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Old 08-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
irish44j
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Location: Burke, VA
Vehicle:
09 OPB SM WRXsedan
85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

Default 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:
http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...Subaru-Impreza

pics in next post.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
irish44j
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85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

Default

initial pics. I will take some night pics from a distance, and night driving impressions when I get a chance.

EDIT: More photos a few posts down, taken the next night.


OEM vs. Mishimoto


I know headlight pics are hard to get to look "real" or "good" so these are just for the hell of it....the actual color I see is pure white, with no bluish-ness.




I also did the bi-xenon setup so that the HIDs go to hi-beam with the halogen brights. I never knew how the bi-xenon setups worked, it's pretty cool with the little flip-up flap activated by a small powere solenoid. And makes a nifty click..


putting back together


some cutoff pics...keep in mind the car is only 3 feet from the boards, so there are hotspots, obviously. The total lack of ancillary light is pretty impressive. Keep in mind that alot of the light you see is because this is in the daytime, and both garage doors are open.



I don't put stickers on the outside of the car much, but had some space above the firewall so what the hell, lol.

Last edited by irish44j; 08-29-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
infinite012
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DGM

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Why is your firewall red?
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
irish44j
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85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

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firewall isn't red, just the plastic trim piece at the top. I get bored sometimes and feel the urge to paint things when I have them off the car to do other stuff. Because plain black plastic is boring


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Old 08-27-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
infinite012
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Cool, I guess. Anyways, great job on the retrofit. You'll love the extra light (in the right places!).
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
Bluefoton
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now with a HID retrofit

Default

Very nice. Interesting that you seemed so negative about the DDM kit as opposed to OEM halogen; after all you doubled the amount of lumens (even if the beam pattern wasn't ideal).

Are your halogen highs still on with the flipflap HID high beams?
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
irish44j
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85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
Very nice. Interesting that you seemed so negative about the DDM kit as opposed to OEM halogen; after all you doubled the amount of lumens (even if the beam pattern wasn't ideal).

not "negative" per se. I knew going in that it's wasn't going to be a huge upgrade, since the halogen projectors tend to disperse the HID light and not emphasize the extra lumens..

The DDMs are what they are - a small upgrade functionally (and a big upgrade cosmetically) for a small price. No complaints about them, they did what I expected them to do, for a price I was willing to pay at the time. But a slight upgrade from OEM halogens on this car is still pretty lousy (worst stock headlights ever, IMO). The factory halogen projectors on our 08 4Runner blow that DDM kit on the WRX away by miles in terms of visibility!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
Are your halogen highs still on with the flipflap HID high beams?
yes, on high beam it's both the stock halogen highs AND the HID highs....very bright. Tested out on a woodsy road last night and I swear that I could see every creature's eyes in the woods within 100 feet of the road, lol.

Here was a quick pic I took against a wall last night. And keep in mind this wall was in an illuminated area, not totally dark...hence the light above teh cutoff from parking lot lightposts. The glare up high on the wall is a reflection of a puddle on the ground just in front of the car, btw.

This is with my crappy compact camera, so it's not really all that indicative of what it looks like in person. I can't see any "hotspots" in person.



sitting at a parking lot entrance, so using the road as a backdrop with car facing downhill



against my garage door. First one is lows, second one is highs (car is not aimed the same place in the two shots, btw)




Last edited by irish44j; 08-29-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:54 PM   #8
Bluefoton
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now with a HID retrofit

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looks GREAT. Another bloody argument for doing proper retrofits, since the cost isn't even that high. Kudos to you.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
irish44j
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85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

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^^ I'll admit, I was always one that said "oh, this is good enough" with the plug-n-play setup and stock projectors.

I am man enough to say "I was wrong" on that point, lol....
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