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Author Topic: Headlight Options  (Read 31573 times)

Offline Arro

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Headlight Options
« on: 01:36:12 PM / 28-Jul-09 »
If you're looking for crazy-cool modern headlight options, don't get your hopes up. The first thing about these cars is they are POP-UP style headlights. The second thing about these cars is they aren't well supported by aftermarket manufacturers. Where other pop-up style cars might have ready-to-go conversion kits, the S12 doesn't get such nice things. If you want your S12's headlight setup to look different than an S12 headlight setup, then you either need money/skills, or you need to buy another car that looks different than an S12. Most of us actually like the pop-up lights, so we're usually pretty satisfied with the options that are available to them.

Pictured below are the dimensions of the sealed beam headlights, as well as a set of H4 bulbs for use in composite housings.



Our pop-up headlight housings use sealed-beam style headlights. This means the bulb is non-removable. It is part of the reflector and lens -- one complete part. There are some options for brighter versions from companies like Sylvania, but nothing worth mentioning.



So what options do we have?

Well first let's tackle what works... There are indeed replacement options for the sealed beam headlights. These are composite housings, and use more modern H-series bulbs, in this case, H4 bulbs, which is a dual-filament headlight bulb... has both high and low beam functions.

The composite housings bolt right in -- direct swap. Some will fit a little better than others, depending on the manufacturer, but all will work. They're sold in a number of places, sometimes even your local auto parts store will carry them. But the best source for these kinds of things will always be Ebay. Below are some of the varieties you can find there:









Projector-style inner lens, for those who want that projector cutoff-line:





Pilot makes a set of unshrouded composite housings...



... and their newest ones have light ring illumination:



Once you have composite housings, you can run the H4 bulbs, which also gives you a wide range of choices in both color and intensity. You can also run an H4 HID conversion kit for extreme headlight output in a variety of light temp ranges (colors)...



That covers "what works". But what about "what takes work". You can modify your pop-up assembly a couple ways.


Sleepy Eyes

The first way is the simplest. It's a Japanese trend called "sleepy-eyes". Lots of S13's, RX-7 FC's, and other cars have done it, and you can do it, too. It's easy to do. On your dash, to the left of your steering wheel, you will find a switch that controls the headlight motors. Turning on this switch normally pops up the lights without turning them on. Cutting the brown wire on the back of this switch will allow you to leave the lights up partially, but will let them pop up all the way like normal, when you need your headlights. Once you cut the brown wire, you can flick the switch back and forth until you get the lights to the "sleepy eyes" look you want. Then leave the switch alone, and simply use the headlight control stick.










Projector headlight Conversion

Some of you might want to try your hand at something more custom, you can midify the popups with projector lenses. First you will need to pick out a set of projector assemblies. You'll need a pair for the low beams, and if you want to run them, a second pair for the high beams. Projectors are always separate units for high vs. low. You will have to custom-mount them at the angle you want.



You're probably going to want the pop-ups to only open enough to expose the projector lens. In stock form, the light assemblies will open up too high. The way you change this is to modify the length of the actuator arm. This is the arm that lifts up and brings down the pop-ups.



Normally, the length is adjustable with a set nut, which you can loosen. Removing the arm end, you can rotate it and change the length. Cutting the arm down much shorter will force the lights to only open a little bit. The easiest thing to do is to cut and shorten the arm in the middle, so you still have the adjustment at the threaded end.

Once this is done, you can mount your projectors to point out in the right direction. The better projector assemblies have adjustable lenses, so you can fine-tune the aim of your lights.

Done right, they look pretty good.




Fixed headlight Conversions

Fixed headlights are a highly-custom job. You'd better be prepared to cut, weld, bolt, shape, and repeat, over and over, until you get them to work. The results are mixed. Some people have played with headlight housings from S13 Silvias, but the results are sloppy at best. Other people have worked with sealed-beam light styles from other cars, such as 90's Camaros. And one full-race car has fabricated fixed lights in a plexiglas shroud. Below are two examples of *successful* fixed light conversions, although few others have managed as well.





It's best to understand what you're working with, so below are pictures of the pop-up headlight assembly (again), and pictures of where it sits on the radiator core support:







For most people, the composite housings with good H4 bulbs works well and gives a much nicer view, both looking at the car, and looking at the road at night. Going beyond that, it's entirely up to the individual, but skill and lots of tools are essential if you're going to try to customize your headlight setup.

So "what doesn't work"? Pretty much anything for another car will NOT just bolt in, or even go in with little work. Pop-up conversion kits for S13's do not work, because the overall dimensions of the S13 pop-up assemblies are very different. S13 light options only share the composite housings with S12.
« Last Edit: 01:37:54 AM / 29-Jul-09 by Arro »

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-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance

Offline nismologist

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Headlight Options
« Reply #1 on: 01:58:29 PM / 28-Jul-09 »
dont forget the mod I did that made my headlights look forward fine, but i had sleepys at the same time.


YOU THOUGHT SO, BUT I KNOW SO.
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Offline Arro

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Headlight Options
« Reply #2 on: 02:19:49 PM / 28-Jul-09 »
If you have a thread on that, post the link to that thread here.
-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance

Offline nismologist

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Headlight Options
« Reply #3 on: 03:44:22 PM / 28-Jul-09 »
wish i wouldve done a write up but i was being a loner and was going lone wolf when i did it.

YOU THOUGHT SO, BUT I KNOW SO.
-Macho Man Randy Savage

Offline Josh19862dr

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« Reply #4 on: 10:12:26 PM / 28-Jul-09 »
hell yea i appreciate it. I'm glad that i found this web site, every were else i go people just tell me to sell it and that its a P.O.S.! But i like it and thank you ill be back on to let y'all know how it looks and how it went. How do i put pictures of my car on here though
Josh Webb
86 200sx- i put over 100,000 miles on it and still runs like new!!!
ca20's, Not a crap motor!

Offline Jackalope

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« Reply #5 on: 12:30:57 AM / 29-Jul-09 »
this is a very informative thread.  thanks for the info i was wondering about this stuff the other day

but i know (imo) a better way to do the sleepy eyes mod

rahter than cutting anything you can follow these steps:
1. flip switch so light are down and off
2. remove the fuse that controls the headlight motors (found under the hood not the fuse box inside the car)
3. flip switch to raise headlights (they will not go up if you removed the correct fuse)
4. gently tap fuse to where it belongs so that is makes a connection (this will make the headlights rise) keep tapping till desired height is reached
5. put fuse in glove box for use later

*if you bump it too high just start over
« Last Edit: 12:31:58 AM / 29-Jul-09 by Jackalope »

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Offline Keith

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Headlight Options
« Reply #6 on: 01:26:12 PM / 30-Jul-09 »
Additional info............

9003 bulbs are a "plug and play" bulb that can be used in place of H-4 bulbs in "composite" housings.  Physically they look the same as a H-4 bulb.
Typically H-4 bulbs are sold as singles (for motorcycles), and 9003's are sold in pairs, and are usually cheaper than buying 2 single pack H-4's.
Also, depending on the brand....9003's are longer and produce better light than H-4's....again, it depends on the brand...because some companies list H-4 and 9003 as one in the same.



*1984 S12 Turbo* CA18DET swap * Custom top mount header & dump pipe * Mitsu Heavy Industries EVO III 16g turbo * Custom 3" turbo back exhaust with Magnaflow muffler * Front mount intercooler * Front mount oil cooler * Nismo fuel pressure regulator * Walbro 255 * DSM 450cc Injestors * Apexi Safc II * AEM Wide Band * AEM Tru Boost * Z32 MAF * Cometic head gasket * Centerforce Dual Friction clutch *  Tokico lowering springs * Owned since 1989 *

*2007 BMW M6* S85 V10 sweetness

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Offline Arro

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Headlight Options
« Reply #7 on: 04:14:20 PM / 30-Jul-09 »
Autozone sells 9003 bulbs both individually and in pairs.
-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance

Offline henge

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Headlight Options
« Reply #8 on: 10:50:27 PM / 30-Jul-09 »
Another option for some would be the Euro Spec "200SX" (S13) headlamps. Essentially they are Hella H4 glass housings.

In this picture, The one on the left is with a regular H4 bulb, the right is with an H4 HID kit.


Since the ones I have are from a German 200SX, the cut off line is correct for US driving (unlike JDM lights where the line goes the opposite direction.


Here you can see how it is installed, granted the picture was when they were in my S13, but fitment is pretty much the same for the S12

Offline EternalSwap

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« Reply #9 on: 02:17:49 AM / 31-Jul-09 »
whoa, great find!
-Alex

EL PENE DE LA MUERTE
Quote from: David B
wow. im horny. i dont know why. but i just figured id let you guys know. i really wanna bite someones bean. i mean. chomp on some ass
hahah Alex just pwned C-S12, w3rd.

Offline taktics702

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« Reply #10 on: 11:08:10 PM / 19-Aug-09 »
Great Write up.. one questions though.

I notice the size of the headlights varied from each different example.. so I searched Ebay and even those varied in sizes, (length x width).

So what is the true size we need for new headlights?

i know I can go just measure it with a rule but too late and too dark now.

thanks

Offline EternalSwap

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« Reply #11 on: 01:35:00 AM / 20-Aug-09 »
7" x 6"
-Alex

EL PENE DE LA MUERTE
Quote from: David B
wow. im horny. i dont know why. but i just figured id let you guys know. i really wanna bite someones bean. i mean. chomp on some ass
hahah Alex just pwned C-S12, w3rd.

Offline taktics702

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« Reply #12 on: 12:59:43 AM / 04-Sep-09 »
Oh really? well aren't the AE86 headlights 7" x 6" as well?

if they fit then there goes another set of options.

Offline EternalSwap

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« Reply #13 on: 02:54:44 AM / 04-Sep-09 »
i do believe so, a lot of 80s import pop ups use the h6054's, aka 7"x6"
« Last Edit: 04:14:27 AM / 04-Sep-09 by EternalSwap »
-Alex

EL PENE DE LA MUERTE
Quote from: David B
wow. im horny. i dont know why. but i just figured id let you guys know. i really wanna bite someones bean. i mean. chomp on some ass
hahah Alex just pwned C-S12, w3rd.

Offline Xano

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« Reply #14 on: 03:26:58 AM / 04-Sep-09 »
I believe its H6054, not 0654, but yeah, thats what the stock sealed beam ones are.
~xano


Offline EternalSwap

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« Reply #15 on: 04:14:33 AM / 04-Sep-09 »
fail, typo.

fixed.
-Alex

EL PENE DE LA MUERTE
Quote from: David B
wow. im horny. i dont know why. but i just figured id let you guys know. i really wanna bite someones bean. i mean. chomp on some ass
hahah Alex just pwned C-S12, w3rd.

Offline henge

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« Reply #16 on: 03:51:11 PM / 04-Sep-09 »
here is a helpful link:http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/AutomotiveLighting/LampReplacementGuide/

you can use that to check if the headlamps off of another vehicle are H6054's, in which case they will fit without modification but won't really provide any kind of upgrade...

Offline CamInHead

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« Reply #17 on: 03:38:28 PM / 16-Sep-09 »
hmm, found an ebay lisitng for Supra projector headlights
Link


Offline s12guy

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« Reply #18 on: 04:45:51 PM / 16-Sep-09 »
Dont buy the black ebay lights. They suck and you can see at night. I had them on my se and I hated it. They did look good though.


Offline Xano

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« Reply #19 on: 07:58:23 PM / 16-Sep-09 »
Quote from: s12guy
Dont buy the black ebay lights. They suck and you can see at night. I had them on my se and I hated it. They did look good though.
yeah the black innards ones fail, they dont make the black reflective enough.  I would only suggest black lights for corners and tails on cars where you can buy em that way.
~xano