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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old August 12th, 2018, 17:36   #16
KrashDH
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Default So Close Yet So Far

Alright well I put in a big push this weekend to get this project done. Right off the bat, I got very close, was not able to complete the project, due to shroud/headlight cover interference (the projector has plenty of room).

So I sandblasted everything to prep for primer and paint. Custom paint booth:



While I was waiting for paint to dry, I popped the housings in the oven again to scrape the gasket out of them. If it do it while the housings are hot, it's not bad at all with a flathead:



Also while paint was drying, I found a slick location for the harness relay, and mounted it with some double sided 3M tape:



It was extremely convenient to run the rest of the harness over to the passenger side via the hood latch cable. Then you can jump across where the hood latches and keep ziptying along:



Before I sand blasted, I drilled for this tiny grommet that fit the 2 hi beam wires on the projector perfectly. This grommet takes a 1/4" bit. I drilled a bit below where I had JB welded (you want to go through just the reflector material, not the JB weld. You can kind of make them out in the next couple of photos:







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Old August 12th, 2018, 17:48   #17
KrashDH
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Now with the reflector assembled into the housing, it was time to see if everything fit:

Looks like my homework paid off:






Mounted the projector in it's home, hand tight, so I could spin it when it came time to do the leveling. Note at this point, the clocking H7 washer can spin freely:



Couple of teaser shots:





You'll notice when you install the bulb mount and bulb, it sticks out a hair. This is common knowledge that you need to modify the back of the healight cover. Measure from whatever landmarks you see fit:



Mark your spot on the cover for "center". Now, in every thread I've see a DIY, someone has added a PVC cap to the back of the cover to allow room for the bulb, wires, etc. I could see that I was not sticking out the back very much at all from my measurements. I wasn't sure what size to drill the hold out too (either really large if I was to use a PVC cap back there, or the standard 7/8" for the grommet that comes with the bulb.

I decided to start of small, knowing I could increase my size if need be:





As a hint, you want to be as accurate as possible with the small 7/8" hole because you want the bulb as close as centered as possible in the hole
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Old August 12th, 2018, 18:01   #18
KrashDH
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Now I didn't get a photo of the bulb sitting there without the grommet on, but you should get something like this after:



No heavy modification or PVC cap needed (Just Joking....read on till then end...!)

Now, on the passenger side headlight, the only wires that need to exit are the bulb and the high beam wires. I used the same grommet from above for the reflector:



Driver side is a bit of a different story. You need the bulb wires, high beam wires, and you need the female H4 plug (3 pin) that will be the side of the custom wiring you need to plug in to the harness (ie the low and high beam power):

I once again used a grommet to feed these wires out.You should have plenty of wire for the harness you make to be able to separate the back headlight cover for things like a bulb change. I also opted for a grommet here. The size should correlate to the grommet that uses a 3/8" drill bit for the hole.



The high beam plug shown here is the one you'll want to plug the red and black harness into in the first post, that has the 2 extra wires coming from it. The extras will get tied into the 3 pin H4 socket:



The low beam plug shown here has the 2 pin with leads sticking out of it, which will also get tied into the 3 pin H4 socket:



Wiring for this is pretty straightforward. On your relay harness, it should tell you low beam, high beam, and ground. On your custom harness, your low and high beam power wires will tie into your 3 pin female at their corresponding locations. Make sure they match where they will be plugged into your relay.

The 2 grounds from the lo and high can just be tied together, and then tied in with the one ground wire coming from the 3 pin H4.

After all this you can stuff the wiring in the driver side headlight housing, there's lots of room in there.

I mounted them without lenses on the car and plugged everything in, and it worked as it should! I was happy about that. Rotated the beams so they were as level as I could get them. Yanked them out of the car, traced the H7 clocking washer, then pulled the projectors and epoxied the washer in place, as best as I could get it to my outline:



I put them back on the car again for a double check and they were really close. Maybe not perfection, but I was happy with the level.

Now for the disappointing part. I went to test fit the lens back on the housing because I was going to bake them and be done with this project! But they weren't going to have that. When I was fitting the E46 extended shrounds, I basically put the concentric rings onto the projector flush with the end of the projector plastic around the glass. I then installed the shroud, and used the shroud sitting on top of the reflector to set the depth my reducer needed to be.

What I neglected to consider was how far the shroud actually sits about from where you mount it to the ring. Even though my projector wasn't anywhere near the glass, one corner of the shroud came into contact with the lens.

There's a couple things I could do to remedy this. I can sand down the part of the shroud that touches the reflector and slide the shroud down on the plastic part of the projector (instead of having it flush with the end, or I can look into a different shroud. Which is the direction I'm going.

I found the Iris shrouds which I'm going to give a go. They are lower profile than the E46, a little bit smaller in diameter so they should be able to slide down the projector plastic and recess themselves into the reflector.

They will basically sit flush with the concentric ring rather than sticking up above it near the projector glass.

Comparison:




Hopefully they'll be in this week, but I take off for Crankworx up in Whistler on Thursday so I'm not sure I'll be able to get them done in time or not. As well, hopefully the new shrouds work or I will have to possibly design/ 3D print my own?! I hope that's not the case though.

Last edited by KrashDH; August 22nd, 2018 at 09:07.
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Old August 12th, 2018, 20:59   #19
tjpeterson96
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Looks good so far man! I'm actually working on a pair of quad-hids myself out of a pair of cheap spyder lights I picked up for my jetta. Question though, I thought golfs already had the low beams stay on when the highs are on, so why use the custom harness instead of splicing off the high beams straight to the projector shutter?

Last edited by tjpeterson96; August 12th, 2018 at 21:07.
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Old August 12th, 2018, 21:19   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjpeterson96 View Post
Question though, I thought golfs already had the low beams stay on when the highs are on, so why use the custom harness instead of splicing off the high beams straight to the projector shutter?
Yah you're right, I could have just kept that internal to the housing and done it that way, just deleting the hi beam connections on the bi xenon harness.

My high beams will power a LED H7 bulb and the shutter, just in case I lose the harness relay for some reason, I'll still have high beams.

But you're absolutely right, I could have deleted the small grommet on the passenger side if I had bought 2 of those hi beam splitter harnesses.

Maybe on the next build, v2
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Old August 13th, 2018, 06:55   #21
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Great looking work, sorry to hear about the bezel/lens clearance issue.


Sorry for what may be a stupid question, but where did you mount the ballasts?


I saw where you tucked the relay under the edge near the battery, but I missed the ballast install??


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Old August 13th, 2018, 07:31   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexNICO View Post
Great looking work, sorry to hear about the bezel/lens clearance issue.


Sorry for what may be a stupid question, but where did you mount the ballasts?


I saw where you tucked the relay under the edge near the battery, but I missed the ballast install??


Thanks
Yeah I didn't post that up yet just because I've only got the driver side mounted and working on where to put the passenger side one. It's a bit tricky.

A couple thoughts for this, I want them easy to access because a ballast will more likely fail than a bulb.

As well, I'd like them to be easy to replace without tools. They need to be close to the harness ends to avoid having to buy ballast extensions and running more wire than necessary.

I came up with industrial strength velcro. On the drivers side I went directly to the front of the battery. The ballast doesn't get very hot when moving, and the thick velcro provides an insulation of sorts. I don't think I'll have any trouble.



Another thing I do with all the ballasts I buy is open the cover and put a beat of rtv at the cover interface. The internal electronics are all completely sealed from the factory, but they never seal the actual cover to the body. My ballasts in my truck have lasted the last 5 years without being changed.
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Old August 21st, 2018, 07:50   #23
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Well I got back from my trip last night from Whistler and was exhausted, but I was excited to put in a couple hours and test out the new Iris shrouds.

Good news was I was able to mount the shrouds and push them back enough to clear the lenses.

Here's a couple of photos of test fitting. I decided that the 2-tone black would look pretty slick, so I ditched the red theme (the Golf is all black):



You can see the "step" between the projector and shroud. For my build there was no way around this. I had to push those shrouds as far back as I could so they could avoid the lenses once mounted.

The more clearance to the lens the better. These headlights don't fully turn when you adjust, it's the reflectors that move internally. So if you don't leave enough room behind the lens, you won't have much adjustment because of the corner of the shroud. One of my shrouds is really close to touching, the other one has enough of a gap to be ok for lots of adjustment. I got them very close to being adjusted on the car without the lenses, so they should be approx where I need them to be and can hopefully have enough adjustment to fine tune.

Just something to keep in mind if you're following this build.



Once you get the plastic internal trim piece in place, you can lay a bead of the headlight sealant:



From here you can dry mount the lense and put the snaps back in place. I then put them back int he oven @ 250° F for about 6-7 minutes each. This softened the glue enough to press them closed a bit more. I didn't go overkill though, because I didn't want to risk touching the shrouds.

I took some pics of them put back together, but for some reason my phone didn't save them.

I'll get some more tonight as I have a few minor modifications that need to be made.

You know earlier when I drilled the 7/8" holes in the back of the headlight cover to utilize the grommet that comes with the HID bulb? Well....those aren't going to work anymore.

I did the adjustment with the lens off on the car, and I had to move the reflectors. This in change moved the bulb position, and it was no longer centered in the hole I drilled.

So what I'm going to have to do is basically turn this hole into a slot to allow the swing of the bulb. I'll then add some small caps over the back of the opened slot and drill the 7/8" hole in the caps for the headlight grommet.

I'll post up when I make some progress.

Installed LED hi and other bulbs in the main headlight to test fit, everything worked fine.
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 08:18   #24
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Alright I got some good work put into this last night, and basically I'm to the point where the lenses are ready for clearcoat (yeah, I decided to re-do the lenses too)

First thing I needed to do because of the issue I ran into yesterday (with the bulb not centering in my hole in the back cover) was to open that up to allow the bulb to not make contact with any adjustment the light needed.

This is what it took:



I then used a 2" ABS black plug from Lowes (it has a flange on the bottom) to be the "extension" of my back cover.

I mocked up where the extension could sit on the cover and still seal (only slightly overhanging on a couple of edges, then drilled my 7/8" hole for the bulb dust boot. To get it approximately centered, the hole needed to be slightly offset from center. This may vary on your build:



Then I used some JB Kwik to hold it in place and seal. I was not shy with the epoxy because since the back cover is *slightly* convex, it acted as a bit of filler.

Ensure that the 7/8" hole you drilled is centered over your opening, this stuff sets up quick.



Once that was done, it was time to deal with all the electrical.

Passenger side was easy. The low beam connection I just stuffed some di-electric grease in the plug and zip tied the corner of a sammich back over it:



Here it is with all of the bulbs back in. Stock high beam plug will just tie into your hi bulb if you choose to use one. If not, it can be dealt with the same way as the low beam plug:



Here it is, all sealed up at its final state:

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Old August 22nd, 2018, 08:32   #25
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Driver side was a bit more of a zoo electrically but not bad at all. I have a bit more room to work because I'm not running fogs in this setup.

An above poster made a good point earlier, if you don't want to have the high beam wires running out the back cover and tying into the harness, you can connect the high beam splitter harness I outlined in my first post directly to the shutter wires on the projector (internal to the headlight). I used those waterproof plugs on the connections too rather than the ones that come stock on the harness and projector, those are junk.

If I did this over, I'd probably go that route, but my way works too.

The wiring is as I mentioned before.

The H4 plug that exits out the back has a lo, hi, and ground connection.
The red of the high beam splitter harness will ti into the hi wire of the H4 female (after it's plugged into the OEM high beam socket, and the "extra" high beam socket from the harness goes to your high bulb if you choose to run it), the low beam adapter plugged into the lo beam OEM vehicle socket will have a hot wire that will plug into the lo connection of the H4 female socket, and the grounds from the hi and lo adapters will be tied together then connected to the ground of the H4 female socket.

Here is the back after all the bulbs are back in and the wiring was neatly routed:



This is what the HID bulb should look like approximately coming out the back of the 2" ABS plug:



A couple shots of the sealed up driver's side headlight. Remember, if you opt for the internal connection of the high beam wires, the small black and red wires with the sealed plug won't be coming out the back:





Here's a shot of the drivers side headlight clearance from the back. You can see the 2" ABS plug "extension" of the back cover:



...and the passenger. Lots of room leftover:


Last edited by KrashDH; August 22nd, 2018 at 08:35.
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 08:34   #26
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Shot before I rouged up the lenses:





Here it is ready for clearcoat:



Hopefully I'll tackle finishing this up this week, along with my coolant leak!
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Old August 23rd, 2018, 20:48   #27
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Gee and I thought retro fitting my new beetle headlights was hard. Looks easy compared to your project. Good luck!
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Old August 23rd, 2018, 21:57   #28
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Gee and I thought retro fitting my new beetle headlights was hard. Looks easy compared to your project. Good luck!
Ha thanks. Definitely involved, but worth it.
Figured out the final harness routing and ballast mounting tonight. Time to plug in this weekend.
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Old August 24th, 2018, 07:25   #29
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Well I modified the wiring a bit so I could mount the ballasts next to each other. There is really nowhere on the passenger side to mount how I wanted to, so I just mounted both ballasts w/ HD velcro right to the battery.

I had to modify the harness a bit because I had to cut the corrugated protective wire cover to fish the ballast plug back to the driver side (passenger side ballast connection). The high beam plug stayed over on the passenger side.

Then I ran the bulb wiring extension I bought over from the newly mounted ballast over to the passenger side.

A few photos.

Here's the ballasts mounted:



Birds eye view of the driver side wiring. Note that more will get tucked away lower once the headlights are installed:



Running the ballast extension up along the top of the fan shroud:



Here's where the harness terminates on the passenger side...plenty of harness:



And a huge thanks to my buddy for shooting a 2-part clearcoat over the lenses to freshen them up. He did 5 coats! They should be good for a long time to come. No orange peel at all so I don't need to wet sand and buff.
You can actually see the streaks/scratches on the inside of the lens it's so vivid!



I'll try and get all the project buttoned up this weekend, but the coolant leak at the hard line is the main thing I need to get done this weekend. Should be able to do both and get some output shots!
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Old August 26th, 2018, 09:26   #30
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Alright well I got it all buttoned up yesterday and aimed.


Here are the final photos
Apologies about the reflections, I tried to keep them out but my buddies clear coat job was insanely good!







Some output shots:



Now, unfortunately I might need to live with the next photo. It bugs me but I may have to learn to live with it if I can't fix it.

I was very diligent in aligning the light output on the car before I put the lenses on and then subsequently JB kwik'd the clocking washer on. The thing is, those clocking washers have enough play in them to allow a slight "tiwst" of the projector.

Since the nut is tightened down now and the lens is on, this will be very difficult to remedy without damaging anything. It doesn't bother me/you don't even notice it when you're driving, but you can tell that one is slightly skewed when you're up against a wall:



Here's the high beam output:



It's an understatement to say this is better than stock. It brings a whole different game to lighting on your vehicle. I held off on doing this for so long because the Golf IMO has one of the better ouputs for halogens of any vehicle. This is just mind blowing to me.

I did this retro on my Cummins as well. I have a light bar on the front of that, and the projector high beams render that light bar useless. That's the power of these things.

Anyway, thanks all for anyone who followed, I hope this thread can motivate people if they want to DIY. After the fact I can say that it was more scary thinking about doing it than actually doing it, which probably turns a lot of people away.

I'll post up if I figure out how to spin that skewed one inside of the clocking washer.
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