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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just realised it is front end Friday. How fitting.

For the past year I've been posting here and there about the collision my truck was involved in last December, and the repair process since. These are upgrades I've always wanted to do; and as such, the collision proved to be fortuitous in helping me achieve this sooner than I otherwise would have.

I had a couple different pieces to put together and found the information accessible online was barely adequate. As such there was a fair bit of conversation with Bullet Proof Diesel, Buckstop Bumpers Ltd, CTPerformance, Morimoto, and PIAA to make it all work out. All these companies, whether they be vendors on this site or not, have provided me with good products and fantastic customer service.

I'm posting this thread detailing what I did to make everything work together in the hopes that anyone else who does these upgrades individually or together will find the information helpful.



Part 1: Headlights

In the collision the passenger side headlight was damaged. It wasn't obvious from the front, all the damage was internal. The force of the collision pushed the whole headlight back into the header panel. The header panel didn't break, and ended up causing the whole fender to bow out as it was pushed back. The damage to the headlight itself was a cracked up bezel, and all the mounting tabs were sheered. Somehow the clear plastic didn't even have a scratch on it at the point of contact, ****'s bullet proof I guess. If it had broke the bumper would have taken all the force and I would have had no further damage to my header panel or fender.

With insurance replacing the one light, I ponied up the difference and purchased a set of HID retrofits from Cary Tower @ CTPerformance. The projectors he used were all Morimotos, and there was a slew of customisation options available for both the HIDs and the housings. The setup I chose was a Harley Davidson style housing, DS2 Projectors, 55 watt bulbs, and 5000k (pure white) light. He didn't take cores, using all new housings and components for his products.

Unboxing


The packaging was very robust, on par with BPDs packaging. He re-used the packaging the housings and projectors came with, so thankfully I didn't have to pay BPDs EXORBIDANT (in some people's opinion) shipping & handling fees. Cary charges a flat rate for shipping to Canada.

Unboxing the package I was like a 4 year old on Christmas. I can't say I experience that kind of overwhelming joy very often. Everything came out of the box looking perfect. The lights were put together perfectly. The equipment for the HIDs themselves were very well labelled and the instructions were as detailed and informative as they could be.

My only complaint about the unboxing is that the boxes containing the ballasts were miss-labelled. However, they did contain the correct ballasts for the DS2 application.

Installation

In order to give myself as much room to work as possible, I removed the batteries, air filter, and driver's side battery tray.

You need to find locations to mount your harness, both ballasts, and ensure that all your wires can reach where they need to go. I think Morimoto makes their products for cars, so there wasn't a huge amount of excess wire once everything was stretched across my engine bay. Don't start drilling holes to hard mount everything right away. Use Zap-straps to soft mount the equipment until the components are where you want them, everything hooks up and functions, and nothing interferes with other truck components once it is all hooked up. For all hard mounting I drilled 3/16" holes and used self tapping metal screws to secure the components/

The headlight harness relay is fairly large and the harness is very stiff and one piece for a short distance. Given the problem I mentioned above about wire length, mounting the relay sideways resulted in either not enough wire to the far headlight, or to the location I had selected to mount the ground wire. As such, I chose to locate the relay vertically on the passenger side radiator support bracket right beside the AC charge port. There is enough vertical space here for the relay & stiff portion of the harness, and is centrally located enough that all components were within reach of their respective wires.



As you can see above, I mounted the passenger side ballast horizontally on the front panel with the plugs orientated towards the relay. There are many (8 total) mounting tabs for the ballast. I used 3 here, as the rest are inaccessible.

Finding a location for the driver side ballast was a bit more of a challenge. For my soft-mount I ended up zap strapping it to the side of my power steering fluid reservoir because there was no where else to put it. Once the function test was complete, I mounted it as you see to the driver's side of the radiator support bracket. I really wish I could describe the placement and orientation using words, but let's say there was grave concern the first time I closed my hood. There simply isn't any space to put it elsewhere that is big enough for the ballast and will be in reach of the wires. In the future I plan on building a small bracket so I can mount my ballast vertically beside the air intake scoop.



The instructions called for attaching the grounds directly to the frame. However I was able to ground directly to the battery using the fender panel ground mounts (someone tell me what these are actually called please) on each side of the truck. There were 2 grounds in total on the harness, once coming from each ballast output plug. I mounted these to the ground points below.

Passenger side ballast ground:


Driver side ballast ground and high beam output connection:


The harness has a single positive wire with an inline 25 amp fuse. I ran it along the positive battery cable to the stud on the terminal.

Fuse & terminal mount:


To control the headlights, the harness had one plug that interfaced with a stock headlight plug. Given that the relay was mounted on the passenger side, I chose to use the passenger side headlight plug as my control plug. I carefully sealed my driver side plug to prevent water contamination as I did not know yet whether or not I would be using that plug to control the auxiliary lamps I would be installing later.

The headlights were interesting. You connect the marker and turn signal lights as per stock. The headlamp had three wires rather than one for the actual light. Two were wires that lead to what I assume is an inverter (positive wire and negative), which then has one cable going to the ballast, and the other was a high beam output wire.

For the driver side connections, I ran the harness across the top of the upper rad support alongside the positive battery cable. Once I had everything connected, I did my best to organise the wires neatly and secured them out of the way with zap straps.






Installing the headlight housings is exactly the same process as stock, just a couple more wires to go through the header panel, so I'm not going to go through that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Results

Better than expected.





Low Beam:


High Beam:


High Beam Highway:


As I described elsewhere when I first installed and used these lights, in spite of the whitewash from how bright they are, it is possible to see reflections of animal's eyes and road signs from 1200 meters away (3/4mile). Thus far I have been able to positively identify many deer, antelope, and a coyote from 400 meters (1/4 mile), the same distance as the wood line in the picture above. I still haven't encountered any moose yet, but I anticipate they will be significantly easier to see now than they were before.

The white light has proven favorable for all weather use. I originally wanted to go more blue to offset my eventual yellow fog lights, but after installation I'm very happy with the white. I had options for 4300k (sun yellow), 5000k (white), and 6000k (light blue) colours. I'm sure there were others but that is all I can remember offhand.

In spite of how bright the road appears above, the light cuts through rain, fog, and snow like it isn't even there. They hyperspace effect you get when driving through a blizzard with halogens is not nearly as significant. The low beam has a very distinct cut line and if aimed properly wont light up any rain or snow above your hood.

The one problem I have encountered is that occasionally the driver's side light doesn't work. I'm very adamant the problem is in the ballast plug. For some reason it occasionally doesn't make a connection and the light doesn't function. It was a big problem at first, but filling it with dielectric grease took the problem away. Now I just have to wiggle the plug once every month or two to make it work if it goes out. If I can't figure out a solution by the end of winter I'll bug Cary again about getting it fixed (the kit comes with a 3 year warranty).



I have more pictures to put up, but I need to find my damned camera cord. I'll also probably re-proofread this post in the morning when I have a little less of Satan's delicious nectar flowing through my body. For now the thread is started, and I'll be posting about the bumper and auxiliary lights by the end of the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Reserved for Bumper Installation
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reserved for Auxiliary Lighting Installation
 
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