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Old 09-05-2005, 03:33 PM   #1
fliplyricist1
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EXT: TSX projectors retrofitted into 90-91 jdm one piece housings ***56K NO WAY

Okay, well since I've seen several people gawking at the results of modifying their headlamps to accept OEM projectors from other modern vehicles, I decided to give it a try. In this writeup I will be detailing the installation of low beam d2s projectors from the new Acura TSX into my 90-91 jdm accord one piece headlights. The entire process took me about 30 man hours to complete, but a lot of that time came from preparation and constant refitting, etc. So I'd suggest you don't start a project like this unless you have a few days or preferably a good week to work on the retrofitting process, and ideally have a backup set of headlights just in case. I could be wrong, but I believe I'm the first to retrofit projectors into 4th gen JDM one piece housings (or at least first to post it)

A few things to note...the 4th gen jdm one piece lenses are EXTREMELY cramped for space vertically, and just a word of warning, you will NOT be able to fit an HID projector with a 3" lense without extensive modifications and cutting. TSX projectors house 2.6" lenses, which are the smallest available on the market, and it's still an extremely tight fit which requires some cutting. So be warned, your stock housings will have to be cut up quite a bit.

List of tools you will need:

- tsx projectors
- of course a pair of ballasts and d2s bulbs
- wrench w/ various socket sizes and different flathead screwdrivers
- metal cutters
- 2000 grit sandpaper (optional)
- dremel (makes job a LOT easier)
- (2) 1 ounce kits of JB Weld (I suggest the regular formula as opposed to the quick formula)
- drill w/ various drill bits
- (8) 2.5" bolts or longer w/ plenty of matching nuts
- bag of #8 washers
- outdoor caulk (clear)
- adhesive promotor for spray paint
- high temp black spray paint (I use Duplicolor low gloss black engine paint)
- plenty of masking tape
- Mothers Mag & Aluminum polish
- Plastic polish (I used Novus #1 and 2)
- microfiber non abrasive towels/cloths
- a leveler (lasers are much easier to use)
- tape measure
- a level area to aim your projectors

Ok, first step is removing the bumper, and I will not delve into the details of removing the bumper. That information can be found easily on a search.

Once the bumper is off, remove the headlights. Since I used 90-91 one pieces, there is an extra chrome trim piece that goes around the headlight housing. Remove this. Stick the headlights inside an oven one at a time for 7 minutes at 250 degrees. Carefully pry the headlight lense from the housing so that you can gain access to the reflectors. Once you get the lenses off, you'll notice that the black trim piece is inside the lenses, while the low and high beam reflectors remain screwed into the main housing. To remove the lowbeam reflector (which you will be mounting the projector on), you will need to loosen the following three items on each headlight by rotating each counterclockwise:



Note the gold bolt which is a hex bolt, and the two 'aiming adjusters', which can be loosened by using a screwdriver and rotating each counterclockwise using the 'teeth,' but that method is quite extensive and unnecessary. Simply take a very small screwdriver (I used one used to repair glasses), or any other very strong, small tipped object and insert it into one of the three holes and rotate counterclockwise.



After you loosen all three thoroughly, the low beam reflector housing should come right out and you should have the following from each headlight:



At this point, you'll want to remove the chrome headlight 'cap' on each lowbeam reflector by removing the screws that hold them in the back, along with the bulb retaining clips.

Grab yourself a cardboard box and one of your TSX projectors, and, using a razor, create a template which accommodates the rear portion of the projector housing. You'll want to mount the projector with about 2.5 inches of the housing protruding through the cardboard, any more or less and you'll either have a hard time changing bulbs and/or losing foreground lighting because the projector will be mounted too far back into the housing. Ideally you'll want to have the rear of the d2s bulb flush with the outside lip of the headlight opening.

Using this cardboard template, center it on each of your lowbeam reflectors and create a cutting guide using a marker.



Now you're ready to have fun Gather up your wits and just remember that 'you'll be fine as long as you take your time.' Grasp that trusty dremel and cutting wheel and begin making the incisions along your outlines, making sure to stay as close as you can to the marked guides.

Next, take your tsx projector housings and, using those 2.5" bolts (or longer) and matching nuts, secure the bolts to the housing, and test fit the projectors into the created openings and mark off the 4 points where the holes need to be drilled to fit the bolts which will anchor the projectors to the reflector housings. Drill the holes a little larger than the actual width of the bolts so that you can make adjustments just in case the projectors are crooked.

Remember to keep the projector centered...this is very important for the final presentation, especially if you want them to look matching and well done. You'll notice that I did not have enough funds to purchase a dremel and did EVERYTHING by hand...using a traditional drill and tons of prying and a sanding bit.



Not bad for a job done without a dremel, eh?



At this point, clean both reflectors thoroughly with soap and water and then rubbing alcohol and paint those suckers with that high temp black spraypaint. (I HIGHLY suggest this step, as any chrome will just contribute to stray light and glare, and defeats the purpose of the ultra sharp projector cutoffs)

At this point you should have what looks like the following:



If you haven't already done so, it's probably a good idea to paint the black trim piece that fits inside the lenses as well, just to cut down on time and wait. An optional step, if you are not going to use shrouds, is to paint the tsx projector housings themselves. I chose to do this, as the BMW Xenon shrouds which I originally intended to use had no chance in hell of fitting. Plus the tsx housings are great in the sense that they are fully enclosed and come with a stock 'chromish' bezel. Just be EXTREMELY careful if you're going to paint them, and be sure to remove the lenses and bezels and mask the projector assembly off intricately to ensure no paint gets onto the chrome reflector bowls, or else you're screwed.

Another step I took (though perhaps of not much benefit), was wetsanding the inside of the lense holder assembly with 2000 grit automotive sandpaper, and then following up with several coats of Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish, which transformed them from a dull hue to a very shiny reflective surface. Who knows, maybe I gained 2 percent output or more color...but maybe not



***Editing post to add link to another post with pictures***
Link to another thread that has pix of a similar project:
http://www.cb7tuner.com/vbb/showthre...715#post806715
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:35 PM   #2
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Now you're ready to mount the bolted and secured projectors to the lowbeam reflectors. You'll notice, at this point, that the bottom of the projector housing may not fit inside the reflector assembly. This is due to the small rounded edge on the very bottom which is located right below the screw that holds the cutoff shield secure inside the projector. I alleviated this by taking the sanding bit and very, very carefully (and at low speed) grinding down that little rounded hump until it was flat and allowed the projector to mount.



Now that both projectors are mounted, it should look similar to the following:



The next few steps are arguably the most crucial in the entire process, as they will dictate the performance of your new hid setup. First, when I mounted the projectors, I found the following to offer the optimal mounting dimensions. First is the horizontal mounting position. To center the projector, mount it with the edge of the middle of the chrome bezel 2.1 inches from the edge of the center of the reflector housing. It should be 2.1" on each side if you do your measurements correctly. Next, the mounting depth. I personally found that mounting the projector so that the top of the chrome bezel to the reflector housing measures 1.2 inches (on both top and bottom) offers not only a great look, but you also don't sacrafice beam spread nor at the same time expose yourself to an easily damaged projector lense in the case of a front-end accident.



At this point it's time to temporarily mount the projectors back into the headlight assemblies and reinstall them onto your car (without the lenses installed), and fire them up with your d2s bulbs on a straight surface against a straight wall (I'd suggest a garage for this).



This doesn't need to be done at long distances, since right now what you're primarily concerned about is just making sure your beam cutoffs are perfectly parallel to the ground and completely flat and not crooked. Do this using your leveler, first holding it against the ground and making sure you are on flat ground, and then turning on your headlights and ensuring each cutoff beam is perfectly horizontal by placing the leveler on top of each beam cutoff against the wall. If one of them is off, then make the proper adjustments to the projector by nudging, rotating, etc to make sure that the beams are perfectly parallel to the surface. Once you have the projectors mounted perfectly, carefully take them back out of the headlight assemblies and take your JB Weld and begin welding the projectors to the reflector housings, making sure to weld both the 4 bolts as well as the actual projector unit to each reflector housing. At this point you can get a good night's sleep and allow the housings to dry for a good 12 hours or so before putting them back into your headlight assemblies.


Okay, so now that you're well rested and still alive, it's time to put the finishing touches on this grandure effort so you can get back on the road with some serious lighting. The JB Weld should be very hard by now, and will not go anywhere (this stuff is hard as steel). Now take your two finished projector lowbeam reflector assemblies and mount them back into each headlight, just as before.



Now take your headlight lense along with the corner lamp trim piece and test fit it back onto your headlight housing. Most likely the projector will not fit inside the trim piece since it's quite narrow, plus factoring in the fact that the headlights aren't aimed, you'll need to give yourself a little bit of leeway in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Probably the biggest factor is accommodating the large, bent prong that protrudes from the bottom of the projector assembly and is used to hold the chrome bezel onto the projector itself. For this you will need to cut out a generous portion of the headlight trim piece in the indicated area.





I did not include exact dimensions of the cut, because that is something you'll have to gauge for yourself. Just make sure to make the cut a little bit larger than what you think you'll need, in order to grant a broader range of horizontal and vertical adjustments.

Ok, just a few more cuts and you're on your way. Using your dremel with cutting wheel (once again I'm ghetto and couldn't afford a dremel so I used a metal nibbler as well as some plyers), cut away at the top of the back of the low beam opening hole on each headlight assembly. This needs to be done because, when the headlights are properly aimed vertically, there is no way in heck the projector bulb holders are going to clear the stock openings, and unfortunately I found this out the hard way and almost stripped the teeth on the aiming screw holders trying to force the projectors to face down more. Again, make your cuts larger than you think you need them so that you can accomodate a broad range of vertical and horizontal adjustment. It will all be covered up by the stock rubber boots anyways.




Now grab yourself a microfiber cloth (I personally found the Costco glasses cleaner cloths as well as the glass cleaner to be awesome) and thoroughly and carefully clean the projector lenses, and make sure no dust particles reside on the lense surface, as even the smallest spec can ruin alter your beam pattern. Also dust off all the black trim pieces and make sure everything looks as presentable as possible. Now take your caulk and generously add it along the entire perimiter of the headlight housing and secure the lenses back on, with all the clips so that they are tightly sealed. Now put back any missing screws and/or trim pieces and you're done with the install!! At this point it's a good time to clean the front of the lense thoroughly so that you can get some good visibility when aiming. I am going to wetsand the outside of my lenses and do another DIY soon, but in the meantime you can just use some PlasticX or some Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish or whatever plastic cleaner of your choice.

Once everything is pieced back together, take a pair of scissors and cut away a good portion of the middle of the rubber boots for the low beam housings so that it can accomodate the bulb holders for the projectors, as well as allow you to fit the d2s plug to the bulbs themselves. If you followed my depth mounting instructions carefully, then your clearance should be perfect on both sides (including the battery on the passenger side):



Here's a couple of pics of my final product:








So now your shiny new retro'd headlights are back on your car and you're ready for acti-...errr I mean aiming. Get your car to a local parking garage with perfectly level surfaces (bring your leveler as well), and using the 'teeth' of the two aiming adjusters on your low beam reflectors, get to aiming. The following offers an exacting process for aiming your headlights correctly:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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Now, depending on how many washers you used and the quality of your particular projector bowls/lenses, you'll end up getting some 'color' along the top of your cutoffs, which is what gives that cool 'blue/violet/turquoise' flicker as you pass by oncomers. I think I lucked out pretty good when I got my projectors, especially considering they were a mismatched pair from two different states, but here are the results of my cutoff testing:

in car from 20 feet (the garage is not perfectly level, but it's ok for now):



up close of the beam from 20 feet:




and finally some rolling shots:




Not the best of pictures, but I'll get some better ones soon...these things are incredible. Even blew away my wife and she is the type that cares less about any modding I do to my car. Without a doubt the best money I've spent on my car. Please feel free to ask any questions about my writeup or tell me if I need to add any clarification.

Coming soon: a DIY chargespeed tutorial
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:08 PM   #4
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Let me be the first.

BADD ASS!!!!! WELL DONE!!! Now thats how you use HIDs!!!
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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Nice, real nice.
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:31 PM   #6
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them shits is dope!!!! nice work
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:44 PM   #7
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Looks really good. Im in the process of putting Valeos in my APC housings. I'll post some pics when i get done. Keep up the good work people with the correct way to do HID's.
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:27 PM   #8
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Thanks a bunch for the replies, guys...big ups to all those who have already retro'd before...it's definitely a learning but fun process.

I have recieved a few pm's about me doing retrofits for people. I actually might do this, as I have about another months worth of vacation before school starts up again. Of course the person would have to supply the headlights and projectors and pay for shipping, but I'd take care of the rest (can also do the blackhousing and yellowing of the highbeams for an added charge). I'll be trying to figure out my pricing soon, but I now have a dremel and the turnaround time should be no longer than a week
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:32 PM   #9
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looks gawd damn good flipy very good. how much was the tsx hids?
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:36 PM   #10
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that looks awesome man. i might try that
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:15 PM   #11
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Thanks mangs

the tsx projectors cost me about 150 shipped (bought each from two different sellers, so saved quite a bit of money), but they typically go for about 200 shipped or so. This project took me quite awhile to piece together all the hid components, but after making some good buys over the past few months and selling for profit my net cost for the bulbs, ballasts, and projectors ended up being about 100 bucks for everything.

TSX projectors are, in my opinion, THE best projectors you can fit into our 4th gen housings...they actually have a wider beam pattern than the TL projectors, but just a little less intense in the straight ahead lighting. I really wish I could capture the true power of these things, maybe I'll have to take some mini DV clips with my camcorder and upload em sometime this week
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:18 PM   #12
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very impressed man. Lets have a cutoff and output showdown lol
nice work
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97Lude
very impressed man. Lets have a cutoff and output showdown lol
nice work
haha thanks a bunch man but I can't f--k with the master...you're the OG of retros, probably one of the motivations for me doing it in the first place
gotta give props where props are due
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:16 PM   #14
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man those lights are tight as hell definite props
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:37 PM   #15
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fliplyricist1, That looks phenomenal.
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:38 PM   #16
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Good work man...do you know if the USDM reflectors come off like that? I'm guessing that they don't...
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accord SiR
fliplyricist1, That looks phenomenal.
again, one of the founding fathers of the 4th gen retrofit and pure inspiration for my doing so...thanks man and props goes to you for having one of the baddest rides on here...period (also one of the reasons why I fell in love with the chargespeed grill )

thanks again guys...and to glory...nope sorry man the reflectors on the stock usdm lights aren't seperate like the jdm's
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:33 PM   #18
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Nice!
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Old 09-05-2005, 08:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fliplyricist1
haha thanks a bunch man but I can't f--k with the master...you're the OG of retros, probably one of the motivations for me doing it in the first place
gotta give props where props are due

thanks man
My next retro i was considering TSX's....so very very good pick!

Oh and i know how you feel about the best mod, when i turned mine on, my heart stopped lol. Though im obsessed with HID's, im biased, but definetley my favorite mod. How many Accords do you see with retrofitted HIDs
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:36 PM   #20
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could it be done with the usdm housing even though there not seperate like maybe run dual projectors with a black out reflector
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