Acura TSX (2004-2008) Headlight Housing Removal/ HID Bulb Replacement DIY




Source: AcuraWorld

2006 Acura TSX

I shipped my headlights AAC to have 8000K Oracle halos mounted on the high beams. I didn’t wire them up yet because I’m waiting for electrical supplies in the mail. The purpose of this thread is to document the work I did with the disassembly/reassembly, and then to cover the wiring method and pics of the halos illuminated.

This thread can serve to show what you have to go through to have headlight work done with AAC. It will also give good details and pictures for changing HID bulbs and what the inside of the HID unit looks like. If you’re having trouble changing an HID bulb, this thread will definitely help you out with pics and safety guidelines.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to attempt this task with any of my instructions, you automatically agree to claim full responsibility for all damages or injuries that occur. This method working for me does not necessarily imply that it will work identically for you. Use my instructions only in conjunction with other advice as well as your own care and judgement.

Before starting, here is an AW thread for changing HIDs.
Replace HID headlight

Safety: Here are general safety guidelines for working with the HID system.
1) Ensure key is out of ignition, headlight stalk switch is off, and doors are unlocked but closed.
2) Disconnect the battery before touching the HID system.
3) Unplug the gray plastic electrical connector UNDER the HID container BEFORE opening the HID container.
4) When you do open the HID container, be extra cautious of heat. If hot or warm, wait until it cools.
5) Wear gloves and eye protection
6) I personally would wait a few hours with the HIDs turned off before touching any HID stuff. I usually wait overnight.
7) Wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

There are more safety guidelines elsewhere too. You can check that. But these above are what I find really important.

So let’s start:

To take the headlights out, you should first remove the front bumper completely. Instructions on that can be found here:
Front Bumper Removal DIY (2006 OEM)

After the bumper is off, disconnect the battery. If you’re new at this, look up battery safety first.

Each headlight unit is bolted to the chassis with four 10mm bolts. Their locations are in the pics below. One of the top ones is under the side trim- you have to pop it upward to get to the bolt.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

Take this plastic clip out so it doesn’t fling when you move the side trim. This shouldn’t be a problem, but mine flung out.

Have someone hold the housing unit while the last bolt comes out so it doesn’t fall. Then pull it out a little (not too far) and unplug the four electrical connectors coming out of the back. One of these four is the gray HID connector mentioned in safety guideline #3 above (underneath the HID unit). NOTE: do not open the back HID lid until the gray connector has been unplugged.

Just to better see where the gray HID connector is located, here is a pic of it from the side. You can see it with the bumper off:

So now the headlight unit is completely detached.

You don’t have to send your bulbs to AAC with the headlight housings, so take them out. It is easiest to put the headlights on a table or work bench to remove the bulbs.

Removal of all the bulbs except the HID is in the owner’s manual.

To take the HID bulb out, open the gray lid (twist counter-clockwise). Again, never open this lid until you’ve unplugged the aforementioned plastic gray HID connector like I already have.

Here’s the inside. Before the bulb comes out, you have to push the swivel pins out of the way (pointed out below):

Push each pin inward, then all the way to the side to latch it behind the metal part. I forgot to snap a pic of the pin latched, but here are the metal projections to latch them behind:

Pull the connector STRAIGHT out with the bulb attached to it. If you pull it out any other way than straight or touch it against the sides, the bulb can be scratched. Oh, and you can see the swivel pins latched behind the metal in this pic actually:

Others like to remove the connector from the bulb while the bulb is still inside the housing. I take the connector and bulb together out of the housing first. It doesn’t matter.

Twist the bulb counter-clockwise (with gloves) to pull it off the connector. I had to twist pretty hard. I would recommend putting the HID lids and weather seals back on before shipping to protect the sockets.

Store the bulbs individually wrapped in soft cloth.

Store the car in shelter. Check your manual about storage. Nine days have elapsed from the time AAC received my lights until the time they shipped them back out.

I used a 30x30x16 inch box. The 30×30 length/width dimensions seemed to be just big enough (if not bigger) for both headlights. The 16 inch height was way too big though. My package with both headlights weighed about 25 lbs. with padding and everything. They’re not that heavy, but they’re big.

(reassembly continued next)

Now, I’ll show the reassembly after getting the headlight housings back. Putting the stuff back together can be tricky to some people, especially the HID.

Below are the headlights the way they come back. Notice the ballasts and wires that were added:

Important: before wiring the halos, put everything back together and make sure all your lights work. There’s always the chance something was damaged during shipping or disassembly. Wait until you know that everything works correctly before starting on the wiring or driving to avoid confounds.

Also, don’t drive until you’ve mounted the ballasts and wires down securely (I’ll show pics below).

Put all the bulbs, lids, and weather seals back on before putting the housing unit back into the car. It’s easier when the headlight is out. In fact, I’m taking the entire housing out to change the HIDs from now on. Its easier.

If anything about this reassembly causes you trouble, it will be the HIDs, so here is a few notes about putting them back in:

On the bulb, if the brown rod on the return lead (lead that runs aside the bulb) is loose and freely moves along the lead, then (with gloves) gently push it back down like the arrow is pointing and it should stay:

Right before putting the bulbs back in, wash them with denatured or isopropyl alcohol even if you didn’t touch them. It doesn’t hurt to be safe. Also check the bulbs for lint or hairs stuck in the tip. I didn’t have rubber gloves, so I used cloth ones and therefore had to pull a piece of lint out of the bulb tip.

You also have to put the HID bulbs in right-side-up. If you look at the black base of the bulb, there are holes that need to match up with tabs on the back of the housing (picture below). If done correctly, the return lead should face downward when the bulb is in the housing. I pointed out the parts that have to match up below with color coded arrows:

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When you put the bulb onto the connector. Make sure the tab twists ALL the way over as in the below picture. Make sure you twist it on tightly (my bulb is in upside-down in the below pic; mistake, but you can see the tab locking):

^yea, I had to turn it around. I don’t have another pic with the bulb in right AND the tab clearly visible.

I thought it was kind of tricky to lock the swivel pins. Just make sure the pins lock behind the black plastic on the bulb base, and the tops of the pins lock behind the metal hooks on top.

Double check the battery is disconnected before putting the headlights back in.

Putting the headlight back in is easy, but here is a few pointers:

Plug all the connectors back in before pushing the headlight in all the way. Have someone hold it partially put in and plug the connectors in. Then push the unit in.

The black metal piece in the below pic must be attached to the headlight properly before putting the bumper back on. Make sure the tabs stick through the holes as in this pic below:

^^also, make sure that part goes on the outside of the chassis piece when sliding the headlight into place.

Before driving, the halo ballasts must be mounted sturdily, and the halo wire terminals must be insulated (even though they are not attached to a power source) and held down. I would also waterproof the ballasts. I am still looking for a way to do it, but no luck yet. Any suggestions anyone?

I mounted the halos to the side of the HID with velcro adhesives. Only use the velcro strips meant for automotive use.

I’ll post my satisfaction with AAC’s work, but it was mostly good. Here are pics of the halos (off). After wiring, there’ll be pics of them ON:




Hopefully this helps a few members out.

Stay tuned to see how I wire them. Again, I am waiting for my electrical connectors in the mail. It’ll be a little while.

My friend and I finally wired up the halos tuesday night. They’re 8000K Oracles on my high beams. I have to say that AAC did an excellent job on these.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

Night pics are coming,

and of course, they look waaaaay better in person

So here’s how I wired them:

Warning: do not attempt something like this unless you know what you’re doing with electronics.

Supplies:
- RED 18AWG Extension Wire
- BLACK 18AWG Extension Wire
- Mate Connectors (male/female)
- Wire Strippers that include 18-20AWG
- 18-20AWG Heat Shrink Tubing
- Heat Retardant Tubing
- Soldering Iron
- Rosin Solder
- Electrical Tape
- Mini-Blade Fuse Holder
- Several 2-3 Amp Mini-Blade Fuses (I used a 3 amp)
- Velcro Adhesive Strips
- Digital Multimeter or Continuity Tester (optional but convenient)
- Tools for bumper and headlight housing removal

Optional:
- Lighted LED Switch (small enough to fit the switch panel)
- 1 3-Pin Connector 20AWG or thicker

Here are the pigtail bullet connectors I got from autolumination. The part number is PL-08
Automotive Connectors

The PL-08 bullet connector comes like this:

Cut the insulation off and there are two of these:

And I cut it in half:

The bullet connectors allow me to unplug the headlight unit from the power supply without having to cut and re-solder.

Here are AAC’s wiring suggestions. We used the ‘simple halo wiring.’
FAQ – HALO WIRING FAQ

So the way we did it is generally the same as AAC’s except for the inline switch. For now, my halos only operate with the side markers. I plan to put a switch on the panel later. When I get to it, all I’ll have to do is cut the positive wire and run it through the firewall to the panel.

Anyway, here is the wiring diagram of what we did:

All the wire connections were properly soldered, heat shrunk, and electrical taped. No quick connects or crimpers were used. Most of the extension wire was covered in the protective tubing especially right behind the engine where it gets hot.





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