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98 Passat Mini H1 retrofit

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  • 98 Passat Mini H1 retrofit

    I did a quick-ish retrofit for my brother's 1998 Passat wagon, as his OEM headlight lenses were badly oxidized.

    Initially I was just going to wet sand and polish the lenses, but as I sanded away the oxidation it became apparent that the lenses were cracked beyond repair and he agreed to buy a set of new headlights and that I should do a bi-xenon retro on them.

    I'd previously purchased a pair of China Mini H1 6.0's and 10 F3 Fast Bright ballasts, and I had an unused pair of VVME H1 5000K bulbs lying around. Amazingly, they were straight and could actually be used...

    Parts and tools used:
    • TYC Passat B5 headlights
    • CHA Mini H1 2.5" projectors
    • VVME H1 5000K bulbs
    • F3 Fast Bright ballasts
    • TRS H1<->H1/9006 high beam splitters
    • TRS H7 HD Relay harness
    • Generic AMP connectors
    • Battery drill
    • Misc crimping tools
    • Electrical tape
    • Heat gun
    • Large flat blade screwdriver


    Unopened headlight, driver's side:



    And the rear:



    Driver's side opened:



    Passenger side opened:



    Pulled out the glare cap and drilled through the glare cap "socket" for a neater way of pulling the solenoid wires through to the back. The hole below is for the parking light.



    Since my shipment of 9006M/9006F connectors hadn't arrived, I had to cut off the connector and install AMP connectors for the high beam splitters...



    Test mount. Looks alright

    Rotation was good too, though I don't have any output pictures...



    Shroud on:



    Of course I messed up the cutting and left a gap... the gap was covered with reflective aluminium tape, and when the lens is on it's not even visible thanks to the ribbing on the inside of the lens.





    All done, just the lens cover missing...

    There is a gap on the underside which allows about half of the parking light to be visible, thus retaining the OEM function of the light without me having to relocate the socket (which would likely be messy and ugly). It won't be visible at all once the projector is lit, but it's required by law (nevermind that the whole retro is technically illegal).



    And the final product:



    And one of the rear as well. After all was done and sealed up, I tested the output again. It became apparent that a clear headlight lens was in order, as the light left of the center more or less just disappeared. An order for a pair of clear lenses was then placed.



    I'm not too happy about the solenoid/high beam splitter wires hanging like they do, as they are likely to be in the way for something or another, but also because it doesn't look good.

    When the clear lenses arrive and the lights are open for a lens swap, I'm going to fish the solenoid and high beam splitter wires through on the inside and seal the cut I made in the rubber cap. Pictures of the final product will come when the lenses arrive.

    Time spent: 6 hours on the driver's side headlight, 2 hours on the passenger side... about 4 hours were spent scratching my head, fiddling with tiny things my hands are too large for, and trying to find the required tools to get the job done.


    -----------------------------------

    Way overdue for an update, this one...

    Clear lenses arrived from China:







    Output with the fluted lens on. Severely distorted, double cutoff, glare everywhere.



    It's got wiiiiiiiiiiings!





    Full-scale madness:



    The new lenses had some bumps in the inner lower corner that needed to go. I'm not sure if these are made for OEM housings or replica housings, but the TYC replica housings did not have any indentations for these extrusions to go into, so the Dremel came out.



    Chop chop:









    Final result:



    And installed. Looks a LOT better!







    Fixed up the output rather nicely, too.



    Nice and wide:







    Showoff pics:















    I cleaned up the back while I was at it and ran the high beam splitter inside the headlight. I wanted to crap the ballast in there as well, but as there was barely room for the splitter connections, stuffing a ballast with igniter in there was not happening.

    Of course, now the OEM blinkers looked really out of place with their fluted looks, so I jumped on eBay(.co.uk) and bought these for my brother:



    They arrived like this about a week later...







    ...but the insides were intact, and that's what counts.

    7 months on, and the headlights are still sitting in their boxes in my brother's garage, waiting for better days and that we both have a few hours to install them.
    Last edited by csjoh; January 29, 2015, 07:05 AM. Reason: Clear lenses and stuff!


    OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

    Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

    My retrofits

  • #2
    You did an amazing job and I'm sure your brother will love you forever. Extremely clean retro. +rep!

    What does the output looks like, since the lens of the headlight is still using lens optics tech?
    2010 Civic Si

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    • #3
      Oh man... I LOVE the simple and dignified shape of those headlights. Back when cars didn't "need" to have angry, stretched cat eyes.
      A clear lens conversion would be amazing.
      2013 Jeep JK Wrangler - 4.10, Eaton e-locker. Sealed7, Hella Micro-DE
      1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D.
      Mini H1 in 7" housing

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      • #4
        Nice, clean and simple!

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        • #5
          Those are screaming quads at me..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dreamer1213 View Post
            You did an amazing job and I'm sure your brother will love you forever. Extremely clean retro. +rep!

            What does the output looks like, since the lens of the headlight is still using lens optics tech?
            Thanks!

            The output looks like ass, since the ribbed/fluted headlight lens diffuses nearly all light left of the center. So there's a sharp and nice cutoff line from center and rightwards, and just a dim glow to the left... I'll try and snap a few pics tonight.

            Originally posted by efm-7 View Post
            Oh man... I LOVE the simple and dignified shape of those headlights. Back when cars didn't "need" to have angry, stretched cat eyes.
            A clear lens conversion would be amazing.
            Clear lens conversion is coming, once China Post starts moving my package out of China

            And I totally agree, simplicity is good.

            Originally posted by Gray_Panther View Post
            Nice, clean and simple!
            Thanks!

            I tried to keep it as OEM as possible with what I had to work with. I could probably have fitted Mini D2S in there, but he wanted the retro to be reversible and thus cutting the bowl was out of the question. To get the projector to sit properly without smearing epoxy all over the place I had to forego the silicone washers though, so the bowl is most likely scratched badly after tightening the lock nut...

            Originally posted by danny4327 View Post
            Those are screaming quads at me..
            Yeah, at me too, but this was an on-the-cheap job. He didn't even really want to buy new housings and said "This is a budget car. Every time I put fuel in it, I go over budget..." I've done this for free and even have given him the retro parts; he's paid for the housings and the clear lenses (which did cost more than the projectors and ballasts, admittedly), so anything more than this won't happen


            OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

            Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

            My retrofits

            Comment


            • #7
              Damn. Sucks about the output - lens optics just do not work with a projector. Good thing it's getting fixed with a nice set of clear lenses. And why were the lenses so expensive?
              2010 Civic Si

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              • #8
                Good job. An quesiton: How was the lighting? Not distorted because the glass lens? do you test the projector in the glass lenses before install?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dreamer1213 View Post
                  Damn. Sucks about the output - lens optics just do not work with a projector. Good thing it's getting fixed with a nice set of clear lenses. And why were the lenses so expensive?
                  Not the lenses, the headlight housings... they were about 90, or $140-ish. The clear lenses were $50 shipped from China and are likely to take a month in transit, it seems...

                  He's not in a hurry to get them installed either, he's working onboard a ship and left for a two-week shift this Wednesday. With a bit of luck, the parts will arrive before he returns.

                  Originally posted by DJZ View Post
                  Good job. An quesiton: How was the lighting? Not distorted because the glass lens? do you test the projector in the glass lenses before install?
                  The light output is distorted because of the fluted lenses. It's spread out too much and it causes some glare (might be because of the reflector, too).

                  I tested the output before I sealed up the housings again, knowing the fluted lenses would distort the output. Seeing how bad it was, I convinced my brother that getting clear lenses was the only way to go.

                  I also cleaned up the rear last night and ran the solenoid/splitter cables inside the housings, and it looks a lot better. Couldn't take any pictures as the fiancee was preparing for her teaching lesson; will try again tonight while she's out teaching.
                  Last edited by csjoh; July 14, 2014, 02:48 AM.


                  OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

                  Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

                  My retrofits

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First post updated with clear headlight lens install and stuff.


                    OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

                    Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

                    My retrofits

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      wow clean install and sharp cutoff

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                      • #12
                        Nice retrofit. I'm curently doing my own on same carmodel and would like to get a link to where you bought the clear lenses from?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can try to find them, but if I were you, I'd just get complete housings with clear lenses, like these ones:

                          http://www.ebay.com/itm/97-98-99-00-...77984072&rt=nc


                          OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

                          Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

                          My retrofits

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And then, more than a year after completion, the lights were installed on my brother's car! Woo!

                            Two immediate problems:

                            - Rotation was off badly on the passenger side. I managed to twist the projector ever so slightly, but not enough.
                            - Both projectors are sitting pointing down in the reflectors, so I have to pull them from the car, reopen and reaim them and put them back on the car. Thankfully the lights are both easy to get off and on and easy to open. Just a lot of extra work.

                            I did briefly consider popping in a pair of Mini D2S projectors, but that would require even more work... The China projectors are miles better than his halogens in any case. At 10m from the wall, I couldn't see the cutoffs at all. I had to creep the car closer and closer, and at 6 meters (18ft) I could make out enough of the beam to tape off the halogen cutoff....


                            OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

                            Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

                            My retrofits

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              YAYYY for the install! Sorry about the issues in doing it. But it seems like it would be not too much of a hassle since they easy to work with.
                              2010 Civic Si

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