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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old September 12th, 2014, 21:07   #1
PLAN_B
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Default Morimoto mini projector retrofit into Euro R32 replica housing

I originally purchased these headlights from a member on VWVortex and was beyond disappointed in the performance of both the low and high beams. I don't know if all the replicas perform similarly, but these were worse than stock by a fair margin. I do however like the look of these headlights better than any other available for the MKIV (and I'm going for the stock R32 look) so I decided to retrofit a true HID projector into them.

The intake restricted the depth that could be added to the headlights without further modification to the car so size (and cost) was a factor in my choice of selecting the Morimotos.

I ordered this kit from The Retrofit Source which consisted of:
Morimoto mini H1 v6.0 bi-xenon projectors
XB35 bulbs (crucial) @ 4300k
H7 wiring harness (although I ended up hard wiring the universal trigger harness that's also included)
Morimoto 3FIVE DSP ballasts
E46-R extended shrouds (didn't use)
OCI Butyl Rubber Glue

Then I commandeered the kitchen island, and fired up the oven.

Remove all bulbs prior to baking in the oven. Also remove the wiring if you choose (I did although not shown):




Find a couple of scrap strips of wood to set your headlights on and bake at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the glue is soft enough to pry the lenses off without forcing them.

For anyone that has applied Lamin-X, I baked these with the Lamin-X applied and experienced no ill effects whatsoever. Just be careful to not damage the film when it's hot from the oven.

Here's the exploded view of the headlight once disassembled:

Yes I broke an adjuster socket. Some plastic epoxy fixed it right up.

Here are pics of the stock projector in place:



The projector is held in place by one screw at the top and two nuts on the bottom which I had already removed in the two preceding pictures.

Factory projector vs Morimoto mini H1:

You can see the projectors are very similar in overall size, however the bulb mount is not on the Morimoto in this picture and crucially, the front flange where the projector mounts against the housing is about 1/4 inch further back with the Morimoto. Were it not for that slight variance, this would have been the easiest swap in headlight history, but alas the fabrication of an adapter is necessary.

Somewhat difficult to pick out, but you can see the void needed to be filled here:

Some thought needs to be taken in selecting a material for the adapter, but it's not that difficult to make one. After copious scientific research on various materials temperature characteristics (and frantically searching my immediate vicinity for anything usable), I selected an old cutting board made from HDPE!

This thread was extremely helpful in determining bulb temperature. The XB35 bulbs (Philips in the aforementioned thread) burn cooler than others and thus the HDPE which is affected by heat only above 230 degrees should do the trick.

So make the template using the outline of the factory projector and cut oink, I mean out just enough for the lens on the Morimoto to slide through and you get this:


Test fit, mark and drill the holes for the threaded stems/rods/whathaveyou on the housing and:

You can see the marks to mount the Morimoto projector marked and waiting to be drilled out.
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Last edited by PLAN_B; September 13th, 2014 at 00:43.
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Old September 12th, 2014, 21:14   #2
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Do that, reassemble the projector with the adapter and test fit, test fit, test fit:

VERY IMPORTANT: You want the flat bottom of the projector to be exactly parallel with an imaginary line drawn between the two nuts to ensure the projector beam is flat. If this is not accomplished, your beams will not only be visibly rotated, but you will have a lot of difficulty aiming them.

Now that the adapter is done, reassemble with the Morimoto in place:


I chose to reassemble the entire headlight except for the glass lenses. Then place the lenses in the oven to heat them up in preparation to reseal them with the included rubber glue. You can see the rubber in place here:

I noticed when I initially baked the headlights the lenses held way more heat than the plastic housings did so I thought I'd reassemble without heating the whole housing and new projectors. Once in place in the housing, I used a heat gun on the rubber to warm it slightly while the lenses baked for a few minutes, made sure I wiped all finger prints from the chrome, and then pressed the lenses back into place, clipping them in all four locations. Now, well, they look exactly the same from the front as they did before I started so you can look at the before picture again and pretend there are Morimotos in there!

The backs now look like this:

With the bulb securing hardware attached to the projector and the way the wires come off the bulb, there was not enough space under the factory cover so I had to get a little creative. I snipped a tiny slice out of the grommet to allow the wires to pass. I didn't manage to get a picture of the grommet in place, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Driver's side with turn on trigger:


The Retrofit Source included a nice little diagram with the wiring loom which makes wiring it all up very straight forward. Here's a mass of wiring on the driver's side before being tucked in:

Positive and negative were wired right to the battery. You can see the ballast sandwiched between the battery casing and the frame. I'm going to relocate the battery to the trunk and start on the stereo soon so I'll relocate it at that time.

Rest of driver's side wiring:

The red and blue wires lead to the relays tucked in the corner of the front support, again temporarily since there's so little room up there for the wiring:


Tough to spot, but the passenger side ballast is sandwiched next to the washer fluid reservoir quite securely:




That's it! I foolishly haven't taken any beam pictures, but they're markedly improved over any other headlights I've had on the car. I recently drove from Phoenix to Moab, UT mostly in the dark and they performed flawlessly. I'm completely satisfied.

A big thanks to The Retrofit Source for putting together such a great kit and delivering it promptly enough for me to get it in before my trip. This is the second retrofit I've done using this kit and I won't hesitate to order it again should the need arise.
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Last edited by PLAN_B; September 14th, 2014 at 12:44.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 13:18   #3
Geobmx4life
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Very good write up...Cgdoig and I did my Helix R32 reps with Morimoto minis as well....the Helix had horrible light output as well, and the adjustability is my only complaint with them now...very little up or down movement.
Your lights look great! Any pics of them on the car?
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Old September 15th, 2014, 00:12   #4
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Thumbs up Nice Job

Absolutely wonderful job.
I too used The Retrofit Source and he is a really helpful guy. I used a single low beam Mercedes E55 projector on my Passat and it work out nicely as the same manufacture made the Halogen Projector as the HID Projector...lol


Very nice job, looks perfect.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 11:02   #5
Lex4TDI4Life
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Well done. I hacked mine into a set of reflector housings. I should pick up a set of crappy projectors and do it right.
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Old September 25th, 2014, 19:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex4TDI4Life View Post
Well done. I hacked mine into a set of reflector housings. I should pick up a set of crappy projectors and do it right.
I kind of like the projector in reflector look. Here's my jetta. It's a heck of an upgrade. I'd also recommend installing the leveling motors with projectors. It's very nice being able to set the cutoff from the driver's seat.

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Old October 28th, 2014, 14:02   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smopoim86 View Post
I kind of like the projector in reflector look.
Makes me think of:



I posted some finished pics on my build thread.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 18:59   #8
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is the jetta hid reps the same as these headlights? does any one know
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 20:20   #9
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Good job on the retrofit. I missed this thread when I was doing research for my retrofit.
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Old September 11th, 2015, 17:58   #10
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Op- thank you for the amazing write up with pics! I have a jetty and too wonder if the HID replica headlights can have a projector swap done as smooth as you did. I've used TRS on my other retrofit (06' Maxima Bixenon in a Cherokee XJ) . They have great stuff.

B554ME- what silver rims are those in your avitar? Sick!!!!
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Old October 4th, 2015, 19:41   #11
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Thanks all. A year later and they're still working flawlessly. One of my favorite and most worthwhile mods.
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Old October 4th, 2015, 22:59   #12
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Output shots please!

Have you heard about the Mini H1 7.0 ?

It looks to be pretty outstanding....ETA 01/01/16

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

You might have to join Headlight Junkies on FB to see the pictures.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 12:45   #13
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I need to do my mine, as well.
Definitely want to see how the output looks. I need good ones for winter driving.
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