Low rise headlight mod - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old January 11th, 2017, 01:41 Thread Starter
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Low rise headlight mod

This is how to modify your headlight pivot arm and push rod to achieve low rise headlights. This can only be used with low rise headlight housings since the headlights will not open all the way.

First of all, BE CAREFUL WITH THESE HEADLIGHTS, IF THEY CLOSE ON YOUR HAND YOU COULD SERIOUSLY INJURE YOURSELF! UNPLUG THE NEGATIVE ON YOUR BATTERY JUST IN CASE! Have the headlights on the fully open position first, then unplug the battery.

Start by removing the headlight shrouds and lids. Use a pry bar or flat screwdriver to pry the pushrod off of the ball mount on the sides of the headlights.

Grind the head of the rivet off, use a punch or screw driver and hammer to push the pin out that holds the end onto the push rod.




Stick one end into a vice, pull it out to expose the spring inside, cut the spring. I used an angle grinder with a cut off wheel after messing up a pair of metal shears




Mark and cut the push rod. I cut off a little more than 3/4 of an inch since I needed my lights to sit a lot lower than stock, you should cut smaller amounts and test fit or else you might cut off too much. *This is crucial* Whatever amount you shorten the push rods by, you have to shorten the pivot arms by the same amount.





Slide the end back into the push rod




I used a self tap screw to reattach the end. You'll have to do this to both ends of the push rod.




Stick the pivot arm into a vice. What you are going to do here effectively shortens the pivot arm without having to cut or redrill anything. You are going to bend the arm into 90 degree angles. You need to shorten the push rod AND the pivot arms because of the way the lift motor works. If you do one without the other, your headlights will not close all the way when you turn the lights off OR the headlight will try to close too much and you'll end up damaging things! The pivot arm needs to be shortened by the same amount you cut off of your push rod. In my case it needed to be shortened by a little more than 3/4", so bending the pivot arm into 90 degree bends was perfect.




I used a 3lb sledge hammer to bend it.




2nd bend




Stock length rod and pivot arm vs the modified one. As you can see, the push rod and the pivot arm have been shortened the same amount.


Last edited by the bee guy; April 21st, 2018 at 02:02.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old January 11th, 2017, 01:42 Thread Starter
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Both sides shortened




Reinstall the rods and see what height you get. You can fine tune the height to an extent by loosening the pivot arm nut and rotating the pivot arm on the lift motor. The arm fits in any position so you can adjust the position a little, then tighten down the nut.








Last edited by the bee guy; June 8th, 2018 at 09:19.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old January 12th, 2017, 16:34
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Very nice!

I already have a low rise kit but still a great post/write up.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old April 14th, 2017, 05:14
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Nice work. I like that it's not hacking anything and still looks fimished. Thanks for the write up.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2017, 20:23
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<darth vader voice>

impressive.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old October 18th, 2017, 11:38
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Thanks so much for this very well done post! I really want to do my own conversion like this. The only thing is, and no offense intended, but I don't really care for the style of lamp that you use. Are you aware of a dual lamp product that fits that looks similar to the $800 online option? I personally just really like having four small round bulbs rather than two rectangular ones.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old October 19th, 2017, 23:34 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by richardellis View Post
Thanks so much for this very well done post! I really want to do my own conversion like this. The only thing is, and no offense intended, but I don't really care for the style of lamp that you use. Are you aware of a dual lamp product that fits that looks similar to the $800 online option? I personally just really like having four small round bulbs rather than two rectangular ones.

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Thank you! Yea Rev6 makes the quad round headlight kit. I don't really care for the rounds lights myself to be honest. I like the rectangular lights because I feel it kind of keeps the oldskool look I guess (haha I know, theres a bunch of modern stuff on my car). It also keeps a similar shape to the fog lights and the bumper lights.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2017, 13:01
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Almost done with something similar. Nice work!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old February 10th, 2019, 16:57
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Both sides shortened




Reinstall the rods and see what height you get. You can fine tune the height to an extent by loosening the pivot arm nut and rotating the pivot arm on the lift motor. The arm fits in any position so you can adjust the position a little, then tighten down the nut.







Did you ever get around to putting this together as a complete kit including the headlights for sale ?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old February 10th, 2019, 22:04 Thread Starter
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Did you ever get around to putting this together as a complete kit including the headlights for sale ?
No I didn't. I redesigned everything to make it a straight bolt on, but to make it that way I have to use really small projectors. The small projectors make the lighting absolutely terrible so I need to redesign the whole thing.

The set I made for my car uses really big projectors so they look great, but they take a lot of modifying to install. So the kit is on hold until who knows when, I work so much now.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2019, 06:50
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Can you say what vehicle you used the light from?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2019, 11:07
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If I remember correctly, he used BMW E36 fog lights, flipped them, and retrofitted Morimoto projectors in them.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old August 15th, 2019, 22:44
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Your PM box is full so I'm writing here instead.

I'm curious what Morimoto projector you used? E36 foglights are cheap as hell nowadays, not to mention I've got an extra set since I've got an E36, so I'm hoping to duplicate your kit. Other than flipping, is there any chance you'd be willing to show how you made the projectors fit, mounted them, etc since your post only mentions bending the arms to make them lowrise.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old August 16th, 2019, 04:01 Thread Starter
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Your PM box is full so I'm writing here instead.

I'm curious what Morimoto projector you used? E36 foglights are cheap as hell nowadays, not to mention I've got an extra set since I've got an E36, so I'm hoping to duplicate your kit. Other than flipping, is there any chance you'd be willing to show how you made the projectors fit, mounted them, etc since your post only mentions bending the arms to make them lowrise.
Hi James,

I used Mini D2S square projectors. I had to cut out the back of the housing to fit the projectors. The projectors are so big that only a small portion of the lens itself fits into the housing. I had to use JB Weld to make mounts for attaching the projector to the housing. The E36 housings I got have a metal housing, that's how I was able to use the JB Weld.

The mounts I used are just some threaded wall anchors I had laying around in the garage. After I attached the projectors to the housings, I made a shield out of sheet metal to wrap around the projectors but it was impossible to make them air tight/water tight so I had to wrap everything in metal air duct tape I also had laying around the garage. It's not pretty or production quality but it's worked perfectly for the past 3 years.

Finally, I had to cut out a portion of the stock headlight bucket to fit the whole assembly inside. I used a flat piece of steel strip to make the L shaped mount for the headlight. Drilled a hole in the mount to attach the back of the projector to the mount. The assembly is so big that I had to cut off a bracket inside the headlight bucket assembly so that the headlight could close.
















Last edited by the bee guy; August 16th, 2019 at 04:04.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old August 16th, 2019, 18:00
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Those came out pretty nice actually. I wonder if you could seal the whole assembly in a rubberized type spray can coating vs tape?

I assume you've tried Morimoto H1's that are drop-in type of projectors? You'd mentioned smaller housings sucked but MAYBE they've improved and/or you didn't try these. I'm guessing depth is still a concern looking at them now though.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F302234816737

My choices are copying your work for roughly $200 or $500 +/- Rev6, which I've yet to see how focused their beam pattern is.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old August 16th, 2019, 18:21 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m5james View Post
Those came out pretty nice actually. I wonder if you could seal the whole assembly in a rubberized type spray can coating vs tape?

I assume you've tried Morimoto H1's that are drop-in type of projectors? You'd mentioned smaller housings sucked but MAYBE they've improved and/or you didn't try these. I'm guessing depth is still a concern looking at them now though.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F302234816737

My choices are copying your work for roughly $200 or $500 +/- Rev6, which I've yet to see how focused their beam pattern is.
Rubberized coating won't work because even with the sheet metal shroud I made around the projector, the gaps are too large for a spray on coating to seal. This isn't a problem with traditional retrofits because the entire projector assembly usually sits inside a headlight housing so the housing itself is sealed.

I built a prototype with Morimoto Match Box projectors, they were the only ones small enough to fit inside the housing as they were meant to be used as fog lights. The lighting is total crap, so I scrapped that idea.

I've seen the beam pattern of the Rev 6 headlights and they aren't that great. I believe I read somewhere that their projector's weren't meant to be used with HID's either but I could be wrong.
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