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7" retrofit (GDAA WRX)

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  • Fabricating a lip for the acrylic tube that holds the faceted diffuser

    Since the assembly that holds the faceted diffuser is relatively light, it may be ok to mount it onto the 2nd shroud (with the staggered 3 hexagons). The c-ring idea was too tall, so another option is to fabricate an acrylic lip that will be glued onto the acrylic tube. Since this is acrylic on acrylic, I figured an acrylic specific adhesive may be able to keep them together without any worries of the adhesive failing later on.

    I used a 12'x12' random clear acrylic slab purchased from a local Tap Plastics store (@ 50 cents). It needs an inner diameter that is no bigger than the inner diameter of the acrylic tube, and an outer diameter that is slightly larger than the hole in the 2nd shroud.


    Since the lip is designed to be in contact with the cross section of the tube instead of the sidewall of the tube, it may be able to clear the 7" glass lens. I used hole cutters to cut the outer and inner holes. Unfortunately, even with a centering drill, it is challenging to make the holes concentric. The one on the left is my first try. The one on the right is from a second try, and wetsanded to frost the surface. The old c-ring is seen on the upper left.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

    Comment


    • Adding a smoothed filet on the ID

      For aesthetics, I decided to add a smoothed filet on the inner diameter. A bit of wetsanding does the job. Left: first try (reject); middle: frosted surface by wetsanding; right: smoothed fillet + frosted surface by wetsanding.


      The smoothed filet makes the piece look more pleasing imho.
      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

      Comment


      • May I suggest just scoring the surface of the inner circle with a hole saw so you can locate it later, then drilling the larger one out, and then going back and drilling out the inner hole?

        Originally posted by cthunder
        The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
        Avalon Dual Lens | Rogue LED | Mori 3800K | Mori 3Five | H11 PnP LED

        Comment


        • Lens clearance check: it fits!

          Mock tape mounting of the lip onto the acrylic tube (that holds the faceted diffuser)...

          And it clears the 7" glass lens




          Mounting the diffuser assembly on the shroud makes it easier to replace the LED should it later fail.




          Aesthetically, the exposed transition around the faceted diffuser needs some more thinking.
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
            May I suggest just scoring the surface of the inner circle with a hole saw so you can locate it later, then drilling the larger one out, and then going back and drilling out the inner hole?
            That's a great idea. Thanks.

            I was hoping that the centering drill gave me enough precision to stay concentric. But apparently, it wasn't good enough for this application. I bought this 20-piece hole-saw kit for US$8 years ago; I guess I shouldn't have expected it to be a precision instrument. I'm sure the centering drill would have been sufficient on a quality hole-saw set.

            I ended up eyeballing the concentricity. As you can see, for making 2 successful rings, a 33% yield loss isn't too bad. If I need to make more, I'd have to use a method like you described. Or get a higher quality hole saw.
            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

            Comment


            • Gluing this and that (mostly acrylic pieces)

              Small progress. It takes time to take care not to have glue flowing around. The acrylic adhesive is not very viscous (i.e. it is very runny) when it comes out of the tube.

              Gluing the new trim ring (right) to the rest of the faceted diffuser assembly (left) with this acrylic adhesive:


              In spite of the wetsanding to frost the ring's surface, there are areas where the back of the ring + the clear adhesive makes an optically clear enough contact to appear like splotches when seen from above. This is akin to the method of putting clear tape on frosted glass windows to better see what's behind.


              Spray painting the trim ring with frosted glass spray paint help alleviate the blemish a little:


              Might as well glue the acrylic piece that goes around the white lens holder. The white lens holder is not acrylic; my guess is it is some Polyethylene. I hope the acrylic adhesive works ok on it. I also used it to fill the gap between the acrylic piece and aluminum wall on the diffuser assembly (also shown):


              The adhesive gives off quite a strong smell as it cures. Good to have this done in a well ventilated space, and leave it to cure for at least a few hours; or maybe one full day.
              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

              Comment


              • Revisiting the cabochon lens to hide the faceted diffuser

                Previously, there is an option I liked that is unfeasible because the resulting LED assembly doesn't clear the 7" lens, as shown on the left, as opposed to the one on the right:

                The presence of the cabochon lens made the output appear bigger, like so:


                The clearance deficiency translates to trimming off about half a centimeter height from the already trimmed cabochon lens. The one on the left shows the portion to be trimmed off. The rest that remains is covered in blue tape.


                I realize manual cutting won't result in a clean cut, but it's worth a try. I added a block of wood on one end to minimize the saw from pivoting away. The lens is held in place on the vise grip. Hack away.


                On the left: lens after trimming. On the right: after trimming & wet sanding (500 grit, then 1000 grit, then 1200 grit):


                The left shows the 3 groups that make up the assembly. From left to right: faceted diffuser and custom acrylic frame; trimmed cabochon lens; housing with aluminum wall and acrylic trim ring / lip. The one on the right shows the assembled version. The trimmed bottom of the cabochon lens is not perfectly clear. This should be ok as the goal is to have a diffuse output.


                Mock placement without the 7" lens:


                And it clears the lens:
                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                Comment


                • More acrylic adhesive

                  With the lip glued to the acrylic tube, the DRL assembly slips in through the 2nd shroud's opening from the front (bottom in this picture) to the back (top in this picture). Then, the c-ring clamps and constrains the DRL assembly onto the shroud as shown:


                  Apply acrylic adhesive between the c-ring and the acrylic tube of the DRL assembly:



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

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

                  Comment


                  • There's an acrylic ring that mounts on the 2nd shroud, that sits right in front of the Hella Micro DE's lens, as seen in this older picture.


                    Hopefully, aluminum tape can reflect enough to minimize heat damage on the acrylic ring. Tape is applied on the bottom and inner surface of the ring:



                    It gives off a bit of a shine like so:


                    I'm not applying the dichroic film like in the aux turn signal unit next to it, since the dichroic film may not withstand the halogen heat.
                    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                    Comment


                    • Turning to the 3rd shroud piece now; which starts with an incomplete/implied hexagon next to the ES300, and turning into a curved piece that flows under the Micro DE and aux turn signal


                      Looks like the incomplete hexagon part is seated a bit too much on top of the ES300, when seen head-on like this:


                      Now that the panels around most other hexagon parts are painted black, the lack of "gap" between the incomplete hexagon on the 3rd shroud and the hexagon around the ES300 is quite noticeable (as seen above). Mark a line where the gap should be from ahead.


                      After bending the extra piece:
                      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                      Comment


                      • Accentuating the turbine blades

                        Now for a useless and strictly non functional activity (i.e. doesn't do anything to the output of this retrofit)... accentuating the "turbine blades".


                        From many posts back:

                        Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
                        You might be on to something there with the radial lines like a turbo or jet engine.
                        Originally posted by nine44 View Post
                        You could always add some black 'patina' to the lines with some paint wiped over the shroud and cleaned off the raised surfaces but left in the shallow grooves
                        A simpler version, or at least I thought it was going to be, is to paint areas between the narrower gaps. The dark lines will appear to be in the same order of magnitude as the dark gaps between the hexagons, instead of very thin lines.


                        Making the masking tape match existing lines that are not parallel takes longer than I thought. Note to self: not only is this a non-functional activity, it also takes a lot of time.


                        Painted. The end of the 3rd shroud floats at the moment, because the 7" glass lens is supposed to hold it in place. From different angles:


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

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

                        Comment


                        • I think that looks cool on it's own, but I think with the hex pieces in there already it's starting to look like too much.



                          99 Dodge Durango SLT SelecTrac (NV242) 4WD 5.2L Magnum V8 Build Thread
                          FX-R Retrofit - Picture Thread

                          2014 Dodge Charger R/T Awd

                          Comment


                          • Mmmmm, it needs something to tie it all together, I'm just not sure what that is at the moment.

                            Originally posted by cthunder
                            The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
                            Avalon Dual Lens | Rogue LED | Mori 3800K | Mori 3Five | H11 PnP LED

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by that_guy318 View Post
                              I think that looks cool on it's own, but I think with the hex pieces in there already it's starting to look like too much.
                              You mean busier than the headlights?


                              Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
                              Mmmmm, it needs something to tie it all together, I'm just not sure what that is at the moment.
                              I'm making it up as I go.

                              One thing to note though, is that this 7" housing will be recessed behind a custom foglight trim, so it won't necessarily stick out of the way in the bumper cover area. This is a reasonably representative mock up of what the retrofit will look like, in terms of how much of the hexagons and the 3rd shroud (with the fan blade pattern) will be visible. This is an older mock-up before I painted the "blades", but the idea is similar.


                              A new pair of DIY foglight trim needs to be made, as the one I made ~10 years ago is looking a bit weathered and has that unsightly 4 screws on the upper side:
                              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                              Comment


                              • while your work is amazing, i'll have to agree with others and say it's a bit busy. it would be nice if you can tie in your fogs with your mains.

                                however, it's your car and if that's the look you like, all is good.
                                My Retrofits:
                                Classic Mini HID Retrofit #2 (January 2012 ROTM)
                                Classic Mini LED Retrofit
                                Lance Venice HID Retrofit
                                Honda Grom HID Retrofit (May 2014 ROTM)

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