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Discussion Starter #1
This is a tutorial to show people how I installed projector headlights into NG900/OG 9-3 headlight housings. To start, I will list the various tools and supplies that I used for this install. This is a long tutorial so grab a beer, or a soda for the under aged, and get ready rumble.

-Dremel tool with extension flex shaft
-many grinding stone dies(orange ones)
-cutting wheels
-cutting bit
-½” and ¼”sanding attachment with 80 and 120 grit
-Metal shears
-cordless drill
-screwdrivers
-wrenches
-spray bottle

-Sheet metal
-epoxy glue
-“FastSteel” metal epoxy
-high heat paint (clear, other colors)
-latex gloves
-duct tape
-lots of permanent markers

-ballasts
-AMP to bulb adapter
-H4 wiring harness
-D2S bulbs

Removal of the Reflector and Lens

First order of business is to remove the stock reflector from the housings. But before we do that we must first remove the bulb in the housings. IF you have not changed the bulbs before or was confused as to how the clip works, here are some pics to show you what the clip looks like.




Pull the H4 wiring harness off before removing the bulb. It is easier to pull the clip off of the bulb then vice versa. The clip removes by pushing the bent part at the top in then to the side. Once the H4 bulb is removed, remove the city light bulb. That is done by pushing the clips on the side inward then pulling it out.
The next step is to remove the stock lens. There will be atleast 6 clips around the lens to hold it on. I used a screw driver to pop off the clips. You may need to pry off the lens from the housing. Be careful not to rip or cut the gasket between the lens and the housing. Keep the gasket for use later when you put everything back together.




In order to take the reflector out you have to max out each adjustment. On some headlight housings this is fairly easy and others harder. This will depend on how the adjustment screws are anchored to the reflector. The ones that I had used for Rogo had the harder kind.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
To remove the lateral adjustment first screw the adjustment all the way in. Then insert some strong, large diameter object like a hex wrench. There is a piece that sticks out as a stop for the lateral adjustment. Stick the wrench between that piece and the housing and adjust the lateral adjustment screw the opposite direction so the knob is moving out. The mounting point should pop out of the adjustment screw.





This is a “dummy” mount. It doesn’t actively adjust instead it acts as an anchor point. It needs to be removed using a screw driver.




To remove the vertical adjustment you need to first adjust the reflector up. Place some large diameter object like again a large hex wrench or a permanent marker under the front of the reflector and adjust the reflector down. When you start to get some resistance you may need to use a wrench to rotate the adjustment. Keep adjusting until the vertical adjustment pops off.



When the reflector comes out this is what it looks like.



With the reflector off I now removed the level used to set the lights. This is easy to do. You basically take needle nose pliers or a screwdriver and pry it off.

 

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Modification of the Reflector for Mounting the Projector

Once this is all done, I proceeded to draw out the lines for which I would cut the housing. I used the holes left from the level as a reference for distance. I measure 3 ¼” from the hole farthest forward. I then drew lines perpendicular to the part of the lens that sticks up where the level was and where the shade is that blocks the stock bulb. I then drew out the line to the edges where the housing starts to curve and go crazy.
I used roll of electrical tape and put it under the reflector to more or less level out the housing so I could approximate a the perpendicular cut on the curved side parts. This was the hardest part of fabricating the lens mount. A mess up here will cause you to compensate the vertical alignment when you mount the projectors themselves.
Once the sides are drawn connect the sides on the top of the reflector and check to see that the cut will be perpendicular. There are divots in the top of the housing that can help with approximating a perpendicular cut. This is the other check that I found. On the side of the reflector that is facing towards the outside of the car there should be relatively little surface on the top of the reflector. You should be cutting off almost the entire top portion. When you see the lines I have drawn this will make sense.
This next step is crucial and DO NOT forget this and get trigger happy. DO NOT proceed to cut anything until this step is finished. As of right now you will be cutting off all the adjustment mounting points. You will now need to mark lines to cut around the adjustments. Keep a lot of extra material, you can always trim or sand the excess off. I do this to preserve as much structural integrity so I do not break them off. Double check all lines before cutting as you cannot go back.









Now you can proceed to cut. I bought a Dremel tool, specifically the XPR400 kit that comes with the case. The most important accessory that you will need is the flex shaft. This will allow you to have very good control over the tools. I happen to have a booth that my mother uses for spraying her pottery with glaze to use for all my rotary tools needs. This booth happens to have a fan that pretty effectively removes airborne dust. If you don’t have anything like this use a vacuum to suck the dust and wear a dust mask. This stuff can be nasty, I know from experience. Also, whenever using the Dremel I would advise using eye and hearing protection as well. The grinding process produces a lot of sound and there are always little bits of things flying around with the potential to hit you in the eye.
You will need to get a few cutoff wheels. I bought the big pack of the fiber reinforced wheels as I thought I would need a lot of them. I will not go through the instructions of how to use a Dremel; that has a manual. Carefully proceed to cut the reflector. Try to keep the wheel perpendicular to the cutting surface and use the straightness of the wheel to keep your cuts true. Another way to think of it is to try and angle the wheel so that you will maximize gluing surface when you attach the mounting plate.



You will not be able to cut all the lines as the angles available will not be suitable for the cutoff wheel. This is when you will use the cutting bit. It looks like a drill bit but is designed for cutting. The outside edges are more aggressive. You will use this to do the remaining cuts. I don’t like using this bit as it is far less precise when trying to make straight cuts.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now that you have cut the back of the reflector off you can go ahead and trim down the adjustment mounting points. This will help in the process of fitting the mounting plate as there will be less surfaces to “hang” it up. I used the sanding attachment of the dremel with 80 grit paper. The mounting point for the vertical adjustment has a angular part that goes right to it. Sand this down until that corner is a bit more rounded. Be careful when sanding that down as the plastic that is keeping that section on goes underneath. If you start to see through the reflector do not worry. Look underneath and you will see that you are just between two “beam” like projections.
Before continuing, try to clean up your cuts to right angles and make sure that the corners look good. The flatter you can make the metal on the reflector the stronger the glue bond.



To make an outline of the mounting plate I used the cardboard from a cereal box. I didn’t have any poster board so I used the next best thing. It was easy to work with and stiff enough to approximate a template.
I first took a rectangular piece and placed it between the two top adjustment mounting points and had to go down to the bottom of the reflector. I then took smaller pieces and approximated the curves of the reflector where the mounting points were. I would draw out my guess, cut it then try it out. It was a lot of guess work and 3-D spatial relations thinking. Once I got a good approximation I traced the pattern to the metal.



The metal I used can be bought at almost any hardware store. Look in the heating section and look for 2’x2’ sheets. At Home Depot it was close to where the duct caps were. After tracing the pattern I used metal shears to cut out the pattern. Be very careful with cut edges. They are VERY sharp. They can easily give you a big gash if you are not careful. Also watch for when you cut curves. If you cut, retract, then re-cut you will get little slivers that can go in your hand like splinter.
When the pattern is cut out take it to either a bench grinder or to your dremel and grind down the edges. You want to grind down all sharpness to make working with the metal less hazardous. Working with gloves will solve the cutting issues but impaired my ability to work. I now have many little lines and some pricks on my fingers.
Try out your mounting plate. If you tried to keep your tolerances very close then the plate will almost never fit the first time. Getting the plate in is a bit tricky. You may have to bend it a little. I usually got it in by inserting the plate to the side that has the two mounting points at an angle first, and then rotate the plate up to fit it under the bottom mounting point. Cut the plate to fit the reflector if need be.



Before you glue the plate you will need to cut out a portion of the plate so that the projectors can go in. I happen to have a template I already made when I did Rogo’s lights. To make the template, and this will be different for each type of projector, I made a template using paper in the same way I did the mounting plate. Once I got a shape that worked I determined the best position for the projectors. Make sure you have a line that is parallel to the cutoff lines on the projectors like the top of the projector housing. This is important to allow you to mount the projectors and have the beam pattern be parallel to the ground. Use that line and make it parallel to the top of the reflector.



Mark the holes that you would like to use to mount the projectors to the mounting plate and drill the holes.
After tracing the patterning on the mounting plate I drilled some holes so I could use the metal shears to cut out the pattern. Try out the mounting plate on the projectors and ensure that the metal will go flat against the projectors. Depending on the design of the projectors, there may be things that may stick into the mounting plate. The BMW E55 bi-xenon projectors have the solenoid wiring harness that will have to poke through the plate. Trace any extra cuts and cut those parts out. You may need to use the dremel and the cutoff wheel.

If your projectors require shrouds then this would be the best time to mark where cuts will need to be made. Mock the mounting plate and mark where the top and bottom of the reflector is from the inside of the reflector. Put the projector in the plate and the shroud on the projector. Depending on the projector and the shroud you get, you may need to make adjustments to get the shrouds to work. With the shroud on mark where the top and bottom will need to be cutoff. Look later for pics on how I did the “gatling gun” shrouds.

The next step is to glue the plate on. I used epoxy that I got from Home Depot. It was a larger container set from Locktite. Don’t get epoxy that sets any less than 5 min. It may be too quick of a set time.
Put the mounting plate on the reflector. Extrude epoxy onto a clean surface with enough material to line all the edges of the reflector. I used shish kebob skewers to mix and apply the epoxy. Mix the epoxy thoroughly; It usually changes color to indicate the mixture. Use the stick to drizzle the epoxy on the surfaces. I then used duct tape to hold all surfaces together.






As the epoxy is setting you can use the “FastSteel” to reinforce the reflector mounting points. The “FastSteel” is an epoxy putty material with steel fibers mixed in. I figured that this would be easier to work with and stronger than materials like bondo. The epoxy comes in a stick form. All you have to do is cut the stick to get desired amount and start to knead.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
When kneading the FastSteel make sure your fingers are wet. This will prevent the epoxy from sticking to your hands and making a mess. Once the color of the epoxy is uniform roll it into balls and shove it between the mounting plate and the reflector mounting points. Another place to put this material is in the small cracks that may exist between the plate and the reflector. Do not worry about excess material. This can be taken care of later.





As you are waiting for the epoxy to cure you can work on a multitude of things. If your projectors require shrouds then you will need to modify them. If your projectors did not come with anything to mount the bulbs you will need to make a clip. You can also start the process of grinding out the lenses to clear them.
Since the mounting plate needed to cure, I figured I would leave that and the related things alone and work on the lenses.

Clearing the Stock Lens

This part was a bit tricky as I had never done this before. First determine where exactly you want to grind out and draw out the lines on the outside of the lens. Look for the highest points, points that would require the most grinding, and start there. Use the orange grinding dies that Dremel sells. I found that the largest ones work best. Use a sweeping motion and try to keep the grinding die at a constant angle. If you do it right you can get the die to wear away at an angle and get a cone shaped die. This makes more useful for grinding flat.






When grinding the glass be patient. Use lots of water on the surface to be ground. This will serve multiple services. It will reduce dust to nearly zero, cool the glass and the die and act as a lubricant. I would do this in an area that can get splashed a lot. I was over zealous and cracked a lens. Luckily I had an extra.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
When you are done grinding the lens it should look pretty frosty. Use various sand papers to sand down the surface all the way to about 400 grit. When you are done sanding, clean the lens thoroughly to prepare for painting. Spray the inside of the lens until you can see a thin clear film of the paint form. Let it dry for a bit and put on a couple more layers. If done correctly you should get a fairly clear lens with some pits here and there visible from the outside.





The alternative to this is to use a product from Diamondite that is designed to resurface scratched glass. Follow the directions provided with the kit. I clamped the lenses to a table to stabilize it. This product will give you true polished glass if done correctly, but it is a major pain since the product is designed to be used on convex or flat glass surfaces like car windows or windshields.

Final Mock up and Painting of Reflector and Parts

By the time you finish the lenses the mounting plate should be ok to work with. Take the tape off and clean up the inside of the reflector at the joints and where you added the FastSteel with a grinding die.

You will now want to get the shrouds cut so they fit in the reflector. I more or less guess and checked cutting a bit at a time until I got the right fit. If the shroud doesn’t go it, check for anything that is in the way and cut the shroud.
The top of the shroud is now exposed and you will need to make a cover with some sheet metal. Cut out a piece to cover the top of the shroud and glue it on. Once the glue is dried and set grind away and any excess metal and glue.

Fit all the parts in the reflector and make sure it all fits correctly. You are now ready for paint. I recommend high heat paint just as a precaution since the light will get pretty hot and you wouldn’t want any peeling.



Modifying and Wiring the Headlight Housings

You will probably want to prepare the headlight housings for the wiring. I specifically requested that Rogo get ballasts that did not have the bulb holder attached to the ballast. The ballast is the same kind that you would get in PnP kits with the male and female plug. You will see the reason for this when I do the part on installing the housing to the car. I also asked Rogo to get a set of adapters to go from the two plugs to the bulb holder.
On the housings I drilled holes in the back with a ½” bit then ground out the hole until it was large enough to fit the plugs through. After this you will want to extend the wires used to activate the solenoids for the high beam. On the end going to the H4 wiring harness I used crimp pins so I could insert the wires to the plug. You will see what I mean in the part where I install the lights to the car.



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Projector Bulb Clips

You can also work on clips for the bulbs if the projectors you have do not come with them. The BMW E55 projectors that Rogo and I have did not come with clips so I had to fabricate my own. It is actually a very simple design and is pretty easy to make. I used Romex home electrical wire to make the clips. I believe the wire I used was solid 14 gauge copper wire. It is hard to describe what I did since I just played around with the wire till it worked. I hope these pics will give you and idea of what I did. I made a video to describe how to change the bulbs incase it was confusing.









 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you have done all this in one day you have done quite a bit of work and are well deserving of a good night’s sleep. If not, don’t worry. The points at which you will wait for something to cure or dry are good points to stop and pick up later.

Final Assembly of Headlights

By now all the parts should be finished and ready for final assembly. Mount the projectors to the plate and attach the shroud if needed. Some shrouds will fill with friction others require epoxy. Once the reflector is assembled it is time to remount the reflector to the housing. Be sure to have all wiring in the housings before re-attaching the reflectors.



Line up one of the adjustment screws to appropriate the mounting point. Take a clamp and compress the reflector to the housing. If it was hard to take the housing off, it will be hard to put it back in. Use paper towel to prevent chipping or marring of the reflector. Repeat this for the other two points.



Put the lens back onto the housing. Make sure the rubber gasket you saved earlier is used. If you are doing both housings simultaneously you will very likely mix up the gaskets. If it doesn’t look like it works, rotate the gasket then try the other one. Clip the lens to the housing starting at the bottom first.

You have just finished making you very own pair of custom made projector headlights. Now off to mount them to the car.

Mounting lights to Car
The mounting in the car is not too hard. You will want to get the wiring harness from theretrofitsource.com for H4 bulbs. This harness will do all work to activate and hold the solenoid open. You will however get a “bulb failure” warning the first time you activate your lights on each start up. This is because it will use the signal from only the driver’s side H4 plug.

The battery wiring for the harness that I got was kind of short so I had to place the array of relays close to the battery. Undo the nuts for the battery terminals and attach the battery wiring lines. The harness has two sets of wires for the ballasts and the solenoid wiring. The one that has a plug for the H4 bulb goes to the driver’s side and the other is run to the passenger side.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
To remove the stock headlights you will need to undo the screws attaching the lights to the car. Each light will have 4 screw that use Torx bits. You will also need to remove the front grill. You will also need to undo the wiring harness that is attached to the headlights. Like all the other wiring harnesses on the Saab, you will need to use a screw driver to get the initial bit of the red tab up.




 

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With the stock lights removed run the wiring harness to the appropriate areas. Take the lights to the appropriate side and hook up all the connections. Put the housings back in but do not secure anything yet. You will now need to adjust the beam so you don’t blind people. The reason I say don’t secure anything is that it is something easier to do the vertical adjustment using a wrench on the screw with the whole light out. Once it is all adjusted go out for a drive at night and check to see that the pattern is not too high.










You have just completed your very own install of projector lights!

 

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oh, excellent, touche!:D these instructions will be wonderful. now ng900s and 9-3s with retrofitted projectors will be popping up everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the compliments. I have messaged those that expressed interest in the headlights. Message me if you are interested.
 

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2 quick questions.

1. was there any reason behind cutting 3.25 inches of the housing off? curious if it was for fitment or what?

2. what are the dimensions on the projectors you've used so far? i wasnt planning on using either of those...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
1. was there any reason behind cutting 3.25 inches of the housing off? curious if it was for fitment or what?
The reason is to accomodate the projectors. Otherwise you will not be able to mount the projectors or change the bulbs.

2. what are the dimensions on the projectors you've used so far? I wasn't planning on using either of those...
I think the dimensions are something like 3" tall 4" wide and about 6" total depth.
 

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1. was there any reason behind cutting 3.25 inches of the housing off? curious if it was for fitment or what?
The reason is to accomodate the projectors. Otherwise you will not be able to mount the projectors or change the bulbs.

2. what are the dimensions on the projectors you've used so far? I wasn't planning on using either of those...
I think the dimensions are something like 3" tall 4" wide and about 6" total depth.
ok so thats what you needed to make space between the inner and outer housings? correct?
 
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