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JZA80 > JZA70
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been working with Isaac to have these brackets made and my god these are next to being as easy as the tsx brackets Isaac have previously made, seems I am starting to really like the rx330's and rx350's

I currently am installing this on the fly, but I will completely disassemble the whole setup and do it step by step, so there isn't any details that will be missed.

First disassemble the rx350's you will have the front lens retainer, the shield and then the rear bowl

first you have to grind the top of the bulb holder to clear inside the supra headlights




now onto cutting/trimming the shield, you will trim each side to fit the bracket these are near the bixenon solenoid



and now trimming the actual bowl to be able to have the universal mount to fit



have you have to also trim the top part of the shield to clear








grind the afs nub to clear the supra bezel



and putting the factory ring on, so there isn't any gap











 

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411 HP GSXR / 203 HP Vrod
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Awesome job. It takes lots of time and patience to do this. I did it on my motorcycle and it took blood, sweat and tears to complete the task.
 

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***** White Lover
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Awesome work. I currently have TSX projectors retrofitted into mine 97-98(s) now. Would love to have RX350 bi-xeon projectors retrofitted into mine.
 

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JZA80 > JZA70
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1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Please pm me for details! I can help you out with that!
 

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You have to have a lot of patience to do this! Way to go! I only have two questions. 1. Beam pattern 2. How to get a perfect seal on the glass/plastic lens covers so there is NEVER any moisture inside?
 

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JZA80 > JZA70
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Discussion Starter #7
You have to have a lot of patience to do this! Way to go! I only have two questions. 1. Beam pattern 2. How to get a perfect seal on the glass/plastic lens covers so there is NEVER any moisture inside?
I don't have pictures of my own rx350 setups yet, but heres a output picture with sti-r clear lens installed on it



A lot of the time believe it or not even from the manufacturer (koito) they also can not seal the lens properly i had my own very brand new 98 headlights that wasn't sealed right and noticed right away it had moisture inside sometimes. Koito actually has butyl tape you can buy from the retrofitsource, or you can use their OCI butyl tape, you can put a generous amount around the bead to seal it properly, and if your headlights are older a lot of the times its missing filters/breathers so water can go in and cause that problem even if you reseal it 20 times.
 

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It's also my experience that factory/unopened headlights can get condensation as well. Others have also experienced this. I don't believe it has to do with the glue that seals the lens to the back housing, though. The factory stuff doesn't move or degrade over time and they use a lot of it. I believe the issue has to do with all the openings at the back of the headlight. There are a couple of points that can be a big issue. If the hi beam bulb is missing, this is a large direct opening into the headlight and you will certainly get a lot of dust entering and can get water through there too. There is also the cap behind the fog light. This will sometimes not be seated and turned all the way, or it may have been cut to run wires through with a HID kit and wasn't sealed. I've seen this personally, where a slot was cut in this cap for wires and I could see water mark trails down the inside of the housing from this point. Also, if the rubber U caps over the vents are missing or not sealed, these can also allow water in when it drains over the back of the headlight.

Even with all these things correctly in place, I would still sometimes get condensation in the headlight. Water can get past that seal between the hood and the headlight and it will drain over the back of the headlight. I think the higher temp in the engine bay just evaporates this water and creates a higher humidity level which enters through the vents at the back of the headlight and you'll see it condense on the cooler parts inside the headlight.

What I've found to be the worst thing to do is use a pressure washer on the headlights for an extended time. Even a regular hose attachment with the jet setting can cause a problem. You might do this to wash off smashed bugs or something, but you're pushing a lot of water through that point and over the back of the headlight when you do this.

There is an issue that comes with a retrofit with the gap between the projector and the back housing. There is a rubber cap that tightly seals around the factory projector to seal this gab, but HID projectors are not shaped like the factory projector. What you're left with after a retrofit is an irregular shape that the rubber cap does not seal against. This will absolutely allow dust and water in if not sealed. I've seen one solution where the lip of this cap is turned in so the edge contacts the reflector bowl. I don't believe this will give a tight enough seal, though. It also will allow water to wick into the HID ballast plug. These ballasts push 20,000+ volts at startup and you don't want water inside this plug.

A solution I've found is to use foam weatherstrip around the ballast plug to provide a tight seal between it and the factory rubber cap. This keeps out water and dust and keeps the inside face of the plug from getting wet. With normal washes using the shower setting on my sprayer, I don't ever see condensation. I've got many retrofits out there and advise every customer to limit the high pressure water over the headlights. It seems to be a successful formula to keep out the condensation.
 

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Do you have pics of your RX350 setup yet? I'm bench testing
my RX350 w/STi-R clean lens and I have that sucky glare
above the cutoff step from the squirrel finder. I'd like to know
how you block off the squirrel finder.
 

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JZA80 > JZA70
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1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Do you have pics of your RX350 setup yet? I'm bench testing
my RX350 w/STi-R clean lens and I have that sucky glare
above the cutoff step from the squirrel finder. I'd like to know
how you block off the squirrel finder.
I actually use OEM lens grinds i hate sti-r lenses as you have to grind the ID of the lens holder to fit them and its never a great way to start a project and also you have to fold the tabs onto the lens (can crack or eventually fall out of place) all i really did was grind the Nub on the center of the shield
 

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I recently did a RX350 retrofit on a set of Euro lights with a set of Isaac's excellent mounting plates. The plate is slightly different for the Euro lights (the main difference is the location of the L/R adjuster mounting point) and make the retrofit very straightforward. He includes the necessary hardware (longer mounting bolts/nylock nuts and rubber pieces to seal the back of the lights in combination with the stock seals). You'll need a set of AFS RX350 bi-xenon projectors to do the retrofit. I got mine from Lightwerkz, which is one of the best automotive vendors I've ever dealt with. The Retrofit Source has them too and is excellent as well. The install is mostly the same as with the US lights, but you don't have to do quite as much grinding to make things fit. To start you have to remove some AFS mounting hardware from the bottom:



You also have to grind the plastic mounting point off the top as detailed in the pictures in the original post.

Some of the frame needs to be ground down to clear the mounting plate:





I attached the stock trim ring by using a longer mounting bolt for one corner of the projector:



And used drilled a hole through the projector frame and ran a bolt through it for the other corner of the trim ring:



On the back of the projector, the spring that holds the bulb in place required a little trimming to allow the rubber seal from the light to be fastened in place. I cutoff the "square" portion at the top, leaving enough of the spring to engage on the projector body. The trimming I did to the back of projector body on the top and left side of the bulb holder ended up not being necessary once the projector was aligned properly:



And a picture of the whole assembly mounted in the headlight:




Some misc. install notes:

Heating them for 12 minutes @ 245F seemed to work well for the initial open. The hardest part about opening them is getting the initial break in the seal. Starting at the inboard lower corner seemed to be the best place. You have to jam something through the butyl and work it between the glass and housing. Once you poke through, you can pry the rest of the light open. Be careful because the big plastic shroud inside the light could be damaged if you're too rough with it. I used a trim removal kit from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L8GHB7O/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The tool with the angled metal blade was good for making the initial poke through the sealant and the rounded nose plastic tools were good for smoothing down the warm sealant back into the channel once the light was open (makes it easier and cleaner to reassemble).

Morimoto retrorubber sealant: https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/accessories/morimoto-retro-rubber-butyl-glue.html makes sealing the headlights back up easy. Stretch it quite a bit before putting it in the channel as it is too thick as it comes out of the box.

Clamps are very useful when you reassemble the lights to get the glass back in place and fully seated. These worked well on the bottom of the light: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CPSJCB8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 but didn't have anything to grab onto on the top of the lights and tried to just push it in place with my hands. After test fitting the lights in the car, I discovered that I hadn't gotten the top of the lights fully seated, so they didn't fit properly (weren't flush with the fenders on the outboard edge). I reheated the lights (7 min @ 245), and used a clamps like this (already had some so not this exact clamp) at the top corners and the bottom inboard corner to get the lens fully seated: https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-6-Inch-Ratchet-Spreader-39180/dp/B000NY4UDQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1519147871&sr=1-4&keywords=wood+clamp


Misc. projector notes:

Stock the RX350 projectors come with a fresnel lens that deliberately blurs/softens the cutoff and makes them somewhat dimmer. Clear lenses are a $30 option. A discussion of the pros and cons of each option with a video of output from both: https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/forum/the-hidplanet-university/informative-articles/1396397-clear-lens-swap-tuning-output-comparison-lexus-rx350-sti-r

RX350 projectors can be "tuned." Lightwerkz will do it for $50 per projector or HIDplanet has a lengthy thread with discussion of how to do it on your own: https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/forum/the-hidplanet-university/how-to-diy/57857-how-to-sti-r-clear-and-tune-an-rx-350bix-with-pics I did some of the mods (secondary shield trim and lens rotation) but didn't do the shield shift on my EU spec projectors. They would have benefited from the shift since the hotspot is not centered with the shield cutoff as discussed in the thread, but at my skill level, the probability of the shield not working properly would have gone up significantly so I left it alone.

The RX350 projectors are great, but if you want to do this on a budget, the Euro projectors actually work pretty well with just a quality plug and play HID kit. They don't have quite as much spread and the light distribution isn't quite as even, but they have an excellent cutoff and do better than any other projector designed for halogen bulbs I've seen with one big exception. The ECE light "flare" on the right is very pronounced once you put HIDs in and is obnoxious to traffic traveling in lanes to the right of you. I'm pretty sure that modifying the stock shield by adding some sheet metal as depicted in red to extend the shield would fix that problem for minimal cost. You'd still have to open up the lights to get to it, but the only cost would be the cost of some sealant to seal the lights back up:



Finally, don't cheap out on bulbs and ballasts. Use D2S Osram or Philips bulbs from a reputable vendor. $40 "Phillips" (sic) bulbs from eBay are fakes. I used Philips White Vision bulbs: https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/hid-bulbs/d-series/philips-85410-white-vision-d2s-bulbs.html and Osram CBBs are a new bulb with a bluer light that seem to perform very well. For ballasts, Hella gen 3 ballasts are hard to beat. The startup is much faster than a cheap Amazon/Ebay or Morimoto ballast and are likely to work for a much longer time. Vision Auto Lab (search on facebook) sells modified high wattage versions if you'd like to boost output:



I'm using a 43W set on my headlights, which gives a little more light without hopefully damaging the projector bowls. If you want a cheaper alternative, F3 (35W) and F5 (allegedly 55W although real output is supposedly more like 45W) Fast Bright ballasts startup almost as quickly and are about 1/4 the cost. I'm using a set on my high beams and they seem to work pretty well (couldn't stand the color contrast between the halogen bulbs and the White Vision output):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011N25Y2W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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^^^ excellent write-up. :bigthumb:
 

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I'm not sure. Isaac said his mounting plate was designed to work with the AFS units. Message him directly (Isaac is his username) and he should be able to tell you if it's possible.
 
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