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Old 07-27-2016, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default NB1: Morimoto HID or NB2 Projectors?

Starting with NB1, there seems to be (2) typical upgrades to headlights:

1) The Morimoto HID install from TheRetrofitSource. This would give maximum lighting, and would cost about $230 if purchased on Black Friday.

2) Get NB2 headlights with or without the NB2 bumper cover. Not sure of Junk Yard cost, but assume about $60, and a harness upgrade.

Pros and Cons of each?

If you were to quantify the additional improvement in nighttime vision between 1 and 2, what would be the ratio? e.g. HID is 1.5 X better lighting than NB2 with typical Halogen bulbs.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:16 PM   #2
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You won't find NB2 headlights for $60. Expect to pay at least $250 for a used pair in good condition without any broken mounting tabs. It's also very difficult to find a used front bumper cover in the same color as your car, so keep that in mind.

I have the NB2 headlights and front bumper, along with Retrofit Source HIDs. It was expensive, but probably my favorite thing I've done to my car. I really preferred the look of the NB2. NB2 lights with regular halogens were a big improvement over the NB1 lights, but still underwhelming. I didn't try HIR. Although the NB2 projectors are designed for halogens, the beam pattern and cut off with HIDs is very nice. You would get an even better pattern with a full retrofit that included new projectors.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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I sold an NB2 light pretty cheaply recently. I guess I could've pulled more if I had a pair. Sold it on ebay, I'll probably end up with $60 after fees and all.

Not likely to find one in a junkyard, you'd need to find someone parting out a car to get it all for a reasonable price. The NB2 lights with the NB1 bumper looks like ****, so do it all.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:58 PM   #4
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The NB1 headlights are pretty easy to bake apart. I have the Mini H1 and don't think the cut-off and lighting quality is on par with what aftermarket projectors should be. This is paired with Morimoto ballasts and the newest H1 XB35 bulbs. I'm not sure which of the other higher quality projectors fit in NB1 headlights.
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:47 AM   #5
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I do think I'll go with the the v7.0 H1's, based on ease of build and bang for buck.

QUESTION: 3800 or 4500 Kelvin bulbs?
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DNMakinson View Post
I do think I'll go with the the v7.0 H1's, based on ease of build and bang for buck.

QUESTION: 3800 or 4500 Kelvin bulbs?
4500 is my preference. More white than yellow.
3800 will have more yellow than white
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:24 PM   #7
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This is something I've been meaning to look into more and I've read about it peripherally.

What I've seen is that the NB2 headlights, while producing better light than the NB1 lights are still not as good as a true retrofit on the NB1 lights and come with the added issue of having to either rework the nb1 bumper or switch to an NB2 bumper and lights. Cost of the latter are probably in the 400-500 range without the cost of doing the retrofit.

I have an nb1 with fogs that currently don't work. I wonder how much a fog upgrade would run and how much light that would add as well for the times when I'd need it. If a retrofit is the best option, then I'm probably just going to end up going through with it because there's no reason to settle for marginally better bulbs in the NB1 setup when the retrofit can actually bring the car into modern times. That plus spraying the housing black definitely makes the car headlights look better. Still not as good as the nb2, but the cost for doing the full face swap and tail swap is a bit much... (probably 500ish if you can sell your stock stuff).
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMakinson View Post
I do think I'll go with the the v7.0 H1's, based on ease of build and bang for buck.

QUESTION: 3800 or 4500 Kelvin bulbs?
I would personally go with the Mini D2S 4.0 over the Mini H1 7.0. The D2S seems to have a better light pattern and more "usable light". It also gives you the option of using OEM HID bulbs instead of re-based H1 bulbs. Have a look at this video and compare for yourself;

Install on both of these projectors would be quite similar in difficulty, so why not have the better / more OEM option. As for bulb temp, I would go with 4500 over 3800. Unless you drive a ton in heavy fog / rain / snow, in which case, the lower temp bulb would have a slight edge at the cost of out and out brightness.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:19 AM   #9
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I recently put a 4500K 55w Morimoto HID kit in my NB2 lights. The cutoff is clean, but there is a bit of glare that seems to come from the chrome trim around the projector. I plan on taking them apart and painting the low beam section flat black to help with that.

I'm also debating buying new projectors and bulbs to get the Bixenon functionality. My high beams aren't that impressive in comparison to the low beams. I'd switch to a lower temp color as well - even at 55W, 4500K is more blue than I would like, but that was as low as I could go with a drop in kit.


Unless you really prefer the NB2 front end enough to justify painting a bumper and paying for NB2 lights, I'd retrofit the lights you've already got.
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by OptionXIII View Post
Unless you really prefer the NB2 front end enough to justify painting a bumper and paying for NB2 lights, I'd retrofit the lights you've already got.
Thanks for the data point!
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMuffins View Post
I would personally go with the Mini D2S 4.0 over the Mini H1 7.0. The D2S seems to have a better light pattern and more "usable light". It also gives you the option of using OEM HID bulbs instead of re-based H1 bulbs. Have a look at this video and compare for yourself;

Install on both of these projectors would be quite similar in difficulty, so why not have the better / more OEM option. As for bulb temp, I would go with 4500 over 3800. Unless you drive a ton in heavy fog / rain / snow, in which case, the lower temp bulb would have a slight edge at the cost of out and out brightness.
I'm somewhat concerned that the directly connected ignighters would not physically fit in the space allowed in the NB1. Perhaps if they can be installed upside down, they might fit.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:26 PM   #12
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I'm somewhat concerned that the directly connected ignighters would not physically fit in the space allowed in the NB1. Perhaps if they can be installed upside down, they might fit.
Fair point. On mine, I am able to connect them at any 90* position, I can't vouch for all ballasts though. My projectors (FX-R 3.0) are also set in the housing so the connector sits just behind the rear housing. I simply put a hole in the rubber boot for the connector to fit onto the bulb. With the Mini D2S, it would be installed in the H4 base / reflector housing, and may sit further into the headlight housing, needing some trimming of the back of the housing for the connector to fit. Here's a look at the back of my lights. (Please ignore the mess that is undercoating, stupid winter)
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:26 PM   #13
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I'd venture to say the new MH1 and MD2S projectors are on par or exceed the output of the NB2 factory projectors. TRS's stuff has come a long way through the years, I've been doing retrofits since the first MH1 came out from them. I just picked up an NB1 and plan on doing a retrofit on it with the MD2S V4.0 pending I can seal the rear of the housing properly with the bulkier connectors.
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padlock View Post
I'd venture to say the new MH1 and MD2S projectors are on par or exceed the output of the NB2 factory projectors. TRS's stuff has come a long way through the years, I've been doing retrofits since the first MH1 came out from them. I just picked up an NB1 and plan on doing a retrofit on it with the MD2S V4.0 pending I can seal the rear of the housing properly with the bulkier connectors.
When will you know if the MD2S V4.0 will fit?
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:05 AM   #15
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I've owned the car for less than a week. Haven't even had the time to pull the headlight to take measurements from yet. Hoping to know by this weekend because I'd like to take advantage of Black Friday sales coming up
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padlock View Post
I've owned the car for less than a week. Haven't even had the time to pull the headlight to take measurements from yet. Hoping to know by this weekend because I'd like to take advantage of Black Friday sales coming up
My plan as well.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padlock View Post
I've owned the car for less than a week. Haven't even had the time to pull the headlight to take measurements from yet. Hoping to know by this weekend because I'd like to take advantage of Black Friday sales coming up
What measurements do you need? I may be able to grab some for you guys.
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:29 PM   #18
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At what price is the nb2 swap worth it? I can get a bumper and both lights for 400, but I'll need to repaint the bumper and get connectors etc. Guessing I should concentrate on go fast parts for now...
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:33 PM   #19
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As a side note: To a retrofit/headlight noob like myself, are there any other options for bulbs or such that would help get better light output without hitting this price tag?

Where are you all seeing the lower black Friday price?

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
As a side note: To a retrofit/headlight noob like myself, are there any other options for bulbs or such that would help get better light output without hitting this price tag?

Where are you all seeing the lower black Friday price?

Thanks.
There are higher wattage H4 bulbs available on the interwebz, but they don't last nearly as long, and can damage the reflector or the lens if they get too hot, or could even potentially burn up the wiring for the headlights or the controller. Plus these don't address the terrible optics of the NB1 lights, just kind of turn everything up to 11.

As for the Black Friday sale, we're referring to https://www.theretrofitsource.com/ They usually have some pretty stinkin' deals for Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

I would definitely recommend doing it once and doing it right with a full retro. Once you have good lights, you'll wonder how you lived with the candles you call headlights now!
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