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Author Topic: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell  (Read 10007 times)

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Offline TomatoSoup

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Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« on: October 31, 2012, 10:35:11 PM »
Per the teaser photos I've shown the past couple of weeks, finally, as promised, this is the full photo/writeup of my HID projector installation.  Yay!

I wanted to convert to projector HIDs mostly because I don't like the poor and uneven light distribution of the OEM headlights (plus, OK I admit it, a little for the bling).

So I did my research with this, and based primarily on recommendations from Travis (cartmann32) of Trax Customs, I bought the FX-R projectors as part of the FX-R Stage III kit from TheRetrofitSource.com (aka TRS).  As noted previously, the cost was a little higher than I could've done from buying the parts carefully and separately off eBay, BUT it's a one-stop-shop, they include odd and ends that I didn't know I needed, plus great customer support and advice.  If you're doing this, go to them!  I went with the Orbit shrouds based on talking to TRS (thanks Matt!) as I wanted the most coverage I could get around the projector lens.  He gave me a short list of the bigger-deeper shroud options and I liked the Orbit design and look the best. 

Anyway, if you're doing this yourself, I really, heartily, recommend that you go to TRS for the parts!

I should also say, having done all this now, that if you want this kind of mod, I'd recommend getting someone else to do it for you (Trax maybe?! ;))... whatever they charge, it'd be worth it!  The DIY was far more effort than I expected and took longer than I thought too.  Even the parts cost is a fair bit higher than I realised up front:

  • Projector kit - projectors; bulbs; ballasts; shrouds; relay harness, etc ($315)
  • Body color paint - primer; basecoat; clearcoat; in rattle cans ($45 - Automotivetouchup.com)
  • Dupli-Color Black chrome paint ($18 - local)
  • Sundries: wet+dry paper; extra wire; connectors; heatshrink; zip ties; elec tape; mounting nuts/bolts; mask tape; epoxy putty; oven cleaner; etc. (~$35-40)
  • Wood, screws, glue for aiming frame (~$15)
  • Used/spare headlights (varies, or $0 if you use your originals)

So a minimum of ~$425+ just for parts.  Of course, you can go with cheaper projectors and ballasts, but then you get what you pay for (and it'd be a bugger to have to take everything apart to fix some failure!) Also, you may not want to paint the shrouds or covers and leave them chrome, which would remove the paint cost and effort. Nevertheless, this is expensive stuff.

OK, so on the the work... Mostly this will be a story in pictures with notes and tips as I think of them.
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 10:35:33 PM »
I bought a used pair of headlights from a forum member.  These were fairly old, with the lens scratched and yellowed, and had already been opened previously and the chrome interior cover painted gray.  Because of the lens condition, I was originally going to use these just for the reflectors, and swap those into my car's original housing and lens, but in the end I changed my mind and used the whole thing (but more on that later).

For opening the housings, I used the oven, baked them, one at a time, at 210deg for 8-10 mins, and pried them apart with plastic tools.  I then covered the outer glue line of the bases with masking tape, and the top lens edges with greaseproof paper strips to keep the sticky glue sealant dirt and dust-free while I was working on them. Once I had the housings apart, I removed the inside covers from the clear lenses - they are screwed in with 4 small screws each. Then I pulled out the reflector bowl(s) from the base(s) by unscrewing the bottom reflector clip from the aiming adjuster screw, and prying off the two 'pivot' clips at the top, with a panel puller. Be careful there - they can break - I found that one of the clips was already broken where it clips into the bowl (presumably from the previous opening(s), but I was able to repair it fairly easily with some wire and heat (I originally tried to get a replacement, but they are impossible to find).

When all was apart I could measure the clip spacing dimensions, which allowed me to design and build the aiming frame from an old scrap plank and some lengths of 1x2.  The bowls hang on a couple of woodscrews that the pivot clips fit over, an arm supports the adjuster clip to hold the bowl level, then some bent some coat-hanger wire 'clips' to hold the bowls in place.  (Now I'm finished, this frame may be available for sale :) - PM me!)

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This shows the frame in use.  I taped the frame position on the garage floor and marked the center beam points of the low-beam filament for each side on the garage door.  You can see how uneven the light throw area is here (compare to the HIDs later).

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« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:39:59 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 10:35:40 PM »
First (especially if you're NOT painting the insides of the bowl) I suggest you protect the reflector surface by gently covering it with low-tack blue tape.  I didn't, and got a lot of tiny scratches on the surface from general handling... the reflector silvering is VERY fragile.  Also, do NOT use regular masking tape as it can pull off the silver surface completely.  Now you'll need to remove the bulb (if not already) and the bulb reflector.  The latter is held to the bowl with one screw at the back. Remove the screw, wiggle the reflector stem out and discard.

So now here's the REAL work...  As an easy way to draw a circle around the uneven surface of the bowl, I used the empty cardboard inner reel (3" diameter) from a masking tape roll and drew a circle centered around the original bulb hole.  If you want to do this yourself, you can also follow the other markings shown in the photos, comparing to the same indents and markings on your own bowls.  BUT, note that these are for the FX-R v.3 projector.  Other projectors model and/or FX-R versions will vary and probably not match.  This photo shows the markings, the cutting nearly complete, and then final cutout.  I used a dremel with a rotozip cutter to slice it and then a drum sanding bit to make any adjustments.  This causes a LOT of nasty glass-laden resin dust, so wear a mask and goggles and have a shopvac running while you cut/sand.

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The photo below shows the projector test fitted in the bowl after trimming the cutout hole as necessary. 

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Once I did this I was able to verify the aiming of the projector in the bowl to check it was positioned the same as the original bulb.  I set the bowls back on the aiming frame at the same, marked, position on the garage floor, and verified that the angled-up tick in the HID pattern matched the positions of the center beam point tape marks on the inside of the garage doors.  Fortunately, I lucked out and got it exactly right with the projectors just screwed tight to the back of the bowls.  If not, you'd need to play with spacers between the projector mounting tabs and the bowls to re-aim them correctly.  Sorry I didn't take photos of the second aiming stage :(

Next I test fitted the circular shrouds around the projectors.  Since my shrouds were large (like I wanted) and my projectors tight against the back of the bowls, I needed to shave the top edge of the shrounds so they could fit correctly.  Just used a bench-mounted disc sander for that.  The kit includes a "shround-centric" clip-ring for each side which clips into the shroud, and then on to the projector.  Once this is on, it's pretty difficult to remove without breaking it, so you have to fit the shroud as well as you can without actually using the clips.  (Again no photos, sorry.)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:41:19 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 10:35:45 PM »
As I said, the inner light covers had already been painted, so I used oven cleaner to strip them.  This took a number of 20-min soak sessions with wet-sanding between.  The old paint was baked on tight in some areas - but came off easily in others.  I will say though that anyone who has the OEM chrome and just wants to strip the chrome and go with the black plastic (or paint), the oven cleaner takes that chrome off VERY easily and within a few minutes.  No need to buy the expensive 2009 housings! 

Here's one cover being cleaned, and then after rinsing:

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While that was going on, it was the turn of the reflectors and projector shrouds for painting.  Rather than go with plain black or body color, I decided to try the Dupli-Color SHD1000 Shadow Black Chrome spray (thanks sirmeili).  Turns out that I sprayed it on too thickly on the shrouds so that the black flowed out of the grooves in the shroud design and gathered on the flats (yes, counter-intuitive).  But that actually turned out to be a great 'steam-punk' or antiqued-silver effect and looked great!  So I left it like that rather than stripping and redoing it.

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I painted the reflector bowls with the same stuff.  This time though, the fine scratches I'd made in the silvering showed through a light coat, so I did some more coats to the point they were nearly black.  It turns out it doesn't matter too much because there's not a lot of visible area left between the shrouds and the housing when it's all put back together.  But I'm very happy with it anyway.  Note the black chrome comes with a clearcoat as well, and applied a couple of coats of that to the bowls and shrouds too, for protection.

Once I'd got the interior covers completely cleaned off, it was on to painting them in the ususal way. Primer; Basecoat; Clearcoat (all multiple coats and wetsanding of the primer between coats):

Then final result after finish-wetsanding the visible areas with 1500 grit, followed by polish:

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Then those old damaged lenses?  I wetsanded the grazed/scratched areas down as much as I dared (still a few deep, but small, divots left).  Then wet-sanded the whole lens(es) with 600 and then 1500 to remove the yellowing, and finally, polished with Meguires scratch remover (shown).  Plus, I lightly polished the INsides too since there was some crud buildup there.  Final result came out good enough that I decided to use them rather than pull apart my originals:

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Note that this sanding & polish has removed all the original UV coating that was there.  So I ordered some Dupli-Color HLR100 UV coating to (hopefully) replace it with.  Not got that yet, so will report back on it later. UPDATE:  the stuff was crap, don't buy it.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:45:42 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 10:35:52 PM »
Now onto the ballast mounting... Now, I wasn't happy with the mounting strips/brackets that came with the ballasts. They are thin strip metal, not very strong, yet designed to support the ballast from only one point/end which I thought would just let the (relatively heavy) ballast 'sway in the wind'.  So I modified those brackets by notching one existing hole and drilling another so I could mount the ballast to the middle part of the bracket, allowing me to screw down the bracket at BOTH ends.  Here are the mods I made and another photo showing ballast mounted both as originally designed and then as modified, so you can see the difference:

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The ballasts need to be close to the projectors since the bulb power cable is pretty short.  There's a great flat-ish area underneath the housings to mount them to, using some threaded standoff posts that I had in my 'spares drawer':

The posts were a perfect height at 3/4" tall (though 20mm posts would also work). This allowed the ballast edges to sit tight on top of the rectangular bump-outs in the flat triangular area under the housings behind the bulbs.  Similar posts are available at RadioShack (UPDATE: no more!), though you could instead just use a pair of 1" bolts (from the inside), with multiple nuts positioned as spacers.  Using the modified brackets as templates, I drilled holes midway between the rectangular bump-outs, then bolted in the posts.  The ballast+brackets are then just screwed down onto the posts after the housing and lens has been put back together.  I also put a couple of dabs of silicone under the ballast where it rests on the rectangular bump-outs for security. Note: I later ground down the threaded bolt piece, level with the nut on the inside.  This was to ensure there was enough space not to interfere with the inner housing cover and lens when it was all put back together:

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Mounting the projectors in the bowls... I was a bit wary about just bolting them down to the angled rear of the reflectors and the possible stress that might put on them (there's not much material there, as you can see from prev photos).  So I got some JB weld epoxy putty (the stuff you mix/knead together with your fingers) and used it to mold reinforcements around the mounting holes.  I used drinking straw sections to extend the holes (though you could just re-drill them if you wanted) and cut the top surface flat with a sharp knife when the putty started to firm up.  Note, this putty doesn't have a long working life when mixed - maybe 5 mins tops - so I recommend you only mix enough for two holes at a time.  Of course this part is optional (I don't know of anyone else who goes to this much bother), also, there is limited clearance behind the lower two holes when the bowl is put back in the housing, so make them as short as possible if you do this. 

This photo shows the projectors mounted in the bowls, and you can see the putty reinforcements at the rear.

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Now the lower housings put together...  Reflector bowls and mounted projectors back in place, and ballasts mounted in final place underneath and connected to the HID bulbs in the projectors.  Note the orientation of the ballasts.  I was originally going to mount them with the cables coming out the back, but this meant the relay harness cables couldn't quite reach the ballast connectors, so I turned them around (despite the, now cramped, HT bulb cable routing).

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« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:49:40 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 10:36:01 PM »
On to that relay harness... the harness that comes with the kit is pretty much plug and play, but needs a couple of mods/additions.  The ballast ground wires are too short, and so need extending.  Similarly, the 12V battery power line is also too short.  I soldered extensions (20 gauge wire minimum) to the ground wires.  Then I cut off the old ring end of the power cable and replaced it with a male bullet connector.  I then made up another cable (not shown) of 18 gauge wire, with a bigger ring to fit over the 12V terminal at the fusebox, and with a female bullet at the other end to connect up to the harness.

In operation, the relay harness uses one of the original headlamp wire connectors to trigger the relays and switch 12V battery power to the HID ballasts and high/low beam shutter solenoids in the projectors.  It switches the ballasts (and thus HID bulbs) 'on' for both the (low) DRL voltage as well as the regular low and high beam voltages.  This means that for those of us with DRLs the HID bulbs are on pretty much all the time.  I'm working on a simple mod to move the DRL operation down to the fog lights to avoid excessive HID use, but that will come later and be the subject of another thread. [UPDATE: thread now available at DRL mod]

This is entirely optional, but I also re-covered the whole harness in taped-up 'concertina' plastic shield to better match the cars original wiring.  Note: the relay harness already comes covered in 'snakeskin' nylon shield, which is perfectly fine if you're not as Anal as I :).  This is the finished harness before being hooked up in the car:

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Next it was time to test the open housings in the car along with the loosely-fit harness, for both correct electrical operation AND to verify clearance and latitude for beam height adjustment (as said earlier, the space behind the lower bolts is tight).  It's a really good idea to be sure everything works and fits right before you close everything up!

First thing I found was that the 'trigger' connector would not properly seat into the car's original headlamp bulb connector.  Turned out the guide moldings were too wide on the harness connector and wouldn't fit in.  Once I'd realised it though, some quick work with a dremel and cutting disc ground the inside edges of the guides and made them thin enough to fit. (TRS says this should no longer be an issue):

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Once everything was in place I tested operation of the lamps and highbeam shutters, and also rough-adjusted the low-beam height at both sides to get it in the ballpark.  Here isthe not-fully-adjusted-yet beam pattern.  See how far more even the light distribution is here (than the old aiming picture above)?  Brighter too - note this picture was taken at dusk.  The beams look a bit tilted here against the doors, but that's actually the car that was tilted where it was parked, so no worries.

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« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:53:28 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 10:36:05 PM »
So now everything is tested and cool, it's time for the final closing up.  First, I clipped the circular shrouds in place and used some dabs of epoxy as well to be sure nothing ever comes loose inside.  Then I removed the ballasts and bulbs from the housing bases and the masking tape from around the edges (a lightly applied heat gun helps here to release the tape).  Then clean and dust CAREFULLY all around & inside the base and cover and lens.  I used a swiffer-duster which worked well.  Last thing you want is dust inside the headlight when you're finished and with no way to get it out!

Then I baked each the base in the oven again for 8 or so mins.  Meanwhile, I screwed the inside covers back in to the lenses and removed the greaseproof protecting paper (again with a light heatgun application).  Then when each base was about cooked, I went around that lens's edges with the heatgun to melt the glue there.  Got the base out the oven and pushed the lens back in/onto the base and clipped it tight all the way round until cool and set. Repeat for other base. (I didn't bake the lens with the base in the oven as I was scared to damage the recently finished paint.)

I should point out another caveat here.  When I picked up the new HID headlights I was shocked to find out how much heavier they are than the originals.  So I got out my trusty digital scale and weighed them.  The old headlights weigh a shade over 4lbs 2oz.  The new ones, with the projectors and ballasts, weigh a bit over 6lbs 1oz each!  That's 50% MORE.  Then with the relay harness, you're talking around 6lbs more weight overall.  Probably won't change anyone's decision here, but worth bearing in mind.

As for the harness and wire routing, I've not done the final dressing on these yet as I'm waiting on some anchored zip ties that I can use to replace the factory headlight harness attached to the hood.  Once I get those I'll pull off the factory wires and coil them down in the bumper.  For now though, I've loosely zipped the new harness wires alongside the old (a bit of a mess still).  Anyway, the long bundle in the harness runs across the nose of the car (green dotted line), below the air filter, along the exisiting wire bundle that's there:

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Then this is the ugly wiring to the headlights on both sides.  The green arrows show the location of the (existing) ground points that I used for the ballast ground wires on both sides.  The blue arrow on the right shows where I mounted the relay box:

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And here's a closeup of the relay box. I drilled a 7/16" hole in the hood hinge support bracket and used one of the mounting bolts that came with the ballasts. I fished the bolt through the hole from the inside (via the rectangular slot that you can see) using some fuse wire coiled around the threads:

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Lastly, this is the 12V extension wire I discussed earlier before attaching under the fuse box post.  The blue circle shows where the bullet connector attaches to the one I added to the harness.  The extension wire's only about 12-18" long:

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« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:57:20 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 10:36:10 PM »
Finally, an outside daylight shot of the finished headlamps:

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...and pics showing the brightness and uniformity of the beam pattern, first low beam, then high. 

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I am SO pleased with the light output of these.  Not only much brighter than stock, but no erratic patterns and 'suck-out' areas in front of the car on high-beams.  Just compare the coverage of these photos with your non-HID headlights.  Really pleased and highly recommended.

Please note that these photos do not show up very large on the forum for some reason.  You can see larger versions in my Photobucket album at: http://s949.photobucket.com/albums/ad339/TomatoSoup_GXP/HID_Projectors/
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:58:41 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 10:36:15 PM »
UPDATE:  I received the Dupli-Color HLR100 UV coating and tried it out yesterday.  All I can say is EPIC FAIL!!

In theory the stuff is very easy to use and should result in a clear UV protection for the headlamps.  It was easy to apply, you just spray it on wet until it 'sheets' down.  I did that but the stuff dried with a finish like frosted glass - or ordinary paint sprayed from too far away! Absolutely horrible!  I spent the morning today wet-sanding and polishing it all off again.  :gaah:

Maybe I got a bad can or something, but all I know is it's wasted money.  Now I'm back to square one, and rethinking the idea to stay with the older lenses rather than reusing mine.  Sigh.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:59:59 PM by TomatoSoup »
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline 2kwk4u

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 11:19:37 PM »
Awesome write-up, TS, as always!  This one is on my "to do" list when I return stateside...

Offline Carbon Sky

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 11:23:13 PM »
Love the top pic!  What's up with the weird high in the center only cut off in the second pic?  Or is that just an illusion?

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 05:12:41 AM »
Great job and write up

Offline Critterman

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 10:07:26 AM »
Looks great, especially the highbeams no 'lost' light at all.
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Offline Arabas

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 10:20:41 AM »
Wow!

great work TS.
i suggest you get another pair of lights and create a different design, so that you can create a collection.
it looks like u got the skills to make beautiful custom headlights

aftermarket kappa headlights are missign from kappas...
DDM Works Backbone and probeam
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LVKFCB

Offline Sly Bob

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 05:43:33 PM »
TS, they're beautiful and the write up is awesome. I would love to do a pair for the car but have to save for a new set of recessed grills that a couple friends are workin' on.   :D
Just trying to do my part...

Mods: Lose the chicklets, VentureShield, Dual horns, AfterShock spoiler, Weathershield cover, Lil Chromies, Red calipers with black Solstice stickers, Opel GT antenna and Solo GXP-RCD exhaust with a Solo hi-flow cat!

Offline cdflint

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2012, 12:39:59 AM »
Excellent job TS.
She's an 09 Brazen GXP.

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2012, 09:43:07 AM »
Great Job!!  I like the look. Replacing the stock headlights with HID projectors is one of my favorite modifications.

Offline Gentleman Jack

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Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2012, 09:46:30 AM »
TS, they're beautiful and the write up is awesome. I would love to do a pair for the car but have to save for a new set of recessed grills that a couple friends are workin' on.   :D

maybe Santa will get them for you?  There is a santa in Canada, right?
May the Schwartz be wit you

Offline Sly Bob

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 01:03:07 PM »
maybe Santa will get them for you?  There is a santa in Canada, right?

At the North Pole, you bet!   :lol:
Just trying to do my part...

Mods: Lose the chicklets, VentureShield, Dual horns, AfterShock spoiler, Weathershield cover, Lil Chromies, Red calipers with black Solstice stickers, Opel GT antenna and Solo GXP-RCD exhaust with a Solo hi-flow cat!

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2012, 06:13:26 PM »
Updated the outside shots (now in sunlight :)) and the post about the UV protection (spoiler: it failed)
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Offline cartmann32

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 05:21:21 PM »
Great Write-up.

Only thing i would say, for all you Solstice owners, is to get the DS2 Extended Ballast from TheRetroFitSource. They should only be a few bucks more.
It's a MUCH longer ballast cord (roughly twice the length). So that way you can mount the ballast to the car, and run the cord up the stock path to the back of the projector.
If you go with a standard projector that uses standard HID bulbs, you can extend the wires coming out of the ballast (althought I wouldn't recommend this for the average user, as it will void the warranty if not done correctly).

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If we can't do it, you don't need it

Offline MARVIC 1

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 06:14:44 PM »
Nicely - Professionally - Thought Out Project Mr. TS......

Oh! and nice write up!  :thumbs:

Offline deepwater805

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2012, 06:25:33 PM »
That is way cool. You did a great job on the projectors. As for moi: I'm taking the easy way, and have just sent mine to HIP Pro in Florida to have done up. Mostly because I'm lazy, and also because I don't have the first clue as to do what you did TS.

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2012, 07:02:25 PM »
Great Write-up.

Only thing i would say, for all you Solstice owners, is to get the DS2 Extended Ballast from TheRetroFitSource. They should only be a few bucks more.
It's a MUCH longer ballast cord (roughly twice the length). So that way you can mount the ballast to the car, and run the cord up the stock path to the back of the projector.
Oh great, NOW he tells me!

Looking on the TRS web site, you're right, the "Long Cord" Morimoto D2S ballasts are just $5 more than the shorter versions.  But thinking about it, there's nowhere that's any easier to mount the ballasts in the car really, than on the lamps themselves, and the relay harnesses reach fine up the hood anyway.  Now if I was continually futzing with headlamps in and out like you are, Travis, I'd probably make the other call :) .  Thanks for the tip though.

Also, and as an additional tip for others... I bought these releasable zipties to use in the stock hood holes, to attach the relay harness extensions:



Got them from eBay (China) but they arrived really quickly for all that (2 weeks from order) and they fit perfectly in the factory holes.  I've now pulled the factory wires out, off the hood, and tied them up hidden under the bumper.  Just the relay harness wires are there now and it all looks FAR neater :)


"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: Solstice Projector HID Install - a Show and Tell
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2013, 05:16:29 PM »
UPDATE: As Critterman can attest, we noticed that one of my projectors (pass. side) was not switching to high-beam at the Mod meet last week.  I played around with the wiring connectors and it seemed to fix the problem, so I assumed that was all it was.  No dice.  The high beam on that side didn't work the whole way home. 

So after some debugging it turns out that something's broken in the high-low beam shutter mechanism (Side note: in HID projectors, there's a solenoid-operated 'shutter' that cuts off the top of the beam in low-beam mode and that is pulled out of the way to let the whole light pattern out in high-beam mode.)

To verify I removed the HID bulbs and felt into the projector with my pinky finger. The shutter feels loose & rattly compared to the good side.  I had my son switch the high beams on/off and I could move the shutter so it would retract with the solenoid, either moving it forward and back OR side to side would work to free it.  Certainly the wiring and solenoid are both working fine - it's definitely the shutter mechanism itself that's wrong.

Damn thing's only a year old, so I've emailed The Retrofit Source to see about warranty support.
"That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too." (Monty Python)

 

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