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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy All,

I purchased some aftermarket headlights with projector housings for my ‘13 Focus. They look great, and I wanted to upgrade to HID headlights. However, the projector housings in the headlights are halogen projectors and the H1 HID bulbs are too long. They hit the part of the projector that cuts the beam for a low beam pattern. This also makes a bunch of dark and bright spots in my low beam pattern. Leaving me with poor visibility at night. [:(!] Hopefully, I can return them.

So. I am thinking about running the Projector retrofit route. I saw a post on here about someone selling a retrofitted projector headlight set up they made for their Focus because they were trading in their Focus. I really liked the look and have always wanted to try my hand at a projector retrofit project, but I need a question or two answered first.

I want to keep my factory headlights stock in case I need to swap back for any reason. So, I need a new set. I have seen on eBay and Amazon, some cheap headlights that use H7 bulbs for the low beam and others that use H11 bulbs. How well do they hold up? Can I use a set of those or should I invest a little more and purchase some OEM headlights for this project? My concern is weather or not the cheaper ones will handle the extra weight of a projector and still hold the headlight alignment.

Another thing I should note, is that the H1 Mini projectors that I plan on using, state in the specs section on the Retrofit Source website that H4 and H7 headlight housings require little to no modification to the reflector bowl what so ever. So, I would prefer to go that route and get a set that uses H7 bulbs if possible.

Thanks in advance!

Lord Snax
 

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Aftermarket housings should hold the weight of the projector just fine. The only thing I'd be worried about is the lenses on them fading or "hazing". I had a set of aftermarket projector housings and the lenses didn't hold up too well. After about a year the clear coat on the lens started to peel off causing them to haze up. That's when I ditched them and retrofitted my OEM H11 housings. The only thing I had to do is grind down one little tab in the bulb opening to get the Mini H1 projector to fit. I may have also had to enlarge the bulb opening as well but I can't remember for sure.

One benefit of the aftermarket housings though is that they tend to be easier to open up because they use softer sealant than the OEM housings.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Aftermarket housings should hold the weight of the projector just fine. The only thing I'd be worried about is the lenses on them fading or "hazing". I had a set of aftermarket projector housings and the lenses didn't hold up too well. After about a year the clear coat on the lens started to peel off causing them to haze up. That's when I ditched them and retrofitted my OEM H11 housings. The only thing I had to do is grind down one little tab in the bulb opening to get the Mini H1 projector to fit. I may have also had to enlarge the bulb opening as well but I can't remember for sure.

One benefit of the aftermarket housings though is that they tend to be easier to open up because they use softer sealant than the OEM housings.
Thanks for the info. You got me thinking. I might just go ahead and retrofit my factory headlights anyway. Since the protectant on the lenses is better. I’ll just pick up a cheap set as a backup to swap to if I need to.
 

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I’m about to start a retrofit of Morimoto Mini D2S 5.0s into aftermarket Amazon headlights. Just ordered all the parts. I’m not too concerned about the lenses. Those $15 3M Headlight Restoration kits work wonders if they do start to haze. I also apply Blue Magic Headlight Sealer periodically to all my lights.

One concern is neither the stock, nor aftermarket lights have horizontal adjusters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’m about to start a retrofit of Morimoto Mini D2S 5.0s into aftermarket Amazon headlights. Just ordered all the parts. I’m not too concerned about the lenses. Those $15 3M Headlight Restoration kits work wonders if they do start to haze. I also apply Blue Magic Headlight Sealer periodically to all my lights.

One concern is neither the stock, nor aftermarket lights have horizontal adjusters.
Interesting, all the aftermarket headlights I have been looking at do have a horizontal adjustment screw.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’m about to start a retrofit of Morimoto Mini D2S 5.0s into aftermarket Amazon headlights. Just ordered all the parts. I’m not too concerned about the lenses. Those $15 3M Headlight Restoration kits work wonders if they do start to haze. I also apply Blue Magic Headlight Sealer periodically to all my lights.

One concern is neither the stock, nor aftermarket lights have horizontal adjusters.
How is the project coming along? I'm thinking about going with some D2S projectors as well, but I'm concerned about space. Is there enough room for a D2S projector in the headlights?
 

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How is the project coming along? I'm thinking about going with some D2S projectors as well, but I'm concerned about space. Is there enough room for a D2S projector in the headlights?
Making progress. These are the 2015+ headlights, so the 2012-14s might be different.

The halogen low bulb is a H11 and the threaded mounting shaft on these Morimoto Mini D2S 5.0 projectors are so large you’d need to pretty much grind out the entire H11 socket and there’d be no “meat” left to mount the new projectors. So, I had to build up the area first with Gorilla Epoxy Stick (just like JB Weld Steel Stik). I sanded down the backside of the reflector bowls first and put a coating of JB Weld Plastic Weld epoxy down first because I didn’t like how the Epoxy putties stuck (it didn’t stick too wonderfully) to the reflector bowl plastic. I tried a few brands/types. Then I sanded down the PlasticWeld epoxy and stuck the Gorilla putty to that. A good combo in my limited testing.

Then I drilled out the hole for the projector and used a Dremel and sanding drum to fine tune the hole size. I also sanded down the shiny side of the reflector because some areas were thicker than others. This allowed the reflector to sit in a tad further and expose more threads of the projector mounting shaft.

Then I used a belt sander to flatten out the backside. I just eyeballed “level” based on the reflector bowl mounting surfaces.

I also drilled a little hole for the bi-xenon solenoid wires and clearanced a tiny bit on the bottom of the reflector bowl to accommodate the projector.

The next step will be to mount the assemblies without the lens covers and lock down the rotation of the projectors and fine tune the horizontal aim. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to adjust that with washers where the reflector bowls mount.

I’ve only eyeballed-it, but it appears they are mounted deep enough to fit the lens covers back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Making progress. These are the 2015+ headlights, so the 2012-14s might be different.

The halogen low bulb is a H11 and the threaded mounting shaft on these Morimoto Mini D2S 5.0 projectors are so large you’d need to pretty much grind out the entire H11 socket and there’d be no “meat” left to mount the new projectors. So, I had to build up the area first with Gorilla Epoxy Stick (just like JB Weld Steel Stik). I sanded down the backside of the reflector bowls first and put a coating of JB Weld Plastic Weld epoxy down first because I didn’t like how the Epoxy putties stuck (it didn’t stick too wonderfully) to the reflector bowl plastic. I tried a few brands/types. Then I sanded down the PlasticWeld epoxy and stuck the Gorilla putty to that. A good combo in my limited testing.

Then I drilled out the hole for the projector and used a Dremel and sanding drum to fine tune the hole size. I also sanded down the shiny side of the reflector because some areas were thicker than others. This allowed the reflector to sit in a tad further and expose more threads of the projector mounting shaft.

Then I used a belt sander to flatten out the backside. I just eyeballed “level” based on the reflector bowl mounting surfaces.

I also drilled a little hole for the bi-xenon solenoid wires and clearanced a tiny bit on the bottom of the reflector bowl to accommodate the projector.

The next step will be to mount the assemblies without the lens covers and lock down the rotation of the projectors and fine tune the horizontal aim. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to adjust that with washers where the reflector bowls mount.

I’ve only eyeballed-it, but it appears they are mounted deep enough to fit the lens covers back on.
Wow! I didn’t think that a D2S retrofit would be that involved. It’s no longer a question of if I can. It’s a question of do I have the time and the work space.

I was initially thinking about a D2S retrofit because I wanted to run 55w HIDs. However, the Mini H1 projectors from The Retrofit Source (TRS) are 35w HIDs only, and the D2S are 35w or 55w. Since this is my first retrofit project, I think I will run with the Mini H1 projectors from TRS.

The downside is that I already have a 55w H1 HID kit. The TRS support guys said, “I can use 55w HIDs, but they would not honor the warranty on the Mini H1 projectors. It would damage the inside of the projector after a year or so. Causing poor lighting performance.”

On the upside TRS support guys said that I can trade my 55w ballasts out for 35w ballasts and opened a RMA ticket for it.
 

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Any luck starting on a retrofit Lord Snax? I've had a whole TRS Mini H1 Kit sitting in my garage for almost a year and haven't had the time/confidence to try retrofitting my 2014 Titanium headlights. I retrofitted my 2008 Honda Civic headlights with the same kit and it was great. But finding good build threads with the Focus isn't easy. The permaseal and complex factory circuits are worrying me the most. Thanks!
 

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Wow! I didn’t think that a D2S retrofit would be that involved. It’s no longer a question of if I can. It’s a question of do I have the time and the work space.

I was initially thinking about a D2S retrofit because I wanted to run 55w HIDs. However, the Mini H1 projectors from The Retrofit Source (TRS) are 35w HIDs only, and the D2S are 35w or 55w. Since this is my first retrofit project, I think I will run with the Mini H1 projectors from TRS.
Ive not done a retrofit on a focus but did one on on my brother's Lincoln TC's most recently. I suggest starting with aftermarket housings, just so you dont have to worry about delays. I was able to work on them over the course of a few weeks when i had spare time.

I did use the mini D2s stage III's with 55w bulbs/ballasts. The end results were pretty impressive, just much better beam pattern and throw compared to the 35w i have in my ST.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Any luck starting on a retrofit Lord Snax? I've had a whole TRS Mini H1 Kit sitting in my garage for almost a year and haven't had the time/confidence to try retrofitting my 2014 Titanium headlights. I retrofitted my 2008 Honda Civic headlights with the same kit and it was great. But finding good build threads with the Focus isn't easy. The permaseal and complex factory circuits are worrying me the most. Thanks!
Yes! I finished the retrofit and it looks great! (Sorry, I didn't update this thread about it.) Here is a picture with my RGB demon eyes set to green!

When I started this retrofit project, I used videos and write ups for other cars. I find most retrofits to be pretty universal. Each car is different, but the core steps are the same. If you did it on your '08 Civic, you can do it to your Focus.

For the headlights, I used an aftermarket set of headlights I found on Amazon by ACANII. They used that black permaseal stuff and stapled the headlights to boot. I used a small flat head screw driver to pry the staples out and a heat gun to soften the glue. To pry the lens off the headlight I used a Christmas tree retainer pry tool. When I put the lenses back on, I needed silicone sealant around the lens and any holes I drilled for the wires to keep the rain water out.

As for the wiring, I used a relay kit from TRS with an Anti-flicker Capacitor Link wired into the driver's side headlight wires and a 50 watt load resistor on the passenger's side headlight wiring. This solved the "Headlamp Failure" warning on my dash. Also, the Anti-flicker Capacitor Link should take care of any flickering if your Focus uses the low beam bulb for daytime running lights.

Hope this helps!

- Lord Snax
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ive not done a retrofit on a focus but did one on on my brother's Lincoln TC's most recently. I suggest starting with aftermarket housings, just so you dont have to worry about delays. I was able to work on them over the course of a few weeks when i had spare time.

I did use the mini D2s stage III's with 55w bulbs/ballasts. The end results were pretty impressive, just much better beam pattern and throw compared to the 35w i have in my ST.
I'm currently running 35w HIDs in my Focus right now. I chose those over 55w because TRS would not honor the warranty on the Mini H1 projectors if I used 55w ballasts.

After running for a few months now with the 35s. I have though about throwing the warranty out the window and grabbing a set of 55w ballasts. And whenever the reflector bowl fades in the projector, I'll go for either a D2S retrofit or a LED projector retrofit. Not sure...

- Lord Snax
 

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Looks great! Makes me wish I got lens etching and RGB too. I only got a single color demon eye kit.

I'm thinking about buying some cheap replacement headlights to retrofit, but I've read some reviews saying they start to develop small cracks in the lenses soon after installing. Otherwise, I would just use them to drive while I retrofit the stock headlights.

Just a couple more questions haha. Since the Focus headlight uses a "universal" plug to connect to the vehicle wiring, did you just connect everything inside of the headlight itself? And where did you end up mounting your ballasts? I've read that some people mount them on the bottom of the headlight. Thanks again!
 

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Looks great! Makes me wish I got lens etching and RGB too. I only got a single color demon eye kit.

I'm thinking about buying some cheap replacement headlights to retrofit, but I've read some reviews saying they start to develop small cracks in the lenses soon after installing. Otherwise, I would just use them to drive while I retrofit the stock headlights.

Just a couple more questions haha. Since the Focus headlight uses a "universal" plug to connect to the vehicle wiring, did you just connect everything inside of the headlight itself? And where did you end up mounting your ballasts? I've read that some people mount them on the bottom of the headlight. Thanks again!
Bummer! I thought about just getting a single color demon eyes, as well. However, a friend of mine told me, "Get the RGB! There is no other color!" (What makes this funny is that, ironically. He is completely color blind. [rofl]) On the other hand, you can take the lenses out of the projectors and send them in to get etched. Or order a new set of lenses and have TRS etch the new ones.

I also read a lot of reviews about the cheaper aftermarket headlights fading and cracking. But, I've found, through some research, that simply waxing the headlights as if they where part of the paint helps prevent the cracking and fading.

Another reason I went the aftermarket headlight route, is so I have a right and left headlight adjustment. The factory lights only have an up and down adjustment. This way I can set that step up part of the projector beam right where I want it.

When it came to wiring, I did most of my splicing and connecting inside the headlights and drilled holes for any pass throughs as necessary. The H1 HID bulb pass through grommet (If I am remembering correctly) needs a 1 1/8in. hole. This is so I can easily (and quickly) return the car back to stock for any reason.

What I did was, I just cut the H11 connector off on both headlights and spliced on some butt connectors similar to what a H1 bulb would use. I did this because the Morimoto H1 HID bulbs have that built in pass through rubber grommet with a H1 to 9006 harness adapter with it. Your kit should be the same as mine, but it may come with a H11 to 9006 adapter.

The ballasts I just haphazardly zip tied them behind the headlights. I thought about mounting them to the bottom of the headlights, but I wasn't sure the headlights would mount correctly in the car with the ballasts mounted there.

Another thing. I also wired the projectors to the high beam circuit. This is so I have high and low beams on my projectors. (I'm really glad I did that.) The demon eyes I wired into the parking light circuit on that big wire harness that connects to the headlight itself. You can wire it to a switch if you want. I just didn't want to dill any more holes in may dash than necessary. An added bonus, is that if I forget to turn my demon eyes off the car's battery rundown protection will help me there.

Hope I explained everything clearly for you!

- Lord Snax
 

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Any chance you took pictures while doing your retrofit? I'm having trouble mounting my Mini H1's. I don't have enough of the threaded shaft sticking out and I'm only using the small/thin silicone grommet and the H7 adapter plate on the backside. I'm also worried about the projector rotating, and want to know if you just tightened the nut a lot and/or used epoxy to hold it?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Any chance you took pictures while doing your retrofit? I'm having trouble mounting my Mini H1's. I don't have enough of the threaded shaft sticking out and I'm only using the small/thin silicone grommet and the H7 adapter plate on the backside. I'm also worried about the projector rotating, and want to know if you just tightened the nut a lot and/or used epoxy to hold it?
Sorry, I do not have any pictures of the install that I could find. I could've sworn I had taken some.

I am assuming that you are using the Morimoto Mini H1 projectors, correct?

I did not use the rubber rings or epoxy. Those rubber rings are for H7 and H4 retrofits and you won't be needing them for your Focus. I just placed the projector right in the reflector bowl.

I made sure that the projector had a smooth bowl to sit in. To do this, I took a dremel and ground down the waves in the reflector bowl. If you don't, the projector will rock back and forth on the points of the waves in the reflector bowl. You don't need to do the entire bowl. Just the part around the hole where the projector threads go through. This is so the projector sits snug against the back of the reflector bowl and does not rock.

I also understand your concern about keeping the projector level to the car. I parked my Focus in the garage and installed the headlights without the lenses to make sure the projectors are level on the garage door with my Focus. If you don't have a garage, don't sweat. Any wall that has level ground to park your Focus on will do.

Although, the further back you are from the wall the easier it is to make sure they are level. I only had a few feet between my headlights and the garage door. As a result, the driver's side headlight is ever so slightly tilted to the left. Others may not see it, but with my high attention to detail, I can.

Once I made sure they where level, I cranked the nut down and double checked the projectors to make sure they are still level before putting the lenses back on.

Hope this helps,
Lord Snax
 

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Yes, I'm using the Mini H1 7.0s

Interesting that you didn't use the silicone grommets. I'm pretty sure I used them on my Civic retrofits. But I tried searching a little and did find that some people actually don't use them. I might give that a try. Because even after I think I have it pretty tight, I can spin the projector freely with my hand. I don't want to fully tighten the nut though because that aluminum is designed to deform for a permanent fit.

Did you use a 27mm socket or wrench to get them tightened for the final fit?

I did end up tapering the inside of the reflectors to get rid of some of the bumps, and I also sanded off the raised ring on the backside of the reflectors. I was going to post pics, but I don't have enough posts to do so. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, I'm using the Mini H1 7.0s

Interesting that you didn't use the silicone grommets. I'm pretty sure I used them on my Civic retrofits. But I tried searching a little and did find that some people actually don't use them. I might give that a try. Because even after I think I have it pretty tight, I can spin the projector freely with my hand. I don't want to fully tighten the nut though because that aluminum is designed to deform for a permanent fit.

Did you use a 27mm socket or wrench to get them tightened for the final fit?

I did end up tapering the inside of the reflectors to get rid of some of the bumps, and I also sanded off the raised ring on the backside of the reflectors. I was going to post pics, but I don't have enough posts to do so. lol
Another thing I should add. I did not use those aluminum rings either.

To tighten the nuts I used a pair of needle nose pliers. Not the best way to tighten a nut, but it was what was within reach when I was finishing my retrofit. So far, they haven't moved.

I would also mark the nuts once they are tight to give a reference point to see if they loosen on you over time.

Lord Snax
 
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