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Old 12-13-2011, 03:51 PM   #21
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I clipped a rather firmly packed snow bank. Those lights were very vulnerable. Prior to losing that one, I had lost one to snow and another to a kicked up stone. I got sick of replacing them and riveted in some aluminium.





As for the headlight project on the Miata, I ordered a pair of those LED spot lights that I linked in a previous post, picked up some lexan and just started cutting it, and got a 30" metal brake from Harbor Freight. In the next few days, I'll order some projectors, bulbs, and ballasts. For this project, I was initially thinking about a quad 55w projector setup, but the more I thought about that, the less of a good idea it seemed. I would have entirely too much light in the foreground, making it difficult to see beyond the cutoff and I'd have to worry about excessive heat and bulb longevity. Now, I intend to get a 35w setup with Phillips OEM bulbs and Morimoto ballasts. Those paired with the LED's to supplement the bixenon high beams should work very well and not be a source of problems over time.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #22
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haaaa yeah. This **** is coming along nicely, and by that I mean that the dimensions and orientations of the sketched 2d components, in relation to the cardboard mocked up housings, are as I envisioned them. Well, at least that seems to be the case at this stage. I suspect that some finagling will be necessary to make the backs of the projectors and LED spot lights get along with the low point on the inside of the hood. I'll deal with that when I have to.

I also ordered sockets and 2 3w amber LED's that are advertised to have a 320 degree viewing angle. These will serve as turn signals so that the bumper openings that currently serve that purpose can eventually be repurposed.

The 2.5" circle represents the projector lens, the square on the right represents the LED spot light, and the rectangle around the 2.5" circle is made to the dimensions of the projector assembly at it's maximum height and width.


View from low:


The entire projector sits above the bumper line, which if overkill if you think about how a projector works.


And here's a rough cut of the lexan. I bought some OEM headlight covers(in transit) and I'll cut out the centers, leaving a narrow border around the perimeter that is just wide enough for the lexan to be riveted to. This should make it such that the lexan will perfectly follow the contours of the hood, bumper, and fender. Most of the flush mount headlights I see look like **** up close because the covers don't follow the lines--I'm trying to avoid that.



edit: I have HID stuff on the way too now. Well, it should be shipped tomorrow. FX-R 1.1 projectors, Morimoto 35w ballasts, Phillips bulbs, and a relay harness. Now I just need to make a trip to Metal Mart for some aluminium and have all these parts come in. I'm excited to see how these come together.

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Old 12-16-2011, 12:58 AM   #23
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Progress on the headlight project consisted of me buying aluminium and cutting/bending some of said aluminium. The material I got is thicker than necessary and difficult to bend even with the metal brake. These things are going to be fcking strong.

Here's where I left off today.





I also pulled the bumper off and raised the intercooler some. When I bought the car, the IC was mounted such that about 1/3 of it was beneath the bumper opening, and not getting air. This was probably to clear an AC component that is no longer there. Anyway, it's up higher now and I'll either be using leftover aluminium from the headlight project or getting some thinner aluminium to create a better seal along the bottom and sides.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:56 PM   #24
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The car is clean... so clean... If only my paint looked so good.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:27 PM   #25
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Thanks. As of today, the car is officially in hibernation until spring so it should stay nice for a while.



I got some parts in today for the headlights. Photos explain it all better than words, so that's what this update will consist of.











Hopefully I'll have time to fabricate some more pieces tonight.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:58 PM   #26
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Those look DOT legit.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #27
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Not in the slightest but they'll be wired to only come on with the high beams so I'm not worried.

I went out and shot some comparison photos. Those little guys have nothing on my big heavy 440 watt halogen setup, but but for little LED's that use a combined total of 30 watts, they're very impressive. They're a good bit brighter than the stock high beams on my 2002 Impreza.

Low beams:


highs:


LED's, not aimed at all:


LED's and highs:


And my halogen setup:
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Went from one gay car to another.  Now to make this one faster than the last.-lows.jpg   Went from one gay car to another.  Now to make this one faster than the last.-highs.jpg   Went from one gay car to another.  Now to make this one faster than the last.-dually-spot.jpg   Went from one gay car to another.  Now to make this one faster than the last.-highs-dually-spot.jpg   Went from one gay car to another.  Now to make this one faster than the last.-all-halogen.jpg  

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Old 12-18-2011, 09:37 AM   #28
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:59 AM   #29
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I didn't do much today, but my HID stuff came in. The projectors ended up being perfect for this application, which is a relief. Despite sitting low and kind of far back, none of the beam is cut off by the housing. There is some stray light that is being caught along the bottom that is creating some glare, but that should go away once the housings have black paint or powder coat.

This is just a test fit. The projector will be mounted closer to the center so that I won't lose any peripheral light. They fit pretty well, though.


I'd say that this is acceptable.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:47 AM   #30
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I did a bit more today and the end is finally starting to get within sight(not a light pun). I'm hoping to get all the metal stuff finished on Thursday so that I can drop the parts off for powder coating before I leave for Florida on the 23rd. I have to find a ~2.7" hole saw too.

Anyway, photos of progress.

The ballasts are mounted and the back is mostly enclosed. Now I just need a panel to go across top and some silicon and these will be weather proof.




The output doesn't look too shabby.


One of the projectors has some yellow along the cutoff. Apparently I can fix that by adjusting the cutoff shield.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:09 AM   #31
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That rex wagon looked hawt...till I realized what those white things were on the bumper. But oh well both are/were nice cars. I'm honestly very saticefied with my E-Code's I just installed, but thats cool if you need more and you're doing a pretty damn good job so cudo's.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:59 AM   #32
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That photo was of the wagon in winter mode. I had two bumpers for it--one accumulated battle scars as I competed in rally-x's and played in the snow and the other stayed nice. If you can believe it, that car was regarded by some as the cleanest wagon in the state. I took these pictures a few weeks before I hit a deer, totaling it.





I have been aching to do a cool DIY project for a while now and the headlights were the first things that stood out as needing improvement. Really, I probably could have aimed the existing lights better and achieved satisfactory results. That would have been too easy though, and the results wouldn't have been nearly as rewarding.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #33
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That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:24 PM   #34
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And yeah, deer suck. I got an AR-15 if you wanna ride shotty and get some revenge.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:32 PM   #35
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My girlfriend's family is big into hunting. I asked them to get revenge and they have many times over. But damn, doing a drive by on some deer would be awfully tempting. I loved that car.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:53 AM   #36
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Today a few vital components made their way into the housings.

The projectors are bolted to platforms that allow for tilt adjustment.




The LED's are bolted in too, via the mounts that they came with.


I ended up aiming the LED's inward a little so that they'll aid in providing light for cornering. They fit better like this, too.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #37
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Today, I started working on my headlights again. They're really coming along nicely and finally starting to look somewhat complete. I do have one issue to overcome, though. The LED spot lamps are sitting such that they interfere with the lexan. I'm hoping that I can create enough clearance by altering the projector mounts to move the spot lamps inward without having to move the projectors themselves.

I make covers for the backs. The backs of the lights are designed such that wires and heat will be able to pass though while hopefully keeping water out.


I ended up making the projector surrounds out of lexan since it's easier to work with than aluminium. These ended up being nicer than my aluminum attempt so I went with them. The LED turn signals are also mounted. I used springs to snugly hold the bulbs up against the lexan.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:38 PM   #38
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INteresting.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:40 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown7815 View Post
INteresting.
Indeed. Hopefully this ends well.



The LED spot lamps have been moved in and now clearing the lexan should be much less of an issue.



At this point, they only need paint, lexan, wiring, and to be properly secured to the car. I'm hoping to have everything done this week.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #40
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Very nice looking car, I love the headlight project. In for final pictures
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