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how to install clear lens on S40 headlight

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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 00:41   #1
janusz
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Default how to install clear lens on S40 headlight

hello everyone,

Some time ago I have decided to run small project and see if I can improve headlight output on my S40. As we all know, headlights on s40 could be better. In many cases, light output is extremely poor which makes driving dangerous at times. One of the available options on the market is HID installation which greatly improves visibility at night but also brings the risk of MOT fail.
So here is another approach to the common problem. Instead of choosing HID option, I have decided to go for the clear lens (as the ones installed in Bosch headlights on S40 are of fresnel type).
Here are some pros and cons of this procedure:
Cons:
- just one really, since clear lens offers very sharp cutoff of light, traffic signs will not be illuminating as bright as you may be used to. they are readable of course but do not expect the same bright traffic lights you may be used to
- again, because cut off is very sharp, when driving down then up the hill you may see a bit less - fresnel lens diffuses the light much more hence more light lands on area outside of main light beam. in case of clear lens, amount of light going above the cutoff is minimal
- finally, you are modifying your car. be aware of it. you will also need to handle glass elements which may pose certain hazards if no caution is taken (and you know what I mean)

Pros:
- the opposite to above - all the light goes on the road. While still halogen light, you may be surprised to see how well the road is lit in front of you (and on sides too),
- you are not modifying car electrical system, no wiper motor failures, no bulb out warnings, etc
- no need to drill holes, lens installation is a simple swap (more about this later)

Things to note: we are going to install ZKW-R lens (do not try to install STI-R as it has different focusing point and there will be no cutoff = MOT fail).
Genuine Bosch lens has circa 2.9 inch diameter and is circa 2.2cm height. ZKW-R lens is exactly 3 inch in diameter and has 2.3cm height. What this means is that ZKW-R will not sit perfectly in the lens holder however, this does not affect focusing performance.
If you decide to install clear lenses, once the installation is complete YOU HAVE TO ADJUST HEADLIGHTS AT MOT STATION. There is simply no excuse as your lenses will surely be off the previous level and need to be adjusted. Otherwise you will be blinding other drivers. You may also have to inform insurance company about the change.
Finally: if you decide to install clear lens and follow this DIY, you are doing it at own risk (and I am not responsible for any damage, harm, etc this may cause) so be careful as you will be dealing with glass and sharp objects (it's easy to cut hand on lens holder)

okay, here is goes.
1. remove the headlight


2. unscrew three torx screws and remove bulb/lens holder. be careful not to damage/tear any cables inside the headlight


3. this is how the bulb/lens holder looks like when removed


4. now, you need to push pins holding the spring inside the lens holder towards the outside so that spring can be raised




5. remove the spring





6. you should be able to rotate the lens like shown


7. this is now perhaps most labour heavy and brute force requiring exercise: you need to change the shape of lens holder from circular to ellipsoidal. be very careful. when you apply the force to the holder to change its shape, work your other hand on the lens to try and remove it via the front from the lens holder


8. lens removed


9. now by following the same procedure in reverse order, insert new lens - again, be extremely careful careful! when the lens is in, insert the spring back and push it toward the lens


10. as the new lens is slightly larger, it will not sit perfectly well in lens holder. what I would recommend is to position the lens holder on flat surface (to get the level right) and try to position the lens in a way that the light is positioned downwards rather than to the sides or upwards


11. apply back all the pins holding the spring as tight as possible, make sure the lens is not moving inside the holder. if there is a bit of movement, gently move the spring against the lens and push the pins holding the spring a bit further. again, be extremely careful here.



12. install lens holder back in headlight and attach all cables. once done, get an appointment at nearest MOT station and get your headlights aligned.



if you do not like the light output, you can always fit back old lenses.
Big thanks to SonyVaio for hints re: installation procedure!

this is how the headlights look with clear lens prior to adjustment

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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 03:31   #2
mpt
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Good write up, thanks.

Whereabouts did you get the lenses from in the end?
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 16:39   #3
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That's a sensible approach to the problem for sure, I was told my vertical height adjuster is broken (by my MOT man, unless he broke it) but would like to know where you got the lens?

Did your reflectors have some brown staining on the inside? one of mine did and it was affecting the colour output - I stuck on a small patch of polished aluminium foil tape (microns thick) and it fixed it! no problem with the MOT either.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 23:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpt View Post
Good write up, thanks.

Whereabouts did you get the lenses from in the end?
I got lenses from China from a guy called Sword, this is their website:
http://www.oemxenonshop.com
Two lenses including shipping and duty =60$. Can share details if you wish to buy them. Im not sure if lenses are made by Koito but they seem to be of good quality and light spread is good. I also got lenses from the retrofit source but they were far more expensive = 60ish .
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Last edited by janusz; Feb 19th, 2014 at 23:34.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 23:31   #5
janusz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welton View Post
That's a sensible approach to the problem for sure, I was told my vertical height adjuster is broken (by my MOT man, unless he broke it) but would like to know where you got the lens?

Did your reflectors have some brown staining on the inside? one of mine did and it was affecting the colour output - I stuck on a small patch of polished aluminium foil tape (microns thick) and it fixed it! no problem with the MOT either.
You can get new complete headlights on eBay for circa 60. Week ago I saw a pair for 100. Just keep an eye on eBay.
You will definitely need height adjuster after retrofit as the beam will be off for quite a few degrees.
My reflectors were fine. I have not seen any dark spots inside the mirrors. I heard that someone has used chrome paint to fix dark spots. Not sure how good idea it was to be honest. On the other hand, mirror paint peeling off is not a sign of quality product so I am fairly surprised that product made by bosch shows this problem so often.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 23:36   #6
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Can one of moderators add: DIY to the title of this thread? I missed this bit:/
Thank you
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