Monday, July 28, 2014

Mirror mirror

Hello to all!

This time I'll write a step by step instruction regarding on how to upgrade your side mirrors to the 2007+ model, the ones with integrated side markers, or blinkers.

If you have read the previous post, you know I have bought a pair of rear "jewel" taillights. I told you that I have also bought a pair of 2007+ side mirrors with integrated blinkers and courtesy lights.
I was really happy to have found them especially because they were already in the same color as my current mirrors.
So, first things first. Disassemble my mirrors and put the new ones in place. The procedure is very easy and straightforward. You start by opening the door and removing 2 plastic trims using a bone tool, or as I do it, with a credit card :) since I don't have a bone tool. For this first piece I always start from the bottom and go up.
Behind it you will find 2 Torx 25 mm screws. One is at the bottom.
And the other is on the upper part of this assembly.
The second plastic trim is the one that is above the door cover in the corner.
Behind it you will find a 13mm bolt that holds the mirror attached to the door.
Do not unscrew this bolt just now, first you have to continue to disassemble the door cover. It is still held in place by 8 plastic retainers like the ones in the picture below:
The way I remove them (although it's not the only way) is press the center piece with the tip of the same Torx screwdriver I used on the screws before. This way, I prevent breaking them and assure their reusability. After the retainers are off, all you have to do is lift gently the door cover  and then pull it gently towards you. Now disconnect the door handle release wire pictured below;
 and the 3 connectors you see in the picture.
Now you can put the cover (panel) aside and proceed to unscrew the aforementioned 13mm screw that holds the mirror in place. And this is how it looks after I have removed the mirror.
For the reassembly I followed the same steps only backwards. And below is the new mirror in it's place.
And another shot from the front.
The final shot with both mirrors installed:

But this was not the end of this project. The mirrors worked fine, the courtesy light, electric heating and adjusting were working as they should have. This is because the new mirror had an exact connector as the old one.
However, the incorporated turn signals did not work, because, there was no wire connecting the new mirror to the turn signal relay. So the next step was to connect them. So I had a look on how to pass the wire from the mirror, through the door and pull it all the way in the front next to the original side marker. At first I didn't find a way, but after a few minutes I found a way so I wouldn't have to drill a hole through the door. This is what I did: You can see in the picture below there is an arrow pointing to a large plastic cover and anoter arrow pointing to my new wires.
First, I took out that cover. It is held by to inner clips, you just have to pull it gently and it will come off easily. So I passed my cable through the seal that is depicted in the picture below. That rubber hose that you see in the picture is filled with other cables. There is no point in passing your cable through it because, at the other end (near the door inner edge) it has a white connector that has two 10mm screws that hold the connector and hose to the chassis. So I unscrewed the screws and pulled the connector.... 
so that I would pass my wire under the rubber hose
Now, I decided I will discard one of the bolts from this connector and pass my wire through the new hole that I created. The screw is not molded into the plastic of the connector. Using a 6mm star bit I managed to unscrew it from the connector.
Next, I passed the cable through the hole in the door that I obtained by removing the connector's screw.
Now, I placed the connector back in it's place, and you can see my wires passing through the door in the new hole.
And the bolt is back on the screw and the connector is back in it's place safe and sound.
This stage, the wire is safely placed in the door, and passing through it freely under the plastic hose that you can see between the door and the fender.
The last step of the wiring was to "fish" the wire through the hole in the fender where the side marker is located.
Now, I connected the white-black wire to the brown wire and the gray-black wire to the green wire.
And completed the circuit on the mirror's end connecting the white-black wire to the black wire and the gray-black wire to the mirror's blue-black wire.
Of course, there are other ways to make all this work. This was the method I chose, basically because I did not have suitable metal pins for the mirror's green connector. So this is a temporary solution until I find this type of pins. The important thing is that both mirrors work and the blinkers work.

Well, that's it. Hope you like the result and hope you found this useful. If you decide to do this project, and you need help, use the comment section below, or use my Facebook page and I will try to help you.

Safe journeys everyone!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bling bling

Hello, my dear readers!

This time, I will tell you about something I did a few days ago. Finally, I found a pair of 2005+ "jewel" S60 tail lights and I went ahead and bought them. Also I bought a pair of 2007+ side mirrors with integrated side markers that I will cover in the next post. Here are the beauties:

The very next day I started the disassembly of my tail lights. This process is very easy. All you have to do is open the trunk and then release the cover on both sides using the knob.
Behind the " mystery " door we find this: the tail light assembly.
The tail light is held in place attached to the body via four 10mm bolts that are placed on the tail light's screws.
After you unscrew these bolts and remove both the connectors, you can pull the tail light away from the car.
Now comes the tricky part. You must understand that this job is not 100% plug and play. There are 2 things you must consider when you decide to do this kind of job. Firstly, when you buy the new tails, be sure you buy them complete with the electronic parts (the parts where the bulbs are fitted) because the electronics from the older type of lights will not fit. Secondly, you must know you have to modify the tail light a bit since the new one has a very long plastic guidance pin that will not allow it to fit your car (if your Volvo S60 is made pre 2005). 
What you have to do, and what I did, was to cut the pin that you see in the picture above. However after you cut it, you are left with a hole.
So, I used some clear silicone to seal this hole so that when the cold and wet season comes, I will not have any "surprises"
 Until now I have showed you the work I did on only one headlight. But now, I show you the end result of "trimming" and sealing the pin and hole respectively, at the other light.
Almost done, now all I had to do, after the silicone was dry, is to assemble my new jewels back on the car.
One last note, the connectors fit perfectly with the electronics of the new tails, so no worries there.
Hope you like the result and maybe, who knows, you will do this kind of conversion to your car also.

Safe journeys everyone!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Behind blue eyes

Hello again!

As you may have read, I really want to facelift my car. I've made a few steps in that direction. Now, it was time to do the headlight.
So, this post is the last time we will see my car looking like this:
What I did first? Well, I started by buying the new headlamps. I really wanted the ABL (ACTIVE BENDING LIGHTS) models but they are so expensive and in the end the bending function will not work. So I settled for the halogen 2005+ model.
The new pair of headlights were nice and all, but I was still haunted by the look I really wanted, but fortunately I have a friend that works at a specialist shop that told me he could make them look closer to the 2007 ABL headlights and make them bi-xenon by adding a projector lens. So, I agreed.

First step was to disassemble the headlight glass so that the projector could be placed. The glass is held in place with some sort of industrial adhesive, nothing a little heat from a professional heat gun can't handle. Of course you need a pair of strong but steady arms to complete the separation.
Here's how it looked after removing the glass:
We also removed the outer chrome trim surrounding the inner headlight that was held in place by a few small clips. This step is optional but it assures that you don't let any of the industrial glue to land on this chromed part.
Afterwards, we removed the metallic guide and assembled the projector lens.
The lens are Morimoto Black Series and they fit perfectly in the original bulb socket. They fit H11 bulb. 
All was needed now was to make them look better and not out of place so we used a no name chrome trim.
After wiping all the finger marks it was time for the heat gun again to place back the glass and to seal it.
This modification of the headlamp left me without a park light, so I decided to move it to the side on the orange reflector area (like the US models).
All of the steps mentioned above were done on the other headlamp as well.
All what was left to do was to buy a pair of H9 halogen bulbs for the high beam (although I now had bi-xenon, I still wanted the close to stock look). 
So after a little trip to a 24/7 parts shop, I returned and it was time to put the headlights on the car. So, we needed to make a few modifications to the wiring. I also draw a diagram because I only managed to take one blurry picture (I was holding one headlamp with my leg, bended over the the engine compartment and took the shot). I recommend, however, to do this part at an electronist shop, or at least, if you don't have the experience, to go to an electronic expert. This photo is for the right hand side (passenger side) headlight.
If you'll like to see a short video from that day, follow this link.
Also if you have any more questions regarding this topic, please let me know in the comment section or on my facebook page.
I should mention now, that all the little fiddly work was done by my wonderful friend Grigoras Ionut whose hands are golden and let's not forget the rest of the team at CARSX. It's because of them my car looks like this now:
Thank you all!
Safe journeys everyone!