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Old 12-16-2009, 11:48 PM   #1
Smoke
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Default HID Retrofit Thread

OK...

After digging through the original HID thread, I learned a lot, but I feel one has to do about 1 hour of searching to find good solid information about HID retrofitting and people's experience.

I'd like people to post, discuss, and share their HID retrofitting experiences, projects and such.

I might even type up a simple FAQ for the newbs if needed.

I'll start though:
For my project I want to retrofit some either bi xenon or single xenon (with halogen as high beams) in some ebay projector headlights.

Has anyone done that before?

Well here is what I was planning on doing:



Paint the lower lip and other places to make it less ricey?
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Last edited by Smoke; 12-17-2009 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:49 PM   #2
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HID Retrofit Thread FAQ and Discussion:

The main problem with many automotive enthusiasts is that they install these aftermarket HID conversion kits thinking they are using “high performance lighting.” However, what many don’t know is installing these kits can prove extremely dangerous. Why? Many cars are fitted with halogen reflectors, which are only designed to take normal traditional halogen bulbs.

To learn more about the technicalities of HIDs, read the original thread:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=664361

This is a traditional halogen reflector:


This is a halogen (not HID) projector from a 2006 Subaru Outback:

They all look the same as far as format goes; a fishbowl look.

This is a video explaining the dangers of aftermarket HID kits on cars not designed to take the new technology:


What is the solution?
-Fear not my fellow lighting enthusiasts and ricers, there is a proper solution. It’s called HID retrofitting. This involves fabricating and installing HID projectors into your factory reflectors.

Who makes HID projectors?
-Any automotive company that puts in HID projectors in their cars.
Examples are:
Acura TSX
Honda S2000
Cadillac Escalade
Subaru Impreza WRX STi (MY 06+)

The most popular retrofit projectors are the Acura TSX due to their affordability and bang for buck performance.

Here’s a great site that sells OEM projectors and other great sources regarding HID information:
http://www.hidplanet.com

And another:
http://www.lightwerkz.net/faq.htm

I have projectors in my 2006 Impreza 2.5i, can I just buy a plug and play kit?
-Well you can, but your Impreza has HALOGEN projectors, not HID projectors. There is still noticeable glare, but much LESS glare than putting an HID kit in a reflector set up.
Also, note that projection of HIDs in halogen projectors is not as crisp and vibrant as it would be in a proper HID projector.

What about these ‘projector headlights’ I got for my bugeye on eBay for $150??
-Simply put, they are crap. Remember, you get what you pay for. Sets of quality OEM projectors are worth more than that whole set up. Poor quality, Chinese name, no name brand halogen projectors most likely have bad light output, and poor beam pattern.

Can I just put HIDs in them and get better light put?
Wow, I should send your post to OT and slap you with a cactus; if halogen bulbs produce poor output and bad beam pattern, how do you think HIDs will do?

OK, I want to retrofit now, what do I do?
-There are do it yourself (DIY) options, or hire someone to do it.

NASIOC has a great vendor called Lightwerkz that specializes in this subject:
http://www.lightwerkz.net

Do it yourself options that people have done:
-They only require custom fabrication, time, tools, and patience:

http://www.rs25.com/forums/f105/t694...headlamps.html

http://www.rs25.com/forums/f105/t411...fit-guide.html

Equipment and Tools required:
-At least eight hours of work; don’t expect this to just plug in and work in one hour or even one day.
-Two projectors
-Headlights
-HID kit (ballasts and bulbs, you need the D2S stuff, NOT the "conversion kit" junk)
-Shrouds
-Oven or heat gun (to open up headlights)
-Pry or flat screwdriver
-Phillips screwdriver
-Screws and washers

Which HIDs?
There are many brands of HIDs out there like knock off intercoolers it isn't even funny. Avoid the eBay ones that start at $40 and such. 99.999% of these are made in China and won't perform well as the nice ones. These "plug in play" ones are the culprits.

As again, you get what you pay for.

Many people have had hit or miss with $150 HID kits from companies such as DDM Tuning. Are they worth it? I'm not sure, many people are either very happy with the bargain price and the bang for buck, while many others frown upon the cheapness and sometimes failures of the kit.

A few name brand/reputable kits are: McCollough, Phillips, Digital (used by Lightwerkz)
Why not spend a little extra for better quality than cheap out on a poor quality product?

Bi Xenon or Single Xenon?:
Many cars equipped with factory HIDs are equipped with single xenon HIDs (eg BMW E43). This means the HID lights are only used as the low beams and utilizes halogen bulbs as the high beams.

Many aftermarket HID kits have the feature “bi-xenon” which is using HID as the high and low beams, in ONE bulb. A drop shield is used to shield the high beam when the low beam is in use.

This may important in factoring your decision in retrofitting, because some cars such as the Subaru Impreza GC, they use a bi halogen set up, similar to bi-xenon, by using a single bulb as the high and low beams.

I'm not very sure on about using halogen as a high beam and how different it would be, or utilizing bi-xenon and how difficult it would be. Someone should chime in on that and I'll add it. All I know is it is more difficult to have bi-xenon.

Can I use yellow (3000k/Mad tyte JDM colored) lights in my headlights?:
-Please no; you're better off having seperate foglights, and here's a great post dealing with the legality of these lights:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan2.5 View Post
im sorry but if thats what you think then its your improper set up that is fail.

I know the law varies a little from state to state...but DOT is pretty much standard. Here is what I pulled up on Oregon laws.

-816.230
Fog lights
Each of the following is a requirement for fog lights as described:
(1) Fog lights shall be mounted, aimed and adjusted in accordance with standards adopted by the Department of Transportation.
(2) Fog lights and any part of such fog lights that tends to change the original design or performance must be of a type that complies with standards adopted by the department under ORS 816.010 (Authority to adopt and enforce standards for lighting equipment).
(3) Forward mounted fog lights shall show a white, amber or yellow light.

If you are set in your mind about doing 3000k fogs, you are potentially setting yourself up for a ticket..and obviously blinding other people. Not all fogs are designed the same so 3000k in some may "seem" acceptable...but really its not. As far as headlights go...IDK if you have ever seen a car with 3000k hid's but it is the most obnoxious thing ever....
Here is another on headlights...again for OR but probably pertains to every state:

Headlights that are required under ORS 816.320 (Lighting equipment required for motor vehicles) and 816.330 (Operation without required lighting equipment) and any part for such headlight that tends to change the original design or performance must be of a type that complies with standards adopted by the department under ORS 816.010 (Authority to adopt and enforce standards for lighting equipment)

hope this helps
Basically, laws vary state to state and it all depends on being at the right place at the whatever time. Just like too dark of window tint, and having a 120 decibel exhaust.

Last edited by Smoke; 12-25-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:49 PM   #3
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Some more good retrofit threads:
Bugeye WRX:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=959240
Retrofitting Infiniti FX35 projectors:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1482552
Another bugeye thanks to ryan2.5:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1896263
Peanut eye (04-05) HID retrofit:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...php?p=18423200
Not much content, but good pictures of proper cut off and final work.

Better content for peanut eye, thanks to ryan2.5:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1805432

Fine tuning:
Angel eyes:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums//sho....php?t=1821040

Audi style LED strip:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1709240

Thanks for reading this FAQ. This is for people new to HID retrofitting, and for a thread to share HID retrofitting knowledge, projects, etc
If you have any vital information you wish that should be part of this FAQ, please PM me!! I dont here too often and probably will miss your post if you post it here!
This FAQ isn't as professional and well informative as other FAQs, but I'd thought I'd scrape up some info about retrofitting and bring it out.

Also, the other half of the purpose of this thread is to share any information, projects, pictures, etc. on homemade and/or vendor made HID retrofitting.

Im not extremely familiar in the retrofitting subject as far as projects and experience go, but I know a bit.
Feel free to ask the experts (such as Handsdown) about HIDs more specifically.

Updating as I go..

Last edited by Smoke; 12-23-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:24 AM   #4
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I would first decide whether or not you want to do single xenon or bi-xenon. For single xenon, I would recommend either S2k, TSX, or RX projectors. For Bi-xenon, I would recommend TL or FX-35. You also have to consider how much space you have to work with inside the headlight itself...
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:47 AM   #5
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yeah your going to have to measure the headlights your using then research the projector dimensions (which the retrofit sites give dim. for) you have to work with. The bi xenon projectors are going to be more bulky because of the solenoids on them.
you should post the links to all the threads you found here.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan2.5 View Post
yeah your going to have to measure the headlights your using then research the projector dimensions (which the retrofit sites give dim. for) you have to work with. The bi xenon projectors are going to be more bulky because of the solenoids on them.
you should post the links to all the threads you found here.
Links to different retrofit threads?

I could; I guess I'll post my amateur faq while im at it.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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A link to my lighting thread. There are some retros I've done and general lighting discussion.
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1847155
Also,I am experimenting with this butyl tape I found. So far it seems to be almost exactly what the factory uses to seal headlights as far as I can tell. I will be posting on my thread-and probably here-with my findings:
http://www.adventurerv.net/butyl-rub...ck-p-6703.html

Last edited by aleutdude; 12-17-2009 at 07:45 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da-Risin-Smoke View Post
OK...

After digging through the original HID thread, I learned a lot, but I feel one has to do about 1 hour of searching to find good solid information about HID retrofitting and people's experience.

I'd like people to post, discuss, and share their HID retrofitting experiences, projects and such.

I might even type up a simple FAQ for the newbs if needed.

I'll start though:
For my project I want to retrofit some either bi xenon or single xenon (with halogen as high beams) in some ebay projector headlights.

Has anyone done that before?

Well here is what I was planning on doing:



Paint the lower lip and other places to make it less ricey?
As long as those lights can be baked apart like stock housings you are in business. It looks to me like a single xenon would be most practical in these lights-either a Bosch or TSX projector. Space is limited in your application and I don't think stock housings can be used due to the fluted lens(?) of the OEM headlights so the smaller the projector the better.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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Thanks, Ryan, I just posted those up.

And thanks Aleutdude; i'll consider that.

I've also seen someone do bi-xenon, and just painted the reflector like that.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleutdude View Post
As long as those lights can be baked apart like stock housings you are in business. It looks to me like a single xenon would be most practical in these lights-either a Bosch or TSX projector. Space is limited in your application and I don't think stock housings can be used due to the fluted lens(?) of the OEM headlights so the smaller the projector the better.
Ah, so i might not be able to do bi-xenon because of lack of space??

I guess I'll order these babies with my christmas money.

How hard is it to remove a projector?
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da-Risin-Smoke View Post
Ah, so i might not be able to do bi-xenon because of lack of space??

I guess I'll order these babies with my christmas money.

How hard is it to remove a projector?
In most stock applications the projector is removed by simply unscrewing it from its mounting plate once the lens is baked apart from the housing assembly. I have no experience with aftermarket Subaru headlight housings but
I do know some cannot be baked apart like our stockers. Find out if the lights you are considering can be taken apart with a heatgun or in an oven like the stock headlights because some aftermarket housings are epoxied to the lens permanently and cannot be taken apart! If these aftermarkets can be disassembled like stockers,the next step would be measuring the room you have to see what projectors to buy.

Last edited by aleutdude; 01-12-2010 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:29 PM   #12
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yup...i had a set of fairly decent projectors for my silverado and they were like a 1 pc unit that you couldnt take apart. but not all are made that way.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
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hey Da Risin heres another retrofit write up thread!

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1482552

Last edited by jdubya301; 12-21-2009 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubya301 View Post
hey ryan heres another retrofit write up thread!

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1482552

those look great. I really like how they looked with the reflectors left chrom. blk/silver looks great too though.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:43 PM   #15
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oops i thought you were the OP! that post was directed towards da risin

glad you liked it though!
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:24 AM   #16
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^That looks awesome man, I'll definitely add that.

Also, I might do a bi-xenon on my project; are there any problems to that, other than fitment issues that you mentioned?

Because I need to add that to the FAQ, and I would love to know..
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:24 AM   #17
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the bi-xenon projectors are bigger because of the solenoid on them. Your best bet is to wait till you get the lights and open them up. they may even be projectors built into the housing..never know. I forget what site, but there is one that gives all dimensions for all the projectors so you can measure and get the right ones.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #18
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I don't mean to put a dampener on your plans,Da risin but bi-xenon might not fit. FXR35s or Hella E55s are the most popular but both have a solenoid that requires more room. Get the lights-did you find out if they can be baked apart?-and take some measurements.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:49 AM   #19
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here's my retrofit (Jaguar XJ Bi-Xenons)




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Old 01-05-2010, 06:27 PM   #20
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Very nice! The blacked-out housings look great. Do you have any pics of the fitting process?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #21
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the lite up badge looks sick!!!

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Old 01-07-2010, 05:12 PM   #22
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I just got a deal on a pair of E46 single xenon projectors with used D2s bulbs that I plan on using in my '06 Impreza 2.5i which has a PNP kit in it currently. They are identical to these which I installed in a friend's JDM legacy lights:


And the output of one completed light:

I painted the cutoff plate green per my buddie's request and may do something similar with mine,I don't know yet. I've been wanting to experiment with mounting a small LED strip on the cutoff plate so we'll see. I'll try to update on this thread and my own.

Last edited by aleutdude; 01-07-2010 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:51 AM   #23
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Lots of effort in the 2nd post, thanks.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da-Risin-Smoke View Post
[b]
Which HIDs?
There are many brands of HIDs out there like knock off intercoolers it isn't even funny. Avoid the eBay ones that start at $40 and such. 99.999% of these are made in China and won't perform well as the nice ones. These "plug in play" ones are the culprits.

As again, you get what you pay for.

Many people have had hit or miss with $150 HID kits from companies such as DDM Tuning. Are they worth it? I'm not sure, many people are either very happy with the bargain price and the bang for buck, while many others frown upon the cheapness and sometimes failures of the kit.

A few name brand/reputable kits are: McCollough, Phillips, Digital (used by Lightwerkz)
Why not spend a little extra for better quality than cheap out on a poor quality product?
Something you need to know about HID kits, is they are all made by the same companies, just sold under hundreds of brand names. 99% of all kits, no matter what brand name, price, or dealer, are all the same made in China junk you see on EBay. The only advantage to buying them from a reputable dealer is customer service and the warranty. The reputable dealers charge more for the same thing because most of them will replace the parts in the kit when the go bad (not if they go bad, but when).

I have done a hand full of retrofits and have never even considered buying an HID kit to use for the bulbs and ballasts. It is simply not a good option. You are taking all that time and spending all that money to get a good set of projectors and mount them properly in the housing, and you buy an poorly built aftermarket HID kit to use in them?

You talk about how important it is to use OEM projectors but then settle for a terrible aftermarket light source. All that money you spend on a set of good projectors is now useless because of the terrible manufacturing tolerances in the bulbs you picked up. The dimensions of the bulb are just as critical as the geometry of the projector. OEM bulbs are the only way to go. Even buying a good, used, matching set of OEM bulbs is much better than "kit bulbs".

What about ballasts? OEM is better here too. Ever seen how long it takes for most HID kits to start up and warm up to operating temperature. During this time they are using much more current than they normally do. It can be 15 amps or more for a second or two for some kits. This draw slowly returns to the normal 3 or so amps once they are warm. OEM components use less amperage and for a shorter period of time. The one hid kit I have (which will never be used in a vehicle, just for testing and whatnot), takes about 3 times longer to warm up than the OEM ballasts and bulbs I have laying around. And then there is reliability. Aftermarket ballasts and bulbs will fail much quicker than OEM ones. Most people are lucky to get a year or so out of a kit without problems. Don't believer me search for "HID burnt out" or "HID problems". Some have had catastrophic failures with them. Remember the guy's fog light that caught on fire? I wouldn't want than happening to my new retrofit.

Now the most important part, the cost. The "good HID kits" that you speak of can cost over $100. A used set of ballasts from EBay will cost about $75 if you don't get ripped off. Used bulbs run about $25. Yea it's used but it's better. You can buy a used Cobb, or whatever, catback for $350 or pay Bob's Pipes Shop to fab you up a sweet new crush bent catback for the same price. Which would you choose. If you still want new bulbs and ballasts. New Philips 85122 bulbs run about $55 a pair on EBay. And you can get a brand new set of Matsu$hita Gen 3 ballasts (the same thing used on 04-07 STis, I think the 08+ use a slightly updated Gen 4, which looks the same) for $150. One other great thing about these ballasts is that even non STi, halogen 04-present Impreza headlights have the mounting tabs on the bottom of them, all you have to do is drill a hole and pick up some screws to mount them, just like factory. They will even be sealed with the factory O-ring on the ballasts. Of course they are also availible used for much cheaper. I usually pick up used ballast and get a set of new bulbs both from EBay. I have bought at least 10 sets of used OEM ballast and never once had a bad one.

Summary: You already picked up a nice set of OEM HID projectors, don't skimp on the ballasts and bulbs. Buy OEM parts for these as well.

To the OP: You are giving advice in the form of a FAQ, and these kind of posts tend to become dogma very quickly. I don't want to see something in your post, which I think is bad advice, being turned into the retrofit gospel. So, sorry, if I sound like an ass. That is not my intention. I just want to make sure people get the good information they are seeking.

PS: I'll post some pics of two of the retrofits I have done in a bit.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:50 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleutdude View Post
Very nice! The blacked-out housings look great. Do you have any pics of the fitting process?
Here you go mate...

open headlight and get busy with dremil


trial fit



custom shield


fitted


cup ring


stainless steel plate (sprayed black)


rear of casing extended


Bonded


done
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