Intro: Massive Headlights Upgrade in Ford Mondeo / Contour MK2
Ford Mondeo / Contour is almost famous because of its poor headlights. You can install brighter bulbs or even HID kits but the headlight optics itself is so bad, that this will not give you much better light range or quality. So i decided to fix what the factory couldn't do right from the beginning - install bi-xenon projector headlights.
Headlights modification may be illegal in your country.
Step 1: How Does the Bi-xenon Work?
There's a shutter inside the projector that normally blocks part of the light beam. When you go form low to high beam the shutter hides and your light can now illuminate much more of the road. No extra bulb is turned on - just the shutter that normally limits the beam is hidden.
Shutter reaction is much faster then extra high beam bulb being powered, since shutter does not need to be preheated.
More good news - while high beams are on in stock lights you're using 55W on each bulb and there's 4 of them working. That makes 220W. With bi-xenon lenses you use 2x35W on each ballast and few watts more for the shutter. That makes just above 70W.
Step 2: Parts and Tools
This is not a simple HID conversion where you just change the bulb and add ballast. Light quality is important to me, so I decided to upgrade from factory parabolic reflectors to bi-xenon projector lenses. Thanks to that the light range increased, also the beam is much sharper on the edge and does not blind incoming traffic.
Many thanks to my friend that drives tow truck I got two broken headlights from Volkswagen Passat B6.
Step 3: Standard Lights Disassemble and Modification.
Ford Mondeo / Contour MK2 lights can be disassembled with just a heat gun and a flat screwdriver. After heating the glue that holds the lamp together it's pretty simple to just open it.
Some tuners are painting inside of the headlight with black matte paint, but not me! I wanted my headlights to look like an OEM product. Don't need the extra tuning look attention (since this modification might not be legal in some countries).
The hardest part was to polish the headlight covers. Originally output light beam is created by the lamp cover and its shape that have many horizontal and diagonal lines. Since projector is taking care of all that I needed clear headlight covers. With a sanding paper and electric polisher I managed to polish the covers clear.
Step 4: Mounting the Projector
Cutting and trimming time!
I cut a hole with a dremel tool to make place for the projector lens. Lenses itself are mounted with long screws so I can adjust the lens later.
It's important to place the lens deep so there's enough room for it to move when using beam height regulation in your car. Also the projector cover needs to fit inside the lamp.
Step 5: Wires
Originally high beam was on the inner side of the car, low beam and marker light on the outer side. With the bi-xenon projector both low and high beam are distributed from the same outer side, I had to please the marker light bulb on the inner side. That was easy.
Harder part was to connect high and low beams to the headlight wiring. Ballast is powered from the low beam wires (standard H7 bulb is 55W and ballast is 35W on average) and the high beam wires are connected to the shade mechanism that goes up or down if needed.
Shutter mechanism is not connected directly to the high beam wires. It uses small circuit board that prevents the shutter motor to be damaged.
Since ballast was pretty big, there was no room for it inside the lamp. It was necessary to seal the wires to prevent water from getting inside the lamp. In order to do so I made a special part for the bulb change cover and glued everything together.
Step 6: Test
Check difference between standard light and bi-xenon lens. Let the image speak for itself.