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Thread: DIY: Bi-Xenon projector retrofit

  1. #1
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    DIY: Bi-Xenon projector retrofit !

    ( Edit: I started a new thread for this, as the how-to section is really a more suitable location for this. Also, I can keep the information together at the top of the thread so it stays organized and easy to reference for everyone. )


    Ok, all this talk lately about projector retrofits and whether or not the drop-in kits perform good enough has led me to just do it the proper way and do a complete retrofit.

    I just ordered up the complete Morimoto Mini H1 kit, complete with true bi-xenon projectors, 4300k oem colour bulbs, ballasts, shrouds and the wiring harness. It should be here in 3-4 days, then I comment on the quality of the components. I originally was going to order from TRS, but UPS would probably rape me on brokerage fees. There is a fellow in Ontario who also stocks TRS's products which saved me on shipping within Canada. His site is here:http://xenondesigncreations.weebly.com/. After checking a few Ontario car enthusiasts sites, he seems to be a good guy with a good rep so I went ahead with the order.

    Total cost was $280 for the kit, $25 for an extra set of E46-R extended shrouds, and $25 shipping. $330 cad for everything needed to do a proper and complete hid retrofit is not too bad considering I spent over $400 on a set of E-code H4 Hellas for the 97 Jetta. ( which in my opinion was money well spent as it now has great headlights that actually allow you to see, compared to the pitiful candles the old dot h/l's were! )

    First Update!

    Ok, I received my parts today! Apparently it was shipped direct from TRS, UPS standard, and I did not get stuck with any extra UPS fees, bonus! Packaging was excellent, the projectors themselves as well as the shrouds came wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap. Ballasts and bulbs in boxes, and the hardware and harness in bags. All of this was set nicely in the box and surround by a generous helping of packing popcorn. Also in the box is a nice TRS decal and a set of laser cut metal bi-xenon decals for the shrouds. Initial impressions of the equipment are positive, the projectors themselves are fairly hefty despite the small size. The ballasts as well are of a good weight. There seem to be no noticeable defects in the finish. On a bit of a sour note, they did forget to include the default mini-gatling shrouds that are supposed to come with the projectors. I will be emailing them. It's a bit late and I need to eat dinner, but I do have a few pics of it unboxed anyways. In the next update I will bench test everything, and get some beam shots of them compared to the stock SX4 beam. Stay tuned!




    Ballast, decals, and harness:



    Projector, shrouded and unshrouded:



    Close up of mounted shroud:



    Mounting hardware for ballasts and projectors:




    Second Update!

    OK folks, here's the next update! Test run and comparison shots. All comparison shots were done with a Canon 40D on manual, same exposure, shutter and aperture for each comparison. No post-processing, other than noise reduction on the outside shots. They were iso3200 handheld, it was raining, and I didn't want to set up a tripod so those ones are a bit underexposed and not quite showing the full spread of either lights. I have to say I'm quite impressed with the output vs. stock, it really is night and day, and the highbeam on the Morimoto mini's is phenomenal! The test has a Phillips X-treme Power bulb in the left headlight, and the mini sitting atop the rad support and/or handheld on the right side. on to the pics!

    Here we are facing the front of the car, lookin' good!



    Inside lowbeam comparison, top is with projector pointed down to show the halogen, bottom is with both. If you look close you can still see the little yellow blob of halogen light, barely.




    Inside highbeam comparison:




    Outside on low:




    Outside on high:




    Where the light is shining outside, what you see the beam covering is about 4 parking stalls wide, in reality it is more like 5. I'd say it was about 40' only to the hedges. So with both projectors going, on a dry day, they should light up 5 lanes on the freeway just fine. I'm stoked! I can't wait to get a chance to start on the install!
    Last edited by Wyliec; January 25th, 2011 at 03:11 PM.
    __________________________________________________
    Gone - 09' Sport, H&R's, 18" alloys, SRI, Piggy, Magnaflow 12265 duals, CarPC,
    Traded in for '11 Kizashi SLS AWD, pearl white.

  2. #2
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    Third Update: the install!

    Ok guys, here's my install progress. I tried to get decent pics, but near the end when I realized I had two mismatched shrouds I got a little po'd and just wanted to get it done. Anyways, here's what I've got for you, and I'll be happy to answer any questions as best I can. First off, these are the tools I needed to complete this project:

    Small flathead screwdriver
    Phillips screwdriver
    10mm shallow socket and ratchet
    Needlenose pliers
    Heatgun
    Paperclip
    Clean microfiber rag

    That's it. To start you will need to undo some of the bumper mounting screws, but you do not need to remove it completely. Shown are two plastic clips in the wheelwell that need to be undone. Slip the flathead screwdriver into the little slot on the clip and give it a push straight in, the center will pop up and the clip can be removed. Directly above the top clip shown, there is an indent in the bumper cover. There is a phillips screw here that needs to be removed as well.



    You will also need to remove the top bumper screws along the rad support using either the phillips or the 10mm socket. The sides of the bumper will pull free from the fender. Give it a yank, there are clips along the edge, but it'll pop out fairly easy. At the top there are two rubber hood stoppers you'll need to pull the bumper back and over. The headlight itself, has three screws and one clip. Use the 10mm socket to remove the screw under the bumper corner, the two at the top as well, and the flat screwdriver to pop out the clip that goes into the fender.

    Bumper screws shown in yellow, headlight screws and clip shown in white.



    Undo the plugs going to the light, then give it a little pull on it next to the grille. There is one clip that it presses into at the inside bottom corner. That's it, your light is now out of the car. Repeat for the other side. With your light out of the car, it's time to seperate the lens. There are two small phillips screws at the back edge of the housing that secure the lens. The location of these is circled in the following pic. You may choose the oven method, and there are numerous guides out there for that, but I chose the heatgun method. Heat the perimeter of the lens to housing mating surface, being carefull to not aply heat too long in one area. if you see the black plastic start to get shiny, move to another area. I concentrated a bit more heat to the inside edge of the light, and very gently used the screwdriver to start prying it open, while making sure the tabs are bent back out of the way so the lens can release. Pry gently, add some heat, pry gently, add some heat. As it started to come apart, I kept moving the heat farther back along the seam, and was able to pull the lens off fairly easily by pulling a bit, heating a bit, pulling a bit. Each light took about 5 minutes to open.

    The pic shows where the two screws are, and where I pryed to get it started. I pryed only where it would not be seen.



    Congratulations! Your headlight is open! Now is the time to do any 'joey modding' you might wish to do. I chose to keep it stock looking. Place your lenses in a safe place. You will need to remove the bulb shield from the reflector. Pull off the rubber dust boot from the back of the light, and you will see two little tabs bent over that hold the shield in. Simply bend them back straight and the shield can be pulled out of the reflector. You're ready to mount the projectors now! You will need to remove the bulb holder from the back of the projector, it is held on with 3 screws. There are two large silicone rings that will go on the back of the projector. Now you simply slip the projector through the bulb hole and fasten it with a washer and the threaded ring. There are two washers provided, the one with three tabs is for H4 lights, use that one for european models. The other one with one tab is the one for 9007 lights. It will center the projector in the hole, and then simply tighten the ring down with needlenose pliers. Not too tight, just good and snug. You should just be able to twist the projector still.

    Mounting hardware:



    Bulb holder:



    Silicone ring on the back:



    Projector tightened into reflector: ( align it exactly like shown! )



    If your kit has the plug already installed onto the bi-xenon solenoid's wires, you will need to pull the pins out of the plug to feed the wires through the reflector. This is where the paperclip comes in. Use the paperclip to slightly press in the small tabs on the pins and then pull the pins out of the plug. Feed the wires through the hole left by the old bulb shield you removed from the reflector. Make sure the tabs on the pins are spread back open a bit and reinsert them into the plug. Red was on the flat side, but of course you remembered that right? You should now have something that looks like this:





    Go ahead and put the rubber dust boot back into the back of the light. The solenoid wires can just come through the middle of the boot as well. Reinstall the bulb holders, don't overtighten the screws! Take out your H1 hid capsules, wipe them off with alcohol, and clip them into the projectors. (Note: It is possible to skip this step and adjust the rotation from the back of the headlight later if you do not have a level surface and a wall to set them.) I did all of this with the car facing a wall, so I put them back on the car temporarily to set the horizontal rotation of the projectors. I hadn't yet installed the relay harness or ballasts, so it was temporarily hooked up for this step. With all the necessary connections made, go ahead and turn on the lights. Have a beer and admire your awesome lights, oooh and awww for a minute. With the lights on, just twist the projector to get the 2 projectors cutoff's flat and level with each other. Turn them off and you can mount your shrouds and put the lenses back on.





    Depending on the shrouds you choose, installation will be different. The shrouds I chose have a black ring which snaps into the shroud, and then the shroud is simply a press fit onto the projector. Wipe any fingerprints off the shrouds and reflector with a microfiber rag, and then the lens can go back on. Warm the glue with the heatgun, not so hot that it bubbles! Go around and around a few times, then concentrate a bit of heat at the end where the two screws go. Press thei end in first. It'll be the same routine of press or squeeze it together, add a bit of heat, press some more, until it seats all the way in. You can put the screws in too to help pull it all the way seated. Then keep going along with the pressing and heating until it seats all the way around and the tabs on th ehousing will catch the nibs on the lense again. Guess what? Put them back in, find somewhere to mount the relay and ballasts, and you're done! Don't forget to aim them, and if you haven't yet set the rotation, find a level place with a wall at night and carefully rotate them from the back with a pair of pliers. Enjoy the fantastic light output!







    Note: Some harnesses might come wired for 9004, as the plug is the same as 9007. You'll know when the high beam solenoid doesn't activate. On the blue plug that goes to the car's headlight plug, switching the blue and white wires will solve this. Blue should be in the middle and white on the outside. Again, use the paperclip to pull the pins out of the plug.

    Hopefully this write-up answers some of the questions you have had about this kit, and will help you decide if it is something you can do. In all honesty it really is pretty easy, and even someone with little mechanical skill could do this in a day. It took me about 2.5 - 3 hours to do taking my time. IMO, the retrofit was worth every penny, and I'm very pleased with the way it looks and performs.


    Edit: I should also note that I have done the DRL disable. It may or may not interfere with the hid's operation.
    Last edited by Wyliec; January 25th, 2011 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Added DRL info
    __________________________________________________
    Gone - 09' Sport, H&R's, 18" alloys, SRI, Piggy, Magnaflow 12265 duals, CarPC,
    Traded in for '11 Kizashi SLS AWD, pearl white.

  3. #3
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    reserved for output pics
    __________________________________________________
    Gone - 09' Sport, H&R's, 18" alloys, SRI, Piggy, Magnaflow 12265 duals, CarPC,
    Traded in for '11 Kizashi SLS AWD, pearl white.

  4. #4
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    Fantastic write up. Sure to be stickied.

  5. #5
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    Magnificent! Thanks for the awesome writeup and pics! Time for me to plan a swap from HID in reflectors to full-on HID projectors!

    Any cutting of the reflector required to mount the projector?
    2008 Subaru Tribeca Limited "Becka";2005 Saab 9-2x "Saabaru";1999 Dodge Grand Caravan ES "Candy Van"
    www.brickauto.com[/COLOR]

  6. #6
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    Lovely! Thank you very very much! I really wanna do this..
    '08 SX4|'96 Miata M-Edition

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickauto View Post
    Magnificent! Thanks for the awesome writeup and pics! Time for me to plan a swap from HID in reflectors to full-on HID projectors!

    Any cutting of the reflector required to mount the projector?
    Absolutely no cutting. Aside from having to open the lights, it really is plug and play from there. You could even take the projectors back out and return it to stock if you wanted to.


    Edit: Cool! I'm stickied!
    __________________________________________________
    Gone - 09' Sport, H&R's, 18" alloys, SRI, Piggy, Magnaflow 12265 duals, CarPC,
    Traded in for '11 Kizashi SLS AWD, pearl white.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliec View Post
    Absolutely no cutting. Aside from having to open the lights, it really is plug and play from there. You could even take the projectors back out and return it to stock if you wanted to.
    Nice! Thanks again for the writeup!

    P.S. just found out that TRS is located about 20mins from my home! It looks like a residential location but maybe they'll allow me to preview in-person the different kits and shrouds before I make a decision on which to buy
    Last edited by Brickauto; January 25th, 2011 at 07:01 PM.
    2008 Subaru Tribeca Limited "Becka";2005 Saab 9-2x "Saabaru";1999 Dodge Grand Caravan ES "Candy Van"
    www.brickauto.com[/COLOR]

  9. #9
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    Sweet...Thanks for the detailed right up...I'm sure this will help out A LOT of people!
    2007 SX4 JLX Pearl White - RRO Lifted, Sparco Drifted, 215/65/R16s, Trim/Racks Stripped...
    2009 SX4 JLX Vivid Red - Lifted, Hitched, 215/65/R16 General Grabbers, Slotted Rotors, LEDs Everywhere, DMM HIDs, LED Tails, Rally Armour Mud Flaps, Black RR...

  10. #10
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    nice! Good job and congrats on sticky!

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