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Aftermarket HID Conversion
#1
Photo 
Merry Christmas, everyone!

As a follow-up of to thread I recently You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. on this forum regarding an HID upgrade for my 2010 Insignia, I've decided to write a how-to thread to record my progress, receive advice / critical remarks and to also help some other who may want to follow in my steps.

I bought a pair of aftermarket headlamps from a local auto parts shop. They are apparently produced by Dectane GMBH and they are the most common aftermarket 
headlights for the Insignia. You can find them on flea bay, amazon, alibaba, aliexpress, you name it. 

Even if the company seems German, upon closer inspection the headlights appear to be made in Taiwan. Well, at least it's not China.

They came with bulbs fitted for the indicator and high beam and also with what I believe to be an electric motor to adjust the height of the light beam. Here are some photos:

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  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. 
    You could notice two hex bolts that can be used to adjust the light projection left / right and up / down. Also from the back side, one can notice that the screws that keep the dust cover in place are screwed straight into the plastic of the head lamp housing so if you buy these headlights don't over tighten the screws or you'll strip the threads. Threaded metal inserts would have been a nice.
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. 
    You can observe in the upper right what I believe to be the height adjustment electric motor. Also in this photo, you can notice the rubbish cable management which can be better observed in a photo of the backside of the headlamps with the cover on which I accidentally deleted but I'll edit the post as soon as possible to include 
Judging from the specs on the front of the head lights, I can't be sure that these are indeed HID compatible but, the projector itself is marked with H7 / HID (you can see this marking right above the bulb hole). As long as the projector itself is marked with HID, it should be good enough, shouldn't it?

I'll be posting more details as I go.
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#2
Here are a few more photos:
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. There are 2 of these on each headlight and they are placed in parallel with the LED drivers: one of 'em is a 29 ohm 10 watt resistor and the other is an 8 ohm 20 watt resistor. These are probably used to prevent any on board computer faults.
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. There are 2 of these unmarked boxes but my guess would be that they contain the LED driver. The LEDs are powered using PWM as I can see the flicker through my camera.
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. These are quite resilient as I tried pulling them apart and no luck. Nice of 'em to have used those rubber condoms to protect against the elements. Better than brittle solder joints.
  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. that came fitted for the high beam in case any one was wondering.  
As you can see, cable management... well there is not much of it to speak of.
 
According to the markings found on the back side of the headlights, the lens is made of poly carbonate and the rest is made of talc filled polypropylene  (20% talc) which should be good as this type of plastic is often used in applications where high rigidity at relatively high temps is required - common in car parts (if memory doesn't fail me, otherwise correct me if I'm wrong). FYI the melting point is around 230 C so keep that in mind if you plan on sticking an LED bulb in it. Speaking of which, due to the dust cover, you'll probably only be able to fit one of those bulbs that use braided metal strands for a heat sink.
 
I took the bulb from the high beam into the HID projector so I can take some pictures with the projector lit. Unfortunately my power supply cut out as it isn't capable of delivering the 6 amps at 12v the Osram bulb needs so I actually took it outside and hooked it up to the car so sorry for the snow. Here are some pics of the headlight lit up (note that the camera compensated for the yellow halogen. It's actually much more yellowish and the LEDs are  a bit more white-ish). You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. - that wall was the best thing I could point the light at. Anyway you could tell from the picture that the halogen inside the projector isn't all that bright. 
 
My next step, given that they're not OEM, would be to wrap them in UV resistant transparent foil to protect them from scratching and delay any hazing. After that, I'm thinking of doing something about those dangling wires and finally fit them on the car.
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#3
They look very good much better than the standard headlights
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#4
Hi guys!

It's been a while since I've posted an update on this thread but shipping stuff from the US to where I live seems to take ages. 

I've ordered a pair of You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. ballasts along with a pair of H7 Morimoto Elite bulbs and they took 2 and a half months to get delivered. They must be teleporting them atom by tedious atom, I suppose. In any case, I received the items last Thursday and I've fitted them over the weekend. 

I haven't yet taken any pictures of the finished job and the headlights running, which I'll be doing later on this week, but if anyone is planning on doing the same to their Insignia here are some reference pictures of where I've placed the ballasts on mine. They are more or less right under the headlights so If I were to try and take a picture with the headlights on, they would not be visible: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. 

I used heavy duty, double sided, heat conducting, exterior use sticky tape to hold them in place (I've basically covered the entire back of the ballasts in the stuff) as I didn't have the tools, desire or the time to drill proper mounting holes (and also to rust proof them). The tape is rated for 1.5 kg per square cm of downward pulling force so it would probably outlive the ballasts. 

More updates with pictures are coming as time allows for it.
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#5
Hello again,

Just as promised, here are a few more pics: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. 

As one can see, the upper extremities of the bumper near the headlights are a bit raised. The upper part of the bumper (near the hood) is held in place by 6 screws and the 2 outermost  screws used to screw into the OEM headlights. The new headlights don't seem to have those holes so the bumper is now only held in place by 4 of the initial 6 screws. I'll fiddle around with the bumper and the headlights to try and get them to fit properly once I have the time. 

I also have to tidy up the cables. I'll either use some cable sleeves or some copex tubing to tidy those up as best I can. I'll post some pics of how it looks under the hood so you could get an idea how it all fits together and how much space the headlights take up.
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#6
I finally got around to tidying up the cables and here are some pics from under the hood:You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.. 
The cables on the left headlamp were a tangled up mess compared to the ones on the right so I had to be creative with the copex tubing (or is it kopex?) .

Also, I previously mentioned that I wasn't able to screw in the 2 most outer screws that hold the bumper. Well, I'm human. As such, I made a mistake. 
While I was tending to the cables I noticed that the headlamps do have mounting holes for those 2 screws but they don't line up with the bumper screw holes (you can actually see the screw hole in the second picture). They are off by about 6-8 mm center to center. The bumper seems to be positioned correctly so, on one sunny day, I will take the bumper off and fiddle around with the headlamp position until everything lines up and I'll realign the beams for the final time.
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