a 55w kit! Can't wait!!!

Thanks Joel for the review and for the PM's about what you found.

GeraldG 01-17-2010 07:51 PM

nice review!

09blkL3g 01-18-2010 04:12 PM

Too many mixed reviews about these HIDs..either way i cant believe they are selling them at 30 a pop

lucas569 01-18-2010 04:31 PM

ya waiting on more reviews....

09blkL3g 01-18-2010 04:38 PM

lol this is being talked about on every car forum. From Hondas to f150s..

No surprise they cant keep up with orders.

lucas569 01-18-2010 04:48 PM

gode-gode-gode

makes for many user complaints/reviews

rather not spend $40-$50 now to spend $120+ on good ones later on...

cheap man spends the most my dad used to say....

naimouasta 01-18-2010 06:56 PM

wow i didn't know they were selling for 30 bucks. looks like they are selling on every car forum! have these been around or just released? big nice looking ballasts. i've had bad experience with the older ddm slim ballasts. what are the reliability ratings on these? i'll probably stay away from them, but if they are good, i could buy all my friends HID's for christmas or something; HID party? LOL.

lucas569 01-18-2010 07:00 PM

im waiting to hear back from others....

doccrowley 01-18-2010 09:41 PM

I'll second Joel's review of these being excellent! They light up instantly, stay lit while cranking the motor and are very easy to install. Removed the battery and the air intake to the airbox, removed the dustcaps covering the low beams, 1" holesaw to cut through the dust caps, plugged them in and viola!

Super cool, super bright....My wife even liked the increase in brightness and approved the upgrade!

**Edit: I did not use the wiring harness to install**

Also: the H3 fogs will require cut and splice into the stock wiring harness and more extensive dust cap cutting to install.


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