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DIY: FE Retrofit projector foglamps on my new Mahindra Thar

I have always wanted more visibility in all the vehicles I have used. I used to do some or the other light modifications to improve the lighting. I am not sure if this was due to my short sight and astigmatism.

BHPian MithunSathianat recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This is my first DIY post in this forum. I have always wanted more visibility in all the vehicles I have used. I used to do some or the other light modifications to improve the lighting. I am not sure if this was due to my short sight and astigmatism. Moreover, I don't allow anyone else other than me and the authorized Service Center to play with the electricals of my vehicles.

Past lighting mods I have done:

  • 100/130W Philips rally upgrade in my Royal Enfield Electra UCE with imported original Hella Reflector.
  • 90/100W Osram upgrade in my Alto K10 VXI AMT in stock reflector.

Both of these were installed using Philips Relay Kit. Before installing this, I had tried Philips Xtreme Vision +130% and Philips GT Racing Vision +200% (purchased from Germany) in both cases. But found out that it is not as effective as the higher wattage bulbs.

Coming to the present:

I have recently purchased a new Thar and was disappointed with the stock lights and fog lights. I have already upgraded the headlights to 90/100W with relay, bBut wanted to upgrade the fog lamps too. I was planning to drive to Bangalore to get the FE Retrofit fog lamps fitted. But due to the current Covid situations, the plan was in vain. As I have to order the foglamps and get it installed myself, I searched for other options too like IPH projector, Xenon Planet, Morimoto etc. and read a few DIYs in Team-BHP.

This forum is a dictionary of all DIYs.

Finally decided on the FE Retrofit ones and started enquiries directly with FE Retrofit and Bangalore Team, they told me that universal 3-inch fog lamps will be a direct fit in the new Thar. But that was not the case. I will explain it at a later stage. I went ahead and placed an order from their website. The package arrived in 5 days.

Package came with the below items:

  • Two 3-inch bi-xenon projectors
  • Two Z Series 55 Watt Ballast
  • Two Lux-Pro 35W D2H Bulbs 5500K

FE Retrofit Kit:

The quality of projectors is very good.

3-inch Projector:

The sore part was that mounting brackets are not provided. I was of the impression that the projectors can be installed in stock brackets.

Ballast and Bulb:

As the lights arrived, I went ahead and removed the two back panels of the bumper. There are three screws holding the stock fog lamp. Took out the stock fog lamp and brackets only to realize that stock brackets cannot be used for new projectors. I contacted FE Retrofit on their FB page for sending me the required brackets. There was no response from them.

Please note that the stock brackets have a peculiar design and most of the readily available brackets may not fit here. The next option was to fabricate custom brackets for which I went ahead and fabricated stainless steel brackets from a local fabricator. He did a good job and the projector was mounted on to custom bracket with 4 screws. The brackets were fitting perfectly on the bumper too. Post that, installed the bulbs on the projector and completed the wiring. Fitted the ballast on to the bumper with nuts and bolts so that it does not move. Small Power adapters were glued using 3M tape.

Custom SS Brackets:

Projector mounted on bracket:

Then came the next blockers. The projector foglamp connector (2-pin) is not compatible with stock connector (H16). The stock foglamp is 19 Watts and HID is 55 Watts.

Stock Fog Lamp connector:

Stock H16 bulb:

So I was thinking that a direct connection without a relay may cause issues. I started searching for a single beam relay. Due to Covid situations, and reduced import from China/Taiwan, it was not available in any shops or online. The available ones had H4 connector and not the universal one (9005). After going through the Thar's Manual, I understood that the Thar comes with a separate relay for foglamp. The fuse for fog lamp is rated at 10A. So I am assuming the fog lamp wiring can handle load up to 120 Watt (Ohm's law P = W X I, 10A X 12V = 120W). Experts can correct me if I am wrong.

Manual:

Hence purchased the sockets needed to connect the Ballast to the Stock foglamp and plugged it and there was light.

Projector Installed:

As this is a bi-xenon projector, solenoid wires were available to activate the high beam. This needs to be connected to the high beam of headlights so that the fog lamp high works in sync with the headlight high. There is already a relay for headlights with ceramic holders. As it may cause excessive heat, I have connected it to the high beam of spare stock H4 holder which is unused after installing relay.

Light output:

The entire process took 2-3 hours on an average for 3 days. But I am very happy with this upgrade. Final fine tuning of alignment is yet to be done. Sorry that I could not capture pics of each and every step.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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