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wstefan20

Spyder Headlight Retrofit/Redesign

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Never thought I'd find these in the junkyard! Thanks to row52.com I got a notification on my phone of a grand prix in my local pick-n-pull with a front picture and saw these, so I rushed over there and fortunately was the first one to grab them!

 

 

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I noticed that either a factory uv coating was causing the fade and peel or some clear coating applied by the prior owner so I'm going to have to wet sand and polish them but that's not an issue.

 

These headlights are notorious for being super dim so I wanted to take them apart to see why. Here's the initial breakdown

 

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Here's the stock projector removed

 

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Here's why these projectors are dim....

 

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Also, the halo rings are extremely dim, so I wanted to figure out why. Turns out they use the cheap dual opposing 4mm leds and the ring is supposed to distribute the light.

 

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Here's the completely deconstructed housings

 


 

Now on to the build! Well, It's apparent that the stock projectors are garbage, and the stock hi-beams are only pointable up and down, so my intention is to remove the stock bracket and place the old projector in the old hi-beam location while using a bi-xenon projector (dual lo/hi beam) in the stock location but allowing for greater adjustment.

 

As a mock up, I placed both old projectors in their locations as a test fit:

 

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There are a few companies who make the adapters from spyder projector to morimoto mini h1 projectors, but at $55 plus shipping, I think I'll make my own from a sheet of aluminum or something. (link below)

 

Retro-Quik: Spyder Lights - Complete Retrofit Kits from The Retrofit Source

 

I plan on using a sequential switchback led to run part of my drl and my turn signal and shaping it along the top and arching around the front some.

 

s_l500.jpg 

 

I plan on re-wiring the stock turn signal bulb location for just a plain blue led that will come on with drl.

 

I also plan on having three halos, one for each stock bulb location that are controlled by the drl.

 

I will be using a series of load resistors to compensate for the decreased consumption of the bulbs.

 

I will be using Demon eye leds on both the old "dummy" projectors and the new ones somehow switched by drl but off when hi or lo beams are triggered.

 

s_l300.jpg

 

I think I'm going to keep the parking lights stock though just to make everything legal. I thought about doing switchback halo rings with the turn signal, but I thought that might be a bit much since the drl strip already does that.

 

Those are my plans at the moment! I've got a few retrofits for other members going on that I might post here too, any input or just general thoughts or things related to projector retrofits or spyder headlights are always welcome! I hope these will turn out cool!

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What brand are those? Is that the oem bracket? And they look metal. Interesting! They look nice but in all honesty, I can't stand the look of the turn signal area. Wish I just had a pair lying around like that! Lol

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Well, Got most of the parts in! Still have a lot of prep work to do, but here's the general hashing out of the halos:

 

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I'll black out the reflectors the old style halo's used and the former turn signal and probably secure with very thin wire. I trust wire over glue any day!
 
Yes, the lenses look like garbage right now, but here's where I plan on placing the switchback led strip. I like the location. Might shift it to after the accent leds though, still deciding.
 
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I'll be blacking out this reflector, it used to be the turn signal. Instead, I'm going to run this accent blue led "lens" bulb to match the double projector. 
 
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The demon eye leds are going to take the longest to ship. If I like the look, I'll use them on both sets of projectors. 
 
Should be starting to test fit everything tonight as long as the projectors are quality enough to use. The factory spyder headlights were so bad though, I don't think that'll be hard to beat!

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Update: 

 

For anyone wanting to try this, the spyder retrofit bracket that trs and others make does not work because of how our high beam bracket is held on. The offset is completely different. That being said, I wasn't giving up that easily! I picked up a thin sheet of aluminum and took several measurements and tried a few designs until I found one that would work. Here's the pattern that I ended up using:

 

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Now, I'm no master fabricator and I used all common hand tools to cut it out, so don't be too discouraged. Here's a closeup of the bracket mounted along with the highbeam:

 

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Now, I'm probably going to get some flack for doing this, but I've never trusted glue or epoxy to hold halos and other stuff. I've had it come off way too many times, and plastic like fishing line can melt or get brittle over time, so I opted to use some really thin picture hanging wire to secure everything. I will be going back and painting it, this was just the general mockup of everything put on for the first time:

 

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A few notes on this build. There's literally 1000 different ways you could make the bracket, or design these lights. This was just what I chose, so feel free to do it your own way. I chose to keep the high beam stock location even though I'm using a hi/lo projector just for asthetic reasons. I plan on putting an accent bulb in there, or I could be super obnoxious and run two high beams or something else custom.

 

In case anyone was wondering about the "second projector", I disassembled the stock projector and folded the bracket in on itself to hold the lens in, and it was just the right size to push up and stay in place where the high beams used to go. I thought this looked cool so I kept it since this spot is essentially useless anyhow.

 

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Still waiting on some accent leds to come in, so I'm still perfecting things. More to come!

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Looks good bro! The high beam location could also be a yellow HID, then in heavy fog you'd have a killer stealth set of fog lights.

 

The glue and epoxy thing makes perfect sense since there's heat and vibration, epoxy would probably be alright but the wire isn't going to melt for certain - I wonder if the two pieces could be plastic welded together with a soldering iron? I've had limited success with that, really has to be the same type of plastic to hold and that chrome plating could fudge things up.

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Hm. Good thoughts! Never tried plastic welding actually, might look into that for the future. All else being said, any option is better than using hot glue like the stock ones! Haha

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Thanks for the suggestion Imp! I actually decided to be brave and try plastic welding for the first time! Bought a cheapo from harbor freight for $15, and cut some polypropylene from the stock airbox I had lying around which was nice and thick. Used the mesh that came with the kit to reinforce the weld. It's stronger than the entire tab now! I might have to go back and add some braces to the bracket since I can literally weld to almost anywhere on the headlight. Not the best looking solution, but it works!

 

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Tomorrow, I'll re-wire the harnesses so I can test them out of the housing and point them in. Once I have a baseline for what angle they need to be in, I can finish modifying the housing to make them work and re-seal them finally!

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I want to find a good set of aftermarket lights for Gypsy because I'm just not brave enough to tackle a project like this. I've looked at so many pics of retrofits and they look awesome, but my past experience is never being able to get the housing to re-seal and I get water-logged headlights GRRRR

 

I love the LED strips and halo rings

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Well, got time to do some work on them today! Mounted the headlights with just the base layer and projectors to get a feel for the aiming. Turns out since I'm fitting MUCH larger projectors than stock spyder, there's not much room for aiming. All in all however, got everything aligned, so I cleaned everything up and re- sealed them. I'm a bit concerned with them leaking since they're a bit akin to a stuffed turkey (and almost as heavy!).

 

Haven't got a chance to finish the accessory wiring or install them, but hopefully tomorrow is judgement day!

 

P.s. for the discerning eye, yes, there's definitely a fair bit of flaws, but they're for me, and I can a always go back and fix stuff!

 

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Thats looking sharp to be sure. I know this is gonna sound crazy, but just an idea...I wonder how tough it would be to retrofit the old quad-mini sealed beams from the previous gen GPs? It would definitely be different.

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Thats looking sharp to be sure. I know this is gonna sound crazy, but just an idea...I wonder how tough it would be to retrofit the old quad-mini sealed beams from the previous gen GPs? It would definitely be different.

Thanks! I know it's been done before, but I can't find pictures... usually it isn't done because the lenses are so foggy, what's the point? But I think there might be aftermarket lenses out there? You could always grind the backside. I had my lenses down to 100 grit and they turned out clear.

 

The projectors go all the way down to like 1.5" for motorcycle headlights so I wouldn't see why not.

 

Worst part would be getting the lenses apart. You might have to cut them apart.

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I was thinking about the 1995 quad sealed beams like on the GP coupe or Cutlass...BUT I ran across these on eBay... Two of these in each housing would look great. (and they have an adjustment screw on the back)

 

LED Jeep lights

 

LEDs-M.jpg

Agreed! I've always wanted to get the older gen grand prix or cutlass to mess around with, but the driveway is pretty full until I can get my fiero up and running! Lol

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I'm gonna check the local yard and see if there are any of those projector housings in decent shape. If you happen across another set let me know.

 

 BTW, whats the diameter of the projector holes in the lights you built?

 

Thanks!

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absolutely! I've never come across a set till now, but I'll keep my eyes peeled!

 

Ended up using 2.5", but I think the stock ones are 2" or 1.8" so I had to modify the housing a LOT to get them to work.

 

Not done by far, but here's a quick test of them on the vehicle!

 

[VIDEO]

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After looking at the housings on my car I figured my eBay lights weren't going to work and I was right. But I'm still interested in trying a custom set-up especially if I can utilize some LED lights.

 

Yours are looking great!

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That's more like it! For some reason, they didn't like being in series, only parallel... strange. Diodes shouldn't have any issue, but ok!

 

Now I just need to figure out how to seal the back by the bulb...

 

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Just as well, the voltage division could have made them dim if they worked.

Bingo! Strangely enough, that's the "stock" led wiring. Now I just have to figure out how to seal the back part of the headlight. Stock one is a rubber piece, but the projector is so much bigger, it sticks out the back....

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