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My Trailblazer LS Retrofits

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  • My Trailblazer LS Retrofits

    I've been lurking long enough, figured I might as well pull the trigger, post the stuff I've done, and see what folks have to say, good or bad. When I initially learned about HIDs, I didn't know anything about projector retrofitting, so I joined the PnP crowd. I know, I know, shame on me. Back in 2012, I noticed when pulling up behind someone at a stop, that my passenger side light would vibrate at idle. Turns out the stationary mount had broken.

    At that point, I had learned of retrofits, didn't fully understand what all was involved, but had been through the TRS site a number of times, and decided to take the plunge during their black Friday sale. Here was the shopping list.

    4x Morimoto D2S 2.0
    4x Morimoto 3Five 6000K bulbs and 35W SS ballasts
    4x High beam splitters (used 3)
    2x Relay harnesses
    2x Ocular shrouds
    2x ebay shrouds
    2x white xb Halos
    2x 12" switchback strips from iJDMToy
    2x 8" switchback strips from ebay
    2x replica dark smoked turn signal corner lenses

    I had previously cut open my headlights to paint the bezel gloss black, remove the amber turn signal lenses and replace them with the modded flourescent light diffuser lenses. So cutting them back open was painless. I clamped down the reflector bowl to a bookshelf, shined the low beams on the opposite wall and marked it with tape. Cutoff didn't seem straight, but I figured since the reflector bowl was out of the housing, and not on the truck, that's how it was supposed to be. With some Dremeling, got the minis into the bowl without too much fuss.

    Hooked up the ballasts and fired them up. Minor adjustments to get the cutoffs lined up. Wall was about 20' away.

    Next, test fit the shrouds and see how much clearance I had, and how much needed to be trimmed. A little bit on the tops and bottom would be needed.

    Test fit in the housing with the bezel on top revealed some more trimming would be needed to get it to seat properly.

    With the insides of the bezels trimmed in a few spots, they seated fully.

    Now for the complicated part. I had seen some Youtube videos of vacuum forming, and after figuring out how to build a table of my own, I bought some 1/8" acrylic sheets and decided to go for it. I wanted to make 1 piece shrouds over each pair of minis and reflector bowl, mask off a halo ring on the high beam slot, and spray them gloss black. Niteshade the halo ring, so I could mount the halo behind the shroud, and also tone down some of the brightness since they are bright as hell.

    So here's my table, platen and vacuum all setup.

    Used some aluminum window screen frames mitre cut to 45 degrees, aluminum window frame corner connectors (this way if I wanted to vacuum form something else, the frame pieces would be reusable in different configurations), and large binder clips.

    Then things drifted off course. I put the acrylic in the oven @ 200 something degrees for a while, but it never sagged under it's own weight like all the videos I had seen did. I turned up the heat a bit, and it began to sag some, but not as much as I had expected. I started to smell it melting, so I pulled it out, and gave it a shot on the table anyway. FAIL!!! It didn't even budge enough to stretch over the shrouds, let alone all the way down over the relector bowls. In a fit of frustration, I put all my weight on it, until it cracked.

    OK, time for plan B. Grabbed some B stock Iris white shrouds from TRS' closeout section. Couple of small scuffs where the chrome had been nicked or rubbed off.

  • #2
    With a little more trimming to the bezel, got them to fit and seat nicely, but noticed from the side, you can still see behind the iris shrouds.

    After some mishandling, I put a few scratches and scrapes in the chrome and decided to black them out. I also added a small piece of plastic to the sides of the high beam slots to hide the backside of the minis from behind the Iris shrouds.

    Moving on to the LEDs. I removed the lower turn signal reflector bowl, and planned to mount the 12" switchback strips to some leftover acrylic pieces, and paint the backside black.

    Got my replica corner lenses, and mounted the shorter strips behind them.

    I wanted to do a blue demon eye, and had some LED strips in my random parts bin that were begging to get used. So I cut them short and fixed them around the rim of the lens holder. I didn't know about painting the shields at the time, or I would have done that too, but I was happy with how it looked so far.

    Put those together and here's the result.

    At that point it was time to test fit things on the truck.

    I was happy with the way it looked, so I sealed everything up and called it a wrap. FAIL!! My cutoffs were all crooked. So I guess when the cutoffs didn't look lined up on the wall, I might have been right to question it. Not sure if the halogen bulbs weren't seated properly? Or because I didn't remove the little rubber pieces from the D2S connectors on the ballasts, it caused a tighter fit when connecting to the bulbs, if trying to get them connected while on the truck caused the minis to rotate off axis or what. Not doing an HID output test before sealing them up was an oversight, but at that point, I was too frustrated to take them back off the truck, cut them open again and deal with it, so I left it that way for about a month.

    That was around the end of October 2013, and after stumbing on this forum, decided to finally go back in and fix it. I also noticed the demon eyes weren't as bright as before, and you could only see them at certain angles. The high beam slot minis were already almost resting on the reflector bowl floor, so I had to cut some notches to allow for additional rotation.


    • #3
      Your making your own lenses?
      Originally posted by nine44
      350 wit da wrist boy?


      • #4
        The LEDs that were on the top half of the lens holder were cooked and the strip itself was crunchy and brittle, while the ones below the shield were fine. I didn't want to be bothered, so I yanked those out.

        Did some output testing this time, and tweaked the alignment with the lights on the truck. Much mo' betta.

        And this is how she sat as the finished product.

        For the first couple of months, I was happy with it. Got my first retrofit finished, and people were patting me on the back about it. But the more I looked at people's builds on here, I wanted to do another one, so it was time to start game planning. I have always been in love with the output of the LS430s since I first saw them, but didn't have the know-how to retrofit them. I lucked out and was able to score a color modded set from ImagioX1 last month (thanks again man), and after doing a rough height/width test against my old stock lights, bought a brand new set of headlights to work with.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ilikecars View Post
          Your making your own lenses?
          Not the lenses, just a 1 piece shroud. Didn't work out so well. I kept the table and stuff, may revisit that idea at a later time though.

          This is where I'm gonna ask for people's help to keep me motivated and moving. When I get frustrated with a mod, I put it on the back burner and forget about it for a while. The first retrofit took me almost a year, don't want to have that happen again this time around. So please, prod me to keep at it.

          Since this was my first attempt at opening aftermarket lights, I first tried the heat gun method, but that wasn't working. So I laid them face down on a sheet of cardboard and baked them @ 225 for about 25 minutes, and they came apart relatively easily.

          I plan to try the demon eye mod again, and using prior experience, I know the LEDs need to be shielded from direct HID exposure. There's a lip caused by the foreground limiter, so I'm going to use more of the strips I have left, using just a 3 LED section and mount it up there.

          Using EvoXenoN's method of a custom shield, I decided to try making some of these, rather than painting the OEM shield in case I decide to sell these at a later date.

          Here's a few attempts...

          Cut up a coke can, and cut out the pieces.

          I grabbed a can of Duplicolor Anodized blue metal cast @ bleach288's recommendation in that same thread, haven't sprayed the shields yet, as I might redo them to get them to fit better.

          So last weekend, it was time to start cutting up the reflector bowl. I Dremeled out a little bit at a time, with constant test fitting to make sure I didn't gouge out too much.

          The fit wasn't even close. Required a ton more cutting. Ended up taking out a good sized chunk of the reflector and cutting off the bottom stud, to get it to seat better.

          After a test fit of the reflector in the headlight housing, the bezel piece couldn't seat over the projector. The bottom reflector stuck out way too far. The whole thing needed to be pushed back a couple inches. To do that and still use the reflector bowls would require removing almost all of the material from the low beam bowl. Enough that it made me worry about the structural support that would be left. So I put the projector in without the reflector bowl and this looked promising, although I think I cut up too much of the rear of the housing, may have to patch that back up in the end.

          The bezel seats fine, the bottom reflector sits behind it, and what little bit is cutoff doesn't seem to affect it's functionality enough for me to notice. So now I just have to figure out how to mount it. I was strongly considering the JNC method, but due to the shape of the projector, and location of the flat surfaces in the headlight housing, that wasn't going to be feasible. I've been following 901kingj's thread, and may try to replicate his mounting method.

          I clamped my stock headlights to my kitchen counter and taped up the wall where the hotspots show up for reference. Of course, I'm a little gun shy to trust it from what happened before, but with the rotational and vertical adjustment (assuming I get them mounted correctly) that should be a non issue once I put them on the truck.

          At this point, I just need to buy a tap, the other hardware and go for it.


          • #6
            Interesting post man - but coming along nicely! Can't wait to see the 430's finished
            2007 Honda Accord HFP EX-L V6 Coupe

            OEM Headlamps | TL Bi-Xenon | Osram D2S CBI 5,000K | Gatling Gun
            Matsushita Gen V Ballasts | 9006 Morimoto MotoControl Harness


            • #7
              Thanks. I have to figure out what I'm gonna do for the high beam since there won't be a reflector bowl. Either get a bi-xenon to go quads, or use a bi-xenon without the solenoid for full time high beam. I saw a post the other day, I think it was from Soundman98, for some high beam reflector bowls from AliExpress, so that might be a much cheaper option, although that would leave a lot of gap to cover up.


              • #8
                Glad to see you've decided to upgrade, the Mini D2S 2.0 have terrible output... I only ever used them when other projectors just wouldn't fit (they are much shorter)

                Can't you modify the stock high beam reflector to fit in there beside the LS340?


                • #9
                  I was actually pretty happy with the output of the minis, but that may be because I had 4 of them going at the same time and I hadn't driven behind any other models.

                  I'm not sure if I can still use the reflector bowl, I'll have to see what kind of clearance I've got left after I mount the projector to the base. 2 of the bowl mounts are between the high and low beams, but the 3rd one is on the outside of the low beam, so if there's enough room to cut out the floor of the bowl, and leave enough to keep the side mount attached, it might work. But with the projector in the bowl before, it was protruding a couple of inches too far, so I'm not holding my breath.


                  • #10
                    Welcome to Club LS430!!!!! You have to make it work cause those are killer! And yes a lot of cutting is required. That's y I ditched my reflector. Definitely try to get a high beam projector if not a smaller projector for the high beam. Looks like you can nut n bolt it next to the LS. And what color mods did IX do to them? I got some good color out of mine but didn't know there was more. Although I'm not a big fan of a super thick color band


                    • #11
                      A lot of cutting is an understatement. The back of my headlights get in the way, since there are indentations for vent hoses, and other stuff so the projector doesn't seat cleanly. I'm gonna have to drill those holes on the sides like you did, thread some screws through them and do the output test again to see where they line up. The outside one will be close to the edge, I have to make sure it's far enough to the inside so I can get a nut on the end of it from the slim compartment on the backside.

                      The LT model of my truck has slightly different (and uglier) headlights, where the grille doesn't have a crossbar that goes through the middle of the headlight. So that section is empty, and the bezel just covers it. Would have made for much easier mounting, just cut what was needed, notch the bezel and move on. But I'd have to get a new grille and bumper to go with them, and my money tree ain't got it like that.

                      ImagioX1 spaced the shield and got a nice color band. I didn't take any pics with my 3Fives in my living room, but here are the pics he had in his FS thread before I bought them.


                      • #12
                        Oh ok looks close to what I got. And I feel u on the trim change. My air filter box sits on my driver side light so I took the 1st section out but eventually I'll get a CAI. The v6 version has plenty space behind the lights. Are you going to try vacuum shrouds again or buy shrouds and fill in dead space?


                        • #13
                          I was initially thinking of modding some Ocular shrouds for the 430s, I know from my last retrofit, those give good width coverage on my low beams. If I go with another projector in the high beam, I might look at another set of Oculars, or maybe the Iris again. The bezel piece is going to get primed and sanded smooth, I hate the texture. So I have thought about epoxying some ABS between the high and low beams, and after it's painted it should look seamless.

                          Also tossed around the idea going fiberglass. Could attach the fleece to the bezel, and stretching it over the projector(s) would give it enough contour. I could smooth that out the same time I smooth out the bezel and paint it. But that would be my first time trying it, so I think I'll save that experience for another project.


                          • #14
                            Lol it was a first time for me and I love it!! More sanding coulve happened but I plan on gettin vinyl to cover it. If it's not appealing it's a waste of a big retro. But if shrouds work then go for it. I would've had major gaps all over mine. Good thing is that I can use the stock dust so still. Little victories lol