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234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Will cross-post from HIDPlanet.

Do not expect this thread to move fast. lol

A few months ago I purchased this Dodge Ram, used, with 96K hard miles on it:

Formerly a plow truck in Philly, I'm trying to give it much-needed TLC. I've done U-joints on the rear drive shaft, all the fluids, and am currently wrapping up a head job. Hopefully I'll be done with that this week.

One of the major annoyances I've had with this truck didn't probably bother the previous owners, because snow plows have lights on them anyway - the stock headlights have about had it!
The lenses are fogged, but that doesn't really matter because the mount on one is broken so it points down about 10' in front of the truck; the other one is, for some reason, very dim.
I have to drive around with the brights on constantly if it's nighttime, because the low beams are literally useless for driving, and the highs are barely passable on lit streets or in freeway traffic where I can take advantage of others' lighting. (I don't drive this truck at night if I can help it!)

So I dropped $80 on these eBay Chinese things. They showed up today and look decent from the outside:

Kind of cheesy looking, but the little LEDs will get me some of the "DRL" I seek for dawn and dusk. At least it'll make the truck stand out a little bit for bikers and joggers during the dangerous hours.
I have measured the enclosure; I have about 4 1/3" from where the bulb should screw in to the lens. Knowing that, I should be able to choose a projector.
Originally I was thinking the Mini H1, but another thread suggests that the Mini D2S may be better. In either case, I will need to come up with a method to support the front of the projector, since I have country property and it can be pretty bumpy driving around in the fields.

Going to have to do a bit of reading about projector dimensions, but I'm open to suggestions!

"Before" output shots to follow in the next few days when I get the engine back together and can find a good wall. :)
Minor update: finally completed the engine top-end rebuild. I was going nuts because I couldn't get it to start. Turns out Crank Position Sensor #3 did the trick. But that's irrelevant to this thread, other than I wasn't about to do anything else to the truck before I had it running again.

Side note: is it insane that I'll be doing this upgrade to the vehicle I use least... first? I'm writing it off as my practice for the BMW. :eek:



OBJECTIVE: identical settings for low and high beams (same as used by JVX in his threads.)

This was *approximately* 25 feet back from that wall. I did not have a tape measure at the time.
Also, since the above image paints an inaccurate picture of the apparent brightness of the headlights (I drive around with high beams on all the time and never get flashed), I took a "subjective" pic in my neighborhood.

SUBJECTIVE: Cell phone camera on HDR:

This is a lot more how the lights are in real life. And yes, the street lights are hella bright. Maybe not quite as bright as they look in this pic, but super annoying. I am glad I live one street over where we don't have these things.
Note the offset hot spot on left: the headlight housing bracket is broken, prohibiting proper alignment.

This weekend I'm going to test a few things in the truck and hopefully place my order with TRS next week.

TRS order placed!

Bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage III (D2S) $315.00

Morimoto Mini D2S 3.0 Projectors
2 x D2S 3.0: (X Lens/LHD)

HID Ballasts
2 x Morimoto XB35 (35W)

Required Igniters for Morimoto Ballasts 2 x Morimoto XB Igniter (D2S)

Compatible HID Bulbs
2 x D2S: XB35 4500K

Shrouds (Style based on Preference)
2 x PanaSquare

Harness (Match stock bulb size)
1 x MotoControl Bixenon: 9007/9004

Bulbs back-ordered until next week some time.

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Eeh? What's this waiting for me when I got home from work?

Seems packed reasonably well....


Also pleased because it appears that minimal trimming will be required.

Now the only thing keeping me from getting started is the lack of a power supply? A co-worker told me he's getting rid of some old computers so he was going to give me a PS, but he's been busy and hasn't gotten around to it. *sigh*

Too bad because the WX is supposed to be crummy over this long weekend. :p

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally got a power supply for $5 on Craigslist. But it was crap and did nothing.
Got another power supply from the same guy for $20. This one kicks ass.

I think this one is rated at 500W. The guy that sold it to me even put alligator clips on for me. :)

Right after taking this pic I was like "what's the burning paper smell?"

Oh. The little journal of my wife's was under the bulb and now has a dark spot on it. :p

Set up the eBay lens on a table and put the masking tape on the wall.

Dremel-ed like crazy. Lots of messing with the Dremel and experimenting. I'm very pleased that it looks like the projector can still be held in place by the plastic "neck" where the 9007 bulb mounted before. I had to open it up a bit and make the neck shorter, but it fits in quite well.

Test mounted the projector for about the 5th time and it fit pretty darn well! Fired it up for the first time... AWESOME. Only downside is... it's pointing WAY LOW. lol

So more Dremeling to follow; gotta shave the back of the housing a bit so when I tighten it down it points higher. :D


After additional shaving I have the projector lined up with the masking tape:

Unfortunately the adjusters are *near* the upper limit of travel on the housing. Which is annoying; when I first got the cutoff to line up it was *at* the maximum elevation on the adjuster; now I at least have another 3-4 full turns on the adjuster that I can still go up. And I suppose I can shim the housing on the truck with washers if necessary.

The surprisingly-small amount of trimming required inside the lens:

Somewhat more aggressive trimming in the back. Lens #2 will go much faster now that I know how much to take off and where. :)

Nice to have a snow day from work! :)

Second eBay housing:

Good grief, the hotspot was easy to find, but where the crap is the cutoff? I did my best to figure that one out. The second lens grinding went quite a bit faster at first, but tweaking it to get the projector inside was a bit slower. That said, I almost had it nailed the first time I put the lens back in the housing and fired up the bulb! I was pretty happy with myself; took two more little tweaks. The passenger's side lens is pretty bang-on, dead-center on the two adjusters. The only thing is the step is about 4-5" right of the center of the eBay hotspot. Seeing as how bad that projection was anyway, I'm not too worried about it yet.

My other question is this... people who do these retrofits talk about painting the inside of the reflector lens. I assume this is to reduce glare at funny angles, but I walked around and I really didn't see much at all.


The most (possibly) annoying would be the light through the shroud (at approximately the 9:30 position in the above pic). That's only visible across a very narrow angle though. When I'm testing them in the truck before the epoxy I'll try to evaluate that subjectively, get some other opinions and see if it'd be annoying.


One other thing I'm still not clear on....

* I get both projectors fitted snugly in the housings.
* I test fit the housings on the truck. (Which requires removing the bumper.)
* I turn the lamps on one at a time to check rotation & stuff with more tape.


I have to then REMOVE the housings again, somehow pulling the ballast and all that through the front of the truck so that I can put my epoxy without messing up the delicate adjustment that I will have made when they're hooked up. Is that about right?

Then I have to wait for the Epoxy to set and bake the housings to get the covers back on.

(Meanwhile - looks like I won't have to trim the shrouds at all - the projector is forward enough in the housing that they clear all the way around, just barely.

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I spent about three hours working on it one night last week. Took me longer than I expected to get the ballasts and everything mounted up. Plus it doesn't help that I have to pull the bumper to mount the housings.

The shop I use closes at 9 and I just barely got the housings in and connected at 8:30, so I fired 'em up to see where I am to start with:

*Note: this is about 21-22 feet back from the doors.

So. Not TOO bad. I was hoping to aim them and epoxy that same night, but that had to wait.

So. Back to the hobby shop last night! I was about 21' back from the doors, so based on my math, that's a 3" drop to get the cutoff on the ground at 250'. Lights at 38", tape at 35".

Based on the previous picture, I adjusted the left light down and the right light up.

Too far.

Attempt 2:


Attempt 3:

LEGIT. Very pleased. At this point I did the best checking I could of the rotation and hit the projectors with some 1-minute epoxy.

Pulled the housings and came home to drizzle JB Weld all over the backs. :D

The only challenge I'm dealing with now is the ball-and-socket on the driver's side has gotten a bit loose. Once the JB Weld sets I think I'll open the housing up again and squirt a touch of silicone in there.

I have plans for the next couple of days, so hoping to do the final install on Sunday. :D


(Looks like rotation might be off here just a *smidge*... but I think it's close enough. The cutoff seems to curve down a bit in both directions, so I don't think it's an issue. Will follow-up once I have the final install done.)

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Took advantage of the snow day. Cleaned everything up and reassembled them; melted the lens on & etc.

Only downside is that now the little LEDs in the housings that I WAS going to set up as pseudo-DRLs are going to be non-functional. After the eleventyith time I moved them around the solder broke on one of them; I figured "screw it, not that bright anyway." Will figure out another DRL solution. :)

Just hoping the reassembly process didn't screw up the aim somehow. lol

I'll put them on for reals and try to get the final alignment done this weekend; will post follow-up pics then!

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK my head just exploded.

Lids melted on, as per above.

Drove to shop with shitty padiddle halogen, but the warm knowledge that in 20 minutes I was going to have my shiny new lights installed!

Loosened bumper.
Installed lights.
Turned on switch.

The passenger's side fired up. The driver's side stayed off.


I fiddle.

Try again.

Same result. I try flipping to "high beams." This causes the light to turn off.

I fiddle again.

Try again.

Same result. (Including the high beams.)

I fiddle AGAIN.

Neither light comes on.

I fiddle several more times. My 20 minutes has become an hour and still no result. (The fuse in the power supply was fine.)

Finally I pulled the lights and one ballast, reinstalled the halogen housings and sadly drove home.

Connected the ballast to my test PSU and both bulbs fired right up.


I think the problem must be in the Motocontrol harness? I just don't understand. They both worked GREAT on Wednesday. I drove a total of 3 miles since then. The harness has been exposed to teh cold of this snowfall (under the hood and dry) but that's about it.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?


EDIT: Totally unrelated... I think the yellow stained-glass paint I put on the shroud "windows" is somehow coming through in the projector; adding a little yellow tint to the beam. I think it looks pretty wicked.

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I feel like a dumbass. haha

Spent 20 minutes last night, double-checking and re-grounding my grounds. Even put the grounds directly to the battery terminal. STILL no +12v at the ballast connection when I turned the switch on. WHAT IS GOING ON?? SURELY THIS MUST BE A PROBLEM WITH THE RELAY.

I KNOW the power source is good because the halogen lights work fine!

Just as I was about to give up, I look at the 9007 "male" connector on the relay harness. Pin is bent. :facepalm:

I straighten out the pin and VOILA! Everything comes to life.

Headlights installed, both turn on. I am thrilled!

(Wife is annoyed because now we're cutting into dinner time.)

Drove around a couple of miles after eating; everything looks pretty legit, but they're aimed a little too far down.

Not sure how a 3¼" drop at 20' turns into a 38" drop at about 75'... but that's as far out as the cutoff goes right now.

Tonight I'mma pull the housings again and adjust the beams up some. Also need to figure out why high/low are flipped. The solenoids are activated when I'm on the low-beam setting. I think I need to move pins on the connector around, just not sure how to do it.

Will post pics soon.

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK!!! Pretty darn happy right now.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the lights were hitting the ground way too close to the vehicle. When I backed into the garage stall I was using for aiming... strangely enough the cutoffs were several inches below the tape. Very strange that they both "sagged" by an apparently equal amount of around 7-8" at 21 feet.

I adjusted both of them back up to the tape line and then went for a short test drive. I paced off the approximate distance to the cutoff (~150') and drove through some parking lots to check cutoff height vs. car windows and mirrors. Through both "tests" I determined the lights could come up a bit.

Back in the bay, I adjusted them up another 1½-2" @ 21' and figured that'd be good. Re-attached bumper and headed out.
Again pacing the cutoff length in a parking lot, the top of the step was ~90-95 paces out. Tough to tell at that distance, but it's 300ish feet I suppose.
The cutoff is below mirrors and windows of 98% of the cars now. Only the very lowest, smallest vehicles get some light through the windows. I'm quite pleased at this point. If I start getting flashed at night I'll pull 'em and adjust down a smidge.

Final pics:

Driver's side rotation is off a smidge. I think that happened given the 3-point aiming setup of the lights; one ball & socket and two screws, only one of which is accessible with the cover on. Rotation was perfect before the adjustment, so I dunno. Not sure why passenger's side didn't rotate when I moved it up though?? Annoying looking at the wall, but you don't notice it when driving.

These are identical settings to the "before" pics on the first page:

Not quite so obvious, but GREAT for driving.


234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh man, finally got the truck into the country roads where we have our property. I AM SO ADDICTED.

High beams:

(Low beams in same location)

Not sure what the "owl finder" is in the trees. lol

Here you can see the rotation being off a smidge. The trees are at about 150' here.

Would definitely recommend the M2DS... but maybe not for someone with stiff suspension as the sharp low-beam cutoff can be distracting as it bounces around.

3 Posts
Thank you for this write up. I'm about to put these same lights in my grand cherokee. One question though. Is there light coming out the sides to fill the original housing? Any chance you can take a pic with the lights on from the side?

234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Aah! Then yes, you should really look at my ZJ writeup as opposed to this one. ;)

Although the MD2S is probably easier to install with the screw back vs making brackets for the G37 or another projector. The G37s are much wider though.

That's G37 in ZJ top, MD2S 3.0 in the Ram bottom. The G37 is angled a little because I pulled up onto a piece of wood to elevate the beam. lol
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