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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 T6 with the halogen reflector housings. While the bulbs are bright (went with the Osram's), the reflectors just don't give great output on the road.

Looking at a set of used stock R-Design projector housing with the Xenon bulbs, what's the plug and play-ability on these units? Anyone do this so far? Dropping in HID into the stock housings is obviously a bad idea and I don;t want to convert the housings myself to projectors as I want something OEM if I can help it.

I spoke with a guy who runs a body shop that works on Volvos and is affiliated with the dealer and he told me to shy away as the harness and current draw is different but I don't know to what extent.

Thanks.
 

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I have a 2012 T6 with the halogen reflector housings. While the bulbs are bright (went with the Osram's), the reflectors just don't give great output on the road.

Looking at a set of used stock R-Design projector housing with the Xenon bulbs, what's the plug and play-ability on these units? Anyone do this so far? Dropping in HID into the stock housings is obviously a bad idea and I don;t want to convert the housings myself to projectors as I want something OEM if I can help it.

I spoke with a guy who runs a body shop that works on Volvos and is affiliated with the dealer and he told me to shy away as the harness and current draw is different but I don't know to what extent.

Thanks.
I think this was brought up not to long ago.

There is no plug/play capability between the two. The wire harnesses would need to be switched. To utilize the active bending light capability a software upgrade would need to be applied.

Also depending on your state/country/province it may be illegal to actually install the Xenons without having the washers also installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think this was brought up not to long ago.

There is no plug/play capability between the two. The wire harnesses would need to be switched. To utilize the active bending light capability a software upgrade would need to be applied.

Also depending on your state/country/province it may be illegal to actually install the Xenons without having the washers also installed.
What about using the housings with aftermarket xenon bulbs, wiring them in like you normally would and not use the active function on the headlights? That's more about what I was thinking of doing. I would still get better light output than the stock reflectors.
 

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What about using the housings with aftermarket xenon bulbs, wiring them in like you normally would and not use the active function on the headlights? That's more about what I was thinking of doing. I would still get better light output than the stock reflectors.
At that point, you're better off getting some higher output halogens. If you want to get the real deal xenons, I would get a projector retrofit through one of the reputable vendors online. This is not an easy task, nor is it cheap, but will probably be the best bet to get xenon lights and ballasts into a halogen car.

My experiences with this were not as difficult on my previous car ('03 A4). I had halogen projectors stock, replaced the bulbs with high output Osrams (didn't like it), then I replaced the entire housing with BiXenon HIDs from a european spec car. Fortunately, the car had the same wiring harnesses, but i did not have the auto-leveling capability, which is one of the parameters for legalizing the use of xenon/HID lights. For this reason, I specifically spec my cars with xenon/hid lights from the factory because I just can't go back to regular halogen bulbs. Good luck.
 

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I asked the same question a few weeks back and was told it's simply not possible (or rather, it would be cheaper to actually trade my car in on another car that has the ABL Xenons). So, I've got Philips Xtreme Vision H11 bulbs in route via amazon. For $32, I figured it's worth a shot. If that's not enough light, I'll likely invest in some high quality hella/piaa/cibie driving lights on a front license plate bracket mount (Volvo has one that's a factory accessory).

Will try to post some before/after pics and impressions once I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No one is really addressing the question so I might just attempt it and post back.

Getting higher output halogens won;t address the issue of reflector housing that just aren't that great at focusing the light output. The bulbs are plenty bright but out in front, the light scatters.

It would NOT be easier to retrofit projector housings into the OEM reflector unit. It requires modification and while isn't the most complicated thing in the world, certainly isn't an OEM solution that I am looking for.

All I really need to know is if the projector units fit and mount the same way as the reflector housings do on a same MY car and if the projector housings accept a standard format bulb type (H1 for example). If both of those are true, then you should be able to swap in the OEM projector units and wire up an aftermarket HID bulb. Sure the wiring won't be stock and I can't use the cool movable functionality of the R-Design projector, but it should focus the light a lot better in a static position and continue to look OEM.

Just wonder if someone tried already, which it appears as though no one has.
 

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No one is really addressing the question so I might just attempt it and post back.

Getting higher output halogens won;t address the issue of reflector housing that just aren't that great at focusing the light output. The bulbs are plenty bright but out in front, the light scatters.

It would NOT be easier to retrofit projector housings into the OEM reflector unit. It requires modification and while isn't the most complicated thing in the world, certainly isn't an OEM solution that I am looking for.

All I really need to know is if the projector units fit and mount the same way as the reflector housings do on a same MY car and if the projector housings accept a standard format bulb type (H1 for example). If both of those are true, then you should be able to swap in the OEM projector units and wire up an aftermarket HID bulb. Sure the wiring won't be stock and I can't use the cool movable functionality of the R-Design projector, but it should focus the light a lot better in a static position and continue to look OEM.

Just wonder if someone tried already, which it appears as though no one has.
I don't think the OEM Xenon headlamps will accept a different bulb size other than what comes with them (probably D2R/D2S bulb). Hopefully I see my parents in the next couple of weeks and I can just swap over their headlamps; I know they will sit in the housing the same way as the non-Xenon headlamps. The wire harnesses might be completely different, but maybe an aftermarket HID kit running at say 35w could be wired in and not draw so much power like the OEM ones?
 

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Perhaps the entire xenon headlight unit can be swapped in for the halogen one?
Can't be done easily... that's the problem. You need a different wire harness + software upgrade for the Xenon's to work in a non-xenon.

The Xenon headlights should mount the same way the halogens do and if you're buying the same MY they should definitely work.

I haven't had to change my Xenon bulbs but I don't see why a standard halogen bulb wouldn't fit in the Xenon housing as long as you can find one that fits.

Most Xenon Bulbs are held in using a spring loaded clip.

The only thing I am unsure of is how they'd be aimed. When I turn on my vehicle and the lights auto balance themselves. Not sure if when off they default to a down position or not. But when you turn them on the beam is pointing downwards then moves up to the appropriate level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's a good point, I'm not sure how to aim them so that part might be a challenge. The units should match and since there are other HID solutions out there (wiring to the halogen harness). If there is a way to manually level or balance the projectors, that may be the only outstanding question. If there isn't a manual way to do this, it appears that the only way would be to use the R-Design harness and do it all.
 

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That's a good point, I'm not sure how to aim them so that part might be a challenge. The units should match and since there are other HID solutions out there (wiring to the halogen harness). If there is a way to manually level or balance the projectors, that may be the only outstanding question. If there isn't a manual way to do this, it appears that the only way would be to use the R-Design harness and do it all.
Yeah I totally forgot that the Xenons are auto-leveling. Like I said I have no idea if they default to sitting down. or if they require power to stay up or what.

Only way to figure that out would be to find some to swap.
 

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I never watched the xenons in my Volvo. However, they look just like the ones in my BMW. They rise up when turned on, and drop (slightly) when off. I also know that xenons come in leveling/turning (required in the US) and not turning versions. I suspect that the same supplier makes both (Volvo/BMW). I also understand that the software change is to identify the lights to the computer. This can be done using a software management interface in BMW - I do not know about Volvo.
That all said, the xenons probably require additional wiring outside of the enclosures (ballasts).
 

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I never watched the xenons in my Volvo. However, they look just like the ones in my BMW. They rise up when turned on, and drop (slightly) when off. I also know that xenons come in leveling/turning (required in the US) and not turning versions. I suspect that the same supplier makes both (Volvo/BMW). I also understand that the software change is to identify the lights to the computer. This can be done using a software management interface in BMW - I do not know about Volvo.
That all said, the xenons probably require additional wiring outside of the enclosures (ballasts).
I never realized you could get the Xenons (in North America) without the auto balance/active bending light (I know there's an option to turn off the ABL).

The wiring harness is different because the Ballast plugs into the harness vs Halogen which the bulb plugs into the harness.
 

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I'm sorry if I left the impression that xenons are/were available in North America that do not level. I was only trying to draw distinctions that the car's software would want to know about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are all the euro versions of the projector headlights auto-level or were the first years R-Design model auto-level in the US (2010)?
 
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