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2003 Honda Element Mini D2S retrofit

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  • 2003 Honda Element Mini D2S retrofit

    A friend of mine has a 2003 Honda Element with stock H4 halogen lights. The car was imported to Norway in 2006 and has had one owner until my friend bought it two years ago. In the meantime, the previous owner has hit something, and as a result the passenger side headlight sits a bit further in than it normally should, and the reflector inside the headlight is broken. There is even a piece of the reflector shuttling around inside.

    I told him that I did a pair of headlights for my brother, and seeing as he needed new headlights anyway, why not do a retrofit and get proper lighting at the same time? He was sold on the idea, so a pair of Vision Lighting replica headlights were purchased off of eBay along with projectors from a member on here, and a lot of shrouds, connectors, bulbs and a relay harness from AliExpress.

    After about two weeks the headlight arrived, and after a further three weeks the rest of the necessary items arrived.

    Tools and hardware used:
    Flathead screwdriver
    Philips screwdriver
    Cordless Dremel with cutting wheel
    Heat gun
    Long nose pliers
    Nail leash for mounting the ballasts
    Bolts, washers and nuts for mounting the ballasts

    HID hardware:
    Morimoto Mini D2S 3.0 Round lens
    "Cayenne" (Apollo 2.0) shrouds
    Philips 85122 bulbs
    Mitsubishi Electric OEM ballasts
    China H4 relay harness (may be swapped for a MotoControl harness at some point)


    Headlights in stock condition:



    One opened, glare cap removed:



    Bits and pieces that keep the reflector from popping out of its sockets:





    Only one adjustment screw for up/down adjustment. This also holds the projector in place.



    Test fitted a Mini D2S projector:



    Test fitted the shroud, prior to trimming. I was originally going to use the E46-R Extended shroud, but that looked too plain and boring in there, so I went with the Cayenne/Apollo 2.0 instead. Looks so much better and OEM, and fills the cavity a lot better as well.



    Shroud trimmed, checking output and rotation:





    Lens and light on:





    There's a lot of dust and smearing on the projector lens - funnily enough, they were on the rear of the lens, so the headlight had to be opened again...



    One finished!







    Output shots:





    Closeup of the cutoff and colour band. It's a bit blurred, but that's because of the headlight lens, not because of the camera. If you look at the picture frame just to the right, you see that it's in focus.



    Slightly more zoomed in:



    And the rear. I don't have any rubber caps large enough to cover the opening, so we'll try using the OEM caps and see how that fares. If it doesn't fit or leaks, I'll put in an order for a pair from TRS or from a member on here that had some for sale.



    The headlights had circular tracings and screw posts at the bottom that looked like a perfect fit for a Mitsubishi Electric ballast, so before even test fitting it, I drilled a hole and then test fitted it... and of course, it didn't line up with the screw posts. So I had to improvise:



    Turned out pretty decent, after all. The ballast sits tightly against the housing, there's a rubber grommet sealing the hole and there's a rubber grommet protecting the connector itself, inside the housing. The latter is also squeezed tightly inside the opening, so I doubt water will be able to enter the housing. Oh, and it also hangs on the underside of the headlight. My only worry is if there is ample room for everything when installed on the car...





    Then onto the second headlight. Here's the shroud, trimmed, and ready to install. The rest of the pictures would be the same as the above ones, so I didn't even bother taking any.



    Both finished:



    Passenger side:



    Driver's side:



    Both from rear:



    Passenger side rear:



    Driver's side rear:



    Pictures of the lights installed on the car will follow once he has time to come over for a visit. Hopefully he'll stay the night so we can go out after dark and snap some real world pictures of the output as well.

    Time spent: About 5 weeks, mostly waiting for stuff to arrive... Working time spent is about 10 hours or so, mostly because I had to open the headlights again after all was done, because there was a lot of dust on the inside of one headlight lens, and I'd fat fingered the reflector and projector lens on the other, as well as forgetting to install the pieces that hold the two bottom pivot legs of the reflector. Doh.

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

    Update!

    Installation and wall shots:

    Original headlight with damage from the accident years ago... after we got the bumper off, we found that it was clinging on by means of one of the three mount points. Also notive the broken-off piece of reflector in the bottom right corner. Way overdue for replacement...



    Bumper removal in progress. As daylight was waning fast, there are no other pictures of the installation, but you know how it goes. We spent quite a few hours on making a harness that worked after we burned the $8 China harness on the first startup.



    After a LOT of back and forth with the harness, a month of driving with one headlight dipped because an adjuster mount broke, new MotoControl harness from TRS and a fixed mount, this is what we ended up with:

































    Last edited by csjoh; January 29th, 2015, 06:23 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

  • #2
    That looks fantastic. Great job!

    2015 Ford Party ST | 2013 Triumph Street Triple | Dr. LS460R: 227 built to date!

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks good. What about your Mitsubishi retro?
      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
        Originally posted by TRSAndrew View Post
        That looks fantastic. Great job!
        Thank you!

        Originally posted by satrya View Post
        Looks good. What about your Mitsubishi retro?
        Starting that next week

        My mother is taking the kid for vacation on Monday, so then I can actually get some peace and quiet and hopefully get some work done.

        I thought yesterday that I'd see what the cutoff on my current lights looked like from 20 meters (60-ish feet) from a wall... and the light didn't even reach the wall. At 10 meters (30 feet), I could barely make out the glow from the driver's side headlight. At 5 meters, they were both vaguely visible.

        It's getting darker in the evenings as well now, so it's about time I get them done. That, and the fact I've spent nearly $1500 so far and haven't done anything but open them.


        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by csjoh View Post
          I thought yesterday that I'd see what the cutoff on my current lights looked like from 20 meters (60-ish feet) from a wall... and the light didn't even reach the wall. At 10 meters (30 feet), I could barely make out the glow from the driver's side headlight. At 5 meters, they were both vaguely visible.
          I thought the Mini H1 currently resides there. Which version?

          Originally posted by csjoh View Post
          It's getting darker in the evenings as well now, so it's about time I get them done. That, and the fact I've spent nearly $1500 so far and haven't done anything but open them.
          Since you've been practicing, perhaps it will only take 1 day then. That is unless you start experimenting with things. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course.
          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
            Really clean job you did.
            Originally posted by Bitter
            They're literally flying canoes with boxer engines packed full of Molotov cocktails that rely on tampons and $10 screws to stay in the air and not kill you.

            Comment


            • #7
              That looks amazing. Extremely clean retro! +rep!
              2010 Civic Si

              Comment


              • #8
                that looks clean! good job sir

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice job!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by satrya View Post
                    I thought the Mini H1 currently resides there. Which version?


                    Since you've been practicing, perhaps it will only take 1 day then. That is unless you start experimenting with things. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course.
                    Nope, there are some seriously low-budget craptastic projectors in my current headlights... with burnt bowls from my brief encounter with 55W bulbs and ballasts.

                    I've been thinking a lot about how I want my next set to look, and am currently debating whether or not to have some switchback plasma/led strips for DRL and turn signals... I'd probably best leave it out and just do a regular quad retro and get the lights on the car.


                    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
                      Great job with the retro, very clean work! Just a bit too much chrome for my taste, looks a bit busy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by phantom240 View Post
                        Really clean job you did.
                        Originally posted by dreamer1213 View Post
                        That looks amazing. Extremely clean retro! +rep!
                        Originally posted by xxx27 View Post
                        that looks clean! good job sir
                        Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
                        Nice job!
                        Thank you all

                        Originally posted by Nuvolari View Post
                        Great job with the retro, very clean work! Just a bit too much chrome for my taste, looks a bit busy.
                        Thanks!

                        Yeah, maybe it does look a bit busy... I guess it'll look different once installed on the car, but if he doesn't like the look, I happen to have a can of black paint lying around.


                        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


                        • #13
                          Wow... Looks very clean! +rep
                          1999 LR Discovery II XS 4.0L V8 auto - Halogen

                          2012 Ford Figo TDCi - E46 projectors - XB35 ballasts - 4300k Bosch D2S bulbs - G37R shrouds - BIXENON stickers - H4 Mori wiring

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So my friend with the Honda Element came over yesterday to install a ceiling lamp for me, and I was going to install the new headlights for him. We decided to start with the headlights sinec it would get dark soon and working in the dark with only one flashlight is a pain.

                            So we pull the bumper from the car, find that 3 of 4 mounts on the passenger side headlight are broken from an accident (was pretty evident as the headlight was not sitting properly aligned in its bumper hole). Driver's side headlight is marginally better, only 2 of 4 mounts are broken. Good times. We pull out the el cheapo China relay harness which for some reason was marked as 24V/35W/55W with a diagram indicating +12V power from the battery. Wtf?

                            Anyway, everything gets connected and we turn the switch, and lo and behold, there was light! Low beam worked perfectly, so he hit the high beams and everything went dark. Highs off, lows on, but no light. Relays stopped clicking, too. Turned everything completely off and then back on, still nothing. Solenoids don't click, shields don't drop, relays don't click. ...and there's a faint smell of burnt electrical components coming from the control box of the harness. I pull it apart and see shoddy soldering and a capacitor that shows obvious signs of just having let its magical smoke out.

                            Back to the desk to fab up a new harness. I just happened to have everything required for making one... After a series of strange tests, we thought the car was ground switched (H4 OEM bulb), but the results we were getting on the voltage and continuity tests didn't make any sense. There was only continuity on one of 9 tests, and we had +12V on strange places. Following a diagram found here on HIPD, we ended up with a shoddy looking harness we didn't quite understand how was supposed to work, but we tried it anyway. We got low beam on the high beam setting on the stalk, nothing on the low beam. Swapping pins around yielded darkness on all positions, until I had brain fart at abount 1:30am and thought it'd be a good idea to pin the low beam and the high beam inputs from the OEM plug together "to make sure the relays always had a signal". This resulted in a blown fuse.

                            We scrapped the harness and went back to the schematics thread and found a nice line diagram. Thankfully, he used to be an electrician and thus had some experience with car wiring. Using the line schematic, we cobbled together a new harness and went to the car to test it (at about 2:30am). Lows didn't come on at the low position on the stalk, but did come on after the highs were activated and then deactivated. The driver's side ballast was screaming in agony too, so something was obviously wrong.

                            As the lows only came on after the highs were activated (but the highs didn't come on), the pins had to have been swapped, so I flipped the plug over and told him to try again. AND IT WORKED! Lows came on as they should, highs came on as they should (i.e. shield dropped as they should).

                            Ziptied and taped the harness in place (it's a temporary fix while I'm waiting for the MotoControl harness to arrive), put the bumper back on and went for a drive to find a flat surface with a wall at the end of it to align the lights. The passenger light pointed more or less straight into the ground, while the driver's side was nearly aligned properly from the table. Only problem was that the passender side light didn't want to be aligned. At all. The adjustment screw doesn't seem to be connected to the nutsert, or the nutsert has had its threads stripped (or both). It was 3:15am and we didn't really want to pull the bumper again, unscrew the headlight, take it in, open it, fix it, reseal it, put it back on the car, put the bumper back on and then another trip for aligning them... so we aligned the driver's side and he went home. The output was brighter and wider than anything he'd seen before, and much better in every way than his old, broken halogens...

                            He'll come back next week, so then we'll get it sorted. Hopefully the MotoControl harness has arrived by then as well...

                            Lessons learnt:
                            1. Don't buy cheap China harnesses - they don't work for more than 3 seconds.
                            2. Double check that all adjustment functions are indeed functional and secured before putting the light back on the car. I didn't think of this as the lights were brand new and I undid the adjustment screws and clips by hand and was very careful.
                            3. Test everything, including the harness, before going to the car.
                            4. Making harnesses is hard at 2:30am


                            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
                              Lol, I'm sure ur story is common among many people here, just wanting to finish that retro but finding themselves up all night to no avail. I have definitely been there, multiple times! Hope the stuff from TRS fixes ur problems.

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