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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
snitzl3
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>>> fx-r retrofit!! <<<

Before i start i gotta put a few notes about this thread:

NOTE 1: Mike over at F1 Autohaus has 10 pairs of the FX-R projectors for a super good price, he's also got 5 pairs of replica e46 shrouds. So hit him up asap and pick up a pair you wont be disappointed.

website: F1 Autohaus

Send Mike a PM


NOTE 2: For this retrofit i will be using AL parts, NOT ZKW, However i would think ZKW would be very similar

Aight ladies and gents here...we...go...

This first post is for the preliminary planning of how i want to go about the retro. so here is what im working with

AL Frame


FX-R Projector with bulb spacer


Ok so this is how the shroud should look when the projector is in, notice no gap between the shroud and the frame


test fitting the fx-r, perfect fit...almost


ok so here is where the fun starts, this is a side pic of the projector, and a side pic of the projector with the shroud, notice the amount of space that the projector has to move back (dont worry about the angle of the projector im trying to hold everything and take the pictures at the same time )



ok so basically im going to dremel out a small amount of the frame and then test fit it again, the key is to not cut any more than you need to because you might need that extra amount to mount the projector

finding out what needs to be cut



marked areas that need to be cut



Thats all for today, off to Lowes to pick up some new dremel bits

Subscribe now ill be back shortly
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Aight guys, EPIC progress...I started cutting my two prelim cuts, and actually was extremely surprised with how good they were. After the cuts the projector dropped right in flat and flush...only problem was it was about a quarter to half an inch too far forward..damn. So i re vamped my plan, and decided to mount the projector from the back of the frame. So that mean, A LOT of the frame had to be cut out. Ok for anyone planning on doing this the key is to cut the minimal amount frame and test fit, then cut, then test again..i probably had to go back and make more cuts about 20 to 30 times not kidding. Also i would suggest have a can of compressed air and a very lightly damp rag, cause cutting the frame produces very fine powder and you dont want that on the frame when you test fit the projector. OK SO ON TO THE PICS

Here is the aftermath of all the cutting, compare the final result to the two marks i made before





Ok and now the fit, its literally perfect, the projector even kind of "snaps in" and there is still material where the mounting holes are...things just got a hell of a lot easier





Now look at the comparison of how perfect it is...

THIS IS BEFORE ALL THE CUTTING..Projector too far forward


AFTER CUTTING....MMMM perfect..





Well thats all for today, next up, cutting the other side (probably wont post pics for that cause its the same story as above), and then probably the most important step...MOUNTING TO THE FRAME. Since you have to get the projectors mounted perfectly level, im going to try to figure out a way to make the mounting holes, and then have a way to adjust the projector without having to re-drill the holes. not sure how yet but ill figure something out. TRIP TO LOWES

Cheers, more to come!
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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Aight guys, today is a mini update because i didn't get to do a lot today due to a bunch of rain here. Also major updates/next step (aligning) wont be done until tuesday due to rain possibilities tomorrow and work monday. Anyways today i finished up the other side frame with the cutting and fitting of the projector. When doing so i made two notes that i noticed. NOTE 1: The top mounting holes of the projector dont have any frame underneath them so im going to have to use some thin metal to make a mounting extender so i can screw in the projector to the frame. NOTE 2: I noticed when the shrouds are on there is almost a quarter of an inch gap between the shroud and the frame and you can actually see the top part of the projector body. Not a big deal, i plan on painting any visible metal black, and then also with the headlight trim installed and the shadows and looking down at the headlights i dont think it will be an issue. Anyways check back tuesday night for another major update as ill be test fitting, test aligning, OUTPUT PICS!!!, and if i have time a teaser of my idea for the paint scheme. It should be a good day.

Now on to todays pics. Forgot my DSLR at my apartment so i had to snap some quick iphone pics



notice the top mounting holes having no material to mount to...at the moment




rear shots



with shroud


notice the gap i was talking about



Thats all for today, see ya'll tuesday ..
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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Alright guys, after a fun weekend , im back at it. I decided that im going to be doing live updates through out the day as im planning on finishing this project...TODAY !!

So lets get started, i just did a quick test fit, with the projector, frame, and shroud (nothing is secure yet i just wanted to see what i was working with and im already impressed. here are a few pics of how it looks so far and some flicker shots!!, no output on a wall yet there is blazing sun right on my garage door those shots will come later.

heres a pic of the test fit


these next pics are starting high and then moving down through the color band and then into the light then back up







This is from the side, shows how the beam pattern is pretty wide, moving down into the beam



Thats it for now stay tuned
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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LIVE UPDATE!!

Just mounted everything for the second test fit, mounted with bolts and nuts, before the jb weld




cutoff (the car is pretty close to the door so thats why the beam doesn't go down very far. The oem beam has about the same height)



Now time to paint the frame so itll be ready for the jb weld

everything masked off


High Temp Primer



Flat black


Now i didn't get a picture after with the black but i pretty much sprayed it black...removed the tape, the high bowl was still chrome...and now for the suprise a can of VHT Night Shades, for a BLACK CHROME high bowl



IT LOOKS SICK, sprayed the center shroud chrome strips too. From certain angles it shines, and from others its black



Thats it for now, back to work
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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Aight guys, i didn't post any updates last night cause honestly i was dead tired. Anyways i just have a few snaps from last night before i called it quits for the night.

Heres a pic of the first step of jb weld to give you an idea of where i put the jb weld, after that dried i put on another layer


heres a pic of the whole thing before i installed them, the high beam bowls look in person. Some angles the sparkle in the sunlight and others they are black.


quick pic of the output, more to come of these either tonight or tomorrow night when i have a chance to go out to my buddies airport and align/fine tune everything


and this one is for fun, a teaser pic of one of my dads rides (cutoff on my legs )


Thats it for now, gotta go install some new pedals
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
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Aight guys im back, I went ahead and wired up the bi-xenon shutters today. Luckily im going from oem bi-xenon retro to this so i already had a lot of the wiring done. a quick note, when i got this car it had stock crappy halogens, so all the wiring for this was added. Ok so basically i followed Scott (ScottZHP from bimmerfest) and Sna77's post on how to retro bi-xenon wiring for OEM AL/Bosch projectors using a relay, some wiring, and some oem plugs that plug right into the oem ballast. The link to that thread that i followed is here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...xenon+retrofit . Ok, the only problem with that is, oem bi-xenon shutters use a different system than the FX-R. If you look at an oem bi-xenon ballast there are three wires for the shutter (pull, hold, ground i think). Each of those have a different strength and pretty much isn't enough for the FX-R. So i contacted a buddy of mine over at the forums at hidplanet and he said that the FX-R could be tapped straight into the high beam...ok great im all set. However i want to keep the functionality of the relay setup (basically it works: when my headlights are OFF and i pull the stalk, my HALOGEN bowls flash to pass. When my headlights are ON and i pull or push the stalk the bi-xenon shutter drops). So heres how the relay was wired before the FX-R retro

Pin 85 - tap into low beam +12V (don't cut if off, just tap into it)
Pin 86 - ground
Pin 30 - from LCM high beam to high beam headlight (splice, cut if off)
Pin 87 - to bi-xenon plug on ballast
Pin 87A - to halogen high beam plug

Ok the pin in red is the one im going to change, instead of having that wire go to the bi-xenon plug on the ballast, it goes directly to one of the wires of the FX-R. So my new wiring is

Pin 85 - tap into low beam +12V (don't cut if off, just tap into it)
Pin 86 - ground
Pin 30 - from LCM high beam to high beam headlight (splice, cut if off)
Pin 87 - to FX-R Shutter
Pin 87A - to halogen high beam plug

For the other wire off of the FX-R, the ground wire, i tapped it into the ground of the stock high beam wiring to complete the circuit. Anyways it works flawlessly, just like the oem bi-xenon did. Now for the bad news...i dont have any night pics, output pics, or shutter pics right now. I shot a few day shots but didn't have time tonight to do the night shots. Tomorrow im going out with a buddy to align the headlights since i took em out today to do the wiring so output shots, shutter shots, and even a video of the shutter will come in the next few days. Stay tuned..
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
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here are a couple of videos i made trying to capture the flicker from the projectors, not really sure why but when i uploaded them to youtube they are slightly darker now...but you get the idea. The flicker looks 100 time more awesome in person, videos and pictures dont do it justice. Notice how the light flicks between 6k white, to white, to a deep blue, to even purple as the camera moves in and out of the flicker band



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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #9
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a few day shots i snapped, before anyone says anything, YES i know i need a drop, NO im not getting one cause the roads here blow. YES i know i need new rims, NO im not getting any anytime soon, cause im a broke college kid and thats just too expensive. NO my corners aren't messed up, LEDs do funky things when being photographed. That is all check dem pics



above flicker


MMM flicker
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #10
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more...





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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #11
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aight guys heres the last update, and conclusion to my fx-r project. I went out tonight to shoot some pics, align the headlights, and shoot a couple vids (eurospec exhaust vid also, will post a separate thread). anyways, looking at the projectors on a flat wall it looks like the drivers side one is slightly off, however after looking at the high beam pattern also, it seems that the bulb in that projector isnt seated perfectly. No big deal, ill fix that later when its day time.

So the slight un level line on the right side is due to the mis seated bulb.

NOTE 1: For reference all pics where taken using auto mode, and im running 6k mtec d2s bulbs (from f1autohaus )
NOTE 2: These shots were taken with the lights projected on my buddies hangar bays at the airport, they are a semi transparent ridged surface, the cutoff sharpness is slightly diffused due to the nature of the material

Heres a pic of the cutoff, the shadow on the right is from me i stood in front of the car in between the headlights


Heres the bi-xenon comparison, the camera changed the color for some reason, in person the color doesnt change



im addicted to this sh!t now, mmmm flicker


Heres a pic of the actual halogen high beam bowls, the ones that i sprayed with vht night shades, still surprisingly bright..exactly what i wanted



CONCLUSION: Aight so now for the conlcusion, overall im extremely satisfied, it was def worth all the work. The difference between the output and spread of the FX-R projectors and the OEM projectors are pretty awesome. And i didn't think this was a that big of a plus before i got em but the flicker i absolutely love. It looks so sick when it reflects off everything, i dunno why but i freakin love it. With that being said it was a lot of work, i had no problem with it because i enjoy projects like this. If i didn't enjoy these kinda diy projects i would have shelled out for Lightwerkz to do it. Well thats it folks, thanks for checkin out the thread. Any questions or comments are welcome, im here to help anyone out. See yall next time
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #12
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I'm paying close attention. I am waiting for a spare set of headlights to do this myself.
good luck with the retrofit.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:23 PM   #13
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I have the exact same parts that I am going to attempt to assemble this saturday. My only concern is the rotational allignment once the projector is mounted to the frame of the headlight. How bad were your factory projectors?
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:03 AM   #14
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Awesome come down to Hattiesburg to help me i go to Southern lol great thread
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:17 AM   #15
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Great Progress I want to do this as well

-TrippinBimmer
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclip View Post
I have the exact same parts that I am going to attempt to assemble this saturday. My only concern is the rotational allignment once the projector is mounted to the frame of the headlight. How bad were your factory projectors?
i agree, im going to examine the oem projector more, and then try to do some test fits, im trying to find a way to mount it so it will be more adjustable, instead of slappin it in there and using a bunch of jb weld
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:05 PM   #17
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When I was stuck last night due to summer tires in a winter storm, my GF dad came and picked my up in his RDX. The cutoff is SEX. Love it. (same caliber as the Inifiniti cutoff, so much better than BMW)

I then proceeded to change tires on the road side in 80km/h wind and snow at 3 AM in the morning.'

Can't wait to see the next evolution of your headlights, GL.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #18
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Updates POSTED!!
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:59 PM   #19
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I would initially drill. Then cut downwards. use washers and nuts to get the perfect adjustment. So you can slide and re-tighten..
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowcatxx87 View Post
I would initially drill. Then cut downwards. use washers and nuts to get the perfect adjustment. So you can slide and re-tighten..
I was thinking something like this, the white spots are the drilled holes, the shapes of them would allow for movement to spin the projector counter clockwise or clockwise to get the horizontal alignment perfect. And then once aligned i would add jb weld ontop of everything to make sure it doesn't loosen



Does that make sense/seem like it would work?
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