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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Fix for weak headlights in stock Valeo housings?

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    After driving around in my B5 a bit since trading it for my my WRX, I am utterly disgusted by the lack of output from the stock HID headlamps. I had a 2000 A4 years ago with the same set up and it was amazingly bright! I changed the bulbs to a known good set of Osram 4300k, and it is exactly the same. They are adjusted correctly as well.

    I am guessing the only potential thing wrong with them left is the reflectors, they must be "blackened" inside, yet I cannot see the back of the projector unit itself without removing the lens.

    Does anyone have a fix for these short of replacing them? Are the reflectors metal? Recoat them possible?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    are you sure they are aimed correctly? if the leveling motor is not working they will aim down.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    The leveling sensor in the front is bad, they are aimed correctly with the manual adjusters.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Yesterday, in traffic (in town, even), a new A4 was directly behind me, and the light from its headlights even twenty feet behind me completely obscured the reflection of my own on the bumper of the car a couple of feet in front of me. Something is very wrong with these, even about 40 feet back, the headlights of the A4 behind were at least twice as bright as mine at point blank range.

  5. #5
    Account Terminated Three Rings
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    i filled my stockers with warm soapy water and agitated for about 5 minutes.

    blew dry with compressed air, then fed toilet paper into the housing to dry off the lenses, inside of cover, etc....

    side by side with my other headlight and it was visibly cleaner, and brighter. Did not test light output, but lenses were clearly dirty.

  6. #6
    Forum Moderator Four Rings Gumby's Avatar
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    get yourself some clear projector lenses.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by vteckiller2000 View Post
    The leveling sensor in the front is bad, they are aimed correctly with the manual adjusters.
    are you sure? i dont think the manual adjusters can adjust to the full height to compensate for the auto adjuster. When my sensor failed i was never able to get it to the correct height. You can VAG the module and set the center height when the sensor is bad, it has a huge range.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinkc View Post
    are you sure? i dont think the manual adjusters can adjust to the full height to compensate for the auto adjuster. When my sensor failed i was never able to get it to the correct height. You can VAG the module and set the center height when the sensor is bad, it has a huge range.
    Positive. I aim all my cars when I buy them. The only one that was correctly aimed was the one car I bought brand new.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-b5 View Post
    i filled my stockers with warm soapy water and agitated for about 5 minutes.

    blew dry with compressed air, then fed toilet paper into the housing to dry off the lenses, inside of cover, etc....

    side by side with my other headlight and it was visibly cleaner, and brighter. Did not test light output, but lenses were clearly dirty.
    I pulled the housing out and peeked around, it looked pretty clean and nice in there, but I could not see the reflector for the low beam.

  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings B5//S4's Avatar
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    I can help you sir.

    Step 1: Remove the ballasts from the bottom of the headlight by removing the 6 torx screws along the edge.
    undo the ligniter off the back of the bulb/bulb holder. unplug the clip with black and red wires from the ballast.


    Step 2: unscrew the 4 screws holding the projector to the projector shroud. Remove the four metal clips that hold the reflector bowl and the lens holder together.




    Step 3: Spin the reflector bowl 180 degrees and pull the reflector out of the hole that the low beam cover door covers. You need to pull it out on an angel by pulling the flat edge of the bowl out first.




    Step 4: Take the cutoff shield out of the same hole.

    Step5: Take the lens holder out of the same hole.

    Now you should have all of the projector out of the headlight in pieces. Clean the lens and the reflector bowl and inspect them for quality. Before you do all this, go to www.theretrofitsource.com and order a pair of TSX-R clear lenses. Swap out the old frensel lens with the new clear lens.





    Repeat the steps of removal in reverse order.
    If your reflector bowls are scorched, your on your own for that one. maybe you can get them re-chromed. But for the cost to do that you might as well buy some e-codes.
    If your really crafty, buy some tsx projectors and retrofit them in your headlights. 55w ballasts from ddmtuning are cheap and work great and make your lights brighter that anything on the road that is OEM.
    I hope all of this mumbo jumbo helps.
    Enjoy!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by B5//S4 View Post
    I can help you sir.

    Enjoy!
    That is awesome!

  12. #12
    Account Terminated Three Rings
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    Or just jam in some depos and 55W hid kits like i did

  13. #13
    Senior Member Three Rings Just_dizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5//S4 View Post
    I can help you sir.

    Step 1: Remove the ballasts from the bottom of the headlight by removing the 6 torx screws along the edge.
    undo the ligniter off the back of the bulb/bulb holder. unplug the clip with black and red wires from the ballast.


    Step 2: unscrew the 4 screws holding the projector to the projector shroud. Remove the four metal clips that hold the reflector bowl and the lens holder together.




    Step 3: Spin the reflector bowl 180 degrees and pull the reflector out of the hole that the low beam cover door covers. You need to pull it out on an angel by pulling the flat edge of the bowl out first.




    Step 4: Take the cutoff shield out of the same hole.

    Step5: Take the lens holder out of the same hole.

    Now you should have all of the projector out of the headlight in pieces. Clean the lens and the reflector bowl and inspect them for quality. Before you do all this, go to www.theretrofitsource.com and order a pair of TSX-R clear lenses. Swap out the old frensel lens with the new clear lens.





    Repeat the steps of removal in reverse order.
    If your reflector bowls are scorched, your on your own for that one. maybe you can get them re-chromed. But for the cost to do that you might as well buy some e-codes.
    If your really crafty, buy some tsx projectors and retrofit them in your headlights. 55w ballasts from ddmtuning are cheap and work great and make your lights brighter that anything on the road that is OEM.
    I hope all of this mumbo jumbo helps.
    Enjoy!
    Wow...best think ive seen all day. Will s2k projectors work?

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings B5//S4's Avatar
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    Thank you both very much for saying that. Yes, s2k projectors will work, but of course some 'retrofitting' will need to be done for a perfect fit. Anything is possible!

  15. #15
    Veteran Member Four Rings Aggv's Avatar
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    Anyone have a write up on swapping with tsx/s2k projectors ?
    S4

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Three Rings DaveS4's Avatar
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    I'll be doing this to my new headlights when they get here. I'll feel bad cutting up brand new OEM headlights, but some woman's insurance covered them, so why not :D


    I'm just trying to decide which projector I want to replace it with...
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  17. #17
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Both of my reflector buckets are scorched and black.

    Does the dealer sell them?

  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    You'll find there isn't much room in the headlight housings for other projectors ... I went with the fxr projectors. Huge improvement nd only minor modification needed to fit.
    Keep right pass left, it's the law!!

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickglx View Post
    You'll find there isn't much room in the headlight housings for other projectors ... I went with the fxr projectors. Huge improvement nd only minor modification needed to fit.
    What mods did they take? Did you still use your stock high beam in conjunction with the FXR bixenons?

  20. #20
    Established Member Two Rings B5//S4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickglx View Post
    You'll find there isn't much room in the headlight housings for other projectors ... I went with the fxr projectors. Huge improvement nd only minor modification needed to fit.
    This. The fxr projectors are the way to go as far as a 'easy' retrofit. But it is not a direct plug and play by any means.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    what's involved to retrofit the TSX lens into the stock projectors?

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Three Rings joe dub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5//S4 View Post
    I can help you sir.

    Step 1: Remove the ballasts from the bottom of the headlight by removing the 6 torx screws along the edge.
    undo the ligniter off the back of the bulb/bulb holder. unplug the clip with black and red wires from the ballast.


    Step 2: unscrew the 4 screws holding the projector to the projector shroud. Remove the four metal clips that hold the reflector bowl and the lens holder together.




    Step 3: Spin the reflector bowl 180 degrees and pull the reflector out of the hole that the low beam cover door covers. You need to pull it out on an angel by pulling the flat edge of the bowl out first.




    Step 4: Take the cutoff shield out of the same hole.

    Step5: Take the lens holder out of the same hole.

    Now you should have all of the projector out of the headlight in pieces. Clean the lens and the reflector bowl and inspect them for quality. Before you do all this, go to www.theretrofitsource.com and order a pair of TSX-R clear lenses. Swap out the old frensel lens with the new clear lens.





    Repeat the steps of removal in reverse order.
    If your reflector bowls are scorched, your on your own for that one. maybe you can get them re-chromed. But for the cost to do that you might as well buy some e-codes.
    If your really crafty, buy some tsx projectors and retrofit them in your headlights. 55w ballasts from ddmtuning are cheap and work great and make your lights brighter that anything on the road that is OEM.
    I hope all of this mumbo jumbo helps.
    Enjoy!
    quoting for fun cos its long
    silver - RIP
    black - TAILS

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Three Rings vteckiller2000's Avatar
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    Anyone know what is involved with installing fxr projectors in the stock housings?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Three Rings Just_dizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5//S4 View Post
    Thank you both very much for saying that. Yes, s2k projectors will work, but of course some 'retrofitting' will need to be done for a perfect fit. Anything is possible!
    you should just start your own business on the side!

  25. #25
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Side by side- original Valeo projector on left( this one is an H7 but they are extremely similar to D2S unit), FX-R on right.. Lil bigger but it fits




    This is how it will sit in the OEM shroud. Perfect fit, almost. Drill some holes for the screws on the bottom, be sure to get it centered in the hole for the lense and level. Top pic shows where I had to cut away to make an area for the top screw mount... you can see how close it will be to the reflector mounting, this is approx where the adjustment track is that will need some trimming. Nevermind the black glue on the shroud. Picked up a broken set of halogen lights on here for cheap to mess with before taking mine apart...



    This shows where a recess had to be cut to make room for the screw head to ease mounting..





    These pics show one nearly finished modified projector.



    Now that all the pics I took since the camera died... Not pictured are some slight modifications to the headlight housing itself to make room for the slightly larger projector. Part of the recess where the ballast would normally mount was cut away. I made a nice simple "plug" to fit where the ballast would be. A flat plate that I silicone over the hole and screwed down using the existing ballast mountings. A hole and grommet in that plate allow the ballast wiring through.
    The adjuster track on the outside was trimmed down.... I think thats it? Just make sure the reflector and projector assembly can utilize the whole up/ down range of motion and the left/right aim is about where it should be with some room to adjust as needed... Up/down especially important as the auto levelling will be moving them periodically... I should note that I went ahead and trimmed the top mounting post *slightly*, to make the mounting flat and trimmed it down a touch more to move the halogen high beam aim UP a little.


    The results? Pretty, pretty good... High beam- instantaneous illumination as the shutter is faster than the halogen bulb.. More broad lighting off the shoulders into the woods, even distribution throughout, much more intense. Harder to distinguish where the halogen ends/begins. Low beam is broader with LESS foreground light. Which is NOT a bad thing. You want to see further down the road, not right in front of you- thats what the fogs are for. I'm not terribly pleased with the cutoff or the erratic lighting near the fringe but whatever... I think the low beam Valeos had more color and a sharper cutoff(with the clear lense) And I never bothered to fine tune the adjustment of the projectors so they are both slightly tilted.... cutoffs don't quite match up and it bugs me. Have to get some finished pics... And of the HID projector fogs

    As a side note, changing the lense on the Valeo projector is only going to sharpen the cutoff. Thats it. Won't make it any brighter...
    You'll find the FX-R projectors are a good choice if you want to do a retrofit. Comparable output to the acclaimed TL projector and S2000:
    http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...000+fx+replica
    Keep right pass left, it's the law!!

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Three Rings Quattro_2.7tt's Avatar
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    Mine seem dim as hell also. I need to do a good cleaning or a projector swap! Thanks for the info.
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  27. #27
    Established Member Two Rings SpeedracerIndy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickglx View Post
    ...
    Side by side- original Valeo projector on left( this one is an H7 but they are extremely similar to D2S unit), FX-R on right.. Lil bigger but it fits
    ...


    This is how it will sit in the OEM shroud. Perfect fit, almost. Drill some holes for the screws on the bottom, be sure to get it centered in the hole for the lense and level. Top pic shows where I had to cut away to make an area for the top screw mount... you can see how close it will be to the reflector mounting, this is approx where the adjustment track is that will need some trimming. Nevermind the black glue on the shroud. Picked up a broken set of halogen lights on here for cheap to mess with before taking mine apart...
    ...

    These pics show one nearly finished modified projector.



    Now that all the pics I took since the camera died... Not pictured are some slight modifications to the headlight housing itself to make room for the slightly larger projector. Part of the recess where the ballast would normally mount was cut away. I made a nice simple "plug" to fit where the ballast would be. A flat plate that I silicone over the hole and screwed down using the existing ballast mountings. A hole and grommet in that plate allow the ballast wiring through.
    The adjuster track on the outside was trimmed down.... I think thats it? Just make sure the reflector and projector assembly can utilize the whole up/ down range of motion and the left/right aim is about where it should be with some room to adjust as needed... Up/down especially important as the auto levelling will be moving them periodically... I should note that I went ahead and trimmed the top mounting post *slightly*, to make the mounting flat and trimmed it down a touch more to move the halogen high beam aim UP a little.


    The results? Pretty, pretty good... High beam- instantaneous illumination as the shutter is faster than the halogen bulb.. More broad lighting off the shoulders into the woods, even distribution throughout, much more intense. Harder to distinguish where the halogen ends/begins. Low beam is broader with LESS foreground light. Which is NOT a bad thing. You want to see further down the road, not right in front of you- thats what the fogs are for. I'm not terribly pleased with the cutoff or the erratic lighting near the fringe but whatever... I think the low beam Valeos had more color and a sharper cutoff(with the clear lense) And I never bothered to fine tune the adjustment of the projectors so they are both slightly tilted.... cutoffs don't quite match up and it bugs me. Have to get some finished pics... And of the HID projector fogs

    As a side note, changing the lense on the Valeo projector is only going to sharpen the cutoff. Thats it. Won't make it any brighter...
    You'll find the FX-R projectors are a good choice if you want to do a retrofit. Comparable output to the acclaimed TL projector and S2000:
    http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...000+fx+replica
    Nice write up. I ordered the FX-R, but sent them back because I didn't want to hack up or separate my $$$ e-code housings. I exchanged them for Morimoto MINI's. The MINI's will fit through the opening at the back of the housing and required no modifications to the housings. All I did was make a custom bracket out of sheet metal to mount the MINI's. They are bixenon and have the same lens as the FX-R's.

    Both reflector buckets on my stock headlights and my newer E-codes had black scorching on them. There's no fix for that except for getting them re-chromed.

  28. #28
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Yeah...hacking them up is the problem. The most difficult part is getting the housings open without damaging the housings or something else inside of them. Heat helps but certainly does not make it easy or insures that you will not damage something on the headlight or housing. I am exploring cutting them open with a dremel tool. I am not certain what the best way to seal them again is once the lenses are cut off. It does seem to me that cutting them is the safest way to open the housings, but makes re-sealing them more difficult.

  29. #29
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedracerIndy View Post
    Nice write up. I ordered the FX-R, but sent them back because I didn't want to hack up or separate my $$$ e-code housings. I exchanged them for Morimoto MINI's. The MINI's will fit through the opening at the back of the housing and required no modifications to the housings. All I did was make a custom bracket out of sheet metal to mount the MINI's. They are bixenon and have the same lens as the FX-R's.

    Both reflector buckets on my stock headlights and my newer E-codes had black scorching on them. There's no fix for that except for getting them re-chromed.
    Nice. I prob would have gone that route as well, but the Morimoto's weren't offered at the time. In the end though I'm happy with the FX-Rs, glad I wasted the extra effort..
    Keep right pass left, it's the law!!

  30. #30
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmaslar View Post
    Yeah...hacking them up is the problem. The most difficult part is getting the housings open without damaging the housings or something else inside of them. Heat helps but certainly does not make it easy or insures that you will not damage something on the headlight or housing. I am exploring cutting them open with a dremel tool. I am not certain what the best way to seal them again is once the lenses are cut off. It does seem to me that cutting them is the safest way to open the housings, but makes re-sealing them more difficult.
    from my experience, heat didn't seem to help? The sealant used is ab itch to get through. I ended up just using a hook pick tool to muscle through the sealant. Just manuver it around the lip of the lense in the channel of the housing and push it around the whole housing to break the seal.. Its def hard work but works. No damage to the light and easy to reseal after removing all the old sealant
    Keep right pass left, it's the law!!

  31. #31
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Did the OE ballast need to be removed from the housing to accommodate the larger size of the FX-R projector?

  32. #32
    Veteran Member Four Rings nizmosx's Avatar
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    how similar if at all are the depos to ecodes. does anyone have a side by side comparo of the light beam on a building between the two. i used to have ecodes but sold them and am running stocks now. Would like to see how good the light output is on depos.

  33. #33
    Veteran Member Four Rings Bimmerchop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nizmosx View Post
    how similar if at all are the depos to ecodes. does anyone have a side by side comparo of the light beam on a building between the two. i used to have ecodes but sold them and am running stocks now. Would like to see how good the light output is on depos.
    Depo ecodes and Valeo ecodes share the same exact cutoff shield and clear lenses. Although output characteristics will be slightly better on the D2S projector, the beam pattern is identical between the two.
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  34. #34
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmaslar View Post
    Did the OE ballast need to be removed from the housing to accommodate the larger size of the FX-R projector?
    Not sure about that one because I'm using some aftermarket 50w ones, but I think they would still fit... if memory serves, the taller part of the ballast sits under the high beam area? not sure
    Keep right pass left, it's the law!!

  35. #35
    Senior Member Three Rings Marioh's Avatar
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    Any images of the lights after the TSX-R lens?

  36. #36
    Established Member Two Rings SpeedracerIndy's Avatar
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    I just got my MINI's installed in my e-code housings last night. They use the same TSX-R lens as the FX-R's. Sorry, no pictures as it's too cold and my driveway is covered with 6" of snow on top of 4" of ice. Maybe this weekend as it's supposed to get into the low 40's (finally!!!).

    The cutoff is the same as US spec headlights. The light output is far greater than either US-spec lights or the E-codes that I had on the car. My opinion of the output is obviously subjective, but if I had to guess I'd say it's about double the US spec projectors and 1/3 brighter than the e-codes. And they are bi-xenon so with my brights on I have both the HID brights and my halogen brights on. They are flame throwers.

  37. #37
    Veteran Member Four Rings Bimmerchop's Avatar
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    I can't wait to swap out projectors once the weather gets warmer
    Rich | 2001.5 EPL stg III+ TiAL 605.2 Pearl White S4 | Flickr

    EPL | ER | SDR | APR | Stratmosphere | 034 | ASP | SPEC | Fidanza | STaSIS | H-Sport | AWE | H&R | StopTech | Fikse

  38. #38
    Senior Member Three Rings Marioh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bimmerchop View Post
    I can't wait to swap out projectors once the weather gets warmer
    You swapping the entire projector, or just the lens?

  39. #39
    Veteran Member Four Rings Bimmerchop's Avatar
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    I already have ecodes, so I'll be swapping out the entire projector.
    Rich | 2001.5 EPL stg III+ TiAL 605.2 Pearl White S4 | Flickr

    EPL | ER | SDR | APR | Stratmosphere | 034 | ASP | SPEC | Fidanza | STaSIS | H-Sport | AWE | H&R | StopTech | Fikse

  40. #40
    Veteran Member Four Rings Aggv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 26 2006
    AZ Member #
    12044
    Location
    Ohio

    Little things like light output are starting to really grind my gears with this car
    S4

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