I have really benefitted from previous posts on the HID do it yourself installs (DIY). I didn't see a DIY for someone who uses the wiring harness on the 8th Gen so I tried to take many pictures when I did it today and answer questions that came up as I went through the install so others don't have to guess. My goal was to take my time and do everything as cleanly as possible to retain the stock look.
I used the Retro-Solutions DIGITAL 35W HID kit with 4300K H11 bulbs on my 2009 EX-L V6 Coupe with of course the wiring harness with relay. It's a nice kit with everything you need and Todd has been very helpful.
I don't want to take away from Salvag's post DIY: Complete HID Install Walkthrough for Gen8 Coupe (with pictures)
which was my main guide today. I'd recommend you review his detailed work first because I'm really building on what he did. I also recommend you read the steps below through before attempting this install since you may want to make alterations. Keep in mind these are suggested steps. If you try these steps you do so at your own risk and you are responsible to make sure you've read your HID manufacturer's directions and follow them. Specifications for HID kits can change or vary significantly so that these steps may be invalid for your application.
1. Bag of 8" black electrical wire ties (Lowe's has a bag of 100 for $6). You may want to have a few 11" ones for attaching wires near the radiator.
2. 2 - flathead screw drivers (one large and one smaller) to remove bumper fasteners.
3. 1 phillips head screw driver to unscrew the
4. Adjustable wrench
5. 8mm socket for screws to mount ballasts from HID kit.
6. 10mm socket for disconnecting battery and other uses.
7. Power drill with 1/8" drill bit to drill pilot hotel for screws to mount HID ballasts.
8. Medical exam gloves - 2-3 sets
9. Elbow phillips screw driver to get into small spaced for removing screw from the wheel well.
10. Blanket under front of car to rest the fender on.
11. Wear an old long sleeve sweatshirt. I would have ripped my arms up if didn't have some padding.
12. Socket that can accomodate your 8mm and 10mm sockets.
13. Finnegan the DIY dog
Step 1 - Consider unconnecting your battery (negative terminal first). Some people may want to wait until later (see step 3) but I did it upfront to avoid
worrying in case there was ever a problem with wires.
Step 2 - Place blanket under the front of the car. I had an old thick beach blanket which was perfect. Put on a pair of the medical gloves, it is a good
compromise of light protection while still giving some protection to the car.
Step 2 - Remove the 7 bumper fasteners under the hood and the 10 bumper fasteners below the bumper (see DIY: Complete HID Install Walkthrough for Gen8 Coupe (with pictures)
). I used two screw drivers to do this step. I used the smaller screw driver to get under the head of the fastener and the larger screw driver to offset it on the other side of the fastener head. I popped the fasteners by pulling up at the same time.
Several people complained that using one screw driver mangled the head of the fasteners. With two screwdrivers the removal was fairly clean. The only
problem is that holding two screw drivers upside down is difficult. Once I slipped and caught my finger once so be careful.
Note: There are 2 main types of fasteners, one longer and one shorter. When removing the fasteners note the sizes and their locations and put them in piles. I made a pile of 7 for the top, 6 for the wheel wells and 10 for the bottom.
Step 3. Remove the 3 fasteners in the front wheel wells of both sides and the screw that attaches near the bumper on both sides. Again see
DIY: Complete HID Install Walkthrough for Gen8 Coupe (with pictures)
for some good pictures. In some instructions it indicates there are 2 screws per side but I have only 1 on each side so maybe there was a change from 2008 to 2009?
Note: Unless you have a very small elbow screw driver to remove the screw from the wheel well you will have to start your car to turn the wheel get a
screwdriver in the well so you may have to reconnect your battery momentarily.
Step 4. Follow the steps for bumper removal in DIY: Complete HID Install Walkthrough for Gen8 Coupe (with pictures)
. I wanted to clarify a few things. The clips on the outer sides of the bumper face upward so pushing slightly upware on the bumper as you pull it will release it. I highly recommend you don't use a screw driver to remove the bumper. Pulling the bumper is fairly easy and when I tried to use a screw driver I could see the plastic in the bumper bending which you don't want to do.
The clips under the headlights on both sides face downward so pushing the bumper slightly downward as you pull on these clips will make removal easier.
Step 5. Remove the bumper. I did this myself but you must have a blanket or something under the front wheels because the bumper will let loose as you pull on it and you don't want to scratch it.
Step 6. Disconnect the fog lamps from each side and place the bumper behind you at least 5 feet so you can work on the installation.
Step 7. Remove the current bulbs.
Peel back the inside of the wheel well lining. Put gloves on and turn the bulb a quarter turn counter-clockwise and pull straight out to remove. Unplug the
bulbs and store safely without touching the bulbs. I used the packaging from my HID bulbs to store the halogen bulbs.
Note: I found the bulbs to be difficult to turn to the point I thought I was going to break something. You have to apply a considerable amount of pressure to get them loose.
Step 8. Let's talk about the relay harness. For Retro-Solutions kits there are two sets of wires that are attached to the HID bulbs. If you didn't use the
wiring harness then one set of wires attaches to the ballast using two cylindrical plugs. The other wire set has pins that push into the existing headlight plug and the other end plugs into the ballast. So that you know what is happening the pins provide power from the existing headlight connection to the ballast and the ballast then steps up voltage to the HID bulb. Think of the ballast as a transformer. When you use the relay harness you don't use the wires that have pins on one end and a connector to the ballast. In fact in my installation I used wire ties to hold the connector with pins to other wires just in case I ever needed to plug them in. You use the wiring harness by connecting to the battery (the red wire) to provides direct power to the ballasts. The black wires in the harness are attached to a bolt near each ballast to provide grounding. The wires coming out of the bulb that go to the two cylindrical plugs are still used and attach to the similar plugs on the ballast.
The relay (the square that has a metal tab with a hole) should be attached to a bolt on the frame. The relay is essentially a switch that is enabled when you turn on your headlights and allows electricity from the battery to go to your HID system. The other square in the middle of the red wire contains a 25 amp fuse in case there are problems. Lastly you'll see a black electrical connector with male pins. Attach this connector to one of the existing headlight plugs (either one is fine but match up the plugs for positive and negative polarity based on the the color of the wires going into each connector - match black to black). When you turn on your headlights the power going through this connector turns on the relay switch which then turns on your lights. This method is the safest because you aren't drawing power from your wiring harness except to turn on the relay switch which is low power.
To Be Continued....