Well aware of the manual leveler - I owned the car. That said - it's basically worthless. Are you going to manually reach down while you're driving over every single speed bump, deviation in the road? No. Manual adjusters are silly. You set them once to the *correct* height and forget about it.
I did an HID conversion on my 2004 WRX which worked great. Nice clean cutoff with the factory reflectors. I got my 2005 STi with factory reflector HIDs - guess what - same exact freaking beam pattern/cutoff. I remember actually being a little disappointed as the manual leveler was about the only difference. I even had the 4300K color matched almost exactly in the '04 WRX. Upon further inspection of the reflectors, I found them to be near identical.
Never said they didn't have it. Read closer.
DOT or not, I'm doing it and have done it with great success. I'm also not supposed to have catless downpipes on my Bimmer. Or my '05 LGT, or my '05 STi, or my '04 WRX.
Yes, wattage is the same (35w) - my point was, projectors are MUCH, MUCH brighter and focused than any reflector, so it's much more of an issue. I have had halogen reflector based headlights with a very sharp cutoff and have had wonderful success using aftermarket bulbs. My '07 Pathfinder had an amazingly crisp, sharp cutoff for a reflector setup. My '04 WRX was pretty good as well. I have friends with newer cars with reflectors that have done retrofits they have had good luck, except for a few where the reflector didn't have a clean cutoff.
Reflector headlights have gotten a LOT better since when HIDs first came out.
I disagree - they're actually great. Couple of things that you have to make sure of. I always 3M clear bra the plastic, which ensures crystal clear transparency for many, many years. You have to check the stock beam pattern of the halogen/reflector setup.
How all these ghetto aftermarket HIDs got a bad name is when Joe Blow with his 2003 Suburban with completely fogged up plastic headlights decides to throw in some HID bulbs and by doing so, basically created I gigantic blinding floodlight with no focus or direction or cutoff. Or Little Timmy in his 1998 Honda Civic sticks in the most purple HID bulbs he can find into his old fogged up headlights that never had any real beam 'pattern' or cutoff to speak of.
It all depends on the vehicle and what beam pattern/cutoff the stock reflector have. Some cars are no-brainers, some I would never go there.
So hacking up my stock reflectors, being out of commission for whatever time it takes and still not having any auto leveling is doing it right? Assuming projectors would indeed fit correctly? That goes against what you've been saying.
I'll be perfectly happy with just a bulb swap. I'm sure the '14's have a good beam pattern/cutoff. It will be fine and I and the other CO drivers will make it through this. We'll all continue to live happy and productive lives.
And I'll have $2,250 more bucks in my checking account, or 5 car payments to some.
More money to buy a catless downpipe and AP from COBB.