How to do an HID retrofit

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KITT222
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How to do an HID retrofit

Post by KITT222 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:31 pm

Hello once more kind Vibe people! A lot of people have asked about my projector headlights, and since I just did another set (posted at the bottom of the page) I thought it would be a good time to do a writeup!

You'll need a few things for this:
Phillips head screwdriver
One/two flathead screwdrivers you don't mind getting gunked up
Oven large enough to fit headlamp assembly
Cookie sheet
Oven mitts AND heat-resistant gloves (can't use oven mitts for handling the light warm, can't use gloves to remove sheet from warm oven)
Long, thin pliers
Paint (as needed)
HID retrofit kit (theretrofitsource.com is a great resource, I used Morimoto Mini H1 retrofits w/ 70mm LED halos)
Butyl resealing glue (Not necessarily needed, but if you end up without enough glue moisture WILL get in your lights)
Silica gel (optional to soak up minor moisture)

*I'm not responsible for ruining your lights, melting things, exploding houses, alien invasions, etc...*

Clean the lights well. If there's any residue it may meld itself to the plastic, and essentially ruin the lens.

First things first, get a decent set of lights. Eagle Eyes brand had been known to have quality issues, and after comparing one to the DEPO brand units I have, I can say that the DEPO lights are definitely much higher quality.

Start by removing the bulbs from the assembly.

Then remove the two screws holding the lens to the housing.

Image

In this photo the other screw is removed (you can see the hole) while my screwdriver is on the other screw.

Then remove the three moisture caps from the assembly.

Image

Remove bulb clip. You will not reuse this.

Image

So here's what's removed from the lights to be set aside and reinstalled later

Image

** I forgot to take pictures of the rubber feet on the lights. Remove them then reinstall later**

Then, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit

Image

Put the light assembly on the cookie sheet and slide it into the oven once it's warmed up

Image

Set your timer for seven minutes

Image

Once seven minutes is up pull the light out, take your flathead screwdriver and gloves, and pry the clips off the lens, as pictured

Image

There are several of these. Be careful as they can break, but when warm they are VERY malleable. Just pry the clips off. Then, back into the oven for another few minutes

Image

Image

Once seven minutes have passed again pull it back out, and start prying. Pry evenly around the lens. Once it starts coming, grab the lens and start pulling it away from the housing (using gloves the entire time of course). The glue will stick like warm cheese. But once they're separated set the lens on a soft towel so you won't scuff it. Get the stringy glue off anything important and back into the channels. Some may choose to scrape it all off and replace it with new glue. Just keep the glue warm while scraping it off.

Once the lens is off you can turn the over off for a while, and should have this

Image

Now, remove the bulb cover held in by one screw.

Image

You will end up with this

Image

Now that everything is apart, here is where you do various painting and such. The front bezel can be removed with the two screws and gentle persuasion (and gives you access to the reflector if you choose to tint). All I did was the main bucket, and I'm very please with the results.

Paint as you desire and let dry as necessary.

Image

Image

NOTE: Make sure the silicon washers that come with the retrofit kit will match with the paint you did. Since they were white they didn't work with my black headlight buckets. Hence the smiley face above.

Once it's all painted it's time to install the projector assembly. The shrouds , demon eyes, and halos should be installed by this point.

Tip: to hide wires, use aluminum tape

Image

This is the order of installation:

Image

Projector assembly, silicon washer (pictured unpainted), headlamp assembly, H4/9003 adapter ring, locking nut, and bulb retainer (bulb retainer can be installed later)

Slide everything in and make sure the wires for the halos/demon eyes/cutoff shield solenoid are in the notch below the adapter ring.

Image

Tighten the nut with the longnose pliers.

NOTE: Aim them before you put the lens in and/or tighten the nut fully. This requires the HID controller, ballasts, and bulbs to be installed and working to the car, and installation of the unfinished lights to the car. I forgot to do this step and had to adjust them with the lens on. It is not fun.

Instructions on how to aim: http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/showthr ... headlights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Once everything is all aimed and such preheat the oven once more back to 275. Tuck the wires away so they won't get burned, and polish off the insides to make sure all the fingerprints, lint, dust, etc are off the shround, housing, lens, bezel, etc.

Image

Image

Image

Slide the now painted and projector'd assemblies into the oven for FIVE minutes

Image

Pull them out after the five minutes, then press the lens back onto the housing so the clips clip on. If necessary, use rubber-foot clamps to press the lens to the housing (though it is difficult). Then, reinstall the removed things.

Once they're all sealed up here's what you get!

Image

Repeat for other side....

Once that's done, remove your bumper cover.

Image

Install bulbs. Retainer and clip go in as pictured.

Image

If you want you can slide some silica gen packets between the bowl and housing.

Now, remove old lights. There's three 10mm nuts, two in the engine bay, then one behind the cover.

NOTE: Your new lights may not have these little clips. Remove them and reuse as necessary. You won't get too far without them.

Image

Installation is reverse of removal etc etc.

Then... You're done!

Pictured: my not-quite-aimed low beam

Image

Halos on!

Image
(oh, yeah, I bought Jason's old JSP hood from Leigh, and vinyled it and Plasti-Dipped it so I can remove it later and refinish it when I have more monies).

Enjoy your new lights!

Image

Thanks!

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cptnsolo77
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by cptnsolo77 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:00 am

I would love to do this, but from posts I have read the HID kits seem unreliable. If I were to take a project like this on, I want plug and play & not have to mess with a tempermental lighting system. How reliable has your HIDs been ? It seems like a excellent upgrade. After 11 years of technology the Vibes lighting has a LOT to be desired. When newer cars drive behind me they light up the road ahead of me :o
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vibenvy
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by vibenvy » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:11 am

KITT222 wrote:(oh, yeah, I bought Jason's old JSP hood from Leigh, and vinyled it and Plasti-Dipped it so I can remove it later and refinish it when I have more monies).

Image
The Vibe looks great with the new hood Nick :cool:!
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KITT222
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by KITT222 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:29 am

cptnsolo77 wrote:I would love to do this, but from posts I have read the HID kits seem unreliable. If I were to take a project like this on, I want plug and play & not have to mess with a tempermental lighting system. How reliable has your HIDs been ? It seems like a excellent upgrade. After 11 years of technology the Vibes lighting has a LOT to be desired. When newer cars drive behind me they light up the road ahead of me :o
Oh no, these aren't unreliable in the least. The bad ones ARE plug and play. The Retrofit Source has a LOT of quality kits. I've had one in my car without problems for probably two years. TRS has a two-year warranty anyway, and I got a bad ballast. I'll need to warranty it but they gave me instructions via email.

vibenvy wrote:
KITT222 wrote:(oh, yeah, I bought Jason's old JSP hood from Leigh, and vinyled it and Plasti-Dipped it so I can remove it later and refinish it when I have more monies).
The Vibe looks great with the new hood Nick :cool:!
Thanks Carrie! I drove by Chicago the other day and would have sent you a message had I not been in a rush, or so sure you were working.

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tpollauf
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by tpollauf » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:38 pm

Awesome work and write-up Nick. It doesn't even look like the same car anymore. Superb workmanship as always :D
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vibenvy
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by vibenvy » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:57 pm

KITT222 wrote:Thanks Carrie! I drove by Chicago the other day and would have sent you a message had I not been in a rush, or so sure you were working.
Awww man... an impromptu meetup and photoshoot would have been fun :D! Next time!
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KITT222
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by KITT222 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:55 pm

vibenvy wrote:
KITT222 wrote:Thanks Carrie! I drove by Chicago the other day and would have sent you a message had I not been in a rush, or so sure you were working.
Awww man... an impromptu meetup and photoshoot would have been fun :D! Next time!
There will be many next times, especially since I'll be driving through that way for Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving!

orion134
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by orion134 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:44 am

Is it possible to wire the halo's as the DRL's and the HID's as the standard lights?

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KITT222
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by KITT222 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:20 pm

The HIDs will work well as the standard lights with the sensor, but they will not work with the DRLs. And as of now I am not quite sure if you can wire the halos to be the DRLs. It's possible, though. You could see if the yellow wire you cut when disabling DRLs has power coming out of it when the lights are off, and use that as the signal wire for a relay. But I have yet to test/confirm this.

Amdago20
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by Amdago20 » Thu May 19, 2016 2:48 pm

Looks awesome! So will the high and low beams both still work?

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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by lannvouivre » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:04 pm

Amdago20 wrote:Looks awesome! So will the high and low beams both still work?
Yes. A bi-xenon projector has a shutter that lowers for low beam and flips away for the high beam setting.
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awdVibeNoobie
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:42 pm

Great write up but how exactly is the HID projector installed? Eventually I will buy new headlight assemblies as my current headlights have cloudy lenses and I will also buy HID projectors to install because halogen lights just plain suck! The HID projectors I plan on buying are bi-xenon from here.
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zbyers
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by zbyers » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:58 am

awdVibeNoobie wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:42 pm
Great write up but how exactly is the HID projector installed? Eventually I will buy new headlight assemblies as my current headlights have cloudy lenses and I will also buy HID projectors to install because halogen lights just plain suck! The HID projectors I plan on buying are bi-xenon from here.
Projector housing is installed just like the OEM reflector bowl. With the lense off, the projector housing goes on the inside, then it has a nut that you tighten down around the back of it. When doing so, before totally tightening it down, ensure the projectors are level side-to-side and/or up and down.
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awdVibeNoobie
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:12 pm

Ah I see. Next question, how would you wire up the bi-xenon to active the shudder? Also I'm guessing that you need to disable the DRL when upgrading to projectors? When ever I get around to buying the new headlight assembly, I plan on clear coating the lenses to prevent the cloudy lenses. Good idea for using clear coat?
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Bookworm
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by Bookworm » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:21 pm

The new headlight assemblies already have a coating on them. That's what turns yellow over time - it's like the scratch resistant coating they put on glasses. (My father, at one point, had a job putting together a testing regimen for a GM headlight assembly, so had the full specifications handy. )

zbyers
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by zbyers » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:30 am

awdVibeNoobie wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:12 pm
Ah I see. Next question, how would you wire up the bi-xenon to active the shudder? Also I'm guessing that you need to disable the DRL when upgrading to projectors? When ever I get around to buying the new headlight assembly, I plan on clear coating the lenses to prevent the cloudy lenses. Good idea for using clear coat?
1) Theretrofitsource has everything you need for the retrofit. It will have two separate leads-- one for the low beam, and one for the high beam.
2) It is recommended to disable DRL.
3) If you're buying new housings, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Maybe put some clear laminex over it or something.
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awdVibeNoobie
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:43 am

During my search I found weather tech is the only ones that offer a headlight protection film at $50. I'll pass and just clear coat the lenses since I already have the clear coat.
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

BrandonMassey
Posts: 9
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Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by BrandonMassey » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:42 am

KITT222 wrote:
Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:31 pm
Hello once more kind Vibe people! A lot of people have asked about my projector headlights, and since I just did another set (posted at the bottom of the page) I thought it would be a good time to do a writeup!

You'll need a few things for this:
Phillips head screwdriver
One/two flathead screwdrivers you don't mind getting gunked up
Oven large enough to fit headlamp assembly
Cookie sheet
Oven mitts AND heat-resistant gloves (can't use oven mitts for handling the light warm, can't use gloves to remove sheet from warm oven)
Long, thin pliers
Paint (as needed)
HID retrofit kit (theretrofitsource.com is a great resource, I used Morimoto Mini H1 retrofits w/ 70mm LED halos)
Butyl resealing glue (Not necessarily needed, but if you end up without enough glue moisture WILL get in your lights)
Silica gel (optional to soak up minor moisture)

*I'm not responsible for ruining your lights, melting things, exploding houses, alien invasions, etc...*

Clean the lights well. If there's any residue it may meld itself to the plastic, and essentially ruin the lens.

First things first, get a decent set of lights. Eagle Eyes brand had been known to have quality issues, and after comparing one to the DEPO brand units I have, I can say that the DEPO lights are definitely much higher quality.

Start by removing the bulbs from the assembly.

Then remove the two screws holding the lens to the housing.

Image

In this photo the other screw is removed (you can see the hole) while my screwdriver is on the other screw.

Then remove the three moisture caps from the assembly.

Image

Remove bulb clip. You will not reuse this.

Image

So here's what's removed from the lights to be set aside and reinstalled later

Image

** I forgot to take pictures of the rubber feet on the lights. Remove them then reinstall later**

Then, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit

Image

Put the light assembly on the cookie sheet and slide it into the oven once it's warmed up

Image

Set your timer for seven minutes

Image

Once seven minutes is up pull the light out, take your flathead screwdriver and gloves, and pry the clips off the lens, as pictured

Image

There are several of these. Be careful as they can break, but when warm they are VERY malleable. Just pry the clips off. Then, back into the oven for another few minutes

Image

Image

Once seven minutes have passed again pull it back out, and start prying. Pry evenly around the lens. Once it starts coming, grab the lens and start pulling it away from the housing (using gloves the entire time of course). The glue will stick like warm cheese. But once they're separated set the lens on a soft towel so you won't scuff it. Get the stringy glue off anything important and back into the channels. Some may choose to scrape it all off and replace it with new glue. Just keep the glue warm while scraping it off.

Once the lens is off you can turn the over off for a while, and should have this

Image

Now, remove the bulb cover held in by one screw.

Image

You will end up with this

Image

Now that everything is apart, here is where you do various painting and such. The front bezel can be removed with the two screws and gentle persuasion (and gives you access to the reflector if you choose to tint). All I did was the main bucket, and I'm very please with the results.

Paint as you desire and let dry as necessary.

Image

Image

NOTE: Make sure the silicon washers that come with the retrofit kit will match with the paint you did. Since they were white they didn't work with my black headlight buckets. Hence the smiley face above.

Once it's all painted it's time to install the projector assembly. The shrouds , demon eyes, and halos should be installed by this point.

Tip: to hide wires, use aluminum tape

Image

This is the order of installation:

Image

Projector assembly, silicon washer (pictured unpainted), headlamp assembly, H4/9003 adapter ring, locking nut, and bulb retainer (bulb retainer can be installed later)

Slide everything in and make sure the wires for the halos/demon eyes/cutoff shield solenoid are in the notch below the adapter ring.

Image

Tighten the nut with the longnose pliers.

NOTE: Aim them before you put the lens in and/or tighten the nut fully. This requires the HID controller, ballasts, and bulbs to be installed and working to the car, and installation of the unfinished lights to the car. I forgot to do this step and had to adjust them with the lens on. It is not fun.

Instructions on how to aim: http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/showthr ... headlights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Once everything is all aimed and such preheat the oven once more back to 275. Tuck the wires away so they won't get burned, and polish off the insides to make sure all the fingerprints, lint, dust, etc are off the shround, housing, lens, bezel, etc.

Image

Image

Image

Slide the now painted and projector'd assemblies into the oven for FIVE minutes

Image

Pull them out after the five minutes, then press the lens back onto the housing so the clips clip on. If necessary, use rubber-foot clamps to press the lens to the housing (though it is difficult). Then, reinstall the removed things.

Once they're all sealed up here's what you get!

Image

Repeat for other side....

Once that's done, remove your bumper cover.

Image

Install bulbs. Retainer and clip go in as pictured.

Image

If you want you can slide some silica gen packets between the bowl and housing.

Now, remove old lights. There's three 10mm nuts, two in the engine bay, then one behind the cover.

NOTE: Your new lights may not have these little clips. Remove them and reuse as necessary. You won't get too far without them.

Image

Installation is reverse of removal etc etc.

Then... You're done!

Pictured: my not-quite-aimed low beam

Image

Halos on!

Image
(oh, yeah, I bought Jason's old JSP hood from Leigh, and vinyled it and Plasti-Dipped it so I can remove it later and refinish it when I have more monies).

Enjoy your new lights!

Image

Thanks!
I tried to find the headlights myself by just looking them up on the website you provided but I believe they're either gone off the website for sale or I'm stupid as hell lol, but I have two headlights that don't work with my lights and i know i can just send them back but could you link all the products and tools you bought and used? The retro fit guide is awesome and you made it very easy to follow bjt I'm just having trouble actually buying the correct items lol, much appreciated and I love the headlights!

zbyers
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by zbyers » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:12 am

BrandonMassey wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:42 am
I tried to find the headlights myself by just looking them up on the website you provided but I believe they're either gone off the website for sale or I'm stupid as hell lol, but I have two headlights that don't work with my lights and i know i can just send them back but could you link all the products and tools you bought and used? The retro fit guide is awesome and you made it very easy to follow bjt I'm just having trouble actually buying the correct items lol, much appreciated and I love the headlights!
www.TheRetrofitSource.com has the bits and pieces you need for the projectors and wiring and whatnot. Things have changed a bit since this, but essentially a Mini H1 projector housing, is what you would need.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/bixen ... age-3.html

If you're still unsure, shoot The Retrofit Source an email with your year, make, model, and what you are looking to do to your lights. They have fabulous customer service and should be able to help guide your purchasing decision. In fact, if you create an online account on their website, and email them using that email, they can put the items into your cart for you to make the process easier. They did that for me when I was lookin' for a warranty part. I just had to go through the checkout process. :)
'74 Thing, '79 El Camino, '83 VW Vanagon DoKa '91 Vanagon
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB

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BrandonMassey
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:03 pm

Re: How to do an HID retrofit

Post by BrandonMassey » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:56 am

zbyers wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:12 am
BrandonMassey wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:42 am
I tried to find the headlights myself by just looking them up on the website you provided but I believe they're either gone off the website for sale or I'm stupid as hell lol, but I have two headlights that don't work with my lights and i know i can just send them back but could you link all the products and tools you bought and used? The retro fit guide is awesome and you made it very easy to follow bjt I'm just having trouble actually buying the correct items lol, much appreciated and I love the headlights!
www.TheRetrofitSource.com has the bits and pieces you need for the projectors and wiring and whatnot. Things have changed a bit since this, but essentially a Mini H1 projector housing, is what you would need.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/bixen ... age-3.html

If you're still unsure, shoot The Retrofit Source an email with your year, make, model, and what you are looking to do to your lights. They have fabulous customer service and should be able to help guide your purchasing decision. In fact, if you create an online account on their website, and email them using that email, they can put the items into your cart for you to make the process easier. They did that for me when I was lookin' for a warranty part. I just had to go through the checkout process. :)
Thanks for all the help, I'll attempt to do this again once I get everything returned and what not.

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