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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I'd like to thank Ryan from dabears2k for posting this (http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=137814.0). It helps a lot with understanding how HID manufacturer's work.

The back-story:
I ordered an Expower 35w 6000k HID set from dabears2k. I was attracted to this set because:
1. dabears2k has an excellent reputation on this forum, and
2. It is of higher quality being made in Japan (Quote from dabears2k.com: "The ExPower HID Conversion kits utilize cutting edge HID components made with superior Japanese craftsmanship and quality. These kits are made with superior components as compared to Chinese kits, so there is no need for wiring harnesses.")

After receiving my kit, I became suspicious that the kit may actually have been manufactured in China (and not Japan) because there were no markings or engravings on the bulbs, ballasts, or other which would indicate they were made in Japan.

I did some searching and discovered that there was a Chinese manufacturer who produced ballasts that looked the same as mine.

Mine:


Chinese Manufacturer (www.klarheit-hid.com):


I also talked with another member on here, DrWebster, who also purchased an Expower 35w HID kit from dabears2k. His ballasts looked different than mine, and I found a Chinese manufacturer who made ballasts that looked the same.

DrWebster's ballast:


Chinese Manufacturer (www.lchid.com):


Ryan from dabears2k kindly explained that ballast covers are usually sourced out by HID manufacturers and therefore many companies(from China, Japan, Germany, where ever) will have the same ballast appearance, but that it is the internal components of the ballasts and the HID bulbs themselves which are of varying quality. (http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=137814.0)

I'm hoping he can also clear up these last two questions for me:
1. Why did DrWebster and I receive different ballast cases in our kits when we ordered the same product?
2. What indicators can I look for on my kit that will prove to me it is Japanese made and therefore higher quality? I don't mind opening up the ballast case to look inside.

Of course any other productive comments/questions/suggestions are welcome to be added!

Thanks everyone,
John
 

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1. Just as companies outsource the casing of the ballasts to save money, they will also switch ballast cases on a whim to save 10 cents.

A few days ago we were sent a link to a company that wanted us to buy from them (http://www.gzzrhid.com/en/Products.asp?ClassID=16). They have 4 different "slim" ballasts. All the same internals from the same company, but at one time or another they got a cheaper price on cases. Just as Ryan said before, the internals are what are important, not a black, silver, or lime green case.

2. The way to tell a good kit is to see if the connections are well soldered. A cheap kit will have less time spent on making the connections properly. Time is money. That said, we strongly recommend that you not open your ballast, as the ballast's warranty becomes null and void if opened.


As always, our kits are warranted for life against manufacturer's defects and we will stand behind our products.


Matt
 

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Matt, thanks for responding to this thread. I have a couple follow-up questions:

1. I think there may still be some questions about proof that the HID components are really from Japan. It certainly makes sense to use the most economical ballast case -- and I don't think anyone blames you for doing so -- but if the warranty becomes void if one of us opens our ballast cases, then there's really no way to tell that the components inside are Japanese. Would you be willing to open an ExPower ballast and post some pictures of the components inside? I think a good shot showing the PCB with components that have "JAPAN" printed on them will speak volumes about the quality of this kit, and put to rest any concerns.

2. I'm also curious about the bulbs. I ordered a 4500K kit, but when I received it I could find no information anywhere -- not even on the bulbs themselves -- that show what I got was actually 4500K. Is there a way to tell by looking at the components? Obviously I didn't get a 3000K or 8000K kit because my headlights aren't yellow or blue, but it would be nice to be able to tell if I'm actually running 4500K vs. 5000K.

Thanks!
 

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i think you're one of like 2 people that has no faith in the product he's selling...if it works, great, if it doesnt, he'll replace it....what more information do you really need?
 

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[quote author=DrWebster link=topic=138079.msg2977186#msg2977186 date=1236259709]
Matt, thanks for responding to this thread. I have a couple follow-up questions:

1. I think there may still be some questions about proof that the HID components are really from Japan. It certainly makes sense to use the most economical ballast case -- and I don't think anyone blames you for doing so -- but if the warranty becomes void if one of us opens our ballast cases, then there's really no way to tell that the components inside are Japanese. Would you be willing to open an ExPower ballast and post some pictures of the components inside? I think a good shot showing the PCB with components that have "JAPAN" printed on them will speak volumes about the quality of this kit, and put to rest any concerns.

2. I'm also curious about the bulbs. I ordered a 4500K kit, but when I received it I could find no information anywhere -- not even on the bulbs themselves -- that show what I got was actually 4500K. Is there a way to tell by looking at the components? Obviously I didn't get a 3000K or 8000K kit because my headlights aren't yellow or blue, but it would be nice to be able to tell if I'm actually running 4500K vs. 5000K.

Thanks!
[/quote]

1. When we have a bad one come back, I will open it up. I will not open up a brand new one, sorry.

2. There is not really a way to tell other than when we uncase them here at the warehouse. We usually stick stickers on, but if you didn't have a sticker on yours, I apologize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm just trying to think of other ways to verify the manufacturing location of the kits...

Would it be possible for you to provide the name of the manufacturer and their website/contact information?

Or perhaps an invoice from a delivery from Japan?
 

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[quote author=johnkooistra link=topic=138079.msg2977808#msg2977808 date=1236278862]
I'm just trying to think of other ways to verify the manufacturing location of the kits...

Would it be possible for you to provide the name of the manufacturer and their website/contact information?

Or perhaps an invoice from a delivery from Japan?
[/quote]

There is no way that we will disclose the source of our parts. Many many hours go into finding, contacting, and verifying suppliers. Why not just open our books to all competitors?
 

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Jesus Christ! Do you have your kit? Does it work? Are you happy with how it looks? Does it fire up every time?

Good.... now stfu. IMO, the only people who are this paranoid, or questionable are ones who would screw someone else at the first chance. Matt and DaBears2k have great reputations on this forum for a reason. Great products for great prices.

If you were so paranoid, why order in the first place?
 

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[quote author=ito link=topic=138079.msg2977846#msg2977846 date=1236279862]
Jesus Christ! Do you have your kit? Does it work? Are you happy with how it looks? Does it fire up every time?

Good.... now stfu. IMO, the only people who are this paranoid, or questionable are ones who would screw someone else at the first chance. Matt and DaBears2k have great reputations on this forum for a reason. Great products for great prices.

If you were so paranoid, why order in the first place?
[/quote]

+1!

Buying HID's is like buying RAM for your computer. As long as it works as stated then you shouldn't worry about it. Any worries that you DO have should be set aside by having a lifetime warranty. Even people with OCD aren't this meticulous and I should know...I have it! lol.
 

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I think the concern is that, if the kits end up being the exact same as the Chinese kits, then marketing them as Japanese is false advertising, and charging more for it is just adding insult to injury. My ExPower kit came in a plain brown cardboard box, and has plain paper laser printer labels on the ballasts...and Google searches for "ExPower HID" only return results to the DaBears2k site or related forum posts. Why shouldn't I be a little skeptical that I may not be getting what I paid for? If I didn't care about quality, I could have gone out and bought a Chinese kit for $70 and saved myself $35...but I didn't, because of DaBears2k's good reputation here, and because they advertised the ExPower kit as being of superior quality. The crux of this whole discussion is that we'd simply like some reassurance (other than a simple "just trust us") that we aren't being ripped off.
 

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[quote author=paincorp link=topic=138079.msg2977578#msg2977578 date=1236272393]
i think you're one of like 2 people that has no faith in the product he's selling...if it works, great, if it doesnt, he'll replace it....what more information do you really need?
[/quote]

this is what it all boils down to.
 

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[quote author=ito link=topic=138079.msg2978117#msg2978117 date=1236286656]
My question is this: if you were so concerned you were getting ripped off, why order the kit?
[/quote]

Because I wasn't concerned about the quality of the kit until I looked at the actual product I was shipped. I've ordered from DaBears2k before and, like others here, had good experiences. But it was how, well, unprofessional the kit looks in real life that made me a bit concerned.

EDIT: You know what, forget it.
 

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Hell I have a buddy and his brother both ordered the $60 kit from ebay and have had no problem with it. Neither have a lot of people that ever bought the Dual cd player for $50 from wal mart. But I would never even think about putting either in my car which is why, with Dabears2k's reputation on the line, I would and did spend the extra money to go with their DDM kit. I don't care where it's made....a lot of the better stuff in the world is built in China. But if its just built there and designed and parts are sourced from elsewhere, what does it matter. Like they said, if they work, be happy. If not, send them back and they will get you some that will. You can't ask for much more than that. You find me another place that you can contact as easily as you can Dabears2k that offers a lifetime warranty. If you do, try your luck there. But you have a lot of people recommending them and their stuff, so go with what has been proven, not what the manufacturer says because they are trying to sell you something. And this is coming from someone that had a few issues with a certain shift boot I got from Dabears2k that wasn't right both times they sent it. Oh well, big deal. You know what I learned from that experience. THEY did their best. The supplier screwed up and I'm sure I'm the only one this has happened to. So you know what I did. I ordered their HID kit. Why? Because the people in this forum spoke very highly of their kit, I have a lifetime warranty, and I know from experience, that they will handle any issues I do have, if any. And I don't care if it comes in a brown paper bag, I'll try it out. Sorry about the rant, but OH MY GOD!
 

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[quote author=ito link=topic=138079.msg2978117#msg2978117 date=1236286656]
My question is this: if you were so concerned you were getting ripped off, why order the kit?
[/quote]

Actually, to better phrase that:

Why wasn't your research done BEFORE you bought the kit? Usually when I'm going to buy something for over $100, I do some pretty extensive research to make sure my money is well spent...just sayin.
 

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All this for $35 savings...LOL...Remember when HIDs were $2,000.00? I suppose I might question it then.

All well, What I know is that Dabears2k has been the best company I've dealt with and his DDM kit works like a freaking charm! Not to mention I basically had an email conversation with Matt a few days ago as in I sent an email, he sent one, I sent one, he sent one and so on all within an hour. Can't beat customer service like that these days! I'd spend an extra $35 just for that.
 
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