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sudeepg 2nd October 2017 22:34

DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
19 Attachment(s)
I had installed sealed bi-Xenon 3.0 inch projector fog lamps sourced from XenonPlanet as an aftermarket solution for S-Cross alpha variant's poor lighting solution. These projector fogs are nothing but re-branded IPHCAR fogs sold on AliExpress, available for much less. I even saw the IPHCAR packaging at one of their outlets. The initial plan to improve lighting was to upgrade the headlamp projectors. Due to lack of enough knowledge then, the project couldn't take off. After working on the idea for over 3 months, I finally got to begin execution. The stock projectors in my DDiS 200 alpha have now been upgraded to Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0 Bi-Xenons, making the current light system on my car a sort of quad setup.

Please note, no stock wiring was cut, spliced or changed to accommodate this setup. All wiring is stock, & new wiring is plug and play. Further BHPIan Jaunthead's 1.6 has also been upgraded with the Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0. I have been running on this setup for over two weeks now. I & Jaunthead have both been on long journeys without an incident.

I'd like to begin by acknowledging and thanking a few set of people who were involved in this project with me, without whom, this project would have never seen fantastic results.

  • To my beautiful & lovely wife - You tremendously helped me in some of the design and calculations involved in solving some of the issues related to mounting bracket positioning encountered during this project. Thank you also for supporting me in pursuing this DIY with all the issues and madness around. Without you, it was impossible to pull this off. Thank you for keeping us (Me & Jaunthead) charged and nourished with food and drinks throughout the DIY. I love you!
  • Equally, the same courtesy was extended to us when we were working on Jaunthead's car by his wife.

Then there are friends who give their heart and soul into the projects you do, for no money, no publicity but only because of passion, the heart to help and of course being as passionate in executing these DIYs.
  • Non-BHPian Vasi Khan, for willing to spend a good amount of time designing and then fabricating custom brackets required to mount the morimotos. He completely designed the custom brackets using 3D imaging software, which was then sent to fabricators to mill it. I believe without his help, a high quality install was very difficult to achieve. Thank you Vasi, I owe you for your help!
  • BHPian Jaunthead - For funding for some of the tools required without any hesitation and for working along with me on this DIY. Your cool head and excellent solutions really pulled us out of some tight situations. Thank you so much!
  • Distinguished BHPian: a4anurag. For the endless conversations on how to go about this DIY, guidance and sharing his expertise, tools and other useful stuff. I don't recall how many times I have chewed your head! Thank you Anurag.
  • BHPian KpZen - If it was not for his involvement, the proper sealing of the headlight casing wouldn't have been possible. He is one of our silent heros. Engages when we are stuck - like the low range in off-roading cars. Thank you KpZen!
  • GOD, our almighty for helping us get past all the issues we encountered
  • Dixit from RetroRides - For assisting with various queries during install
  • Dhiraj from Delhi - Who was the first recipient of the Morimotors on his S-Cross. His install really was a starting point for our DIY

Warning & Disclaimer
DIY expertise level at the time of this DIY: Beginner
I don't mean to brag about this one, but I want to set the context so that all of you readers are aware.
Why Morimotos?
The difficult decision making process to go with Morimotos after having invested in XP Micros recently is something many will consider as unnecessary, especially if you consider the costs involved for a first timer.

Here are my compelling reasons for upgrading to Morimotos:
  1. Exceptional light output - both width and distance. It's one of the best for highway drives (which I do every quarter), FXR being the other.
  2. Universal Retrofit - widely used and proven projector from a trusted brand
  3. Great support from manufacturer and third parties like TRS. Also, excellent knowledge at forums and several youtube videos on how to retrofit it.
  4. XPs really don't help see far. The high beam is not that great to see obstacles in medium speeds on highways. They sit low and low beam distance is limited.
The XP Micros, undoubtedly, is good product that fulfills the need for additional lights. But it did do one thing to me - With all the poor wiring and issues we ended up having with XP Micros, I had to take matters into my own hands to fix the problems. Further, we aren't sure how long these fog lights will last. They definitely didn't appear to be designed to be used for a very long time, only time will tell though. Considering how low they sit, wading through a medium pool of water without being careful to switch them off is going to cause trouble for sure.

Light Output
So far, we have done this work on two S-Cross cars - Mine (the first) and then BHPIan Jaunthead's car. One more car is in line to get these projectors installed. Here are a couple of videos from our trips.

Jaunthead's car Dashcam

The following two videos are from my Kerala trip captured with the cellphone camera. Its over exposed a bit but the light output in reality is phenomenal! I have used the level control and kept the low beam a bit down since these lights are quite bright and given the up and down terrain in Kerala it was apt to keep it at an angle that isn't hurting to oncoming traffic. I can easily adjust this with vertical level control

High Beam

Morimoto Kit Specifications
  1. Bi-Xenon: Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0 Round Lens, Right Hand Drive
  2. HID Ballasts: 50W/D2S: Morimoto XB Ballast & Igniters
  3. Wire Harness: MotoControl Bi-Xenon: H4/9003
  4. D2S HID Bulbs: XB 4500K
  5. Housing Sealant: Black RetroRubber

Important Note: The Morimoto projectors are a size less than the stock projects. Thus, they are not an exact replacement or fit in the stock headlight housing. Even more important is to ensure that Morimoto projectors are mounted such that it's more or less in the exact same position as the stock projector. This is important to ensure that the throw, level & looks matches the stock. Too far ahead could also spoil the looks and more importantly, end up bumping the projector lens into the front reflectors. The kit supplied by Retro Rides came with custom brackets, but I didn't find them very useful. They are made of ACP sheet. We realized that the brackets are not good enough only after we opened the headlight and examined the mounting case inside. This was a major setback that caused us a couple of weeks delay and additional costs to design and fabricate a custom mounting that ensures the projector is aligned correctly as well as mounted securely. My car was grounded until then. :(

Tools & Parts Required
There is a long list of tools and parts required.
  1. Crimping tool - To crimp the pins required to create the required waterproof connections.
  2. Flat Head Screw Driver - For removing screws, prying and other miscellaneous purposes
  3. Torx Screw Driver and T20 bit To remove the back cover of the head lamp unit
  4. Lock ring nose plier - To separate the headlight clear lens with plastic housing
  5. Heat gun - To soften the rubber butyl glue which seals the clear lens within the headlamp enclosure.
  6. Drill machine & drill bit -10 mm & 2/3 mm drill bits - to make a hole in the housing cap behind to take out the 2 input wires to the ballast and output wires from igniter to bulb.
  7. Ring Spanner - Tighten bolts and nuts
  8. JB Weld - To glue and assemble the custom projector brackets
  9. MSeal Phataphat - To secure the projectors and bracket to the stock housing for added strength
  10. Microfiber cloths - Cleaning the lens and projector
  11. Silicone Gloves - For handling the headlight when they are hot
  12. Rubber mats and paper towels - To place stuff without damaging them while working on the headlight
  13. Old newspapers - Cover the head lamp area when they are opened so that nothing goes in when they are serviced
  14. Anabond 666 - Sealant around the rubber grommet and other areas - This has high resistance to moisture and temperature.
  15. Multi-Tester - For measuring current, signal in wires, voltage.
  16. Nitrile/Surgical Gloves - For working inside engine compartment without getting cuts and bruises and also while working on removing headlights
  17. Marker Pen - To mark the stock headlight throw on the wall
  18. Alcohol swipes - For cleaning the inside of the clear lens, reflectors and HID bulbs.
  19. Zip ties - To securing wiring in engine bay
  20. H4 female connector - Input to MotoControl relay from stock wiring.
  21. 9006 ballast wire extenders - On some cars, the wire length may not be sufficient for connecting the solenoid to the MotoControl. The extender will make the connection plug and play
  22. Sumitomo 6 pin connectors - To tap power from stock headlamp wiring without any splicing cuts. This keeps the wiring harness intact and warranty in place.
  23. Cardboard box - For the DIY oven. Should be large enough to accommodate the headlight inside. The S-cross headlight is over 32 inches in length!
  24. Wires - 18/22 AWG, 2 - 5 meters to create custom wiring harness
  25. Small cardboard boxes 2 nos. for supporting the headlight inside the larger box. These are similar to those boxes Flipkart ships their smaller consignments in. Sample dimensions for reference - 180 mm (L) x 100 mm (B) x 100 mm (H).
  26. Crocodile clips - To test solenoid operation with a 12v battery
  27. 12 volt battery - To test the solenoid operation before mounting the projectors.
  28. 8 mm washers, nut & bolt - To secure the ground points on the chassis. If these are not available, we need to find an existing bolt on either side as ground points
  29. 4,6 mm washers, nut and bolt - To secure the ballasts in the engine bay
  30. Air blower - To blow off the dust from the projector lens and internals before we re-seal
  31. Tweezers with 3mm edge - To de-pin the connectors of the ignitor wire. This is required to pass them through the back casing that prevents dust and moisture from going into the headlight assembly.
  32. Sand Paper - 80 grit - To take away some of the paint where the ground for the MotoControl is secured to chassis.
  33. Spray paint (Clear coat/Black/Blue) - To apply paint over the exposed bare metal where the ground for driver set is secured.
  34. Grounding bolts (2 no's)- To secure the ground wire against the chassis
  35. Heat Shrink tubing - To cover the exposed wires
  36. 1 inch long thread screws, 1mm thick washers To mount the brackets to the plastic housing for the projectors
Optional Spares & Tools
These are not absolutely important, but some of these may come very handy during the install instead of being stuck
  1. Braided Wire Sleeve - To protect the wires from heat and water in the engine area.
  2. 1-Pin water proof connectors Use as a spare if clips or connectors break during de-pinning
  3. Dremel Rotary tool This has a number of uses, ranging from:
  4. Polishing painted area off in the engine bay for good ground connection
  5. Create a small groove in the lock nut holding the bulb which matches the pins on the edge of the bulb. Makes seating easy.
  6. Headlight back cover Replacement spare in case there are errors in drilling holes etc.
  7. Cut Resistant Gloves To prevent cuts and scrapes to your hands & skin
  8. Small plastic boxes/containers - To hold screws and other miscellaneous items you will remove from the car. This will greatly help avoid missing parts when putting them back
  9. Car Cover or Bedsheet - To cover the hood and front portion of the car in case your DIY extends over a day, which it most likely will.
Safety Precautions
  1. Since you will be working in the engine bay, it's best to begin your work when the engine is cold or warm.
  2. Wear gloves if possible. There are good cut resistant gloves you can buy from Amazon.
  3. Do not touch the HID bulbs as far as possible & NEVER touch them when they are hot. You can easily burn yourself.
  4. Be very careful while handling the heat gun during use, you can get burnt easily. Wear jeans and long sleeve shirts or T-shirts

Each of these steps have been done in a particular order so as to minimize service time on the car as well as reduce surprises. Once we are in the stage of opening headlights, the project is in full throttle. We did not want to be in a situation where we open headlights and missed something basic previously. We didn't rush into anything and wanted to ensure that all parts, tools and equipment were ready to go once the headlamps are off the car.

Wiring Diagram

Testing the Solenoid
Although Retro Rides indicated they would test the kit before shipping, this is a procedure that is best not avoided to ensure the system works as expected. You will need a 12v battery for testing the solenoid activation. I used the one in my home UPS.

Testing the Solenoid Action

Preparing the Stock Wiring
The headlight has 3 connectors which are:
  • Headlight level control
  • Main Projector lights + Pilot LEDs
  • Turn indicator
We developed a custom wiring harness to ensure no splicing of factory wires. This wiring harness is made of the same Sumitomo connectors which the stock wiring uses with the other end mated to an H4 female connector. This allows tapping of power from the stock connector without splicing the car's original wiring harness. Once this wiring harness was developed, it was true plug and play. At any given point in time, we can always go back to stock mechanism simply by removing this additional wire harness and installing a new pair of headlights. Keep in mind, a single headlight is about 17K (as of this writing) plus taxes. We were very sure we didn't want to go back to using a candle light since some of us already had very close calls and near accidents at night due to the extremely poor lighting of the alpha variant.

The main projector lights + LEDs use a six pin connector (Sumitomo TS Accelerator Toyota connector. Part #s 6188-0175 & 6189-0323) which has signal wires for high beam & low beams. We need to take connections from these wires for high, low and negative and connect it to an female H4 connector. Most installers use a splice connector against the stock wiring. This is very difficult to correct later. With the custom wiring harness, we can do as we want without affecting the stock wiring harness.

Sumitomo Connectors (Sourced from AliExpress)
Attachment 1682107

Since the alpha uses a D5S system, there is no wiring harness which is available to convert this 6 pin into a 3 pin mechanism to make it a direct plug and play and thus the need to develop a custom wiring harness to ensure no splicing of factory wires.

Here's the picture of the 6 pin to H4 conversion. The custom harness behaves like an extension or a bridge between the existing wiring system allowing us to tap power from the stock wiring without splicing the stock wires. In the below picture, the green and blue marked Sumitomo connectors form the bridge, passing through just the LED pilot light connections as it is. The yellow arrow shows the MotoControl input H4 male connector which is then mated to the H4 female connector. This H4 female connector taps High, low and constant ground connections from the custom harness.

Input Connection the MotoControl
The input for the MotoControl from the stock wiring should follow the pins as indicated below for each type of input connection. White - Ground, Brown - Low Beam, Blue - High Beam. Morimoto provides all of this information on their site in the user manuals PDFs for each product.

Preparing the car
  1. Ensure you have a level parking area for this work. This is absolutely important for alignment.
  2. The car should ideally be parked about 15-20 feet away facing a white wall ideally.
  3. Ensure that the tyre pressure is set to recommended. I set it to 33 PSI since that is what I normally use. It is important to have the right pressure when installing so as to get the throw right.
  4. Set the headlamp leveller to position 0.
  5. Turn on the headlight and let it get to full illumination. Don't turn on any other lights. Using the marker pen, mark the cut off beam area at both sides. Then turn off the headlight.
  6. Try and not move the car until the new projectors are in place. If you need to, ensure you mark the point where the tyres were standing so that you can get it exactly back there when aligning the new projectors.
  7. Also, do not adjust the headlamp leveller until the retro fit is completed.
  8. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

Please note, in this install, the headlamp levelling mechanism will still work.

Wiring & Upgrading the main headlight.

WARNING: Once the headlight is opened, warranty on the headlight is lost.

Removing the headlights from the car

NOTE: You cannot remove the headlight from the car without removing the bumper, as some of the points where headlight is secured is under the headlight itself. There are 5 screws plus one clip which you need to remove to dislodge the headlight.

To see the procedure for removing the bumpers, see this post from BHPIan KeyNote's XP Micro installation.

Detach the three connectors which connect to the stock headlight, the level control motor and the turn signal. There are 5 screws and one push pin on the headlight which then, needs to be removed to detach the headlight from the body. They are illustrated as follows

Prepare the Morimoto wiring
All the connections on the MotoControl harness are labelled. Further, there is also a diagram at the back of the packaging that comes with wiring harness.

All harnesses have an input. There's only one H4 connection on the entire harness with three wires High (Blue colour), Ground (White Colour) and Low(Brown Colour). Make sure they match when you connect them up to stock wiring.

There are two sets of connections with yellow rubber grommets which go into ballast. The connectors with orange rubber grommets are for the solenoids on the projectors. Two of the loops are the grounds. These must be grounded to solid metal, not any painted surface or any plastic. For the left side, you can connect it directly to the battery negative terminal. For the driver side, you need to find a good ground point.

The Motocontrol itself (which is also a relay) need not be mounted to a secure point on the car, but it is best mounted such that the wires exit out of the bottom. In the S-Cross, it was difficult to find a point that allows this, so we mounted it this way on the co-driver side:

Battery Negative/Ground

Driver Side Ground/Negative
Note how I sanded away from paint to get a good grounding point. You can fix the ground wire and then apply paint primer or clear coat paint to ensure a good install and insulation from elements.

The other easy alternative is to mount the ground point to one of the securing bolts of the front of the car (as shown below). But this means that you will most likely need to use a ballast extender cable unless you manage to somehow install the ballast very close to the ground point. It's not easy considering the length of the wires are limited.

Positive Connection
Last loop has an inline fuse in it which should be connected directly to the battery.

Important: Ensuring a SOLID Ground Point (Negative)
Ground connection must be strong. To ensure a strong ground point, use the multimeter with the Ohms setting and Ignition switched off. Connect the black probe to the negative terminal on the battery and the other to the point or bolt where you have secured the Morimoto's ground loop. The higher the reading, the poorer the ground connection. If you manage to find a reading that is 0.4 ohms or less, then you have managed to find a very good ground point. Please note, if the ground connection is not solid, your relay will not work properly and may have a premature failure or issues such as light flicker.

Testing the wiring

Connect the male sumitomo connector of the custom wiring harness to the female connector of the stock wiring harness (where the headlight connector was originally attached). Next, connect the female H4 connector to the H4 male input connector of MotoControl. At this point, cross check every connection to make sure you haven't missed out anything and polarity of the wires is correct. If they aren't you will blow a fuse or relay inside the fuse box. So this step is very important. Also, do not connect the ballast and igniter at this stage. The igniter puts out 23000v when the headlights are turned on.
  1. Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
  2. Ensure no un-wanted equipment is running.
  3. Fire up the engine.
  4. Turn on the headlights. You will not have a headlight to test, so use the multimeter to check if you are getting 12 volts or higher on the low & high beam pins on the H4 connector.
  5. If everything appears working well, turn off the headlights and switch off the engine.
  6. Disconnect the wiring for mounting the projector into the headlights.
Installing the Ballasts and Igniter
Position the ballast where there is some amount of fresh airflow (ideally) because the 55W ballast can get very hot from our experience. You can secure them with zip ties or mount them with screws. In my case, the co-driver side was mounted with screws as shown below and on the driver side right next to the legs holding the ABS motor. Jaunthead preferred to mount them in the front on the chassis, but he had to use ballast extender harness on both sides to ensure the connections could be made from MotoControl.

Attachment 1681861Attachment 1681862

At this stage, the wiring is more or less complete with the only things remaining being the connection from MotoControl to ballast, ballast to igniter and then the bulb, which will be done after the headlights are ready. All these will be plug and play.

sudeepg 3rd October 2017 11:00

Upgrading the headlight Continued
29 Attachment(s)
Disassembling the headlights
Once the headlights are removed, open the back housing using T20 bit and torx screw driver. Then twist the cover to the left and pull it out.

Remove the D5S Bulb
Gently push the bulb a little inwards and twist counter clockwise for about 35 degrees. Then, when the bulb is free, pull out the bulb. Disconnect the power wire connector by pressing the locking switch inwards from the left.

Attachment 1681724

D5S Bulb
Attachment 1681722

Innards of the headlight
Attachment 1681725

NOTE: You will hear some scratching like sounds when twisting the bulb, but that's just fine.

Remove the turn indicator bulb

Simply twist the holder anticlockwise and remove it. They go in only a certain way due to the shape and size of the locking pins, so nothing much to worry there. Ensure the correct locking pins match up and then insert them in clockwise to tighten and seal.

Baking the headlight
The S-Cross headlights are one of the most odd shaped things I have ever seen in my life. They are not easy to handle and caution is required to ensure you don't break the plastic housing and associated things.

The lights are sealed using screws and butyl rubber which can be softened only with high amount of heat. Some of you may be thinking - What about LED's? Will they be damaged with high heat? I wasn't sure but it did seems that baking the whole headlight might not be really required when the goal is to get only the butyl rubber sealant to come off. So I decided to take a two-step approach. Bake the whole headlight for about 5-7 minutes and then just heat those parts where the lens attaches to the casing. This, obviously requires more time, about 90 to 120 minutes or upwards per headlight, but I felt it was better approach. This ensures that the casing isn't too soft to handle when we try and pull it apart. The tools are absolutely essential to make this happen.

NOTE: Due to the messy nature of this phase of the project, we could not take pictures since dealing with butyl and tools means sticky hands and full concentration.
  1. Ensure all the screws from the back side of the headlight are removed.
  2. Also ensure the projector's back case is not installed and the turn signal bulbs are removed. This allows even heat dissipitation.
  3. Take the cardboard box and cut out a small hole on one of the sides, large enough for the nozzle of the heat gun to pass through.
  4. Close the cardboard box and switch on the heater for 5-7 minutes. This is synonymous to pre-heating the oven.
  5. Place the two small cardboard boxes into the DIY oven and rest the headlight over it.
  6. Put in the headlight resting on the cardboard boxes and heat it for another 5 minutes.
  7. Wear your silicone gloves, then remove the headlight from the oven. Then evenly apply heat using heat gun all around the sides where the casing meets the clear lens. Ensure you are not holding the heat gun very close and don't concentrate the heat in one place for more than a couple of seconds. Time and patience is the key in this critical process.
  8. Take a flat blade screwdriver and stick it onto bottom right edge of the headlight where the casing meets the clear lens and gently "twist" the screw driver. Do not pry, rather just twist to release the casing from the clear lens. If the heat is good enough, they will easily dislodge.
  9. Once you have sufficient space, stick in the lock ring plier (separator tool sourced from aliexpress) and use it to open the edges moving along the boundary. This process is very messy with the butyl getting all over the place, but keep heating the working area of the headlight evenly to ensure the glue doesn't cool down and make things difficult. DO NOT RUSH.
  10. If the heat is lost, apply some more heat using the heat gun.
  11. Once the clear lens begins to detach from the plastic housing of the headlight, rest one side to a soft surface while also ensuring you are not applying too much pressure to the extension arm which is used to secure the headlight to body and start pulling the clear lens and plastic casing apart.
  12. Try and not use too much force, be a bit gentle with it. This is because towards the other corner of the headlight, there is a small plastic piece inside (which you cannot see from outside) which is secured with butyl glue. As you approach the 1/4 in opening the headlight seal, you will need to carefully apply some heat inside to "release" a plastic piece lodged inside with Butyl, otherwise it will break.
  13. As we pulled the headlight casing apart, there was a surprise waiting for us. Within the headlight casing, there is a small piece of reflector element projecting inwards behind the reflector that is secured with a good amount of butyl glue. If we were not careful, we would have ended up snapping this piece. I caught this while opening the first headlight, but broke the second one, but thankfully no harm done. We can easily do without that piece. So about half way through, peep through the opening and ensure you heat up that cavity so that the reflector dislodges itself without breaking. We later fixed it with super glue and all is good.
  14. Be careful of the clips holding the casing, they are soft and thin and will give away easily. Also, be careful when going around them with the screw driver.
IMPORTANT: After you shutdown the heat gun, ensure you place it somewhere isolated from reach of small children. It takes a long time for the heat gun to cool down.

Baking the headlight
Attachment 1681727

Measuring the existing projector size and positioning in the existing setup
It is always helpful to understand how forward ahead the stock projector is sitting and what its dimensions are, how many screws and where all it is holding, how does the headlamp level connect etc. Take lots of pictures from all angles to ensure you have everything covered before unscrewing anything.

Removing existing projector setup
There are 3 screws holding the stock projector in place within its plastic casing. You will have to unscrew each of these screws. These are the vertical level control and horizontal alignment screws, which require a torx screw driver. The third cone is a ball joint which needs to be detached with a gentle push. Additionally, you will also need to remove the reflectors for the turn signal, which are secured using two additional screws.

After clear lens is detached from plastic casing
Attachment 1681731

You can see the LED Module for the pilots here. You will also see the incoming wires for the stock projector setup. Out of these set, only two wires will be used going forward, which are for the LED pilot lights. They are represented by a pair of green and black wires. We cut off the rest and sealed them using heat shrink tubing.
Attachment 1681732

To the top left is the long screw (in red) that helps in horizontal alignment of the light beam. The long screw right behind the wires (in orange) is the level control. This moves forward and backward depending on how you use the level control switch to move the beam vertically. To the very top (in white) is the socket where the ball joint screws goes in
Attachment 1681797

The ball joint attachment. This acts like a pivot based on which the horizontal alignment of the beam and vertical alignment works
Attachment 1681736

... From another angle
Attachment 1681735

That socket is where the ball joint goes in. To detach it, you will need to stick in a philips screw driver way inside and then push it outwards. This may seem like you may break it, but it won't. It will simply expand the holding plastic to dislodge the ball joint freeing up the projector holding casing. Ensure you dislodge the vertical and horizontal alignment screws before dislodging the ball joint

Attachment 1681734

Stock Projector
Attachment 1681737

Finally, the projector casing from the other side
Attachment 1681730

Mounting the Morimoto projectors
As soon as we dismantled the plastic housing case for the projector, we realized that the custom brackets supplied by Morimoto were not great for ensuring a secure mount or a clean installation. We had hit a wall at this point and was a major setback. In the below picture you will see the bottom right side of the bracket won't hold the screw.

A tough decision had to be made to continue using JB Weld mounting with a crude install or make an attempt to make a better installation by designing and fabricating custom brackets. I & BHPian Jaunthead decided on the latter, but we weren't sure how we could go about it. The next week was spent designing new mounting brackets in the hope that some fabricator will mill it for us.

Designing & fabricating the custom brackets
The problem: The stock projector mounts on the plastic housing in 4 locations. The Morimoto install points will never align with these. Further the custom mounting brackets (Made with ACP sheets) supplied by RetroRides will place the mounts very close to the inner edge of the projector clearance hole. The Morimotos are wider than the stock projector and the side edges sit close to the plastic casing supplied with S-Cross alpha's headlights. Further, there was another problem. If you notice the plastic housing picture below, you will realize that it has a very odd shape and that the round opening through which the projector lens goes out is at the top of the casing as opposed to the center! This meant that we had to design a bracket which would ensure that the lens is centered in the opening of the casing and more importantly, also doesn't sit far ahead of the opening, rather in the same position (more or less) as the stock projector. Given that the holes in the plastic casing would not perfectly align with the Morimotos and centering them would take it right next to plastic housing screws made it difficult to fabricate a single bracket that could reliably hold the projector in place.

The solution: Using computer aided designing software, I & my friend Vasi Khan designed two custom brackets (inner & outer as we call it), both connected to each other using aluminium spacers. These spacers are 5mm in height and the aluminium brackets are 3mm thick. This totals to 11mm such that it holds the projector in the same position as stock with respect to the reflector attached to the clear lens. This ensures that the projector doesn't hit the outside reflector. My wife, being a mathematics teacher chimed in with the geometry work required to align both these brackets such that the projector is in the dead center of the projector lens opening in plastic housing and also matches the depth of the stock projector. Further, we also made sure that the solenoid of the morimoto projector is at exactly 6'O clock with respect to the casing & brackets so that rotational alignment of the beam would not be much of an issue later.

We then approached a professional manufacturer at Magadi Road, Bangalore to fabricate them using laser cutting. It costed us about 2400 for a set of two brackets. The inner bracket holds the morimoto projectors whereas the outer bracket secures the whole system to the plastic housing. To assemble the bracket together, we used JBWeld. To provide added strength and hold the projector in place as well as for better heat dissipation & vibration resistance, we added a bit of MSeal phataphat to the inner sides of the casing

Custom Bracket Design by Vasi

Custom brackets

  1. Ensure your car is standing exactly at the point where it was when the headlights were removed.
  2. Ensure the Tyre pressure is set to same as before the headlights were removed.
  3. Connect the wiring as described under section "Preparing the Morimoto Wiring" but don't secure them completely yet.
  4. Mount the headlights onto the car without securing them completely, but yet a firm fit.
  5. If you have done this part well, the wiring should be just plug and play. Refer the Morimoto install PDF for instructions.

Alignment of lights
  1. Turn on the car and power up the headlights.
  2. Wearing the gloves, align the headlights using the horizontal and vertical alignment controls on the backside of the headlight (see pictures below), taking notes and ensuring the headlights align with the stock markings taken before.
  3. Using a marker pen, try and mark down the position on the projector that aligns the light correctly.
  4. Once you are satisfied the level is correct, turn off the headlights and car and remove the headlights again for re-sealing.
Horizontal and Vertical controls
Tightening the vertical control will pull the light inside causing it to dip downwards. Similarly tightening the horizontal control will pull it outwards from the center. Take care not to loosen it too much so that the plastic casing comes off the thread. Since the projector is in dead center, very little adjustment will be actually required.

Attachment 1681828Attachment 1681827

Re-sealing of lights
Before resealing the headlight clear lens with the housing, clean the clear lens innards using air blower, then alcohol swabs and microfiber cloth. There’s bound to be dust inside so clean it gently without smudging or scratching the clear lens. The channels might have the remnants of the stock glue which is perfectly fine. These will ensure a good seal when we put new butyl in.

Take out the butyl sealant reel, take a small strip to begin with, gently stretch it and place them inside the channel. Cut away the excess.

Some locations may need some extra glue so cut out small pieces from the reel and fill the channel properly. Take care not to use too less of the glue. Less glue will result in an improper seal and moisture will creep in eventually. More glue means another job after the assembly is resealed. When butyl is warm, it is easy to pick the excess using a butyl ball made from excess butyl.

Once the entire channel is filled, take out the heat gun and heat the channels on the low-heat/speed mode by holding the heat gun from a distance. Holding it too close will melt the plastic so be careful. The key is just enough heat and time to melt the glue so it becomes less viscous but doesn’t flow readily. This process may be time consuming but do take ample time to ensure that the heat is evenly spread to the glue. About 10 minutes tops.

Now would be a good time to wear a pair of silicone gloves! After the channel is heated sufficiently, take the clear lens, insert it into the channel and press it so all the edges are mated properly. Ensure that the edges have been pressed into the channel - some force may be required at the corners. Some glue may come out while pressing but that’s fine. This is also a good time to put the screws holding the plastic casing to the clear lens back into their respective positions. These screws will pull in the clear lens and help hold the projector in place.

Routing igniter wire and solenoid wires
Unfortunately, the Morimoto kit which we bought doesn't come with a dust cap or cover integrated. Apparently this was the case for moderator Gannu_1, but we were not so lucky. The Morimoto site says the diameter of this wire sleeve is 10mm and therefore we drilled a 11mm hole in the back case of the headlight and fed the wire through that hole. This was no easy task because the connectors were 18mm in size and wouldn't go through the hole. To work around this, I ended up de-pinning the connector pins (and also broke a couple of locking pins in the connector. Thankfully, I had bought a lot of spare since I expected this to happen). End Result?

Final Touches & Clean-up
  • Using a butyl ball, picked up the extra butyl on the clear lens housing.
  • Used electrical tapes and braided wire sleeves to protect the custom wire harness.
  • The H4 connector is not a water proof connector, so used electrical tapes to secure them. (you could also use heatshrink tubes of 15mm diameter)
  • Used Anabond 666 to add more protection for water proofing to the back case cover where the igniter and solenoid wires exit. Anabond has high resistance to moisture and temperature and is ideal for this type of application.
  • I had sanded down the metal body where the driver side ground point for the MotoControl box was fixed. I used some primer paint and clear coat paint to secure it from the elements.
  • Using zip ties, secure the new wiring and igniter module and cut away the excess tie length.
Final Results
After we had a major setback, I & Jaunthead had literally very low expectations from this DIY, but the output from mine and Jaunthead's car are below. We feel the rotational alignment is off by a millimeter, but the reality is that the projector is sitting 100% at 6 O'clock on the bracket and casing. The projector is also in dead center of the casing. We see no reason why this should happen. Further, the wall in the picture is slightly tilted, the car isn't 100% perpendicular to the wall since we were constrained on space.

For what we have gone through and what we achieved, this is beautiful. Further although not apprehensive about fogging, we were not sure about what to expect. I am happy to report that during my trip to Kerala, we encountered a lot of heavy rain. The car was pressure washed several times and there has been no fogging at all!

Further, the car has become more enjoyable at night, the feeling of having something new and better feels great and also gives me a "all new" feeling at the moment. lol:

Attachment 1681818Attachment 1681821
Attachment 1682164Attachment 1681819Attachment 1681820

As a reference, to see the stock headlight output in S-Cross Alpha, please view this post from BHPian KeyNote
Alpha stock Headlight

A couple of videos from recent trip Please excuse the engine sound and rattling, my phone holder's condition has deteriorated and my dashcam has been sold to a friend

External View - Notice any difference?
Attachment 1682170Attachment 1682171

Additional Credits
Our S-Cross group: For all the motivation you guys showered and endless conversations, although I was terribly irritated with some of the issues during this DIY time. Our small WhatsApp group of S-Cross owners is unique, fun filled and always supportive. Thanks guys!

During this DIY period, I also upgraded my S-Cross horns to the ones from Creta. I really like them because they are very useful for highway drives. They are loud and audible from a distance and it was clearly felt this time. When I got them, I realized that they don't use pin type connectors, instead they use water proof connectors. Off I went hunting for them on AliExpress and got them to make a custom harness to use with the new horns. You can hear them in the videos.

I had also sourced Image Dynamics Speakers from U.S when my colleague was travelling. They were on sale at a good deal. I got these installed too and the sound quality has improved by a huge margin. Special thanks to BHPIan and my friend lovetorque for helping me in another DIY for damping the doors.

sudeepg 3rd October 2017 11:14

Setbacks during the DIY
2 Attachment(s)
Bulb Installation Issues
Problem: The bulbs have slight pin type extensions on both sides which makes it hard for the lock nut to go through. The lock nuts which ship from US have the inside of the lock nut notched out a bit to accommodate those pins. Ours didn't!

Solution: So we had to notch them out with the filer/dremel tool so that the lock nut can be screwed in easily. Later, I found out that this is a common problem as described on the HIDPlanet forums
Bulb Retaining Springs
Problem: The springs also had the same issue. They are supposed to have un-hindered movement with the pins on the bulb when pushing the spring down with locking nut, but they brushed past the pins and would make it difficult to engage the lock nut. Almost everyone hates the springs that precede the lock nut.

We used a clever solution as described in this HID Planet forum. Since we were fabricating the custom brackets, we got that done as well

We designed custom spacers using the 3D software and then built them along with the custom brackets. This ensures a good mount as well makes it very easy during bulb replacement.
Removing Right Hand Projector
Problem: One of the bolts holding the right hand projector was lodged deep inside a cavity like area under the headlamp. Our torque wrench wouldn't reach there easily and we had no extender. Also one of the torque screw drivers that could do the job had broken and wouldn't engage the bolt to unscrew it.

Solution: BHPIan Jaunthead very cleverly used the existing set of hardware to create a concotion that allowed access to the bolt and removed it successfully. See the concotion below
Stripped Screws on the Projector Headlamps
Problem: When I was removing the screws holding the projector, I used my newly acquired BOSCH power drill/screw driver set. Of the 5 screws, 4 of them came out successfully but the fifth one, lodged deep inside a cavity failed to turn. I believe I didn't apply enough force and it twisted the head, stripping it off.

Solution: I was too tired to think of a solution and worried. A frantic call went out to distinguised BHPian and my mentor in this project - a4anurag. He found a YouTube video suggesting the use of broad rubber bands over the head of the stripped screws with the Philips head screw driver to get it out. That worked like a charm!
Matching Screws For Securing Projector
Problem: Since we had made custom brackets, we had never thought of finding matching screws to mount the new projectors. The stock ones are 1.5 inches long and weren't compatible with the custom brackets. Even with a lot of searching on S. P. Road, I could not find good ones in time for my install. The ones I had were tight but not as good as the stock screws. We thought of cutting the stock screws to match size, but we didn't have the correct tool. We did eventually find the correct screws for Jaunthead's install.

Solution:Used a little bit of M-Seal to secure the bracket mounting areas in my case
Rubber Grommets Availability
It was very hard to find a rubber grommet that met our needs. The wiring harness did not come with a grommet or the back cover (it does in some cases). We had to custom make a rubber grommet to ensure it fits perfectly. BHPian KpZen helped with this, but then we eventually found another solution to the lack of a drill bit that could make a large enough opening in the back case
Locking connector broken during de-pinning
Earlier, I outlined the need to de-pin the water proof connectors to fix the rubber grommet. One of the actions there was to de-pin the wires from the connector. To de-pin the wires from the connectors, we need to remove a red insert, which is essentially a pin locking mechanism in the connector. While pulling out the red insert it came out without drama on the first connector, but on the second one, the lock pin snapped! I could have used the connector as it is since the pins would still mate, but the need to get it perfected as much as possible drew me to changing the connector itself.
Igniter Wire Connectors De-pinned for easy install
Attachment 1681916

Learnings from this DIY
  1. Great friends matter to pull off a DIY like this for a beginner like me. Even more important is having a great family to support the madness of DIYs.
  2. Do not believe any supplier blindly, you might be in for a tough ride. Almost all installers I have come across apply some shoddy work, if not everywhere.
  3. Careful planning and loads of patience is the key to executing such a project.
  4. Attention to the smallest details matter - like screws, its length, sleeves, water proofing and so forth.
  5. Getting the right tools and parts is extremely important.
  6. Having extra spares will help save a situation and time.
  7. Given more time and support, we could come up with some really good bracket designs to mount the projectors

Securing Ballast
The zip ties I bought weren't of good enough length to secure the ballasts. BHPian Jaunthead came up with this simple solution: Essentially chain them up together to form a larger tie.

sudeepg 3rd October 2017 17:53

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Now here comes the best part. After all of this, Morimoto released a 35W D5S bulb which makes the upgrade in S-Cross as simple as a bulb change! It costs $400 though, as expensive as the D2S 4.0


But that said, it cannot beat the width and throw of the D2S 4.0 projector. I am not aware of anyone who has used them, but it might be just worth it

D5S Bulbs From Morimoto

The S-Cross 2.0 comes with LED headlights, so no issues there either, hopefully.

Aditya 6th October 2017 07:57

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the DIY Section. Thanks for sharing!

sudeepg 6th October 2017 09:05

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
One additional information regarding the beam alignment which I forgot to mention is that there is a crosshair symbol on the front of the headlight right where the beam is projected from. If the crosshair is in center of the circular beam, then it is also a good indicator that the alignment of the headlight is very good.

a4anurag 6th October 2017 10:23

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Finally the thread is live. :)

Phew what efforts man!! Wish I was with you guys during the install. Rating 5*****. This is one of the best and detailed DIY ever documented on the forum and done on the S-Cross.

I know whom to trouble when I upgrade the headlights from Halogen projectors to HID on my Creta. :D

jaunthead 6th October 2017 10:40

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Great job with the writeup Sudeepg. We all have been waiting for this.
I was disturbed by the poor lighting of Scross Aplha HLs as much as Sudeep and some other friends from the Scross group. My wife one day asked while on the road if the HLs were even on(They were on high beam actually). They are that poor.
I wanted an upgrade but didn't have the know-how to pull it off. I would open the hood and check the HLs, read online but that is all the progress I made. The whole idea of DIY was to a do a clean and better install compared to the patchwork done by some of the installers in the market. Then one day Sudeep guru starts talking about Morimotos and posting wiring diagrams in our Whatsapp group. His ideas made a lot of sense and I jumped in post haste.
My main goal was to learn as much as possible from Sudeep. And he was kind enough to accept my apprenticeship. Not only did he do that but he treated me like a partner in crime during the DIY for which I will always be thankful. Having said that the amount of time and money Sudeep has spent personally on planning, debugging issues, buying tools and equipment(to which I hardly made any contributions) is simply phenomenal.
He knew since his install was the first one, the roadblocks would be bigger, tougher. But he made sure my install was perfect.
Post install of the lights I have been on a trip myself and the lights have performed very well. The car's ability to navigate at night has enhanced. Maintaining daytime like speeds is easier.
Thanks Sudeepg for your efforts. This was an experience I enjoyed thoroughly.

Keynote 6th October 2017 10:58

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Let me start by saying "This is the MOTHER of all electrical DIY's" and you guys have pulled it off extremely well. Hence rating a well deserved 5*****

Hearty congratulations and kudos for executing such a complicated upgrade so efficiently. clap:
Although you guys had the moral support in many forms, this would NOT have been possible without sheer determination and love for MORE light for the crossover.

You have captured every possible detail that went into the making of this install and will be extremely useful for folks who want to try and go for similar set up in future - but with a disclaimer "this DIY is NOT for the faint hearted" lol:

benzinblut 6th October 2017 11:19

re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Just when I was about to put up a query for the weak projectors on my 1.6, you come up with this.

All threads were focussing on enhancement via the fog lamp route but I wanted something for the Headlamp directly.

Thanks. Will be of great help indeed.

sudeepg 6th October 2017 12:13

Re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons

Originally Posted by a4anurag (Post 4281953)
Wish I was with you guys during the install. Rating 5*****.
I know whom to trouble when I upgrade the headlights from Halogen projectors to HID on my Creta. :D

And I wished the same, but we will have an opportunity!


Originally Posted by jaunthead (Post 4281971)
The car's ability to navigate at night has enhanced. Maintaining daytime like speeds is easier.
Thanks Sudeepg for your efforts. This was an experience I enjoyed thoroughly.

Dear Partner in this crime - The feeling is mutual. I was super happy to see the video from the dashcam. Boy! that's terrific output. as I always mentioned the width and throw is matched only by a few other projectors. Thanks for tirelessly working along with me solving all the issues. I'll always remember the contraption you created using our torque wrench tools to remove the innermost bolt holding the headlight and how everytime you kept removing an incorrect bolt. lol:


Originally Posted by Keynote (Post 4281991)
You have captured every possible detail that went into the making of this install and will be extremely useful for folks who want to try and go for similar set up in future

Many thanks for coming along, taking pictures and sharing inputs and keeping us smiling. Appreciated!


Originally Posted by benzinblut (Post 4282021)
Just when I was about to put up a query for the weak projectors on my 1.6, you come up with this.
All threads were focussing on enhancement via the fog lamp route but I wanted something for the Headlamp directly.
Thanks. Will be of great help indeed.

Fog lamps upgrade was the easiest and safest method, or that's what we thought until we encountered the XP drama, but thankfully were able to sort out all the issues. That experience was what really pushed me and jaunthead to take on a bigger risk and challenge.

Dr.Naren 6th October 2017 12:41

Re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Very well written thread. Thanks for sharing :)

S-Cross Alpha has very poor lighting, thanks to 25W projector setup. Many owners have gone with fog lamps route as the headlights are very expensive and not an easy affair to retrofit after market projectors. But there is no substitute to a good after market projector like Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0. The projector has very good and intense hot spot and more than enough width. Driving at night should be effortless now.

Also that rotation alignment being off by small margin doesn't matter even 1 percent on road. The output videos are just brilliant.


abhinav.s 6th October 2017 14:27

Re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Wow! Just W-O-W!! Hats off Sudeep! For the courage to do what has not been attempted by you before, your diligence with the install & perseverance in the wake of many difficulties and road blocks that you encountered and in the end achieving the result you were waiting for - you sir deserve a long, slow, standing applause! The write up is very amateur-friendly and anyone who was hesitating to go ahead with the install or this experiment till now, will have this thread for reference with the minutest of details and issues explained along with pics. Kudos to a job done well and also the safety that comes with the added illumination on your night drives.

audioholic 6th October 2017 15:16

Re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Thats the most professional headlight upgrade I have come across here. Especially the bracket part. That will ensure you will have the alignment as good as stock and wont have to remove the assembly to make changes. I didnt even glance the cost part of it, but whatever you have spent is definitely worth it. Are you retaining the fog light jugaad or reverting back to stock?

rbp 6th October 2017 16:53

Re: DIY: S-Cross Headlight Upgrade to Morimoto Mini D2S Stage III Bi-Xenons
Awesome install man. These projectors have come a long way, since I had first tried them. The light output looks exceptional.

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