Headlights & LED Lighting Mods


Credit: Abdala Fernandez via https://www.fastmaximas.com/2019/12/20/4th-gen-r34-quad-projector-retrofit/

In this article, I go over the process for doing quad projector lights retrofit in eBay R34 Maxima headlights. Specifically the 4th generation Maxima(95-99). The projectors used were inexpensive Mini H1 projectors (https://amzn.to/2GX9GaA).

The previous lights I had on the car were FX35 projectors but the job was not great and I wanted to clean up the look of the front end of the car. I bought R34 headlights from eBay and with some modification, they fit well (I made a video and article on that here). I wanted to do an inexpensive retrofit job that was much cleaner than the previous one. I opted for Mini H1 projectors which are the common projectors that have a threaded shaft at the back and allows you to slide them through the cars existing housing light bulb socket hole.

Mini H1 Projector with shroud.

It is common to use an oven to bake the housings to then remove the lens cover. However, I used a heat gun to loosen the glue holding the covers. Being inexpensive units, it was easy to separate them; OEM lights are tougher because they are properly sealed and glued. I separated the cover from the housing and then tested the projector. I first tested it on the low beam side. I slid the projectors threads through the R34’s bulb hole and right away saw an issue. The projectors’ back shaft was not long enough to be able to catch any threads with the nut that holds the projector in place.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights.
Lens cover separated
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with Mini H1 projector.
R34 shroud modification
I used an angle grinder
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 shroud modification
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 shroud modification

I took out the grinder and started cutting. I used the side edge of a thick grinding wheel to remove some material from the R34’s bulb socket. I then was able to slide through the projector again and catch plenty of threads to put the nut and H1 bulb retainers. The projector looked great, it is said that the vertical alignment is not bad because it is using the stock bulbs hole which is lined up somewhat. But the rotation needs to be addressed, I eyeballed it at first to test putting the lens covers. They looked great, so next was the high beam side.

The high beam side is a different story, there are two issues to address. One, the bulb hole is too small to fit the projector back shaft through. The second is that even if you could slide the projector through, it would sit to far forward and hit the housing lens cover. In comes the angle grinder again, the goal here is to cut an oval so that the projectors reflector can sit on that oval deep into the housing and away from the lens cover; a file was used too. While cutting I would test the projector once in a while and ensure I was cutting a clean enough oval to not have gaps around the mating area to the reflector.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.

Next was the painting, I decided to go with an all-black housing; glossy. I painted everything except the projectors shroud. First I sprayed it with a primer and then the black. Once dry I went to line up the projectors.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights tapped for painting.
R34 Nissan Maxima light housings painted black.

To line up the projectors I mounted the housings on the car with no lens cover and used the garage wall. I know its very close but I felt it was good enough. I put in the bulbs then turned them on and rotated the projectors till I saw a horizontal line on the wall. This was not too hard because the high beam projector stays in place due to the shroud touching the floor and ceiling of the housing; holding it in place. This allowed you to rotate it to match the low beam projector. Once I had that set, I then slowly took them off so the high beam projector would not move. Then I sat it down and applied JB Weld to the back of the high beam projector. I used the original JB Weld.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.

Once the JB Weld was set on both housings all there is left to do is to put the lens covers. I heated the glue areas with the heat gun all around then I placed the cover on and pressed it with my palm against the housing. I then worked on the electronics, I originally had HID ballast’s with D2S bulbs on the FX35 projectors. I wired in another set of ballasts, h1(hid) bulbs as well as relays. I turned them on and waited about 15 minutes to see how hot the wiring and the housing lens cover got. The front of the lens cover gets pretty hot, it is a focused beam like using a magnifying glass to burn with the sun. The back of the projectors got extremely hot, I was not comfortable at all with it; it felt like it could burn wiring or anything near it. So I then ordered H1 LED’s, removed the ballasts and wired the new bulbs in. The output still looks great with LED’s, you can see more intensity with the HID’s for sure but LED’s do not stay far behind so far.

I am very happy with the results and it was exactly how I pictured it. The front of the car looks aggressive and different. I will give an update with night time shots and some feedback.

Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.

Credit: Maxima 97 SE

These are what I have and they are the best plug and play LED bulbs out there. They are the best LED brand that has a perfect beam and spread of light across the road with no gray spots. They are super bright and really quite and you won’t even notice the fans running. I tried every other brand but the JDM XSpeed brand is the best and you can read the reviews. I’ve had them for a year and there has been no problems.

For the fog lights H3 I have tried every brand out there and the best bulbs turned out to be the Osram H3 12V 55W 5000K 62151CBA COOL BLUE ADVANCE Car Bulbs Halogen Fog Lamps 2X. As you can see in the pics that the fog lights are really bright and have a really high shine.

Price: $146.32
Order Link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-LED-Halo-For-2002-2003-Nissan-Maxima-Dual-LED-Halo-Black-Headlights-Pair/274382324188

General Feedback:

  • With the 6000k HIDs you wont really be able to see the halo rings. the lenses that they use give off a slight glare which actually make the HIDs look a little brighter than they are, which to me isnt a bad thing at all. i would post a pic of them lit on my car but its in the shop.
  • One of my buddies here in MI bought the ebay projector head lights and his bulbs weren’t seating properly. The right bulb was bouncing in the housing. They didn’t fit properly and just were cheap quality. So I personally wouldn’t recommend them.
  • Are people trolling by trying to buy ebay headlights? Only thing they’re good for are the lens lol
  • Ebay halo’s suck… ZERO light distribution. Youd have more light on the road getting 5th gen headlights and silverstars lol.


Credit: Digital

This is a very cheap mod, as I did it with only $20 worth of supplies.

Supplies Used for modification:

  1. Duralast 1/8″ x 3″ flathead screwdriver (AutoZone)
  2. Two 5oz cans – Duplicolor Auto Spray – Black (AutoZone)
  3. One 5oz can – Duplcolor Auto Spray – Clear Coat (AutoZone)
  4. Clear silicone (Home Depot)
  5. Heavy winter gloves (for removing hot parts from oven)
  6. Painters tape or Masking tape (HomeDepot)
  7. 400 grit wet sand paper (AutoZone)
  8. Simple Green (AutoZone)

Step 1:

Remove your headlights and corners, this took some time cause there is a good amount of screws to remove. Also, remove the 5 metal clips that hold the headlight on the housing.

Step 2:

Preheat your oven, set it to 250 degrees. Once the temperature has risen to 250, put ONE HEADLIGHT in at a time. Do not put it on the floor of the oven, put it on the metal grate that all ovens have (i.e where you would place a pan in the oven to cook).

Make sure the grate is in the middle of the oven and you place the headlight in the middle of it. Close the oven and set a timer, or microwave timer to 10 minutes. You should smell the glue heating up, and the smell, don’t worry it will go away, and your food will not taste like glue (just a lil FYI for those with wives or mothers who may bug out about it).

Step 3:

Get your gloves and carefully remove the headlight from the oven, be careful of the metal on the headlight, you will get burned if exposed skin touches this part. Place the headlight on a piece of newspaper, and use the thin flathead screwdriver to carefully pry apart the headlight. Do this carefully, cause if you rush, you may break something, and that would not be good.

Here is what it will look like after you completed that step.

Step 4:

Let the headlight cool down a bit, then with being careful about where you are touching, tape up the places where you do not want paint to go. I did one fully with tape, and one with tape and newspaper. I found that using newspaper and tape was quicker to achieve the goal of completion, rather than using all tape. It was also much easier to remove once finished.

This picture below is of how I taped the diamond cut clear corners used for this mod. Stock corners will
not achieve the same type of look that this corners will. Those who have done this mod with stock corners know what I mean.

Step 5:

This might be a little backwards, but it’s how I did it, so that’s how I’ll write it. After taping everything up, I took the 400 grit wet sand paper (the grey looking sand paper) wet it, and lightly sanded the chrome parts of the lights that I will be painting black. This helps the paint stick to the housing better. If you do this mod with out the sanding, it probably won’t come out as good. You don’t have to sand everything off, you just have to make sure the surface is all scratched up, so the reflective coating that was on there is removed, so the paint will adhere better.

After you sanded them down, lightly spray the simple green on the part you’ve sanded, to remove any excess dust or grease, etc. I used a dust sprayer also to make sure any lint from the towel I used wasn’t there.

Step 6:

You are now ready to paint. Make sure you shake your paint very well before you start painting. Shake for at least a minute in order to get the paint mixed well. Also, be sure to make a few test sprays before painting the actual headlight, since the paint in the first few sprays may look brownish, you don’t want that getting on your headlight. Not that it would make your headlights brownish, it’s just good to do a few test sprays on another surface to get accustom to how the aerosol paint will disperse from the can.

Paint with light layers of paint. Holding the can about 6-12 inches away from the surface. I must recommend many layers of light coats, so the paint holds better, and has a deeper color black from the many layers. With using many layers, it will also withstand the test of time better.

Be sure to look at the light from many different angles. Also, in different lights as well. I was almost ready to bake mine back together and I found a few spots that the paint remarkably did not hit, so I had to do a couple more shots from a different angle in order to achieve paint in that area of the headlamp.

After painting both the corners and the headlamps, I used up 1 entire can, and about 80% (estimated) of the second can. I also used up the entire worth of the clear coat as well. The clear coat I also used in layers, but I put it on a little thicker than the actual black paint. I made sure I had a good coating on there, so the clear coat could be used as a slightly reflective area.

Below are pictures of the corners painted.

Step 7

Now after you have painted, I know there is an urge to get the lenses on and get them back on your car. Resist that urge to complete, and let them dry over night. Cover them with some newspaper so dust or specks of dirt or lint to not fall on the paint itself while drying. Note: The paint SHOULD be dry in less than a couple hours, but I preferred to play it safe and let it dry over night.

Step 8

After letting the lights dry over night, go back and remove the newspaper from the lights, and in no time, throughout this modification should you “check to see” if the paint is dry. The paint will dry completely and perfectly over night. When handling the lights after, do not touch the paint, you don’t want to risk any fingerprints on your paint, especially once you turn them on at night and show someone your new lights, you don’t want to see your fingerprint there. I picked them up from the sides and brought them to the oven.

Press the plastic back onto the glue carefully but firmly. Be sure to have the edges of the plastic line up correctly so water will not get into the light housing. At this time, the oven should be heating to 250 degrees, and a timer should be set for 10 minutes. Now repeat the heating process, 10 minutes, one light at a time. Be wary though, the smell of the glue plus the paint getting hot, will burn your eyes and nose just a bit (just a fair warning for you) so when removing the lights be sure to get horizontal with the oven, to avoid having those putrid smelling gases hit you in the face when you open the oven to remove your lights. Also, please do remember to have your gloves ready for this process as well. I mean I would hope you’d have them seeing that you needed them in the first place, but some people do forget so this is a reminder, HAVE YOUR GLOVES READY! 🙂

Step 9

Put the 5 metal clips that you originally removed from the headlights back on the headlamps. If you prefer, you can silicone around the headlight housing lightly, in order to be sure they are water tight. I did not do this, cause I was lucky, and even thru heavy rain storm (12 hours straight) there was not a drop of condensation in the headlamps or corners. Now put the headlights back on the car, and look at the final product. Best 20$ you’ve probably spent in a while, and a good look for your ride. Custom lights. 🙂

Step 10

Now get a nice camera, preferably a SLR, and take some pics! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Here’s a few more pics of the finished mod.