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Old 11-27-2006, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up UPDATED - My Civics HID DIY Installation

Updated April 2009
Updated July 2007

One of the things that we really missed when we bought our HCHII was the nice white light that Xenon headlights give. All of our other cars have Xenons, so we really wanted to see if we could upgrade the Civic to HID lighting.

After doing some research on the web, and reading the pros and cons that have been posted, especially about halogen vs. HID reflector design, we decided that there was not a significant body of evidence to dissuade us from upgrading the low beam headlights.

There are many aftermarket HID products available on the web, with many in the $400-600 price range. There are also several east-asia vendors out there that have similar products in the $100-$200 price range. We decided to try a Chinese vendor that has a kit in that lower price range and sells it through ebay. The product is made in the Guangdong Province of China, which is a hotbed of electronics manufacturing for export. Many US brands have their electronics manufactured in this province and some real high-quality stuff comes from this area, so I figured it was worth a try.

I placed the order Sunday afternoon, and by Wednesday afternoon the kit was delivered via UPS at my door all the way from China.


The kit came with 2 Type 9006 bulbs, the igniters and mounting brackets, headlight wiring extensions, and a direct battery/relay wiring harness for if you wished to wire the headlights directly to the battery.

The 8th Gen Civic uses Type 9006 bulbs for the low beams and Type 9005 bulbs for the high beams.


All of the materials were of very high quality, with the exception of the instruction manual. It looks like it was originally written in Chinese and then machine translated to english, and then proof read by someone that did not speak english very well. This is a minor thing, but always good for a chuckle, especially the section labeled "Produce Introduce". Lettuce entertain you....

The 2 main components of the kit are the igniter/ballast and the bulb.





The bulb is in a standard HB-4 9006 base, so it is very easy to install.

The entire installation took about 2 hours to do at my leisure, and here is a summary of the steps involved.

To get to the low-beam bulb on the headlight of the Civic, one has to go in through the front wheel well liner.

There are instructions in the owners manual on how to remove the liner.



To make it easier to work, I removed the wheel, and took off about 12 fasteners to pull back the wheel liner.



Many of you have said that it is difficult to pull out the fasteners without breaking them. I found a tool that makes the removal much easier.



It is a tack puller, and is available at any hardware store. Simply push the tool under the head of the fastener and pop the head up.



It works just great with both the large and small pop fasteners.

The bulb is fairly easy to get at, and twists counter-clockwise to remove. First remove the electrical connector from the bulb, and then twist out the old bulb. Installing the Xenon bulb is the opposite of removing the old bulb. Make absolutely sure that you do not touch the bulb glass with your bare fingers. The oils from your skin will shorten the life of the bulb if you get them on it. The Xenon bulb's base had a very close tolerance, so it was a little tough to get it to seat completely in the housing. I found by dabbing a little silicone lubricant on the base and O-ring that it went in much easier. Be firm when installing the new bulb, but don't force it.



After the bulb is replaced, next mount the igniter/ballast. There are not a lot of mounting places in the right wheel well, as it is pretty compact in there, but there is a bolt thread that can be used to used to mount the igniter/ballast with a 10mm nut.




On the left wheel well, things are a little easier with a threaded nut welded to the front cross-member that allows the igniter/ballast to be mounted easily.



Once the igniter/ballast is mounted, bend the mounting bracket in the right wheelwell forward at an angle so it will clear the wheel well liner once it is reinstalled. Lastly, because the area that the ballast is mounted is very tight, and the ballast may rub on the inside of the wheel liner, I recommend placing a piece adhesive felt on the backside of the mounting bracket.



A word of caution on finding other suitable places to mount your ballasts. On the car’s front bulkhead there are 2 airbag sensors mounted outboard and about even with the place where I am recommending your mount your ballasts. These sensors are identified with Torx mounting screws and a yellow cable and connector. Do not mount your ballasts here. If you do, you may compromise the abilities of your airbags to deploy in a crash.

Here is an example of how not to install you ballasts. Complete respect to this installation and the person that did it, but there are 2 major flaws here.



First, the ballast is mounted directly to the airbag deployment crash sensor, which will compromise the ability of that sensor to work correctly in an emergency, and secondly, the ballast connector is pointed up which will allow moisture to accumulate in the connector shell.

When you see cables that have a yellow connector they are for the airbag system. Don’t mount anything on or next to components that have these cables or connectors.

When you see cables or connectors, which are bright orange, that means they have high voltage (158V +) associated with them. These are typically found in Hybrid vehicles.

When you see cables that have a orange connector they are for the hybrid electrical system. Don’t mount anything on or next to components that have these cables or connectors.

Finally make sure that you securely mount the ballast to the cars chassis by bolting it down. Don't use zip-ties to secure it. This is because you need to give the ballast a solid electrical ground for its case to minimize the EMI that radiates from the ballast.

The cabling is extremely easy. Essentially, the headlight power cable from the car plugs into an extension cable that plugs into the igniter/ballast. The cable from the igniter/ballast plugs into the HID bulb cable. After that, the cables are routed along side the existing wiring harness and secured with tie-wraps, and with that, you are done. Make sure that your ballast connectors point down when you install them. This is to make sure that moisture does not accumulate in the connector.

When you plug together the connectors, it is wise to dab a little silicone lubricant in the connector shell. Sometimes the connector pins are not quite lined up and the connector will not seat. If this happens to you, gently move the pins around until they are centered in their connector shell hole. Unless the 2 connector halves "click" together, they are probably not seated fully, and your lights may not work.

Most of the HID kits come with a direct battery relay cable harness. These "Relay Harnesses" are mainly for older cars that may not have sufficient wiring to work with the HID lights.

Your Generation 8 Civic does not need the harness to use this HID kit. The factory OEM wiring is the same gauge as the Relay Harness, and also uses a switching relay to power the lamps. The factory wiring is safer than the Relay Harness because it has multiple safety fuses, one on each lamp circuit, as well as one on the main relay. They are all the proper amperage to properly support your HID upgrade.

Do not install larger fuses after installing your HID kit. Fuses are designed to open the circuit if there is a problem, and if the circuit has a larger than required fuse, damage to your wiring may occur before the fuse finally blows.

These HID kits are truly PnP. No rewiring is necessary.

HID lights are available in different color temperatures, ranging from 4300K to 30000K. The lower the temperature, the whiter and brighter the light, the higher the temperature, the more blue or purple and dimmer the light. 4300K are the color temperature of OEM bulbs. Over time as they age, their color will shift to closer to 6000K

I chose 6000K as a good compromise of brightness and color. It is a bright white blue color (similar to the color of the car!). It is quite a bit different from the Sylvania bulbs that come with the car.



One of the concerns that I had was that the new bulbs might generate too much heat and deform the headlight housing. So I ran a test in which I let the headlights run for 1 hour, and then took their temperature with an IR thermometer. To my pleasant surprise, the headlights were actually running 5 degrees cooler with the new bulbs.




How do they perform? Very well, the Civic headlight reflector design seems to be able to handle the new bulbs with little to no glare, or other undesirable effects. I have had no one flash their lights at me, and have actually driven in front of the Civic with one of the my other cars to see how it looks from a rear-view mirror. The lights top-cutoff is very good, and the effect is no different from any other car with Xenon lights.

All-in-all, this was a well spent. I recommend it.

UPDATE
In the 9 months since I installed these HID lamps, they have worked flawlessly with no problems whatsoever. I have yet to have any other driver complain about excessive glare from them, and their ability to light the roadway is on a par with the Bi-Xenons in my other vehicles.

While a projector retrofit will give you the best light focus and cutoff, a good projector retrofit can cost upwards of $1000. This HID retrofit is probably 90% as good as the Projector retrofit, but costs only 10% to 15% of it. After using this HID retrofit for the past 9 months, I have to say that it is a great value.

2009 UPDATE
Since I last updated this DIY, the HID kit continues to work flawlessly. I have had absolutely no problems, and for the money spent, this continues to be a great value.

Last edited by Orient Express; 05-12-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great writeup.
I like that you took the time to check on the temperature of te new bulbs since you thought there may be a possible bad side effect. Even better is that it worked in your favour.

Awesome.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome DIY, I have the same kit installed in my Si.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like this DIY alot. Thanks
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great DIY. Wish I had this before I did mine.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thx for the diy... mine should be comin in this week.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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can you post pictures of night time shots of the cutoffs and street illumination.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If thats the low beam headlight, with the low beam bulb.. what happens when you high beam? (I've never stood in front of my Si and see what happens) but my old 2000 civic LX used the same bulbs to high beam as it did to low beam

Great write up tho! +1
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He is one from an identical setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhoy
can you post pictures of night time shots of the cutoffs and street illumination.



Last edited by Orient Express; 07-22-2007 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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best diy!! suscribed.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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good write up and follow up.

+repped.
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good job!

FYI - Audi OEM shouldn't be 6000K because OEM is always 4300K or 4100K. It just looks relatively "bluer" due to the prizmatic effect of the projectors.

Also, did you kit contain D2R or D2S bulbs? (Difference being: the painted portion of the bulb to reduce glare.)
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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god i want these so bad
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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mines are coming in a few days.

it's cool to see a DIY where the bumper doesn't have to be ripped off! lol... but iono about taking off the wheels!
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The bumper comes off easier than the wheels, but it doesnt really help you out much unless you take the headlights out.
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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great DIY i will be using this sometime after christmas..if i dont get them for christmas..i will be buying them myself +rep since its the best diy for the hids ive seen so far
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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+1

Would love to see some pics at night showing the cut off, and general output of the HIDs
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks allot for this brah. Got some more knowledge. This is the best DIY I've seen so far.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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When I turn my high beams on, my HID cut off and my halogens kick in. Although it might just be my halogens kick in and cover up my HIDs but I can't see any blue in the light, so I'm assuming the HID cut off.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:35 AM   #20 (permalink)
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very nice
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