*WARNING – Long read ahead! I wanted to make this as detailed as possible.
Hey guys, as promised, here’s the write-up for doing a bi-xenon HID conversion (Morimoto lights, projectors and halos from The Retrofit Source online: headlight upgrades for all applications
) for an 09-12 ZX6R.
Here are the before and after pictures of the lights. These new lights are so damn bright... The after picture is of the low beams. The high beams washed out the cell phone CCD so it just looked like a straight white image.
I want to give a quick shout-out to DevildogAE for giving me the fabrication basics and to 06ZX636R for helping me figure out the wiring so that it all actually works!
Edit - the Morimoto projectors that are being sold now are designed for what is called a pencil beam pattern. Very thin beam, basically good for lights that are mounted very low to the ground. Not an ideal pattern for our bikes as the lights are fairly high up. I learned this yesterday and had to take everything apart to modify the projector itself. It works great now. When ordering, MAKE SURE TO SPECIFY THAT YOU DO NOT WANT PENCIL BEAM PROJECTORS! They'll send you projectors with a differently shaped beam plate. That way you won't have to fabricate your own like I just had to. Ok, continue reading
Before I start, I want to mention that if you do not know how to take your headlight assembly out of your bike (and don’t want to figure it out!!), don’t do this yourself. It takes a bit of basic mechanical understanding. If you’re mechanically inclined but simply have never done this (like me) just read your service manual and it’s a piece of cake. Important note, this process involves fabrication, so if you’re not comfortable doing any kind of basic metal cutting, don’t do this. Now, moving on…
Step 1. Remove headlight assembly and take the bulbs and parking lights out..
Step 2. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (122 Celsius). Bake for 8 minutes.
Step 3. Pull off the headlight covers. The adhesive that holds them in place is very strong and cools very quickly. You’ll have to do this in maybe 5 minutes. Don’t worry if you can’t do it, you can always re-bake them for 4 minutes at a time. These temperatures will not harm ANYTHING inside an empty assembly. When you pull off the headlight covers, you will see this:
That image above is actually the fitting with the new projectors installed. As you can see, if you’ve done this right, it looks EXACTLY stock when finished. Just wanted to show you what you’ll see when you open up the lights.
Step 4. Each housing is held on by three adjustment screws. These screws are used for aligning your lights up/down/left/right. As you loosen each screw from the back, the housings will move further and further out until they pretty much just fall out. Now that we’ve got the lights disassembled and housings removed…
Let’s start with the image below:
1. Stock headlamp housing.
2. Stock projector lens holder (no clue what real name of this part is).
3. Stock projector lens cover.
4. Morimoto bi-xenon HID projector and casing (one piece).
5. Little silicone doohickey to hold the base of the HID projector inside headlamp housing (#1).
6. HID bulb mount.
There are a bunch of other items such as ballasts, a new wiring harness, hi beam splitter, etc. that are not pictured. I’m not very good at explaining wiring diagrams, so at the very end, I’m going to throw in images that 06ZX636R put together for me. Halos aren’t pictured because I didn’t think to snap pics once I figured it out. I’ll describe the how to later, but imagine a steel ring 80mm in diameter. Steel on one side, white with a truckload of tiny LEDs on the other. LEDs are covered by a clear silicone for protection. A wire comes out from the ring, which taps into your parking light wires (splice some shit together folks).
Step 5. When you disassemble the housing, you’ll find items 1, 2 and 3 in the above image. The stock projector lens sits on top of item 2. You can throw this away since you won’t need it anymore, but I don’t recommend tossing anything until you’re completely done.
Step 6. Item number 6 is usually attached to the base of number 4 (as is the case with Morimoto lights). Different bi-xenon packages may have a different bulb mount, but the principle is the same. Remove the bulb mount (#6) from the new projector (#4). Slide the white silicone doohickey (#5) onto the base of the new projector and put the bulb mount back on. Picture with mad paint skills:
That red disaster over there is the silicone piece (#5) and the bulb mount (#6) goes on behind it. Tighten the little nut that is in front of the silicone piece until is good and tight. The point here is to make sure the silicone thingy doesn’t move and is tightly against the bulb mount. DO NOT PUT THE SILICONE THING IN FRONT OF THE NUT. If you do that, you’ll curse yourself a thousand fucking times when you have to pull everything apart again to fix it (guilty).
Now the fabrication begins. I want to stress that this is the point of no return. If you mess this up, you will be buying a new headlight assembly. Throughout the rest of the instructions, I will tell you to test, grind, test, grind some more, etc. It’s really important you do that because if you make these openings too big, well, you’re out the 300 bucks it costs to buy a new headlight assembly…
Before we begin there is one thing you will have probably noticed. The left headlight housing (#1) in the image way above is different than the right headlight housing. The fabrication steps are a little different for both sides and I will explain them, but will not be able to show a picture of the right housing. I actually got a dirt cheap used assembly and pulled the left headlight housing out of it because the left side is a lot easier to work with. More on that later.
Step 7. You have the left headlight housing in front of you:
The back end of the bi-xenon bulb mount will need to stick out from the back of the headlight housing. In order to do this, you will need to widen that bottom hole a lot. Here is the finished product:
You basically need a Dremel tool and start carving out the hole. When you have carved out a bit, stick the new projector assembly in the housing. If it doesn’t fit, carve out a little more. Keep doing that until the back end of the projector comes through (there’ll be a finished image at the end). Remember this throughout the whole process: There are three screw mounts on the housing. The center screw mount is your top center. The new projector housing says “top” on one side to indicate, basically, “this side up.” You’ll need to make sure the top aligns with that center screw mount.
You will now need to cut a hole in the housing for the wires coming from the high-beam solenoid in the new projector:
Now, when you do all of this for the right side, which is smaller, you will have to carve out little pathways (4 of them) to allow the edges of the new projector to fit through. This is because the interior of the housing gets narrow before the new projector has gone far enough in. So, you’ll need to carve a path for the new projector’s edges on the inside of the housing. When you take it apart, you’ll see what I mean. This is a huge pain in the ass. You will have to make sure that those pathways are aligned so that when the projector slides into them, the projector is perfectly aligned. If you have gone this far in the write-up, you’ll know how to do this. Like I said, I used the left headlight housing from a used headlight assembly to do this because it’s a lot easier. I just used the right side lens holder with it and it worked fine.
Step 8. Here is the stock projector lens holder, top and bottom view:
This piece will require the most machining. You will need to use a Dremel with a lot of cutting wheels (you’ll go through several). You will basically need to cut out the entire center ring and the piece below it so that the new projector can fit through it. This is another case of widening the hole, testing to see if the front of the projector fits through (not just the lens, but the black plastic that holds the lens). Test, carve out, test, carve out some more. Do this until you get this:
The new projector lens, and the black plastic that holds it, should be able to just barely slide through this opening. I can’t stress how important it is to not just try to cut your shit to match my picture. I tested the size of the opening like 12 times before I got it perfect. You do not want the projector to be loose on this opening.
Step 9. Putting it all together. You will need to slide the new projector into the headlight housing, making sure that the top is aligned with the center screw mount. Before it’s in place, slid the wires from the solenoid through the hold you drilled on the side of the housing. Put the modified lens holder, over the black plastic that holds the new projector lens, and put the lens cover (which remains unmodified) on top of that. The good thing about keeping that component stock is that it gives it a nice look and locks everything in place perfectly. Here are two pictures of the finished product:
It’s not pictured, but I used a very thin layer of JB weld where the silicone doohickey (I really wish I knew what you call the fuckin thing!) meets the headlight housing. Just an added layer to protect from water vapor. You don’t need to do that with the hole for the solenoid wire as its location still allows you to use the stock water barrier thing… oh god, I really need to learn what things are called… THIS THING:
Step 10. Halos. You can skip this step if you don’t care about halos. This is the inside of your headlight covers you took off in step one:
You have to remove that inner part and glue (I used JB weld because that stuff is magic) the halo, LEDs facing out, obviously, to the opening. The halo will be slightly thicker than the hole, which is perfect. Just make sure to align all the LEDs so that they still all show through. Also, make sure that no JB weld is visible if someone is looking directly at your headlights. That last part should go without saying, but hey, you never know! There is a little indent in the hole that is perfect for the part of the halo that has the wire coming out of it.
Step 11. Drill a hole on each side of the headlight assembly (towards the back) for the solenoid wires (and halo wires if applicable) to go through. Honestly, put those holes wherever you like. The idea here is to make sure you can get the wires out without defeating the stock water barrier ring. If you run these wires out the back, you obviously can’t use the water barrier. So drill the holes in a place that is convenient for you. I used a 3/8’s inch drill bit and put the holes here (this view is the bottom of the headlight assembly):
Step 12. Put everything back together just like it came out. Run your wires through the holes you drilled in step 11. DO NOT PUT THE HEADLIGHT COVERS BACK ON YET!!! This is where you take the completed assembly and test everything. Make sure everything works. If it does, clean the shit out of everything, and I mean to the point where you’d be proud to show it to the queen of England. Tighten up the adjustment screws a bunch so that the lights are backed off a lot. You can always move them forward later, but you don’t want to put everything together and have the projector housing break your halos! Then take the bulbs out that you put in there for testing, and bake in the oven for 8 minutes on 250 Fahrenheit (122 Celsius). Take out of the oven, put the headlight covers back on and tighten them up. People will tell you to clamp everything for a day. You don’t have to do that. That silicone glue shit will be hardened again in like 15 minutes.
Step 13. Use silicone (not JB weld) to seal the two red holes from step 11. The reason you want to use silicone is that if you ever need to take this shit apart again, you can easily rip the silicone out to get the wires out of there.
Put everything back on your bike, align your lights and enjoy. Oh, and here are the pics that 06ZX636R made for me concerning the wiring:
Feel free to let me know if I left something out, but this read can't possibly get any longer... Enjoy your new HIDs