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Old 02-18-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
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Bi Xenon Projector Project wiring help needed please

My winter car project is building a second set of bi xenon projector headlights. Finally I have one light assembled and wired, but I'm stuck. Everything works except the bi xenon projector bulb isn't lighting. The halogen bulb works to flash the high beam when the headlights are off, the parking light, turn signal and fog light all work too, When I have the headlights on and push the stalk forward to high beams, I can hear the solenoid for the high/low shutter engage.

I'm using a kit from Morimoto which includes their Mini H1 7.0 Bi-Xenon, H7 Canbus, XB Igniter Amp, and Elite Ballast/Brain. This has 3 "boxes" Canbus, Igniter Amp and Ballast/Brain, compared to only 2 "boxes" in Nine8Six's GT Collection bi xenon kit. I'm pretty sure I have them all hooked up correctly - power goes into the Canbus, then to the Ballast/Brain, then the Igniter and finally to the xenon bulb.

I used the wiring diagram below provided by Particlewave and this picture of the headlight wiring pins I found searching the forum (probably also provided by Particlewave).

I didn't have the wiring correct on my first two attempts. On the first attempt, everything except the bi xenon projector worked and the halogen high beam flash worked whether or not the headlights were turned on.

On the second attempt, the halogen high beam was on when I turned on the headlight switch and the stalk was in the low beam position. Flashing or turning on the high beam didn't change the status of the halogen bulb, it stayed on. Everything else other than the bi xenon projector also worked, and I could hear the shutter solenoid work. But this is where I think i might have done something bad as I saw a little smoke coming from somewhere out of the black headlight housing.

So I took the light out and went back and retraced my wiring and found more mistakes. On the third attempt, I am pretty certain I have all the wiring correct, but the bi xenon projector still won't light up.

When I reinstall my Nine8Six projector built by Particlewave, everything still works correctly, so I didn't blow a fuse or damage any of the car wiring. This was the case after all three of my wiring attempts on the new light.

I don't think I damaged the relay on wiring attempt 2 as I tried swapping that after the third wiring attempt and there was no change. Plus, since I can hear the bi xenon shutter solenoid working and the halogen high beam still flashes when the lights are turned off, I think the relay must be good. and since the shutter solenoid and halogen high beam flash and all the other lights work, I think all of the pins are engaging in the socket when I put this newly built light into the car.

Next weekend I am going to get back to this. Since I have all of the components for the other light which haven't been touched yet - the bulb, Canbus, Igniter and Ballast, I will try swapping them all one at a time to see if I damaged any of them in my second wiring attempt. Do you think that is possible that I damaged something when I saw the smoke?

Also, is there a positive and negative side to the Canbus power wires? One has clear insulation and one has black. I have assumed that black is negative and clear is positive. Is polarity only one way for the Canbus?

Thanks for reading and hopefully someone with more skills than I have can provide some suggestions.





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Old 02-19-2020, 10:42 AM   #2
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Paul, some ballasts can let through a pretty significant init amount of current to ignite the xenon. Have a go at it on the work bench using a DC power supply and measure what sort of current you are getting at init with a DMM (provided your DMM is fast enough to catch it). If +7~8 amps then that old cabling gauge/size might be the culprit, although I believe the cabling is rated 15 amps.

As benchmark; your old ballasts are 4.75~5A init and then settle to 2.6A within less than a second.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Fred. DMM = Digital Multi Meter? I've got 2 of those in my toolbox. I was thinking of hooking up the components not yet mounted in the other light directly to a power source (my car battery with test leads) and making sure everything works and then swapping those pieces over to the built light. The Morimoto kits are pretty popular and I haven't seen anything in my online searches that would suggest the car wiring is an issue. It may be I still have some wires crossed, literally. Circuitry is my worst technical skill (out of a bunch of skills with low expertise)!

Hope you are well and that the Covid 19 misses you and your family!
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:59 AM   #4
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... Circuitry is my worst technical skill (out of a bunch of skills with low expertise)!

Hope you are well and that the Covid 19 misses you and your family!
Thanks, yea just came back today. First thing I did is to order a PIZZA (lol), she jumpped in the shower... poor girl :/ Nasty stuff man. Hope you are okay too, Paul.

Circuitry is not my worst (coughs) but certainly not my best. Correct on the DMM. Never seen a m-motto kit so can't comment, I trust you know better than me on that part.

Using the batt as power source will work too, good idea. What made me suspect excessive "init current" was the smoke you've mentioned about... most likely just the wiring itself heating up and not the ballast (they are sealed). You've probably seen fatigue and in some cases crumbling wiring caused by the high resistance and current the oem halogen bulb requires (+5Amps "constant"?!). So I wouldn't worry too much at this stage.

All about trying to figure out if that xenon can 'ignite' first. Second see if the ballasts does not exceed I'd say 5~6 amps (max) at "init". PS: when I say init I mean the initial current spike required to ignite the xenon (0-1second). Once they are powered the current drops by more than half (between 2~3amps).

Let us know what you found and I'll see if I can be of any help if there is anything Paul. Gl man
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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Thanks Fred. There was indeed some wiring with failing insulation. Some of it I repaired by putting flexible clear heat shrink tubing over the wire and some I replaced with new wire and used those butt connectors that have solder inside of heat shrink tubing. So I’ll take a look at that too!
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:16 AM   #6
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Nice one, Paul. Those heat-wraps should be plenty sufficient to secure that old wiring. Yours must have been a DD often driven during evening/night, seen that weaken wiring before where others driven less during dark hours are still fine today. 55w halogen = 5amps (4.5?) constant on that tinny wire

If I'm right i.e. the new ballasts let pass an incredible amount of init current (depending on the new circuit resistance) then that lil puff of smoke you've seen is no surprise. One way around that is to beef up the gauge size within the headlight assembly or ideally connect the ballast power rail to the battery directly. The latest being what many retrofiters does in fact and the safest set-up (requires extra wiring and some clever fiddling).

Are those new ballasts engineered for high power 55w or 35w? you know? In any case you'd want the small/cheap 35w preferably. No need to go overkill there...
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine8Six View Post
Nice one, Paul. Those heat-wraps should be plenty sufficient to secure that old wiring. Yours must have been a DD often driven during evening/night, seen that weaken wiring before where others driven less during dark hours are still fine today. 55w halogen = 5amps (4.5?) constant on that tinny wire

If I'm right i.e. the new ballasts let pass an incredible amount of init current (depending on the new circuit resistance) then that lil puff of smoke you've seen is no surprise. One way around that is to beef up the gauge size within the headlight assembly or ideally connect the ballast power rail to the battery directly. The latest being what many retrofiters does in fact and the safest set-up (requires extra wiring and some clever fiddling).

Are those new ballasts engineered for high power 55w or 35w? you know? In any case you'd want the small/cheap 35w preferably. No need to go overkill there...
Thanks again Fred. I have 35w ballasts. And I'm doing this project with a bunch of well-used headlights I picked up relatively cheap. My headlights are in great shape and they are still in my car with your GT Collection projectors as built by Particlewave. Last year one of my inner lenses in those projectors came unglued. Earlier my COB Halos in those lights had died, even though they were on relays and only lit up in the parking light position, turned off in the headlight on position and I never used them. I was able to re-wire and re-install my parking lights in those headlights, so rather than bother Charles and go through shipping my light again, I disassembled the light and re-glued in the inner projector lens with help from Charles. This all happened about a week before a 1,000 mile road trip in the car for a track event. Which is why I bought these used headlights, I used one in its original shape for that road trip. Having had a success in removing the outer lens and reassembling that light, I thought it was time I tried to build a spare set for myself.

Here is a picture of my car at Virginia International Raceway with one good looking GT Collection bi-xenon headlight and one very tired original amber headlight with a very burned inner lens!

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Old 02-20-2020, 12:45 PM   #8
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Cool stuff, love that track shot with the winkle front That guards red behind look awfully large(r), but hey man... its guards red Funny to see how those camera lenses twist reality sometimes.

Have fun with the new built! Won't lie I also have quite a few prototypes sitting on the bench here. One with dual-projectors 1.5"+2.5" lenses and another set as an attempt to replicate the newer models, projector with the 4 LED. Both look silly and didn't won over the original GTC (Turismo) so didn't really bother to snap pic, install or release.

Read you'll crack on with this during the weekend so let us(me) know if there anything we can help with, Paul. Best man!
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:38 PM   #9
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Thanks Fred. The red car is my friend. I finally got him to the track a couple of time this year. I'm off tomorrow so I'll spend some time on this project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine8Six View Post
Cool stuff, love that track shot with the winkle front That guards red behind look awfully large(r), but hey man... its guards red Funny to see how those camera lenses twist reality sometimes.

Have fun with the new built! Won't lie I also have quite a few prototypes sitting on the bench here. One with dual-projectors 1.5"+2.5" lenses and another set as an attempt to replicate the newer models, projector with the 4 LED. Both look silly and didn't won over the original GTC (Turismo) so didn't really bother to snap pic, install or release.

Read you'll crack on with this during the weekend so let us(me) know if there anything we can help with, Paul. Best man!
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:09 AM   #10
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Success, But So Embarrassing!

Thanks again Fred, the bench test did the trick! None of the components are burned out, everything works. As I originally said, I had assumed the power wires that put 12V into the canbus were black - negative and clear - positive. Well, that is backwards, and polarity of power going into the canbus matters. Once I tried reversing positive and negative power everything works on both sets. In my defense, nothing in any of the Morimoto instructions I could find says that the black wire is positive and the clear wire is negative. And when I was a kid and worked on simpler cars, black wires were for negative ground and red or other color wires were for positive.

I didn't need to try using the DMM to see what amps are being drawn, but since I had everything set up, I put the DMM in line on the circuit and saw it go from 0 -5.85/5.86 when I powered it up. It never went any higher and the light lit up pretty fast, so maybe it draws more on startup but it is so fast I can't see it. The DMM is 10 Amps max, and that didn't blow.

So now to reverse the power wires in the unit I've assembled and then put the second unit together which should go a lot faster!
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:31 AM   #11
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Well done!

Wow :/ I'm fine with techs mixing up Vcc and Vdd, or pretentiously labeling Vss as opposed to Gnd, but to go as far as color coding "black" for a POS lead that is not-too-smart LMAO!

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