TeamCapri

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

If you've registered make sure emails from TeamCapri are not landing in your spam folder!

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: The past, present and future of my lights  (Read 5132 times)

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
The past, present and future of my lights
« on: January 15, 2016, 07:45:10 PM »

One of my main complaints with the Capri has always been the headlights. I love popup headlights, but the stock sealed beam halogens are “craptastic” at best in my opinion. Here’s a pic of the stock halogen headlamp.

The beam pattern is ok, but they are really dim. I really wish my phone's camera had the ability to disable the auto shutter speed so the pictures would all have the same exposure level, but if it did you wouldn't see as much in this pic. This pic was pretty hard to get a decent clear and sharp pic due to the shutter speed going so slow (3-4 seconds).


Over the years I have upgraded my headlight a couple of times. The first time was way back when I first bought the car back in 2000. I got a diamond euro H4 kit off ebay with some terrible blue coated bulbs.

I really do like the way they looked……..that is until you turned them on and saw how dim and narrow the beamed was.  Thankfully I only paid $40 for them.


In 2007, both bulbs low beam elements went out and eventually one of the high beams finally died too.  I literally drove with just my high beams on and I rarely ever got flashed…which just goes to show how dim they were.
At this point, plug and play H4 Hid kits finally cost less than a $100. So I decided to upgrade the $hitty blue tinted bulbs to some nice and bright 4K Hids.

I really like the pure white light, unfortunately the beam was still narrow and the amount of glare they produced to oncoming traffic caused me to get flashed constantly. Looking at the pic above, there is a lot of glaring bright light above the hotspot. The glare is worse then what the picture shows due to the camera auto shutte speed adjusting brightness levels. I never realized how bad it was to other drivers  until my wife said she was completely blinded by them one night when I drove past her.
The second issue I noticed was when I was driving down the freeway and  cars next to me with regular old halogen reflector headlights would still throw a beam farther than my hids did.

After 6 years the passenger side ballast failed (water got inside and shorted it out).   With a little luck, the local store had a clearance sale on the old 4x6 halogens for just $2 a lamp. So I bought one and put it in the passenger side while I still had the blinding hid in the driver’s side.  It looked so ghetto for the remaining two summer months I drove in 2013…LOL


In the spring of 2014, I decided I needed to do a proper headlight conversion before I put the car back on the road again.  I no longer wanted to be that a$$hole with the blinding lights or suffer with dim unsafe headlights that I can outrun a 80mph.

So my search began and finally ended when I found these.

The Morimoto Micro H1 Bi-xenon projector, it’s one of the smallest projectors that I could find. The lens is 46mm (1.8”) wide and the total length of only 102mm (4”). Now I just had to find a way to mount them.

I decided the best way to proceed with this project was to sacrifice my ebay diamond euro’s.

Taking them apart was pretty easy. First I put them in the oven for 6 mins @ 225 degrees, then I was able to pull the front glass off with just an oven mit and the internal reflector/bulb holder was held to the back with 4 screws.

The next step was to find a way to securely mount them inside the conversion lamp housings. After some time of rummaging through some scrape steel and aluminum that was lying around. I found a piece of 3 inch aluminum pipe that snugly fit over the back side of lamp housing where the rubber boot seal use to go. I then cut some sheet aluminum into small squares and drilled two holes into it.

 If my memory serves me right, the large hole is 13/16’ to fit the mounting shaft of the projector and the smaller hole is ¼’ for the grommet where the high beam shutter wires run out of it. I welded the two pieces together and ground it down to form a cap for the back of my H4 housings. Then it was just a matter of pressing the cap onto the housing, threading the projector’s mounting shaft through the cap, and rebaking the front lens back on.



Fully assembled and ready to be installed.

Here’s a pic of it sitting next to a sealed 4x6.

I was initially a little worried that it might not fit when I compared the length of the old vs new light. My worries were laid to rest when I was able to install and fully adjust them just fine.

So now it’s time to see how the new projector compared to the sealed beam lamp when you're on the road.

The pic on the left is the micro H1 with a 6K bulb installed on the driver side. The right pic is the sealed beam in the passenger side.

Here’s a pic of my car with both of them installed.



And of course, one last pic to show my current low and high beams against the garage door.

Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 07:47:25 PM »

Reserved for future upgrades... ;)
------------------------------------------
As for the stock fog lights, they are completely worthless.

I literarily can’t tell any difference what so ever when the fog lights are on or off from the driver’s seat…LOL. So I’m not too sure with what I will do to them yet or if I’ll even keep them.


In the summer of 2015, when I was buying another pair of micro H1’s for my caddy’s hi beam retrofit. I decided to also buy a pair of the larger 2.5" generic mini H1s. They were only $30 a pair shipped from AliExpress and I figured for that price, why not get them. I always wanted to see how good they really were and if I could make them fit in my Capri or in the Probe.

To test the mini’s output, I took a piece of angle iron and drilled a hole in one side to make a quick stand that could be set on top of the radiator support. By doing this, I was able to position the light roughly the same height as the stock lights for a decent comparison.
Here’s the mini’s low beam shot with a 4K bulb against the garage door.

OMG!!! Look at that hotspot, it’s beautiful.

Here’s some comparison shots down my driveway.
First the passenger side halogen, left pic is low beam and the right is the high beam.



Next is a comparison of the low beams, the  driver side’s micro h1 with a 6K bulb in the left pic and on the right pic is the mini h1 with a 4K bulb.

After seeing this, I knew I needed to find a way to get the bigger and better Mini H1 installed. The output of the Mini is wider and throws the light way further out too.
The micro’s with the 6K bulbs have too much blue tint, the hotspot is still too narrow for my taste, and the amount of foreground light in front of the car is excessive compared to the Mini’s output.

Now that I’ve decided that I wanted the larger mini H1s for headlight, I just have to find a way to make them fit.
My first thought was to modify the lift linkage so the headlight would only rise up 4-5 inches instead of the 7.5 inches giving them a sexier low profile look.  My thoughts originally were that by lowering the popup height I could gain some length by extending the projector forward. Then try to find a way to retrofit the mini and the micro into the headlight bucket to create a quad bi-xenon setup using the mini as the main beam and the micro as a fog light/aux high beam.

Unfortunately I found a few issues with this approach.
The first issue is by lowering the popup height; you’ll also lower the projector low beam cutoff to about 26 inches from the ground.  A 26 inch cutoff height doesn’t meet the minimum legal headlamp height in some states, but I doubt a cop would ever check.   
The another problem was when you have such a low and well defined cutoff, you’ll see a monetarily shorted cutoff distance become much more affected by going over large bumps and when you approach inclines(lower the cutoff mean less ability for them to cope with uneven road).

The biggest issue was when you lower the popups, you do gain about a half inch of length on the outsides and over an inch on the insides at the front of each light. That is until you factor in the new lower location of the projector and that when you lower the popup, the rear of the headlight assembly moves down very little. My first thought was to just cut that section of the assembly out to make more room for the projectors. As I studied the headlight assembly, I realized that if I cut this section off, I would be essentially cutting the hinge off.

So I’ve decided that the lights should  raise up to the full open position if you’re trying to retrofit projectors for ease of installation and for best performance.


« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 10:55:27 AM by chrispoe »
Logged

ianj

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2016, 07:09:47 AM »

Thank you for your informative article.
Logged

greywolf27030

  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
    • 88 Festiva, 91 Capri, 91 XR2
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2016, 10:50:28 AM »

excellent, I'm jealous.

Jack
Logged

Chicken

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2016, 12:01:35 PM »

YAY!

And Props to you for an excellent write up.
Logged

If you heard it from an automotive forum, get a second, and third opinion.

Rocketman

  • Administrator
  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5077
    • 91 BPT AWD Capri & 1991 XR2
    • http://www.werbatfik.com
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2016, 10:59:08 PM »

This is amazing. I googled the name, they pop up as foglight projectors? Obviously they perform quite well.

Where can I find these, and what cost would I be looking at?

Excellent work!
Logged
1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 12:55:03 PM »

This is amazing. I googled the name, they pop up as foglight projectors? Obviously they perform quite well.

Where can I find these, and what cost would I be looking at?

Excellent work!

The morimoto micro H1 projectors are fog lights, but they’re unique since they have the bi-xenon shutter too. I got mine from here:
https://www.theretrofitsource.com/components/projectors/morimoto-matchbox-bi-xenon-fog-light-projectors.html#.Vp5hXE_XrOU

I see that they’ve been renamed as Matchbox 2.0 and the cost has gone up to $120 on their website. From what I have also gathered at Hidplanet, they are nearly identical to the original micro H1 except they no longer have a step in the middle of the low beam cutoff which would make them harder to aim parallel to each other.

I paid $110+S&H for my first pair of micro H1s two years ago for my capri, and I bought a second pair for my Cadillac’s hi beam upgrade this past summer for only $37 from:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-0-Mini-H1-Smallest-HID-Bi-xenon-Headlight-Projector-Lens-Mini-Gatling-Gun-Shrouds-LHD/32225214237.html
The ones direct from china are exactly identical to the original micro H1s theretrofitsource.com use to have.


They’re defiantly a nice upgrade. They throw light further down the road and they have a nice sharp cutoff so I no longer get flashed by oncoming cars. Plus having the sharp cutoff makes driving in fog and rain a lot easier due to the fact there’s virtually no light scatter above the cutoff that reflects back into your face.

But, I’m no longer satisfied by them. They’re not as good as my Cadillac’s stock hids and I feel…I know I can make these headlights even better.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 12:56:44 PM by chrispoe »
Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 09:43:58 AM »

I had off work this weekend so I had some time to work on my lights and to start updating the second post.
In the last week, I’ve thought over the headlight fitment issue and came to the conclusion that it would be easier to just build the light assembly from scratch.

So here’s my new light (all the pieces are aluminum to keep weight down)

Some assembly required…LOL

Step one: machine hole and corners of the front plate
Step two: drill and tap the ends of the legs for mounting the projector
Step three: jig projector legs and corner spacers to front plate and weld

The mini vs the halogen compared

The mini projector with bulb measures almost 7 inches long, over 3 inches longer then the sealed halogen.

Step four: weld a shroud on


Step five: test fitment


All that’s left to do is get some acrylic to cut out a front lens and figure out what to do about the front. I am still undecided whether I should just polish the aluminum, paint it black, or maybe I should paint them the same color as the car.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 09:56:47 AM by chrispoe »
Logged

greywolf27030

  • Old-Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
    • 88 Festiva, 91 Capri, 91 XR2
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 10:24:33 AM »

I love to see great skills at work.

Jack
Logged

mitch1204

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
    • 1991 Mercury Capri NA Auto/ 1994 Mercury Capri NA
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 11:32:54 AM »

That looks good. Maybe add some clear Club Sprint side lenses?
When are you starting production?  8)
Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 09:55:35 AM »

When am I starting production?...  My wife said the exact same thing when she saw them…LOL
Might have to think that one over, I’m sure there’s a lot of people with cars that use the 4x6 lights looking for an easy plug and play projector solution.

I’ve thought about buying a pair of the clear corners, but I don’t think they’re worth $100.
Plus the amber corners IMHO look better then the clear ones when paired with the original style taillights.

The next thing I plan to upgrade after the headlights are the front turn/park lights and the corner maker lights.  I just received the led light strips yesterday so the park light will color match the headlights and the corner marker will be also used as a turn signal.
Logged

Gaz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
  • Do no harm, take no sh!t.
    • 92 XR2, 96 Outback, 77 KZ650
    • Saint Cloud Exhaust
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 10:02:01 PM »

Making me rethink my static headlights....
Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 11:57:20 AM »

Haven’t had much free time to work on my lights due to the excessive overtime at work, so progress has been slower than I would like.
I cut, drilled, and welded the parts for the passenger side light together.  Just need to paint it to match the driver side and buy some acrylic that’s thinner then the quarter inch stuff I had on hand. The quarter inch thickness only allows the four screws that hold the light’s retaining ring to only be threaded in partially. In order to get the screws fully in I would have to grind down the rear mounting spacers or use some thinner and clearer 1/16” acrylic. I’m opting for the second option.

So here’s a pic of the old micro in the passenger side vs the new mini in the driver’s side.


When I painted the front of the headlight plate black, I left a quarter inch ring of silver around the projector lens. I feel this really helps highlight the projector retrofit and makes them stand out.
Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2016, 11:39:44 PM »


Awesome, any chance you could make me a pair of those 3 inch projector frames to plug in... they look awesome.

I decided to post the reply here, it seems more fitting.

I’ve had quite a few people ask now if I could make them a set of these for them. Unfortunately the amount of time and effort to make these is tedious. My first set of 2.5 inchers took about 40 hours to complete and were nowhere near as nice as these. I  ended up selling them a few months ago at a swap for $300.

Now since I have the jigs and cnc programmed/ tooled, I’ve been able to cut the turn around time for each set/revision down to around 12 hours now.  There’s still 12 pieces of aluminum that have to be cut, machined,  welded, buffed, and painted. Plus the front lens is made by hand with a heat gun that’s completely formed all the way around so the sealant is applied to rear edge so it wouldn’t be visible. These are very labor intensive still.

I’m hoping with my new design, I should be able to cut the time per set down to under 6 hours or at least that’s my goal. The new design will consist of half as many parts and should allow for rotational adjustment too.
Logged

chrispoe

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 396
    • 91 BP Capri GT
Re: The past, present and future of my lights
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 11:47:28 PM »

So why cant you just use similar style 3inch headlights?
 ive seen quite a few on Ebay for cheap, ive been thinking of getting some to test them.

Ummmm… not sure if I follow, you still need a way to mount and seal the projector.
These new lights are using projectors similar to these.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-0-LHD-Mini-Bi-xenon-Projector-HID-Lens-Clear-Headlight-Shroud-Kit-H1-H4-H7-2-/281968616296?hash=item41a6a3a368:g:AAEAAOSwu1VW6Mdd&vxp=mtr
Logged
Pages: [1] 2