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Ok, so I have the HID dual beam conversion kit from AmericanMuscle. I honestly can't remember if I had this problem in the beginning but I have has to replace a couple of ballasts since then (not sure if its related). Now when I turn the headlights on, the radio loses almost all reception and all I get is static.
At first I thought it was just the close proximity of the ballast to the antenna. So I got the Metra amplified antenna and installed that on the windshield thinking being farther away would fix it(thanks to TacoBill for the install writeup). Anyways, its all installed now and I get the same thing: static... maybe even a little worse. I am stumped as to what it can be.
I have seen other threads on toyota forums and such saying this is a common problem with HID kits and all I can do is deal with it. Others say it is because the stock wiring harness is reused and someone actually suggested wrapping the ballasts in aluminum foil. Seriously???
Anyways, does anyone have ANY ideas what I can do. I know that kit is pretty popular among S197 mustang owners, so someone has to know. Is it an install error on the HID kit? A bad ballast? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Location: PA to KY ('07) to IL ('09) to MS ('10) to FL ('11)
I recall a post by 157dB in another thread regarding adding filtering in the HID's ballast circuit to reduce interference due to the cheaper HID units (I don't believe the HID's sold by retrosolutions have been causing problems). Send him a PM and ask the question if you can't find it using the search feature. Tell him Nuke sent ya' (on second thought, he might just delete it).
Not sure about AMs kits but I had a DDM kit on my F150, they have 2 kits. One has bigger ballasts which WILL cause radio interference & are cheaper priced, & then they have a slim ballast kit which has very little to no static whatsoever. The slims were a definite improvement & the only difference between the the 2 kits I received were the ballasts themselves. I'm only speaking from experience I have had with HIDs, this may or may not be the case with your kit.
Typically noise like that is from a bad ground. If everything was fine and then you added the HID's and the noise started I would point at the HID's as the cause. But grounding can be annoying and it could be the radio's ground and you just didn't have something interfering with it before the HID's.
Easy way to see if you have a bad ground is to measure the power. Measure the voltage at the battery terminals, should be a little over 14V with the motor running. You should see the same voltage at the headlights and radio. If it's lower then there's a bad ground restricting the power.
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I didn't have any issues with the radio prior to the HID install and I don't remember having this issue right after the install either (I think I would've noticed). Like I said I had to replace ballasts a couple of times so maybe it's a bad ballast? I went through the HIDs and re-grounded everything and installed some "EMC filters" which are basically capacitors. Both of those things really didn't help that much. The install of the amplified antenna helped a little. Now the strongest radio station in my area comes in with just a little static.
I couldn't help but notice that AM stopped carrying this kit and the replacement ballasts for it. Now they carry a replacement "OEM quality" wiring harness for it. I can't help but think this is related to the quality of the kit. Not sure if getting that replacement harness would help any or not. Honestly I'm so frustrated with it now I'm about two seconds away from ripping the whole kit out and just getting some Silverstars.
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