Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cheap Angel Eye install

Well I decided to take the plunge and get some angel eyes installed on my car, but being a cheep-ass I couldn't buy one of the kits for 100-200$ and I definitely wanted LED not ccfl angel eyes. Both for the look and what I have heard is the finicky nature of the ccfl's in cold weather and vibration. This write up will work best if you are working on a face-lifted 04-06 coupe. Anyway what I found was some universal "Try-Me typeR lights"

Looks promising ehh? Well if they were crap I was out 20 bucks for 4 110mm 36 SMD led halo's

Actually VERY bright when I hooked em up, I was pleased. This picture is in a lit garage, the brightness just made the camera darken the whole image. I tested all of the lights before I started any disassembly since the halo's came on a slow boat from Hong Kong and I didn't want to tear into anything if they didn't all work. There were a couple small issues. First the gauge of the wires was TINY. When I was test fitting one of the wires broke off. 
Out came the soldering torch and some better wire, I only did this to the one where the wire came off. After this I also glued all the wires down the the back of the angel eyes for about half an inch with the same glue 3m emblem adhesive glue. This took the stress off weak soldered joint and onto the stronger coated wire. Honestly if I wasn't messing with it so much it would have probably been fine but if I did it again I would glue it down before I started messing with it. 
On to disassembly, The screws to take the headlight out are marked by red arrows, the hardest one to get to is the right lowest one. You have to use a long extension and stick it in between the light and frame. On the drivers side you may have to take the airbox off to get to one screw, I have a cone filter however so I was fine. Lights aren't quite ready to get out yet.
First push this clip in then pull it out
Then on the other side there is a slot to stick a screwdriver into make sure to put something between it and the paint. 

Here you can see exactly where the screwdriver needs to needs to be pushed into. After you do this the light should slide out, if you have headlight washers you have to finagle it out around this trim piece while pulling the trim piece away from the car, should be easier without headlight washers. Also there will be some electrical connectors on the back of the headlight that need removed, there were 5 on my car with bi-xenons. All you have to do is squeeze them and they will pull off. Once they are out you can start the dissasembly of the headlight
 Turn signal come out with a twist
There are 2 screws per headlight that are a torx bit which need removed

Here is the other one, I also took the vent tubes off

And a rubber piece
Finally the ballasts on the bottom of the headlight, 3 torx heads a piece
And then this is what they look like. After that you are ready to put them in the oven and bake 15min at 250 degrees. Yup, you have to bake them to get the adhesive to turn goey again. This is an opportune time to get a WTF look from your significant other when they ask you what you are baking in the kitchen. This really isn't as bad as it sounds, intimidating but nothing on the headlight was anywhere near melting other then the glue. There are some clips (of which I broke most) which really don't seem needed after the glue sets. Unclip these and move around the headlight with a Flathead screwdriver taking the clear and black pieces slowly apart. I forgot to take pictures through this process but after it is apart there are 3 screws inside the clear portion of the headlight holding the turn signal and headlight inner surround in. I took the clear corners off and did a quick mist with some Nightshades (available at any autoparts store) spray to smoke the corners. If you want more of a smoke and less of a blackout use Testors tint model paint. If you use the Testors use VERY light coats and let them dry in between otherwise it will run/clump. You can find the Testors in hobby stores. 
 And Voila!

Clipped back into the turn signal housing, lovely!
On to the other part of the equation, here is the headlight inner surround, we got some work to do in here as well, first we need to remove the chrome rings, only the one around the xenon will be reused.
You can see the tabs here you have to push in to pop the surrounds out. I sprayed the xenon surround with the VHT nightshades as well for a smoked chrome look. I like the Testors better for this application, you can control how dark it gets much better.
Now the Halo's are ready to be glued in, for the halogen light surround I had to do a bit of cutting with a dremel to make the rings fit in, I did this on the top of the opening, just enough so the circuit board can pop through to the backside. If I were to do this again, I would probably get the 100mm instead of the 110mm rings as both could be a little bit smaller. 

You can see around the top where the arrow is pointing, right above this is what needs trimmed. It should snap in and stay put but I used the 3m emblem adhesive in the channel behind it just in case. For the Xenon side I simply glued it around the opening. After all this dried up I clipped the now dry Xenon surround back in and re-assebled the entire light. Make sure you allow enough time for everything to dry well. The wiring for the angel eyes was straightforward enough, I wired them both together then drilled a small hole snake the wires out the back of the headlight. After that I tapped them into my fog lights so I could turn them on and off, some tap them into running lights etc, I will probably eventually switch the wiring but this is good for now.

Before/After pictures! When I can get a good picture of them on I will post it, but they are horribly hard to photograph well. (edit: quick pic above) Overall I am very happy with them, they are bright enough where you can see them in the reflections of cars in front of you. Looks like I need to buff out my headlights! If you want a smooth look these aren't for you as you can see the individual leds however I really like the look they give. 

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