|08-27-2011, 04:45 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Burke, VAVehicle:
09 OPB SM WRXsedan
85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr
09 wrx - theretrofitsource RetroQuick HID projectors, etc. installed - impressions
Since this setup has been dicussed previously, this is just a quick "impressions" post rather than a how-to or anything like that.
For the last couple years I had a PNP DDM 35w kit using stock projectors. Not much of an upgrade over stock halogens in terms of visibility (only in looks), etc. Already knew that, I just wanted to check it out since they're so inexpensive. But let's not get into the "DDM sucks" or "you did it wrong" discussion here - there's enough of those threads already.
Anyhow, looking for a setup with better light output, but I don't much care for extensive electrical/lighting work really, so wanted something easy-ish. After much browsing around and reading, decided to go with the RetroQuick setup from www.theretrofitsource.com.
I touched base with the guys there just to get a few details and get a few questions answered. I probably sent 5 or 6 emails before ordering, and all of them were answered quickly, professionally, and helpfully by various people who work there. All of them were friendly and all of them seemed more than willing to go the extra mile if there were any problems with install, the product, etc. This kind of customer service instills confidence, especially when dealing with something that I'm not terribly familiar with.
After talking with them, I decided to go with a partial RetroQuik setup but continue using my DDM ballasts, which have worked fine for the couple years I've had them (will discuss this choice a bit later). I prefer to spend my money on performance parts, this lighting upgrade was just something to do with the impending hurricane ruining my weekend. The guys at TRS said they had an adaptor to work with the DDM ballast, but using their kit otherwise. The TRS kit consisted of Morimoto mini D2S projectors (fully assembled with mount brackets), wiring, Morimoto D2S bulbs, and jumper wires for the bixenon setup.
I've had the lights before, so disassembling wasn't an issue for me. The install of the TRS projectors was easy and straightforward. They fit perfectly (though I did notice they sit about 1/2" cm farther back into the shroud than the stockers). All the wiring and components fit right and were easy to put together.
Lesson learned: I should have gotten the Matsu****a ballasts that came with the full kit. The DDM ballasts work fine, but as was the case before, it's hard to get a clean setup (cosmetically) with them - they were mounted down below the lights primarily with zip ties. Not that anyone will see this, but I'm not a fan of doing things "ghetto." The matsu****as, since they're the same as the STi OEM ballasts, bolt right on to the bottom of the headlight housing - no muss, no fuss. $150 extra and this was an "on the cheap" project, so I didn't get them. I will likely order them in the near future just for the sake of cleaning up the install and a bit of peace of mind when it comes to reliability/longevity. Like I said though, have had no problems with the DDM stuff either, so not dogging it.
In the meantime, the DDM ballasts fire everything up just fine.
Since there's a weak hurricane going on outside at the moment, I haven't gotten around to taking the car out (might after dark if it's not too bad). I obviously will need to go find a wall and get the headlights aim adjusted better. I just did a quick aim in my garage, which only gives me a few feet in front of the car thanks to my big workbench, lol.
In any case, I'm very happy with the kit and although I haven't tested it in night driving yet, it's pretty clear that there is more light output from this setup than the OEM projectors/DDM bulbs. The parts seem to be good quality, TRS has extremely good customer service in my experience, and the price was good. And install was easy as hell. About 4 hours, but half of that time getting everything apart/reinstalled, and a few other car projects I was doing at the same time while I had the front clip off.
And since I know everyone here is all about cutoff, I did take a couple pics of the cutoff from 3 feet away.
So.....thanks to TRS, and I highly suggest this kit for anyone who isn't going to do a full, custom retrofit and wants a bolt-up solution.
Also there's a good install how-to on HIDPlanet:
pics in next post.
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