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MG MGF Technical - Fitting a HID Light Kit

Hi All,

Just a quick question as I'm in the middle of fitting a HID H1 headlight kit to my 2001 MK2 MGF to correct the poor dipped beam.

The standard H1 bulbs are about 40mm long and the new HID ones are 50mm. This means that when put into the bulb holder at the back of the headlamp, the new bulb is only about 1mm clear of the metal basket that covers the tip of the bulb and is attached to the front of the holder.

Firstly, do I need this basket as it covers the first third of the bulb and surely I'd get a lot more light by removing it?

Secondly, if I have to keep it should I find some way of mounting the bulb to a 5mm spacer to give 5mm ish clearance from the basket?

I have looked in the archives and can't find any info about the dipped beam baskets so anything anyone knows would be most useful!


Nick Atkins


The problem with HID bulbs is the light source is a different shape to that of the standard halogen bulb, so unless you fit a matched reflector, you will dazzle other drivers. This is a bigger problem than just mounting the bulb at the focus of the reflector.

You might find someone prepared to make a new reflector, but I didn't: The problem is that we are talking about a limited number of buyers for an obsolete car part, so no-one I spoke to was prepared to take the risk of tooling up. The alternative would be to find an HID refelctor from a recent car, then modify it to fit in the F headlamp unit, but this is still going to cost 100s.

The most economical route is Rob Bell's route of findng someone who can recoat your original reflectors, (only better than MGR managed). Unfortunately Rob's contact died, so you might be starting again. Another consideration is the reflectors don't travel well in the mail because they are very delicate, adding to the cost of packaging.


Hi Nick I had the same problem on by head lights this year and followed the Rob Bell link sent the reflectors away for recoating came back in a week at a cost of around 115 they only want the back reflector not the larger front section take great care dismantling and keep back any bits that can be removed so they do not get lost in transit.

So now back on the standard lamps no problem at all good as new.

1998 f Regards Roger
RJ Rowlinson

I found a few years ago that the Trophy headlamp units with the black surround were slightly cheaper than the standard bright plated ones. They were 116 each in 2005 - they look quite smart too!
Mike Cunningham

Thanks for the comments guys but I think you may have misunderstood me. The reflector bowls and dipped beam lens are both fine but even though they are ok I'd still like to improve the lights as they don't appear up to spec to me. I'd rather be driving the Ford Ka at night because its lights are miles better!

I was trying to describe the little metal thingummy that covers the tip of the bulb as it fits inside the back of the light unit - it kinda looks like a "basket". It prevents the normal bulb from emitting light directly forwards so I am wondering if with such a poor output, this basket could be removed allowing more light directly from the bulb? There is still the lens in front of this so surely this wouldn't lead to any more dazzle?

Chris, even though the light output is a different shape, surely it is the reflector that creates the shape and if I leave the standard reflector in it will do the same job? If the light is dazzling then can't I just adjust the beam lower?

Thanks once again, :)

Nick Atkins

Agree the standard lights are not up to the job, so a replacement is overdue.

The problem is the HID bulbs throw light out sideways as well as up, so it is not easy to cancel the dazzle. I suspect the hood in front of the bulb produces the sharp cut-off on the dipped beam pattern,so you chgange it at some peril.

If you go ahead and fit the HID bulbs, then keep the old parts so you can replace the originals should there be any trouble with the MOT.


Keeep the old bits by all means but you will never go back to candles. I have not heard of anyone ever having trouble with the MOT, Police or dazzling. Some have spoken darkly about insurance cover, but no factual reports.
HIDs are brilliant - and for bonusses they use half the power and run much cooler than incandescent bulbs - saving you fuel, electrical system wear and headlight reflectors. You can dodge potholes on unfamiliar 'B' roads at night in the wet if you choose. You are in control, and if you are really conscience striken, you can even adjust the beams down a tad; this can be done in anything less than direct sunlight conditions at any time of day. Enjoy them greatly!

Charles, did you remove the "baskets" or just fit the bulbs into the holder as it is originally? If so do you know if your HID bulbs are 50mm ish long and so very close to touching the "basket"?

Nick Atkins

Hi Nick

I've had HID (6000K)lights in my 2001 MGF for the past 10 months and have had no trouble with them. I haven't removed the baskets either. Illumination is far, far better than standard and I have been flashed maybe once in all that time (and lets face it, some people will flash you, not because of beam pattern, but just because they perceive your lights as very bright) Range Rovers have them factory-fitted and if one comes towards you they always look overbright)

PS have you noticed that all the Range Rover and BMW's with this type of lighting have them on all the time even in bright daylight!! (don't know if that is because they are factory set, or just trying to show off?)

Steve Davies

Hi Nick,
I don't recall seeing 'baskets' on my 4K3 bulbs (Bosch USA imports) but they were a doddle to fit and give almost as big a smile as driving the F does in daylight. They run cooler so will probably be fine. Price wise they used to be hundreds of pounds but apparently can be secured for tens of pounds these days. Whilst mine (125 last year)are worth it at any price, we always must beware of stuff made to a price.
C.R.B. Simeon

Thanks for all the help fellas, I think I'll just go ahead and fit the lights and see how I get on.

Nick Atkins

This thread was discussed between 31/05/2008 and 03/06/2008

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