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New to HID's; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 install running into a problem.

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  • New to HID's; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 install running into a problem.

    I just joined up after completing my first HID pnp retro on my 2007 Mazda3. I went with The Retrofit Source based on reputation over at Mazda3forums.com, and was mightily impressed by the quality of the product as it was delivered and the provided instructions. Installation went well, with one small issue; when we got everything installed we had an issue with the bulbs not lighting on first attempt.

    We assumed we had an issue with the grounds, ground the paint off our chosen grounding locations (factory ground spots on the chassis for the existing halogens), put everyting back together, and both headlights worked fine. We assumed we'd fixed the problem, and buttoned everything up.

    The next morning, both headlights failed to light up on first attempt again. turning the lights off and immediately back on had them both light and warm up in short order, and they didn't flicker or blink the entire way to work (1 hour drive at 5:00 AM). So, I went home, double checked the battery to chassis ground point (was also painted, ground paint off and reattached ground), and that the power lead from the battery to the supplied harness was secure (no corrosion, attached well.) This morning, same symptom.

    I'm starting to pay very close attention to whether or not this is indeed both headlights every time, or if sometimes one lights on first attempt and not the other (to aid in troubleshooting whem I hear back from TRS via email.) So far, it looks like both headlights blink on, then immediately turn off. Not being more familiar with the inner workings of the ballast, I can't offer much of a diagnosis at this point especially since both headlights are faulting simultaneously so far. What I think is noteworthy is that they ALWAYS fire up on second attempt, and once lit they are bullet proof untill I turn them off for a prolonged period of time (when I get to the guard shack at work, I have to turn them off for a minute or two while approaching, but they come back on without fail after that short span of time.)

    If anyone can help lead the blind here, I'd appreciate it. I'm mechanically inclined and have a fair bit of electrical knowledge, just new to HID's (worked as an auto and aircraft mechanic when I was younger.) Thanks in advance for the assistance guys.
    2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
    Moderator at Mazda3forums

  • #2
    I've seen this as becoming a rare issue with TRS harnesses... Are you using 35w ballasts?
    If so, try running the ballasts without the harness for a while and seeing if it has the same issue. It likely won't, which tells me the harness is the problem.

    If this happens, BrokenVisaCard(on here) can tell you which route to go, I think this is the same issue he's having on his Durango which uses an H4 I think, but I advise calling TRS & having them help you troubleshoot.
    2012 Volkswagen Golf R. 2016 Ford Fiesta ST

    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

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    • #3
      its hard to say, could be a power delivery problem? have you hooked the ballast directly to the battery? when you say they dont fire, do they make a buzzing noise or flicker?
      Octa projectors, eight OEM bulbs, ~30,000lm , and 169 degrees of driving heaven!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by michael.kozera View Post
        its hard to say, could be a power delivery problem? have you hooked the ballast directly to the battery? when you say they dont fire, do they make a buzzing noise or flicker?
        Haven't hooked the balast directly to battery, that's on the list for this weekend when I can tear the bumper and headlights back off to access the ballasts. The headlight flicker once or twice, then fail to ignite. On second attempt, they light off and warm up like expected.

        Originally posted by wireless View Post
        I've seen this as becoming a rare issue with TRS harnesses... Are you using 35w ballasts?
        If so, try running the ballasts without the harness for a while and seeing if it has the same issue. It likely won't, which tells me the harness is the problem.

        If this happens, BrokenVisaCard(on here) can tell you which route to go, I think this is the same issue he's having on his Durango which uses an H4 I think, but I advise calling TRS & having them help you troubleshoot.
        35W ballasts, Motimoto H7 bulbs in stock projectors. I'm not sure if I can configure what I have to operate the ballasts without going through the harness.

        I noted this post by TRSNate http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...l=1#post638041 that sounds like it may have been an issue with a bad batch of igniters in the ballasts. Since he posted this five days ago, and I received this kit about two weeks to a week and a half ago, that would match the timeframe he's alluding to. I emailed TRS with the symptoms I'm seeing, and am awaiting a response unless I hear from them directly through the forum.

        Insofar as the relay harness, I don't have a DMM to check for proper voltage (don't lend tools to friends, lesson learned) but I do have a probe tester and the relays themselves light up when active. It looks like the relays are consistently firing, and the ground forks at the ballast ends are grounded to factory ground points with all the paint sanded off (bare metal for best ground.) Everything I can see from here, minus bypassing the ballasts temporarily with the provided test lead or knowing how the magical box/ballast actually works, looks like it's all done correctly.

        I'll report back after I do some more sleuthing. I have a feeling, after TRSNate's post and observation, that I wound up with a pair of bad ballasts, but I'll wait for TRS.
        2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
        Moderator at Mazda3forums

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        • #5
          let us know what you find!
          2012 Volkswagen Golf R. 2016 Ford Fiesta ST

          The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

          Comment


          • #6
            i forgot to ask, but is your engine running when you try and turn on your lights?
            Octa projectors, eight OEM bulbs, ~30,000lm , and 169 degrees of driving heaven!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by michael.kozera View Post
              i forgot to ask, but is your engine running when you try and turn on your lights?
              Have tried turning the headlights on without the engine running (just on battery), and waiting 30 seconds in case the battery needs to recover from starting the car. Have also tried revving the engine to 3000rpm while engaging the headlights in case the alternator is a little weak. The battery is less than a month old. No matter what, I end up with the same issue.

              This morning, the driver side headlight fired up on first attempt, passenger side took another try. Still, intermittent failure to start on first attempt.
              2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
              Moderator at Mazda3forums

              Comment


              • #8
                ok, so have you measured the voltage at your ballast while car is running? by this i mean physically taking a voltmeter and measuring the voltage right at the connector to your ballast. it should read about 14V when engine is running.
                Octa projectors, eight OEM bulbs, ~30,000lm , and 169 degrees of driving heaven!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by michael.kozera View Post
                  ok, so have you measured the voltage at your ballast while car is running? by this i mean physically taking a voltmeter and measuring the voltage right at the connector to your ballast. it should read about 14V when engine is running.
                  Measure for voltage at the ballast input you mean? Or ballast output? I'll borrow my dad's DMM this Friday when I head that way to do some yard work and take a look.

                  I'm also awaiting another response from TRS. Their initial email concurred that I should double check my positive connection and battery to chassis ground, which I did without any change in symptoms. So, waiting to see where they want to go from here. If I had one side working consistently, I could swap known good parts, but with intermittent issues on both sides I'm grasping at straws here.

                  On a side note, I heard there's a break in period for HID bulbs. Is it just my imagination, or are these things getting a little brighter as the days go on? May have just been my imagination on the drive in this morning.
                  2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
                  Moderator at Mazda3forums

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by philrab View Post
                    Measure for voltage at the ballast input you mean? Or ballast output? I'll borrow my dad's DMM this Friday when I head that way to do some yard work and take a look.

                    I'm also awaiting another response from TRS. Their initial email concurred that I should double check my positive connection and battery to chassis ground, which I did without any change in symptoms. So, waiting to see where they want to go from here. If I had one side working consistently, I could swap known good parts, but with intermittent issues on both sides I'm grasping at straws here.

                    On a side note, I heard there's a break in period for HID bulbs. Is it just my imagination, or are these things getting a little brighter as the days go on? May have just been my imagination on the drive in this morning.
                    You want to check the 12 V inputt o the ballast. And HID bulbs do have a break-in period. Mine from TRS took about 50 hours to reach full brightness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by axipher View Post
                      You want to check the 12 V inputt o the ballast. And HID bulbs do have a break-in period. Mine from TRS took about 50 hours to reach full brightness.
                      Kinda figured we were talking about ballast input voltage, but didn't want to assume. I guess if I see an issue there, and I've got over 12V at the battery, then my issue is TRS' harness/relays. At least then I could rule out the ballasts and bulbs.

                      Alternately, I suppose I could disonnect the positive lead to the battery, turn the headlights on to engage the relays, and check continuity from positive lead to the ballast input side of the harness. It would give me an idea pretty quickly if I have a faulty connection/broken wire if I see really high resistance.

                      I thought bulbs had a break in period, but I thought maybe this morning was just placebo. I can tell you that after three hours of run time driving to work since Monday, they are continuing to slowly get brighter. Kinda frustrated I didn't change these out first when I got the car seeing the difference they make. Of course, now I'm tempted to get TRS's clear lenses and a spare set of headlights so I can go that route (or find a decently priced set of factory HID headlights and just use D2S bulbs with the appropriate pigtail.)
                      Last edited by philrab; November 6th, 2013, 11:15 AM.
                      2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
                      Moderator at Mazda3forums

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by philrab View Post
                        Measure for voltage at the ballast input you mean? Or ballast output? I'll borrow my dad's DMM this Friday when I head that way to do some yard work and take a look.

                        I'm also awaiting another response from TRS. Their initial email concurred that I should double check my positive connection and battery to chassis ground, which I did without any change in symptoms. So, waiting to see where they want to go from here. If I had one side working consistently, I could swap known good parts, but with intermittent issues on both sides I'm grasping at straws here.

                        On a side note, I heard there's a break in period for HID bulbs. Is it just my imagination, or are these things getting a little brighter as the days go on? May have just been my imagination on the drive in this morning.
                        yes measure the voltage at the ballast input, should be 12 v with car not running, but with engine on should be about 14v.

                        hid bulbs do have a break in period, anywhere from 5hr-15hr. basically there is salt residue on the inside of the containment capsule that need to get burned away to achieve best color, and brightness.
                        Octa projectors, eight OEM bulbs, ~30,000lm , and 169 degrees of driving heaven!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by michael.kozera View Post
                          yes measure the voltage at the ballast input, should be 12 v with car not running, but with engine on should be about 14v.

                          hid bulbs do have a break in period, anywhere from 5hr-15hr. basically there is salt residue on the inside of the containment capsule that need to get burned away to achieve best color, and brightness.
                          I'll report back this weekend after I've had a go with a digital multimeter. I'd be delighted at this point to find voltage drop because then at least I've got something solid to diagnose/fix. I could, need be, rebuild this entire harness if it came to that (though I imagine TRS would warranty it happily.) I'm more concerned about finding nothing wrong, because then I'm stuck at bulbs and ballasts, neither of which I know enough about to troubleshoot unless I have a known good set of components to swap in.

                          Wish me luck.
                          2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
                          Moderator at Mazda3forums

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just an update, I'm confounded to explain why, but yesterday afternoon and this morning both bulbs fired up without hesitation, flickering, or any other nonsense. I just flicked the headlight switch, looked to see if both, one, or none lit up, and they're both lit up. I don't know whether to be relieved, or suspicious. I'll keep an eye on it, and see what they do.

                            If they keep on operating correctly, I'll get back in touch with TRS and let them know what happened. Don't know if that will help them narrow it down, but I suppose it's conceivable that the bulbs running for about 5 hours could have burned off some impurity/done something that corrected the problem.

                            Anybody have any input? I haven't touched the install for a couple of days, and it suddenly started working correctly.
                            2007 Mazda 3; TRS Morimoto Elite H7 Pnp w/ 3Five ballasts.
                            Moderator at Mazda3forums

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just posted in the other thread regarding this - but we're keeping close watch on the issue and for many (like Phil) the problem goes away after a bit of break in - but the colder the weather, apparently the worse the issue is for others. as I concluded in my other post, no matter what be the case we want to reassure everybody that no matter what, we will make absolute sure they have a perfectly reliable system at the end of the day at no cost to them.


                              Lexus GS350 F Sport : Skipper Designs Front Lip : Rotiform BLQ Concave : Michelin PSS : Brembo GT 380mm : RSR Suspension : GS350/STi-R Bi-xenon
                              * For any inquiries please e-mail TRSMatt@TheRetrofitSource.com, PM's = not a good way to reach me*

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