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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well about 3 months ago I decided to retrofit my fogs and headlights to projectors since I use HID's in both. I got the fogs done a while back (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=373640) and am now getting to the headlights.
There are a couple of retrofits (Acura TL and FX35 Projectors) on this forum that require custom fabrications of brackets and cutting of the housing/reflector to mount the projector. I wanted to avoid this as I did not want to order a second set of headlight assemblies, and I definitely didn't want to cut into my original OEM housing. I imagine that this is a turn away for a lot of people when the thought of a retrofit comes to mind. So I decided to post a how to one a simpler retrofit.
I picked up a set of Morimoto Mini D2S Bi-Xenon Projectors from The Retrofit Source (http://www.theretrofitsource.com/). The great things about these projectors is that they fit into an H4 socket. You insert them through the reflector bulb opening and secure them down on the back of the housing. It really simplifies the install. Now these projecotrs aren't as good as TL or FX35 projectors, but for the ease of install and performance vs reflector housings, it is definitely worth it. I purchased their PNP Bi-Xenon Upgrade kit which comes with a few different things.

1) 2x Morimoto Mini D2S Bi-Xenon Projectors
2) 2x Morimoto 5000k D2S Xenon 5Five 50watt Bulbs
3) 2x AMP/D2S Adapter
4) 2x Apollo Shrouds and Mounting Rings
Step 1 (Housing Out of Car):
Now first thing you have to do is get the headlight housing off the car. To do this you have to take out the radiator cover, grill, unhook the bumper, and unfasten the housing. Or you can take a look here (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=319716) for a more in depth version of removing the headlight housing :thumbsup:
Step 2 (Remove Housing Lens):
Now that you have the headlight out you need to remove the outer "lens". The easiest way to do this is to bake the housing in an over. But first there are a few things to do first to the housing. There are 9 screws and 3 clips that hold the lens to the housing.

Red boxes show the screw locations (phillips screws) and yellow boxes show the clips. Take the screws out then take it to the oven. Set the oven for 265F and bake the housing for 7 minutes. Now BE VERY CAREFUL, when the plastic is this hot it is EASILY bent and broken so take your time. The clips will be easy to disengage at this point. Just use a large flat screwdriver to pry the lens away from the housing. If the sealant starts to reharden, throw it back into the oven for a min or two to re-soften it. It should come off eventually. Make sure you don't let the sealant get onto the reflectors as it will be a major pain to remove. Just throw the sealant that is hanging over back into the channel. This is what you should end up with:

Step 3: (Preparing housing and projector for install):
Three short steps.

First the bulb holding arm on the housing must be removed. Just get rid of the black screw and it comes right out. Then the bulb cover (within the headlight) must be removed. It is held on the headlight by a metal arms that come through that hole below the bulb socket. Just use a pair of needle-nose pliers and bend the arms straight instead of 90 degrees and it will slide out. The next step is optional but I recommend it.

I used foil tape to tape the hi-beam solenoid wires to the projector bowl, if not the wires could hang down and become visible when the install is complete.
Step 4 (Initial Projector Mounting):
Now this is how the projector mounts into the housing, from RIGHT to LEFT.

You insert the projector through the bulb opening, attach the H4 adapter to the projector which locks it in position (rotational wise), put a rubber ring over the H4 adapter, twist on a lock ring tightly over the rubber ring, insert the bulb, place metal ring over bulb end, then rubber ring, then bulb end cap (hand tighten), and then the adapter connector. (longest sentence ever...:facepalm:) this will make more sense later on. Now to insert the projector,

I put the solenoid wires through the bulb shield hole as shown here. The silicon on the projector protects the reflector from damage as you tighten it down. All the rings/rubber rings will attach to the other side.
Step 5 (The Problem with the mounting :headbang:):
The reason I got this projector was the ease of install. It was suppose to be "plug and play", well it is, if you want a projector that puts the light out at 15 degrees off level....

If you look at this ^, toyota mounted their Y-shaped H4 slots slightly off straight to the right. So it tilts the projector to the right. The H4 adapter that came with the projector didn't allow for rotation, so I had to modify it.
BEFORE/ORIGINAL:

AFTER MODIFICATIONS:

The 3 prongs fit the housing perfectly, blocking all movement, so I had to basically cut each prong in half (width wise) on 1 side to allow the bracket to rotate enough so I could center the rotation. If that makes sense. Once I did this, the bracket could rotate freely so I had to secure it so it would sit still and not move once the install was complete. I got it where I wanted it rotation-wise and used quick steel (a putty substance similar to jb weld) to lock it in place.

After 5 min it was hardened and the bracket was locked in place holding the projector level even though the housing is turned. This was the only real problem encountered in the install.
Step 6 ( Projector Final Mounting):
The next step I forgot to take a picture of so I copied the pic below from The Retrofit Source's install manual (working on a current generation tacoma so housing is VERY similar). Now put the projector through the bulb opening and bracket.

(^From the Retrofit Source's Install Manual^)
Place the rubber projector ring over the screw threads and push it down to the H4 bracket, making sure not to get it twisted.

Then place the lock ring on next and tighten it down very tightly ( I used a wrench to get it as tight as I could). This is what holds the projector to the housing, so the tighter you get it the less vibrations will affect it and lessen the possibility of the projector to fall out. Thread locker might come in handy here.Then I put silicon around the edge of the H4 adapter/rubber/lock ring to seal it.
Step 7 (Install the D2S Xenon Bulb):
Next 3 pics from The Retrofit Sources's Install Manual.
First clean the bulb with rubbing alcohol, then insert it into the projector, it will only fit 1 way.

(^From the Retrofit Source's Install Manual^)
Place the metal ring over the lip of the bulb.

(^From the Retrofit Source's Install Manual^)
Place rubber bulb ring over metal ring.

(^From the Retrofit Source's Install Manual^)
Place bulb end cap over the bulb, securing the rubber ring and bulb to the projector. Hand tighten.
Step 8 (Mounting Shroud):
The shroud is easy enough to mount. It comes with a ring that allows you to just push it on the projector. It is a fairly snug fit which shouldn't allow it to come off/rotate unless you have a collision. But I wanted a little extra insurance on it not coming off.

The red boxes are on the bottom of the shroud. The red boxes indicate where the shroud comes in contact with the projector housing. I placed some adhesive silicon here to add a little more solidity to the build. It should look like this now:

Step 9 (Resealing the housing):
Now its time to reseal the housing. First use compressed air to clean out the housing. Also make sure the projector lens, reflector is clean of all dirt, dust, or anything that got on there during install. Reheat the oven to 265F degrees. Push the lens back into the housing as far as you can get it (it won't be close to sealing at this point) and place it into the oven for 7 min. Take it out and place clamps along the edge to force the lens back into the housing. The edges should mount back flush. While the clamps are on and sealant hot, start screwing the 9 screws back in and reengage the clips. Once they are all in, the lens is flush to the housing, and it is cool, remove the clamps and continue the retrofit. The original sealant by itself should be enough to seal the housing again to make it water-tight. But if you want to be extra careful, you can either buy new sealant to place into the channel, or just place silicon along where the housing and lens meet. This is what I did and it is not visible from the exterior of the car, and worked fine.
Step 10 (Modifying Rubber Bulb Boot and Install):
The original rubber boot is meant to hold the bulb, and will not allow the D2S/AMP adapter to fit through it so it must be modified.
ORIGINAL:

Modified Version:

I basically cut that lower skinny section off to make it as snug of fit as I could to the width of the adapter socket next to it.
Next I put the solenoid wires through the opening on the rubber boot and secured the boot to the housing like normal. Then I just connected the D2S socket to the bulb.

Since this boot is what keeps water out, it needs to be sealed. I placed silicon around the D2Ssocket (including the solenoid wires) and the rubber boot.
Step 11 (Wiring High-beam/Solenoid):
For the high beam solenoid power I used quick connects to tap directly into the highbeam wire and ground on the OEM H4 socket (below)

Here is the socket diagram for the H4 socket:

(31 is the ground, 56A is high beam, and 56B is low beam)
Now this is directly connected to the solenoid wires.

So now when you trigger high beam the solenoid lowers the cutoff shield unleashing all the light.
Step 12 (Reinstall housing, plug in turn signals/parking lights, and aim new lights):
Reinstall the housing the opposite way you took it out. Now the great thing about these projectors is that aiming is easy. If you got the rotation correct earlier, then it makes it even easier. The projectors mount to the reflectors so you aim them like you aim halogen bulbs.

This this bolt(9mm bolt) to aim the light up and down. Clockwise will lower the light, counterclockwise will raise the light.
Housing Installed on Car







And of Course the imporant output pictures :thumbsup:
These pictures are taken with all 6 of my lights on. Here is the breakdown on the lighting setup I now have: (All Xenon)
1) Headlights: 55watt 5000k Morimoto Projector Retrofit
2) Fog Lights: 35watt 4300k Blazer Projector Retrofit
3) Extra Lights: 35watt 4500k Pilot (Fog) Projectors (mounted behind grill, shooting light through gap)
FIRST

the picture above is meant to show the difference between a projector and a reflector with HID's. The left is a reflector, notice lots of glare, very uneven spreading of the light, and no sharp cutoff. The right is the projector, no glare, sharp cutoff, and even spread of the light across the beam.
Now everything below is all projectors HID's, no reflector lights at all. (Picture taken 10-15ft away from wall) I have my fog lights wired in with the parking lights (so I have fogs with highbeam) so I can't run just headlights by themselves. You can see where the main headlights begin vs the fog lights though in the pics.


(^High Beam w/ the fogs^)

(^notice the width of the beam. Its very wide especially for being 10-15ft away from the wall. It goes a little wider than that, camera couldn't pick it up due to the fact the headlights are so bright its having to turn its brightness way down)

------------------------------------------------------------
Ok well this install took me about 10 hours grand total, but I was being very careful the whole time, so it could take less. I used to think the reflector HID kits were good enough for a long time, now what I have seen what a true HID projector can do, there is no comparison. Here is a link to the official instruction manual for the projectors from The Retrofit Source (http://www.mediafire.com/?abr88lolb3az6e4). If you have any questions let me know, I'll be glad to answer them.

EDIT:
Well I've blacked the headlights out now, this is what they look like currently:









Disclaimer: Do at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for any damage to vehicle or bodily harm when performing these modifications, or any voidage of certain parts of your warranty.
 

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Awesome write-up !

I'd have to go to mechanics school to do that...:facepalm:

Looks great..:clap:
 
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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That looks great! I'm really tempted to try this when I come home from my trip (First post, I've been an avid reader for months but this motivated me to finally register)
:welcome: to the forum!. As long as you can do some DIY work, its really not that difficult, or at least compared to a regular retrofit :thumbsup:
 

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Lights

That looks absolutely great and it's fantastic you did it yourself.

My question is, will these lights have similar longevity as the stock lights that come with the car. My concern has always been when this mod is often done, one of the problems is the bulbs have short life spans.

I am not technically inclined enough to understand if different ballasts are required or wiring. Are the quality of these lights every bit as good as what would come on a car new with the HID feature?

Please advise.
 

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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That looks absolutely great and it's fantastic you did it yourself.

My question is, will these lights have similar longevity as the stock lights that come with the car. My concern has always been when this mod is often done, one of the problems is the bulbs have short life spans.

I am not technically inclined enough to understand if different ballasts are required or wiring. Are the quality of these lights every bit as good as what would come on a car new with the HID feature?

Please advise.
Well when it comes to longevity of the bulbs, the only thing that will outlast an HID bulb is an LED bulb. HID's usually last a 5-6 years under normal use, much longer than halogen bulbs.
The way HID bulbs work is that they have salt in the bulb and when you first turn the lights on, 20,000 volts passes through the bulb causing the salts to emit light. After about a second that 20,000 volts lowers to about 80 volts to maintain the bulb being lit. That is what the ballast does, it kicks up the 12volts from the car power to the voltage required to run an HID bulb. Now the life span of a HID kit can be substantially lower if you get a real low quality ballast that can go out. If you get a good set the ballast will last if not outlast the bulb.
One of the things that determine how good a lighting setup is, is the projector that emits the light. Different projectors have different abilities to emit the light at wider angles and with more intensity (the Acura TL and FX35 Projector retrofits on this forum are an example of that, they are better projectors than what I purchased). Now having said that, the ones I got are 80% as good as those OEM ones(Now I'm talking about HID projectors NOT halogen projectors (like you see on a Camry)). Though I am not saying they are bad, these projectors put light everywhere (I light up the oncoming side of interstates across the median they throw light so wide :D) Plus normal HID's in OEM cars run at 35 watts (3x brighter than halogen), I am running mine at 55 watts (4-5x brighter than halogen) and that more than makes up for that 20% difference. Ive found that my new lights are brighter than most OEM setups when passing them. Plus when I have all 6 projectors running (2x headlights, 2x fog lights, 2x projectors behind grill), there is no comparison between mine and OEM, OEM is put to shame.
Let me know if this doesn't make sense :thumbsup:
Patrick
 

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Lights

Patrick,

Thanks for all the great info. Last question is aiming these lights a no brainer?

I like the set up, I have a 2011 Ltd. and have the projectors but are halogen. They look nice, better than reflector lights for sure, but sure wish the truck would have come with option of HID.

It sounds like this mod, when done right as you have, will be as potentially good as what Toyota would have implemented.

Not comfortable doing it myself though, maybe ask what a pro would charge and use the same parts as you have found to be compatible.

ANDY
 

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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Patrick,

Thanks for all the great info. Last question is aiming these lights a no brainer?

I like the set up, I have a 2011 Ltd. and have the projectors but are halogen. They look nice, better than reflector lights for sure, but sure wish the truck would have come with option of HID.

It sounds like this mod, when done right as you have, will be as potentially good as what Toyota would have implemented.

Not comfortable doing it myself though, maybe ask what a pro would charge and use the same parts as you have found to be compatible.

ANDY
If you look 2/3 down my first post there is a pic showing the back of the housing. I circled a bolt in red, that is the aiming nut. As long as the projector is mounted level to the ground aiming is really easy. Turn it clockwise to lower the light, or counter-clockwise to raise it. You would have to measure the height from the ground to the center of your headlight and then from 25 feet from a wall have the light cutoff at 1-2 inches lower than the height of your light.
You have a 2011? this install would be different for you as you have a different headlight assembly. You don't have an H4 reflector bowl like the 08-10's do so this wouldn't work. You could put a PnP HID kit into your stock projector (better than putting HID's in a reflector, but not as good as a HID projector). I don't know how good the cutoff is on the stock projectors or if they have "squirrel spotters" (light above the cutoff to illuminate signs (HID projectors usually don't have that)) If you take it to a pro, they would have to take out the old projector and customize the headlight to accept a HID projector in its place. Plus you wouldn't need a Bi-Xenon (high beam and low beam in 1 unit) like I used since you have a dedicated high beam bulb. You would just need a low beam projector (most retrofit sites sell the Lexus RX projector and Acura TSX projector for that purpose). This would definitly complicate things, plus more expensive as the parts are more expensive than what I got. For example my whole kit I got (bulbs, projectors, wiring, shrouds) was $175, most OEM projectors from sites usually sell for that much (Lexus RX and Acura TSX are like $190'ish)
 

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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sweeneyp,
You finally pull the trigger. Like I mention before on the other post, its not that hard it can be done, good job on making step by step procedure.

Balot64
Couldn't be happier now that I did do this. Thanks again for the heads up that these kits exist!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well this weekend I had the headlights out doing modifications to the projectors to get as much output as possible from the mini D2S's. It had a seriously large impact on the light on road and distance throw of the projectors (light all the way to the cutoff, no dims-pots at the cutoff).
Here is what I did:
-Sanded the solenoid tip down to prevent causing a dim spot to the right of the step as it sticks too high above the shield.
-Wet sanded (very fine- ultra fine grit) the outside edges of the shield even with the bixenon part of the shield (normally sticks up above it) to prevent the downward slope in the cutoff on the edge (i.e. perfectly flat now across entire width) (The image below is from hidplanet (forum), from the user Ditigalpro, he helped me by telling what to do to enhance the D2S's)

-made sure that the openings in the lower shield that held the bixenon shield were completely covered to prevent light from escaping the gaps. They could possibly act like squirel spotters, which I didn't want. Some foil tape fixed that right up. Its those 2 openings in the pictures above where the moveable shield connects to the main metal shield.
-My bulbs were not properly aligned within the projector causing my hotspot to be off center (a hotspot being the spot of highest intensity of light, mine was way high in the highbeam region and off to the right. I had used copper wire on the base of the D2S bulb to temporarily fix this by tilting the whole bulb) I removed the copper wire from my bulb and manually aligned the hotspot on the step by pushing the bulb itself into position with the base fully seated in the projector. Basically I moved the glass tube with a screwdriver and pushed it into the position it should be.
-moved the shield closer to the bulb to get a little more of a blue band of color at the cutoff.

here are the pics of the finalized D2S's:


(Above 2 pics are at 15 feet, color band is thicker and more vibrant the farther it travels, rather small at 15 feet though... Also notice no dim spots, even spread of light. Before modifications had a dim spot directly to the right of the step)


(above 2 pics are at 25-30 feet, messed with exposure to show detail not brighness. They are actually much brighter as I run them at 55 watts)

If you look at my first post, if you look carefully you can see dim spots and uneven light spread across the projectors light emission (my camera exposure makes it difficult to see, but trust me it was there :headbang: drove me nuts, and killed my distance vision, as dead center at the cutoff there was a dim-spot. So i could see to the sides but not in front of me). Now after these modifications the D2S's have a even spread of light across board and have the hotspot dead on the step. This REALLY helped my distance vision as I now have distance throw much farther than almost all the other cars on the road with a 2" drop at 25'. So on a flat road (in theory) about 400-425" feet of the road in front of me and to the sides are lit. Most halogen setup's (that I pass) end at about 1/2 that distance, and don't emit to the sides like HID's projectors do. The last 2 pics I altered the exposure of my camera to get those pics. They are much brighter normally, but i made them dimmer so you could see the steps/hotspots.
So if you have the Mini D2S's or thinking about getting them, it is well worth the time to modify them to get the best performance possible.
 

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That is completely awesome! :thumbsup:

It's perfect, nothing over done and goofy like the majority of the kits they make for the Highlander. Nice and simple, but makes a huge impact!
It looks like it could (and should) have come from the factory like that.

Awesome.

If you ever have some spare time, I'd totally buy a set off you. ;)
 
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Any update on the mini h1 install? Curious why you chose that instead of the mini d2s. Can I use an existing hid kit with either kit? Saw this thread and am really thinking about doing this up. just not sure which kit to use.
 

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Any update on the mini h1 install? Curious why you chose that instead of the mini d2s. Can I use an existing hid kit with either kit? Saw this thread and am really thinking about doing this up. just not sure which kit to use.
Hi. The MH1 puts out a better light on the road, so I recommend it over the D2S. The only advantage of the D2S is that you can use OEM bulbs. But if your going to spend $100-$200 on a pair of bulbs, you should be using real projectors.

You can use your existing ballasts, just get H1 bulbs to match the H1 projectors! :thumbsup:
 

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Resident Nutcase
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Or Phillips 85122+ for ~$80 on amazon :D, the difference between those and morimoto 4.3k bulbs is massive (in terms of raw output, my mini d2s beam is wider due to the extra light).

As for kit you would need, you would need Mini H1 proejctors, amp ballasts, and H1 bulbs. Or just the projector and an H1 kit. If you already have ballasts, they are probably amp, and you can reuse them and just get the h1 bulbs.

But I agree mini h1 is better than D2S.
 
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