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Headlight Projector Retrofit (FX-R)

Clark0384

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Joined
September 23, 2009
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City, State
Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer XLT
Looking through the forum, I haven't seen much in the way of people retrofitting their headlights with projectors. It is a somewhat costly and time consuming project, but I've decided to do it. I've been driving with 5000K HIDs for the past few months and I'm not 100% satisfied with them, even after experimenting with the adjustments. It does put out more light output, but I just prefer it to be sharper and more precise.

Step 1 - Obviously buying the projectors. I went with www.retrofitsource.com and purchased the 35W Bi-Xenon FX-R Stage III Kit with the Philips 85122+ DS2 (4300K) bulbs and the Apollo Shrouds. I'm still waiting on the projectors, because when I ordered them, I specified RHD instead of LHD. If you drive on the right hand side of the road, get the LHD! It all has to do with the step pattern of the beam.

Step 2 - For extra assurance in case things go wrong, I bought a new pair of headlights, both left and right. It's another expensive step, but if at any time I have problems with the projectors or I'm forced to go back to original, I can always got back to the standard halogen. Since this project requires actually cutting in to the reflector, there's no turning back after that! Plus I found a cheap pair on eBay for $217.72.

Theretrofitsource.com instructions have you do all of the aligning and securing of the projectors without them in the vehicle and with ONLY epoxy. I think too many things can go wrong here, so I'm going to come up with some type of mounting bracket I can use. The main purpose for the bracket will be for the adjustment, so I can install the assembly in the vehicle, adjust it so I get a flat beam angle, tighten it down, then remove the assembly from the vehicle to epoxy and seal everything up permanently.

So the headlights just came in today and it got me thinking...since I have no practical need for the reflector, I want to get opinions on if I should paint it. I have a black 06 XLT, I'm thinking it would look pretty sick if I painted the housing black as well.

This is the project I'll be doing, so if there's any interest out there to see more, let me know and I'll take plenty of pictures and post step-by-step what I did.
 



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I'm considering the same mod so I will be looking for your step by step as well as pics!
 






wait, why did you get the RHD projectors?
 






wait, why did you get the RHD projectors?

I was reading through www.theretrofitsource.com buyers guide, and it mention in the United States, the standard is RHT (right hand traffic). So I used that and bought the RHD, thinking is was right hand driving, but instead it was made for LHT (left hand traffic). I could've saved some time and shipping costs had I called for clarification in the first place, but lesson learned.
 






Ah. Then just see if you can get the LHD cut off shields from them. It's always best to talk to those guys personally when you make an order by the way. They are real helpful and knowledgeable.
 






:popcorn:
 






I'm actually about to start the same project on my 92. I also did this on my VW last year. I considered doing the retrofit way but decided to save myself alot of money and get creative! I picked up 2 ballast from my local junkyard for $11 each. You don't need to but you can use a shroud and it helps keep it clean looking. Don't get the garbage HID kits from eBay! I went with a set from DDM Tunning http://www.ddmtuning.com//. Here's a little helpful page that gives you an idea of the processhttp://www.eurotuner.com/techarticles/160_0701_et_volkswagen_jetta_gli_hid_headlight_installation/. I hope this helps!
 






DISCLAIMER: This is simply the way I'm doing the project, if for whatever reason you do it the same way and something breaks, it's not my problem.

Here's my progress so far...

Disassembly of the headlight housing and painting idea came from buckflash on the following post http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259285&highlight=headlight. Like he mentions, check after 15 minutes and then every 5 after that. One headlight, I had come apart with ease after 15, the other took 20. After you pull it out, it will not take much pressure to move all 7 tabs out of the way. Other than that, find a corner and start prying. If it seems too difficult, I would suggest another 5 minutes in the oven. Once apart, there are 2 screws that need to be removed to further disassemble the lens cover.
 

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Then....

I had quite a bit of difficulty with this and it took some time to figure out. But I managed to remove the reflector from the housing, but it took some cutting. The cutting I did was simply an effort to preserve the reflector as much as possible without it cracking or breaking. I cut a hole in the rear of the housing to access a fastener (which you may be able to just pull on the reflector, but I wasn't going to take the chance). The other fastener is easily accessible without any cutting. Anyway, I just used a pair of pliers and some force to separate them.
 

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Next....

With the reflector in hand, you'll see a small screw in the rear of it that holds in that shield. Just remove that, and you should be able to just wiggle out the shield. This is all I've completed to date, unfortunately it may be a week and a half before I get to the bulk of it.

Also...I'm still debating on painting the actually reflector and shroud for the projectors black. Any opinions?
 

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I'm actually about to start the same project on my 92. I also did this on my VW last year. I considered doing the retrofit way but decided to save myself alot of money and get creative! I picked up 2 ballast from my local junkyard for $11 each. You don't need to but you can use a shroud and it helps keep it clean looking. Don't get the garbage HID kits from eBay! I went with a set from DDM Tunning http://www.ddmtuning.com//. Here's a little helpful page that gives you an idea of the processhttp://www.eurotuner.com/techarticles/160_0701_et_volkswagen_jetta_gli_hid_headlight_installation/. I hope this helps!

CREETIN,

I've thought about your route, but I feel much better about using a product with a warranty, customer support, etc., and hasn't been involved in an accident (which I'm assuming you bought from a wrecked Acura or what have you). From the research I've done, FX-Rs are comparable to the Acura TL's and I figured if I'm going to do this, I want new materials with the support since this is something I've never attempted before. Don't get me wrong, if you can tinker with them and they work just fine, more power to ya!

I'm actually using an HID kit from DDM Tuning right now. However, since I bought the FX-Rs, they require the D2S bulbs and not the H13 that I currently have in the Explorer. I've had no problems with it and a buddy of mine has been using them for 10+ years with no issues.
 






I would either paint it the body color of the explorer or go black.
 






After about a week delay, I should be finishing up the project this weekend. The cuts have been made and 1 projector is mounted on the reflector. The alignment and mounting of the other projector will be completed this weekend and hopefully I can finishing everything up. "How to" details to come after I'm finished, but below is a pic of the driver side projector mounted in the reflector.
 

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So I haven't forgotten to post the final project because well...it hasn't been finished yet. I made the mistake of going back on what I said about using bolts to mount the projectors and used epoxy instead because it seemed 'easier'. Well, indeed it was easier and I had it aligned when I initially mounted them, but when I removed the headlights, installed the lens, and remounted them, they were off a little and I couldn't stand it. Luckily I am using an extra set of headlights or I'd be screwed.

So here's where I'm at, I am going to cut the projectors out of the reflector housing this weekend, clean the epoxy off of everything, and look in to mounting them directly to the headlight assembly. I'll still install in the reflector, but it will more or less fit around the headlight. I'm going to use JnC's Method as a guide, but this is for mounting the projectors to the reflectors. I'll just have to experiment a bit this weekend, but I'll be sure to post info once I figure this out.
 






I've had brand new takeoff lights for my '06 LTD sitting in my garage in a box for years now as I've never gotten the motivation to pull the trigger on this project.

Thank you Clark0384 for posting your pictures.

My biggest question has been actually mounting and securing the projectors to the reflectors.
 






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