My original H4 Bi-Xenon kit back in 2006 was great! It was plenty powerful and the light cut off was decent using the stock reflector, making it possible to aim the lights a bit higher, and get better road visibility.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case with the next set of H4 bulbs I purchased, after one of the original bulbs died a couple of years later. Even though the light was sufficient, It seemed like the light coming from new set of bulbs, wouldn’t focus properly on the reflectors, causing bad light reflection and occasionally blinding the other drives. Therefore, I had to aim my headlights lower, reducing my road visibility.
3 years had passed on this second kit, when one of the bulbs decided to commit suicide. After some flickering, it started smoking and it was gone, leaving behind a veeeery bad smell and a smoked headlight housing!
After this second loss, I decided not take any chances again, purchasing a set of bulbs that could be underperforming. So this time I decided to go a step further, install a high quality HID system, with a set of projectors to complement my Bi-Xenon lights and my car’s looks.
I did some research, I found a guy who had done a similar mod to his Glanza, but there were no details at all on the project, other than a small photo gallery. There are many projectors kits out there, ebay has plenty, but not only. Even during my recent trip abroad, I saw a guy selling projector kits on a stand in the street! 🙂
The right projectors kit should:
- Be of high quality. Like for every product nowadays, they come in a wide range of quality, and most of the times you don’t want to go cheap if you expect quality, as you always get what you paid for. Makes sense 🙂
- Be a reversible mod. Have you ever checked for a set of Glanza headlights? A pair of `98-99 specs headlights, goes for €200-300+ second hand on ebay! VERY EXPENSIVE considering they are just a housing carrying no technology. So permanently altering my original headlights was a thing to avoid.
- Fit. Glanzas’ headlights are pretty small. Also the engine bay behind the headlights is pretty packed, especially on the passenger’s side, limiting the size of the candidate projectors kit.
After plenty of research, I decided to purchase my kit from The Retrofit Source (TRS); a website dedicated to projectors upgrading and retrofitting, with high quality products and a big community to support it.
I have to admit that all of their kits look top quality. There are 4 Bi-Xenon kits available. 2 of them are larger and require very intrusive and permanent mods. So that left me with 2 options, the “Morimoto Mini H1 kit” and the newer “Morimoto Mini D2S kit”. Both mini kits were “plug and play” retrofits. The helpful staff of TRS also recommended me the Mini D2S kit, so I purchased it without hesitation.
I ordered the mini D2S kit with the following setup:
Bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage III Kit (D2S)
Projectors: D2S Morimoto Mini bi-xenon with clear lenses (Low & High Beams)
Wire Harness Relay: H4/9003
Shrouds: E46-R (extended)
Projectors: RHD (UK, Australia, etc)
Ballasts: Morimoto 3Five (35w)
Bulbs: Morimoto 3Five 5000K D2S
It didn’t take long until my order was dispatched, keeping me drooling over the computer screen every time the package’s tracking status updated 🙂
Several days later, a big box of joy had arrived. Everything was in there safe and sound, perfectly packed.
The first thing to do as soon as I stopped jumping up and down out of happiness, was to test the projectors’ solenoids using a 12V DC power source. This is a small circuit comprising of an electromagnet and a shutter, which enables the high beams, by applying 12V to it and see if it responds. You don’t want to install your projector kit with a problematic solenoid. This will mean that you will have to reverse all work done, to take it out and replace it. Test was a success!
Then I started figuring out my installation approach and planning. Fortunately TRS has plenty of helpful resources available online for everything. In theory everything seemed pretty straightforwards… but as one of the many Murphy’s Laws state: Nothing is as easy as you think it is 🙂
Roughly, the procedure involves the following steps:
- Install the wiring of the relay harness and ballast, just as for every other HID kit
- Removing the first headlight
- Removing the bulb, screws, the H4 bulb clip and cup, bases and whatever else can be removed
- Cleaning it up a bit is recommended
- Cooking the headlight in the oven (at 130ºC preheated oven, for 7 mins). Yes, you heard right. This mod involves some kitchen work 🙂 This step is required to help melting the headlight’s sealing glue
- Prying with tools and working your way around the headlight, separating the clear cover from the rest of the housing before the sealing glue becomes solid again
- Preparing the shroud (surrounding) to fit inside the limited space headlight housing by cutting them to size. Apparently the E46-R Extended shrouds were pretty big for a Glanza’s housing. After plenty of cutting and trials I got the size right. Perfectly fitting the shroud inside the headlight was very critical, in order for the shroud not to push the projector to a direction. At the same time the shroud should be in touch with the bottom of the housing, for aesthetic and functional purposes (will analyze this further later on).
- Inserting and fixing into place the projector assembly with shroud
- Install the uncovered headlight to the car, and install bulb. Test bulb, ballast, solenoids again and adjust the light beam vertically and horizontally
- Now remove the headlight from the car and put the clear cover back on. WARNING: if you own a pet, ensure that the glue and insides of the headlight don’t carry any pet fur! I had to learn this the hard way!
- Cook again headlight it in the oven (at 130ºC preheated oven, for 7 mins), to melt the sealing glue
- Make sure that the headlight seals as well as possible before the glue cools down and becomes solid again
- Do any additional sealings required with a good sealing silicone
- Headlight with projector is ready. Now you can mock your pet for not managing to ruin your mod 🙂
- Install the headlight to the car, test and once 100% sure that everything works as expected, repeat the above steps for the other headlight
The procedure sounded easy and fun… but how little did I know??? At some point I wanted to put my head in the oven instead 🙂
The most annoying issue I came across, had to do with the alignment of the projectors. Not the horizontal, neither the vertical alignment, but their angle!
The Mini D2S projectors were designed to replace directly the H4 bulb. The kit even comes with a special ring with 3 pins, which ensures that the projector is place at the identical position of an H4 bulb. This is very smart and wise… but Toyota never designed this car’s headlights for projectors use. Therefore having a halogen bulb in the headlight housing at an angle, doesn’t affect the halogen bulb’s light output, as the light is reflected correctly where it’s supposed to go.
Thanks to this late discovery, I had to redo one of the headlights. Good thing that I didn’t finish them both before realizing this issue!
So at some point before step 8, I had to eliminate a small adjustment tooth on the inside diameter of the projector’s H4 metal ring (photo below), to allow the projector to rotate inside the housing. Doing so added one more parameter to alignment process.
The did the angle alignment by parking my car against a wall with the headlights normally installed and adjusted but without the clear cover in front (step 9). Then I was rotating by hand the projector until the projected cut off line on the wall, was perfectly horizontal. Then I glued the shroud on the projector with some epoxy glue, and that did the trick. In order improve your success chances at this part, you must make sure that the shroud has at least 2 points of contact with the bottom of the housing, before it is glued.
This was a major pain, before figuring out a solution. It’s so annoying when worldwide standards are not followed, leading into so much trouble. I hope this note saved someone from wasting his time and patience on this issue 🙂
Another problem I came across, was the packed engine bay of Glanza. It made it difficult to pass the short thick D2S plug to the right place. The same with the thick harness wiring, but that’s nothing impossible. It only took some planning and trials to figure out what’s the best path.
When all done, I did a quick alignment of both headlights on a camping table’s surface placed vertically in front of my car, in the driveway, and then went for a test drive. I was very impressed from the results, so impressed that at some point I was shocked! The 2 light cut off lines of the projectors were so perfectly aligned on the walls, that I thought one of the bulbs wasn’t on, making me rush out of the car to check!
There are long proper lights alignment procedures to ensure an accurate result, but require a large wall, decently even floor, and time. As of now, all these items are hard to find 🙂
Anyhow, I am glad to call this mod completed and successful! It sure gives a new look to the Glanza, and most importantly improves road safety. I would highly recommend this mod to anyone with plenty of patience and basic DIY knowledge. If you are into projectors’ retrofitting, then TRS is the place to visit!
PS: At some point before step 11, while my headlights were wide open, I considered removing the reflective surface inside the housing leaving it all black, or even dressing it up with carbon fiber clothe. But the idea of an all-white car with all-black headlights stopped me. Someone might find it nice, or if you own a black Glanza, it might look nice. So feel free to try it out and send me some photos of your work 🙂