Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Let me start off by saying this was much more of a PITA than I thought it would be. I ...
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    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Cool Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS *COMPLETED*

    Let me start off by saying this was much more of a PITA than I thought it would be. I spent a total of about 2 months on this project, but alot of that time was waiting for the weather to warm up before pulling the bumper. I still think it's totally worth it on this side of the retrofit.

    Anything you would need to know to do this type of project you can find on this website.
    I'm a big advocate of paying for higher quality and knowing products will work, so I bought mostly everything from here.

    So I started out with doing a ton of research, and decided on a set of bixenon FX-R 3.0s for my projectors, with Morimoto three5 ballasts and Morimoto 6k bulbs. I also got a set of Audi LED lights, and splitters to run the halogen high beams at the same time as the HID highs. I always wanted to be able to return my car to stock one day if necessary, so I bought a set of "new" replacement Eagle Eye brand headlights on Ebay. Long story short, the quality/fitment of the pieces are decent, but the finish was peeling inside the housing. Since I was planning to tear them apart to repaint anyway it wasn't a big deal, but I was still able to get the seller to refund me a good chunk of change

    So I really wanted to paint the whole interior shroud black, and leave the entire lens clear. I was not really a fan of the eyebrow look, but couldn't stand the grey anymore! There are a couple screws on the exterior of the housing to remove first.




    I recommend leaving the up/down adjustor intact. It comes unthreaded very easily.


    Into the oven the headlights went. IIRC, I think I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes and they pulled apart easily. Unfortunatly, after separating the housing from the lens, you can see the outer interior bezel is chemically bonded to the lens, making it pretty impossible to separate the two without doing damage.


    So I decided to settle on tinting the outside border of the lens to cover the grey, while still allowing light to shine through. I used VHT Nightshades spray and put it on pretty thick. About 5 coats by the time I was done.


    Shot of the housing with the reflector still mounted.


    The halogen projector is secured to the reflector with 4 screws. It looks like this once it's out.


    There are three screws that hold the inner interior shroud to the lens. Pretty straightforward.


    The bezel was pretty beat up. I never would have put it on my car without refinishing them. It's a good thing I got these housings for next to nothing!



    The bezels sanded and prepped for paint. I shot them with ultra cover gloss black because I'm a fool. I recommend using a flat color inside the housing to limit glare/reflection.



    Continued below...
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    agp's Avatar
    agp
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Not enough pics, need more.

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    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Quote Originally Posted by agp View Post
    Not enough pics, need more.
    I'm still writing the thread, don't trust autosave. Check back in an hour.

    ----------

    To get the reflector out of the housing (not necessary with a smaller projector, very necessary with the FX-Rs) it's a little tricky. There are two screws on the back, right in the middle. You can reach one with a long screwdriver, but I had to use a double 90 driver to get to the other one. The screws still visible in this pic are part of the adjustor assembly and should not be removed. The holes are where the two retaining screws reside.


    The reflector removed, you can see how it is attatched to the housing. The two screws are in their retaining holes.


    Now the fun began. First, I decided to mod the FX-Rs slightly by painting the inside (high temp flat black). This makes the lens of the projector appear black when not illuminated. It is a little difficult to get the lens on and off, but doable if you take your time and do it right.




    Next, I pulled out the dremel and went to town on the reflector. This limited the actual contact points I had for the projectors to sit, but they wouldn't fit otherwise. Once I made sure everything was level, I used JB QwikSteel (highly recommended) and ALOT of epoxy to make sure the projectors wouldn't budge and shimmy when I hit bumps.



    Time to put it all back together! I added the Audi LED strips on the inner bezel, and wired them into the little triangle lights. I also wired the solenoids into the halogen high beams. Threw the completed light back in the oven, this time at 250 for about 10 minutes I think. I used as many clamps as I could fit on the housing and a good amount of butyl rubber to make sure I had a nice tight seal all the way around. The butyl rubber was great and it oozed around the whole headlight, and just had to be trimmed.


    All the wiring has been ziptied and tucked out of the way of the projector, which gets very hot.


    Mounted headlight showing my ballast location as well as some custom wiring
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    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Throw it all back together and this is what you get! Let me know what you all think or if you have any questions. I had never done anything like this, but if you never try you never know












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    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Halogen lights in halogen projectors.


    HID lights in halogen projectors.


    HID lights in FX-Rs.


    The projectors still need to be adjusted slightly, but pretty close to where they need to be. I love these things! So bright, yet they don't blind anyone with such a sharp cutoff. I'll post up some driving pics and high beams pics. The highs pretty much set the trees on fire between the bixenon and the halogens!

    Here's a shot of the low beams for now at about 40 ft.

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    Tlorenzen is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Looks like you attached a blue sun to your car..damn looks good man.

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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Holy $#!+, good job. Super clean. Super sexy. You do good work. Nice write-up, too.

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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    It looks like a PITA, but it looks great. AGP approves.
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    What are the steps to put the headlight back together? Is it put the butyle rubber, then clamp it, then put it in oven for 10 minutes and then trim or what?

    Also what brand paint or what kind of paint is recommended for the inside of the housing? I want to paint the outside with vht niteshade like you did and paint the inside of the housing as well. Also wondering if you would be able to paint the inside of the stock projector like you did the aftermarket one.

    One last thing, did you buy a chrome aftermarket grill and paint the inner mesh part black or did you buy it like that? I like the look!

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    catch is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Man, great job. I would have assumed the audi LEDs would be a bit bigger/brighter, but they still look good overall.

    I love seeing threads like this. Awesome stuff! Nice write up too

  12. #11
    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Thanks for the kind words, guys! After all the work, it is much appreciated!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CtsLAC View Post
    What are the steps to put the headlight back together? Is it put the butyle rubber, then clamp it, then put it in oven for 10 minutes and then trim or what?

    Also what brand paint or what kind of paint is recommended for the inside of the housing? I want to paint the outside with vht niteshade like you did and paint the inside of the housing as well. Also wondering if you would be able to paint the inside of the stock projector like you did the aftermarket one.

    One last thing, did you buy a chrome aftermarket grill and paint the inner mesh part black or did you buy it like that? I like the look!
    To put the lights back together you put the butyl around the headlights and press them back together. Throw it in the oven to warm up the glue, then take it out and clamp it. The glue should ooze out around the edges of the housing, and you trim the excess.

    I would recommend any brand of paint you like, just like I said a flat color (no gloss) would be advisable inside the housing to minimize any glare. For the projectors, I'm not sure you would get the exact same effect, but if you can get the stock projector apart I'm sure you could paint the inside. You really just want anything that faces the lens painted, so pull the retainer ring and lens, and go to town! Also, I would make sure it's a high temp paint just because the HIDs get extremely hot.

    Any yes, I bought the grilles in chrome, and painted the mesh black. It chips up pretty often though. I'm neurotic about my car so I touch it up every so often, but I would recommend powder coating if that is the route you want to go and you don't want to be touching it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by catch View Post
    Man, great job. I would have assumed the audi LEDs would be a bit bigger/brighter, but they still look good overall.
    Thanks, dude! I think the newer Audis have individual LEDs in their own housings, where as these are more a strip of side emitting LEDs advertised as "Audi LEDs". The color is spot on though, and for the price, I like them.

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    RyRidesMotoX is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Looks really good dude.
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Just gonna throw this out there...The LED running lights were cool when Audi starting doing it, now EVERYONE and EVERY manufacturer is putting them on their cars, I actually can't stand it anymore since it is no longer original whatsoever.

    Enough with the LEDs

    But to the OP, nice work, looks like you did a fine job
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    Matt4949 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Quote Originally Posted by RyRidesMotoX View Post
    Looks really good dude.
    Thanks brother! Glad one of you V guys made it over here!

    Quote Originally Posted by curtc View Post
    Just gonna throw this out there...The LED running lights were cool when Audi starting doing it, now EVERYONE and EVERY manufacturer is putting them on their cars, I actually can't stand it anymore since it is no longer original whatsoever.

    Enough with the LEDs

    But to the OP, nice work, looks like you did a fine job
    I've noticed this too! Even a damn Nissan Sentra has them!

    Thanks for the kind words though, if I ever grow tired of the LEDs I could just pull the wires.

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    Rc102782 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Custom Fabbed Headlights (FX-R 3.0s) LOTS-O-PICS

    Matt, fantastic job! I love every part of it! I wanted to do something very similar, but I wanted the leds to run all the way up the side. What did you mount the leds on or in? Also, what is up with your sunroof? On my '03, when it is open and not just vented, it slides into the roof. It looks like yours tilts up and then slides back.

    ----------

    Every car has the "Audi" leds because they are cool. That is like saying they bag everything or put a blower on everything. There are a lot of ideas that aren't original, I think they get copied because they are f@#$in' cool!

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