HOW-TO: Installing HID Bi-Xenon Retrofit Headlights
Rather than go with a simple plug-n-play kit, we, of course, opted to build our own custom set!
Ever say to yourself, “I really wish that I had some of those cool HID headlights like newer vehicles”? Say no more! There are literary hundreds of aftermarket kits out there from which to choose — from the very basic plug-n-play kits to full custom retrofits. You can even build your own piece by piece or buy a complete set ready to install. Rather than go with a simple plug-n-play kit, we, of course, opted to build our own custom set!
Parts Needed for Retrofit:
— 2 Bi-xenon projectors from Infiniti FX-45 (pictured)
— 2 Lenses from an Acura TSX
— 2 Hella Gen 3 Ballasts 35W 4300K Philip D2S 85122+ Bulbs
— 1 H4 PnP wiring kit (eBay)
— 2 Malibu light covers for use as shrouds
Step 1: Remove the factory Infiniti FX-45 Lenses.
These lenses appear clear, but looks can be deceiving. Notice how clear they appear in the photo below?
Step 2: Install the Acura TSX lenses into the Infiniti FX-45 Projectors.
For comparison purposes, we left the Infiniti FX-45 lens in one projector and installed an Acura TSX lens in the other projector. The Infiniti FX-45 lens is pictured on the left and the Acura TSX lens is pictured on the right. See the difference?
Here’s another picture, below, showing the difference in clarity. This photo is of the Infiniti FX-45 lens.
The photo below is also of the Acura TSX lens.
And if that is still not enough proof, below is another shot of the Infiniti FX-45 lens.
Here is another look, below, but through that of the Acura TSX lens.
If the Acura TSX lenses are a better option, you may be wondering, then why not just go with Acura TSX projectors too? The reason why the Infiniti FX-45 projectors are highly sought after is two-fold. They are Bi-Xenon, meaning they offer a low beam and high beam option. The Acura TSX projectors are single stage only. Secondly, the Infiniti FX-45 projectors are more compact than those of the Acura. Thus they are easily retrofitted into the existing headlight housings of many vehicles due to their smaller size.
We obtained the pair of 35W 4300K Philip D2S 85122+ bulbs and Hella Gen3 Ballasts online. As for the plug-n-play wiring kit, it was purchased directly from eBay. The wiring kit came with all the necessary wiring to retain the proper function of our low beams and high beams with the newly-installed Infiniti FX-45 projectors.
Step 3: For shrouds, we opted for a custom look.
We decided on a pair of Malibu light covers (pictured at right). We were able to purchase just the covers for $6 each.
Step 4: Convert Malibu covers into projector shrouds.
Remove the center solar panel.
Next, remove the plastic bracket.
Using a Dremel, turn the square opening into a circle:
Again using a Dremel, cut off one side to form a bottom mounting surface:
Here is what the completed piece should look like, below.
Step 5: Remove the stock headlight housings from your vehicle.
Step 6: Remove headlight glass.
To remove the headlight glass, heat each light individually in an oven at 350 degrees for five minutes. This process allows the hardened glue to become very soft, which will allow you to take a flathead screwdriver and pry the glass off of the housing without damaging the glass. Below is what it will look like when the glass is removed from the driver side headlight.
Step 6: Mount the Infiniti FX-45 projectors into the headlights.
To mount the Infiniti FX-45 projectors into these headlights, the rear opening must be enlarged. We used a two-inch hole saw to make a quick cut.
After cuts are made, this is what the result will look like, below.
Step 7: Mount projectors, with covers, to the headlights.
To secure the projectors to the headlights, drill four small holes into the headlight and install four long screws through the projector mounting tabs and out through the holes in the headlight. Bolt each screw down on the backside of the headlight using lock washers, nuts, liquid thread locker and JB Weld to further seal them.
For the backside of the light, rather than use JB Weld to fill the gaps around the back of the projectors, as shown below, we used clear RTV Silicone instead. It has less dry time and can be removed much easier if needed.
Allow the JB Weld to cure overnight. Return back to the oven and bake each headlight housing for five minutes at 350 degrees in order to heat the glue around the glass housing. Upon removing each housing from the oven, firmly press the glass back onto the housing. After the housings cool, place a thin bead of clear RTV silicone around each light where the glass joins the housing. This is done to further waterproof the housings. We also took the same silicone and placed a good amount of it on the backside of each headlight, where the projector pushed through the hole, to further seal any small openings. Once each headlight has cooled, reinstall them in the vehicle.
Step 8: Install the wiring kit and mount the ballasts.
Below is what it looks like with the ballasts mounted on the passenger side of the engine bay.
Here is a shot of the driver’s side, below.
Step 9. Install each bulb.
Below is a picture of the passenger side.
The driver’s side is pictured below.
Headlights mounted, below.
And finally, all that work pays off, as seen below — working bi-xenon projectors!
Step 10: Aiming your newly installed lights.
Park on a level surface, 25 feet away from a wall and measure the distance from the center of the projector to the ground below. Take that measurement over to the wall and subtract two inches. Mark the wall at this spot by placing a piece of tape horizontally across the wall. Finally, turn on your lights and align the light cutoff on the wall to that of the tape.
At night, notice that cutoff produced by the projectors? An aftermarket plug-n-play kit cannot do this because of the design of stock halogen headlights.