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DIY HID install. step by step instructions with pix.

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by tony2fingers, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. tony2fingers

    tony2fingers Member

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    May 26, 2013
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    Location:
    san jose
    Hi all,
    i posted up a thread earlier about this but figure id do a step by step instruction for anyone interested to get Hid's without having to order the whole tech package. feel free to post any and all question and ill try my best to answer. When i did the hid's i also lowered the cars using the factory links. I had to remove the front tires to change out the bulbs but is not need to lower the fronts of this car. although it does make it easier with the tires are off, its not absolutely required but since i already had them off for the headlight, just made it easier. lowering the rear wheels you do have to remove though. Do a search for "DYI lowering"

    I ordered the hid's from amazon. They were Kensun's 6k set with digital slim ballasts. the size kit is 9005's. price i paid was $79 shipped two days (amazon prime) you can get cheaper hid's for about half that price but the review were pretty sketchy and i had used a low end set before and they lasted about 3 months. hope i have better luck with this set..

    so here we go:

    step one. remove front wheels and front fender liner's. (remember to use the "jack" function when you raise the car up)

    there's a bunch of push in buttons that hold the fender liner in. most short some long. make sure you remember where the long ones go.
    pull back the liner and you see something like this. notice the nylon grommet puller i used to pull buttons off then use to keep cavity open. photo 1-1.JPG
    Step two: remove the rubber cover and cut a hole for access of the cable grommet and take out the old bulb, install the new hid bulb and mount the ballast in a place where it won't flop around. you can see where i decided to mount my ballast in these two pix. route the cables up and over all the other cables as they would be in the way of the air flow since there is a radiator on both sides in the same vicinity.

    the cables from the ballast to the bulbs can only go one way so you cant really screw up polarity. the factory cable to the ballast are another story. they can be installed either way. just make note that the black cable goes to the black cable and you should be ok. ( you can't see it in these pix cause that connection is behind the rubber cover)
    photo 2-1.JPG
    Step three: Put everything back together and cross your fingers. mine fired right up and all was well. if it isn't, i would check polarity of the factory harness to aftermarket ballast. in my case, step three was to start working on the lowering sensors but if your not into that you should be done. below are a couple before and after shots of my car with stock headlights and aftermarket hid's. i also did some other stuff like paint the lower trim and installed 22's.

    hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions.

    photo 1-3.JPG Stock headlights on left. 6k hid's on right. side by side comparison for anyone wanting to see the difference. photo 2-3.JPG front shot of oem and aftermarket side by side photo 2-4.JPG photo 4-4.JPG both headlight from front are hid's. sorry but iphone night photo's are crap. photo 1.JPG photo 3.JPG front and rear 3/4 view of my car. stock rims stock height. lower black plastic (yuk!!) trim painted body color.
     
  2. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Nice work! Tesla should really offer this as a separate upgrade.

    How do you manage with only two fingers? (Your nick) :)
     
  3. tony2fingers

    tony2fingers Member

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    Yeah they should but I doubt they can offer it anywhere near the cost I got it done for but their oem hid's a la carte would probably be assemble and packaged much nicer than how I had it done. Is much rather they offer a lowering module for end user programmability. It'd just be a software revision for them and cost next to nothing. Or offer nav options a la cart , or more cup holders and cubby compartments a la carte.
    As for the "two fingers" just a nickname given to me many years ago. Not at all automobile related, and probably inappropriate to explain. Lol
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    It's probably mostly a business decision - to get people to spring for the tech package. Some get it for the Nav, some for the HID's, some for the auto extending handles etc. Also easier for them with production flow if everything is bundled.

    LOL!
     
  5. Chas F

    Chas F Model S 60kWh #P6396

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
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    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Great write up T2F!

    I am ready to order my kit and install per your instructions. I do have one question: How well are the 6000K bulbs matched (in color) to the surrounding LEDs? Would you have gone with more white (5000K), more blue (8000K), or do they match perfectly?
     
  6. AKatros

    AKatros New Member

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    United States
    I ordered and installed the Kensun light kit and that kit works and fits great, the 6000K color is just about perfect. I will add that everything plugs in to the original connectors and I really couldn't see any way to plug it in wrong, it only goes together one way. the colors of the wires are different but the connectors will only fit one way. the 9005 HB3 bulbs fit perfectly in the factory housings. what a difference ! There is plenty of room to mount the slimline ballasts I found that they could sit flat and i put velcro tape on them to hold them in place.

    Amazon had them listed as follows:

    Kensun HID Xenon Conversion Kit "All Bulb Sizes and Colors" with "Slim" Digital Ballasts - 9005 (HB3) - 6000k

     
  7. vincent1001

    vincent1001 New Member

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    Is there no access from front trunk to replace this ?
     
  8. WarrenT

    WarrenT Member

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    If there were a simpler way like going from the front trunk, we'd be doing it that way instead. There is not.
     
  9. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    i'll take your 360 thanks :cool:
     
  10. logan

    logan Member

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    San Diego, CA
    Any idea how these HIDs compare to the Tech Package ones? Even with the HIDs I still find the headlights pretty dim compared to my other cars and would love to replace them to something a bit brighter if possible.
     
  11. youlikeadajuice

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    Bloomingdale, NJ
    For the ones who have done this upgrade, when you pull the wheel off are you resting the car on a jack stand or just leaving it up on the floor jack? I'm looking for an alternate jack position since the car's jack point seems too small to get both the floor jack and a jack stand under.
     
  12. Panacea

    Panacea TSLA Shareholder/Believer

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    Just something to consider if you live in a cold climate. Will the HID generate enough heat to melt the snow off the headlights?
     
  13. demundus

    demundus Member

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    Just wanted to bump this with results, as I used this guide to do mine. I was only able to complete one last night, but will do the other when I get home from work and take pictures to fill in a few ?? gaps I had while reading through the OPs post.

    IMG_0335.JPG IMG_0336.JPG IMG_0332.JPG IMG_0338.JPG
     
  14. UnpluggedP

    UnpluggedP Vendor

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    Great job on the headlight install! We wanted to share an example of the upgraded headlight system we install on our complete Tesla builds.

    The headlights include blacked out internal pieces for a more custom look and a complete Projector replacement.

    We go above and beyond by supplying a significantly brighter Bi-xenon projec​tor Laser etched with our unplugged logo. Our headlights not only look better but perform better as well.



    12313625_971080349631504_239558721777671969_n.jpg 12189831_956219841117555_1525178026401942443_n.jpg 12075046_938707399535466_7246850452621389942_n.jpg 12028852_943257509080455_4914618073819474210_o.jpg
     
  15. mobe

    mobe Member

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    I would love to see a step by step on removing the lower trim for painting.
     
  16. demundus

    demundus Member

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    Ok, full write up time. I don't like jacking this car up, so I turned the wheel all the way out and raised it to Very High, then put it in jack mode:

    First, remove the 15+ body push pins, some are long some are short, as well as rachet removing the two nuts on the bottom and the one wing nut on the inside well of the wheel. Additionally, there is one push pin that is in the soft felt lining ONLY, also pull this for easy of access.
    IMG_0340.JPG

    Remove the hard plastic cover and set it aside
    IMG_0341.JPG

    Now we can see the headlamp and the grommet that protects the bulb. But it's kinda hard to get to..
    IMG_0342.JPG

    Peel back the soft lining, tie it down like so.
    IMG_0343.JPG IMG_0344.JPG

    Remove the grommet with a little finger prying and be ready to make an incision here.
    IMG_0345.JPG

    Here is what the bulb housing looks like. Turn it counterclockwise to free the bulb from the housing.
    IMG_0346.JPG

    Mine wouldn't budge/I'm weak/I didn't have much hand room, so I GENTLY used a pair of grips to grab and turn. Easy!
    IMG_0347.JPG

    Disconnect the bulb
    IMG_0349.JPG

    Cut a hole in the grommet, some people may opt for something bigger, I went with a small hole and forced the wires through for a tight fit. Your call
    IMG_0350.JPG

    Here's how everything fits together, it's in the manual too. In the first picture, in red, I circle the part that hooks into the old "from car" plug.
    IMG_0351.JPG IMG_0352.JPG IMG_0353.JPG IMG_0354.JPG

    Now we're through!
    IMG_0356.JPG

    Plug in and test, looks good!
    IMG_0359.JPG

    Lets seal it up. Place the large rubber grommet on the housing, then hold it with one hand and securely pull the HID grommet (springy looking one) through the hole you made to create as good a seal as you can between both rubbers.
    IMG_0360.JPG

    Attach the backing plate to the ballast, those screws are tiny, dont lose them!
    IMG_0361.JPG

    Find a good place to mount it, its just one bolt and the metal is flimsy, so just do the best you can. Using the OP's suggestion, I mounted it on a bolt deep in the back.
    IMG_0362.JPG IMG_0364.JPG IMG_0365.JPG

    Replace all the push pins, seal her up! RIP 1 push pin.
    IMG_0366.JPG

    Good luck! :)
     
  17. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

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    Location:
    Seattle
    Burnt out Halogen headlight bulb so perfect time for HID conversion since have to go through all the hassle of getting to the bulb.

    Don't have air suspension or jack point stands. Prefer not to leave a front corner up on the floor jack while working. Anyone know if there is enough clearance with the car not jacked up and wheel turned outwards?
     
  18. demundus

    demundus Member

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    I helped a gentleman here in the forums in the local area go had coil. We had to jack the car up. We lifted the entire front for safety. I will say we were unsuccessful in installing the bulb, hard to say if his housings were too thick or the bulb casing was defectively thick. Either way be warned that I'm 1 for 2 on this process.
     
  19. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

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    #19 howardc64, Jun 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
    Installed one side tonight. A couple of additional notes for future installers

    - Without air suspension, I jacked up the front slightly but left the tires on the ground and turn it outwards. This was enough room to work and pretty safe.

    - Avoid high exit angles where wire enter the connectors. I zipped tied the wires and ballast (HID kit didn't come with the thin mounting plate shown in other installs) and had a high angle right where wires goes into a connector. This pulled the metal contacts inside the connector outwards and can't establish a contact.

    - The HID's connector (red circled connection in pic 11 of post 16) that mates to the original bulb connector doesn't prevent reverse connection. Make sure black wires from both connectors are attached together.
     

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