55 watt HID upgrade write-up...including pictures and impressions... - AudiWorld Forums

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55 watt HID upgrade write-up...including pictures and impressions...

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Old 01-07-2008, 03:12 PM
  #1
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Default 55 watt HID upgrade write-up...including pictures and impressions...

Well, after talking with Todd at Retro-Solutions for a while, we got the discount price set up for AudiWorld members. I ordered my 5000K kit and received it 2 days later. I finally got time to install it, and I being the first to get this kit, I thought I would take some pictures of the install and do a write-up for everyone else. I'll try to remember everything, but go ahead and ask questions if something isn't clear or you think I left something out. Here goes! Also, if you need the link for the original post and checkout page, it is <a href="https://forums.audiworld.com/s4/msgs/2755009.phtml">here</a>.

Supplies/tools:
-Wire cutter
-Crimper
-T-30 bit
-Security T-20 bit
-Lexan
-Female Slide connectors
-File
-Utility Knife
-Electrical Tape

Here is the kit in the metal case it comes in:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_011.jpg">

First, remove the headlight by removing the three mounting screws and disconnecting the wiring harnesses. Take it over to the bench, flip it over, open the cover for the HID bulb and twist the plug and pull back to remove the connector. Then remove the six torx screws holding the ballast in the bottom of the headlight. They are security torx T-20.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_005.jpg">

Now pop the ballast out of the headlight, you might need to pry it out with a screwdriver.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_006.jpg">

After you have pulled the ballast out, you will notice two wires, one red and one brown, running from inside the headlight to the ballast. You need to cut this wire, and I would cut it about in the middle so there is equal length of wire on the ballast and the connector in the headlight.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_008.jpg">

Now, you will need to use the female slide connectors. Strip a little off of the red and brown wires. Put a connector on the brown and red wires, and crimp them.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_013.jpg">

After crimping on the connectors, you will be able to connect the power supply wires for the new ballast. I will come back to this later. Now you need to make a cover for the bottom of the headlight, as the ballast does not quite fit in the original spot. Take the sheet of Lexan plexiglass and lay the original ballast on it and trace around the base. Take a straightedge and score the Lexan with a utility knife good, and then snap it on the score lines. Take the cover and set it in the spot where the ballast used to be and take a marker or something and mark the screw holes. Start drilling the holes until they are big enough for the screws. Put it on and try to tighten the screws down to make sure it fits correctly. Next, you will need to drill a hole big enough for the power connector to fit through. Also, you will need to make a "slot" for the bulb connectors. I used a metal file to file away the plastic on the lexan plate until the bulb wires would fit between the edge of the headlight and the plastic plate. You will see what I mean in the pictures following.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_017.jpg">

Next, connect the bulb connector to the bulb and situate the wires like in the pictures.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_018.jpg">

Now, push the power wires through the lexan plate, and connect the spade connectors to the connectors you crimped on. Brown in negative, red is positive.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_014.jpg">

After connecting the power, you can slide the plate into position, and put the bulb connector wires like in the picture. I would suggest putting a weather stripping around the edge of the plate to make a tight seal.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_019.jpg">

Now that you are done with the headlight, go over to the car and mount the ballast. I chose to mount the ballast on top of the bumper support, like this:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_027.jpg">

Now connect the two plugs for the bulb, and plug the power connector into the new ballast:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_028.jpg">

Put the headlight back in and put the screws in. Do the other headlight, and you are done!



Results and impressions:

I am very impressed with the light output improvement from this kit. And all for $156. Much brighter on the road, and more distance. In my opinion, the pictures don't show how much of a difference it makes. Here are some pics of the final install:

This is the before:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_001.jpg">

And the after:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_030.jpg">

And for comparison, 55 watt on left, 35 on right:

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_023.jpg">

Also, since I still had the original ballasts, I chose to integrate them into the fog lights.

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_031.jpg">

<img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/106952/hid_032.jpg">

Hope this helps, let me know if you have questions!
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:15 PM
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wanna come over and do mine next?
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:21 PM
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Default Haha...you fly me to where you live and I'll do it for ya...lol...really though, it's not too

bad of a job, took me probably 2-3 hours total, including being the first one to do it and figure out how to do it.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:22 PM
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what is the max rating you can use with stock ballasts?
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:24 PM
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Default yeah, doesn't look tough, thanks for the right up, i'm just teh lAzy. one of my new years

resolution is no more mods and just maintence. we'll see how it goes, but looking over my mod list, what else could i possibly buy? lol.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:24 PM
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If you are talking about wattage, the stock ballasts are only 35 watt.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default make sure you have some slack on the inside of the housing for the bulb connection wire

otherwise when auto adjust or you goes to adjust it the pin can break...happen to me and i have yet to figure out how to fix it. I think i might have to end up buying another housing.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:30 PM
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please send this to Kris to be a tech article
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:31 PM
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Default Yeah, I know what you mean. The way I did it, there is slack. I purposely only

hung out just enough wire to make the connections so that you can adjust it. Also, you won't be able to disconnect the connector from the bulb if there isn't any slack...thanks for pointing that out!
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:31 PM
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How do I do that?
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