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Smithers 11-26-2011 10:39 PM

Aprilia Mille HID Projector Installation
I came across a few HID projectors headlight housings recently which just made me start thinking about installing one in my Aprilia headlight housing. I just couldn't help but want to make the HID light on the front of my bike cast out further down the road. The way I did it with just the installation of the HID bulb in the factory enclosure worked OK but I needed to adjust it upwards so that I could see further down the road. Plus it had a lot of glare all over the road up and down. People didn't flash their lights at me or anything but the beam just wasn't refined like all of the newer cars out there these days.

So enter the projector lens. I just knew that I would be able to find one someday and cut a big hole into the housing to make it fit. And that's basically all I did. The main problem a person might have is removing the headlight front lens so that you can go ahead and start cutting the big circle section out. The clear front plastic lens on the front of the Aprilia Mille housing is held in VERY well by a rubber/silicone type window sealer. This stuff is probably applied with a little heat from the factory to allow it to completely seat and flow between the two pieces as they are pressed together. The housing needs to be heated up in an oven and carefully separated. The separating process is very difficult and you will be cutting up your headlight assembly and drilling holes into it if you want to do this. Of course you shouldn't do this to a perfectly good headlight so keep your eyes open for a used one on the forum or even a damaged one for cheap!

Smithers 11-26-2011 10:50 PM

Here is what I laid out when I started thinking about doing this conversion. I have my old Aprilia headlight housing that is slightly damaged. I took the front lens off of it just for fun and to see how it was put together. I tossed around the idea of mounting a 3" PIAA fog lamp inside of it but the heat from the PIAA assembly was just too much to enclose into the headlight housing. The HID projector is perfect for this use. The diameter is just perfect (well as good as it could be) and the HID bulbs themselves run pretty cool so you don't have to worry about cooling them like halogen bulbs.

Smithers 11-26-2011 10:52 PM

Here I am just getting idea for how to cut the housing to accept such a large projector. It looks pretty complicated at this point but I wasn't going to stop until it was done.

Measuring the projector to transfer the measurement to the plastic housing:

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:00 PM

Now the fun part. Actually getting an idea of how it should all turn out. I felt I got really lucky seeing how the projector actually can center right on the old headlight bulb hole and just rest right on the bottom of the main reflector. I thought I would be mounting the projector in the housing from the rear but I ended up placing it in from the front instead.

First try mounting from the back:

And the answer - mounting from the front of the back cover:

And the view from the rear once it was all assembled:

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:03 PM

You need to check which side of the projector gets mounted upwards. The convex lens flips the image as the light passes through it so the plate that covers half of the light is mounted towards the bottom not the top. Google it if you want to get scientific. Just check which way the light pattern looks before you start cutting to mount your projector that you use.

This shows the line while using a little Mag Light to shine the light pattern.

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:08 PM

There is a chrome reflector part to the housing that the actual light bulbs are mounted in. This reflective panel pivots a little bit and is held in place by a couple long screw type adjusters. They are a little tricky to snap apart and they are held in place by some little steel collars that need to be removed with a screwdriver or a pick. Here are some pictures to try and help show what's going on between the outer black housing and the chrome reflective part.

Once the black spring collars are popped off you can use a screwdriver to pop the ball end part free from the white plastic piece.

And here are the little spring collars that hold the plastic so that the adjuster screws don't pop out of the pivot type joint.

And now you can separate the front chrome panel from the back housing. Get ready to chop a big hole in this part now.

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:15 PM

The large hole for the HID projector can center right on the headlight bulb hole that was originally there. I just started tracing a circle around the projector and started out small so that I could slowly enlarge the hole to get it just right without any gaps.

Here is the size of the hole once I finished cutting and shaving it. I used a air powered die grinder with a diamond steel cutting bit. You need to use a high speed rotary tool of some kind because the reflective plastic is really brittle and can crack easily if you use a slow cutting motion. Now getting the projector to stay in one place is tricky. I used a piece of wire wrapped around the two screws above the hole to hold it in. If I spent more time I would use fiberglass or plastic weld material to make it really nice and sturdy... but the thick wire should do just fine.

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:22 PM

I didn't have to disassemble my bike at this point so I used it for reference when trying to figure out the angle to mount the projector assembly.

Then I wanted to make the projector cast a nice straight line of light. The unit came out of a Ford vehicle of some kind and the left and right pattern is slightly different. It's made to have a slight sloping effect to one side of the line of the light. I used a Dremel tool with a round sanding wheel on it to make the line perfectly straight. It just required about 5 minutes of sanding/grinding to make the line straight but I had to be very careful. Depending on where you get your proctor you might not have to do this. I assume the ones you buy for this very application have a straight line and aren't meant to be mounted on the left or right side of a vehicle. They are not all the same so make sure the line that cuts off the light in your projector is straight and not slanted one way or the other.

This is the "before" shot of how the line cuts off the light pattern. You can see it change a little bit higher from left to right in the middle of the line of light at the top.

Smithers 11-26-2011 11:29 PM

And when put all back together I had a fully functional HID projector on my bike finally. It took a few hours but it's well worth it. Here are some more pictures.

And here is some of that nice HID light now projecting out in front of the bike smoothly from left to right while cutting a nice line right at eye level of oncoming traffic. It feels a lot better having control over where the light is shining. Plus the light throws out forward a lot more than with and HID bulb just placed inside a factory headlight housing without a projector to focus it all.

Smithers 12-09-2011 10:37 PM

Happy to report the projector works GREAT. It could be brighter but the light really reaches out and really lights up all the road signs far earlier than regular light bulb light does. It does point down the road really far which I really like. You just have to get used to the blue light. I will get some good pictures one of these nights when I can get a better camera to use.

The next "light" mod will be to wire the high beam lights so they can turn on at the same time to really light things up. Sometimes on the back roads at night you really need to be able to look for animals around this area. I won't be happy until I get equal or greater light than a stock Suzuki V-strom - the best motorcycle headlights I have ever used.

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