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DRL substitute & mild reverse squirrel finder mod for Mini D2S v.20

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  • DRL substitute & mild reverse squirrel finder mod for Mini D2S v.20

    This is a simple modification on the Mini D2S that:
    • obscures the solenoids from plain view
    • provides a daytime running light (DRL) substitute
    • provides a mild reverse squirrel finder (RSF) mod. By "reverse squirrel finder mod", I mean adding a low intensity beam to light up elevated road signs.


    I was inspired by EvoXenoN's e55 shield; in that placing a panel somewhere in front of the low beam shield without obscuring low & high beam is possible.

    Materials & tools:
    • Sheet metal
    • Shears (or household scissors if the sheet metal is thin enough)
    • Masking tape (for template transfer/adjustments)
    • Sharpie / permanent marker
    • Screwdriver

    No drilling needed
    Note: I'm trying this mod because I'm planning to use a different biXenon (3" EvoX-R) for my night time highway & surface street lighting, while relegating the Mini D2Ses for night time backroad lighting or (daytime) DRL. The DRL/RSF feature would hopefully also reduce the on-off effect of a sharp cutoff bouncing up & down hilly roads.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by satrya; May 29th, 2012, 09:25 PM.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

  • #2
    Here are a few daylight images showing the effect of the shield. Basically, it looks no different from what EvoXenoN has done for a bigger projector unit. As with that thread, painting this shield will alter the outside appearance from most front view.

    The last image in this post is at an angle where the solenoid tip barely interferes with the low beam pattern; the alleged source of the slight yellow spot that have been posted by many. The reflector bowl is lit up from the side.


    Last edited by satrya; May 29th, 2012, 09:26 PM.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's where this mod differs from the original source idea. The shield is predominantly flat, with a slight convex shape at the top. The convex top allows for light reflected by the top part of the relfector bowl to bounce back above the low beam cutoff line (as visualized on a wall; not inside the projector where things are reversed around).

      The picture below shows version 1, that is mounted almost flush with the inner face of the lens. For this one, the shield prototype is secured into the bottom lens tab in the black lens housing. Obviously, that's not the best mounting place.
      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

      3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

      Comment


      • #4
        In the second version, the shield is mounted almost flush to the solenoid housing, i.e. a bit further back from the lens. The blue masking tape on the back of the lens is the original v1 template, transferred to the v2, which adds materials above the v1 shield (to extend the curve and help minimize minimize DRL/reverse squirrel finder sensitivity to mounting misalignments). It also adds material below the half circle for mounting.

        Because of the top extension, a notch must be added to the center to allow the shield to exend as the "shoulders" of the solenoid housing.

        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

        3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

        Comment


        • #5
          Use something like a sharpie to roll the sheet metal, generating the convex DRL/RSF reflector.


          Here are pictures of how the v2 mounts, and how far the shoulders extend to the sides of the solenoid housing.
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

          3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

          Comment


          • #6
            v2 testing

            Here are a few test shots. Left side (of the picture; right side from the driver's perspective) is with the v2 shield. Right side (of the picture) is original Mini D2S. No flash, f/3.5 , ISO=200. The pictures are taken progressively from a sharp angle looking down into the projectors (first to 4th pictures below), until passing below the low beam cutoff line (5th picture below). The 2nd - 4th pictures indicate some light escaping via the v2 shields where the stock Mini D2S doesn't (or does it less).



            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

            3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

            Comment


            • #7
              This is how it looks like in daylight. In spite of the change in mounting location between v1 & v2, the solenoid is still reasonably covered, and the gap between the shield and the lens isn't preceptible. Right side is unmodified Mini D2S.
              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

              3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

              Comment


              • #8
                Time for mass production (2 pieces, at least). Putting masking tape on v2 and tracing it with a permanent marker, then trimming the masking tape, generates a master template good for a few replication.
                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alignment with solenoid assembly

                  One important note is how the shield relates to the solenoid assembly. First picture below shows where the top of the shield should be relative to the edges of the solenoid lever. The horizontal clearance from the perimeter of the lever to the top of the shield depends on how comfortable you are with how precise and permanent the shield mounting can be. I chose a conservative gap of at least 2mm.


                  Also, when the solenoid is activated, the high beam shield should either barely touch or be slightly above the top of the shield like so:
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                  3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Final mounting

                    The final mounting is done by interference fit. The first is the interference between the bottom curve of the shield and the inner dimension of the black lens housing. The second is the interference between the tab of the shield and a small gap between the solenoid bracket and black lens housing, coupled by the wire that holds the high beam shield axle in place. Here's what the second interference looks like, before final bending of the tab.


                    Once the black lens housing is installed, the tab will fill the gap between the solenoid bracket and the black lens housing, making it a bit harder to slide around.


                    Folding the tab over and back into the small opening increases the interference fit.


                    A quick check for horizontal alignment by peering into the lens to make sure there is enough clearance to the sides of the solenoid:
                    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Does it work?

                      Here's a wall shot of a pair of Mini D2S, placed around 8" side by side, pointing a little over 25ft out the window, with the cutoff steps lined up to 1 point. I know this is not how one lines up the step when installed in a vehicle, but seem like a good way to highlight only the main relevant aspects here.

                      The 1/3 right hand side of the picture is completely obscured by the wall, which is my proxy for unlit wall. The bottom of the 2/3 left hand side is covered by the pair of Mini D2S' low beams. The top 2/3 left is covered by the DRL/RSF mod.

                      Reducing the intensity of this DRL/RSF can be easily done by paiting the shield with a dark/less reflective material. Increasing it can be done by using a reflective coating / a more reflective material than the aluminum sheet I used.

                      Note: the right edge of the low beam coverage has a slightly darker box that is due to the window obscuring 1 of the Mini D2S pair, effectively only being illuminated by 1 unit. The intensity is still much higher than the DRL/RSF area, which is how it is supposed to be; imho.

                      Last edited by satrya; May 29th, 2012, 09:19 PM.
                      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                      3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Updated pictures of what the mod does in daylight.

                        From a direct oncoming traffic's perspective, it looks like a DRL.


                        Of course, the intensity is nothing like the low beam. Here's a shot from the same distance, taken below the low beam cutoff line.


                        Also, from the side, the DRL effect is hardly there, so it doesn't unecessarily blind several lanes away. Here's a picture of the modded Mini D2S, along with an e55r (EvoX-R) that doesn't have a reverse squirrel finder mod. Both run 4300K Morimoto 35W. From this angle, the DRL effect hardly increases the intensity.
                        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                        3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ^^ nice work boss..

                          I was google my username for a certain pic that I was trying to find and I stumbled across your curved Mini D2S shields.
                          I'm glad I "inspired" you to make one ..... Now you've "inspired" me to willingly use mini D2S/H1s in my retro.. Hate seeing that ugly solenoid....
                          The Evo headlight Specialist
                          Tech Support: EvoXenoN@gmail.com
                          Evo X
                          / S14 / Toyota GT86 / BRZ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks. You do great work that's always interesting to see.
                            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                            3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wish I know about this mod before I installed my ACMEs in my Tercel...the laser sharp low beam cut off is great...but it does not light up any signs

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