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Everything you need to know about Retrofitting

Fit Interior & Exterior Illumination Threads discussing interior and exterior lighting modifications for the Fit/Jazz

Everything you need to know about Retrofitting

  #1  
Old 08-02-2009, 04:38 AM
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Everything you need to know about Retrofitting

What is retrofitting? Im sure youve all heard the term but some may be unsure as to what exactly it means. Basically, its putting all components and parts of a true xenon HID system in a car that does not come with it. This includes projectors, bulbs, ballasts, shrouds, and harnesses. I will cover each of these things and give details to those who may be interested in doing this in the near future or those just looking for more information. Doing a retrofit is the only way to maximize your cars light output, without blinding others on the road.


Projectors:

Unlike our halogen system, the projectors themselves are what decide if it will be a single xenon or bi-xenon. The reason that projectors have such a razor sharp cutoff is due to a shield which partially covers part of the bulb when you are running the low beams. When the high beam is switched on (in a bi-xenon setup) the built in soilenoid pulls down the cutoff shield revealing all of the light.

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Here is the cutoff of a LS430 projector. Not only does this shield keep it from blinding others, but controls the light and directs it exactly where it needs to go, on the road.

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Here is what happens when the cutoff shield is removed.

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Now there is a good amount of projectors out there so you might wonder which one is best for you? Every projector is different, and every projector has a different pattern, intensity, width, and color. The choice will ultimately be up to you.

If you decide to go with a single xenon setup, meaning you will not have high beams, the most popular options would be:

LS430
S2000
TSX

The LS430 is hands down the best projector ever made. It has almost 180 degrees of light. The only downside is that it is a bit pricey, and is a single xenon.

The S2000 and TSX projectors are very well balanced and priced well also. They are great projectors.

If you want a bi-xenon setup, the most popular choices are

FX35
TL
E55

These are all very good projectors with the FX and TL having a slight advantage over the E55 in width and intensity. The E55 has the best high beam in the market.

Since we have fairly big headlights, fitment will not be a problem for any projector. So now we move on to our shrouds.


Shrouds

Shrouds are the decorative plates that go around the projector to cover the projector itself and not the lens. There are many to choose from and they are all purely cosmetic. Here are some of the more popular shrouds.

Mini-gun shrouds:

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E46 shrouds:

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Bulbs:

Now you need some bulbs to put into your projectors. Most people here are used to these smurf blue 10,000k bulbs which are about as bright as a dim flashlight. The bulb of choice is the Philips 85122+ 4300k bulbs. These bulbs are OEM and the quality is superb. Why 4300k you may ask? That is the temperature of light that is closest to the sun's natural light, which can be compared to how you would see things at around noon. The higher or lower you go, the more light you will sacrifice.

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If maximum light is your main concern, then stick with 4300k.

Clear Lenses:

Many people are now swapping the lens of a projector in order to get more color at the cutoff. Here is an example of a projector with a clear lens conversion.

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This way you can get the bright 4300k color on the ground, and have this purple blueish color at the cutoff which looks amazing from a far. Also the flicker is awesome when hitting a bump. It is really simple and cheap to do this and it will not affect light output in any way.

Ballasts and Harness:

In order to get everything fired up you will need a custom made wiring harness made to fit your car and of course ballasts. The best ballast of choice is the Matsushita Gen 3 OEM ballasts. They are the highest quality ballasts out there as they are OEM. Any place that sells retrofits should also be able to make you a harness to fit the car. A retrofit should be 100% plug and play.


You can find these parts online and some reputable shops sell them as kits.
The Retrofit Source (U.S.) - HID Projector Retrofit Kits, Retrofit and HID Componenents, Projectors Lens, Wiring Harnesses, Shrouds and more!
This kit brings EVERYTHING you need to do a retrofit on your car and have the outputs ive posted. The only thing is that you will need to find someone experienced in doing this to drill your headlights and mount/aim the projectors. You can easily find a local retrofitter to do this.

Now why would anyone spend that much money when they can just buy a plug and play HID kit for $40? Easy. Honda spent hours upon hours of research and developing headlights to work with OEM halogen bulbs. You know the halogen bulb on its own is actually very dim. But with the right amount of reflectors, that dim light can be amplified to the EXACT amount that needs to be on the road to not blind people, yet still provide lighting. When you introduce such a powerful bulb as a xenon bulb, all those reflectors will amplify it even more and scatter the light where normally a halogen bulb would not shine and isnt meant too. Not to mention into the eyes of other drivers.

Here are some pictures showing how much better a retrofit can be. This a picture of an 8000k HID kit in a stock Scion tC headlight.

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Notice how there is no pattern, just two hot spots in the middle. So much glare that you cant even see what your looking at. And all that extra light that you see shining over the garage door, would do absolutely nothing on the street but blind other drivers and light up the sky. Now here is the same car with retrofitted projectors.

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Everything is well lighted, and clearly. No glare either. This is what matters the most during real world driving.


In conclusion this is the best decision in terms of maximum light performance, and also gives your car that luxury look. Here are some more pictures for you guys to drool over! Please feel free to ask any questions! Hopefully we can start seeing some more retrofits!

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Last edited by qbmurderer13; 08-02-2009 at 04:41 AM.
  #2  
Old 08-02-2009, 05:18 AM
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+rep cause Im planning on doing this in the future
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-2009, 05:30 AM
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Thumbs up

just what i was looking for, Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-2009, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by da9r00d View Post
just what i was looking for, Thanks
Once I get money.....
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-2009, 02:02 PM
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mm hmm, i plan on doing exactly this when i get the money, first tailights, then ill decide between T1R intake or retrofit, which ever is first! question tho: i have the indepedant fog lights that is set up to stay on with high beams too, does the ballast serve some kind of resistor so that the fog lights doesnt over load? (im doing HID foggies too) its happened once before and i dont want it to happen to the HID retrofits. can i know what exactly the ballast is for? thanks in advnace
 
  #6  
Old 08-02-2009, 02:23 PM
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Well remember there is no change in how the light bulbs act when you hit the high beams. The shield just moves out of place. Also the harness that comes with the retrofit has everything you need to prevent any overloading. If you put projectors in your foglights too that will also come with its own ballasts and harness.

For what its worth I also have the indepent foglight mod too and they work fine when I hit the high beams, although I have halogens in my fogs.
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-2009, 02:56 PM
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^.^ this gets more and even more tempting to do lol must... GET... SECOND.... JOB!!!
 
  #8  
Old 08-05-2009, 12:12 AM
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Its well worth it. Ill never own another car without projectors.

Theres tons more information on www.hidplanet.com/forums if you guys want to do some more research and check out some more pictures.

I got my retrofit done by Rich over at www.hidillusionz.com and his work is flawless. Everything looks completely OEM. No condensation or anything. All the products he provides are OEM. Hes done several Fit's as you can see in his HID showcase. I highly recommend getting your headlights done by him if your not comfortable opening up your headlights and mounting/aligning the projectors.
 
  #9  
Old 08-06-2009, 10:12 PM
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thanks for the info!
 
  #10  
Old 08-19-2009, 01:04 AM
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This is incredible, I knew projectors limited the glare incredibly - but I had no idea it performed like this!

If you don't mind, could you show some pictures of your retrofits by Rich installed? I was perusing his website that you posted and I couldn't find any sort of example of pricing - if you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for yours?
 
  #11  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:01 AM
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Check out the width of the beam. It keeps on going but I couldnt find a wall long enough. Still need to get a pic of the high beams. The quality of the retrofit done by HID illusionz is top notch. He even mounted the ballasts underneath the headlight itself so I didnt need to mount it anywhere. Everything is OEM so you know its quality.

I paid about $1000 for everything. This includes all parts.

FX35 Bi-xenon projectors
OEM 4300k phillips bulbs
OEM Gen 3 matsuhita ballasts
Clear lens conversion
Mini gun shrouds
Harness

That price also includes the labor of opening the headlight and securely mounting and aligning the projectors themselves. Plus wiring all the ballasts to the ignitors and so on. Also includes the painting of the headlight housing if you wish, he can leave it chrome or paint it whatever color you want. Also he seals the headlight with the same OEM sealant called buteyl. This guarantees you get zero condensation. Plus shipping those huge boxes from here to new york and back. It couldve been alot cheaper if I buy the parts from various different people, and not get the clear lens or paint, but thats not what I want.

Say what you want about the price, but I will still do it all over again if I had to. The output is UNMATCHED and the fit and finish is flawless. Also you cant beat the quality of OEM parts.
 

Last edited by qbmurderer13; 08-19-2009 at 04:13 AM.
  #12  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:49 AM
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Quick Q: Do projectors have to be powered somehow? Or do they just sit there and the light does all the work.
 
  #13  
Old 08-19-2009, 04:56 AM
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They direct the light that comes from the bulb. But they don't use any power. The only power they use is the removal of the cut-off shield when the high beams are switched on, which are included in the wiring harness that would be provided with a retrofit.
 
  #14  
Old 08-19-2009, 10:29 PM
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They are indeed the most beautiful retrofits I've ever seen..
If only I didn't work a minimum wage job at Jimmy John's, I'd totally drop 1k for those. Maybe one day, yah know?
For now, I gotta stay small hehe.
 
  #15  
Old 08-20-2009, 07:04 AM
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Heres a cheaper option. Buy the parts from this website that sells all the pieces needed as a kit.

The Retrofit Source (U.S.) - HID Projector Retrofit Kits, Retrofit and HID Componenents, Projectors Lens, Wiring Harnesses, Shrouds and more!

Rich at HID Illusionz charges 250 for labor. So if you order the parts from there, ship them to rich for installation, you can probably spend closer to $700.
 
  #16  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:34 PM
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going to do this for the ep3 after a couple other mods sadly though... i might be spending more if its a 04-05 b\c they come with 2 housings, not one (as in one housing for both low and high beams and vice versa)
 
  #17  
Old 08-20-2009, 08:55 PM
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Well you can put a single xenon projector where the low beam is and keep your halogen high beam reflector. The TSX projector is one of the best single xenon projector. Or just get a FX35 bi-xenon and not use the chrome hi beam reflector at all.
 
  #18  
Old 09-07-2009, 02:42 AM
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I can't believe I missed this thread.
 
  #19  
Old 09-18-2009, 05:17 AM
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Thanks for the great info. Too many people out there cheap out and blind others with their after market HID's.
 
  #20  
Old 09-18-2009, 03:09 PM
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great info. i absolutely hate oncoming drivers w/ HIDs in their halogen reflector housings. if i was a police officer, that would be one of my biggest priorities to crack down on. i'm going this route after i have a few more mods done. for now, i find the stock headlights sufficient when paired up w/ the fogs.
 

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