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02+ NSX-R headlights question

Joined
8 February 2017
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81
I'm toying with the idea of grabbing a set of NSX-R headlights for my fixed headlight-converted 1997. I've been piecing together a few things that I wasn't aware of before, namely that not all of the fixed headlights are HIDs (mine are).

Let's say I grabbed a set from Mita (which Marc says the NSX-R ones with the white housings are still available — https://www.mitamotorsports.com/product/nsx-fixed-headlights/). Regardless of them being meant for halogen or HID internals, I would effectively just swap over my USDM HID internals correct? I'm assuming that the beam pattern cut-offs for LHD would also transfer over since they're all part of the internals? Or are they part of the headlight housing itself?

Of course, an alternative is to have them painted by EuroBoutique though I kind of like the idea of having a second set of headlights despite the additional cost...
 
I'd bet the internals swap over, but I can't say for certain since I've not had a look at both side by side but I will say this: If you do end up with the JDM non-HID headlights, they won't have an opening at the bottom for the HID unit, so you're simply going to want to swap the championship white inner housing from the JDM headlights into your existing HID headlights. That way you still have the HID housing along with the correct LHD cutoff, just with the white inside.

I did this on my S2000 with the chrome housing in order to keep the LHD cutoff. I've opened up quite a few headlights, so let me know if you have any questions if you plan to DIY it. My suggestion is just to be careful with the butyl glue because it can get stringy and get places where it shouldn't (like the insides of the headlight). And also make sure your environment is clean because you don't want any dust or debris (like dog hair...ask me how i know) inside.
 
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One other thing to keep in mind is that the JDM headlight units will be aimed the opposite of U.S. roads. The left side light will point up, blinding oncoming traffic and the right side light will point down, cutting off the driver's line of visibility. I'm not sure if the 02+ light units are fixed in this way or if the headlight adjusters could be used to "flip" the orientation.

IMO it's better to buy a pair of the silver Acura units and have them repainted white by a quality shop like Euroboutique. At least they'll be aimed the right way! :)
 
One other thing to keep in mind is that the JDM headlight units will be aimed the opposite of U.S. roads. The left side light will point up, blinding oncoming traffic and the right side light will point down, cutting off the driver's line of visibility. I'm not sure if the 02+ light units are fixed in this way or if the headlight adjusters could be used to "flip" the orientation.

IMO it's better to buy a pair of the silver Acura units and have them repainted white by a quality shop like Euroboutique. At least they'll be aimed the right way! :)
The aiming you’re talking about is partially what we’ve been referring to as the “cutoff.” I say partially because it's not only the aiming but it's also the shape of the stepped cutoff shield inside the projector housing that is LHD or RHD specific.

Unfortunately this is not an issue that can be fixed by aiming alone since each headlight has its own LHD or RHD specific cutoff shield. So, you can aim the Left JDM headlight lower than the right JDM headlight, but they will still have the incorrect step in the cutoff for a LHD environment.

But yeah, pros and cons for purchasing USDM vs JDM. If you go with the OEM JDM champ white housing, you know the headlight is the perfect shade of NH-0 (trust me, this can vary depending on who's painting it) and you'll be assured that there won't be any paint bleeding or durability issues that you could possibly get with an aftermarket job. On the flip side, if you buy OEM Acura HID housings, then you'd have an extra set of correct LHD headlight housings for use if you desire and they'd also have better resale (in the USA at least) should you choose to sell them and offset some cost for this project. Availability and cost may play into your decision as well though!
 
I've looked into this in the past and it's why I never bought the JDM with the white accent. My set is 100% oem down to the wire harness the ballast, bulbs, etc but all from the USDM catalog. I was worried about this exact same thing. While the cutoff beam pattern is determined by the little reflective "plate" in front of the bulb itself my foggy memory tells me it's wasn't easy to swap at all. Like it would have required heating up the unit in an oven (like every youtuber does) and separating the internals to swap over this housing. Please someone correct me if i'm wrong.. it's been >10yrs since I looked into this.

So my takeway was.. if I wanted white housings I might as well paint my USDM ones because i'd have to open up the JDM ones anyway and have to deal with the crap beam pattern on top of that.

In other words: two choices if I really wanted the white internals
1. buy JDM units in white but have to crack the lens open and swap out the internals (let us know if this isn't necessary)
2. use my current USDM units and just crack it open anyway to paint.

Either way, it requires cracking it open which I didn't want to do on a 100% bone stock setup, unless I get really bored one day.

For those that don't know.. this is a JDM (aka RHD) beam pattern. You end up just blinding the oncoming traffic OR you have to point them way down and have virtually no beam coverage on the right side. Super lame.... I learned this when I had my DA integra and got the one-piece headlights in the 90s lol

Honda CRZ beam pattern as an example
1715883104887.png
 
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Yeah I'm trying to get a set of USDM HID headlights though a number of Acura parts places online have cancelled my order due to parts discontinuation (which is very understandable). Not yet heard back from Mita on what "slate green metallic" is here but I'm assuming that it's just the standard silver color?

1715884870778.png
 
I'm back with more questions! Are the halogen and HID headlights the same *except* for that opening in the bottom for the HID unit? The plastic molding looks the same, it even has the provisions for that opening. It's just... not open. I might be getting ahead of myself but it seems like I could just cut it open?

Halogen assembly:

1716065935406.png


HID assembly:
1716065954981.png
 
Not sure for the nsx specifically but I’ve heard that typically HID projector housings are different for HID vs Non-HID due to the different size of the bulbs and amount of light output but again I don’t know if this applies to the NSX.
 
Not sure for the nsx specifically but I’ve heard that typically HID projector housings are different for HID vs Non-HID due to the different size of the bulbs and amount of light output but again I don’t know if this applies to the NSX.
Ahh good point. Maybe it's a reasonable assumption that with Honda taking the, erhm, "cheap" route with the fixed headlights that the projector housings might be the same :D

Comparing the two parts diagrams the other significant difference is the plastic cover for the low-beam socket. The HID ones are a cover as the wiring goes down to the HID ballast (and then via a two-prong plug to the headlight power/ground). On the halogen cars, the wiring comes out of the plastic cover and terminates with the same two-prong power/ground plug.

Part number 33127-SL0-G01

1716069392240.png
 
I ordered my JDM NSX-R white HID units from Impex Japan. It was much cheaper.

I haven't taken them apart to fix the beam pattern, but from what I could see there are metal shields that create the beam pattern. They are screwed on. So if you do take them apart I imagine it would be easy to modify this shield or take the shields off your USDM headlights. I just aimed my left headlight as low as I could. It's not ideal as the beam pattern should also be wider to the left to illuminate signs in RHD country.
 
I ordered my JDM NSX-R white HID units from Impex Japan. It was much cheaper.

I haven't taken them apart to fix the beam pattern, but from what I could see there are metal shields that create the beam pattern. They are screwed on. So if you do take them apart I imagine it would be easy to modify this shield or take the shields off your USDM headlights. I just aimed my left headlight as low as I could. It's not ideal as the beam pattern should also be wider to the left to illuminate signs in RHD country.
Great to hear this! Do you have the part numbers for the NSX-R HID headlights? I can only find the halogen ones...
 
I ordered my JDM NSX-R white HID units from Impex Japan. It was much cheaper.

I haven't taken them apart to fix the beam pattern, but from what I could see there are metal shields that create the beam pattern. They are screwed on. So if you do take them apart I imagine it would be easy to modify this shield or take the shields off your USDM headlights. I just aimed my left headlight as low as I could. It's not ideal as the beam pattern should also be wider to the left to illuminate signs in RHD country.
GREAT info. Thanks for replying here!
 
I ordered my JDM NSX-R white HID units from Impex Japan. It was much cheaper.

I haven't taken them apart to fix the beam pattern, but from what I could see there are metal shields that create the beam pattern. They are screwed on. So if you do take them apart I imagine it would be easy to modify this shield or take the shields off your USDM headlights. I just aimed my left headlight as low as I could. It's not ideal as the beam pattern should also be wider to the left to illuminate signs in RHD country.
how much did you pay for the healight in Japan? The JPY is very low right now so it would be the right time to buy parts from Japan
 
I've looked into this in the past and it's why I never bought the JDM with the white accent. My set is 100% oem down to the wire harness the ballast, bulbs, etc but all from the USDM catalog. I was worried about this exact same thing. While the cutoff beam pattern is determined by the little reflective "plate" in front of the bulb itself my foggy memory tells me it's wasn't easy to swap at all. Like it would have required heating up the unit in an oven (like every youtuber does) and separating the internals to swap over this housing. Please someone correct me if i'm wrong.. it's been >10yrs since I looked into this.

So my takeway was.. if I wanted white housings I might as well paint my USDM ones because i'd have to open up the JDM ones anyway and have to deal with the crap beam pattern on top of that.

In other words: two choices if I really wanted the white internals
1. buy JDM units in white but have to crack the lens open and swap out the internals (let us know if this isn't necessary)
2. use my current USDM units and just crack it open anyway to paint.

Either way, it requires cracking it open which I didn't want to do on a 100% bone stock setup, unless I get really bored one day.

For those that don't know.. this is a JDM (aka RHD) beam pattern. You end up just blinding the oncoming traffic OR you have to point them way down and have virtually no beam coverage on the right side. Super lame.... I learned this when I had my DA integra and got the one-piece headlights in the 90s lol

Honda CRZ beam pattern as an example
View attachment 190822
Very helpful post. Thank you.
I am also looking for a HID housing to rebuild an NSX. I located a pair of fixed headlights but the seller doesnt know if it is JDM or USDM. Is there a way to differenciate which is which?
 
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