GOLFMK8
GOLFMK7
GOLFMK6
GOLFMKV
  • Has your username changed as part of the site merger and want it changed back? If the other version of your username isn't being used, send Gulfer a PM and we can probably fix it for you

OEM bi-xenon headlight updrage DIY

porpoise hork

Ready to race!
Location
Houston
This is an in progress DIY about improving the light output and beam of the factory bi-xenon headlights. It is a work in progreess and I will update it with better pics and more detail. But this contains the information you will need for doing this upgrade.

As we all know the beam pattern and cutoff of our factory headlights is less than optimal. There are a few low cost things you can do that can improve the light output and give you that loverly blue flicker you see on higher end HID setups.


Overall its relatively simple to do just a tad time consuming and you have to be willing to take your headlights partially apart.

Tools needed:
T-20 Torx bit
T-25 Torx bit
socket wrench and extension with correct size socket for the torx bits -or-
Thin shaft tool for torx bit (prefferable magnetic) (security tool bit set works well)
Painters tape
Rivet gun and small rivets (harbour freight special)
Dremmel tool with cut off wheel
Soft towel
Beer

(please note not all pictures are mine.)


First thing is to order an upgraded set of lenses from here. http://www.theretrofitsource.com/product_info.php?products_id=136 They are around $40.00 for a pair, so be sure to order only 1 set not 2, (unless you plan on doing two cars) cause they will send you 4 lenses if you put 2 in there. You can also order new bulbs from them if you want, and it will make it uber easy to put the new bulbs in as well.

Now on to the show.

First thing you have to do is to is turn on the lights and mark the top part of the main cutoff on the wall or garage door with painters tape. This will save you time when you are mounting the lights back up later on. I would also take several pics of the stock beam pattern at 50' so you can compare it to the new one when you get the upgrade done.



First thing is pull that front bumper off. There are plenty of DIY's on this so I wont go into detail. If you are still unsure check out this vid. It covers removal of the bumper and headlights from the car.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xduoa3_ecs-tuning-diy-vw-mkv-gti-headlight_auto

There are a couple things to note here. Most of us do not have a lift, so you do not need to disconnect any of the power connections from the bumper lights. All you have to do is set the bumper on the ground in front of the car. Also the headlight power cable is a bitch to unhook.

Once you have the lights out pop the back main access cover off and you will see the headlight internals.



You need to remove the ignitor, just give it a twist and it will pop free. The power wire will pop out on its own. Now gently disconnect the three wire solenoid power lead. You can also remove the bulb and locking ring at this time.

There are t-25 4 torx screws that mount the projector assembly to the headlight. 3 are easy to reach, the 4th is directly in front of the auto leveling motor. This is where you need that thin shaft torx bit tool to get that one out. I used the t-20 bit since the larger sixe kept popping out.

Once all 4 screws are out you can remove the projector assembly itself. You have to kind of work it from side to side but it will pop right out.



Now you can get to swapping out the lense. There are 4 t-20 torx screws that hold the lense cradle to the reflector bowl, remove them.



All three parts of the projector.



Time to put the new lenses in. On the cradle there are 5 tabs that are bent slightly inwards putting pressure on the metal ring that holds the lense in place. Take note where the ring was at, there is a notch in the cradle to align the lense. when you reassemble it make sure to line it all back up.



Bend them out of the way so the lense and ring can pop out. If you meet resistance set the assembly on the towel and push down on the cradle and the lense will pop free.

Slide the new lens in and line the notch up and work the ring in place. rebend the tabs to hold it all in place. Double check the lense to make sure it didnt shift out of position. If not clean those fingerprints off. If so twist it till its lined up. Now clean the lense.



On to the shield.

You don't have to mess with this part if you don't want to. If not skip to the reassembly. I would recommend you test the lights with the RV shield intact first to see if you are happy with it. If you do want to make an adjustment here you have a couple options. You can either grind the rivets out and remove the RV shield to flaten it out and rivet it back to the shield like this. I bent my driver shield in the process so be very careful cause it will give you a funky cutoff.



Or you can use the dremmel and cut off wheel and trim a 1/4" section off of the top and not mess with the rivets. This is what I ended up doing. (pic soon to come) I wouldnt reccomend bending the RV shield down like others have since the shield can bend too.


OK you're done with the mods, and its time to reassemble everything. at this point you can remove the shield adjuster screw but I would wait till you test them to see if you need to make adjustments to the lense position or the adjuster screw for sharpness and/or color.



Reassembly is easy just work the projector back in and reconnect everything. Now put the light back in the car. (special note) thereis this plastic tab that sits right in front of the bottom bolt hole that will piss you off. once the light is back in hook up power and test it. make sure it powers up and the solenoid works. here is where you also get the first indicator of if you will need to adjust the shield screw or not.




Repeat this process for the other headlight. When you are done with both use the painters tape you put on the wall or door to set the beam height back up when you are bolting everything back down.

After you get the car back together its time to test the cutoff at a 50' distance. This is the part that takes time, because you can make adjustments to the shield set screw but you might have to pull the lights back out and use washers to space the lense cradle further from the bowl as shown here.



With the newer ZKW-e lenses that have the notch in them you might not have to mess with this at all. Just keep in mind that the chance remains that you will depending on how sharp you want the cutoff to be at 50'. just be patient cause if you are not happy with the sharpness and the shield adjestment doesn't make it better and washers are needed you will have to pull the bumper and repeat the above steps to put them in and retest it.



This is a work in progress DIY and I will be updating it as I complete my setup.
 

m2ia719

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
NYC
Nice write up !!!

That is what I have been looking for, I have done retrofit on my honda beofre by using

TSX projector whcih is the 2nd best OEM projector. the cut off the light output just

much better than my GLI now....

I might just do a lens swap from TSX tonight, if the lens size are the same...

and the washer mod just have to try in error to adjust the cut off color and sharpness
 
Location
NC
very nice.

just a suggestion but for the optional part vs the meat of the DIY, i would specify what tools are required for just the lenses and what tools are needed to do the optional part. not that its THAT hard to figure out...its just handy.

just my $.02

nice write up :thumbsup:
 

porpoise hork

Ready to race!
Location
Houston
Sorry for the day in this thread, been uber busy at work.

I will update the thread with more/better pics refine the instructions and some before/afters later this week.

I had to wait on a replacement projector assembly for the drivers side. (shutter solenoid failed thanks to me accidentally hitting the coil winding with the dremmel) I will take some pics of it before I mod it and such.
 

TBunn122

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
SoCal
Ride
VW GTI
Waiting for the results as well. It really irks me when I see a bunch of cars out there with their stock projectors brighter than ours. So I want to know whether the difference in night time brightness and clarity is really worth all the effort involved.
 

porpoise hork

Ready to race!
Location
Houston
Sorry for the delay, I just havnt had time to get out and fiddle with this.

I have the spare projector shutter sitting on my desk annoying the crap out of me too. If things are not insane this friday I'll get it done then.
 

porpoise hork

Ready to race!
Location
Houston
I went messing with it lastnight and it appears that my jacked cutoff issue wasnt entierly my shutter, although the new one did make it a little better. The problem is I got a bad lens from The Retrofit Source.


The cutoff itself is better but makes this unusual upward curve on both ends. I tried repositioning the lens and spacing it out with washers and never got any better. When I swaped out the stock lense it goes away and I have a perfectly flat stepped cutoff.. So I emailed them about it and it appears that they had a batch of lenses that were improperly ground and this is the issue. So I have to send it back so they can send a replacement lens.


Im also toying with making a custom cutoff shield and attach it to the stock shield. The stock shield does have a slight slope to it on the ends and I want a perfectly flat beam to the step. So im going to get some flashing material from Lowe's and work on that while I wait for the replacement lens to show up.
 

m2ia719

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
NYC
I did the same thing and got the same result, the end of the cut off are not even close to stock. I thought the result was cause by the cut off shield, but found out today is the retrofit lens...that was interesting...and retrofit resource actually willing to give you a replacement?
 

stampsosu

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Westerville, OH
Ride
Jetta MK6
I've been following this thread and just received my second set of lenses from retrosource. The first lenses were a tad larger than my stock lens and one of the lenses had clear inconsistencies in the glass. They sent me one replacement which actually was identical in size to my stock lens. I sent all three back (the defective one which was larger than stock, the okay larger one, and the one that was identical in size to my stock - just to use as a model). They sent me two replacements, and they are not the same size :) But i figure I can sand down the larger one to make it work. But i might see if they'll send me another one.

Before I sent them back, i did install them and the clear lenses make a huge difference in light output. Those oem stock muddy lenses must be blocking about 20-30% of the light :)
 

Tr!tan!um

Schnellen geher!
Location
AlAbAmA
Ride
2008 GTI, white
Props to the OP for taking on such a task. The output of my OEMs have been driving me insane since I got my car. What's worse is that my dad's CC has the adaptive HIDs with the most beautiful, crisp, and clean light cutoff and pattern - it makes me jealous every time I see it. I wonder how hard it would be to adapt some CC parts into a GTI housing...
 

porpoise hork

Ready to race!
Location
Houston
Sorry for the delay in updating this thread. I work in retail and with the holidays I have been pulling 15 hour days for the last week and a half. Once things return to normal I will be able to get out and get those before and after pics along with an updated cutoff shield I have been working with.
 

Cumulonimbus

Ready to race!
Location
12 000 feet up
Put the clear lenses from retrofit source in lastnight - the cutoff is very sharp after.

I bought the premium lenses and they were the exact size as OEM and had the notch in them.

The beam pattern is wider too - really gives a cool effect while driving at night. The actual look of the projector while on has more colour in it too which is neat.

Worthwhile mod - sharp cutoff and more light output.
 
Top