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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT: The search feature sucks, so if you're looking for some of my other threads here they are
V-LEDS Dome Lights
OTRATTW Switches
PRO-4X 5 Switch Cluster
Brake MC Brace
Truck Build
TNX Build
New Rigid LEDs
Headlights w/Keyless Entry
Round 3 Projector Build Thread
x_mods Bumpers and Sliders
2WD to 4WD Conversion (Complete)


JeniorNV's thread to end all threads: Suspension Lift Info 05+

Hey guys,

Some people have been asking how I built my headlights so I thought I would throw this up here. I'll order it by the first build of the lights, then the rebuild of them, and lastly the build of the fog lights.

Let me start with a disclaimer: All aftermarket H.I.D.'s are NOT street legal, just say'n.. (probably won't pass safety check with retrofitted projectors)

While this modification is a bit difficult to do correctly, you should be able to complete it the first time if you just take your time. Triple check everything!

That being said, I did not take my time the first time around. My first set of lights had a 24 hour turnaround. I didn't take my time with the alignment and prep. The lights still looked good, but they were a few degrees off level and they had a couple of fingerprints on the inside of the lens.

So the first time around I used a Morimoto Stage III Bi-Xenon kit; Morimoto D2S projectors (LHD), 5Five ballasts (50w), Philips 85122+ D2S Bulbs, Gatling Gun shrouds, the crappy original Morimoto 9007 harness, and a replacement set of headlights off eBay.







I later upgraded to the new Morimoto harness; way better. I did modify the harness slightly but this was not required. (detailed later on)
And the upgrades I am performing now consist of, FX-R 1.1 projectors, Gatling Gun shrouds, shroud centric rings and 100mm CCFL rings.



I'm not sure how to remove the lights if you have a chrome bumper, but for my PRO-4X, I removed the wheel well liners to access the two bolts on either side that hold the bumper on, then I removed the grill, three clips on the top of the bumper ( usually covered by the grill), and three clips right under the previous three. Then you can carefully remove the bumper to gain access to the lower outside bolt on each headlight. This will also make it easier to run any wires you need.



Now I never did this step the first time :comphead:, but the second time around, I found it to be a very important step. Get an alignment baseline: I made this "alignment tool" out of some scrap Douglas Fir I had in the garage.




It doesn't matter if the lights are aligned on your tool like they are on the truck, all that matters is that the lights align the same way every time you mount them to the tool. Don't make the tool adjustable, just fix it in place.
Mark on the floor where the tool sits, I just outlined the base with masking tape. Then mark the beam pattern on the wall.




(before you bake, remove the 4 or 5 screws on the back of the housing that retain the lens) Now you can bake the lights and pry them apart. There are a lot of different times and temps that will work. But after 4 lights, I found that 220 deg. F for 12 minutes works best for me (if you have ANY heat-shrink on the light, you need to bake it at a much lower temp, like 150F for 20 minutes or you will melt the heatshrink).



After baking, just pry the tabs on the top up, and work your way around the light. Be careful not to brake any part of the housing; I broke one of the tabs on the top, just makes it that much harder to reseal. once you get the whole thing separated, try and pull the lens straight out; I did it at an angel the first time and cracked the edge of the main reflector. It was not visible once I reassembled the light, so no big deal.



This next step is optional; I wanted to partially black out the light. So I removed the signal lens and side markers (these are very fragile). I then taped off everything that needed to remain chrome. Scotchbrite all the chrome that you want to paint, this is very important. Then I used Krylon red primer and Krylon ultra flat black to paint the lights.




While the lights were drying, I decided to paint the lens retaining ring on the projectors. Just remove the lens assembly from the projector, then pop out the lens. Tape off anywhere you don't want painted and spray. I used Krylon white primer and Krylon florescent orange then topped it with one thick coat of Duplicolor auto body clear. It is also a good idea to use a microfiber to clean the front AND back for the lens; TRS gives you great clear-lenses, but they tend to have some fingerprints and a film that can be unattractive once everything is lit up.




While ALL the paint was drying, I started cutting the lights. For the D2S Morimotos, I cut the bulb base flat (removed about 1/4 inch of material off the back of the reflector. I then dremmeled out the opening so the projector would fit through. I also had to cut some small notches in the reflector bowl to fit the projector and shroud. Sorry, but I don't have any pictures of this.

Once you are happy with the position and alignment of the projector (you may need to bolt the assembly to the truck or your tool to check the alignment) you should glue them in place. I did not glue mine because I knew I wanted to upgrade later...




Now you can remove the tape from all the painted stuff and resemble the markers and signals. This is where I got fingerprints inside the signals the first time around.



Check EVERYTHING! light it all up for a good 10 minutes, let it warm up and look for any fingerprints, glue drips, paint chips, or dust. This is your last chance to get it perfect!



Once you are sure it's good, gently place the lens over the light and bake it at 220 for 12 minutes (if you have ANY heatshrink on the light, you need to bake it at a much lower temp, like 150F for 20 minutes or you will melt the heatshrink) and then press in place and hold for a few minutes, until you feel it is securely attached. (Use resealing glue if you need, I used just a small amount) You can use clamps if you feel that they are required. And don't forget to reinstall the 4 or 5 screws once the lights are fully set.

Now all that's left is to bolt them up and run the wiring! I ended up installing a new fuse block and relays for my off-road lights so I just ran the harness to that.




You can still use the alignment screw on the headlight to adjust the height of the cutoff.

Last Updated: 09/16/2012, 10:07 PM HST
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now for the harness; the old crappy Morimoto harness had a control box that would turn the lights on, and drop the shield when you hit the high beams. This box also kept the lights on when you went from high to low and back. On our trucks, when you turn on high, the low beams turn off, this is the same for low to high and high to low. With the new harness from TRS, the lights would blink off when you switched between beams. This is because the relay lost the switch signal for a split second while the truck switched from low to high and back. This is fine, but it annoyed me.. So I took a 2200 uf electrolytic capacitor and soldered it to the switch and ground terminals on one of the relays. You only need a Cap on one relay because the two relays both share the same switch in lead.




I hear that TRS has an even newer harness that uses a much better control box to accomplish the same thing.




For the fog lights; I was going to install the Blazer Stage III kit.



But I decided to go big. So I am installing Bi-Xenon Mini H1 projectors! So I will have quad beams! (Now the Blazers are waiting to be fitted to my mom's CR-V)

These are way easier than the headlights: I ordered replacement fogs off eBay and cut the back off flat. I then sanded out the opening until the projectors fit snug. I decided to paint the rings on these also.
EDIT: In the end, these turned out to be way WORSE than the headlights. They are only worth the effort when the weather turns ugly. Absolutely, hands down, the best fog lights I have ever used, but 95% of the time, I would say they're not worth the frustration and time. The design of our fog lights just doesn't lend itself to retrofitting easily..




Lastly, I notched the fog light to fit the projectors coil, and glued the projectors in with a little 5 minute epoxy and sealed any openings with silicone.



All I have to do now is mount them!

I will be working on the FX-R's later this week so watch for an update!

Finished pictures:











Links:
eBay Headlights 2010
Morimoto D2S Stage III
Bi-Xenon FX-R 1.1


eBay Fog Lights
Blazer Fog Stage III
Morimoto Mini H1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NICE WORK!
I have the same set that I will be installing the first week of January.
I like the flat black action. Why didn't you paint the entire assembly?
I thinking about going the chrome black out route.
You have the Morimoto D2s's? They rock!

I didn't want to paint the whole thing because I don't like how you can still see the lines when they are blacked out. to me, it looks closer to OEM when you leave the reflector bowl chrome. But that's just me.

All black should be cool and stealthy! I wanna see pictures :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yes, Morimoto DS2.
Fully blacked out or the black nickel "smoke chrome" look.
What did you use to calculate the farads to hold the relay closed?
The only thing I would suggest with the Mini D2S's would be to use an epoxy to glue the shrouds to the projectors and the projectors to the headlights. I used super glue and it broke loose from the vibrations, it also cooked from the heat, it stuck to any fingerprints just like on CSI and left little white flakes. 5 minute epoxy is way better.

I had an electrical engineer friend of mine try and figure it out. The best we came up with was to start around 500 and work up from there.. So I did 500, no good.. Then I decided to use the 2200 from Radioshack instead of opening up the 1000 and 1500, so I could return them.. Works great!
 

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Rogue Admin
2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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Great job. I have had issues with the Morimoto harnesses on my Jetta. Fist one melted the relay, the second one the harness melted during the first 10 seconds, but this third one is 3x as thick and is working well. What a difference good light makes when you drive a lot - I do over 600 miles per week, a lot at night.
 

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WOW...I don't care if you live in Hawaii, I am still willing to buy a set, no matter the cost. Very nice man! If you ever decide to make them to sell, please let me know. Cost is not a factor.
 

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Man that looks awsome :fantastic:, after looking at your work im inspired to retro my headlights also. I have a couple of questions for you I'm not sure if i should use the Morimoto Stage III Bi-Xenon kit or the FX-R Stage III Bi-Xenon kit. It will be my first time doing this so the morimotos will probably be easier but i know i will want to upgrade to the FX-R later, so why not try and do the FX-R the first time. Also i might be asking you some questions if you don't mind.:goodjob:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks guys!

Great job. I have had issues with the Morimoto harnesses on my Jetta. Fist one melted the relay, the second one the harness melted during the first 10 seconds, but this third one is 3x as thick and is working well. What a difference good light makes when you drive a lot - I do over 600 miles per week, a lot at night.
I had the same problem with the original Morimoto harness melting. I added a relay to the control box to prevent that. But the newer beefier one is way better!

Night driving is so much fun now, right?!


WOW...I don't care if you live in Hawaii, I am still willing to buy a set, no matter the cost. Very nice man! If you ever decide to make them to sell, please let me know. Cost is not a factor.
You never know, if these FX-R's come out good, I might give it a try :)


Man that looks awsome :fantastic:, after looking at your work im inspired to retro my headlights also. I have a couple of questions for you I'm not sure if i should use the Morimoto Stage III Bi-Xenon kit or the FX-R Stage III Bi-Xenon kit. It will be my first time doing this so the morimotos will probably be easier but i know i will want to upgrade to the FX-R later, so why not try and do the FX-R the first time. Also i might be asking you some questions if you don't mind.:goodjob:
The Morimoto's are great lights, but you can see the difference with the FX-R's. They put out more light, and run cooler which is important if you plan on running 50w.. I have heard that the Morimoto Mini H1's are an almost direct fit! They even come with 9007 adapter plates so you don't have to worry about alignment! You would just have to bake the light and pry it apart.

I can't say if the are a perfect fit since mine were already cut for the Mini D2S's, but I can say the Mini H1's have a great beam! The Mini D2S has a larger high beam, but the Mini H1 has a wider low beam. I can take pictures of the three projectors beams if you want..

Hit me with any questions you have, I'll give it my best shot!
 

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Yes if you get a chance take some picks, Thanks. You are doing the FX-R's now right? Are you going to do a write up on them? I will take a look at the minis.
 

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Rogue Admin
2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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Thanks guys!



I had the same problem with the original Morimoto harness melting. I added a relay to the control box to prevent that. But the newer beefier one is way better!

Night driving is so much fun now, right?!
The relay didn't help me, but the new harness is legit.

I had to drive my truck at night on the weekend and I could not believe how difficult it is to see compared to my bi-xenons on my car. Eventually I would like to retro the Frontier as well.

I have the Morimoto III 35w bi-xenon 6000K retro kit and the light is superb.
 

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You've got taste, X_mods. From the styling of your truck to the aftermarket accessories. Great work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes if you get a chance take some picks, Thanks. You are doing the FX-R's now right? Are you going to do a write up on them? I will take a look at the minis.
Here are the pics, my little 12v battery died so I couldn't do the high beams, but here are the lows. The white balance was set to 4800k and all bulbs are rated at 5000k, but as you can tell, the 50w bulbs have a slightly better color.. (1/50 sec, ISO200, F/5.0)

And yes, I am working on the FX-R's now, I will post about what I did but these are quite different from the D2S's so I'm still trying to figure it out..


The relay didn't help me, but the new harness is legit.

I had to drive my truck at night on the weekend and I could not believe how difficult it is to see compared to my bi-xenons on my car. Eventually I would like to retro the Frontier as well.

I have the Morimoto III 35w bi-xenon 6000K retro kit and the light is superb.
I know, I put my stock lights back on a week ago for safety check and so I could install the FX-R's, and it's like not even having headlights after using the 50w projectors for so long!


Are you installing the FX-Rs now?
Yep, Cut the reflector bowl and marked the alignment today. Still have to actually mount, glue, seal, and paint everything..


You've got taste, X_mods. From the styling of your truck to the aftermarket accessories. Great work.
THANKS! I love all Frontiers, but this truck is my baby :D
 

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Awsome!

You could add me to the list of customers when you start selling them!!!
 
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