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ko90ls

Retrofit Ls400

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hello to all,

i have been doing lots and lots of research trying to upgrade my garbege headlights. most say just purchase super bright bulbs and call it a day. not satisfied, i went into more digging about hid retrofits. looks pretty common sense if you ask me. but upon looking in my 90 headlights don't think i saw a reflector? :( but then again i haven't ordered a second pair and opened it up. does anyone know? if not i'm still gonna proceed. thanks in advance! :cheers:

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Yep, the gen 1 U.S. spec headlights stink - I put up with them for 13 1/2 years. Even our 98 Camry has far better headlights. The problem with the gen 1 is the glass lens that controls the light pattern - it puts out a blob of light with no sharp cutoff. High wattage bulbs and HID conversions just blind oncoming drivers. I once considered buying Euro code headlights but the total cost was about $2K - too much for a car I had just bought new.

One thing you could do is to break out the amber inner "thingy" on your fog lights to make them clear and drive with them on all the time - I have seen instructions on this forum on how to do this. Or buy some small projector lights, put them in the grill - perhaps below the bumper - and wire them to come on with the low beams.

As much as "aerodynamic" headlights (legalized in the the U.S. beginning in 1986, I think) improved the looks of cars, before that it was so darned easy to just slap a set of standard size Euro code headlights into any U.S. spec car and get incredibly good lighting.

I feel your pain.

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already broke the fog glass. :chairshot: then learned that the yellow light is actually helpful. oh well. i figure the cost will be about $800. not too bad for super upgraded optics! i've been checking put some color mods and i think i can get the tsx projectors' light output to almost match the LS430 projectors'! watch out! :cheers:

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But what he's saying is that theHID retrofit won't give you the upgraded optics you're looking for because of the poor design of the lens reflectors.

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yeah the reflectors in the 90 do suck! that's why i'm thinking about adding the whole projector (if it will fit) and bypassing the need of reflectors. i think yours prob has HID projectors also. in theory mine will be similar all the way down to the amount of light output and cut-off. no auto level or AFS though. :angry:

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ko90ls,

In the 90 LS, the headlight beam pattern is mainly controlled by the glass lens instead of by the metal (it may be metalized plastic) reflector. In theory you could "bypass" (perhaps break out) the reflector by putting in a projector unit but the projected light is still going to be highly altered by the glass lens. Look at all the little lines in your headlight lens - these are what shape the beam.

In theory you could probably put projecters into a 98-00 LS400 headlight unit since the plastic lens is clear and does not control the beam pattern.

The only way I can see that projectors would work in a gen 1 LS headlight housing would be to fabricate a replacement for the glass headlight lens for the projectors to stick though - a la Range Rover.

I sure wish there was an easy solution.

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ko90ls,

In the 90 LS, the headlight beam pattern is mainly controlled by the glass lens instead of by the metal (it may be metalized plastic) reflector. In theory you could "bypass" (perhaps break out) the reflector by putting in a projector unit but the projected light is still going to be highly altered by the glass lens. Look at all the little lines in your headlight lens - these are what shape the beam.

In theory you could probably put projecters into a 98-00 LS400 headlight unit since the plastic lens is clear and does not control the beam pattern.

The only way I can see that projectors would work in a gen 1 LS headlight housing would be to fabricate a replacement for the glass headlight lens for the projectors to stick though - a la Range Rover.

I sure wish there was an easy solution.

now it sounds like we are on the same page!

with that being said i really like this forum (and others like it) lots of info and expirence!

the lines on the inside of the headlight housing is a well documented issues with two main solutions!

1) wet sand the lines off the housing until as clear as possible

2) cut out the old glass/plastic and swap for MR10 clear plastic with a good sealer

haven't really decided which way to go (sanding sounds longer but easier) but i have made a purchase on some projectors. for starters i'm going to start with Acura MDX projectors. YES i know that these are Halogen projectors but can be heavily moded and have great potential! will have some prelim shots soon!

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from my extensive R&D, i have accumulated some shots of what the color could be...

first the projectors

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open

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wall shots

5K

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D2R bulb

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washer mod w/ D2S

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i've seen shields like this modded also; cut around the top allowing more light thru

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i finally got the projectors and the pics do these no justice... these things are huge! only set-back is that my suspension is really starting to act funny so i'll get this resolved first! i'll post again in a few weeks

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just took my headlight out of the car's bracket to see if there was enough room. for my observation there is just enough, actually if looks like a perfect fit. the lense may touch the headlight glass but that is what gives the best output. also i may even be able to keep the retaining ring and the OEM look! definately gotta file the opening a little larger and may need custom mounting brackets :cries: . the 1st gen doesn't have a seperate reflector bowl it's all the housing, so i may have to drill holes in it to mount the projector? but there's also some breather valves on the sides of the housing. i assume this is to let exessive water escape but i think that may hurt my HID's?

just wanted to let everyone know that the job will continue, rain, sleet, snow, hail! :cheers:

P.S. will get camera next week!

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just took my headlight out of the car's bracket to see if there was enough room. for my observation there is just enough, actually if looks like a perfect fit. the lense may touch the headlight glass but that is what gives the best output. also i may even be able to keep the retaining ring and the OEM look! definately gotta file the opening a little larger and may need custom mounting brackets :cries: . the 1st gen doesn't have a seperate reflector bowl it's all the housing, so i may have to drill holes in it to mount the projector? but there's also some breather valves on the sides of the housing. i assume this is to let exessive water escape but i think that may hurt my HID's?

just wanted to let everyone know that the job will continue, rain, sleet, snow, hail! :cheers:

P.S. will get camera next week!

Any updates bro?? Very intrested!

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just took my headlight out of the car's bracket to see if there was enough room. for my observation there is just enough, actually if looks like a perfect fit. the lense may touch the headlight glass but that is what gives the best output. also i may even be able to keep the retaining ring and the OEM look! definately gotta file the opening a little larger and may need custom mounting brackets :cries: . the 1st gen doesn't have a seperate reflector bowl it's all the housing, so i may have to drill holes in it to mount the projector? but there's also some breather valves on the sides of the housing. i assume this is to let exessive water escape but i think that may hurt my HID's?

just wanted to let everyone know that the job will continue, rain, sleet, snow, hail! :cheers:

P.S. will get camera next week!

Any updates bro?? Very intrested!

NEW UPDATES! after messing with the MDX projectors i decided to scrap them and go with the FX35/45 Bi-Xenon projectors. they are being shipped from MA as I type. :rolleyes: gonna get a DigiCam and take Massive Pics for those who are interested. Sorry for the delay! good things come to those who wait! :cheers:

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Sorry for taking so long guys, here are some updated pics!

I used the heat gun to heat the putty that holds the headlight together. then using a knife and flathead screwdriver i took them apart. Went and picked up a dremel and some sand paper to de-line the headlight but found that the sandpaper is slow and the dremel w/ a "silicon carbide grinding stone" works best. The pics of the front glass are after just one stone on low speed (2). The manual says use it on fast (10) and i will later. My main issue right now is mounting the projectors in the housing. I am going to get some plexiglass and cut out a bracket using the curved template shown on the projector. then i will drill mounting holes and use the screws like sown in the pic of the old projector. Just a side note the mounting bracket is only for this type of projector. most have extra holes where mounting is simpler.

Like always I'll keep you guys updated!!! :cheers:

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some updates about dremeling the headlight glass. the silicon carbide grind stone will leave scratches on the glass. that is where i currently am. the good news that this was done on a part time basis (very fast using dremel) and once the extra grooves are removed then i can polish and install the projectors!!!

Here's some pics... Enjoy!

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here is the headlight after many hours of grinding with the pictured flat grind stone. the headlight is not yet fully polished or sanded. the pic with the projector behind the glass is a preview of how it should look finished (hopefully clearer)

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More Updates!

Wet Sanding using 320 grit paper. I cut the paper into little strips in order to use the most since the glass is curved. I'm gonna hit it with the 320 again then move on to the 400 and 600. Does anyone know where to find higher grit paper like up to 2000. I got the three I'm using from home depot but 600 is the max.

Here's the pics

glass is not polished just a little wet to give the polished look

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More Updates!

Wet Sanding using 320 grit paper. I cut the paper into little strips in order to use the most since the glass is curved. I'm gonna hit it with the 320 again then move on to the 400 and 600. Does anyone know where to find higher grit paper like up to 2000. I got the three I'm using from home depot but 600 is the max.

Here's the pics

glass is not polished just a little wet to give the polished look

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Thank You Sir!

now for some updates!

this is after sanding w/ 1 page of 400 wet sandpaper.

1 more page to go then 600

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