How To Guide Retrofitting OEM reflector headlights. (and a quick HID lesson) - Club4G Forum : Mitsubishi Eclipse 4G Forums - 2006-2012 Eclipse Authority
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Old January 10th, 2014, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Retrofitting OEM reflector headlights. (and a quick HID lesson)

Thoughts and things I found after I had taken the picture are usually in * * and in italics.

SO, like many other areas of our car, we were blessed with the horrible H13 bulb, and the reflector in the 06-some09 Eclipses is not the best design either. As seen here: (Sylvania halogen H13 SilverStar 55W)


Most people add rebased H13 HID bulbs. All that does is intensify the bad light output, and add glare. As seen here: (DDM 55W 8000k)


What tried to pass as an okay light output when using the H13 Halogen bulb, now turns into a blob of light with the overpowered HID bulb. Basically flood lights with no direction.

Another option is buying the aftermarket projector headlights. Using a low beam H1 halogen projector, and H1 halogen high beam reflector. The problem with these is not that they are halogen, the shield, or the lens in the projector. It is the bowl of the projector. The light output is very streaky, not very wide, and they have way to much foreground light. I unfortunately did not get pictures before I removed them from my car, I will update with pictures later.

You can also buy the OEM HID headlights that came in some 09 Eclipses and 10-12. They go for about $500 USD a piece. This a great option if you have the money. They are Bi-Xenon headlights, powered by 35w D1S Valeo 6G ballasts.

In my opinion the best option, if done correctly, is retrofitting your OEM reflector headlights.

Projectors
Since our cars have hi/lo in one reflector, we will use a Bi-Xenon projector. You can use any kind, as well as a low beam projector if you wish, though you will lose high beam capability. The hi/lo functions with HID's works different than halogens. Instead of upping the power and brightening the bulb like the halogens, HID projectors remove the shield with a solenoid as demonstrated by this perfect GIF. *borrowed*



This allows the full amount of light to be let out instead of it being blocked by the shield. Some projectors have a very wide output, some have long throw, some have amazing high beams. Projector choice is your preference. Most aftermarket projectors already come with a clear lens, but OEM projectors usually have a Fresnel or frosted lens. This means for the clear lens you have a sharper, clearer, and more colorful light output. The frosted lens has a softer, warmer output. To some the sharper cutoff from the clear lens is actually bothersome so search around for examples, I chose to stick with the OEM frosted lens. Projectors also are made to take D1-D8 bulbs. Most aftermarket projectors will take D2S, and D1S is usually used by OEM companies. D3s-D8s projectors, ballasts, and bulbs are much rarer so I won't cover those.

I went with the Hella E55 Bi-Xenon projector.

Ballasts

Choosing your ballast is up to you. Depending on your projector, you will have a D1S or D2s ballast. D1S ballast don't have an igniter as it is built in to the bulb. D2S ballast have the igniter at the end of the wire.

Here is a D4S, though similar to the D2S they are not compatible:



D1S:





D2S: (borrowed)


Aftermarket or OEM, they will still power your bulbs. There are some pros and cons to both. 35w or 55w is up to you, though smaller projectors shouldn't be used with 55w. 55w also might burn the reflective coating on your projector bowls, and shorten the life of your bulbs.

Aftermarket ballasts are usually cheaper, smaller, and weatherproof. Though they have a slower start up time, reliability is questionable, and sometimes their wattage varies.

OEM ballasts are reliable, have a quick start up time, and are excellent quality. These will usually last much longer and will still warm up your bulbs in seconds years later. But they are much more expensive, and some are not weatherproof because they are usually inside the headlight. Thus they must be potted.

I went with the 5th gen Matsushita 35w D1S ballast.


Bulbs

Now to bulbs. This is where I recommend you absolutely don't skimp and go with OEM. To start, an aftermarket bulb is fine but OEM bulbs really make a large difference. OEM bulbs have the best mix of salts, the arc capsule is precise, and of higher quality. The bulb itself has a better outer UV protection, so your projector bowl won't be damaged. They are true to their kelvin rating and have the best light output.

D1S bulbs have the igniter built in:



D2S bulb: (borrowed)


Aftermarket bulbs are not quality controlled so their color varies, a 6000k bulb might look closer to 8000k. The mixture of salts is not of good quality, they burn much hotter than OEM bulbs, shortening their life and maybe damaging your projector bowl. With kelvin ratings, the higher you go, the more light you lose. This is why most OEM bulbs will be 4000-4300k. Though newer developments have allowed for 5500k bulbs with more lumens than 4300k bulbs. An optimal range is 4000k - 6000k. You can go higher, but they will be aftermarket, and lumens are greatly reduced.

I went with the D1S: OSRAM XENARC 66144 CBI.

Accessories and Addons

You can add halos, LED's, shrouds, a relay harness, decals, or a different paint job to your headlight. The possibilities are endless, but the more you add the job becomes much more difficult, and expensive. I added LED halos and painted everything flat black. Having finished them I would have not added halos or painted the headlight. I prefer an OEM look.

On halos, " Many different people sell them, they are mostly all the same product. LED's don't like heat, so keep that in mind if you are going to use them continuously/in combination with HID's or where it's very hot. On the opposite, CCFL rings don't like the cold, they will take some time to warm up, about a minute or so when it is cold. They will not be affected in terms of reliability though like LED's are with heat. "

If you paint your headlight make sure and allow the paint to dry completely and bake if needed. If not and you close everything back up the paint will release fumes and stain/fog your headlight.

Now these two are semi-required in a retrofit. The shroud isn't *NEEDED*, but it covers the projector and what you used to mount it. The shroud you use is up to you, as long as it fits your projector. They will require adjusting to fit properly. I went with the Panamera Shroud.

A relay harness in my opinion is a very important part of a retrofit. It connects everything together and allows you to connect directly to the battery taking stress off of your factory harness. It also allows you to trigger the solenoid when using a high beam. We use 9008/H13 harness. You can make your own or purchase one online.

How to retrofit your headlights

The first thing you have to do is get your headlight open. You can use the oven or a heat gun. If you have a big oven I actually think it is much easier than the heat gun. A lower temperature at a longer time is better than high temperature. 220-ish for 30-60 minutes is what I recommend, checking them occasionally. They should just come apart easily. I used a heat gun, more time consuming and more chance to burn the headlight. I went a small section at a time, heating and then prying with a screwdriver. Be careful not to bend the back of the headlight to much, if it does not budge do not force it. Heat it up more and try again. Patience is key.




The headlights I used had a bunch of extra butyl so I removed it with a blade.


The bottom part has started to separate.

When you get the front of the headlight off, you have another piece to remove. The part with the three "prongs". It is attached with butyl in 4 or 5 spots and should be easy to remove.


The back part of the headlight with only the reflector.

I didn't remove the reflector as to not mess with original placement as well as one bolt is difficult to get to.

From the back side, you have the bulb opening


This is to small to fit any projector. *There is a projector called the Mini H1 6.0, this one might fit without cutting, or very little but I have not measured.*
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Old January 10th, 2014, 03:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So we have to cut the hole to fit the projector. I used my dremel 3000, it is better to cut small and go from there. If you go with D2S you might have to sit the projector farther back as the igniter has to connect to the bulb.








The metal part is no longer needed. So I cut it off.








Some sanding later




So now the projector fits!!

but, this needs to fit too, this a D1S bulb holder. D2S holders are a bit different but still used.

So I marked where the bulb holder twists on to the projector. *It is actually easier to just cut a bigger circle than just a section.*



After * I left the rubber seal around the hole because I thought I was going to use it, but I actually didn't end up using it, so I recommend removing it before cutting*





*As you can see the sections didn't work so I had to just make the whole hole bigger, this is on the second head light*

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Old January 10th, 2014, 03:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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After the projector and bulb holder fit and was able to twist freely I tested it.











The bulb holder goes around the bulb and it has grooves as to which way it is attached. The projector also has grooves to allow the bulb to insert and then it is twisted to lock in place.





*I was working and in school at the same time when I did this so I didn't have a chance to take pictures of everything as there was a long break in time in between each step, this took me like 4 months some people do it in a weekend, but I worked on it once a week for about and hour or two every other week or so, when I find the pictures that I took with the camera I will add them where they go*

So a time lapse later, I painted the part with the "prongs" as well as the reflector. I hate chrome. On one headlight I didn't remove the chrome, I just scuffed it a bit. I recommend removing the chrome, the paints sticks much better. I used the heat gun to "bake" it, about 30 minutes each headlight. Unless you want your home oven to smell like paint fumes.




with this *this is actually overkill and you can use any paint*






Some more test fitting after everything dried.


The plastic lens is removed by a screw at the bottom of the headlight part. The halo fits perfectly in the hole that is left and in the grooves in the top two "prongs".
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Old January 10th, 2014, 03:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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These are the shrouds I used mid cut, eww chrome. please MEASURE everything. It makes it much easier.



No more chrome I used the same paint to spray these. These do have a clear ring around them, because you can add a halo inside them. I painted it with multiple layers to block light. Not all shrouds have openings like these. Some are solid.

Continuing with the random advances in this project. I made a harness for the halos. You can simply connect them to your running lights, but I wanted them controlled independently. The harness is overkill, but if I drive into a river the halos will at least still be on I used 16 gauge copper wire and marine grade connectors/heat shrink. Techflex to cover each wire and then a large diameter one to cover all of them.


The halos are connected to the battery with a 20A fuse



All the wires are enclosed in orange Techflex.






I ran the wires into the car through the harness path in the fender.




The power and ground wires from both halos meet up.



I made a small slice in this rubber cap to allow the bundle of wires through, then added sealant foam around it just to be sure.



Testing them.



Ground, load, and power wires connected to a rocker switch inside the car.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 04:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I attached the projector to the reflector with bolts and nuts and washers. I made this to let the bolt/washer sit flat instead of against the curved reflector.




That top line seems to be perfect to drill the holes. Make sure they line up with your projector.



Added quiksteel around the hole to secure the plastic retainer I made.



Now before you securely attach the projector. Align the projector. This step is VERY important. Make sure the projector output is rotated correctly. Side to side/up and down is easier to adjust then if the whole projector is rotated incorrectly. Here is a video explaining it better than I can TRS Tips: Headlight Aiming Tips for Completed Projector Retrofits - YouTube

After the light is aligned correctly. Attach the projector securely. I only added two bolts on top and at the bottom I added a piece of quiksteel . I'll talk about that at the end. Add some jb quick or similar epoxy to the bolts after they are correct to stop them from moving.

Drove around without a bumper for a weekend




I made a bracket to hold my ballast. You can use zip ties, double sided tape, whatever is easier for you.









This is the relay harness I used. In between the ground and power wire is the connection that goes to your solenoid that controls the shield for your high beams. On my projectors the solenoid did not care which wire was power and which was ground, as long as it got the signal. Some projectors do require the correct polarity so be careful with that.



You have halo, bulb, solenoid, ballast, and factory headlight connections.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 04:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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After I made sure everything was correct I started putting everything back together. Attach the middle part of the headlight with the halo back with a bit of butyl in each groove.





Run your halo and solenoid wires through bottom of the reflector.

The butyl that was on the headlight originally was really old and hard. I cleaned it all out with the heat gun and a screwdriver to scrape it all out. Then added fresh new butyl. Run it along the whole channel, and the press everything together. You want to make sure to get a good seal. I used zip ties to apply pressure to the two pieces.



So now you have the headlight complete. But you cant leave the back end/projector exposed. Some people use pvc pipe, some use Tupperware containers. I used a old tint tube with a rubber pipe cap. It is 3 inches. and fit perfectly in the large hole when you removed the rubber seal thing.







I cut a slit in the rubber cap and ran the halo and solenoid wire out, and ran the bulb wire in.

Connect everything together and you are done.


Yay





Now, when I attached the projector, the bottom side was only secured with a piece of quiksteel. The vibrations and movement broke the piece and now my headlights look like I threw them in there in any random way. Right hand side is aiming to the left and the left hand side is aiming at the floor. So please use at least 3 bolts, 4 would be perfect, one in each corner. The headlights I used I bought from someone on here. They looked like there were about to fall apart and the lens had a deep cut in the shape of the ralliart eyelids, missing tabs So this gives me a chance to buy new ones and do everything correctly. This why I don't have any pictures of the awesome output. You can get all the supplies online or on here Iconic Designz sells them too. If you think this is to much work or don't want to try it, he can do it for you too.

I am not responsible for broken parts or wasted money.

Ya'll are welcome to ask me any questions. It is late and I am sure I misspelled and left parts out, but I will fix it tomorrow.
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Old January 10th, 2014, 05:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm currently working on a retro fit myself. Thanks for this info, and those headlights look amazing!
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Old January 10th, 2014, 06:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great write up man!!!! "" e-rep to you!!! (when I get off that is)
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Old January 10th, 2014, 10:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Holy write up Batman! Very well deserved rep you killed this project!
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Old January 14th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great write-up. I'll be using this in the future. E-Rep'd!
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Old January 14th, 2014, 10:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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AWESOME write up! Lots of good info, thanks for doing this man!!!
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Old January 14th, 2014, 11:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone I was going to edit this and add in more stuff but....

I'll add a download link to a pdf file with a better and more thorough How To when I remove them and move everything over to brand new headlights
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Old September 12th, 2014, 12:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Just wanted to do a quick update on my new retro that's been done for a couple of months now. I switched over to D2S with the bi-xenon RX350 projectors.

I initially had G37's, FX-35, & Camaro projectors. I tuned all of them with clear lens, spacers, messing with the shields etc. I was going to go with the Camaro projectors because I'd be able to keep the ballasts & bulbs, just switch the headlights.

Untuned Camaro projector


Clears lens+shield spacing


I'd started a custom mounting bracket out of cardboard


But before I could transfer over the bracket to autoCAD I was able to get some RX350 projectors for way cheaper than they usually are.

They are much bigger than the Camaro projectors, but we can fit bigger projectors in our headlights, it's just the rear bulb mount that is the problem. It basically requires a giant hole just to fit that in.



Untouched output, lots of color. I actually would have liked to keep them like this.. I like smoother/softer cut offs.


Dremelled off those two mini shields circled to the left, to get rid of the "void" in the cutoff that you see towards the left of the step.


First try with the clear lens. Pretty boring, not much going on here.


Added some washers.. I think I had to many here, or the lens needed moving around. Notice all the color flaring up instead of being uniform & sharp.


This was the final cutoff after fixing everything.
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Old September 12th, 2014, 12:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Testing the projector in my test headlights.


I made new brackets for these.


This was the final design I believe. The AFS Bixenon RX350's have horrible mounting points as they are held on by the leveling motor/mount. hence the odd design of the bracket. Any other projector would have been much easier/simpler. The Non AFS, have usable mounting points as those don't move around in the headlight. I have AFS RX350's.


A couple days later, I got the CnC'd brackets in the mail.


I had to use the screw points that actually hold the projector together and include the bracket as part of the projector assembly. I had to get much longer screws of the same size.




I was originally going to use the OEM G37 shrouds, just to keep the all OEM thing going, but they were to shallow at the bottom.


I bought some Nissan Rouge LED DRL's too, but I didn't give much effort into trying to fit them into the headlight. I needed to finish the retrofit, as I was driving around with one ugly halogen headlight and a semi correctly retrofitted headlight.


I didn't take pictures of the actual work if you'll call it that lol. I used two bolts/nuts to secure the flat/bottom part of the bracket flat against the bottom of our reflector. It worked perfectly, it basically made them part of the reflector. I used two extra long bolts on each side of the bracket up top, drilled them through the reflector. A nut inside and outside of the reflector to hold it. Adjusting these would either move the projector left, right, or up and down if both bolts were tightened or loosened at the same time.

I ended up using.. I believe it's an Apollo 3.0 shroud that I had laying around. Painted it satin black, kept everything else how it came from the factory. Oh I did use brand new headlights from Mitsubishi.



"BIXENON" raised emblem over the factory headlight shroud, the smudges are on the outside as this was when I was sealing them back up.




Yayyyy


I used OEM butyl this time, added some moisture silica packets inside of the headlight just in case.

Went with same generation ballasts, Matsushita Gen 5, replaced the normal length connectors with extra long ones.. I think only the D2S version can have these. I don't know from which car they come from as it is the same connector just much longer. I also potted these to make them waterproof.

D2S bulbs are GE Xensation @ 4300k temperature. Really good bulbs actually. I have some 3800k XB-35 bulbs from TRS coming in the mail just cause, they should help more in the rain/snow.

I'd like to get some Osram nightbreakers for the fall/winter and Phillips C1 Extreme for the summer/spring. That's around $400~ish in bulbs though, so I can wait for a sale

This retro was done correctly imo and I like it muchhhhhh better. I can actually see everything. Color flicker looks cool reflecting off signs and buildings lol. I don't have the high beam mountain that basically brought daylight with it anymore but I don't use high beam that much anyways.

I'd encourage everyone to try this! A quick, rough, & rounded estimate.. Headlights $240, Projectors $75, Brackets $60, Bulbs $65, Ballasts $120, Long cords $40, Shroud $15, Clear lens $40, Paint/butyl/eblem $50. SO around $700-ish.

I bought most of my stuff new though. You can put together a very cheap retro. http://www.theretrofitsource.com/closeouts.html

Used OEM bulbs $25, FXR-3.0 $70, $10 relay harness, Shrouds $10. Aftermarket ballasts, or be patient on ebay and you can find a pair of Matsushitas for around or under $100. Just source some headlights and you have a budget retro

Any questions or comments are welcome
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Old September 12th, 2014, 01:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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OH! I mentioned in my original post that the Mini H1 projector might fit without cutting. It does not fit without the headlight being modified. Although it is VERY minor cutting. They attach much easier, though they look a bit odd because they are small in our rather large headlight. I have semi-finished set laying here which is how I know.

I barely found these pictures, some might be a bit big(ger).

ANDDDDDDDDDDD this is what failed in the first retro. After I got the old retro off and ran over it 20 times going forward and in reverse. The quiksteel broke off of the reflector. A loose projector. Looks like it didn't bond correctly with the reflector, is it because it was dirty, or because of the texture of the reflector.. who knows.


Some people use only quiksteel and like a gallon of JB weld to secure their projector. I don't trust it, it's messy, and it's rather difficult if not impossible to take everything apart if you were changing stuff around.

Here's a picture of the bracket before I drilled the holes. That flat piece at the bottom is the life saver.


Playing around with stuff


Aiming and adjusting


Perfectly aligned, dat 180 degree angle


Another finished picture
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Old September 13th, 2014, 11:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Man I love your work. Looks sick!
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Old September 13th, 2014, 06:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
U Feel'n Some Type Of Way
 
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I need to get on this! I have some headlights sitting my garage. I've been contemplating using EL wire for DRL's or halos.

Ever given EL wire any thought?
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Old September 14th, 2014, 01:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
Just here for the lights
 
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EL wire is for the most part only visible to dark adapted eyes. So it's not very bright & it'll get dimmer with time. Heat from the bulb & the sun will kill it quickly too. Borrowed this picture but the EL is the second to last halo, with LED,CFFL, & BMW OE halos.

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Old January 9th, 2015, 09:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey what size millimeter halos did you use in the first pair? Going to retrofit halos in my oem headlights and yours are the exact size I want.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 02:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
Just here for the lights
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdrandall4 View Post
Hey what size millimeter halos did you use in the first pair? Going to retrofit halos in my oem headlights and yours are the exact size I want.
The halo size for the OEM lights is 100MM.
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hid, projectors, retrofit, retrofitting, xenon

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