RETROFIT BI-XENON FX-R PROJECTORS FOR JEEP CHEROKEE
by Ben Cushing
ITEMS NECESSARY FOR RETROFIT
1 set of FX-R projectors from The Retrofit Source
1 Bi-Xenon wiring harness from The Retrofit Source
1 set of ballasts and 1 set of D2S bulbs from The Retrofit Source
eBay 7X6 housing (plastic housing)
0.93” Acrylic or Lexan sheet (enough for 2 headlight covers)
1 Box EPDM Rubber Weather Seal 3/16”-5/16” (D Profile)
3M 3311 Foil Tape
3M double sided tape (1”)
8, 8/38 x 1.25” size Screws, nuts, washers and lock washers (these will
replace the stock retaining ring screws)
Dremel or equivalent tool with various cut-off and grinding wheels
High speed drill and various bits including a 3.5” metal cutting hole saw
and penetrating oil
Wire Cutters, Crimp Tool and Electrical Tape
Jig saw with fine cutting blades
Calipers or equivalent measuring tool
Air compressor or compressed air in a can
Note 1: This write-up was done after I had finished retrofitting. I
dismantled much of the work in order to take pictures so not all of the
steps have photos.
I strongly recommend before attempting this project that you go to the
“University Section” at
and become familiar with all aspects of installing HID lighting. This is
meant as a guide for someone who is already familiar with HID and would like
to install it. You should also have some good mechanical knowledge of your
Jeep and it’s wiring.
Note 2: Because the projectors are
longer/deeper than your stock headlights you will need to remove your header
panel and cut a 3.5” hole into the sheet metal behind to allow the
projectors to fit. It’s actually very easy to do and should not discourage
you from taking on this project.
You can do this step at any point in the retrofit however I recommend doing
it early on so you can test fit as soon as you have the projectors ready to
PREPARING VEHICLE FOR FITTING
Begin by removing the headlights, buckets, side markers and undoing all
bolts and screws holding on your header panel (reference a Factory Service
Manual if you have one) You can use painters tape to support the panel and
hang it and the harness off the bumper while you cut your holes. I started
by making a template for the 3.5” hole and centering it. You will notice
that a corner of the left and right hood latch assembly will be in the way
of your cut. (see post cut pic)
This is fine and you will just remove the
latches (see bolt at top right) while you cut and then replace them
afterwards (make marks for the latch orientation and position exactly as
removed being careful not to lose any of the washers/spacers.)
Once you have your center mark make a small pilot hole, clear any wires
behind where your cut will be made, attach your hole saw and apply cutting
oil. Cut hole, file down any burrs and paint with rust proof primer or
POR15 to prevent future rust. This a great time to add your bi-xenon
harness and position your ballasts because you have excellent access. Align
and replace your header panel being careful not to crimp or stress any of
the stock wiring harness or your bi-xenon harness.
Below you can see where I mounted the ballasts and harness. Depending upon
your battery size you may need to move it over about an inch to make room
for the ballast to bulb connector. This can be done by modifying the
battery tray bolt holes to allow it to shift toward the engine or you can
grind off the battery tray edge (engine side) to allow the battery to be
moved to the right about an inch. It works fine and you are still able to
use the stock battery hold downs without any problem.
There isn’t a clearance problem on the Drivers side but I removed the air
box to show a possible mounting point for the ballast
on the ECU.
PREPARING THE HEADLIGHTS
Start by removing all the hardware from the eBay housing. Place plastic
housing in 300*F oven on cookie tin for 5 min.
Using oven mitts or gloves, remove housing from oven, remove glass from
housing being careful not to let adhesive touch the chrome inside of
housing. Remove as much adhesive from the channel as possible with a flat
screwdriver or any tool that fits in the channel. If necessary, place
housing back in oven for a few minutes to soften adhesive again to help
facilitate removal until channel is relatively free of adhesive.
Using calipers, ruler, marker and some
heavy paper create a simple template of the widest part of the projector
noting it’s relation to the housing. Place template on housing back making
sure it is centered, use a sharpie to outline the template.
Using appropriate hole saw cut a hole directly in the center of the back
projector to give yourself a head start.
Using a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel and barrel grinder remove the
material inside the outline made with the sharpie being careful not to
remove any more plastic than necessary to fit the projector.
Back of housing
3.5" hole cut to fit
Left side ballast
Right side ballast location
Tape up the lens of the
projector with painters tape and test fit after every bit of cutting to
assure the fit and that the projector is visually level. You will want
to have some slight rotational play in case you need to make adjustments
later. Once fitted, be sure the projector lens does not extend beyond
the lip of the housing. This is because the Lexan cover will be flush
with the top of the housing.
Once you have removed enough material and are able to fit the projector
easily use compressed air to remove dust and if necessary clean the
housing gently using water and a cotton rag being careful not to scratch
This is when you will want to clean the outside of your projector with
IPA and use foil tape to seal up all possible exposed areas where dust
or moisture might enter including the solenoid.
LEVELING THE PROJECTORS
At this point you will want to level the projector in the housing.
Install a bulb in the projector and attach a ballast to your power
Remove the tape from the lens, find a table that is level and point the
projector toward a wall that you marked with level reference points.
Place a small level on the housing to check level and then using your
sharpie, make orientation marks on the housing and projector when you
find the cutoff level with the marks you made on the wall.
When your cutoff is level you can use the 3M tape to attach the
projector to the housing while being careful not to change the
orientation. Add small pieces of foil tape to hold in place and then
cover fully with tape being sure to cover all exposed areas including
your solenoid wires (you want to lead them underneath and around the
bulb holder.) I chose to use 3M foil tape and not adhesive to seal up
the housings at this time because I knew I may want to take then apart
to adjust or to add a shroud. These were prototypes and I had to make
sure they would perform well before I made everything permanent. So far
so good…I will most likely seal up my next set with adhesive.
Projector fitted to
Projector sealed with foil tape
CREATE LEXAN CLEAR HEADLIGHT LENS
Once you feel confident that your projectors are ready you can begin to make
your clear headlight lenses.
Note: Do not remove the protective film from the Lexan yet.
Begin by using the inside of the stock headlight ring to make a template.
Use sharpie to transfer template onto Lexan then using Jig saw cut each lens
and test fit into headlight ring. Use barrel grinder on Dremel to shave off
excess until Lexan covers fit snug into headlight retaining rings.
Before attaching your Headlight Lenses
use a Q-tip and IPA to clean the channel of the housing being careful not
to get any alcohol on the chrome of the housing.
With the EPDM Rubber Weather Seal you can easily remove the Lexan Headlight
Cover over and over without affecting the integrity of the seal. This is an
important feature because it means if you do decide to open the headlights
you wont have to worry about removing and replacing a permanent adhesive.
Measure enough EPDM to fill the channel of the housing (see picture) remove
the backing, start at top of housing and press seal into channel firmly
until uniform and the two ends meet. Make a nice even cut allowing the ends
to meet cleanly without overlap. With another piece of EPDM of the same
length you will want to apply in the same manner to the Lexan inside of the
headlight retainer ring. For this you need to remove the protective film.
I recommend having as much of a dust free work area as possible and do not
touch the Lexan at any time. You want to keep the environment as static
free as possible until the lens is on the housing. In the same manner,
press the seal into place keeping it close to the retaining ring. Once this
is done you can close up the headlights until you’re ready to attach them to
Lexan lens fitted to
Housing fitted with EDPM gasket
Lens and housing
ready to seal up
Lens and retaining ring on
MODIFYING HEADLIGHT BUCKET
At some point you will need to modify your headlight bucket to allow the
projector to fit properly.
Place your projector into the opening and you will get an idea of how much
and where you will need to remove in order to get the projectors to “seat”
properly (see pic)
Note: I originally drilled holes for the screws but determined they were
not necessary. Consider it optional.
It is by design that you have the projector sitting approximately 1” above
the rim of the bucket. This allows you to have more clearance on the
passenger side to clear the battery.
Begin marking the bucket with a sharpie and make the necessary cuts using
tin snips and/or jig saw. Finish off with Dremel, barrel sander, paint with
rust proof primer.
It’s sort of trial and error so go slow, test fit often. I used longer
screws to attach the retaining ring / headlight housing to the bucket and
secure with lock washer and nuts. You can also apply Loctite if you wish.
Now your lights are a single unit and ready to be installed. Before
installing permanently make sure everything is hooked up properly, attach a
ballast and bi-xenon connector to a headlight and make sure the lights come
on and the high beams work. It’s necessary for both projectors to have the
high beam solenoid connected to the harness for them to work. Repeat on
other side then replace them exactly as you removed the original stock
lights being sure to attach the retaining spring.
The last picture is how the projectors should look (unless you decided to
add a shroud.) I plan on building another set of
FX-R’s for another vehicle and will add a shroud and will add it a soon as I
Using these instructions go aim your lights
Note gap between housing and headlight ring
Picture with E-46-R
FX-R installed without shroud
Cut off and color
All retrofit components were purchased from The Retrofit Source and I can’t
say enough about the quality of parts and the incredible service I
received. The confidence you get knowing your purchase is backed by a
warranty and technical support makes for a nearly stress free installation.
Thanks to Matt at TRS for the great Parts, Service and Support.
Also, thanks to the knowledgeable people at
hidplanet.com for all the helpful
information and advice.
If you decide to retrofit HID lighting into your vehicle you do so at your
own risk. I am not responsible for any damage to your vehicle. Consult
your local laws. Adding HID lighting may not be legal in your State,
County, Country or Province.
I’m happy to answer any questions regarding the conversion here: