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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, gents. It's been almost a year since I did this, so I wanted to report and post a walkthrough on installing the Morimoto Elite HID System and the Morimoto XSB LED Switchback Halos. I find the quality better than the DDM set I had previously, and the support has been worlds better as well.

Materials List:
  • Morimoto Elite HID Kit
  • Morimoto XSB LED Halos 70mm set x 1
  • Morimoto XSB LED Halos 80mm set x 1
  • CF13-GL02 LED flasher relay x 1
  • Permatex Ultra Black gasket maker
  • Scotch/3M permanent outdoor mounting tape
  • Unidirectional TVS Diode: SLD10U-017
Tools:
  • Alan wrenches
  • Mini clamps
  • Utility knife
  • Soldering iron


Here's the gear as nit arrives from The Retrofit Source.
Included are some paltry instructions (nothing like Crutchfield's), but the installation is actually pretty straightforward.




http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=664226[/URL]
The ballast feels solid, and comes with the orange mounting hardware if you want to drill holes. I'm not a fan of drilling fiberglass, so I use permanent foam tape.




This is everything but the rings all wired up as it will be when it is in the car. Notice the halo splitter in the bottom left corner. You hook this piece of the existing headlight power connector on your car and it splits the power between the ballast for the HID lamp and the LED ring.




Here's one of the LED rings. The two power connector pins on the left slip into a plastic connector that is paired with one end of the halo splitter cable. I have not connected the plastic end here yet, and the reason why will become apparent later. You can see the black cylinder driver in the background. This is what kept burning out on me before using the TVS diodes.
The turn signal tap hooks into your turn signal wire and will flash your LED rings to amber/off when your signal is on. This is optional. If you don't want that behavior, just tape up the yellow wire and don't hook it up.
 

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IMO the Morimoto kit could be a better kit of they had quality bulbs. The supplied ones take too long to warm up. Makes it look too aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ring is comprised of a ton of tiny super bright white LEDs on a silicon wafer what's been covered with translucent silicone. Sorry that I decided to overexpose the hell out of all these photos, but if you look closely at the ring in the photo, you can see the tiny yellow LEDs inside. The silicone does a nice job of diffusing the light so that it doesn't look so much like a bunch of little LEDs as it does a solid white ring. You can still see the individual LEDs when you are close, but it's very bright and looks great. The rings feel very brittle and the connection where the wires meet the ring looks fragile, so handle with care.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you've never gotten into your headlights before, the procedure is pretty simple. Turn your wheels all the way in one direction and remove the plastic bolts (with any old Phillips screwdriver) that you can reach in your when liners. Then turn your wheels all the way in the other direction and take out the new plastic bolts that you can reach. Grasp the bottom of the wheel well liner from the vent holes and gently pull slightly upward and toward the back of the car. It should come right out. You do not need to remove the liner that is in the rear of the wheel- just the front half.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Now use an Allen wrench (whatever ends up fitting) and remove the three bolts indicated here. This is one of the two unpleasant parts of this job. Get a comfy mat and lie down. If you leave the wheels on like I do, it's hard to get a power tool in here, so it's manual wrenching. Don't touch the hex nuts that I have crossed out in the photo. I ****ed up and took those off. Don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gently pull the plastic headlight directly forward (not upward) to remove it. This might take just a little bit of jiggling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This next part is a bit half-assed, but I did not want to cut my headlights open to do the installation. If you want to open them fully and reseal them when you're done, this will take a lot less skill and probably result in less frustration if you don't have nimble fingers. I mounted the LED rings onto the existing black plastic by slipping the rings through the holes and gluing them in place with gasket maker. That stuff is fantastic. No need to worry about problems with heat or degradation, and it holds like mad. I cut small notches in each hole in the black plastic so that I could easily slip the rings through and have a space to discreetly run the wires through to the back. Use a couple small clamps to keep the rings in place and CAREFULLY fill in the void between the back of the LED ring and the black plastic. Take your time doing this, because you don't want to get any on the front of the LED ring itself. If you do, wipe it off with isopropyl. Again, those of you who are butterfingers and feel like fully opening the headlight cover will have an easier time doing this. Let that cure overnight and that bitch ain't going anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unhook the headlamp connector from the existing lamp.
Using needle-nosed pliers, pull the existing black rubber plug out. We are going to be running more wires through it.
Push the existing connector out through the plug and replace it with the kit supplied headlamp connector. Then run two of the LED ring connector wires through it as well.
You will probably need to use the tip of a utility knife to enlarge the hole in the plug slightly to get the additional wires/connectors through. Do not make it any bigger than you have to. This can take a bit of time and muscle, so take your time and be patient.
Push the plug back into place.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I decided to put two LED rings in each headlight, but the kit only comes with a single connector, so both wires need to go into one connector. You can cut and connect the wires, but I decided to solder the pins together (two white together, two black together), stacked with an offset so that the pin would still fit inside the connector. Imagine one connector giving the other one a rim job and you'll know how I mean.
Poke these into the plastic connector. You can do this before you run the LED connectors through the rubber plug if you want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now it's time to mount the ballast and igniter to the car. Use a couple stacked lengths of the permanent tape on the back sides of the components. Clean the area you're about to stick them to with isopropyl alcohol. You can put them wherever you have room. Just be sure to put them so that you will still be able to put the wheel well cover back in. As a precaution, it's best to have any connections facing downward to that water won't try to work its way inside.

If you want your rings to also flash amber when the turn signal is on, this is the point where you can use the supplied wire tap to tap into the turn signal wire. Use your hands and eyes to locate it. It's tight in there, but not hard to find. There's a separate signal wire on each side of the car, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now plug all the stuff in where it belongs like in photo in the first post. Most of the plugs can only fir in one place, so this is pretty simple.
Here's the real sonofabitch: Remove the existing bulb and replace it with the new HID bulb. Make sure you don't touch the bulb itself. Lipids from your filthy hands can get hot and damage the bulb. Isopropyl to the rescue, again. I found that getting the clip to hold the HID bulb a complete nightmare, but it did eventually work. I think the lip on the bulb is wider than expected and makes this a challenge. Plug the new headlamp power connector into the new bulb.

Now take the headlight cover with your new LED rings inside and plug them in. Make sure the 80mm ring is plugged into the 80mm driver and the 70mm ring into the 70 driver. These are not interchangeable!!!
Slip the headlight cover back on, poking the wires around so they are safe and hidden by the black plastic. Don't bother to screw anything back in or make it permanent at this point, as you need to test it. Repeat the same procedure on the opposite side before testing, though. Both new headlights need to be plugged in for either to work.

Back in the wheel well, plug the existing head lamp power plug into the halo Y-splitter and everything should be ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One last thing if you decide to use the amber switchback function. You will need to swap out the flasher relay to one that supports LEDs. Be careful what you order. I ordered the wrong style at first and the polarity was reversed. Fail!
The flasher is located under the metal tray area in the interior of the car on the passenger side. Hope you're an acrobat or at least a slut because you're going to need to fold and contort yourself in funny ways to find and reach this thing. I wasn't able to get a photo of this, but I think there's another thread here that I will try to find that better explains where it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now, here's some new information that I forgot until just now. I kept having the LED drivers burn out:



I think the voltage dump from startup was frying these babies every once in a while, so I ordered a set of five transient voltage suppression diodes (data sheet) to protect the circuit. These essentially short out the circuit when the voltage gets to be above the breakdown voltage of 13V so that the spike safely bypasses the driver.

You'll need to expose a bit of wire in both the positive (white) and ground (black) wire in the INPUT side of the driver's wires. This is the end that is in the wheel well area, not inside the headlight. No need to do anything with the yellow wire here.

Look at the TVS diode for the stripe on one side. This is the cathode side. The white wire needs to be attached to this side. Wrap the bit of exposed white wire around the cathode lead on the diode and solder it on. Be careful that you don't burn up the diode by getting it too hot. Solder it close to the diode cylinder, because you are going to cut the rest of the lead off when you are done soldering. It's functioning as a bit of a heat sink right now.

Solder the exposed bit of black wire to the anode lead of the diode.

Cut the leads off each side of the TVS diode so that they are about flush with the solder.

Now you have this big stupid thing in your wires that you need to protect. I used a quick-drying silicone sealant to cover the solders and any bare wire, let it cure, and then wrapped the whole mess in some electrical tape to make sure the sharp ends on the diode were well cushioned and protected.




 

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Great writeup.

FYI the TRS drivers seem to burn up on a lot of their other applications, not just a lotus specific issue.
 

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@Skwerl Can you post pics of the finished product? Wondering what these rings look like when the lights are off in daylight and on. I need to adjust the aim of my drivers side lights and figure this might be a easy cheap winter project.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, I will give it a shot. It's proven very difficult to take a good photo of them because the damned headlights are always on (I wish I could prevent that and just use the button to turn the lamps on and off). It obscures them and wonks up the exposure. I’ll try this weekend. I have to say that they look really good, and I can’t imagine you would be disappointed. I’ve had continual issues with the LED drivers, however. TRS has switched to a new style of driver that has fared FAR better, but I have still had to replace one of those as well. I think they sent me at least 10 replacements for the previous version.
 

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@Skwerl Can you post pics of the finished product? Wondering what these rings look like when the lights are off in daylight and on. I need to adjust the aim of my drivers side lights and figure this might be a easy cheap winter project.

Thanks.
Not meaning to hijack, and this might seem like blatent advertising, but I am a product development engineer at Diode Dynamics and helped get the ball rolling on the coating process for our HDHalo line which is the same as the moriomoto halos that followed after ours. However ours is a much more brilliant white, and offer a switchback version that lets you tap into your turn signal and it'll flash amber.

We've got them in a bunch of different sizes.

HD LED Switchback Halos (pair) - HD Halos & Strips - All Products


(Our drivers are pretty dead reliable too. :) )
 
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