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My Retrofit (4 FX-R, 6 CCFLS, LEDs, etc)

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  • My Retrofit (4 FX-R, 6 CCFLS, LEDs, etc) <---- click for more details and pics

    I got all of my parts from Matt at The Retroflt Source. Unsurpassed customer service..... free shipping, free parts.... even sent me a free bulb when I asked for one. Responds to emails once a weekday. He and I have been sending emails since May... about 100 emails at this point. He has been part of this retro to the end! =D>

    Before (chrome head lights..... too much bright chrome)

    Before (black lights.... too dark and flat)

    Taking the head lights apart in the oven...

    FX-R on the left, old halogen projector on the right

    FX-R on the top, old halogen projector on the bottom (both HID)

    Testing out the 5000K Morimoto bulbs...

    Adjusted the shields in the projectors to get a sharp, colorful cutoff

    Tight fit to fit them side by side!

    Cut the back of the head lights out as such to have access to everything once the head lights were sealed back up


    I had to cut the head lights up even more to get the projectors to fit in there.

    This is the hardware I picked up from Lowes to mount the projectors to the CAR... not the head lights!

    Check out the brackets I made. The top bracket allows for rotational and side-to-side... the bottom bolt allows for up-and-down adjustment

    All 4 done...

    Cut out the back of the corner light to make room for the LED fixtures

    Mounted the outer CCFL rings to there (72 mm fit perfectly! Looked like part of the light). These came from retro-solutions on Ebay (great stuff)

    Custom LED fixture installed (got a cheap 15-LED "fog" light lol... took out the LEDs and put in 5-chip white superflux)

    Wired some more of the LEDs together for the inner LEDs (I always put the resistors and stuff externally)

    Taped up the head lights for painting (the tape was on for a couple of hours to minimize taking the chrome off, and it worked)

    Tinted using several thick coats of VHT Nite shades (I made this up lol..)

    Removed the tape.... notice how now the tinted parts are black chrome! I love how that turned out.... not like the ugly black version of these head lights.

    Installed the other 2 pairs of 80-mm CCFL rings around the projectors

    Preliminary test fire.... notice how much the black chrome still shines! But it is black now.

    Custom-made chrome reflector... out of fluorescent tube cover and chrome vinyl lol.

    Applied "BIXENON" emblems to the head lights.... thanks Matt! Those fit perfectly and added the perfect finishing touch.

    Reinstalled the lenses in the oven

    Glued in the 3 LEDs, corner lights, and reflectors from the back

    Glued the backing back on

    eeeeekkkk wiring headache!! All this work to properly wire the mirror LEDs.

    Here's what each light was going to do:
    • The mirrors were going to be dim with the parking light and bright with the signal
      The corner lights were going to be dim with the parking light, bright with the DRL, and bright with the signal (blinking on when the signal turns on, not opposite)
      The inner LEDs were going to be dim with the parking light and bright with the DRL
      The CCFL halos were going to turn on with the parking light
      The LEDs in the fog lights were going to turn on with the parking light
      The 4 projectors were going to be the combined low beam and high beams.

    So you can see that I had a lot of work to do lol. Hard work at that, and being very creative.....and there is not much space for wiring.

    2 voltage regulators for each side (parking light and signal power)... sealed up in project boxes from Radio Shack. The parking light outputted to the CCFL ballasts and the LED fog lights (I took the HIDs out of them and made LEDs to insert in there). The signal outputted directly to the mirrors and indirectly to the corner lights.

    Dave's PWM to make the LEDs all dim properly and get brighter for the DRL. I wired the parking light to the marker, and then my DRL switch to the left input. That way, I could run the right output (dim parking light only) to the mirrors, and I could run the left output (dim and bright DRL) to the front LEDs.

    Capacitor relays I made to switch the corner LEDs from DRL mode to signal mode when signaling (ie how OEM amber signal DRLs work)

    I have 2 relay harnesses, and the components installed into these project boxes, since the relays and fuses have failed in the past due to water. I ran one harness to each side of the car, so I could wig-wag them if I wanted (not good for HIDs)

    Mounting points for the left projectors. Also you can see some wiring back there (in progress at this point)

    Mounting points on the right side.... the lower bracket is different (I got it to work better).

    The projectors bolt to the car, and then the head lights slip over them without making contact.

    Preliminary wiring mess.... this took hours and hours!

    Once the wiring was cleaned up (project boxes, tape, wire loom)

    Projectors without head lights installed

    Projectors with head lights installed (the head lights cause some glare)

    Output (low and high)

    Finished!!!! These came out super nice! What do you think? I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea... not very OEM to a Corolla I know LOL

    With electrical tape eyelids LOL

    Front DRL (corner and inner LEDs on bright)

    Parking light (corner, mirror, inner LEDs on dim, CCFL rings and fog LEDs on)

    Projector low beams (bulbs have not color-shifted yet)

    I have posted 2 videos of the FX-R projectors at night, check them out on this thread:

    Here's the new video showing how my front lights/LEDs work because they are too complicated for pictures

    As you can imagine, I am more than thrilled with the way these came out.

  • #2
    wow! that looks like A LOT of work!! the headlights came out great! a lot of custom work into them


    • #3
      WOW that was a lot of work to get those to fit. Very interesting how you mounted them to the car.

      So did you use Nigh Shades on the housings? You said "you made that up". How many coats did you use? Was the finish perfect or did you have to buff it? I heard the latest Night Shades gives a crappy finish.


      • #4
        looks good.. time for some xovers now


        • #5
          Wow. You put alot of work into those, and the finished product shows it. Nice job.

          I like the VHT stuff for the black chrome. I may try that out to see what it looks like on my next retro.
          2003 Acura CL-S 6MT, TSX Clear Lense Projectors, 85122+ Bulbs


          • #6
            so what about the unprotected projectors :O
            2007 accord
            s2000 retrofit, hella gen3s
            porsche/STI, 50w, lexus motors + ramsey controller, led


            • #7
              now that you've done all that work it's time to sell the car and start all over again.
              excellent work.
              The sea wants to kiss the golden shore,The sunlight warms your skin,All the beauty that's been lost before,Wants to find us again


              • #8
                Damn never realised how much you had to cut out...

                Are they seald in now, or can dust and stuff still get in?

                The wiring must have been a nightmare... but it looks great.

                This is my favortie pic.

                2001 CCS (Euro Conversion)
                FX-R DDM-50W DL50 R8-LEDs
                2K4 Mercury Monterey FX-R Retro
                2K1 CCS (Euro Conversion) FX-R Retro
                FOG Comparison: Micro DE, Blazer, Bosch Mini
                HELLA MICRO DE Halogen to HID GUIDE


                • #9
                  Turned out very nice. I think you should be proud of that retro. I would have a lot of trouble lining everything up between your car/headlight housing/lens. I cant even drill a reflector right the first time when mounting the projector.


                  • #10
                    Yes, the Nite Shades made that look with the black chrome. I sprayed it on really think a few times, and it comes out perfectly glossy and reflective, no buffing and stuff. I had never heard of doing it like that before, so yeah I "made it up" lol. I tested it out on the fog lights first, to make sure, as you can see they have the same treatment.

                    I have coilovers in my garage lol

                    I definitely had to make brackets more than once and drill/widen holes more than once trying to get everything to line up.

                    And yes, the wiring was a nightmare..... well maybe not, because I was up to 4 am some nights working on it... so no time for nightmares LOL. Trying to fit all this in while working was a pain.... but the Thansgiving holiday was great! Spent the entire time working on these

                    Yeah Catera, I loved that look myself... it looked a lot better in person.... like really wicked.... the 4 projectors in there made the car look wider.... makes me want to do my widebody....

                    The projectors are a little unprotected I guess..... however, I have sealed up rather instead the area around the head lights so that rain and wind cannot reach inside. The projector lens fits pretty close to the lights, so there isn't much gaps in there. I wish I could figure out how to seal it perfectly, but oh well lol. At least it is all really easy to access and take apart for cleaning.... and if fog gets in, well there is plenty of open air to clear the fog! I'm done for now, maybe I'll figure it out sometime :-k


                    • #11
                      those bixenon emblems really set it off. Sick!


                      • #12
                        they look great and the performance must be amazing. how is the back being left open like that though? no moisture or dust getting in there?

                        you want it? Here It is. HERES MY MIND
                        My Feed Back!


                        • #13
                          Thanks! At first, there was water. When it rained (before I had finished them of course, rained all week lol) water would drip down the projector lens and evaporate (HIDs were on) and then fog the head lights some. It cleared out really fast though. I think some dust has gotten on the bottom from all of my messing with the head lights, on and off the car, drilling metal, etc. It isn't noticeable (see pics) so I'm fine. I have it all taped up now so that water won't get in, but it is still open enough on the back to allow for venting.


                          • #14
                            Looks good...and btw you have some paint ships on your right front fender.
                            Pleasure: 2017 Chevy Colorado - Diode Dynamics SL1 LEDs
                            Work: 2010 Nissan Altima - Factory HID's


                            • #15
                              haha I was wondering if someone would say that! Yeah, I messed up the paint there and on the bumper with all the mess I was making..... Oh well, I'll just get it painted again soon here.