Instead, I took on a bigger challenge: I wanted bi-xenon HIDs, mounted in the low-beam projector location. I also knew the Volvo Lighting Control Module would be out to get me if I installed a normal relay harness. Knowing that I might have issues, I wanted the whole thing to be reversible if it didn't turn out well. I exchanged a few e-mails with Nate at TRS, who made a few suggestions. Here's what I ended up with, basically $300 total:
- Morimoto Mini D2S Bi-Xenon Projectors
- Morimoto 35W Ballasts
- Morimoto 35W 4300K Bulbs
- 2 High beam correctional splitters, and 9006 Male to 9005 Female adapters
- 8 M4-0.70 screws (I bought 45mm long, but 30 or so would have been enough)
- Some fiberglass sheet (this was intended to be temporary, but is working well), or sheet metal
- White 13W LEDs for the high beam (9005) sockets
Here's what I did:
- Remove the headlight assemblies. 10mm socket, 5 bolts, and one electrical connector. You have to remove the gray locking clip from the connector before releasing the latch.
- Unscrew the bulb access covers, unplug both bulbs, and remove the 4 Phillips screws that hold the low beam (upper) projector in place. Remove the low beam projector--it will come out of the hole, but it has to be oriented just right.
- Grind down the upper corners of the new projectors (I used a titanium bit on a Dremel tool). This is necessary to allow the new lights to reach forward enough to sit flat against the hole the original projectors go through. Make sure you have some room to rotate the light, so you can be sure it's aligned correctly.
- Replace the screws holding the two halves of the new projectors with longer screws.
- Make up a plate to adapt the old mounting holes to the new projectors. I intended to install nuts on both sides of my adapter plates, but was able to cut out the center hole in the plate such that it was able to hold the light in place. The screws go through the bracket, and serve to keep the headlights from rotating.
- Install the projectors (bulbs already in them) and plates, then connect the ballast to the bulb.
- Insert the two loose wires from the projector (for the high beam solenoid) into the included plug, then connect the factory high beam plug to the orange and black "Y" connectors to supply 1) the high beam solenoid, 2) the new LED high beam, and 3) the correctional high beam splitter (blue & black, with diode).
- Connect the remaining connectors on the correctional high beam splitters to the ballast, and to the plug that went to the old low beam. Make sure blue wires on both sides of this connection mate up. This will keep the ballast powered with either the low or high beams on.
- Mount ballasts inside the headlight housing, reinstall everything, then check the alignment.
So for some pictures:
Notice in the next two pictures the sharp difference in how the lens looks depending on how high you are. If you're below the bulb, it's very bright, but above you don't see much light--getting good light onto the pavement without causing glare for other drivers:
The next picture below shows a shot looking out with the old projectors, followed by the new ones. Same camera, and it shows again the adjuster problem:
More pictures with LEDs installed:
UPDATE 12-13-2012: So it's coming up on a year now with this setup. TRS now carries a "correctional" high-beam splitter that takes care of keeping the ballast powered when you switch to high beams. It's a direct plug-in setup, but you'll need 2 of them. Skip the CAN-BUS adapters, and it's basically a wash in terms of cost. I need to take some more pictures, now that I've "fixed" the one adjuster. Everything is still working great, and the bi-xenon projectors do well enough that you don't really even notice whether the stock high beams are on or not. The random errors I experienced initially turned out to be a result of the connector on the back of one of the bulbs not being fully seated--the occasional (and rare, just to make troubleshooting fun) bump would interrupt the arc on the passenger side, and it wouldn't relight until you killed power to it.
I have recently re-polished the plastic housings, and am still amazed with how much difference this makes. I know someone has done a writeup on this, but the 3M kit for about $15, a good drill, and a couple hours will make them look and perform like new!
UPDATE 4-14-2013: Cleaned up, added links, pictures, and LED info.
Edited by Nuke-E, 28 May 2013 - 06:12 AM.