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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Check out this thread for some background information. Disclaimer: Like any reasonable adult, in doing this mod you take full responsibility for your actions.

Materials needed:
  • OEM HID setup which consists of 2 HID projectors, 2 ballasts/igniters, 2 D2S bulbs
  • H4 wiring harness
  • JB-Weld
  • 8 3” bolts w/ nuts and washers
  • clear outdoor caulk/silicone
  • high temp spray paint, primer
  • bag of #8 washers (optional, to do a color mod)
  • metal stove burner trays (optional)
  • electrical tape
  • a small amount of any kind of paint
  • masking tape
Tools needed:
  • wrench/socket set with various sizes
  • screwdriver
  • drill with various bits
  • dremel tool with cutting wheel and various bits (cheap-o one here)
  • level
  • hacksaw
  • tape measure
  • mask, eye protection, gloves
  • metal snips (optional)

Procedure

Take off the bumper and remove the headlights
  • 3 bolts hold each headlight to the frame. Be sure to unplug the 2 bulb connectors as you remove the lights
  • remove the 2 bulbs (low beam and turn signal)
  • remove the black metal bar on top of the headlight (2 bolts on each)
Open up the headlights (see e-ride’s thread for pics and more detail)
  • preheat your oven to 200-250 degrees and place each headlight inside, one at a time, on a tray lined with a moist towel
  • put on some gloves and wait approximately 5 minutes for the adhesive to soften
  • take it out and use a flat-head screwdriver or other flat tool to pry open a corner
  • once you open enough to get some fingers in, use your fingers to pull the clear front lens apart from the rest of the housing
Remove the reflectors from the housing
  • using a 10mm wrench, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise until it releases the reflector. The screw stays in place – it’s the reflector that is moved.

  • pull CAREFULLY on the two pivoting balls. It takes some force to release them, and I ended up breaking two of them. Remove the turn signal reflector the same way (it only has 2 pivoting balls)


Cut a hole in the back of the reflector that will accept the projector
  • take a piece of cardboard and cut a hole in it so that it fits the rear of the projector bowl. Cut it a bit bigger vertically to allow for some wiggle room, but be sure not to cut it too big on the corners, where you’ll need to drill some holes to attach the projector with nuts/bolts. If you cut too big of a hole, you’ll have nothing to bolt the projector to.

  • using this template, trace an outline on the reflector. Make sure it is somewhat centered (for aesthetic reasons more than anything)

  • cut the hole using the cutting wheel on your dremel. As you cut, absurd amounts of an unknown white dust will be released, so be sure to use some sort of mask, eye protection, and gloves. As you can see in the picture, I drilled a hole in each of the corners of my template to kind of guide me, as I found it was easier to cut from the back than inside the reflector. In hindsight, I should have just traced the template on the back of the reflector. After you finish cutting the hole, give it a little test fitting to make sure you didn’t cut it too big or too small.


Cut the back of the housing to gain access to bolts
  • there’s no real pretty way to do this, but basically just use a hacksaw or similar and cut an opening on the back of the black housing so you can gain access to adjust and glue the bolts later on. I didn’t do this until much later, but in hindsight it would have been helpful to have done it at this step. It should be about this big:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Secure the projector to the reflector
  • mount your newly cut reflector back onto the black housing (re-do the adjustment screw and insert the 2 pivot balls) and take the whole thing outside to your car. Bring your 3” bolts with you, along with some paint (to make drill marks on the reflector). Mount your headlights back onto the car using the 3 stock bolts.
  • Place the projector as far back as you can into the hole you cut in the reflector. Using a level, rotate the projector until it’s level with the ground (make sure your car is parked on level ground). (I know it’s not level in this picture, but I had a hard time holding everything and taking a picture at the same time)

  • Once you have it level, hold it in place tightly. Take one your 3” bolts, dab the end with some paint (a friend is helpful here), and insert it through the holes on the corners of the projector to make drill marks on the reflector.

  • After you do it to all 4 corners, you should have something that looks like this: (I used my SOP touch-up paint)

  • Now take the headlights off, and drill the holes that you just marked. To allow for additional rotational aiming after you mount the projectors (so your cutoff will be horizontal vs. at an angle), drill your holes 2 bolts tall in shape of a rounded rectangle. You can try to either drill 2 holes one on top of the other, or use one of the bits on your dremel tool and widen the holes. Make sure your holes aren’t wider than the washers you’ll be using to secure the bolts. It is also important that you drill them straight back. This will be a bit difficult because the reflector is curved, but just use a slow drill speed while applying some pressure. (I didn’t make the holes big enough in this pic, and ended up having to widen them later)

  • Again, do a little test fitting and secure the projector to the reflector with the nuts, bolts and washers. If you’re having trouble, widen the holes a bit or make sure they’re going straight back. Once you’re happy with the fit, remove the projector. Then remove the reflector from the housing, and get everything ready for paint.


Paint
  • Take both reflectors, the trim piece, and the metal burner tray (if you’re using it) and sand it with 220-320 grit sandpaper
  • Wash everything off with some soap and water
  • Apply several coats of primer according to the directions, then several coats of high-temperature paint (in your choice of color) to everything

  • The high-temp paint requires 3 hours to dry completely. Dinner time!

  • While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, install your wiring harness and ballasts/igniters, so you can get it fired up once you secure the projectors to do some preliminary aiming. Sorry, no pics or description of this part right now.
  • Fortunately for me, the TSX projectors are completely self-enclosed. Some of the other projectors are not (there is open space between the projector bowl and the lens). If you have one of these, you’ll need to close off that opening somehow (with flexible aluminum ducting) so no light escapes.
Preliminary aiming (sorry no pics)
  • once the paint is dry, mount the reflector back into the black housing. Important: make sure the adjustment screw is only about halfway screwed in. This will allow for more freedom in vertical aiming later on.
  • secure the projector onto the reflector with the nuts/washers on the backside of the reflector, place your D2S bulbs into the projector and secure it with the retaining clips, and mount the whole thing back onto the car.
  • Connect the bulbs to the ballasts/igniters and fire up your system!
  • Park a few feet away from a wall (or garage door)
  • Your rotational aiming will probably be off (your cutoff line will be at an angle). Loosen the bolts a bit and rotate your projector until your cutoff line is perfectly horizontal. Do one headlight at a time, covering the other with a towel. Use a level to make sure your cutoff is perfectly horizontal.
  • Horizontal aiming: I don’t really know of a cut-and-dry way of doing it. Just look at your headlights and make sure they’re aimed somewhat straight ahead. You can also check by covering one light at a time, and seeing if the light shines straight or not. Again, loosen the bolts to do your adjusting.
  • Vertical aiming: at this point, just make sure it’s somewhere around 28-31” off the ground. Take a short drive around the block and make sure you’re not lighting up the trees. If you’re having trouble with your vertical aim being too high, place a few washers on the top two bolts (I used 6 on each), between the projector and the reflector. This will kind of force the projector to have a downward angle. The bulk of the vertical aiming will come later with the stock adjustment screw.
  • Once you have these parameters set, tighten the nuts/bolts. The next step is irreversible (for all intents and purposes), so make sure your aiming is done satisfactorily.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Permanently secure the projectors
  • Glob some JB-Weld to the nuts on the back of the reflector so they don’t become loose from vibrations. This will permanently secure the projectors to the reflector, so make sure you have everything else set before doing this. Wait for it to dry overnight (15 hours)


Creating a “shroud”
  • at this point (if you're still reading), you can either leave the projector the way it is and just mount the whole thing back on the car, or create a shroud to cover up the ugly bolts and mounting plate. You can use OEM shrouds off BMWs, Audis, etc, but they are pricey. I chose to go the Home Depot route and bought some stove burner trays for $3 each. For those of you who don’t like the “googly eye” effect, be creative and create your own way of covering it up, or spend the money on an OEM one.

  • use some metal snips and cut the center to fit around the projector lens. I also cut the trim around the outside. (I did this before painting)

  • shove the shroud back against the reflector and over the projector lens. Then use some super glue to hold it in place.


Close up shop
  • Remove the D2S bulb from the projector (if you still have them in there) and throw everything back in the oven to soften the adhesive again. Take it out after a few minutes, and quickly run some silicone sealant along the edges, and seal everything back up!
  • Seal up the back of the black housing with electrical tape, to prevent water from entering

  • Take everything out to your car, mount the headlights back on, and get ready for the most critical part of the whole process:
Final vertical aiming
  • once you have the headlight mounted back on the car, use the adjustment screw on the back of the black housing to do your final vertical aiming. Turning the screw clockwise will lower the beam, counterclockwise will raise it.
  • Park on level ground in front of a wall (garage). Measure the distance from the ground to the middle of your headlight (mine was 31”). Back up 25 feet, and make sure the cutoff on the wall is your original height minus 2.1” (28.9” or lower). Read up more about it here and here
  • FINALLY, take a drive around the neighborhood and use your own judgement as to how the cutoff looks. It really should never peak above the trunks of any cars. If so, readjust them accordingly. The most important thing is to use some common sense and courtesy…two things that will take you a long way in anything you do.
  • DONE!
 

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Very impressive DIY. I have 5000k H4 H/L currently installed and they are an improvement over stock but not as precise as your set up. When I get bored or tired of my current HIDs then I'll refer to your set up and learn from your post. Great work!
 

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good job man!:grin:
 

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great job on the retrofit. I was thinking of doing this. What kind of projectors are you using? I have a set of S2K projectors in my accord and plan on swapping them into the E.
 

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Did you use standard projectors or bi-xenon? Any chance you can post a picture of them installed in the car? I'm getting ready to dive into this... I've got a spare set of headlights for my wife's E, and I'm sourcing a pair of bi-xenon projectors, just need to decide on which to use. The thought was to paint reflector and the inside of the housing black, only leaving the reflector for the directionals silver. The only piece I need to figure out is a smoked lens for the directionals to complete the look...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
GIR said:
Did you use standard projectors or bi-xenon? Any chance you can post a picture of them installed in the car? I'm getting ready to dive into this... I've got a spare set of headlights for my wife's E, and I'm sourcing a pair of bi-xenon projectors, just need to decide on which to use. The thought was to paint reflector and the inside of the housing black, only leaving the reflector for the directionals silver. The only piece I need to figure out is a smoked lens for the directionals to complete the look...
They're standard projectors off an Acura TSX. Allegedly, they're the most "bank for your buck." There are several pictures of it mounted on the car in this post, towards the bottom. I'm not a pro as far as wiring goes, so if you're looking to go with bi-xenons, definitely check out the forums at hidplanet.com to make sure it's all good before you get too deep into it.
 

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Ok folks. After a several week testing period. I am proud to say that I now have projector HIDs on my E. That would make me the second Element with projectors and the first with bixenon. :p WooHoo!!!
 

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i just bought my E today, and im already looking into the HID retro.. from coming from a TSX, its almost necessary.

i'll be using the best.. may not be bi-exon, but i'll be using either TSX projectors, or S2000..

also, are after market headlights avail? im a little sketchy about busting up my new 07 headlamps.. ide rather try it on some after market cheapo's
 

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Built B16A said:
i just bought my E today, and im already looking into the HID retro.. from coming from a TSX, its almost necessary.

i'll be using the best.. may not be bi-exon, but i'll be using either TSX projectors, or S2000..

also, are after market headlights avail? im a little sketchy about busting up my new 07 headlamps.. ide rather try it on some after market cheapo's
B16, let me welcome you to EOC first off. If you do not care about bixenons then I will suggest that you go with the TSX projectors. I've noticed that compared to the S2000's, the TSX seems to have a better cut off in my opinion. Secondly, the projectors are a pain to fully remove from the S2000 housing. I have on my E the projectors off of a BMW M5 (which are bixenons). As far as aftermarket headlights goes, there are none that I am aware of. If you look up on ebay it will say aftermarket JDM, but don't be fooled by them. They are just OEM housings that have been opened and has the orange plate removed and painted black. What I did was buy another pair of used OEM housings and worked with that to build my projector housing. You should be able to find a pair for about $150 at most on the bay. If you want to take a look at what you could expect, PM me.
 

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M1 1I 1K 1E said:
offtopic, but soopa, did you ever get another digital cam to take pics of your conversion yet?
Haven't gotten a digital cam yet. Will be getting one within the week or so. My pocket book hasn't been really friendly with me lately. I'll try to borrow one from my uncle and try to take a picture I guess. But I'd be having to drive out about 45 minutes to do that so that is out of the question I think.
 

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right on..

coming right out of a TSX, i can say that im deffenetly missing my old headlights. it WILL be one of my next mods.

but i more than likely will go with TSX projectors.. and use the OEM lamp. i bring alittle experience to the table. before i owned the TSX, i did it to a 98 Integra, with a X3 retro. and in fact did it twice. (sold one)

i'll be sure to photograph the install. and im sure it would scare off alot of people. very time consuming.
 

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wooo hoooo! i just sent payment for my retro parts.

360 bucks got me 2 TSX projectors. 2 bulbs. and 2 ballast/ignitors. ALL OUT OF A 06 TSX.

let the project begin!
 
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