How To Retrofit HID Projectors Into New Edge Headlights


I do my own stunts
Cougarstang’s how-to on retrofitting bixenon HID projectors into your new edge mustang:

How to go from this:

To this:





Disclaimer: DOT-approved headlights that have been altered in any way are not legal for road use. As everyone knows, HID “plug and play” kits are illegal. Technically full retrofits are not approved for road use as well, even though they mostly maintain the same DOT-approved lighting characteristics of the OEM vehicle. This article will explain how to retrofit OEM HID equipment into your new edge mustang. Similar procedures may be followed for other models.

You will also be working with high voltage equipment. It should go without saying, but exercise great caution when working with HID components. I’m not responsible for any damage to yourself or your car.

Difficulty: It took me a great deal of time only because I’m very meticulous and had to experiment a lot. For me as a first timer with no guide, I’d rate it a 7/10, but if you have all of the parts you need ahead of time and have the knowledge of how to do it ahead of time (something I did not have), I’d give it a 5/10. If you’re not savvy with precise measurements/cutting and patient work, then this isn’t the project for you. Most of the difficulty stems from the fact that new edge headlight housings are irritatingly narrow, creating fitment issues. If you’re adapting this information to a model year with bigger headlights, then the project becomes a bit easier.

Cost: $400-$600, depending on where you source your parts. I was very patient and found good deals on everything. However, since I didn’t have a how-to that describes what works with new edge mustangs, these savings were offset by extra parts I bought in my failed experiments. You can sidestep the work and have a retrofitter do it for you, but expect to pay much more.

I would recommend dealing with Matt at The Retrofit Source ( He’s a great guy to deal with and has very reasonable prices on projectors, lenses, ballasts, shrouds, package deals, etc.

I also appreciate the regulars at the hidplanet forums. Most of my research was done there and the lots of the information you see here is a paraphrasing of what I’ve learned through posting on the forums.

Background: Why is all of this work necessary? Why not just buy a cheap “plug n play HID kit” and place it in my stock housings?

This is always a hot point of contention. It is by far the cheapest way to get the most light coming out of your stock reflector housings. Most people, however, leave it at that without asking themselves “where is all of that extra light going?” After understanding the answers to that question, you could find yourself driving a very dangerous vehicle at night. Let’s get down to basics:

Our stock reflector headlights use a 9007/HB5 bulb as its light source. This is a dual filament bulb rated at 1000 lumens lowbeam, 1350 lumens highbeam. They run at 55/65 watts respectively. They’re adequate for what they’re designed to do, but are not particularly efficient when compared to some of the better halogen bulbs such as the H1 or the even more desirable HIR bulbs (which unfortunately don’t exist in dual filament form). Our headlights’ reflectors are designed with the 9007 bulb in mind. It has a cylindrical axial filament as its light source, meaning the cylinder-shaped glowing filament runs parallel to the bulb’s vertical axis in contrast to the traverse filament of the old 9004/HB1 bulb, which runs perpendicular to this axis. For comparison:


The most important thing to consider here is that the design of the reflector bowl is completely dependent on the light source it will be equipped with. A reflector bowl is basically a big paraboloid or a combination of many paraboloids whose foci relate to the shape of the light source. If you move that focal point or change the shape of the light source located there even slightly, the beam pattern can dramatically change. Think about the 9004/9007 difference: The pattern of the filament is dramatically different. If you put a 9007 bulb in a housing designed for a 9004 bulb, the location and shape of the light source is off a bit and you’ll scatter light in different directions. This is why 9007 bulbs aren’t full out replacements for 9004 bulbs. Thankfully, the 9007 and 9004 bulbs are so dim that this is hardly an issue if you do swap them. The old maxima crowd loves the 9007 upgrade for this reason, as the slightly skewed beam pattern is barely noticeable with such a weak bulb. Keep focal points and shapes of light sources in mind though as we start thinking about much brighter bulbs.

Now consider your standard d2s HID bulb. This generates MUCH more light than your run of the mill 9007 bulb. Rated at 3200 lumens (for 4300k bulbs), it also runs at a cooler 35 watts. An HID bulb generates light in a manner radically different than that of a standard halogen bulb. An HID bulb ignites salts inside a capsule by running a huge amount of voltage through two closely spaced (~4.2mm) electrodes, then regulating it via alternating current (that’s what the ballast and igniter accomplish). Here’s a picture of an HID capsule from one of my Philips d2s bulbs:


Now you may think that this produces a cylindrical axial light source just like the 9007 bulb does. Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. As electricity passes through the electrodes, heat plays some funny tricks and forces the shape of the light to arc, creating a nice crescent shape. You may be thinking “So what? The light source is so small what does it matter?” Think back to the reflector housing design. It all depends on a precise focal point where the light is located. If you move that focal point even slightly slightly, the effect gets magnified as the paraboloid(s) deflect light out in front of the car. That’s why a dual filament bulb works so well as a highbeam. The highbeam filament is located slightly off the main axis, which is enough to alter the beam pattern to be much higher. Now think about the case of placing an HID bulb with a crescent-shaped light source in place of a cylindrical glowing filament. Not only is the light source most likely located slightly off of the original filament’s location, the shape is radically different, causing light to be thrown in directions different than those of the reflector’s original design.

The best intuitive explanation that has been discussed is the glasses analogy. Placing an HID bulb in a reflector housing is like putting on someone else’s glasses. You may be able to see, but not always particularly well. The lenses have to be made for you. This is the same idea in designing a reflector housing with a specific light source in mind.

I’m just touching the basics here. For a more detailed analysis, I recommend reading Daniel Stern’s explanation of the optics behind all of this at his website:

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Lots of people try to discredit him saying that he has something to sell, but if you do your research anywhere else you’ll come up with the same results. He is citing scientific fact, not the pseudoscience heralded by HID kit marketers. He presents the material in the most understandable manner in my opinion.

Now let’s look at some real-world pictures. Here’s an example (from of an HID “plug n play” kit placed in a truck’s reflector housings, which are designed to accept halogen bulbs:


Now compare this to the same truck equipped with projectors that are designed to accept HID bulbs:


Notice how terribly scattered the light is in the first picture? Compare that to the second picture where there is a sharp cutoff.

You may also be thinking that some cars are better off than other cars when improperly equipped with plug and play HID kits in their halogen housings. While this is true, it generally ranges from bad to really bad. Let’s see how our specific headlights fare:

Here's a d2s hid bulb in it's rightfully designed home: an HID projector. Notice the sharp cutoff line, evenly distributed foreground, wide beam pattern, and most important of all: no light above the cutoff line = no dangerous glare for oncoming traffic. The step design also further alleviates any potential glare since the left side is slightly lower, a feature that's most appreciated when these beams are shining 200ft down the road.


Now here's a stock mustang headlight assembly with the same hid bulb in place of the stock 9007 bulb. Notice the terribly scattered light, ill-defined beam pattern, and worse of all the terrible upward glare. It may not look too bad in my living room, but think what that upward light must look like to oncoming traffic.


I do want to acknowledge that these pictures use d2s bulbs, which are designed for HID projectors. HID reflectors use d2r bulbs, which are basically d2s bulbs with a small glare shield near the capsule. The glare shield helps alleviate some hotspot difficulties in designing HID reflector bowls. The same problem still arises If you place a d2r bulb in a reflector housing though, as the shape and location of the light source are still different.

By now it should be clear that proper HID equipment, especially projector equipment, places almost all of the light under a sharp cutoff in a nice even pattern. Compare the terribly scattered light of your plug and play kit to the beam pattern of one of the most illustrative pictures of what HID headlights should look like:


Note how very little light shines above headlight-level, which is what you want. If you put a car with a plug and play kit in this same room, the top of the room will be illuminated.

Ask yourself this question when looking at HID kits: Why do I need to illuminate the trees above me? There’s absolutely no reason to do this when you’re driving at night. Not only does it create glare for oncoming traffic, it creates an illusion of being able to see better because more “stuff” is illuminated. This is something that plenty of people out there miss. The common counterargument to avoiding kits is that some people don’t care if they’re creating glare for oncoming traffic. While disturbingly inconsiderate, in some cases advocates of this philosophy are also fooling themselves into thinking they can see much better. Too much foreground lighting is actually a bad thing when driving on a highway at night. You don’t need to see what’s immediately in front of you. Rather, you need to see what’s 15+ feet ahead. That’s why plenty of OEM equipment features low foreground illumination and why we usually incorrectly perceive it to be inadequate. In fact, by altering the light source in your reflector housing via plug and play kits, you’re also in great danger of limiting the distance of the light beam. Try driving at 80mph on a dark highway at night and you’ll have a greater appreciation of being able to see 75+ feet ahead of you. With an HID kit and its altered light source, chances are that not enough light is focused at this distance because it’s being scattered in directions it wasn’t designed to go. Also, by illuminating objects above headlight level you’re creating far more distractions when you should just be focusing on the road ahead of you. OEM equipment illuminates only what you need to see in order to maximize nighttime driver performance. When you throw in an HID kit and start illuminating the wrong things in an inconsistent pattern, nighttime driving performance and reaction times can be reduced to alarmingly low levels, even if you think you can see better.

Now you may be thinking “Why can’t I just aim the headlights lower to cut down on glare?” It’s not that simple. First off, think about how much extra light will be reflected upward into oncoming traffic when the roads are wet. Second, that can further reduce distance illumination, which is critical on dark highways. Third, remember how too much foreground lighting can be a bad thing? You need that light to adhere to a very specific pattern that maximizes nighttime driver performance by illuminating only what he/she needs to see and still gives an acceptable distance while minimizing glare to oncoming traffic. OEM manufacturers have millions of engineering dollars to achieve this. When you change the heart of optics behind your headlights, you throw all of that away.

I will also point out that some light above headlight-level IS a good thing and that even a negligible amount of glare is unavoidable. Think of why all traffic signs are coated in a reflective material. You want to illuminate them from far down the road. The reflective material, however, requires a VERY small amount of light in order to make the whole sign visible from a reasonable distance. That’s why all DOT-approved headlights have a very, very small amount of light that’s reflected upwards. This creates very little glare to oncoming traffic, but keeps signs very visible. Some projectors even have what we call “squirrel finders” that place a small amount of light above the cutoff to accomplish this. HID bulbs in reflector housings, however, create an unacceptable amount of light above headlight-level.

It’s not about how much light you have. It’s really all about where that light is going. Otherwise we’d all have spotlights in front of our cars.

Let’s summarize with some cliff notes:
Why it is a very bad idea to mount HID bulbs in housings designed for halogen bulbs:
- Creates an unacceptable amount of glare for oncoming traffic. This is a danger to both the driver and to others.
- Despite the appearance of having better headlights, it can actually reduce nighttime driving performance because most of that extra light is being wasted and not focused where it needs to be. This is a serious danger to the driver.

Okay, I understand the dangers of cutting corners with cheap HID plug and play kits. How do I get better light output from of my stang?

Unfortunately, since pre-05 mustangs had no factory HID equipment designed for them and new edges are stuck with lackluster 9007 bulbs that have no HIR counterparts, our options are limited. The way I see it, there are 2 routes to take:

1) Make the most out of your existing 9007 setup with a relay harness and good bulbs.
2) Retrofit HID projectors into your existing equipment

Option (1) was the first attempt I made to improve my mustang’s lighting. The output of halogen bulbs is heavily dependent on the voltage they receive. This is why our lights dim so much when we turn off our engines, as voltage drops from (ideally) 13.8v to 12v. Lumen loss is related to voltage drop in an exponential manner, not linear. In laymen’s turns, a small drop in voltage can create a huge drop in light output. Some cars from the factory can lose significant voltage by the time the stock wiring reaches the headlights. This is because manufacturers tend to use thin wiring and a long path that routs all the way beneath the dash board back out to the headlights. Combine this with other age-related factors that create resistance, and you can have some serious voltage drop. A relay harness avoids this by using the stock wiring to trigger a relay that connects the battery directly to the headlights using thick (ideally 12awg) wiring. I built my own harness with this in mind. Here’s a diagram detailing how I did it:


I also combined this with a pair of GE nighthawk (not nighhawk sport) bulbs, which are considered to be among the best 9007 bulbs on the market. Stay away from blue tinted bulbs, as they actually inhibit usable light by filtering out certain wavelengths.

Overall though, I saw a decent increase in brightness, but I was still somewhat disappointed. I could have gone with aftermarket bulbs that run at 80 watts, but didn’t want to risk melting anything in my headlights housings. Here’s where option (2) comes into play.

Why can’t I just buy aftermarket halogen projector headlights for our mustangs and equip them with HID bulbs?

This is a very valid question, and a somewhat reasonable middle ground to take. Here’s the reasoning: We basically have 4 common types of headlights on the majority of cars on the road today:

Halogen reflectors
Halogen projectors
HID reflectors
HID projectors

At this point we know very well how reflectors are designed with a specific bulb in mind and how disastrous an HID bulb can be in a halogen reflector. What about projectors? Headlight projectors basically take a small reflective bowl and a “cutoff shield” inside the projector and project the image of the shield outward through a convex lens. The result is a sharp cutoff with light being distributed relatively evenly below it. The cutoff shield is either “stepped” or “sloped”, meaning it steps downward on the left side (or right side in some countries) to minimize glare for oncoming traffic.

The natural question at hand is how do halogen projectors fare with HID bulbs in them. This is a tricky one, as the results can vary tremendously. There are 2 main components in a reflector design: the reflector bowl and the light source. In a headlight’s projector, there are 4 main components: the reflector bowl, the light source, the cutoff shield, and the convex lens. Similar to reflector headlights, each projector is designed with the light source in mind. That is, the focal point of the lens and the reflector bowl are designed assuming a specific type of bulb will be used. That’s why you see H4 projectors, H1 projectors, etc. But what about the cutoff shield? This should prevent the dangerous glare if we drop an HID bulb in a halogen projector, right? The answer is almost always yes (some weird halogen projectors sometimes are an exception), but there’s a drawback. Remember, the lens and reflector bowl are designed with a certain light source in mind. While the different light source shape may not affect the cutoff shield, it can affect the distribution of light under it. Think about it like a flashlight, which has an adjustment to go from a wide, dim pattern to a narrow, bright pattern. If you’re designing a projector around an assumed light source of an H4 bulb, you want to design the lens and reflector bowl to throw light in a narrow pattern since you only have 1000 lumens to work with. Whereas if you’re designing an HID projector, you have 3200 lumens to work with, so you can afford to throw the light in a nice, wide pattern.

What does this mean for dropping an HID bulb in a halogen projector? As you would expect, the center of the beam pattern can be really intense, with some potential light leakage on the sides. In some cases it might even be too intense. Here’s a good illustrative example, care of Christopher (gold94corolla) on hidplanet:


On the top is an FX-R (replica FX35) projector from with a d2s HID bulb. Notice the wide, even distribution of light and the super sharp cutoff. On the bottom is the same type of d2s bulb in an aftermarket halogen projector. Notice how the cutoff is slightly messed up, but still intact for the most part. More significantly, notice how the center is much brighter with some light leakage on the sides. This fares much better than an HID bulb in a reflector housing does, as glare isn’t too much of an issue for oncoming traffic. However, some might still be concerned about the uneven distribution of light. Remember, too much foreground lighting is a bad thing.

If I had to summarize the prospect of using HID bulbs in halogen projectors, I’d say it’s better than dropping them in halogen reflector housings, but nowhere near ideal. Proceed with caution.

Doing the full HID projector Retrofit

Okay so you’ve gotten this far and decided that you’re craving more usable light and want to be responsible about it. You’ve also decided that you’re handy enough and have the patience to go through with it. Let’s begin then.

Tools and supplies needed:

Dremel or some sort of cutting tool
Heat gun or big oven
Big flathead screwdriver or prying tool
Some sort of drill (access to a drill press is preferred)
Sharpie markers
Mask, gloves, goggles
A few clamps
Soldering equipment
A standard tool box with basic wrenches, screwdrivers, etc.
Adhesive for shroud attachment
Painter's tape

If you use the same mounting method as me:
Drill tap set for 10-24 screws
1/8” Stainless steel 90 degree bracket
Four (4) 10-24x1 screws
Four (4) 4m 7x25mm screws
Two (2) 4m 7x50mm screws
Four (4) 10/24 nylock nuts
Eight (8) #10 sealing washers or #10 metal washer + 3/16x1/2x1/16 rubber washer combos

Step 1: Gather your HID and headlight equipment

Here’s where you need to sit down with a budget in mind and plan your project. Here are the major components you need and what type you have to decide to get:

Relay wiring harness
Mustang headlights

The cost and difficulty of the project can vary greatly depending on what you choose. Thankfully, you have the benefit of my research and failed experiments to help you here. You also have the benefit of having most of what you need available through Matt at . There, you can buy equipment (with the ‘-r’ designation) that emulates OEM equipment at a reasonable price. I think the easiest way to piece everything together would be through his bundle deals.

Here’s what I chose for my project:

Projectors: FX35 Bixenon

This is a very important consideration for a number of reasons. There are a number of good and bad projectors out there that vary in cost, cutoff style, beam width, size, and overall output. Everyone has different opinions, especially on hidplanet, but I can comment on general consensus. One of the best lowbeam projectors out there is the s2000 with a clear lens. We have a problem with lowbeam-only projectors though, since our mustangs have a dual filament halogen setup. Cars that have lowbeam-only projectors also have a separate halogen reflector highbeam, which we don’t have. If we retrofit these types of projectors in our late model mustangs, we lose our highbeam capabilities. The ideal course of action for us is to use a “bixenon” projector. These projectors are equipped with a solenoid that moves the cutoff shield inside of the projector in order to allow light above the cutoff, creating the effect of a highbeam using the same projector. The Acura TL is considered to have one of the best bixenon projectors out there, however it’s gigantic and won’t fit into our headlight housings. A good compromise is the Infiniti FX35 as it’s smaller and still offers impressive output. The Infiniti G35 projector is also the same with slightly different mounting points. That being said, I must warn you that it BARELY fits in the new edge mustang housing. It takes some precise cutting and measuring, but I promise you it does fit. This is the course of action I chose.


A popular alternative is theretrofitsource’s “FX-R” projector, which is a reverse-engineered replica of the FX35 projector. Output is near identical to the FX35 projector with clear lens (see below), but with a slightly more intense center.

Another option is to use a pair of projectors that were designed specifically for retrofitting, such as the Chinese-made “G3” bixenon projectors or Morimoto bixenon mini projectors. Output is impressive for their size. I haven’t experimented with them, but they’re designed to be much easier to mount without any cutting. They basically mount right onto the stock bulb opening in the reflector bowl. You still have to open up the headlights to mount them though. I believe they might need to be modified for the 9007 bulb hole, but it’s feasible. This could be a nice alternative if you’re leery about cutting your reflector bowls and fabricating mounting equipment. The drawback to this is that you have to use aftermarket plug and play kit bulbs with these aftermarket projectors and can’t use OEM quality d2s bulbs. This is what I would call a true “plug and play” though, because you don’t have to cut anything, but you still are using equipment designed for HID.

Choose wisely.

Lenses: FX-R 2.5” clear lenses

Projectors equipped with clear lenses often times have a nice, exotic color flare at the edge of the cutoff due to the prism effect. Late model Maximas, Land Rovers, and Porches are well-known for this. It’s the source of that nice “color flicker” that you see in your rear view mirror when they hit bumps, and what most “blue bulb” people try to mimic (rather poorly IMO). Most OEM lenses however are usually frosted or fresnel. This softens the cutoff line a bit and eliminates much of the exotic color. Depending on the model year, some OEM FX35 lenses are semi-frosted and keep a nice sharp cutoff with little color. My comparison picture above was taken using the OEM semi clear lens. I decided to upgrade to a clear lens from theretrofitsource, as it increases output slightly and gives a nice, blue cutoff. This choice is personal preference. Keep in mind that the sharper a cutoff is, the more annoying the “bouncing effect” can be when you hit rough roads with our stiff suspension. That’s one of my few pet peeves about this project.

If you opt for FX-R projectors, the clear lenses are automatically installed on them.

Bulbs: Philips 85122+ d2s 4300k

In general, you want to stay away from aftermarket HID bulbs for a number of reasons. The quality of salts is the number one reason, but quality control overall is the important consideration. OEM Philips or Osram bulbs are top notch, but carry a high price tag. One exception to the rule: The morimotos are supposed to be good quality for Asian bulbs according to word of mouth at hidplanet. I don’t have experience with them, so can’t comment personally, but they’re certainly a more cost-effective route to take. The Philips 85122+ bulb is similar to the 85122, but it won’t “color shift” as it gets older. Regular 85122 bulbs shift more toward to the 5000k color range as they get older, whereas 85122+ stay around 4300k for all of their usable life.

I also recommend sticking with 4300k-5000k bulbs. As you go higher in the color temperature range and start playing with blue and purple bulbs, you lose a significant amount of usable light. The human eye, in general, is also much more sensitive to blue light. Since the goal of this project is to increase your nighttime vision, I’d recommend staying in the reasonable color temperature range. If you use a clear lens, you’ll still get the “cool factor” with a nice color flicker at the cutoff.

Also shy away from used bulbs. HID bulbs may have a ridiculously long life, but their output actually drops off exponentially after extended use. Depending on how often you use them, you might actually see a 5-year old HID bulb get dimmer than a halogen bulb. Go new with these so you can start with two full 3200 lumen beasts. Mine were used and I’m considering changing them because I don’t know how many hours they’ve been run for.

Ballasts: Matsush ita Generation III

Here you can mostly take your pick. I chose to go with the Matsu gen IIIs because of OEM quality and they’re potted from the factory. This means that the inside of the ballasts are filled with a nonconductive heat resistant compound that protects the sensitive electronic components from water damage. Many OEM ballasts are not potted on the inside because they’re designed to be mounted inside of a sealed headlight housing, making them vulnerable to water damage in a retrofit project. One caveat: the Matsu gen III is “splashproof”, not waterproof. Although half of the ballast is designed to be exposed to the elements in the engine bay, the other side of it has an exposed connector that is normally inside the Infinity/Nissan headlight. I had to seal this connector to make it reasonably safe in the confines of the mustang engine bay. I did this by first covering it with a layer of liquid electrical tape:


Then I smooshed a layer of rubber butyl over it for a second layer of protection:


Lots of aftermarket ballasts will work just as well, perhaps with a shorter lifespan than OEM quality ballasts. Any 35w ballast will perform identically. The only way you’ll see better output is with an aftermarket 55w ballast (no OEM ballast is more than 35w), but you’ll also see reduced bulb life. Use 55w with caution. In my opinion, the output with 35w is more than satisfactory. Overall though, take your pick of ballasts with little concern. Many aftermarket ballasts are potted too, so you don’t have to worry about waterproofing. If you do choose an OEM ballast, make sure it can handle a car wash or a downpour.

Relay wiring harness: Custom Cougarstang harness

As mentioned above, I already built my own relay harness for improved halogen output. I had the luxury of simply modifying what I already had in front of me as follows:


All I did was add a 1N4003 diode from the highbeam trigger wire to the lowbeam trigger wire, and a 1000 microfarad capacitor in parallel with lowbeam trigger and ground. The diode guarantees that both relays are closed when the highbeam is engaged and I made it so that the highbeam relay connects only the bixenon solenoid. With this setup, the lowbeam relay is always closed, providing constant power to the ballasts. The capacitor prevents the ballasts from momentarily losing power when I switch to highbeam and is an important consideration in a bixenon HID harness.

The harness’ new female 9007 sockets that normally plug into the bulb now plug into two adapters that I built using old 9007 bulbs that take care of the ballast and bixenon solenoid. Details will be given below.

I may have overdone some of this, but I made it so that it’s completely plug and play. I can easily switch back to halogen in 5 minutes should something go wrong or if I sell my car in the future.

You have the option of buying a premade HID harness that will likely be more efficient with 1 relay. These can be had relatively cheap. DO NOT skip out on the harness though. Ballasts draw plenty of power on startup and the stock wiring is not something you want to rely on for this new electrical demand. Invest in the harness. You’ll thank me one day.

Shrouds: Modified “Ocular” shrouds from theretrofitsource

This was a giant pain in the @$$ for me. The small amount of space in our mustang headlight housings limits the options for this. A shroud is not necessary for many closed projectors such as the FX35 (since no significant light leaks out), so it’s purely cosmetic. All it does is hide the relatively ugly projector housing. This is also where plenty of customization can take place, and why my mustang’s headlights are currently somewhat unique (unless everyone decides to copy my choices :) )

Determined to make a custom shroud, I searched every inch of home depot and took 3 good shots at making one out of various materials. Nothing looked good enough in my mind. I eventually settled on Ocular shrouds from and trimmed them to fit the mustang housing. This is a very important consideration here, because it affects what tools you need. The ocular shrouds curve inward, creating a bit of a problem with the mounting method I chose (see the mounting procedure below for an explanation). I had to sand down an uncomfortable amount of material off of the bottom and drill a VERY precise L bracket in order to get them to fit and still mount them how I wanted. This precise drill measurement created the need for a drill press for me.

Alternatively, I can suggest the e-46 (BMW) shrouds. sells them, and they appear to fit a little nicer. I haven’t tried any of the other shrouds, so this might involve a bit of experimentation on your side. Be creative!

Mustang headlights: Aftermarket clear corners

This was another source of time, frustration, and failed experimentation. In order to mount your projectors, you must be able to separate the lenses of your headlights from the back housing. Let me save you plenty of time here: OEM Ford lenses were forged in the fiery depths of mount doom, and only there they may be undone. That sounds great in terms of OEM quality, as it really is testament to how well-made these units are. Unfortunately for retrofitters, it creates a huge pain as you can’t separate the lenses using conventional heating methods without damaging the plastic housings thanks to an impossibly sturdy sealant that Ford uses. Unless you want to use a hot knife and are very good at plastic welding, go aftermarket here.

I chose to go with the no-name clear corner assemblies. While the quality is a bit lower than Ford’s units, this turned out to be the wise choice for two reasons. First, they’re sealed using rubber butyl, which is wonderful as you can use heat to separate the lens from the housing. Second, I completely lucked out with a feature that I didn’t know existed for any mustang headlight. These headlights have a horizontal adjustment mechanism! Not all Ford units do not. While I have not confirmed year-by-year facts, it seems as though some Ford units randomly have it and some don’t. Having this adjustment screw turned out to be an incredible boon because it saves a lot of frustration down the road. This will be more apparent in the mounting method section below, but trust me on this. Make sure you get headlights that have horizontal adjustment capabilities.

Step 2: Open your headlight assemblies

This will require your chosen source of heat. Many people will recommend the oven method. Do a google search for how to do this, as it’s been detailed on many forums. I prefer the heat gun method as it’s marginally safer and more convenient in my opinion. If you know what you’re doing though, you can use the oven method and avoid melting stuff.

I chose to tie the headlights to a stool and make the seam easily accessible all around.


If you have any clips on the headlight, remove them. Also remove two bolts around the parking light and anything else that your particular headlight might have that physically connects the lens, bezel, and housing.



Now grab your trusty heat gun and set it anywhere from 450-500 degrees. As long as you don’t stay on one spot for more than a few seconds, you shouldn’t have to worry about melting anything


After heating the seam up, start to pry (gently at first) along any edge with a screwdriver or anything flat. Try not to pry too hard to the point where you deform the housing. Periodically reheat the seam and repeat until you separate the lens and bezel from the housing. It might take a little elbow grease depending on the quality of the sealant. Take your time with it. Be very careful not to scratch the corner reflector with your screwdriver.






You’ve probably worked up a sweat with the heat gun around you. Before you do the other headlight, grab yourself a beer. I recommend Fat Tire.


Repeat the same procedure on the other headlight.


Step 3: Cut/modify your reflectors to accept your projectors

This is where patience and meticulous measuring/cutting will be required. Start by removing the reflector bowls from the headlight housing. They should slide off of the prongs that they’re mounted to with a little elbow grease. Don’t break anything.

Slide the glare shield off of the top mounting slot


Here’s where some good eyeballing will be required. Most headlights have a set of lines built into them that indicate the axis on which the bulb is seated. Ours do not. You will have to get a good feel for this by using some sort of straight edge to line up with the bulb and use it to mark the vertical axis. This is important because you want to be as close as possible to mounting the projector in line with the bulb’s axis. The newfound horizontal adjustment capability in the aftermarket headlights will take care of the rest. Just get a good idea of it. Here I marked an extra OEM Ford reflector that I junked from a failed experiment for practice:



Now draw an outline of the bottom of the FX35 projector (or whichever projector you chose), including the bixenon solenoid. Cutting this out will allow the extra room that the FX35 projector demands in our small headlight housings. The two red dots that I marked will be holes for the L bracket mounting method that I chose.


Make some markings on the roof and back that will depict where you will cut. The projector will need this extra space to be mounted far enough back in the headlight. In retrospect, the lens created a VERY tight fit for me when I sealed them up. Since hindsight is 20/20, I’d recommend you make your cut marks a little farther back in the housing than I’ve pictured above and here


Break out the old trusty dremel and have at it with your favorite cutting wheel and sanding bits. WEAR A MASK, GLOVES, AND GOGGLES HERE. The outside of the housing is aluminum, and those shavings can be pretty nasty on your skin, in your eyes, and in your lungs. The bulk of the projector is white and powdery, and most likely is also bad for your lungs.


Hindsight advice: Use compressed air or something similar to remove debris from the chrome. The aluminum shavings will scratch the chrome finish if you rub it off, albeit very slightly. Thankfully you’ll probably use a shroud that covers up most of the chrome, but you still want to preserve it as best as possible. Your reflector should look like this:



Now line up your modified reflector with the untouched one to duplicate your cut marks. Repeat the same procedure.


You’ll notice that the top of the reflector is very thin. I would advise against cutting the top out completely. The reflector may seem sturdy, but the projector is actually pretty heavy in comparison. You want to maintain as much of the reflector’s structural integrity as possible. I chose to scuff the top a bit with some sandpaper at the weak point and add some JB Weld to it to strengthen it.


Test fit your projector to make sure it drops into place. Try placing the reflector back on the housing and eyeballing the lens to make sure that it’ll reseal with your projector mounted and shroud in place. This involved a lot of eyeballing and trial and error on my part. If you mounted it further back on the reflector than I did, then you should have little difficulty.

Also, cover the lens up with painter’s tape to lower the risk of scratching it.

Step 4: Build mounting brackets

Here’s where a little bit of creativity goes a long way. There are plenty of ways to mount a projector onto a reflector piece. Many people use adhesives and some bolts parallel to the projector’s main axis for stability. One of the biggest issues with these types of crude mounting methods, however, is the rotational setting. As you would expect, our headlights are not blessed with rotational adjustment capabilities. This is an important part of mounting your projectors, as the cutoffs are very sharp. You want your cutoffs to be as close to horizontal as possible and you want them both to line up. While it’s very difficult to get this 100% perfect, it’s very manageable to get it to an acceptable 95%. Here’s where a special type of mounting comes into play.

I have to give credit to JNC at the hidplanet forums. We call this the “JNC rotational mounting method” due to his insight. It’s very clever. The idea is to mount the projector using two L-brackets on the bottom of the projector with two screws on the bottom of the bracket and one screw on the top. This provides the stability needed when mounting a heavy projector to a light reflector, but also gives slight rotational adjustment capabilities on the spot. Since the L-brackets are very sturdy, only one screw on the top is needed for stability. When you make your hole for it, try to give it a crescent shape for adjustment. Here’s how the projector mounts with the L-brackets and stability screw:


You will notice that this requires another hole in the reflector for the stability screw to run through. The 4 screws on the projector itself are M4 metric. I used 10/24 standard screws for the bottom of the L-brackets.

The trick in this mounting method lies in the use of nylock nuts. If you follow the screws from top to bottom, it’s compiled as follows:

Nylock nut
Metal washer
Rubber washer
Reflector base
Rubber washer
Metal washer
Screw head

In lieu of rubber/metal washers, you could use sealing washers if you can find them. The nylock nut allows the screw to spin freely while still remaining securely fastened to the base of the reflector. Spinning this screw pushes the L-bracket up or down because they’ll be threaded. This creates a rotational adjustment mechanism, albeit a minor one. The idea is to initially mount it as close to horizontal as possible, and make some minor adjustments before you seal everything up. This rotational mounting method will allow a small enough adjustment (approximately +- 15 degrees) to achieve this.

To make the brackets, you can start with a strip of 90 degree 1/8” stainless steel. You can find this at Lowe’s and probably home depot. Do not use anything thinner, like 1/16”, as it will not provide the structural integrity that you need. This is where having a drill press will come in handy. My first run at making brackets went well, but I realized that unless you make the bottom threads close enough to the back of the bracket, there will be some serious shroud-fitting problems. Here’s what I mean:


If the brackets stand out too far, your shroud may not fit on the bottom. This is a problem with the ocular shrouds. If you try a different shroud you may not have this issue. Nevertheless I had to make new brackets meticulously with a drill press.

Make some measurements on your angled steel so that your bottom bolt clears the head of the top bolt. Don’t forget some oil or WD-40 to help with the metal shavings. Make your holes with your drill/drill press.


The top hole that mounts to the projector doesn’t need to be threaded, but you must meticulously thread the bottom hole. Since I’m using 10/24 bolts, I picked up a hand threader for 10/24 threads. I used WD-40 for the cut. It’s actually very easy to use. Just make sure everything is lined up perfectly orthogonal to the bottom of the bracket. Slowly make your cut.


You also want to angle your brackets as pictured below to make sure everything fits.


Mounted on the projector:


With the bracket holes drilled as close together as possible, my shrouds fit a lot better


To get everything to fit, I had to do some trimming of the shroud. Naturally the top and bottom need to be trimmed. Because of the L-bracket mounting, plenty of the inside had to be shaved down as well.


Once again, a different shroud will likely yield less fitment issues. I had to drill and grind my brackets with a near zero margin of error to get the oculars to work.

Although many of the pictures don’t show it, I mostly worked with blue tape protecting the lens. Better safe than sorry.


As for the top stability screw, there is some difficulty since it goes through the housing at an angle. I used some rubber washers, metal washers, and nuts to tighten it down slightly, but still give enough play for rotational adjustment. You will tighten it all down when you have everything fully adjusted. Excuse the silicone. I couldn’t get the outer washer to lay flat. In the end, the silicone was unnecessary. It doesn’t affect the stability.



It’s probably a good idea to use some threadlocker on this nut or a nylock nut when you’re ready to finish up. You don’t want the nuts on the stability screw to come loose, or you’ll have very shaky projectors.

Step 5: Aim the projectors

This step will be very manageable thanks to the horizontal aiming mechanism that your aftermarket lenses hopefully have, and the JNC mounting method that you’ve hopefully chosen to employ.

HID projectors have a very specific aiming procedure. Find a flat surface where you can shine them on a wall somewhere. Set up your test equipment (a 12v battery jump starter is a great test tool) and mount the housings on your car. Park the car 25 feet away from the wall.



Draw a horizontal line on the wall at the exact same height as the center of your projector lenses. I accomplished this by using a laser line level. Also mark the locations of the centers of the lenses on this line at the same distance apart that they are on the car. Ignore the white line in the following picture:


Fire up your first projector. Even though I was very meticulous in my initial mounting, you can see the horizontal cutoff was still a bit off.


With the headlight housing still mounted on the car, make your L bracket adjustment by lifting the reflector up and using a screwdriver and wrench. Repeat until you have a nice level cutoff.



Do the same for your other projector


until your cutoffs share the same horizontal line


You may notice that my left projector had a cutoff that slopes downward. The FX projectors are great, but their cutoff shields are notoriously frustrating. I had to bend it slightly to get the cutoff to level off a bit, but it threw off the sharpness of the cutoff. To compensate, I had to space the lens a bit. I used a piece of rubber from the plumbing section of Lowes and cut it into a little gasket. I placed it between the lens and the housing as follows:


This altered the cutoff a bit to an acceptable level and kept it sharp enough for my liking. If you get FX/FXR lenses, be prepared to play a bit with lens spacing to get perfect cutoffs. I still never got it 100% perfect, but close enough is good enough. Make sure you do all of your testing at 25 feet for this, as cutoffs tend to have rainbow effects in closer ranges. In other words, your satisfaction with your lens spacing and cutoff shape/color should always be based on how it looks from 25 feet away.

You also want to make sure that at 25 feet from the wall with the top step lined up with your horizontal mark, the bottom step drops anywhere from 2.1”-2.5” as per DOT specs. This will provide a good compromise between left side illumination distance and glare for oncoming traffic.


The step in each beam should also line up with the marks that you made of where your projectors are in relation to each other. Later, when everything is sealed up, you can check to make sure they’re lined up straight by driving forward and backward at this wall and making sure that the steps don’t get closer or further away from each other. Use the horizontal adjustment screw to make sure of this. In other words, you’re using this to make sure that the projectors are projecting straight outward, not to the left or to the right.

Don’t be shy about spending hours on this. Make sure your 100% satisfied with the way everything is level, as you will lose your easy rotational adjustment when you seal everything up.

When you’re satisfied, tighten up your upper stability bolt.

Step 6: Mount your shrouds

Assuming your shroud fits flush with the lens holder and clears your L-brackets, it’s time to attach it to the lens holder. You have many options here, mostly depending on how well the shroud fits. Since the FX35 has a small 2.5” lens, the ocular shrouds are slightly bigger than the lens holder. I chose to use a sturdy compound that hardens pretty quickly to help with this: plumbing goop.


You can find it at lowes or home depot. Some people use silicone, which is fine as well. Keep in mind that as silicone cures, it fumes. If you use silicone let it cure for at least 24 hours before you seal up your headlight or you can have some condensation issues.

You’ll want to scuff up part of the projector and the shroud where the adhesive will go, especially if your shroud is plastic. This will help keep the shroud attached securely. I also recommend against using JB weld here, as it doesn’t play well with plastic. The plumbing goop does well with plastic, especially when you scuff the contact points with sandpaper.



If you accidentally get some of your adhesive on the chrome reflector, BE CAREFUL. If you rub too hard when removing it with light rubbing alcohol, you will take some of the chrome off. I knew this ahead of time but still ended up taking some off. The chrome is very sensitive. Thankfully it’s not too noticeable with the headlight reassembled.


Let your adhesive cure/dry. If all goes well, you should have something that’s starting to resemble a headlight again.



Step 7: Trim the headlight bezel (if needed)

Depending on how far back in the housing you’ve mounted your projector, you will most likely need to trim the bezel a bit. I had to trim it slightly on the top and bottom so that it wouldn’t hit the shroud when I reassemble the headlight. The following picture has the bezel slightly off to illustrate.


Once again, this will take some eyeballing. A dremel sanding drum works well with this.

Step 8: Seal up the headlights

Be very meticulous with this step. As many of us know from experiences with aftermarket headlights, they’re prone to allowing too much condensation to build up on the inside after driving through heavy rain or a car wash. I was very meticulous and still had condensation issues with one of the headlights and had to add more sealant.

I will also point out that our headlights are not airtight. They each have 2 vents on the back with a rubber drain hose and sponge on the inside. I believe they’re designed so the heat from the bulb allows forces any water to collect at these drains. Nevertheless, you still want to make sure that you make a good seal because the water won’t drain well if too much gets in.

For this step, I always recommend using rubber butyl tape instead of silicone. My headlights were sealed using a firm variation of this. Some headlights use different sealant. If different sealant is used in your headlights and you haven’t taken too much of it out when you opened them, you could probably reuse that sealant. I still had plenty of rubber butyl along my headlights’ seams, but opted to add a clean new layer to the seams.

You can get this stuff from Nissan dealers, but I recommend just getting 3m Windoweld tape. It’s the same stuff as the Nissan sealant, but it’s less than $20 and you can get it at basic auto parts stores:



It’s very easy to manipulate, as it has the consistency of gum. Stretch it a bit and place a string along the seam of your headlight housing. Heat it up with your heating method of choice and basically reverse the procedure of opening it.

Don’t forget the two bolts and any other clip that physically connect the housing to the bezel and lens. This is actually important. The lens and bezel are made of polycarbonate (PC) plastic, and the housing is made of polypropylene (PP) plastic. PP plastic is very sturdy, but unfortunately doesn’t do well with adhesives. Lots of people don’t realize that their headlight lenses aren’t really glued on. Rather, a physical bond is made between them via the screws, clips, and tabs along the seam. The rubber butyl solidifies this bond somewhat, but primarily acts as a sealant for moisture. The butyl alone does not hold the two together. The physical connection is very important.

Reverse the procedure and get the lens on as tightly as possible. I originally did it by hand, but found that the lens didn’t line up nicely with my fender. I recommend using some clamps to assist in sealing the edges:


Don’t be shy about adding another layer of rubber butyl to the seam and making good use of your heat gun while doing so. You don’t want to leave any nooks that’ll allow water to build up.


Another issue to address involves the big hole you cut out to allow the projector to sit properly. Normally the rubber boot sits on the back of the reflector for a good seal, but you’ve cut that part out. Be creative here. I chose to pick up a roll of waterproof aluminum tape from Lowes. This adheres with a think layer of butyl actually, and creates a nice watertight seal very easily. It’s also very easy to shape. I connected the housing to the back of the projector using a bunch of strips of this tape as pictured below:


I allowed the wires for the bixenon solenoid to stick through and sealed up the hole they create using some rubber butyl. Of course, you want to leave access to the bulb in case you have to change it. I also used the stock rubber boot to function as a dust cover, and used a hose clamp to help seal the circular edge.


If you want to test how well it’s sealed before driving with it, try putting it in your bathroom with a warm shower running. See if any condensation builds up inside of the headlight.

If you took the rubber strips off of the headlights, use 3m weatherstrip adhesive to glue them back on.

When you’re satisfied that everything’s sealed up, kick back and admire your new headlights. Why can’t someone make an aftermarket projector headlight that looks as good?


Step 9: Mount ballasts/misc. wiring

With the headlights assembled, you’re ready to make sure that the bulbs get the power they need in a reliable manner. Mount your relay harness in any way you see fit. I snaked the wiring that goes to the passenger side underneath the shroud on top of the grille. If you’re buying a full bundle with a premade harness, chances are you’ll already have it set up to plug right into your ballasts and bixenon solenoid. If you’re building your own or even modifying a halogen relay harness like I did, you can do some slick work to make everything plug and play. Here’s what I did:

I took two old 9007 bulbs and cut out the bulb portion.


Then I soldered wires on to the hi, low, and ground prongs, connecting the low and ground prongs to the + and – portion of my matsus hita ballast pigtails, which you can find on ebay or a few other places. I also connected the ground prong to the – portion of the bixenon solenoid connector, and connected the hi prong to the + portion. The end result:



Now I waterproofed it using silicone:


And of course jazzed it up to look stock


A premade harness designed for your project will most likely already be constructed like this.

There are plenty of ways to mount the ballasts, many of which depend on the size, shape, and how waterproof they are. I ended up using a temporary mounting method with zip ties, but it turned out to be much sturdier and secure than I thought, so for now it’s my permanent solution. There are much better ways to do it, but I’ll go ahead and detail what I did anyway.

To mount the driver side ballast, I used the very tight quarters right behind the headlight mount


I cut out a layer of rubber so when I mount the ballast to the car’s frame it doesn’t rattle or possibly damage the ballast


The super tight fit warranted me removing the battery to get my hands in there. Make sure that the igniter can reach the bulb.


The passenger side is much more generous with room since I have a CAI kit which opens up the airbox area.


If you’ve wired everything up correctly, go ahead and mount your headlights and fire them up! Double check that they’re aimed correctly and hit a dark highway and have fun!







The exotic color flicker:




Stock 1000 lumen 9007 bulbs in action. Keep in mind this was as bright as I could get them to be, as I had my own custom relay harness, clear headlight lenses, and the best 9007 bulb on the market (GE nighthawk). Still lackluster:



Compare to low and high beams after sealing everything up. Keep in mind that the outer lens, even though it's clear, robs a little bit of light compared to what you'll see when you're testing them using an open projector. Still a vast improvement, especially when it comes to the width:






After getting everything running smoothly and aimed properly, I couldn’t wait to hit a dark country road. The width on these things is fantastic. With the exception of two small dark spots on the bottom of the foreground (which are probably hidden from the driver’s view in the FX35), the light is distributed very evenly. The true test of these projectors for me was a night trip I took from NY to NC. After 9 hours on the road, I had no eye fatigue whatsoever. I couldn’t wait to hit the woods of southern VA, as the high beams are absolutely unreal as well. These are truly well-made projectors.

There are a few annoyances to consider though. Although you’re retrofitting OEM equipment, it’s tough to achieve 100% OEM quality in your project. This is especially apparent when it comes to the cutoff “shivering.” Our cars have relatively stiff suspensions (especially if you’re running mach springs like I am), and the cutoff likes to shake when you drive over rough patches of road. This is mostly because we mounted a heavy projector onto a light reflector that has at least one plastic mounting pin. I haven’t experimented with smoothing this out yet, but it’s really just a minor annoyance on par with a squeak or rattle. You get used to it.

It also took some time getting used to the sharp cutoff, as it’s so tempting to just stare at it when you’re driving. This is another thing that you get used to after a while. The blue flare of the FX35/FXr lens combo alleviates some of this, as the sharp cutoff sort of “fades into blue”. The flare also helps illuminate road signs without creating glare to oncoming traffic.

Even though I chose 4300k bulbs, the color difference compared to halogens is still noticeable. While much brighter, the HID bulbs tend to create a bit of a washed out look compared to the halogens. The best analogy I can think of is lighting your living room with florescent bulbs versus incandescents. Thankfully I’m not relaxing while driving and don’t mind a slightly less “warm” feel to my headlights.

Overall, despite a few annoyances I’m very pleased with the results. It definitely gives a more expensive feel to the car, and an expensive look to oncoming traffic. Most importantly, I can see much better without sacrificing the vision of others. A job well done :thumbup:

Good luck if you choose to tackle this project. I’ll see you on the road (and not be blinded by you :) )
Last edited by a moderator:


the rippin and the tearin
Yay! You finally posted this, so that means you got your job in order!

I got all my parts and was kinda waiting for this, and now that my gf's mom will be here this weekend I'll finally get the chance to work on it :p



I do my own stunts
Yay! You finally posted this, so that means you got your job in order!

I got all my parts and was kinda waiting for this, and now that my gf's mom will be here this weekend I'll finally get the chance to work on it :p

Yep! It's nice to know that food will be in the table for the foreseeable future. Exciting times. After ironing that out I finally got around to writing this up. I hope it helps :thumbup:


Super Nintendo Chalmers
well, this looks very thorough! Lol well done, now i might actually try the HIDs :)


jesus christ man, you did a good ass job writing it all out. Wish this was out when I was doing this lols.


I do my own stunts
Very nice man!
Thanks :thumbup:

jesus christ man, you did a good ass job writing it all out. Wish this was out when I was doing this lols.
I wish I could go back in time and have my own writeup for it :lol:. It would have taken so much less time.

1-so happy this is posted

2-i cannot even begin to trust myself with that much work :(
Sure, this project isn't for the basic DIY-er that just learned to change oil. However it also isn't as involved though as some of the high difficulty mechanical projects out there, especially now that we have a guide for it. If you can trust yourself with something like an intake swap, you'd be surprised what you're capable of electronically.


I wish I could go back in time and have my own writeup for it :lol:. It would have taken so much less time.
This is actually making me contemplate about doing another set for my car. My reflector bowl has a few tabs that broke due to me hitting a nassssty pothole. So the cut offs are all jacked up.

I am not looking forward to reaiming a new set tho, which is the biggest reason for me to maybe look to find someone that may be able to get a glass setup for it.

Sure, this project isn't for the basic DIY-er that just learned to change oil. However it also isn't as involved though as some of the high difficulty mechanical projects out there, especially now that we have a guide for it. If you can trust yourself with something like an intake swap, you'd be surprised what you're capable of electronically.
Really out of the whole project, the most painful part of it is the aiming/getting it setup for enough adjustment to aim. For some reason though, he did not have a horizontal adjustment screw where most people have them in there headlamps. I used 4 screws to mount mine with a square plate under the reflector for extra stability. I wanna glass the mounting parts so bad, so I no longer have to worry about the crappy cutting job I did on my reflectors.


Steven @ VAP Auto
Wow, excellent writeup! Very detailed. :thumbup:

Might have to try that this summer if I get some free time. The extra width on those HID's would be very beneficial in spotting deer on the side of the road.
Holy crap what an epic write up, we havent had anything like this posted in awhile :lol: This is going to help me ALOT with mine


New Member
Great write-up. I have a serious question for you, though.

1) Would you ever consider making a set of these for me? I can do the wiring and everything myself, but I wanted to know if you could retrofit a set for me.
2) How much for everything, if you could do it? :D


Lazy Unicorn
Great write-up. I have a serious question for you, though.

1) Would you ever consider making a set of these for me? I can do the wiring and everything myself, but I wanted to know if you could retrofit a set for me.
2) How much for everything, if you could do it? :D
IF he does expect to pay over 1k


LT's on a vert
no YOU facepalm

I'm not spending $400+ on something that might not work if I don't do it exactly right.

I'll just wait and get the stock projector HID's whenever I buy a new Mustang :sleep:
It's great that you want to be a danger and annoyance to the around you, as well as potentially not getting what you need from your lights, but to advertise it in a thread that talks about the dangers and problems with doing just what you're doing, is worthy of a facepalm.

I see a lot of people with hondas that don't paint their bodykit because they don't have $400+ to spend on that upgrade. They also buy cheap wheels that may not be safe at higher speeds, because they don't have the money to spend on upgrades. They're also the ones that buy cheap, unsafe "racing harnesses" and "racing seats" because they can't spend the money to buy the safe and helpful ones. If you don't have the money to do an upgrade right (and in a safe way), you shouldn't do it at all.