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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010, 12:45 AM
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Projector retrofit progress

Well, rather than constantly barging into Soontobesrt's thread, I figured I would make my own. This one will just be to document my progress; I will do a complete How-to when all is said and done.

Today, I pretty much prepped the driver side reflector for my projector. Since its not a complete how-to, I am going to skip the steps up until now.

First, I made myself a little aiming "rig" complete with an old computer supply converted to give the lights 12V. I plugged in the halogen bulb to get an idea of where my cutoff should be. I measured it to be around 44.5" from where I set everything up.



The old halogen cutoff...its so yellow! However, it was surprisingly sharp.



Since I have an idea of where the cutoff is going to be, I started to cut! First I removed the old mount for the halogen bulb. Then I removed the shield over the tip of the bulb and clearanced the bottom for the projector.



Then came the fun stuff, test fitting the projector and cutting the reflector accordingly. It took me a bit, but I am ready to mount and aim the projector.





A couple of things I learned today...number one, wear a respirator or dust mask! I did not and I am paying dearly for that one. Second, doing this with the reflector still attached would be a pain. You can see the hole in the back is not perfectly round. After cutting off the 9006 bulb mount, I just kept enlarging the hole until I had the projector close to where I wanted it. I also found out that the E-46 shrouds do not look like they are going to work. That is fine by me because I was planning on some custom fiberglass shrouds. I just need to find a simple shroud to put a nice finishing touch where the fiberglass will meet the projector. I foresee those shrouds taking some time!

Oh, I apologize for the pics. I found out today that the flash on my old digital camera does not work. Its still going to produce better pictures than my cell phone. Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to purchase a new camera to properly document the project...the whole retrofit kinda cut into my funds a bit.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:36 AM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

Awesome Stuff! I'll be on here myself a lot so be sure to keep up on my thread as well! Im really going to need you to talk me through removing the reflector because I honestly see no way to remove it safely with anything I have and I don't believe I have a drum spoon like you mentioned haha. Im thinking about ditching the reflectors 100%, but not sure, what do you think? Have only projectors, some fiberglass and shrouds in the plastic housings maybe, still brian-storming before I tear/cut.

Nice job w/ aiming them as well, Ill have to do something similar I guess, good ole level ain't gonna be enough here haha
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:46 AM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

I still have to do everything to my passenger side light once it gets here so I am still looking for a better way to remove the reflector from the housing. I did buy something from Lowes today and I am not sure if its going to work any better. Same concept, but its bent a little bit different.

My purchase today...



The modified brake spoon. By the way, these things are CHEAP and you should be able to find them at any reputable autoparts store.



In this picture, you can see how I cut the end so it would fit around the ball stud used to hold the reflector to the housing.



Assuming the aftermarket housings are similar...

To remove the reflector, the first thing you need to do is remove the adjuster. This part is easy. Just twist the adjuster counter clockwise and it will release from the housing. Its still attached to the reflector, but using a large pair of vise grips as a fulcrum you can gently remove it from the reflector mount. That's one down and two to go. For the other two, you will need something to pry with...which is why I had to create a tool. I sprayed them with some lithium grease to aid the process although I am not sure if it helps at all. Regardless, with the adjuster mount removed you can freely move the reflector up and down. I was able to squeeze the tool in there and gently pry until they released. Gently is actually more like forcefully, but it did work out.

As far as just doing away with your reflector completely, I don't necessarily think its a horrible idea. I have a couple thoughts for you...first, you will possibly have 8 new mounting points to keep sealed from the outside. On a plus side, you now have some type of adjustment for the projector even after everything is sealed. Next, you are going to have a whole lot of extra space to fill in with something...maybe like a custom fiberglass shroud?

How about a picture of a headlight assembly "sealed" without the stock reflector? Hmmm, let me see what I can dig out of my box of goodies...imagine that, a housing with no reflector and a lens with the stock bezel!



PM me if you want, I'd be glad to answer any questions you have or to just discuss the retrofit process.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:16 AM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

I just had a great idea...at least I think I did. I might try to mount the ballast inside the housing. This keeps the ballast away from the elements and the whole housing will be sealed. I need to improvise a cap like the stock projectors have, but it might be pretty slick. I will also need to cut a hole in the housing so I can make the 9006 connector on the ballast accessible, but it would be much easier to seal that rather than figuring out how to enclose the back of the projector and the D2S connector.





Sorry again for the poor pics.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:27 AM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

i would never put theballast inside. if it goes bad, you mUST open the lights again.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:17 AM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

Yeah, I thought about that aspect, but I really like the idea of being able to keep everything sealed. With the projectors and halos, the last thing I want in the housing is moisture. I may be willing to take that chance. I'm going to explore some options, but I will obviously let you guys know the route I take.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:57 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerndone View Post
I still have to do everything to my passenger side light once it gets here so I am still looking for a better way to remove the reflector from the housing. I did buy something from Lowes today and I am not sure if its going to work any better. Same concept, but its bent a little bit different.

My purchase today...



The modified brake spoon. By the way, these things are CHEAP and you should be able to find them at any reputable autoparts store.



In this picture, you can see how I cut the end so it would fit around the ball stud used to hold the reflector to the housing.



Assuming the aftermarket housings are similar...

To remove the reflector, the first thing you need to do is remove the adjuster. This part is easy. Just twist the adjuster counter clockwise and it will release from the housing. Its still attached to the reflector, but using a large pair of vise grips as a fulcrum you can gently remove it from the reflector mount. That's one down and two to go. For the other two, you will need something to pry with...which is why I had to create a tool. I sprayed them with some lithium grease to aid the process although I am not sure if it helps at all. Regardless, with the adjuster mount removed you can freely move the reflector up and down. I was able to squeeze the tool in there and gently pry until they released. Gently is actually more like forcefully, but it did work out.

As far as just doing away with your reflector completely, I don't necessarily think its a horrible idea. I have a couple thoughts for you...first, you will possibly have 8 new mounting points to keep sealed from the outside. On a plus side, you now have some type of adjustment for the projector even after everything is sealed. Next, you are going to have a whole lot of extra space to fill in with something...maybe like a custom fiberglass shroud?

How about a picture of a headlight assembly "sealed" without the stock reflector? Hmmm, let me see what I can dig out of my box of goodies...imagine that, a housing with no reflector and a lens with the stock bezel!



PM me if you want, I'd be glad to answer any questions you have or to just discuss the retrofit process.
I like that pic lot. Looks nice. As far as the ballast inside, like Rob said then if anything goes bad your ripping it open again. UNLESS someone could come up with a door type of system but I highly doubt its possible to make a headlight openable without having any moisture issues Anyway, keep going, I look forward to the progress. That picture is just the housing and the chrome headlight bezel piece without the main reflectors correct? I think Im going to go that route but I have a few weeks to sit on it and think haha. Good work though
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:58 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

yeah...dont put the ballasts inside.....
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:36 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

Man, this is a tedious process! I can't wait to do the other side; it should go much smoother. Today I worked on mounting the projector to the reflector. First, I started out with a refined aiming rig. Its simply too hot to do this stuff in the garage and I'm living a bachelor lifestyle in one room of a house. Work is delegated to the carpeted basement! I purchased a 2'x4' sheet of OSB to lay on the carpeting. I laid out two sets of lines on the board so I can move it closer to make sure the vertical aspect is in line. As I progressed I realized its not that important. The reflector has lines to use as a reference point for horizontal and vertical alignment. As long as I get the cutoff to the right height, the only thing I really need to worry about it making sure the rotational plane is level. I taped off a level mark on the wall in the general vicinity of the halogen cutoff so I will be able to fine tune that with the stock adjuster once they are installed on the Jeep. As long as its level, and I keep the projector face perpendicular to the reference lines, I will call it good.



After a long process and much frustration, I have all the mounting holes drilled and ready to go. Two of them are a bit oblong and two are fairly decent size. Once its all bolted together, it should be nice and solid. I might try to use a body filler or some plastic epoxy to fill in the larger holes, but I'm still unsure.









Now I just need to make some spacers for the back so I can tighten down some nylock nuts and I will finally have the driver side mounted and ready for a shroud.

I almost forgot...satisfied with the rotation of the projector!



This thing is ridiculous, just look at how wide the light is compared to the halogen bulb.

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Old 08-14-2010, 11:41 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

lookin good...hows the highbeam??
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:42 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by soontobesrt View Post
I like that pic lot. Looks nice. As far as the ballast inside, like Rob said then if anything goes bad your ripping it open again. UNLESS someone could come up with a door type of system but I highly doubt its possible to make a headlight openable without having any moisture issues Anyway, keep going, I look forward to the progress. That picture is just the housing and the chrome headlight bezel piece without the main reflectors correct? I think Im going to go that route but I have a few weeks to sit on it and think haha. Good work though

Yeah, I just mocked up the assembly with the lens, the bezel and the housing...no reflector.

As far as the ballast inside goes, I'm still not sure what I am going to do. I've posted on a retrofit forum and it sounds like some OEM applications either have the ballast inside or part of the housing like the Jeep projectors. I realize changing the ballast won't be easy, but with it protected from the elements, I would hope I will get some good life out of it. I'm just really interested in keeping my projector and headlights as sealed as possible. I also came up with that idea after a few tall boys last night...hmmm, maybe it wasn't as good as I thought.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:44 PM
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Re: Projector retrofit progress

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Originally Posted by 3.7L wk View Post
lookin good...hows the highbeam??
You know, I keep forgetting to switch it on! Next time I hook it up, I will put power to the solenoid and snap a pic.
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