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Old 03-10-2010, 11:10 AM   #1
CarbonXe
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Default Retrofitting STI Projectors into 2010 WRX Housing, Now with 100% more DIY!

I'm going to be starting up my retrofit project tonight. I'll be posting pics of the process as I do the actual retrofit and attempt to make a DIY. From what I've gathered, STI projectors are almost a direct fit into the new 08-10 WRX housings.
I'll be running:
07 STI projectors
Gen 3 Matsu****a (sp?) Ballasts
Philips 85122+ 4300K Bulbs
TSX-R Clear lenses

I will have before/after pictures of the cutoff, color, light output, etc. I only have the projectors in my possession right now, as the ballasts/bulbs/lenses are currently being shipped. Most likely, I'll be doing the actual retrofit Friday night/Saturday.


If anyone has any information regarding retrofitting HID projectors into the new housings, please feel free to add in.





Yes it says RHD. No they're not for RHD cars. You can flip the cutoff plate over and make them LHD (says LHD on the other side).
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Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-12-2010 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #2
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Just got the rest of the parts and tested them out. Everything is in working order and I have all the materials needed to finish the job.





OEM STI lens on left, TSX-R Clear lens on right


Fresnel Lens


Clear Lens




And just testing out the cutoff. This is compared to a typical set of eBay/forum vendor HID bulbs/ballasts, 4300k.

Ebay crap


OEM everything


Obviously a terrible comparison, I'll have much better night shots when I'm done. The projector was in my hand and starting to heat up, so I had to do it quickly and I didn't feel like running inside to grab my D90.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:49 AM   #3
FourOnTheFloor65
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Wow that is an amazing difference, from what I can tell, between the OEM and Ebay.

Are setups projecting through those STi projectors, where the only difference are the bulbs and ballasts?
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:00 AM   #4
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I really do enjoy these kind of threads. I hope you keep us updated on the progress and any issues that may arise.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourOnTheFloor65 View Post
Wow that is an amazing difference, from what I can tell, between the OEM and Ebay.

Are setups projecting through those STi projectors, where the only difference are the bulbs and ballasts?
The first picture is OEM WRX Halogen projectors with 4300k H11 bulbs and 35w ballasts. It's a typical "HID Kit," that is sold by forum vendors, eBay, etc. I had the kit in my tC before I bought the WRX, and the ricer inside of me decided to swap them into the WRX, just to use until I was able to do my retrofit.
The second picture is OEM STI projectors, with TSX-R clear lenses, Philips 85122+ D2S bulbs, with Gen 4 Matsu****sa ballasts.

Also, note that the HID Kit is already broken in, and the bulb was already warmed up. The OEM stuff was still cold. I never let it fully warm up because I was holding the projector in my hand and I didn't want to burn myself.


Most likely tonight, I'll take light output pictures of the 'HID Kit.' Then after I do the retrofit, I'll go back to the exact same location, at the same time, set the camera to the same settings, etc etc.

As of right now, I'm at $380 for this project. Considering the STI headlights cost ~$750 each, and this project will result in better spread, output and cutoff than the STI (clear lenses), I'd say it'll be more than worth it.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-11-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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Here is the cutoff (I had the cutoff plate in backwards, so it's mad tyte JDM), this is roughly 8 feet away. I need to space the bulb from the cutoff a little, to give it some more color.



Also, I'm using the Philips 85122+ bulbs. These bulbs are slightly more yellow than the standard Philips 85122 bulbs, but they put out roughly 300 more lumen. Once I space out the bulb, the cutoff will have more color and it won't have that yellow line above the cutoff.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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How do you mount the projector in the housing? And space the lens/bulb?

Also - what's the difference between the clear and fresnel lenses, in real terms? I see the pics, but no comparisons with the D2S behind it. Which are you going with?
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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I don't know how they mount inside the headlight yet. Considering the WRX and STI use the same headlight, I'm going based off the assumption that they will be an almost direct swap. Matt from TheRetrofitSource told me that the STI projectors will go in with "little to no modification."

To space the lens/bulb, you just use small washers inbetween the lens half of the projector and the bowl half of the projector. I'll post pictures.

Clear lenses offer a much sharper cutoff, more color flicker, and slightly better light output. These pictures are from TheRetrofitSource.com.

FX Projectors, OEM fresnel lenses


FX Projectors, Clear TSX-R lenses (same lenses I'm using)


There is another example here, plus other examples if you browse other clear lenses.
http://store.theretrofitsource.com/p...43d3332ad76fc9
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #9
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Since I haven't done anything solid yet, I can pop the fresnel lens back into one of the projectors and fire everything up and take comparison shots of OEM vs Clear lenses.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #10
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hey, i'm currently trying to swap out my lenses. how did you take off the oem lense out of the lense holder without breaking clips?
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:41 PM   #11
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Use one of the new lenses to push all of the clips out, then push the rounded edge of the stock lens in, it will pop right out. So put the new lens inside the holder, so the flat surfaces are back to back.


Just got back from taking a ton of pictures, uploading now.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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Alright, the camera settings were set the exact same, ISO 500, 1/25, f3.5. No editing at all. First picture is stock WRX projectors, HID "kit," PLUS OEM halogen fogs. The second picture, is ONE STI projector, ONE OEM HID bulb, AND the projector was being held roughly 8 feet FURTHER than the light source in the first picture. You can just BARELY see the cutoff of the HID kit on the garage door, to the right of the Taurass.






The reason it's not lighting the ground, is because it's behind held over my car and pointed up.

If you're in disbelief, I can provide the photo EXIF data to prove that both pictures are at the exact same settings. This is simply how pathetic HID kits are compared to OEM HIDs.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-11-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:55 PM   #13
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Now for the OEM Fresnel lens vs TSX-R clear lens. These shots weren't taken at the exact same camera settings. The shutter was set to 1/50s in one, and 1/125 in the other. These were to simply compare to difference in cutoff and color between the two types of lenses.

OEM Fresnel Lens, STI projector, Philips 85122+ Bulb, Matsu G4 ballast


TSX-R Clear Lens, STI projector, Philips 85122+ Bulb, Matsu G4 ballast


My camera wasn't picking up the blue and purple from those shots, but it was significantly more with the clear lens.

This is to show more color. I adjusted my white balance to try to pick up the color more. It picked up the blue, but it didn't want to pick up the purple, which there was significantly more of, above the blue.




I also took a bunch of output pictures, from behind my car, the side, far away, wall cutoff, etc, but I'm going to save those until I can compare them to the retrofit output shots. I'm going to park in the exact same location, set up the tripod in the same spot, set the camera to the same settings (all were ISO 500, f/3.5, 1s exposure).

And tomorrow is when the fun begins.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-11-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:32 PM   #14
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these are awesome! based on your experience so far, can you say if it's possible/how hard to put tsx lenses on OEM WRX projectors? i just put up a thread about this, and my main concern is keeping my H7 bulbs, so keeping the stock projector housing...
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #15
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Stock projectors housing = waste. H7 bulbs = waste. If you want better light output, you NEED OEM HID bulbs (D2S) and you NEED OEM HID projectors. The lens alone will not help with actual light output, and just throwing an HID kit in will more than likely reduce the light output compared to the stock halogen bulbs. The lens will help the cutoff some, but your halogen projectors will still produce a good amount of glare, have a very narrow beam, and well, suck.


Since I haven't opened the headlights up yet, I have no clue how difficult/easy it's going to be to swap the projectors. The projectors I have are from an 07 STI. I was told that Subaru didn't change the projector from 07 to 08 for the STI. So more than likely, you'd be able to swap them out rather easily. If you're serious about actually making an improvement, you need to go with full OEM HID equipment.
This kind of modification isn't for the kind of person who gets an 8000k HID kit off eBay for $50 and thinks it actually makes an improvement.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #16
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I didn't want to post this up until I had finished the project to compare it to, but oh well.

I'll be going back to this same location and putting my car in the same exact spot (pass side front tire is in a pothole, so I know exactly where to park).

OEM WRX projectors, 4300k HID kit.


The light above the cutoff is glare, and there is a lot of it. My headlights are perfectly aligned, with the HIDs, yet there is a ton of glare ABOVE the cutoff, regardless of them being projectors. Why? Because HIDs don't belong in halogen headlights, regardless of them being reflectors or projectors.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #17
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thinking

Last edited by naimouasta; 03-14-2010 at 10:16 PM. Reason: hmm...redo
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:45 AM   #18
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Confirmed : Matsu****a Gen 4 Ballasts will bolt directly onto the 08+ WRX housings. I'll post pictures later.

First headlight is in the oven right now.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-12-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:54 PM   #19
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Looks great.

I love Retrofit Source clear lenses. I used a set of the FX-Rs in the FX projectors I put in my old civic. I also have a set of TSX-Rs in some RX330 projectors I have sitting at the house. With the proper spacing they make a world of difference in cutoff sharpness and color. They also cut down on glare and make the light within the beam pattern a bit brighter.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:28 PM   #20
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great write up... I wish I had the guts to do HID retro fits. Wish there was a company close to me I could take the car to get it done on a saturday.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:47 PM   #21
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Okay, one headlight is done. We didn't have time to mount it back on the car, but everything is sealed up and ready to go. STI projectors and G4 Matsu ballasts are literally direct fit in the 08+ WRX headlights. The only thing that wasn't a 100% direct swap, was that the ballast mount doesn't have pre-tapped slots for the bolts. All I did, was get #10 1/2" metal screws, and put them in. They went in like butter and hold the ballast nice and tight. I'll have the other one finished tonight.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #22
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Uploading the pictures now for the entire process. This was very time consuming, being the first time I've taken apart my headlights (my friend retrofitted Valeo projectors in his Bugeye Morettes), so I took my time, made sure everything was correct, etc. It took us about 2 hours of actual work to go from start to finish for the first headlight, so I'm expecting the second to go much quicker.

The only part where we had a hickup, was getting the stock projector/high beam bowl out of the housing. The problem was that we didn't know what was holding it in. Basically, it's held in by the two adjustment screws and one ball ended rod thing. With a good amount of force, it popped right out. Other than that, the hardest thing was taking the bumper off.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #23
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Alright, here we go. First, remove the bumper, and remove the headlight. Do this one headlight at a time. It makes it easier to keep track of bolts, etc. There are plenty of writeups for how to remove the headlights from the car, so you're on your own finding them.
Before you can bake the light, you need to do some prep work. Start by removing all of the wires and bolts on the headlight. I used an Angel Eye DIY guide on IWSTI to figure out how to actually get the headlight open, bake it, etc. Remove this harness, this is where the ballast will mount. It's a direct fit. No cutting or drilling required.



Now that everything is off the headlight (make sure bulbs are out too), it's
time to bake. Set the oven to 225 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.


Once it's done, remove the headlight from the oven and begin prying it open. I used an assortment of flathead screwdrivers to pry the glass from the plastic. If you do this, put the screw driver between the glass and plastic and TWIST it, don't try to pry it. The plastic can and will warp, making it difficult to put back together/seal properly.


This is completely optional, but I opted to just remove the orange reflector. Some people remove it, some people paint it black. I thought it looked fine with it out, plus it's a mirror finish behind it, so it will reflect off that.



Now that the headlight is open, we decided to play with the 'color mod' while the headlight cooled down. We only did one test and I was happy with the results. I added one washer to each top screw, and left the bottom screws alone.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-12-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #24
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Once it was all open, we had to left the headlight cool down. While we waited, we started doing the color mod. To make things simple, we left one projector alone, with no washers, and used that as a control to compare to.


Here are the results.

Before color mod.


After color mod.


Before color mod.


After color mod.


The washers gave the cutoff some more color and made it even sharper, plus it eliminated the hotspot. Also, that last pic on the back of the Evo, is almost exactly the correct color. My camera finally decided to pick up the purple.

Now that the headlight is cooled off, it's time to take apart the inside. Since you can't just remove the projector, you need to take out the entire low beam/high beam mounting assy. To do this, you need to unscrew the top adjustment screw. BEFORE DOING THAT, MAKE SURE YOU MARK SOMEWHERE ON THE SCREW WHAT POSITION IT WAS IN, THAT WAY EVERYTHING WILL BE IN THE SAME POSITION WHEN YOU PUT THE NEW PROJECTOR BACK ON. IT WILL MAKE ADJUSTING THE HEADLIGHTS MUCH EASIER. You only need to remove the height adjustment screw (the much longer one), the other one has a little plastic cap that you can squeeze the tabs on and it will just pop out. Actually, both have it, but the height adjustment screw is actually behind the high beam bowl, so it's insanely difficult/near impossible to get out without breaking something.

This is where it got tricky. I had no clue that this little nub was there, so getting the assy off was a challenge. Once the adjustment screw it completely unscrewed, apply pressure from the back of the high beam housing, and it will eventually pop out. The nub is in the middle, just to the left of the two screws, it's a ball at the end of a short rod. That right there, was the most difficult part of the entire process.


Now that it's all out, it's time to swap the projectors. This is relatively self explanatory. Just remove the old projectors, and put in the new ones.


Now it's time to put it all back together. Again, this is self explanatory, just do everything in reverse order.


Once everything is back together inside the headlight, it's time to re-bake. Set the oven to 225, and throw them in for about 10 minutes.


Once it's done, just squeeze the two pieces back together and make sure all the tabs are aligned and back on properly. Then put the 5 screws back in, and it will be done.

These are the exact screws I used to mount the ballast.



And that's all I was able to complete so far. The headlight still isn't in the car. I'm going to go back to my friends at around 6:30 to finish it all up. All that's left, is to remount the headlight, adjust, and do the other one.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-12-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:29 PM   #25
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For some odd reason, I don't know why the 'before color mod' looked so fuzzy/yellow. I went back upstairs, put the two washers in, hooked it back up, and it was perfectly sharp and had a good amount of blue/purple. The color mod did make a difference, but before the washers were added, it looked like something was off. Either way, it's fixed now, and it's nice and sharp.

Last edited by CarbonXe; 03-12-2010 at 03:51 PM.
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