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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old January 4th, 2013, 23:38   #1
magrider
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Default HID projector retrofit FXR 3.0

I've posted most of the stuff below on this vwvortex thread for retrofiting projectors. Figured I should re-post everything here in a new thread for those interested.

The Chinese Audi and VW style replicas are slightly more expensive and easier alternatives. But judging by the output shots folks have posted, the projectors used in them frankly aren't very good. The manufacturers probably used the cheapest projectors they can find to save cost. So I decided to go the DIY route and use some good projectors instead.

Parts used:
Factory reject headlights from ebay.
FXR 3.0 Bi-xenon projector with 3 inch lens
Philips 85122+ D2S 4300k 35W bulb
Morimoto 3Five 35W ballast
Orbit Shrouds
Bought everything from The Retrofit Source

The idea is to pry open the stock headlights put the projectors in. I already had a set of the Mini H1 projectors. They are much smaller and fits through the existing bulb holes and screw onto the reflector. They are a big upgrade over stock halogens, but still sacrifice performance due to their small size. I decided to use the FXR 3.0 instead, which made a 5-10 hour project into a 30+ hour project. It was worth it in the end though as the output is amazing. Anyway here is what I did:

Pry open headlight:

+

+
lots of prying
=


Now if you want to retrofit the Mini H1, your hard work is done at this point. All you need to do is screw the projector through the reflector bowl, possibly with minor trimming of adapter plates, install headlights onto car to verify your projector rotation for flat cutoffs, reseal and re-install. However, the FXR is much larger than the Mini H1:


Larger projector means more light output:
Mini H1 output against garage door:


FXR output against garage door:


But as a result the stock reflector needs to be trimmed in order for the larger projector to fit.
So the next step is to remove the low beam reflector. This was a giant pain. The low beam reflector is held onto the housing via three points. One of the point is secured by a screw, while the other two are secured by plastic tab thingies. I had to obliterate one of the tabs using a flat blade screwdriver in order to free the reflector, but as long as you don't damage the ball joint you will be fine. The part can be reattached using epoxy just fine.


Now in order to make sure the projector's rotation is good, you have to mark the stock halogen's beam reference. The reflector is round so I had to turn it upside down on its only flat part in order to secure it with screws:


Install the halogen bulb and power it up. I used a standard computer ATX power supply for this.


Mark beam cutoff on the wall at least 10 feet away:


Now the stock beam cutoff is marked, it is important to keep your mounting places/hardware in place and not move them. Otherwise your marked cutoff will become invalid and you will be screwed.

Last edited by magrider; January 5th, 2013 at 01:42.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 23:38   #2
magrider
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Next trim the reflector using a dremel tool until the opening is large enough to fit the projector with the shroud, like so:



Orient your projector so the cutoff matches the stock:

I actually made a mistake here by not matching the cutoff exactly height wise. This messed up my stock high beam up/down alignment in relation to the low beams. I did not realize that the high and low beam height adjustments are linked. The result is now my halogen high beams are aimed at the ground when my projectors are aimed properly. Luckily the projectors have high beams also so I don't have to fix this right away.

Lock the projector onto the stock reflector with small dabs of JB-Qwik epoxy, available at Walmart, Home Depot etc. If you want to make absolutely sure that your rotation alignment is okay, you might want to re-install everything at this point onto the car and test it out. If things are not good, break the small amount of epoxy and realign on the car. If you don't get the rotational alignment correctly, you will be permanently looking at mis-aligned lights for years to come. So it is important that the projector cutoff is orientated flat.

After you are sure your rotation is good, liberally apply regular JB-Weld to secure the projector onto the stock reflector. I mean really put that stuff on there, 1/2 tubes worth maybe to make sure it won't come apart. Then re-install everything back:




Clean out the old perma-seal, solder your wiring and re-seal using buytl rubber and heatgun*.

*Edit: Just heatgun is not enough. You need to bake the headlight in the oven after you apply butyl rubber(250 F for 10 minutes). Also apply way more butyl than you think you need, until the seams ooze of the stuff. To keep the mess down, cover the butyl with masking tape. Also I would bake it 2 to 3 times, after each bake, press the butyl into the seam with your hands to make sure it is packed on tight. Also if you have force clamps, clamp the 2 halves tight after the last bake for a perfect seal. If not, press the 2 halves hard against each other with your hands often, while the butyl is hot. After resealing is done, re-install all the rubber dust guards and take your lights outside. Blast the headlight lens with water from a garden hose, from the front only. You are trying to simulate a heavy rain storm or car wash. If you see water inside, you need to work on your seal. This re-sealing part is very important, make sure you do a good job.

Install new headlights and enjoy lights that outshines most stock projectors. Took output shots with cell phone, will try to use real camera later.


Nice color band on cutoff at about 50 ft away. When a car in oncoming traffic goes over a bump and you see his white lights turn purple/blue or other colors, you are seeing this color band on the cutoff. Having a projector with good optics, clear lens and near OEM color temperature bulbs is the right way to achieve this effect, not 10000k ricer bulbs.


Last edited by magrider; January 1st, 2014 at 12:30.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:52   #3
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Nice!!! A lot of work.. but I think the output looks better than the Chinese HIDs folks have posted so it is worth it. I have the 3.0's, but need to find some "reject" lights to cut apart. You gave me the link to your ebay seller, but he only had one side available... still looking.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 09:54   #4
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How do you keep cars in front of you from catching on fire with all that focused light?
Amazing job, sharp cut-off.
30+ hours? YIKES!!
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Old January 6th, 2013, 18:05   #5
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Impressive work. You get an A+.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 07:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXLR8 View Post
Nice!!! A lot of work.. but I think the output looks better than the Chinese HIDs folks have posted so it is worth it. I have the 3.0's, but need to find some "reject" lights to cut apart. You gave me the link to your ebay seller, but he only had one side available... still looking.
Better than the factory Chinese HIDs or better than the knock-off Chinese HIDs? It's not hard to be better than knock-off Chinese HIDs.

Install looks great - not really a fan of the way the lights look with the projectors in them and the reflector high beams, but the output is impressive.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 10:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
Better than the factory Chinese HIDs or better than the knock-off Chinese HIDs? It's not hard to be better than knock-off Chinese HIDs.
I know there are a few folks around that have the OEM Chinese HIDs, but I haven't seen any output images of them, so I am talking about the knock-offs.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 10:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
Better than the factory Chinese HIDs or better than the knock-off Chinese HIDs? It's not hard to be better than knock-off Chinese HIDs.
Install looks great - not really a fan of the way the lights look with the projectors in them and the reflector high beams, but the output is impressive.
This is the only output shot I could find of the OEM headlight, from TDI Brad on vw vortex:


The car is pretty close to the wall, so it's difficult to judge how good it is. But you can still tell that the hot spots are shaped like two blobs which means the width of the beam won't be very wide. Good projectors typically have a line shaped hot spot that runs along the cutoff line, sort of like how the Milky Way Galaxy appears when viewed from the side. This gives you good distance throw and a wider beam. I don't have the OEM Chinese lights but the FXR easily outperforms my OEM Touareg lights.(better distance throw, wider and more intense). I can't imagine the Passat having better OEM lighting solutions than the Touareg, the latter being almost twice as expensive.
The FXR is an aftermarket projector, so it is relatively cheap and easy to install, but definitely is not the best. Some OEM projectors from Lexus, Acura, Infinity etc with minor modifications will handily outperform it.

OEM VW projectors sadly are never mentioned on retrofitter forums, so I am guessing that must mean they aren't every good to begin with.

Some videos I found on youtube of the FXR 3.0:
Night driving
Showing the color flicker from head on

Night shots with better camera:




Last edited by magrider; January 9th, 2013 at 01:44.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 16:58   #9
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Wow! Output reminds me of the old Cibie Oscars I used to strap on the front bumper back in the day.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 02:08   #10
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Thanks for the complements guys, this was quite a bit of work but I am pleased with the results. It's great having Bimmers pull up next to me and seeing my lights totally overpowering theirs

Anyway the only thing that bothers me is that now my high beam reflectors are useless since they are aimed too low, and I can't adjust them up because that will make my low beams aim too high. I'll probably put projectors in the high beam slots to remedy this one of these days.

For folks who want to go the retrofit route, I took a look at all the none VIP projectors sold by TRS, and based on their dimensions relative to the FXR I am guessing the following should fit, possibly with trimming to the stock low beam reflector:
MH1(minor/no trimming)
Mini D2S(minor trimming)
EVOX-R(some trimming)
TSX(some trimming)
FX45(lots of trimming)
TL(probably won't fit onto stock reflector, but should still fit the housing and requiring custom alignment mechanisms. I wanted to retrofit the TL initially, but felt intimidated by its size and decided not to)

Last edited by magrider; January 12th, 2013 at 02:12.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 05:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magrider View Post
Anyway the only thing that bothers me is that now my high beam reflectors are useless since they are aimed too low, and I can't adjust them up because that will make my low beams aim too high.
I would think that the 3.0's on high beam would overpower the stock high beam reflectors and they would be useless anyway.
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'02 TDI Golf, 5 spd., 279K miles -PP520, RC3+ , VNT-17, Webasto, .68 5th gear.

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Old January 12th, 2013, 12:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXLR8 View Post
I would think that the 3.0's on high beam would overpower the stock high beam reflectors and they would be useless anyway.
Yeah it is not a problem at night when the low beams are on so I can use the bi xenon feature. But during the day, the flash to pass function is greatly diminished since the high beams are aimed too low.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 10:45   #13
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I took the lights apart again and retrofitted Halogen projectors(Hella H7 3 inch) in the high beam slot to get the Quad projector look. Turned out pretty good:



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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:24   #14
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Beam pattern shots?
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Old March 6th, 2013, 12:21   #15
magrider
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Here are some I took last night, it was raining so the pictures didn't come out so good:
Halogen high beam only:

HID low beam only:

HID high beam and halogen high beam:
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