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R33 GTS25
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EDIT #1: I've used the term "lens lights" throughout this thread. I've now been made aware that the proper term is more likely projector lights.
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EDIT #2: One of the members who replied to this thread (the reply got deleted) was concerned about the cost of this modification. And yes, the Hella modular lights are quite expensive - but there are cheaper options, and I'm sure they are readily available in most car accessories stores where you live. I still chose Hella for shear build quality and light strength. There is a section on alternative modification options at the bottom of this post.
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This thread covers the process of modifying your headlights to use lens lights instad of the original low beam units.


Introduction
The purpose of this modification was to get proper LHD light pattern on low beam, which I did successfully. The same principle applies to the high beam lights should you want do a full conversion. High beam lens lights are readily available from both Hella and others.

The reason why I chose to mount the new lens light inside the original reflector, is that this solution allows use of the original light pattern adjustment bolts to make necessary adjustments after the lens lights are installed.

Hella lens lights: halogen or HID - your choice
I used 50mm Hella modular lens lights for this modification. Hella also has 90mm modules that may look better, but I was unable to confirm that they would fit inside the Skyline's headlights and so I went for the 50mm ones.

The Hella lens lights are extremely high quality E-marked low beam headlamps, and are legal throughout all of LHD Europe.

The light emitted from these lens lights is stronger and has a more distinct low beam pattern than the Skyline's factory lamps. Furthermore, they are available in both halogen and HID (Xenon) versions, and for both high and low beam applications.

As Norwegian regulations state that HID low beam lamps must have automatic height sensors and adjusters, I chose the halogen version. Hella's HID (Xenon) lens light versions don't differ much from the halogen ones apart from being a little bit longer, so this guide is applicable to HID modification as well.


Part number information
Hella part numbers given in this thread refer to the LHD version of the lens lights. However, this modification is also useful for RHD owners who want to improve the light strength and looks of their Skyline headlights. I do not have access to Hella catalogues with RHD lights, so the RHD users out there will have to have a look in their domestic Hella catalogues to find the suitable part numbers.

Low beam part numbers
PS: obviously you'll need to order two pieces of either one!

The part number for 1 piece of 50mm halogen low beam lens light is:
1BL 009 071-007
Reference number in size chart: 2

The part number for 1 piece of 50mm HID/Xenon low beam lens light is:
1BL 009 071-047
Reference number in size chart: 1


High beam part numbers
PS: obviously you'll need to order two pieces of either one!

The part number for 1 piece of 50 mm halogen high beam lens light is:
1KL 009 486-001
Reference number in size chart: 4

The part number for 1 piece of 50 mm HID/Xenon high beam lens light is:
1F0 008 390-317
Reference number in size chart: 3


Please check your local price before you order, as these units are quite expensive (I paid nearly 3000 NOK, which is about 250 GBP, but Norway is a high-cost country).


For those of you who think that lens lights are just too expensive:
Please observe that you do not have to use lens lights to convert to LHD light pattern! Lens lights tend to be a bit expensive, and I for one had to dig deep in my wallet to fork out the cash for them. Be aware that any LHD glass lens that fits within the "frame" of the low beam reflector will give you the correct light pattern (see pictures below for details)! I have heard rumors that Volvo S40 glass lenses will fit, but I'm unable to confirm this as I haven't tried them myself. But as I said, any LHD lens will do the job as long as its size and shape is similar or comparable to that of the reflector. This guide should still be useful to you as a general guide on the principles of headlight modification.


I have attached a screenshot of the various lens lights as well as a scaled-up size chart from the Hella catalogue (I have a PDF file of their accessories catalogue where these lights are included). I've drawn red squares around the relevant part numbers in the screenshot. Measurements in the size chart are given in milimeters.

Please note that the 50mm size refers to the lens itself, the lens housing is not included in this measurement (as the size chart clearly shows).

The guide itself will follow shortly......

The headlight is comprised of two main parts (see picture at the end of this post for reference):
1. The rear part of the black housing with the mounts, reflectors and lenses in it
2. The front part of the black housing with the clear plastic lens

These two main pieces are bonded together with a black plastic-rubber-like substance. This bonding can be opened up by warming the bond carefully with a hair drier or hot air gun.*

*(Several forum members suggest warming the headlights in an oven, but the use of a hair drier or hot air gun allows you to control the process much better and doesn't heat up the entire headlight.)

To separate the two parts you need:
* A hair drier or hot air gun
* "Carpet knife" / "Hobby knife"
* Large flat-head screwdriver (be careful with this one)

-Remove the six metal clips that keep the two headlight pieces together.

- Undo one small bolt from the back of the headlight housing, just behind the parking light.

- Working around the headlight, heat the bonding with hot air for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.

- Start pullling the front part of the light away from the rear part, all the time applying hot air. Important: start pulling at the wide end of the light, the one that sits next to the grille when mounted on the car. You'll need to pull quite hard.

- If you need to, insert the head of the large flat screwdriver between the front and rear headlight pieces and twist it gently to help separate the two parts. Be aware that this will leave some superficial marks on the housing!

- As the two pieces start coming apart, use the knife to cut the rubber threads that will inevitably hang between the two parts. Sticky stuff, this.

- Work your way towards the outer part of the headlight (where you undid the small bolt), working on both the top and bottom of the light as you go.

- As you get near the outer part of the headlight, bend the two parts away from each other carefully. The small bits on the outer part are prone to break under load, so bend gently and don't be afraid to put the hot air to extra good use at this point.

Your headlight should now be in two pieces.


The low beam light comes from the outermost reflector and glass lense. The lense is held in place by three metal clips. Remove these.

Fully undo the low beam reflector's adjustment screws on the back of the rear housing part. When they're fully undone, pull the reflector away from the housing. It is hanging by a pressure-point ball joint, and pulling it away will release the ball joint from the housing. You may have to pull a bit hard.

You should now be left with a number of bits like the attached picture shows.
Attachment #2 shows the back of a low beam reflector and points out where to pull....

Since removing the reflector from the housing, you will now make a template to use for cutting aluminum sheets to shape. The aluminum sheets will replace the original glass lens in the reflector.

Place the reflector upside-down on a piece of cardboard or paper and draw its outline. Note the sections marked with a X - these must be cut away, otherwise the aluminum bit that we're making won't fit in the reflector.

See attachments for details.

Attachment #2, the close-up photo, shows the part of the reflector that explains why the X-marked sections must be cut away.

Attachement #3, the finished template, shows that the corners on the template are rounded when cutting them, instead of following the original glass' lines exactly (the drawn line on the paper). This is simply because the rounded corners are more appealing to the eye.... :gay:
They will still fit the reflector perfectly. Oh, and "OPP" means up, Public Enemy has nothing to do with this template.

Remember to test fit the template against the reflector to ensure the finished aluminum sheet will fit!

5mm thick aluminum sheet is used for this next step.

Place the template on the aluminum sheet and draw accurately with a marker around it.

With the same accuracy, cut your marked piece from the sheet. I used a jigsaw with a metal blade for this - and do lubricate with Chesterton's or similar while cutting, as the aluminum will make your blade sluggish otherwise.

Get some 150-grit sanding paper and work around the edges to make them nice and smooth (luckily I had a sanding machine for this). Also, sand the surface of the piece lightly so paint will attach to it.

Attachement #2 shows the ever-important test fit! Don't skip it!
 

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R33 GTS25
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Discussion Starter #2
Cutting the reflector... oh my!

This is where it gets scary :)

You'll need to cut a hole in the back of the reflector. Yes, it already has a hole in it but in this case bigger is better. The rear part of the new lens light module needs a bit of space.... The hole also enables access to the new lens light module through the hole we're making in order to replace light bulbs.

Even with a hole this size, you'll probably need a pair of needle-nose pliers to replace your bulbs.

NOTE: be careful when cutting in this material. It is ceramic-like, and porous. I managed to break one into two pieces, but super glue saved my day.

Use a Dremel or a similar tool to do the cutting.

Attachement #1 shows the finished reflector and the piece that was cut out.
Attachement #2 gives a better view of the finished reflector.
 

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R33 GTS25
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Cutting holes in the aluminum pieces

You need to cut a large hole in each of the two aluminum pieces from an earlier step.

A jigsaw can be used to cut the large holes, but be very careful and accurate. Also, spend some time sanding the edges afterwards to get a good result.

My halogen lens lights have a maximum outer diameter of 80mm, so I cut a hole that's 82mm wide.

You also have to drill four smaller holes for the bolts to pass through when attaching the light. Do this when you have cut the single larger hole: insert the lens light into that hole, then mark the four points where you need to drill the bolt holes. Bolt hole size is relative to bolt size, i.e. if you're using 5mm bolts, use a 5.5mm drill.

NOTE: while marking the four points for the bolt holes, make sure that the lens light is level at all times so that the light pattern will be correct once the new light unit is finished! The holes should be level with the reflector's bottom.


As the attachment shows, 82mm is still a pretty tight fit...
 

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R33 GTS25
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Test fit the new unit!

Attach the lens light to the aluminum piece with bolts, washers and nuts as per the attached pictures.

Use a few pieces of double-sided tape to attach the new unit to the reflector for test fitting.

Put the reflector back in the housing using both the ball joint and the adjustment screws.

There is no need to attach the front part of the housing at this time.

Put the complete unit back in the car and connect it to the car's electrical wires (on the halogen bulbs at least this is a straight fit with no modifications needed to either side - Nissan wires goes straight onto the back of the new bulb).

Check to see if the light pattern is OK. Use adjustment screws as necessary. If it isn't OK, you could expand the size of the bolt holes to enable twisting the light a little, as needed.

If the light pattern is OK, remove the housing from the car and disassemle the reflector once more. Remove all double sided tape and tape residue, preferably by use of acetone or a similar solvent which also preps the area for glue.


After checking that the light pattern is OK, one by one replace the nuts with NyLock nuts that won't lose their grip over time. This one-by-one approach ensures the Hella module doesn't move around when replacing the nuts.

The nuts in the picture are NyLock nuts, as you can tell by the small rounded section that's only apparent on one side of the nuts. Also, the small blue ring inside the nut is a tell-tale sign that they're NyLocks.

Attachment #2 shows the test fitting on the vehicle.
 

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R33 GTS25
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Discussion Starter #5
Glue the new unit to the old reflector

Now it's time to break out your mastic glue. Sikaflex, Tec7 or equally strong-bonding glues are the mastics of choice.

Prepping is all-important when it comes to getting a strong bond, so now is a good time to give the bonding surfaces a second go with Acetone solvent.

Since I'm painting the aluminum black later, I chose black Tec7 mastic (personally I use Tec7 almost exclusively for all (most) purposes, but it may not be available in your area).

Now use a small, clean plastic or metal object to distribute the glue evenly on the reflector's contact surfaces as per the attached picture.

Use a relatively thin layer of glue.

Attach the aluminum+lens light unit to the reflector and squeeze it firmly to make it stick. This makes excess glue come out at the joint between the two parts, which is a healthy sign (thinner glue layer gives better bond). Wipe away the excess, don't make a mess, before I put you to da test, life is at its best, out in da west (lost it there, sorry!)

Leave the entire unit to dry for at least two whole days at about 20 degrees celsius (temperature and drying time depending on glue used).

Do not reassemble front and rear main pieces at this time (the glue needs access to circulating air in order to dry - there is no circulating air in a closed headlight housing...).
 

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R33 GTS25
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Almost there!!

After a couple of days, it's time to reassemble the headlight.

But first, mask the Hella unit and spray paint the aluminum black (or whatever colour you prefer...) with some quick-drying 5-minute paint. Being totally paranoid over stuff like this, I myself left it to dry overnight of course......

Keep yourself occupied for five minutes while the paint dries.... :guiness:

Insert the reflector's ball joint and tighten the adjustment screws somewhat.

Heat the mastic from Step1 once again for ten to fifteen minutes with hot air, on both parts of the headlight housing this time. This ensures a weatherproof bond when reassembling.

Feel the mastic with your fingers when you think you're ready to reassemble. When it really sticks to your skin and feels hot to the touch, put the front and rear housing parts together and squeeze hard, firmly, and repeatedly around the entire bond area. Use hot air during the entire process.

Observe that the holes for the small bolt behind the parking light from Step1 must now be aligned, before the mastic settles.

Reassemble the six metal clips from Step1.

Insert the small bolt from Step1 and tighen it gently (do NOT overtighten as the plastic threads will give in under stress!).

Install the headlight on your car. Adjust the light pattern by using the adjustment screws as needed.

Enjoy....


Now go buy some ScratchX from Meguiars and polish your headlights for 15 minutes each, to really make your "new" lights stand out! You won't believe the difference it makes.... In the attached picture, one light has been treated and one hasn't. It doesn't show up very well on the picture I'm afraid, but the difference made my dad say "THAT is NOT possible!! What's it made from???"
 

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