Mini Bixenons in my New Beetle!

schwarze Käfer

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2003 New Beetle GLS 5spd
New Beetle Bixenon Retrofit!

Mini H1 Bi-xenon Projectors in my New Beetle




After 3 full days of fooling with it, I finally came up with a mounting bracket design that allows relatively easy installation of Mini H1 HID Bixenon projectors into a New Beetle headlight housing!

No cutting of the headlight housing - the stock adjusters work - and no rewiring! (Unless you put in headlight motors, which I haven't done, yet.)
However, it works just fine without the range adjusting motors.

You do have to dissassemble the headlight, remove the stock headlight reflector from it's carrier and replace it with the mounting bracket which will hold the mini h1 bixenon projector. (4 screws)

I've repeatedly worked with 1 headlight until I got the design right, so today I'll do the other and take loads of pics.
As soon as possible, I'll post a how to, with pics, of course.

I'll also need to come up with a way to post the bracket design where it's printable to scale. Chime in with your suggestions on an easy method of posting the bracket to scale. The geometry of the bracket is critical to the projector alignment.

I've made my brackets out of sheet aluminum. The only tools you'll need to cut your bracket will be tin snips, drill, (or dremel), and a few bits.

This should work out to be a 2-3 hour mod, for around $200, total.

If you have a Beetle and want to do this mod, bear with me. I'll get this posted A.S.A.P.
 
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schwarze Käfer

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I'm a little jealous. Good work!
Thanks! It was definitely worth it.
I previously had HID's in the stock lowbeam projectors, which were a big improvement over halogen. Problem was, it rendered the high beams virtually worthless. As the lowbeams stay on with the highs, it almost totally washed out the high beams. Not anymore!

These projectors are awesome. As time allows, I'm putting together a how-to and as soon as possible I'll post it. Here's a few teaser pics of the process.



Projector mounted into homemade mounting bracket (or plate) showing bixenon solenoid wires routed throught the bracket. Homemade bracket is mounted onto original reflector carrier.





Projector/bracket/carrier assembly installed into headlight housing (simply snaps in place).
(projector shroud also installed over projector)

 
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schwarze Käfer

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Got a bit of tweaking to do. As a temporary measure, I used a tail light bulb in place of a resistor for the high beam circuit. Without enough load, the high beam relay doesn't release. I've ordered some 10 watt resistors - one or two should do. I also have one projector that is slightly out of focus at the cutoff line. Purely aesthetic, doesn't effect performance, but I tend to be a stickler...

Here's a couple of poor night/evening shots. Will try and get better pics tonight, along with beam pattern shots.




 
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K.I.T.T.

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I think it'd look even better if you cut up some stock reflector housings so the sit between the projectors and the non-reflective bits of the lamp. Ie, fill up the void left by removing the stock reflectors.

Ash :)
 

schwarze Käfer

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I think it'd look even better if you cut up some stock reflector housings so the sit between the projectors and the non-reflective bits of the lamp. Ie, fill up the void left by removing the stock reflectors.

Ash :)
Yeah, I agree. I tried that with one reflector... Frankenfoobarred ... LOL!
It was so bad I had to bury it in the backyard... after I set it on fire!
{edit... Ok, I didn't literally set it on fire, and I don't think it can burn, but it's nasty stuff when cut on... kinda like old fashioned bakelite, but white instead of black}
I don't know what they make the reflector out of, but I think it would be safer and easier to work with plutonium! :eek:

I've got a few things I'm thinking of trying, but overall, I'm very pleased with the results - namely the performance. I've never liked my bug's light output, until now!
 
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schwarze Käfer

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Where did you get those shrouds?
Place called Sports Auto Tech off Ebay. (sportsautotech365)
Projector & Shrouds (I paid $120 + $11.99 shipping few weeks ago)
Ebay Item # 190541533269

I was planning on ordering from The Retrofit Source (TRS), due to their stellar reputation. However, they were closed at the time due to moving to a new location. I believe they're back open now.

TRS has the shrouds alone, call them Mini Clubman Replicas
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/product_info.php?cPath=30&products_id=1355

I chose those shrouds mainly due to their size. I wanted something that would fit & fill as much of the housing as possible.

Here's an ebay item # (shroud alone, but sounds damaged)
Search Item # 400231610756 on ebay
 

Lex4TDI4Life

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Wow, I havent been paying attention to their selection lately.

I just buttoned up my Mini D2S retro. It needs some rotational adjustment, but I am generally happy. Of course, I am now diving in to my next retro: RX350 Bi-Xenons :D
 

F8L

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Very nice work!

I used the Morimoto mini D2S in my Prius. They screwed right into my housings without cutting. Unfortunately I didn't seal the rear well enough and the inside of the housing lenses are gunked up. I am considering changing the minis out for the FX-R. The minis are much better than my oem HIDs but they are not bright enough for me.

Do you have any output shots?
 

schwarze Käfer

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Sorry for the quality, but here goes.

Lowbeams



Highbeams


I've got a bit of adjustment left to do- couple of degrees of rotational on the drivers side, too.

If you get the FX-Rs, let me know how they work.
I chickened out & opted for the Minis, but now I think I might be able to just squeeze 'em in! :D
 
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F8L

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Nice shots. I don't have a good camera for night shots so my output pictures are really bad.

Here is a wall shot with the Mini D2S, 55w ballasts and the Osram 66240 4100K bulb


The bottom whiter light is from the Blazer foglights with 5000K bulbs. I swear they are brighter than my minis lol


The headlight before it got gunked up


Yours looks so much cleaner. I'm jealous!

The FX-R has much better output but it is huge compared to the mini and with all of the cutting involved I chickened out. :)
 

schwarze Käfer

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Nice shots. I don't have a good camera for night shots so my output pictures are really bad.

< snip >
Yours looks so much cleaner. I'm jealous!

The FX-R has much better output but it is huge compared to the mini and with all of the cutting involved I chickened out. :)

I hear ya on the camera work at night! I'm having trouble, too.

Yeah, FX-Rs in the beetle would really be pushing it. Could probably be done, but it'd be alot more headaches, for sure.

Don't be jealous, your's looks great! I'm jealous of your output!
I'm just hoping I can get mine as square and level as yours!
I may have to redesign my mount for easy rotational adjustment.

Love your Blazers. I've thought about modding my fogs with Micro DEs or Blazers, as they are worthless to me, as stock.
 

cevans

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THOSE LOOK AWESOME!

If you post the bracket design I we can make some on a water jet.
 

F8L

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I hear ya on the camera work at night! I'm having trouble, too.

Yeah, FX-Rs in the beetle would really be pushing it. Could probably be done, but it'd be alot more headaches, for sure.

Don't be jealous, your's looks great! I'm jealous of your output!
I'm just hoping I can get mine as square and level as yours!
I may have to redesign my mount for easy rotational adjustment.

Love your Blazers. I've thought about modding my fogs with Micro DEs or Blazers, as they are worthless to me, as stock.
I see you had to use the mounting bolts so that makes it difficult to rotate them. I screwed mine in so it's a simple matter of twisting the projector. Can you cut small slots (elongate the bolt holes) and rotate the projector that way?
 

schwarze Käfer

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THOSE LOOK AWESOME!

If you post the bracket design I we can make some on a water jet.
Thanks!

I will do that. Just let me finalize the design. I need to allow for easy rotational adjustment. Give me a week or two and I'll get ahold of you. I tend to think alot of bug drivers may want to do this, if it's easy and inexpensive.

Cutting a bracket with hand tools is doable, but difficult to get precision. I think your water jet would be the way to go.

BTW, the bracket/mounting plate for left and right sides are identical, you just flip it over to use on the other side.
 
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schwarze Käfer

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I see you had to use the mounting bolts so that makes it difficult to rotate them. I screwed mine in so it's a simple matter of twisting the projector. Can you cut small slots (elongate the bolt holes) and rotate the projector that way?
Yep, you're on the money. I've thought about slots and also a smaller plate that holds the projector (which could rotate) mounted onto the larger plate, with just a couple of screws.

On the bug, the headlights are a PITA, 'cause you have to remove and disassemble to adjust rotationally. Anything that makes that process easier is the way to go.

I like cevans idea of the water jet. If we can get the design down pat, it'd sure make it easy for folks to do a retrofit.
 

schwarze Käfer

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schwarze Käfer

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Update

Hey all, got a few updates to post. I've been playing with methods of rotational adjustment of the projector. In doing so, I've slotted the bracket (mounting plate) in order to perform an adjustment. While this will allow a rotational adjustment to be made, it's not an easy process, yet...
I'm looking at changing the method of attachment of the bracket to the carrier to simplify the process and make it much easier.

Mounting Plate (bracket) with slots cut to allow for rotational adjustment.


I've also ditched using plastic tubing for projector standoffs in favor of cut to length copper tubing. The plastic won't take the heat. I'm looking for sources of inexpensive metal bushings as cutting the copper tubing is time consuming (and a PITA). Standoffs are necessary to elevate the projector to the proper height for the particular shroud that I'm using.


Also, my resistors have arrived. I rigged some mounting brackets for them out of aluminum sheet and mounted them in the headlights. I've also ordered some of the resistors, (aluminum clad with mounting holes), that many retrofitters use. When they get here, I'll check them out so that I can report which are best (and easiest) to use.

Resistors Mounted. As they can get hot, I mounted them so they won't cause any problems.


And finally, a shot showing the process of rotational adjustment of the projector. Still working to make this an easy, diy'er process.
 

F8L

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Thanks for posting the pictures. It helps to better define what it is you are doing.

I'm going to bite the bullet and retrofit the FX-Rs but I'm so worried about getting the rotation right before I have to JB Weld the unit together. :eek:

You might want to consider adding a tiny bit of glue to hold the shroud on. Mine popped off after hitting a large bump in the road.
 

Lex4TDI4Life

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@F8L. I get squeamish when people mention JB weld in their retros. Do you really find it necessary? Wouldn't an adjustable set up like the one above work but nuts, bolts and washers and a little blue loctite?

@schwarze Käfer - Looks good. This has inspired me to make my own brackets for my next Golf retro (RX350 bi-xenons). I hope to get these done by the end of the month. I will definitely post picks.

I am a bit confused on why you need the resistors, however. Would this explain why my high-beams aren't triggering?
 

schwarze Käfer

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@ Lex4TDI4Life I am a bit confused on why you need the resistors, however. Would this explain why my high-beams aren't triggering?

On the beetle, the high beams will trigger without a resistor, but the relay for the high beams won't release without enough load (resistance). Without a resistor, the only way to turn off the high beams is to completely turn off the lights.

Your car may have a current sensing feature, or the high beam circuit may not be complete without a bulb in place. You might try placing a resistor in the circuit in place of the high beam bulb, such as a 50watt 8 ohm resistor.

Good luck with your 350's. I wanna see pics when you're done!
 
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schwarze Käfer

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Thanks for posting the pictures. It helps to better define what it is you are doing.

I'm going to bite the bullet and retrofit the FX-Rs but I'm so worried about getting the rotation right before I have to JB Weld the unit together. :eek:

You might want to consider adding a tiny bit of glue to hold the shroud on. Mine popped off after hitting a large bump in the road.
You're welcome! I'm really enjoying my retrofit and even moreso by sharing!

When I'm done fiddling with them I may use a dab of silicone on the inside of shrouds. With silicone, I'll still be able to pull them apart without much trouble. Plus, silicone comes off cleanly, with little effort.

Good luck with the FX-Rs!
 

Lex4TDI4Life

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You're welcome! I'm really enjoying my retrofit and even moreso by sharing!

When I'm done fiddling with them I may use a dab of silicone on the inside of shrouds. With silicone, I'll still be able to pull them apart without much trouble. Plus, silicone comes off cleanly, with little effort.

Good luck with the FX-Rs!
To hit an oft-stated fact with retros: do not use silicone to seal or adhere anything in your retro. As it cures, silicone can and will cause some fogging on the inside of your lenses. Your best bet, even to attach the shrouds, is butyl tape. I used this stuff with good results. http://www.amazon.com/3M-08612-Wind..._1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1313613966&sr=1-1
 

schwarze Käfer

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To hit an oft-stated fact with retros: do not use silicone to seal or adhere anything in your retro. As it cures, silicone can and will cause some fogging on the inside of your lenses. Your best bet, even to attach the shrouds, is butyl tape. I used this stuff with good results.
Glad you mentioned that. However, on the beetle headlights, you can use it if you leave the outer lens off till after it cures. :) But, the butyl tape is probably a better idea!
 

schwarze Käfer

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I'm going to bite the bullet and retrofit the FX-Rs but I'm so worried about getting the rotation right before I have to JB Weld the unit together. :eek:
Ugh, rotational adjustment. That's the only issue I have holding me back from finalizing the bracket design & posting a how-to.

What I'm shooting for is the ability to perform a rotational adjustment by simply loosening a couple of screws from the from front while the headlight housing is sitting in the car, before the final buttoning up.


A few simple changes to the method of attachment of the bracket to the carrier should take care of the problem.

At least on the bug, the headlight lens simply snaps in place! :)
 
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