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  #1  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:12 PM
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Default Classic Mini HID Projector Retrofit

Well I have tried everything to get more light. And in a small car, visibility for you and the people around you is important as well. So I tried a few things. My car came with sealed beam headlights. Old, yellow, power hungry, and really dim. So I decided the logical step was to upgrade to halogen with replaceable bulbs. With the higher amp draw, I wanted to do it right so I installed relays and fuses to the system so the car could handle the higher draw.

This brings me to where I am now. The halogen setup is good. And definitely an improvement over the sealed beams, but I just need more light. The round headlights aren't exactly the most advanced setup as far as beam pattern and light output are concerned either.

So here's the important part. You should NEVER put an HID bulb into a Halogen housing. It just flat out is a bad idea. Your light will be scattered and messy. You will have a ton of glare for you AND oncoming traffic. Your light output can often be LESS than a regular 55W Halogen bulb in the same housing. And it just makes you look like a freaking ricer. .

Here's the setup I decided to go with for now.

7 Inch Round housing to fit the car.
Acura TL Bi-Xenon Projector housings.
Morimoto 35W ballasts
Morimoto 35W D2S 5000K bulbs (These are not ricer blue, but more of a true white)
Relay harness for an H4 wired car with 80amp relays.
3" ZKW-R lens replacement for cleaner cutoff and higher lumen output
Possibly ordering some shrouds to finish the project with a more OEM look.

Here's what I started with.

Standard 7 inch round headlight with a "projector" built in... it's a JOKE, but you will see that later. I bought them because the bucket of the headlight is gloss black. Allows a bit of reflection for the parking lamp, but REALLY reduces the glare when the HID is on. And it has clear GLASS on the front which will not distort the beam cutoff pattern.

Click the image to open in full size.

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First step was to cut out the cup for the halogen bulb so I could insert the TL Projector bodies. This is where you need to take your time and really get it right. I cut little by little by little until I got a snug fit. I then opened it up just a bit more so that I could get lateral and horizontal movement of the projector to let me adjust the height and aim of the beam when it is installed on the car.

Here's the initial cut that was made just to fit the lens half of the projector. But it didn't accommodate the solenoid on the bottom which allows the Bi-Xenon shroud to actuate.

Click the image to open in full size.Housingcutwithlens by I Love Cars, on Flickr


Here's the final cut housing.
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And Here's the Projector with the housing.
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Now, I feel I might have to differentiate a bit from some similar projects, so I will say this. I wanted to mount the projector much deeper in the housing to facilitate a much wider beam with no cut off from the housing, and I wanted to be able to fit a finishing shroud. It also cut my mounting depth by about an inch and a half which will allow me to simply modify the stock mounting buckets to allow even more adjustment. So if you are attempting to duplicate this, take your time and plan BEFORE you cut. Otherwise you will have to cut more and ruin your housing or find some ghetto way to cover the cuts.

I can now put the full projector into the housing.

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With a light shining in
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Here's the projector and housing from the side

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And the reduced mounting depth

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Now these are NOT finished, but I am waiting on the shrouds to get in so I can finish them up. But you get the general idea.

And here's the original "projector" junk next to my modified housing with the TL Lens

Click the image to open in full size.

Next step is to secure the projector to the housing. You can do this a few different ways, but I decided that threaded rod at 4 points would allow me to secure it properly and also allow me to adjust the beam effectively.

I took the threaded rod and cut it to size front and back and then ground it down to mate smoothly with the housing. I then took the paint off the housing to allow the epoxy to bite into it for a more secure finish.

The Hardware
Click the image to open in full size.MountingHardware by I Love Cars, on Flickr

The Rods
Click the image to open in full size.readyformountingadjustmentscrews by I Love Cars, on Flickr

The rods tapered to the housing.
Click the image to open in full size.epoxyprepwork by I Love Cars, on Flickr

A couple types of epoxy to make sure it is all safe and secure and able to stand up to the road, bumps, and vibrations.
Click the image to open in full size.epoxymounting by I Love Cars



I'm waiting on the epoxy to dry to do some more work, and then the rest of the parts to get in. I'll keep updating this as soon as I can.

Hope you guys like the update. I'm pumped to get it into the car.
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Last edited by MtyMous; 11-21-2017 at 08:15 AM..
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:23 PM
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Cool project, fit and finish seem to be of a really high standard, nice! I'm curious as to what they will look like fitted to the car...
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:24 PM
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This is relevant to my interests Great coverage.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:28 PM
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That looks great! Its the exact set I bought for the Miata. I thought the housing was black chrome. Nope, just black lol. Talk about a 110% useless housing for a halogen.

You must have a ton of room in the bucket area. I still cant find a shallow enough projector for pop up lights, so my project has gone nowhere.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:37 PM
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Is the glass on front rounded like OEM or more flat? Do they have a chrome version? Where can one find a set?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:41 PM
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The glass is round almost exactly like OEM. I have a flatter set right now and I don't like the way it looks. Really doesn't do it justice.

And I do believe they have a chrome set, but it has the stupid projector thing in it. I think I can find one that is chrome without the cheap "projector" there.

EDIT: I found it. PM sent with the link to the clear lens with chrome reflector from the same site I ordered my set from
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not-so-rednwhitecooper View Post
That looks great! Its the exact set I bought for the Miata. I thought the housing was black chrome. Nope, just black lol. Talk about a 110% useless housing for a halogen.

You must have a ton of room in the bucket area. I still cant find a shallow enough projector for pop up lights, so my project has gone nowhere.
yeah, they are TOTALLY useless as a halogen reflector. No light output, and the little projector piece is a turd. Worthless. I don't have much room IN the bucket, but I will be cutting the bucket itself and using it as part of the mount, then extending the bucket behind that with something weather tight. It's way up in the fender and the wheels won't touch it. Plenty of room to play around with. Just gotta get the car back to make it happen
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:17 AM
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Well, for $30 you'd have a hard time otherwise finding a good housing with a clear, non fluted lens to use in a retrofit.

Also, I don't think the lens on mine was glass. I'd have to go check again but I think it was plastic of some sort.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:27 AM
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yeah. I spent $25 with free shipping. haha. Not a bad deal. I did check to see if mine was plastic, but it's actually glass. Has a few tiny bubbles in it, but for $25 I could care less. They are way off on the side. I still wouldn't care if it was plastic though.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:32 AM
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What shrouds are you using? I'd like to use the Panamera ones, but I dont think theres room in there.

I wonder if I can mount the projector really deep into the housing to free up as much space out back as possible. I'm doing some research right now to see if I can get real measurements for each projector.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:05 AM
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let me know if you need any Acura TL measurements. But it's by far one of the largest housings out there, so probably not a good place to start.

I'm buying a couple shrouds to see which one I like. Buying the Apollo and the E55-R.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:29 AM
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Very cool project! I might have to consider something like this for the truck when I finally work on it again.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:46 AM
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ooh wow! can we get some pics of them mounted and lit up?
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:13 AM
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yup. As soon as I get the rest of the parts in and the car, and the car back from having the body work.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:15 AM
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That is awesome
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7" round, classic, hid retrofit, lights, projector

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