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bdutton

4th Gen Projector Retrofit

 

I had a few extra bucks from doing some overtime two weeks ago so I decided to order the Motocycle: Stage 2 Dual kit from www.theretrofitsource.com. This will be my build and install write up thread.

 

The kit includes two bi-xenon Morimoto Mini H1 LHD 7.0 projectors, two H1 XB 4500K bulbs, 1 H4 dual output harness, two 35 watt Morimoto XB35 ballasts (plus the Amp igniters), two Mini Gatling Gun shrouds and 1 package of black RetroRubber headlight sealant.

 

I will be making a new lens out of acrylic for the headlight since projectors and fluted glass don't mix. I will include that process here as well.

 

Pictures in order of which they were removed from the box. Everything looks to be amazing quality. The harness pieces all snap together with an audible click so you know it's fully seated. The last picture is everything laid out so I can figure where everything goes. It's going to be interesting figuring out where to hide all this additional wiring!

 

Thanks for looking!c4720e432955c61e04d2be04deb90a2a.jpgc1833eeda885222095466650d28c79a5.jpgca9e96baa100127eac08cb3ada63a011.jpg6a55ef75d4b5d573aa99411e0717d79f.jpg494031fdb8ee507eb37e2319f5501455.jpgccb0147a00fd97b9d03dc6509196e627.jpg924f4ac6649337a68da62ad733c825d0.jpg121e1bfafbce19344eba43f7dd3762e7.jpg5b7747a691d2a559ecea4c5560e67be9.jpg43ba2dc7289f15831cf3b06c2b2bd60c.jpg

 

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Hit my first snag of this project... The h4 lock ring included with the kit is a different pattern than the factory Honda bulbs15752178d9e2a7f07a1294438ee08fd0.jpg

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They are different, you have to trim the two lower tabs for them to work then get an adapter plate.

 

http://m.ebay.com/itm/H4-ADAPTER-RINGS-HONDA-VFR750-VFR800-VFR-750-VFR-800-Lifetime-Warranty-/132129416824?nav=SEARCH

 

Alternatively you can ruin your original bulbs and take out the bulb and base to leave just the ring. May take a slight bit of dremel work to get it fitting right.

 

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They are different, you have to trim the two lower tabs for them to work then get an adapter plate.
 
http://m.ebay.com/itm/H4-ADAPTER-RINGS-HONDA-VFR750-VFR800-VFR-750-VFR-800-Lifetime-Warranty-/132129416824?nav=SEARCH
 
Alternatively you can ruin your original bulbs and take out the bulb and base to leave just the ring. May take a slight bit of dremel work to get it fitting right.
 

I decided that I'm going to Dremel the actual plastic on the back side of the reflector after doing a test fit just now. I'm also going to have to rename the bike. Up until this point, I have been referring to it as The Red Rocket (a reference to a certain South Park episode), but now I think I'll have to call it Wall-E!
2cbe0fadabbe120bbcbfb5b54c30cb90.jpg

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Did the reflector bucket come out separately? All the retrofits I see normally have painted reflector. If it comes out then that makes life easier.

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9 hours ago, bdutton said:


I decided that I'm going to Dremel the actual plastic on the back side of the reflector after doing a test fit just now. I'm also going to have to rename the bike. Up until this point, I have been referring to it as The Red Rocket (a reference to a certain South Park episode), but now I think I'll have to call it Wall-E!
2cbe0fadabbe120bbcbfb5b54c30cb90.jpg

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I shall be following your progress with interest.  Especially the vacuum table bit!  I've been a Retrofit Source customer for many years (they were always good, even before they developed their excellent Morimoto product line), but what has stopped me doing anything with my FP's headlights was "the lens issue"...  My vague plan was always to somehow grind down and progressively polish the inside of the glass lens (only a 3" circle would be necessary) until I'd achieved two unfluted sections the projectors could peek through, but I never moved much beyond the "musing" stage! 

 

The reflectors are separate and removable, and at least on the 5th gen are necessary to maintain the OEM adjustment mechanism.  I have baked a 3rd gen headlight apart, but I don't recall if it is designed to use the same kind of adjustment mechanism as the 5th gen.  I think leaving the reflectors in place helps avoid the "Wall-E" look, too, but that's really a question of aesthetics.

 

Good luck with the lens-forming.  Too bad the 3rd and 4th gen headlights are different (significantly so?), or I'd ask you to make me one!

 

Ciao,

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Making progress! Once you have the lens separated from the housing and most of the butyl rubber removed, trace the outline of the lens onto a large piece of wood. I bought a 24x24 piece of 1/2 or 3/4 MDF. Using a rotozip, remove the material inside the like you just traced. Save the cutout, it will be useful later but the piece with the hole that you just made is the important one. I bought a 4 lb bag of plaster of Paris, could've used a little more though. The acrylic is 24x18"x .08. The wooden frame is made of 1.5"x 3/4"x 8 ft. I used poplar but you can use whatever is available. You'll need two pieces of this size. That's all I have for an update at this time due to having to let the plaster set and I have to get ready for work. Hopefully I'll actually be able to form the lens tomorrow!0a5427bad6129b1157c73c674bcba9d5.jpgeda7f8a0a39ff12e887b70b32e2ba2cb.jpg9ded12805cc6c37d3fe0d8ec4ddda886.jpg78681c5fad177ffc6dcb75e7e48e7e97.jpg8bc0c01919ce5052559af4e00e21ede0.jpge1d72acada32076cb418b6aeeeb75486.jpgb18a69bfade07fc1bcc05d477f6ad6d0.jpg

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More updates for everybody! Going to use black silicone/RTV I think to seal up the lens. I don't like the idea of having to bake it when there are the wires for the high beam shutter in the housing. I'll provide a detailed description of exactly what I did tomorrow along with some night shots.345e0196ad09a9b3c684766cf838ed16.jpg7e66be2285fddead89d590c0b8a625e2.jpgf67fdcae9a39d32f427e2df8c58ef8a0.jpge6349a529c45d2d0c5828a28841147b5.jpgc58c9d1e3ee189387e2e1444a0c7c095.jpg4d904b6949d29398f874a3824470b57d.jpg6589049bb264f28752167e187b8ed4d3.jpg19ebea03bdb712247ae308f4f1e39650.jpg201d11536eb3e8375871a59884ecfd9b.jpg

16e030c6421adad39c4cdf5cf3cd9403.jpg

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I would still use the sealant TRS sent. Wire insulation is rated for certain temperatures, normally marked on the wire. I'm sure they make sure that 7 minutes in the oven won't hurt anything. I know a number of people who have baked lights during retrofits, never an issue.

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I would still use the sealant TRS sent. Wire insulation is rated for certain temperatures, normally marked on the wire. I'm sure they make sure that 7 minutes in the oven won't hurt anything. I know a number of people who have baked lights during retrofits, never an issue.

I'm more concerned about the new acrylic lens deforming. But you raise a good point!

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The lens would be a concern. If I remember correctly that was only heated to about 150 right?

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350, so I guess it should be fine. I'll try it and find out. Worst case, I buy another piece of acrylic, make a new one and try again

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343a224336fd2db01c82cb646dfe5ab6.jpg

 

 

separated at birth??

 

 

 

 

walli.jpg

 

 

 

 

Joking aside, that is some skill/ingenious you display here! well done!

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Joking aside, that is some skill/ingenious you display here! well done!


Thanks Dutchy. Means a bunch coming from somebody with your reputation on this board!

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Can I ask if you used a vacuum former or just heat and let it form under it's own weight ?

 

Looks good by the way.

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Can I ask if you used a vacuum former or just heat and let it form under it's own weight ?
 
Looks good by the way.

I put it in the oven at 350° F for a little under 10 minutes. It mostly formed with it's own weight. I used the female piece cutout of the MDF to finish pressing down and a Dremel to cut off the excess. While the plaster and Bondo mold is still in the acrylic, I used a blowtorch to careful heat up the center of the lens and pressed down with the a large screwdriver to fill in that portion.

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Made some progress today!

 

Numbers correspond with order of pictures

 

1) I'm going to try and mount the Motocontrol computer on this part of the fairing stay with the coil pack.

 

2) Trying to find a suitable location to mount the ballasts before I fab up a permanent mount.

 

3) The retro-rubber sealant from TRS is in place=Time for the lens to get baked. The official instructions say 265° F for 7 minutes. That is assuming you're using the OEM lens and haven't just made one out of acrylic. I did 3 minutes at 265 without my lens in place to soften the butyl rubber a bit, then pulled the assembly out of the oven and installed the lens. Back in the oven for another 4 minutes. When the time was up, I carefully pressed the whole assembly together a little bit and held it there for a few more minutes.

 

4) Running into some crowding issues. Looks like I'll have to move the ballasts tomorrow.

 

5) Had to get a full frontal shot, because who doesn't love one of those!

 

I'll be back at it tomorrow after I take my exam for a potential new employer. Stay tuned!0cf916d6448c625abaa93564c8bad472.jpg7a4a973bbbbe84fd38694b60d8c34c31.jpg43ecfea136a742bf49559deb56660bc5.jpg5d8679c664f5c06139c7872afd9138dc.jpg6fabf325b61ca5cb31ce98cc43ac1307.jpg

 

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Made progress today. And then took​ a huge step backwards... Got everything back together and the lows and highs work excellent. Hit the left turn signal and everything is okay. Slide the switch over to go right, instant fast flash and the right side headlight goes out and won't come back on. No solenoid noise or action from hitting the hi/lo switch either. Wire chasing tomorrow and hopefully aiming the beams.4e715b3667f071c6df818546a7efc613.jpg

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Looks great!  Could you explain what you did, especially with the wooden frame, the heat (the vacuum?) and the plastic?  (And what kind of plastic did you use?) 

 

Cheers,

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Turns out it was a low battery and I had dislodged one of the slip fit terminals/connectors on the turn signal housing in my haste to get it all back together. Everything works as it should now. Time to figure out the aiming!

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Interesting thread, thanks for sharing.

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Managed to get headlight aimed. Going to possibly bring it up a little. It's amazing how much more I can see now. I didn't take a picture with the high beams yet, but they add a considerable amount of light to the area. Detailed write up of the whole process is in the works.9a212a49da28e17ab00db50d8ed7407f.jpg

 

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Nice work! I have Retrofit Source HID projectors in a Nissan Patrol's headlights and they are amazing.

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Alright so here it goes. The write up!

This is a pretty involved modification that requires a bit of patience and a fair amount of skill to do so. If you are not comfortable working on your own bike or doing things besides routine maintenance, you may want to consider passing on this one. Asking somebody else for help is always a possibility as well.

 

 

 

1) Here's the lighting kit I ordered. I chose 35 Watt ballasts and 4500k bulbs with the H4 harness, the mini Gatling Gun shrouds, and black RetroRubber sealant. https://www.theretrofitsource.com/motorcycle-specific/hid-systems/motocycle-stage-ii-dual.html

I ordered on a Sunday, it shipped on Monday and it was delivered on Wednesday. Not bad considering the website says 6-10 days for delivery!

2) Go to the hardware store and pick up the supplies

A) 18x24x.08 inch sheet of acrylic

Β) Minimum of 4 lb bag of plaster of Paris

C) Two (2) 1"x2"x8' boards. I used poplar because it was the first thing I came across in the proper size (2x2 would work also)

D) 8x "L" shaped metal brackets to hold the wooden frame together

E) Wood screws to attach brackets to wood

F) A Dremel or Rotozip if you don't already own one

G). A sheet of 1/2 " MDF that it's larger than the headlight lens

H) Small to medium sized container of Bondo and​ spreaders (You may have to go to your friendly local auto parts store for this)

3) Remove left and right middle fairings, mirrors, windscreen.

4) Reach behind headlight and unplug bulb harness from the back of the housing

5) Unplug front turn signals

 

 

 

6) Carefully remove the upper fairing and headlight assembly as one piece

7) Using the screwdriver included in the factory tool kit, remove the 4 screws holding the headlight assembly in the fairing. Place fairing somewhere safe

8) Now that you are left with just the headlight, remove the rubber gasket, the screws, springs and bulbs. Save the gaskets, discard the rest

9) Preheat your oven to 240° F. Place the empty headlight on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 20 minutes. While it's baking, take the time to grab a decent sized flat blade screw driver and a pair of heat safe gloves. I used my leather riding gloves for this so I could retain some dexterity

10) Remove headlight from the oven and using the flat blade screwdriver, carefully pry the lens from the headlight housing. Starting in a corner will make this process easier.

 

 

 

11) Take the time while the butyl rubber sealant is still soft to remove as much as possible from the housing. An exacto knife or the screwdriver is helpful

12) Trace the outline of the back side of the lens onto the MDF and cut out the shape of the lens using a rotozip or a cutting bit on the Dremel

13) Using a large disposable container, mix the plaster according to the instructions on the package.

14) Place the lens on a flat surface, apply a generous amount of release agent (I used household cooking spray aka Pam) and pour the plaster into the lens. Make sure it is completely full. Allow at least 24 hours for the plaster to set.

15) Time to make the frames for the heat molding process while the plaster is setting.

 

 

 

16) Measure the width and depth of your oven first, I didn't do this and had to trim the acrylic and frames after I made them

17) Trim the acrylic to 2" less than the width and depth of your oven.

18) Measure and cut the boards according to the size of the newly trimmed acrylic. You need to make to frames so you should have 8 pieces once this is completed

19) Using the brackets and screws bought at the hardware store, assemble the two frames.

20) After giving the plaster sufficient time to set and dry, it's time to remove the plaster from the mold. To do this, turn the lens upside down and give the front a few good whacks.

 

 

 

21) Time to get the Bondo ready, mix per instructions (use a flat, non porous surface such as the headlight cutout from the MDF) and apply to the face of the plaster mold where the flutes are. Allow to partially dry (approximately 5 minutes)

22) Using a carpenter's rasp, smooth out the Bondo while following the contours of the lens. Take your time doing this. The more smooth the Bondo is, the better your lens will turn out in the end. Use medium grit sandpaper if you're really striving for perfection.

23) Peel the protective film off of either side of the acrylic.

24) Place one frame on the top and bottom of the acrylic and clamp together. I used C-clamps with the handles facing downwards to give the assembly some space above the oven rack.

25) Preheat the oven to 350° F, while waiting bring everything (the plaster mold, the acrylic with the frames attached, and the female cutout of the MDF) inside within reach of the oven. You need to find a book or something similar to raise the plaster and Bondo masterpiece off of the floor. I used a milk crate and a boxed set of the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS. The item you choose needs to be smaller than the flat portion on the back side of the mold.

 

 

 

26) Place your chosen item on the floor and the mold on top of that with the front of it facing upwards.

27) Place the frames with the acrylic sandwiched between them in the preheated oven and set a timer for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the acrylic, you don't want it to touch the oven rack unless you want a distorted lens. After a while the acrylic will begin to sag beneath the frames as it heats up. 4-5 inches of sag will give enough stretch to for over the mold.

28) When the acrylic reaches the appropriate level of sagging, open the oven door, remove the assembly and press down over the mold.

29) Use the female cutout of the MDF to further shape the acrylic to the mold.

30) You should see a depression in the mold where the center of the fairing sits between each side of the lens. It is time to form the acrylic to that portion. Move this whole assembly to some place with lots of ventilation because you need to use a blowtorch to carefully heat up the bit of acrylic that will be filling in that section. I used the tang of a large screwdriver to press down on the hot plastic. A heat gun may work for this.

 

 

 

31) After everything cools down a little bit, carefully tap the mold out of the new lens you have just made.

32) Measure the depth of the original glass lens and mark a line at the corresponding depth on the acrylic. Using a Dremel with a cutoff wheel, trim to size. A slower speed will mean less melted acrylic fingers being thrown all over the place. I opted for 30k rpms and while the cutting progress was quicker, it made much more of a mess than a lower speed would have done.

33) This step is optional - Paint the headlight reflectors since they are only useful with Halogen bulbs. They serve no purpose with projectors. Also, you can paint the 4 sides of the new lens in the same places where the foam was on the factory piece after masking off the front of the lens.I painted mine black using Krylon Fusion for Plastics. Allow to dry

34) Test fit your new lens to both the housing and the upper fairing.

35) After a successful test fit of the lens on both locations, it's time to grab the Dremel again. You will need to trim down the back side of the housing in order for the new lock rings to fit. The new rings have 3 prongs on the exterior close to the factory Honda location, but it still doesn't quite fit. The center line of the little tooth on the interior of the lock ring needs to be mounted straight up and down in relation to the housing in order for you to have a perfectly horizontal cutoff with the final product. Use a Sharpie or other marker to establish the portion of the housing that needs to be trimmed down. Remove only small amounts at a time, you can always remove more, but it's impossible to put it back. Take your time with this step! I cannot stress this enough! If you rush, you'll end up looking like Stevie Wonder got ahold of your power tools.

 

 

 

36) Drill a small .25" hole approximately 1" below and 1.5" to the right of bottom right prong relief that you just finished modifying. This hole is so you can run the wires for the high beam shutter.

37) If you haven't already taken everything from The Retrofit Source out of the boxes to marvel at it's beauty, this is it. Take the time to untangle the harness and attach the shrouds to the projectors using the 4 Phillips head screws included in the kit. As you are doing this, you will notice the female end of a small plug on the back side of the projectors. This is where your high beam wires will plug in. Find the appropriate wiring in the kit and plug it into the projector.

38) Stick the silicone gasket included with the kit on the backside of the projector so the curve of the gasket matches the concave shape of the housing, insert threaded end of projector through the opening in the housing and thread the lock nut in place while making sure the high beam wires are directed through the hole you drilled earlier. Only need it finger tight. Repeat for the other side. Do not use a wrench or socket.

39) Grab your trusty cookie sheet and preheat that oven to 265° F

40) Open up the package of RetroRubber sealant and start placing it in the groove of the housing. Once you have filled the groove, trim the rubber to fit and let's get baking. The instructions say 265 for 7 minutes, however due to having a thinner than OEM lens, bake it for 3 minutes to soften the rubber. Pull it out of the oven for a moment, insert your new lens in place and press together. Back in the oven for another 4 minutes.

 

 

 

41) Remove from the oven and press the whole assembly together for another minute or so to really seat the lens. Allow time to cool.

42) Use a small amount of epoxy sealant to seal the holes in either side of the housing where you fed the high beam wires through. Let dry.

43) The wiring itself is fairly straightforward. Everything will only go together one way. If it doesn't fit, the two pieces aren't supposed to connect. I'll let you all figure out where you're going to run the wires.

44) Reassemble your bike. Time to aim the headlights. With a little twisting, the white knobs for adjusting the vertical position of the reflector and now your projectors can be reached by threading your hand between the bars and the fairing. From approximately 20 feet away, the cutoff should be 1.5" below the center of the projectors while you're sitting on the bike. The horizontal alignment knobs are located at the base of the housing. If you will see a light pattern that looks sort of like this_________/-----------/------------ , then you know you did it correctly. Basically you want to have two distinct "steps" in the cutoff.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading everybody. I'll update this post with externally hosted pictures associated with most of the steps so as to not break this post into 8 different articles.

 

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