Sport Bikes banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, hopefully I'll be able to keep this short and sweet with everything you need to know. I got plenty of pics to help illustrate the tutorial. This HID retrofit was done on my CBR F4i. Some of these tips will probably be applicable to other bikes. Use some common sense and try and stay calm because you will probably be pissed off at several points during the installation. I was, but hopefully some of my advice will save you some headaches. If you have any questions, just ask, I'm doing this since I didn't have one and there were several things that I had go wrong. Murphy's law (what can go wrong, will go wrong) was truer than gravity for me.

First things first. Take your upper fairing off. You're going to want to pay attention, and label if necessary where wires go. My advice is to take several pics along the way to aid you in reassembly, and over label things. After you get your fairing off and electrically disconnected from your bike, start on the housing removal. It's not too difficult, just look for the appropriate screws. You should get it down to where all wires and electrical components are off. A heat gun probably works a little better, but I used my oven to heat the housing to pull it apart. The glue it has on it is ridiculously sticky when it touches itself. I heated the oven to 250 F and left it in there for around 7 minutes. The plastic can handle quite a bit of heat, so I wouldn't worry about it melting, but I did set it on a towel covered rack in the oven. After you get it peeled apart, it should look a little like this.



After you get it peeled, remove the stock reflectors. On mine, I just had to unscrew the stock headlight adjusters. Mine had 3 on a side. I couldn't and didn't want to remove the adjusters. It makes it convenient to use them on your retrofit. It's almost necessary unless you want to install adjusters of your own.



To use the stock adjuster, you're going to need to make a bracket unless you're ridiculously lucky and have a projector that fits your adjusters already. I cut mine out of some thin sheet metal. I then painted it black, carefully drilled appropriate sized holes to fit exactly where the adjusters are. You then need to make a semi-close fit of what you're projector is shaped. You'll want it big enough that you're projector will fit and have room for adjustment, but small enough to actually mount the projector to it. You'll also want the hole lined up with the hole in the back of the housing so the projector bulb can be changed and everything. I lined the inner hole with duck tape to keep from scratching the reflector bowl on the projector.



After that, you're probably going to need a level, car battery and somewhere to set the housing. I used a sturdy TV table. Set the housing up as level as possible. This is important because the last thing you want is to have an unlevel cut-off line after you put the bike back together. It'll look like crap, and you won't be able to adjust it without tearing it all back down again. Trust me you don't want to do this, I did but for another reason. Anyway, get the housing level and mark holes on the mounting bracket where you will screw the projector to it. You can probably eye-ball it and make small adjustments later, but if you can come up with a better idea to get it perfectly level, then do it. The old saying about an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very applicable in this part. Leveling them was more of a bitch than I had anticipated. I needed spacers to get the correct depth of the projectors. YOu can buy these spacers at hardware stores. You can see how I had it in this pic



If I didn't space it out like that, the rear of the projector and bulb was like this, not what you want.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This is:



Unfortunately I was unsuccessful with this. The last pic was with two spacers. I ended up having to take one out so that my projector "shrouds" didn't hit the front lens. If I could do it again, I'd find a happy medium and make it work. Now, I'm still trying to find a way to cover the back of the housing and not run out of space. Gotta be able to keep water out of there!

This is a good time to point out that you probably want to get the smallest projectors as you can, space is an issue in almost all phases of this retrofit. I used some Valeo 2.5" xenon projectors. Bi-xenon would be awesome to have, but they are generally larger, and the last thing I wanted was to run out of room. You can find a wealth of info on various projectors, ballasts, bulbs, etc on the message boards of HIDplanet.com BTW- I covered the side gap/holes on the projector with aluminum tape so it wouldn't shed light back into my housing.

Ok, assuming you have one if not two projectors mounted in your housing you'll need to check how level the cut-off is. Hook up the wires from you're ballast to the terminals of your car battery and look at the cutoff line. Originally, I was going to keep the two cutoff lines at the same place like a car's, but decided that I'd make a High and Low beam, so I generally just ride with one headlight on. You won't see much above the cutoff line in complete darkness, so I'd advise on doing this or get bixenons. Here's a pic of my cutoff line, I'd grab a level and hold it to it's cutoff line to make sure it's right, it'll be noticeable if it's not when you have full width of your cut-off. This pic doesn't show the cutoff line color very well, but it looks sweet!



I believe typically your cutoff should drop 4" every 25'. I put mine closer to level. About 1" drop for every 25' of travel. Remember that they will go up when you sit on your bike, but if you use your stock adjustors, you should be able to get them to go up and down some, but try to put your housing close to the correct angle as it will be on the bike so you're at least relatively close. Here's a pic with both on and them set at the same heighth. Like I said, they aren't that way now.



Alright, where are we now, you've probably cussed a lot at this point, so go drink a few beers and start again tomorrow.

If you want it to look real good, you're going to want some sort of shrouds. You can buy the shrouds off ebay, or devise a way to make some of your own. This is what I did. I found some canning funnels and used a 2.5" hole saw to cut a hole in it. I then sprayed it with Krylon satin black finish spray paint. I used the "fusion" kind that is supposed to bond well with plastic. Dunno if it actually does though.



I really like the way it looks and fits. It caused me a MAJOR headache though, because after I had everything back together on my bike, one of the my shrouds brok off. So I had to take EVERYTHING back apart to fix it. Make sure whatever shroud you use won't hit the housing when it's being adjusted. I had to cut a little of the housing away to make this work. I also originally used epoxy to glue the shroud. Epoxy is strong, but doesn't give at all, so that's why it broke. I would advise using 100% silicone caulking. This should hold it plenty well, but have a little "give" so that it won't just break free. It kinda sucks because I had to glue it several times with epoxy before deciding it just wasn't going to work, so it built up a little and from low angles you can see it behind my shroud. It truly isn't very noticeable, but it's about the only thing that looks unprofessional. You can see it here



At this point, if everything went well, you're ready to put your housing back together. You'll need to heat it back up to make it happen. I'd also use a little of that extra silicone caulking to seal it up good.

Here's an original pic of my ballasts and projectors. As you can see, there's not much wire from my ballast to my projectors. I wanted my ballasts in my trunk, and if I was you, I'd do the same. Again, space is an issue, and there's not too many place to mount your ballasts. In order to do this, I had to cut the wires and solder longer wires to it to be able to run it from the front of the bike to the back. I would most definitely solder, just so you don't later get some loose connections and have to look everywhere trying to find out which one is loose. I also used liquid electrical tape on every solder joint to improve waterproofness. I then taped over the liquid electrical tape with regular electrical tape after the liquid dried. All in all you will need to run wires from your regular headlight power to the hot wire on the ballast, a ground wire from the ballast to whatever ground you want to use, and wires from the ballast to your headlights. There are different types of ballasts, and I don't know if they're different, but mine had three wires. So with mine, I ended up having 10 wires ran front to back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It should also be noted that turning HID bulbs on and off constantly is hard on them. They last a long time, but this will shorten the life of the bulb. To aid in this, I used a switch to turn my low beam off before start-up. If you're bike is like mine, when the key is on the "on" position, your headlight comes on, then it turns off as you're starting your bike, and then back on when it starts. This is obviously bad for the bulb, so that's where the switch came in. Pretty simple deal. I can take a pic where I mounted it if anybody cares. Some people use a relay to do this process. I read where some people use the alternator to flip the relay. I tried this, but the alternator doesn't put out consistant power, at least not after the regulator which is where I pulled the alternator power from. I called the local dealership, and their electrical guy said NOT to do this. He said that it might be ok, but it could possibly screw with the fuel injection and other things. Point is that it really didn't work like it should theoretically, and it could possibly screw other things up. Just use a switch OR a relay that is thrown from another power source that is ONLY on when the motor is on. I couldn't find one, and the electrical guy didn't know of one either, so I just used a switch. Here's a diagram of how to wire it up if you find a good power source that is only on when the motor is running. Just substitute that for wire that I have labelled "from alternator".



Also, ballasts, when first started, draw more power than your stock halogens, so you will most definitely blow a 10A fuse if you turn on both bulbs at the same time. This does not mean you can't have both on at the same time, but you can't turn them on at the same time. Like I said, they draw more power at first, but then settle down and actually run on less juice than stock. So if you want both on, you'll have to wait around 10 seconds with your low on and then turn your high on.

Well, I can't think if I forgot anything, so if you see any holes in this makeshift tutorial, let me know and I'll fill it it. Also, if anyone with photoshop wants to do me a favor, I'd like you to save all these pics, make sure they are less than 1 meg and just post them directly through this site by attaching them to your reply. I used photobucket, and although I don't plan on deleting them off photobucket, they probably won't be there forever which won't help people that find this thread in a search in the future. Hope this all helps
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top