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I normally just post "how to" articles when they are done but I decided to post some of the progress pictures to spice things up as a blog type format.

This is the first mod to the mk5 2006 VW Jetta TDI - HID lights. While the stock halogen lights are OK, HID lights will really light up the road. They were never optional on the A5 body TDI but can be swapped from a VW Jetta GLI or VW Golf GTI.

HID xenon headlights are gas discharge lights. Lighting comes from an arc instead of a glowing wire. They are somewhat like fluorescent lights in that they draw more electricity on startup but use less once they are lit. They also produce a whiter light. HID lights also need to warm up like fluorescent lights. When they turn them on, they will be a bluish color. After a few seconds they warm up and turn whiteish.

Why OEM headlight housings from a GTI or GLI instead of aftermarket? OEM plastic is almost always better and the wiring meets a known standard. I also think they look very good. You can't put an HID kit into your stock halogen housing without causing some major glare. HID bulbs are matched to their housing. While there are some reflector design HID lights, almost all are projector lens design because it's much better at controlling the light. When it's a bi-xenon light, it can also use a cut-off shield that blocks the high beam part of the lens. The shield moves up when you flip on the high beams.

The main disadvantage of HID lights is bigger draw at start up (this can cause flickering if the wiring is not good) and sharper contrast between the lighted area and unlit area. The lights are brighter and have a sharper cutoff which causes the area which is lit to be more visible but the area beyond the cutoff to be less "lit" because your night vision is adapted to the lighted area. Halogen lights normally allow some light beyond the sharp cutoff area which lights the area beyond. While you might think that this is better for city and worse in rural, in reality you're probably using the high beams in rural areas so it shouldn't make that much of a difference. In general, lighting is better with xenon HID lighting.

The best price I've seen for HID lights is $800 shipped from tdiparts.com http://www.tdiparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1028 . Compared to other sources this is a few hundred dollars cheaper and is a super deal! Compared to tmtuning which sells them with a wiring harness for $2050, you can see what a bargin this is. The other high quality headlight is the dynabeams. These are made by Hella and use a sensor to turn the headlight into the turns depending on speed. They currently cost a little more than the OEM so I chose to find OEM headlights. The other functional difference is that OEM needs a highline controller to work as bi-xenon or else it will work as low beam HID, high beam halogen. With the highline controller, both low and high beams are HID. This is because the cut-off shutter for low-high beam needs a highline controller to function.

OEM need a 10-12 pin adapter to switch from halogen to xenon headlights. I would much rather just buy the 12 pin plug vs. depin - repin the plug but nobody has them in stock for weeks - a month. More details on the highline controller and procedures once I get around to them.


Here is the finished article: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a5/HIDretrofita5.htm
 
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Nice price. OEMplus is selling the mk6 for over $2,000! $800 is not bad for oem parts. Their site says that it's plug-play, they must include the wiring harness.
 

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WOW, prices have really fallen on these. You'd think TMtuning would drop the price a little :) FYI, I can tell those are US spec because there's a line in the projector. Eurospecs have no line in the projector lens. The beam pattern is supposed to be a little better.
 

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I finally finished installing them. A full writeup with pictures will come later.

Here is the basic procedure if using adapters. They will work as low beam xenons only. Remove the bumper. Remove the headlight. Plug in the new headlights into your wiring adapter. Recode the central electronics module so that you turn off DRLs and check the box that says "xenon WITHOUT shutters".

Since I didn't use wiring adapters, let me say that you want to spend the extra money on them! I thought that I could just depin the old plug and repin the new plug but 2 of the pins are different sizes. I had to solder in 2 new wires to get it to work. I didnt' see any mention of this anywhere else but I found that the plugs I used had to be ground down slightly to fit. It's possible there are headlight specific plugs that I can't find or that there was some small production change but I think #1 is more likely.

To make the xenon lights also work as high beams I had to run 1 new wire from pin 11 on each plug, through the firewall, to the CECM module. Then check the coding box for "bixenon WITH shutters".

I still have to aim them as they are pointing too high. It's also possible that the headlight levelling motors were last put in one position and they are still stuck in that position. My install was without levelling sensors + module because I don't have them.
 

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The lights required some aiming and aren't as bright or as focused as other HID lights I've seen. My 1990 nissan (first production car to have projector headlights) has a sharper cutoff than these.

I would do it again because the price is reasonable, they make a subtle improvement in the look of the car, and are brighter than the halogens. The only thing I'm not happy with is having to run a wire from the headlights to the CECM to make the high beam shutters work. If you rarely use the high beams, I would just use wire adapters and live with them as low beam xenon only. It's much easier, faster, and cleaner to install.
 

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subscribe, since I'm planning to install a set of BI-XENOS soon, I will use the adapters but I'm not planning to update my CECM module now or put the extra wire for the shutters to work, barely use the high.
 

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subscribe, since I'm planning to install a set of BI-XENOS soon, I will use the adapters but I'm not planning to update my CECM module now or put the extra wire for the shutters to work, barely use the high.

How difficult was to align the headlights ?
Yes, running the wires to the CECM is a pain in addition to the extra wiring. With adapters it's plug-play if you shut the DRL off.

Easy, just park against a garage before you put the bumper back on and do it then. This way you can check if it needs alignment at the mounts before turning the adjustment screws.
 
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