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2012 Camry XLE, 2007 HiHy Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I figured I'd put this out there in case anyone was interested in accomplishing something similar. I did quite a bit of research beforehand as far as what my options were and thanks to molson.david and Blochead21 I went for it. The difference I made was going for a set of low beam RX350 HID projectors instead of bi-xenon.

I originally had a set of Morimoto XB35 4300K H11 HID bulbs installed and for a while they did fine. Certainly a lot better than the 2Stroke 2.0 LEDs that I tried out for a week. My main issue was the amount of glare coming from the squirrel spotters thanks to the increased light output of the HID bulbs. I also just wanted to run a legitimate HID setup with quality D2S bulbs vice rebased H-series bulbs with HID capsules from unknown manufacturers.

I snagged a pair of RX350 low beam projectors from eBay.
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These particular projectors are actually built to accommodate D4S bulbs, but that was easily remedied by shaving off the D4S tab on the left side of the bulb holder.

Before:
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After:
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I used a combination of a box cutter blade and small needle nose pliers to remove that tab. It was around this time I was wishing I had a Dremel.

Meanwhile, I needed a way to test fire some bulbs and ballasts while they were in the projector in order to test output. So I grabbed a computer power supply and started cutting and splicing some wires. It was around this time I was wishing I had a better soldering iron. I still need to get one.
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I eventually made another three 9006 connections and one with alligator clips.

I decided to acquire a set of aftermarket Depo headlamps. I wasn't in the mood to deal with the permasealed OEM units and I wanted a set of SE lights because I think the black ones look way better than the chrome ones the XLEs have. I asked Lightwerks what their take was on either TYC or Depo aftermarket units and they suggested Depo because TYC has been hit or miss when it comes to dealing with permaseal headlamps while the Depo units they've been dealing with to date have exclusively still been sealed with butyl rubber.
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Before sticking them in the oven I took out all of the light bulbs+holders (4), rubber grommets for high and low beams (2), and screws (8).
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So in the oven they went at 240 degrees for 20 minutes. Boy, did they ever barely fit my oven.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Tools at the ready; plastic trim clip pliers for separating the lens from the housing, gloves to keep my hands from spontaneously igniting, two flathead screwdrivers (one to smooth the butyl rubber in the channel, one for prying if needed), and Philips screwdriver that was already used to remove the 8 screws behind the housing.
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Mind these clips while separating the lens from the housing.
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When one becomes two:
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Set the lens aside to make room to work and make sure it gets placed on a soft surface to keep from scratching them.

In order to separate the projector mount and high beam reflector sub-assembly from the housing I recommend pushing the tabs on the plastic sockets inward with a pair of pliers while slipping the sub-assembly over them. Don't do what I did and try to separate the plastic socket from the ball joint on the housing. Stuff might break.In my case stuff did break as you might see in the other photos. There are two of these plastic sockets. Both of them are above the projector of the sub-assembly to the left and right. Then rotate the headlamp adjustment screw counterclockwise to release the sub-assembly.
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Here's the back of the sub-assembly. The projector is mounted with four screws indicated by the arrows.
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Halogen projector on the left, HID projector on the right. Top mounting points are identical.
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The bottom mounting points on the other hand were not.
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This wasn't an issue though as it was easily remedied by drilling new holes using the halogen shield as a template. Disassembly of the projectors was required.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bottom mounting points lined up perfectly!
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Next on the docket was swapping out the frosted lens of the HID projector with a STI-R clear lens. This is done to provide a very defined cutoff and help with color flicker. Driver preference of course. Others find a sharp cutoff very distracting and opt to keep the default frosted or fresnel lens. The lens holder needed to be widened ever so slightly as the clear lens was slightly larger than the inside diameter of the lens holder. Use a flat head screwdriver and carefully bend the retaining ring tabs back and push the lens through the back of the lens holder to remove the retaining ring.
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Remember that Dremel I wished I had? Well I really needed one now.
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Time to get to work with a grinding stone attachment and set to around 10k RPM.
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Before (left) and after (right). I didn't time it but I think it took me about 20 minutes to get the lens holder wide enough to accommodate the new lens.
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Comparison shots below:
Frosted lens:
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Clear lens from halogen projector:
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STI-R clear lens:
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Time for reassembly! Mount your freshly modified HID projectors in the same spot as the old ones, carefully slide the projector and high beam reflector sub-assembly back over the plastic sockets and rotate the adjustment screw clockwise to secure it. Grab your best butyl rubber and have it handy to stick inside the housing channel before sticking it back in the oven.
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You'll also need a decent set of clamps to push the lens back into those deep channels filled with warm gooey butyl. These are NOT those decent clamps as they're too small and don't provide enough force to push the lens down far enough into the channel. You'll also need to get the 8 metal screws ready to go. Once the plastic lens has been pushed far enough into the channel get those screws back in because tightening screws through warm butyl is better than doing it through cold butyl. Also because that warm butyl will have found its way into the holes for the screws.
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Once the headlamps have cooled you can mount the turn signal bulb, side marker bulb, and high beam rubber grommet into the back of the housing. You'll need new rubber dust caps for the low beam lights as the old grommet is no longer sufficient to seal the back of the housing where the HID bulb is located. Cut a hole in the center of the dust cap just large enough to slip the igniter cable through (ballast connector side), push the igniter toward the inside of the rubber cap, seal around the cable with silicone on the outside and allow it to dry for 24 hours.
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Install in vehicle, aim, and enjoy!

I'll try to get some output shots posted later.
 

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Nice retrofit! I've been lurking on hidplanet ever since I got my Morimoto hid kit, but always to scared to do a proper retrofit.
Respect man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice retrofit! I've been lurking on hidplanet ever since I got my Morimoto hid kit, but always to scared to do a proper retrofit.
Respect man.
Thanks! I used HIDPlanet for inspiration as well. I had been mulling doing this swap for a good while but I kept going back and forth about whether or not I should open up my existing housings and also whether or not I should go bi-xenon. Since I wanted to get the SE lights on my XLE that sweetened the deal. And finding a decent set of low beam RX350s on eBay helped as well. I saved about $130 going that route instead of getting bi-xenon. As cool as bi-xenon is I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to cut into the projector mount in order to accommodate the solenoid. For some reason I wanted to be able to reverse it just in case. But that’s just me being weird.
Here are a couple of output shots from just across the street from my place. I’ll try get a better one tomorrow night after the gym.
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Captain Camry
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Legit retrofit! What bulbs/ballasts are you using? I'd love to do the RX350/Sti-R swap on my '15. But I don't have the guts to take it on myself or the money to pay someone else. I'd run Osram CBBs if I could fit a D series bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I had pre-existing Hylux A0050 ballasts paired with Philips XV2 4800K bulbs. Ballasts have worked pretty well the whole time I’ve had them so I kept them and got the D2S connectors above so I could continue using them. I didn’t have the guts to deal with my permasealed OEM assemblies either. Have you thought about going the aftermarket route at all?
 

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Silly question but I've googled everywhere and everything but couldnt get a clear answer....but is it at all possible to swap out just the projector reflector housing (where you insert bulb) without baking the headlights? Im a great cook but definitely not a baker. Im just trying to see if I can do any mods or have the option to mod anything without baking the headlamps. tia
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Silly question but I've googled everywhere and everything but couldnt get a clear answer....but is it at all possible to swap out just the projector reflector housing (where you insert bulb) without baking the headlights? Im a great cook but definitely not a baker. Im just trying to see if I can do any mods or have the option to mod anything without baking the headlamps. tia
Not a silly question at all! In fact I think @molson.david modded his headlamps without baking them open.

Here’s the thread that references what he had to do.

I also used Blochead21’s thread on the process.

Without their contribution I wouldn’t have gone forward with it.
 

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Hate to bump this thread but I recently had my headlights on my 15 retrofitted and the outcome was not as expected. I’ve attached pictures of the outcome and what I have seen others achieve. I purchased the RX350 projectors with STI-R clear lenses from LightWerks. I’ve talked to members in a Facebook group and they have mentioned adding spacers(?) such as the image I have attached. Any advice?

I’m running Osram 5500k with a Morimoto XB Ballast
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Yeah, it looks like your lens swap changed in focus. You will have to space out the lens to get the right focus point. You will know when the cut off line is super sharp and likely brighter as well. It’s going to take some time to get it right but yeah you will have to redo the retrofit.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it hasn’t already been done I’d start with making sure the lens holder has been widened to accommodate the lens properly to ensure it sits flush with the lens holder (see post #3). If you’re unable to do so then you can definitely try adding washers/spacers to the lens holder. Loosen the lens in the lens holder just enough for you to be able to rotate the lens while it’s on so you can get the best pattern possible as well.
 

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I should add that they were purchased from LightWerks with the performance tuning option. If I am correct, those things should have already been done. I reached out and they are claiming that my lenses are foggy and are ensuring that it has to be something my installer did. Here is a photo of my lenses
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Kinda hard for me to tell on my phone. It doesn’t look too bad, I’ve seen much worse, but they could be better. Only way to know for certain is to bake them open and test output without the lens.
Thanks. I don’t see hope my lenses would have such an impact on the output? They’re not foggy. I don’t see how mine would make the projector output swoosh up on the sides or not show the purple/blue near cutoff.
 
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