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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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DIY: Headlight modification

Hi, Iíve done some modification on my 2014 Touring headlights.
I posted some pics on picture thread, then some nice people gave me very kind words and also asked me a bit more details, so Iím creating a new thread here.




Background: I didnít like stock headlight on Touring/Sport that much. It looks nice and detailed from closer look, but somewhat cheap from distance, since it looks to me that inside of headlight is plain chrome and have a black dot of HID.(Iím so sorry if you like those headlights. This is just my stupid opinion) Also, orange-ish DRL light is not working for me either.
Headlights on Ground Touring looks very good, but those are very expensive to replace, also control-system seems quite different from my Touring. I was also wondering if I can use the one from 2016 updated ver., but Mazda changed overall shape of headlight, so It doesnít fit at all.(unless I want to replace to new bumper too) So I decided to modify the headlight units that I have.
My vision was to add more black color, and make it look more like sportier version of production car. Such as SiR/Si of Honda, GTI of Golf or what have you.




So, here is what/how I did for my headlights modification.(Sorry, I didn't take much picture during operation.

0.Open up the headlight units.
I applied 200~240F of heat with heat gun for 10 seconds portion by portion(1~3 inch at a time) and forced to peel up black plastic with flat head driver. Then stick the driver between plastic and sealing, then twist it to apart sealing from plastic. Yes, it takes patience and power.
In order to make finish a bit cleaner, I cut some slits on black plastic, so it wonít stretch that much. Once it stretch, finish will be wavy.
After I find a way to do with first headlight, 2nd one still took me over 2 hours to open it. So, yes, itís a lot of work.
FYI, donít use more than 280F, or black plastic melts. I did it with 300F. 1st mistake.

This picture is from my first try. I needed to reshape edge area after this.

1.Paint
I used Krylon Fusion satin black spray paint. This one doesnít need primer, but I should sand the surface at least. I actually didnít sand chrome area, so paint is easy to peel off. 2nd mistake.
I left some chrome/silver area under low beam and position light as it is. So that it retains a look of stock head light a bit. (so I hoped)
I actually am horrible at spraying paint, so finish is not perfect, but since itís inside of clear cover, I said myself itís good enough.

Color on high beam reflector is actually flat black. Rest of them is satin black.

2.Add Mini HID retrofit kit on High beam
I bought H1 Mini HID retrofit kit w/ shrouds from Amazon. Removed solenoid and shutter because I use this for high beam only.
In order to attach this on High beam, I needed to cut off cylindrical portion behind the high beam reflector, otherwise, thread on retrofit kit is too short.
Then make surface of this back of high beam area flat and levels with low beam truly. So that high beam and low beam aims to same direction. I used 2 tiny levels to check.
Also, shroud touches a little bit on the top side of reflector, so I heated shroud and bent it a bit.
(FYI, if you keep those shutters on kit and connect high beam code to solenoid, spread low beam power to high beam bulb too, then youíll get quad head light. I didnít do it because total wattage is bigger than stock halogen bulb and didnít want to risk it)



3.Insert LED bulb in retrofit kit, instead of HID bulb
I bought 2400LM H1 LED bulb from ebay. This one has small head, so it can go through retrofit kitís small hole for HID bulb.
Since this one is strong LED, it works for both high beam and DRL. HID usually takes seconds to light up, so I thought HID isnít good for high beam. Also HID doesnít work with lower voltage as in DRL mode.
There was one tricky part to attach. Even though LED head is small enough for the hole, once you assembled retrofit kit, 3 screw heads narrow the hole even more so LED cannot go though. So I insert LED a halfway, then attach and tighten those 3 screws.
I also needed to add 6 ohm resister and connect it in parallel, otherwise DRL wonít work. It seems that system on the car checks current on those lines and if current is too small, it cuts off the power. Since LED bulb has smaller wattage(=bigger resist), I needed to bypass some current so that car thinks normal bulb is attached, or something. Even without resister, high beam still works OK. Just DRL needs extra resister.
This is because(in my theory) at DRL mode, 2 bulbs are connected in serial, so overall current is much smaller than High beam mode.

LED bulb is like this. Sorry I didn't take any picture of those.




This is how it looks when DRL is ON.


4.Reassemble and reseal
First, I tried to connect all codes and check if lights are working before assembling.
Clean up inside of headlight cover and back unit so that there is no dust or finger print remains.
I used 3M 08621 window sealer for reseal. I stick this inside of groove on black plastic and then attach clear cover.
I used plier to pinch cover and back a little by little. Donít do this by just tightening screws. It does close them but also breaks threads inside of clear cover. Coz I did that. 3rd mistake.
I also applied this sealer around LED post on high beam, since there is gap now and water can go inside without extra cover.
Right after this mods, I needed to ride in a storm with heavy rain for a couple of days, but there was no leaking or moisture inside. Whew.




So, here it is. Sorry for long and poor writing. Please leave a comment if you need more details or have any questions.

Here is another info that I found during this mod.
I bought TYC (none Mazda OEM) headlight assembly for temporary use while this modification. Those productís quality seems really good and must be no problem with halogen bulb, but when I used HID bulb on low beam, somewhat light distribution is not good as OEM head light. I saw shade on center of light that must be made by terminal rod on HID bulb, which OEM wonít show. Also light edge isnít crisp as OEM either. Still usable as head light though.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the write-up, but I don't see any pictures...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Donkey Grundle, thank you so much for heads up!
I think that because I made picture album "private". it should be fixed now.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 02:44 PM
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Looks AWESOME!!! Congrats to you, making your own mark on this car. I'm curious as to IF you contemplated doing any HALO lights when you planned this projects (an IF SO, why did you choose not to)? Thanks again for sharing!

PS
Can you provide a link on those LED bulbs, as well as a night pic against the garage in Low and High Beam? Thanks!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hi OCTOGONPC, thank you for your nice comment.
Yes, I thought about adding LED DRL inside of headlight. A lot.
Halo as you mentioned, strip, tube, boxy unit, eagle eye, etc etc. Main reason I didn't add any of those is because I couldn't be sure about reliability/longevity of those products. I didn't want to open up the headlight every time those LED dies.
I actually inclied to add LED line as underline to have similar look as IS/GS, 200 or new Jaguar XE, for example. But I also wanted to keep my headlight looks as less "Modified" as possible(Not saying I succeeded on this but, anyways...), and those LED tubes/strips looks kinda cheap and less normal when light is off.

For the next cosmetic change, I'll probably get this kind of stuff for extra DRL.
2X LED Daytime Running Light for Mazda 6 M6 Atenza Car Fog Lamp DRL 2013 2014 | eBay

Anyways, here is the LED that I bought.
CREE LED 40W 4800LM 6000K Car LED Headlight Kit Bulb Lamp H1 | eBay
I, of course, am not representing this item or seller at all, so buy it on your own risk if you are going to. Just saying.

I'll take pics of lights and post them later.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, here is a pictures of lights against wall.
From left: Position(LED), Low(HID), High, DRL, Low + Fog
Exposure and ISO are aligned
.
I don't know whey there is smiley face on high beam though.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 01:53 AM
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now i got to open mine up again...lol Looks killer. Reminds me of the 2nd gen a little


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Please take pics and let us see if you'll modify it more

I loved how 2nd gen looked. Especilly the ver. in Japan (a bit smaller than US's) Sports(5 door hatchback sedan) looked very sporty.

If I'll open my headlights up again, then I'll probablly cut off shroud portion of low beam(where I painted black), and replace them with slick-looking chrome shrouds. Yes, going back to chrome a little bit.
I really like how black/dark current headlight looks overall, but also it's a bit too "modified" looking from what I expected.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 11:11 AM
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Great write-up man, thanks for the pics!

If I didn't have a GT, I'd be tempted to black out my headlights too, love that look.

Very unique, looking forward to your future mods.

2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring - Snowflake White
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, jguttes for your comment.
Well, If I had GT's headlight, I wouldn't have done this either :P
Wow, your white 6 in the snow looks so nice, and also makes me miss my old snowy town.
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