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Sean McConky

Planning to retrofit the Fog Lights with Ford Fusion Projectors

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I am disappointed with the headlights and fog lights in the Ford Transit Connect.    They don't really provide much down the road lighting.  I am a little frightened by the idea of retrofitting the headlights (too much money to replace if I screw it up).  So, I thought I would try retrofitting the fog lights with projectors.  This should throw some more light down the road without the need for opening up the headlight assemblies.  I put this into the "replacing fog lights with driving lights" category.

 

After researching similar retrofits, I decided to utilize projector fog lights using in the Ford Fusion, Flex, Lincoln MKZ, etc. around the 2009-2012 time frame.  These seem to be very popular and get good reviews from most people, i.e. good lighting, good cut-off, etc.   I have ordered some used projectors and they should be arriving next week.  I will report back on how this goes once all the parts are in.

 

In the meanwhile, here are a few links to other retrofits that led me down this path:

http://www.focusst.org/forum/focus-st-appearance/31034-diy-how-ford-fusion-projection-fog-light-retrofit.html

 

http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/154-audio-electronics-lighting/219633-projector-fog-lights%3B-ford-fusion-retrofit.html

 

https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=543994

 

https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/ford-fusion-fog-light-retrofit-diy.407833/

 

Obviously the first link is the most similar to the Transit, but I am hoping to find a way to possibly keep the adjustment capability.

Edited by Sean McConky

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I have two Mitsubishi iMiEV's (electric cars) that came with excellent fog lights with DRL bulbs in them also.  I got to looking and found these same assemblies are used in many other Japanese cars (other Mitsu's, Subarus and Hondas) and the fixture is also a bolt in swap for Gen 2 TC's.  I bought a pair of the housings on eBay, installed LED bulbs for the DRL's and high power halogens for the fog lights and put them in the TC.   I did have to run a new wire for the DRL's and I wired them into an unused  fuse location in the under hood fuse panel.  Better fog lights, combined with DRL's for about $100

 

Don 

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Before you panic raise the headlights with the yellow adjustment screw under the hood .  It will make the headlight range much better.

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14 hours ago, G B L said:

Before you panic raise the headlights with the yellow adjustment screw under the hood .  It will make the headlight range much better.

So which way is up? I'd like to make a slight calculated adjustment, not all over the place until I get it right. I have a fifty-fifty chance of being right.

Mine are pretty good as they are. I've thought of adding the fog lamps but really just for fog. And I do like the looks of them. I run my fogs on the Outback pretty much all the time since I keep the daylight running lights on 100% of the time.

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I am dyslexic wait till it is dark and park 25 feet in front of a wall or garage door and you will know what to do, that is how I adjusted mine. Living in an area that has lots of wildlife on the road it is nice to get the light out further

Edited by G B L

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How about just mounting extra lighting.  Get one of these light mounts which slip behind your license plate, and attach with the license plate screws.  Them use any lights you want.

61eyXnuTsDL._SL1000_.jpg

 

 

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Fifty150 - I am looking to do something that improves lighting but looks close to stock.

 

GBL - I have already adjusted the headlights as much as I am willing, the lights just don't seem very powerful.

 

Another option I just found was this...  https://store.ijdmtoy.com/Mini-HID-Bi-Xenon-Retrofit-Projector-Fog-Lamps-p/70-127.htm

or a slightly cheaper version: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HID-Bi-Xenon-Retrofit-Projector-Lens-Replacement-Fog-Lamps-for-Subaru-CRV-Focus-/322377358892?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368

 

Both of those interest me because of the bi-xenon capability, but the biggest reason I originally chose the fusion projectors was because of the reviews on how crisp and clear the cut-off is.  Plus, i already got the parts.  So, I need to decide before I start any cutting.  Or, at least I have a fall back if I completely screw up the conversion.

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Sounds like you have a good plan.  If you go thru with the project I would like to see the results.  My TC has fog lights and they are unremarkable.  If you have good results it would raise my interest.

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14 hours ago, Sean McConky said:

Fifty150 - I am looking to do something that improves lighting but looks close to stock.

 

 

 

 

I get it.  Some guys would rather not have all sorts of extra lights bolted all over their car.  Only guys with trucks and Jeeps bolt-on accessories.....winches, push bumpers, lights, nerf bars, et cetera.

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23 minutes ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 

I get it.  Some guys would rather not have all sorts of extra lights bolted all over their car.  Only guys with trucks and Jeeps bolt-on accessories.....winches, push bumpers, lights, nerf bars, et cetera.

Only Jeep owners, huh? :)

 

BkTl5XE.jpg

Edited by williaty

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15 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

 

 

I get it.  Some guys would rather not have all sorts of extra lights bolted all over their car.  Only guys with trucks and Jeeps bolt-on accessories.....winches, push bumpers, lights, nerf bars, et cetera.

 

I find this funny because when I had a Jeep Cherokee I bolted on fogs and driving lights...

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16 hours ago, G B L said:

Sounds like you have a good plan.  If you go thru with the project I would like to see the results.  My TC has fog lights and they are unremarkable.  If you have good results it would raise my interest.

 

I will most definitely take pictures and post.  I already have the ballasts and both projectors.  I should be getting the bulbs today.  So maybe I will get to work on this over the weekend.

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3 hours ago, Sean McConky said:

 

I find this funny because when I had a Jeep Cherokee I bolted on fogs and driving lights...

 

 

Even funnier that on my truck, I have no problem with bolting on a push bumper, off road light bar, nerf bars........only to take great pains in taking apart my factory light housings to hide my flashing emergency strobe lights.  Sure, the off road lighting and gear looks normal on a pick up truck.  But don't let anyone catch on that it's an unmarked response vehicle.  So the flashing lights and siren speaker are hidden.

 

Even my sister has a bull bar and LED light bar bolted onto the front of her Honda......thanks to my brother-in-law who thought it would be funny to do that to a soccer mom grocery getter.

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Ok, retrofit time....

 

Yes, I am the same person who started the thread.  Somehow I accidentally got logged in through Facebook, even though I never asked to be.   Nonetheless, here goes my write-up.

 

Step 1 - Fog light assembly access:  This was a pain in the butt.  I started out by putting the front end up on jack stands so I could swivel the tire and access under the car.  To get the most access, you will need to pull the shield under the engine (6 torx bolts).  Then I removed the plastic panel just below the bumper (3 more torx and a bunch of trim panel retainers).  I also removed a few torx bolts and trim panel retainers in each wheeel well to make it easier to access the lights through the wheel well.

 

Step 2 - Fog light Assembly removal:  Once you get access, you will see the passenger side fog light is extremely easy to reach from the wheel well.  Disconnect the plug and remove the two torx screws and you are done.  The driver's side was  different story on mine.  Behind the driver's side fog light is a severe lack of clearance.  I am unsure what the component is that is in the way, but you have maybe 3 inches of clearance.  And unfortunately for me, someone else had messed around with the lights and almost completely stripped the screw heads.  So after 30 minutes, I finally got the screws removed.  This image shows the lack of clearance from the light to the other component in a view from under the vehicle.

20170930_152324.thumb.jpg.70044aad440109e090ba3c9dfd62fa31.jpg

 

Step 3 - Dismantle the Ford Fusion projectors: I had to remove the the adjusting mechanisms form the ford fusion projectors to get them down to just the projector.  I used cutters to remove the plastic around the adjusting screw, then pulled the sides apart and slid the plastic carrier off the light.  

07-08-09-10-11-12-Ford-Flex-Edge-Fusion-Milan-Zepher-Edge-MKX-MKT-OEM-Fog-Lightimage.thumb.png.fdb18b19cff2e32a86619c19896ee64c.png

 

 

Next step, make the projector fit into the housings...

image.thumb.png.89334c63c4a5d09cbb83492f48e5c78e.png

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Step 4 - Destroying the old lights:  This first step in dismantling the housings was to cut out the glass.  I chose to cut with a dremel rather than heat and pry because the extra bit of plastic I would remove was not going to make much difference.  20170930_152853-2.thumb.jpg.a02091f1603c9e1cb8f97020cbe19276.jpg

 

Here is the housing after it was cut.

20170930_162711-2.thumb.jpg.b4a964c6be966c8dfdd9de9485aad88d.jpg

Then all of the internal parts need to be removed.  I used pliers to pull out the reflector, the cup that aims the reflector, and the metal bulb holder plate.  

20170930_165258-2.thumb.jpg.af578ef0ced8a260d4ae5df645bf8394.jpg

 

Step 5 -  Fitting the projector - So the goal here is to get the projector to fit nicely inside the remnants of the fog light housing.  The key things to pay attention to when doing this:

 

1) Keep the projector level from side to side.  Once you assemble (epoxy) the projector into the housing, there is no going back.  So to keep a clean cut-off, keep the projector level.  Fortunately, the projector has the metal tab which can be used to line up with a slot that you cut into the housing.

2) Try to keep the whole in the back of the housing as tight as possible to the projector.  This will make it easier to assemble with the epoxy.

 

Now I centered the projectors by eye and once assembled, I used to spacers (washers) to adjust the height of the projectors.  After finishing the project, I can say that maybe I should have put the holes that I cut into the back of the housings a little lower to adjust the beam upward.  When I installed them in the car, it took 4 washers to tip the lights enough to get a good height.  That is about as many as you can use without replacing the mounting screws.

 

So, you need to trim a hole and a slot (make sure to orient the projector properly to the housing) in the rear of the housing.

20170930_165310-2.thumb.jpg.fccbd35a1fa87c5c5090bbd2c6617bdc.jpg

 

You also need to notch the sides for the posts that stick off each side of the projector.  I didn't get a good side shot after trimming, but you can see in this picture that those posts sit below the lip of the housing.

20170930_174003-2.thumb.jpg.737b0df681f8b107268ebc9eae654100.jpg

 

And a quick test fit in the TC.

20170930_171906-2.jpg.db6b3396cb184a0a49cd992c44257c4b.jpg

 

Next step is to epoxy the projectors into the housings...

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Step 6 - Epoxying the projectors into the housings:  I chose to use JB Kwik for the project as I was attempting to complete this all in one day (attempting is the operative term, but more on that later).  First, I applied epoxy to the projector where it would contact the rear of the housing.  After inserting the projector, I applied more to the joint on the outside of the housing.  Then, I used tape to hold the projector steady while the epoxy set (6 minutes per the package).

 

 

20170930_181343-2.thumb.jpg.eba6a46a2a3c40961d6a09a069f957c7.jpg

20170930_181337-2.thumb.jpg.43e75d0d6c0143f0a2acbcbfb6b88de5.jpg

 

Once the epoxy set, I mixed more epoxy and applied it around where the posts meet the sides of the housings on each side.

20170930_190208-2.thumb.jpg.6230580f34f95087ca2e046fe19ec34d.jpg

Then comes the waiting game...  I gave the housings 4 hours before trying to install them in the TC.

 

Meanwhile

 

Step 7 - Test the ballasts and bulbs and install them in the TC:  So I bought 55W ballasts and 5000K HID bulbs for the install.  I am hoping this will provide some decent down road lighting.  So I started on the passenger side and connected the ballast to the vehicle wiring and a bulb to the ballast.  I left the light dangling and turned on the fog lights.  Voila, bright light...  I disconnected the ballast and bulb and set them aside.  I went to the driver's side and did the same thing with the other ballast and bulb.  Voila, bright light...  So at this point I determined it was safe to install the ballasts.  On the passenger side, I zip-tied the ballast to the bumper bracket above the fog light.  Please excuse the multiple zip ties, I didn't have any long ones on hand.  this view is looking from below the vehicle up at the bracket.

20170930_190242-2.thumb.jpg.baefa49160e0949b5d09d8c39baecc9d.jpg

 

On the driver' side, with the limited clearance, I zip tied the ballast to the plastic bracket that the fog light housings screw into.  Once again, this picture looks from below the vehicle up toward the bracket.

20170930_191908-2.thumb.jpg.2f6b129237612a7e37655c7c8aa2390d.jpg

 

Next step - Mount the lights and then the real fun begins...

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Step 7 - Mounting the housings:  So I started with the passenger side because I had easier access.  When installing the light, you may need to finagle the posts past the opening of the bumper.  It is a tight fit and took a little twisting and bending, but they will fit.  I used the original mounting hardware and turned on the fogs to check the height aim.  This is not easy to do as the car is up on jack stands.  So, I measured the distance from the center of the headlight to the center of the projector.  Then, i measured the distance between the cut-offs on the wall.  The projectors were quite low.  So I began adding washers.  It took 4 washers on each side on the top of the projector (yes, I put washers over the plastic post that the housing slides over), but this gave me the proper aim.  This is why i said you can probably move the hole and slot down slightly on the back of the housings when mounting the projectors.

 

Next, I went to the driver's side and did the same process.  However, on the driver's side, I replaced the stripped torx screws with #8 x 3/4" Stainless Steel Hex Head Sheet metal screws.  This made it so I could use a ratchet in the tight clearance area behind the fog light opening.  Once again, finagling is necessary.  I also began the process of aiming.  However, this is when i started to notice odd functionality in the lights.  The driver's side light would work, but the passenger side light would try to ignite 5 times and then shut off.

 

So, now it is 10:30 PM and I need to get this wrapped up so I can be on the road at 7:30 AM.  Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures from here on out.  But I can tell you what happened.

 

Step 8 - Debugging:  So once the lights were mounted, I shut the ignition off.  I turn the ignition on and the driver's side fog light comes on.  Only one problem...  The fog light switch is off...  Turn on the fog light switch and the passenger side side fog light attempts to ignite 5 times and shuts off...  I try this a few more times and the operation is consistent.  Consistently screwed up, but consistent.

 

So, I just happen to have a relay harness sitting around from another vehicle that I never installed it on.  I quickly install the relay harness and test again.  Turn on the ignition (fog light switch off).  No fog lights, good.  Turn on the headlight switch, no fog lights, Even better.  Turn on the fog light switch, and both sides try to ignite 5 times and shut off.  I turn off the fog light switch and try it again, nothing.  Turn of the ignition, turn it back on, and try again.  Once again, the lights try to ignite 5 times and turn off.  this is very consistent.  The lights will only try to ignite 5 times after an ignition reset.

 

So, my next thoughts jump to the fact that everything in the car in Canbus.  At this point, it is 12:30 AM.  Time to button up and come back to it later.  So I go about putting all the underbody panels back on, reinstalling the torx screws and trim panel clips.

 

So, here I am with a TC with nice lights installed and I believe I need to trick the Canbus into thinking the lights are working to get them to operate normally.  Time to research.  I'll post more when i fix the problem.  But for now, here is the front view of the TC with the projectors installed.

 

20171001_181154-2.thumb.jpg.57c1a44b89d400819df2ae64d8eee159.jpg

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So, after a few quick searches, I am guessing that the TC needs the HID warning cancellers (capacitors).  This sounds like a PWM problem.  Does anyone know, are these PWM controlled?  it would make sense that the vehicle tries to pulse them but senses a low current.  After trying a few times, it assumes they are bad and stops pulsing.  One other note, in spite of the TC having lots of technology in it,  the car provides me no warning that the lights aren't working. 

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Does your TC have the cornering fog lamps (turns on each side when you turn the steering wheel)? This function is controlled by a module on the can bus. Maybe that module is causing the problem. Normal fog lamps have a module with an internal relay and no can bus signal, just a voltage from the headlight switch.

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1 hour ago, Don Ridley said:

Does your TC have the cornering fog lamps (turns on each side when you turn the steering wheel)? This function is controlled by a module on the can bus. Maybe that module is causing the problem. Normal fog lamps have a module with an internal relay and no can bus signal, just a voltage from the headlight switch.

 

I do have the cornering lamps. I just figured they overrode the fog light switch.   I will try the canbus canceller and see if that works.  I am just guessing it is computer related since it always behaves identically: 5 attempts to start,  shut down til ignition reset. 

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Here are the wiring diagrams. It looks like the cornering lamp module (adaptive front lighting module) is added in parallel with the body control module (normal fog lamp control). I am not sure if/how the AFLM is affecting your HIDs. You may have to disconnect the AFLM. All of these modules can have some sophisticated circuitry that don't react well to added components.

Fog lamp wiring.pdf

Fog_cornering lamp wiring.pdf

Foglamp overviewl.pdf

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7 hours ago, Don Ridley said:

Here are the wiring diagrams. It looks like the cornering lamp module (adaptive front lighting module) is added in parallel with the body control module (normal fog lamp control). I am not sure if/how the AFLM is affecting your HIDs. You may have to disconnect the AFLM. All of these modules can have some sophisticated circuitry that don't react well to added components.

Fog lamp wiring.pdf

Fog_cornering lamp wiring.pdf

Foglamp overviewl.pdf

Don,

 

Thanks for the schematics.  I am fairly certain at this point that the system sees the lower current as a light being out and therefore doesn't continue to attempt to turn the bulb on.  I really need to gt under there with a millimeter and some spare wires.

 

I also noticed that the 5 attempts also occurs with the fog lights off but the turn signal on.  Based on this, I am certain the AFLM is sending the same signal to the lights.  The question that i would like to answer is if it is a PWM signal.  I have seen that many of the CAN bus controlled lighting systems utilize PWM drivers.  If that is the case, the CAN cancellers devices may work.  There are basically two "fixes" out there.

 

1) Resistors - These are used to make the system believe the lights are drawing current.

2) Capacitors - These are used as a means of leveling out the voltage of the PWM signal.

 

I am guessing that the resistors may be necessary since the TC obviously makes a correction (stopping any attempts at lighting the fog lamps).  This means the AFLM senses a problem (low current draw) and adjusts.  Resetting the module (power cycling) resets the system to an unknown state and the vehicle attempts again.

 

I will be giving some attention to this tomorrow hopefully.

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Will the HID ignite quicky enough function as cornering lamps? If you wiggle the steering back and forth the cornering lights will wink. 

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4 minutes ago, Don Ridley said:

Will the HID ignite quicky enough function as cornering lamps? If you wiggle the steering back and forth the cornering lights will wink. 

 

The function of the lights is identical for all three conditions that would turn the lights on:

 

1) Turning on the Fog Light switch

2) Fog light switch off, and turning on the turn signal

3) Fog light and turn signal off, but turning the wheel.

 

Additionally, the count of attempts to start the light is held in memory.  So, if I turn on the fog lights and it attempts to start 3 times before turning off the switch, when i turn the switch on again, it will attempt 2 more times.  For certain the control module has all of the intelligence in it.  I am guessing the HS-CAN message is simply a switch activated signal, but I am also sure that Ford (like most manufacturers I have dealt with in the big rig world) uses some type of proprietary messaging which would make it difficult to figure out exactly what the communications are.  However, going back to the behavior, I am guessing the HCM (or ALCM, depending on the drawing you look at) is checking the current draw and controlling the application of voltage to the lights.

 

I am going to play around with the circuit with some resistors later this week to see if my hunch is correct.  

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