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Discussion Starter #1
I got my headlights back from AAC.

First, I'm going to post pictures/description of how to remove the headlight units, all the bulbs, etc, along with the reassembly.

I will update this thread after wiring the halos. I am still waiting for electrical supplies to arrive in the mail. When they do, I will post my wiring method as well as pictures of the halos illuminated.

This thread can serve to show what you have to do to have headlight work done with AAC. It will also give good details and pictures for changing HID bulbs and what the inside of the HID looks like.

Now lets look at what kind of work is involved:

Even though AAC does the installation for you, the disassembly/reassembly required can be enough of a job itself (especially for novices). I personally think its easy in general, but you know how the first time goes.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to attempt this task with any of my instructions, you automatically agree to claim full responsibility for all damages or injuries that occur. This method working for me does not necessarily imply that it will work identically for you. Use my instructions only in conjunction with other advice as well as your own care and judgement.

Safety: Here are my general safety guidelines for working with the HID system.
1) Ensure key is out of ignition, headlight stalk switch is off, and doors are unlocked but closed.
2) Disconnect the battery before touching the HID system.
3) Unplug the gray plastic electrical connector UNDER the HID container BEFORE opening the HID container.
4) When you do open the HID container, be extra cautious of heat. If hot or warm, wait until it cools.
5) Wear gloves and eye protection
6) I personally would wait a few hours with the HIDs turned off before touching any HID stuff. I usually wait overnight.

There are more safety guidelines elsewhere too. You can check that. But these above are what I find really important.

So let's start:

To take the headlights out, you should first remove the front bumper completely. Instructions on that can be found here:

http://tsxclub.com/forums/1st-gen-general-car-topics/34786-me-taking-06-bumper-off-pics.html#post513877

http://tsxclub.com/forums/1st-gen-general-car-topics/35456-tsx-diy-videos.html

By the way, also take a look at lcrazyaznl’s headlight removal video:

After the bumper is off, disconnect the battery. If you're new at this, look up battery safety first.

Each headlight unit is bolted to the chassis with four 10mm bolts. Their locations are in the pics below. One of the top ones is under the side trim- you have to pop it upward to get to the bolt.


Take this plastic clip out so it doesn’t fling when you move the side trim.


Have someone hold the housing unit while the last bolt comes out so it doesn't fall. Then pull it out a little (not too far) and unplug the four electrical connectors coming out of the back. One of these four is the gray HID connector mentioned in safety guideline #3 above (underneath the HID unit). NOTE: do not open the back HID lid until the gray connector has been unplugged.

Just to better see where the gray HID connector is located, here is a pic of it from the side. You can see it with the bumper off:


So now the headlight unit is completely detached.


You don't have to send your bulbs to AAC with the headlight housings, so take them out. It is easiest to put the headlights on a table or work bench to remove the bulbs.

Removal of all the bulbs except the HID are in the owner's manual.

To take the HID bulb out, open the gray lid (twist counter-clockwise). Again, never open this lid until you’ve unplugged the aforementioned plastic gray HID connector like I already have.

Here's the inside. I pointed out the swivel pins you have to move before the bulb comes out:


Push each pin inward, then all the way to the side to latch it behind the metal part. I forgot to snap a pic of the pin latched, but here are the metal projections to latch them behind:


Pull the connector STRAIGHT out with the bulb attached to it. If you pull it out any other way than straight or touch it against the sides, the bulb can be scratched:


Others like to remove the connector from the bulb while the bulb is still inside the housing. I take the connector and bulb out of the housing first. It doesn't matter.

Twist the bulb counter-clockwise (with gloves) to pull it off the connector. I had to twist pretty hard. I would recommend putting the HID lids and weather seals back on before shipping to protect the sockets.

Store the bulbs individually wrapped in soft cloth.

Store the car in shelter. Check your manual about storage. Nine days have elapsed from the time AAC received my lights until the time they shipped them back out.

I used a 30x30x16 inch box. The 30x30 length/width dimensions seemed to be just big enough (if not bigger) for both headlights. The 16 inch height was way too big though. My package with both headlights weighed about 25 lbs. with padding and everything. They're not that heavy, but they’re big.

(reassembly continued next)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now, I'll show the reassembly after getting the headlights back. Putting the stuff back together can be tricky to some people, especially the HID.

Below are the headlights the way they come back. Notice the ballasts and wires that were added:


Important: before wiring the halos, put everything back together and make sure all your lights work. There’s always the chance something was damaged during shipping or disassembly. Wait until you know that everything works correctly before starting on the wiring or driving to avoid confounds.

Also, don’t drive until you mount the ballasts and wires down (I mention it again below).

Put all the bulbs, lids, and weather seals back on before putting the housing unit back into the car. It’s easier when the headlight is out. In fact, I'm taking the entire housing out to change the HIDs from now on.

If anything about this reassembly causes you trouble, it will be the HIDs, so here is a few notes about putting them back in:

On the bulb, if the return lead (brown rod that runs aside the bulb) is loose and freely moves along the pin, then (with gloves) gently push it back down like the arrow is pointing and it should stay:


Right before putting the bulbs back in, wash them with denatured or isopropyl alcohol even if you didn't touch them. It doesn't hurt to be safe. Also check the bulbs for lint or hairs stuck in the tip. I didn't have rubber gloves, so I used cloth ones and had to pull a piece of lint out of the bulb tip.

You also have to put the HID bulbs in right-side-up. If you look at the black base of the bulb, there are holes that need to match up with tabs on the back of the housing (picture below). If done correctly, the return lead should face downward when the bulb is in the housing. I pointed out the parts that have to match up below color coded:




When you put the bulb onto the connector. Make sure the tab twists ALL the way over as in the below picture. Make sure you twist in on tightly (my bulb is in upside-down in the below pic; mistake, but you can see the tab locking):

^yea, I had to turn it around. I don’t have another pic with the bulb in right and the tab visible.

I thought it was kind of tricky to lock the swivel pins. Just make sure the pins lock behind the black plastic on the bulb base, and the tops of the pins lock behind the metal hooks on top.


Double check the battery is disconnected before putting the headlights back in.

Putting the headlight back in is easy, but here are a few pointers:

The black metal piece must be attached to the headlight properly before putting the bumper back on. Make sure the tabs stick through the holes as in this pic below:

^^also, make sure that part goes on the outside of the chassis piece when sliding the headlight into place.

Before driving, the halo ballasts must be mounted sturdily, and the halo wire terminals must be insulated (even though they are not attached to a power source) and held down. I would also waterproof the ballasts. I am still looking for a way to do it, but no luck yet. Any suggestions anyone?

I mounted the halos to the side of the HID with velcro adhesives. Only use the velcro strips meant for automotive use.


I’ll post my satisfaction with AAC’s work later, but it was mostly good. Here are pics of the halos (off). After wiring, there’ll be pics of them ON:



Stay tuned to see how I wire them. I might post the wiring in electronics section, but I’ll link or whatever. Again, I am waiting for my connectors in the mail. It'll be a little while.
 

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(: Daniel :)
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Nice write up man, I think it's easier to remove the HID bulbs in the housing itself prior to pulling it out. Less chance to touch the bulb and easier to disconnect it in general imo. Also on the trim on the side of the hood I just pop off the tip of it and it hasn't popped off the back yet. There is also one bolt under the headlight that connects the black thing to it which should be removed when shipping.

I just used the grounding bolt for the ground wire and then spliced into the red wire for the parking light and sealed it up for the halos and it worked fine.

This should hopefully answer a lot of questions though esp with the pics. I did all the steps involved when taking out my headlights too. Nicely done man.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys,

I just used the grounding bolt for the ground wire and then spliced into the red wire for the parking light and sealed it up for the halos and it worked fine.
Hmm, so the positive side marker wire is the one that is switched then. The reason I know that is because to achieve stock operation, you have to tap the switched node. Interesting... I always imagined the negative would be the switched one with the front lights.
 

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(: Daniel :)
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Depending on how you wanna wire it I suppose, not sure. I just connected mine that way since Geoff (GMCHU) had his set up the same way, I bought the headlights off of him. I just loosened one of those massive ground bolts near the windshield washer reservoir and wrapped in the black ground. Then cut open the spool for the parking lights and tapped into the red wire. They turn on and off fine and I've had no issues and Geoff said he never had a problem with that setup either. They turn on with the parking lights and stay on with headlights until everything is turned off, when locking and unlocking they flash too.
 
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