06-01-2013, 10:36 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
What I Drive: BMW M3
FF Reputation: 1
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Originally Posted by Chickenmuffn
I finished my retrofit last week and have been enjoying the hell out of them ever since. Beautiful sharp and blue cut off. And best of all I get to use cheap hid headlight kits without blinding everyone on the road. So now I'm going to give this 'how to' a go. There is already a guide on the forum from another member, but the more the merrier eh?
How to Install HIDs: How to: Install HIDs
You can buy the projectors and HID kit from The Retrofit Source. Or you can buy the projectors and HID kit from various chinese sellers on ebay or Aliexpress (cheaper but less reliable). You will need:
Morimoto Mini H1 Bi-xenon projectors
HID kit (ballast and bulbs)
HID relay harness
50watt 6ohm resisters x2 (very important, for the bulb error codes)
Butyl rubber sealant
Electrical wiring accessories
Basic DIY tools
Electrical wiring tools
A few comments before the how to:
- This is a hard and time-consuming project; make sure you are prepared to undertake this project. I found it easy to be honest but this is my second retrofit.
- Everything listed above is necessary and you should not undertake this project if you do not have these items.
- Iím not sure how North America focusí computers will react to HIDís but I know that for a fact that my UK focus doesnít like them. If the car didnít register the correct current draw from the low beams, it would give me the bulb malfunction beep and message and then cut power to the low beams. So I had to wire in resistors to the circuit to mimic a standard 55w H7 bulb.
- If you can, it is best to find a broken focus with a broken headlight to practice removing the headlight lens. I did this and I absolutely ravaged the test headlight, but in doing so I learned tricks that allowed me to spare my headlights. But fear not, Iíll try my best to share these tips and tricks.
- I did this retrofit without the use of an oven, mainly because mine isnít big enough for the headlight. It is entirely possible to do it with a heat gun. In fact I prefer the heat gun.
Remove The Headlight
How to: Headlight housing removal w/ sidelight bulb change (European)
Remove The Headlight Lens
Okay, this is the hardest part. Iím going to try my best to make it easy for you though. Iím going to show you how to do it with a heat gun.
First remove all the bulbs: sidelight, low beam, hi beam, and indicator
The following diagram is how the lens is held into the housing.
In order to separate the lens and the housing you need to heat up the edge of the lens and remove/separate the sealant. Instead of heating the headlight all the way around, work with 6 inch segments at a time.
Slowly heat up a 6 inch segment. Do so by running the heat gun back and forth for about 20-30 seconds. I started with the top of the headlight.
First we will be dealing with the outer sealant. Once heated try and get a flathead screw driver underneath the black plastic and pry it up. You just need to get it up a tiny bit at first. If you canít get it up a bit, heat it up again and repeat. Becareful, if the plastic gets too hot you can melt it completely, you want to retain as much form and structure as possible. You want something like this:
Once you get the black plastic up a tiny bit, heat up the segment again for about 15 seconds and get a blade and run it in the gap you made multiple times. This will slice up the sealant. Do not heat up the plastic too much or you will slice right through it.
After slicing, heat up the segment again and this time you will be able to pry it up a lot more with your screw driver. You want it to look sort of like this:
You want to do the above process in 6 inch segments for the entire headlight.
When you complete the entire circumference, get a flathead screw driver and get it underneath the lens and push it into the headlight. This will break the inner sealant. Go around the headlight doing this, as you go around the lens will start coming loose. Use your blade to slice extra/stubborn sealant.
Remove The Reflector
To remove the reflector you simply pull it. There are 3 points that connect it to the housing. 2 on the top and 1 on the bottom. I started with the bottom one first. It is a "U-shaped" clip. You can slide your hand between the reflector and the housing and just pull the bottom out easily. The top two are a bit more difficult and are like ball and socket joints. You need to pull them in the direction that they face. No bending.
You can paint the reflector at this point. You can also paint the bezel, if yours is chrome, that is screwed to the lens. I recommend a satin black paint.
Modifying The Reflector
Drill a small hole below the low beam opening for the projectors hi beam solenoid wires.
On the back side of the reflector at low beam opening you will need to remove the two posts that are at the 12 and 6 o clock position in order for the projector mountain equipment to fit. Use your dremel.
You are now ready to install the projector onto the reflector. Install the shroud and silicone washer onto the projector.
Insert the projector into the low beam opening, make sure that it is right side up and that it is as level as possible.
Install the H7 adaptor plate and then the locking nut, be careful not to strip the threads. Attach the bulb holder mechanism.
Phew, almost done. Now you have to go test the alignment. If you haven't installed your HIDs yet, there go down a bit and read my brief guide and then come back here. Pop the reflector back into the headlight housing but leave the lens off. Go to your car and install the headlight. Ideally your car needs to be on a flat surface facing a wall about 20 feet away. Turn on your lights and take a look at the cut off pattern.
You may need to rotate the projector slightly clockwise or counterclockwise if the cut off is slanting.
You need to have your cut off going in a slight downward angle (towards the ground) from the car. Too much of a downward angle means you may only see 10 feet in front of your car (which is bad). If it is going in an upward angle it will blind the living hell out of everyone. You have angle adjustment controls in the car by the headlight switch, use them and find them best angle. If you do not have these controls OR if they cannot give you a useable angle you will have to do some 'MacGyver'ing'. You can get some standard metal washers and put them between the H7 Adapter plate and reflector to angle the projector appropriately.
High Beam Solenoid
Once you have it properly aligned it's time to wrap this project up. But first you will need to do some soldering. Solder the projectors hi-beam solenoid wires to the existing highbeam wires. It is just a matter of positive solenoid to positive high beam and negative solenoid to negative highbeam.
Note: All the ground wires in the headlight housing are daisy chained together. So the singular wire going to the high beam locking mechanism is the positive wire.
We're on the home stretch now! To prepare the headlight for re-sealing you need to remove as much left over sealant from the lens and headlight housing as you can. You can gently heat up the sealent and use a blade or pliers or any tool you prefer to remove AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Otherwise the excess sealant will prevent your lens from sitting on the headlight housing like it did before. Test to make sure the lens sits nicely before moving onto the next step.
Now to seal I used roof/gutter sealent a.k.a rubber butyl and clear silicone. You can get both of these in cartridge form at any home improvement store for under 10 dollars. Fill the headlight housing channel with rubber butyl all the way around. About 1/2 cm thick.
Place the lens on to the housing. Now like you did before, working in sections of about 6 inches. Heat up the headlight housing and bend back the plastic to surround the lens again. Careful not to heat it up too much or you will melt it.
Use spring clamps on areas that you have completed to help keep the lens in place. Keep working around until the housing is molded into shape. Keep the clamps in place and let it set for about 12 hours.
When you come back 12 hours later, get some clear silicone and apply it over the areas that were 'manipulated'. Then smooth it over with your finger (in a latex glove preferable). This will give you a second layer of seal and protection. You can give your self a third layer by duct taping the edges too.
Now you are done! Hopefully you end up with somehing like this:
HOW TO INSTALL THE HIDs - How to: Install HIDs
Looks like excellent information. i think it will help me lot in my next lights project. Will post my new project very soon. Thanks again
Last edited by KennyIngram; 06-02-2013 at 01:27 AM.