Dodge Caliber Forum banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I just spent the weekend installing the blacked out, halo headlights on my Caliber. Let's just say a few expletives were said in getting the old ones out...

EDIT (May 18, 2009): Put a bead of silicone around the seam where the clear plastic attaches to the black plastic. If not you'll have condensation problems on the inside of the lense. I have also since added HID's to these with no problems, leave a gap at the bottom.

EDIT (July 2010): This is for a 2007 Caliber, newer models may differ.

Anyway, I took pics of most of the removal and installation. And when I was stumped as to how to get at the signal lights and opened the book and saw "take to dealer for replacement" I chuckled, and began my installation. I don't know about you but as a man, taking my car in to get a bulb replaced just ain't going to happen. Might as well put on a pair of panties and carry a man purse. {Instert Seinfeld "not that there's anything wrong with that" comment here} :p

So! Here goes, hope this helps someone change their signal bulbs if they are not going through with this install...

First, remove the black cowling behind the grill and on top of the radiator and the 6 screws holding the grill to the body (you can see the holes on top in the pic):



Next you can get at 2 of the three screws holding on the headlight assembly. Here is the first one (shown at the right in the image above this one, and close up in the pic below), it has been removed and is in the center of the pic, where the black plastic is:



The second bolt is directly below this one. Luckily even after a year on the road they are not tight and once started can be removed by hand, using a socket for extra grip. It's a tight fit though, hard to get your hand down there. Also, the driver side headlight area is full of extra wiring for the fuses which makes this side a lot harder than the passenger side.

You are done up here for now. Time to slide over to the wheelwell. There are 2 screws holding in the wheel well plastic housing at the front edge, and there are three push in lock type retainers elsewhere. I'll get to that later. First, here are the two screws (one removed and one half removed):



Once you have those out, follow the plastic gaurd around to what looks like a button holding the back piece on. Use a screwdriver to pry it out a little, there are grooves for the screwdriver to go into on the sides (which you can see if you check out the pic below this paragraph, that are next to be removed) to get this started. Then use pliers or your hand if it's strong enough, to pull it straight out. Don't twist, or it'll break (tries to look innocent). If it breaks, no big deal, there is enough left over to push the nub back in to hold it - I doubt they'll fall out.

Now go below and look for where the plastic gaurd comes from the wheel well to underneath, there will be two more of those plastic snaps:



Now you can go back to the wheel well. It takes a bit of cursing and adjusting but that plastic gaurd will come out, trust me! Get it out from behind the lip of the bumper. Once you have it like this:



You can change your signal light! Ha! Brutal way to get at those that's for sure. You can skip the parts on the top of the car to get at the signal bulbs, just do these part at the wheel well to get at them.

Okay, now that the gaurd is out of the way, there is another screw holding the bumper up to the fender. A picture is worth a thousand words so here is where this screw is:



Once that screw is out, you can push the bumper forward. It has a groove that slides into place to help hold the bumper in position,you can see it almost center of this pic:



Be careful when you do this part, it's easy for it to ride up on the nice paintjob of the fender! So this is what I did:



Ok, now you can get at the third screw holding in the headlights. I tried my best to show where it is but boy, it's tight in there. My hand is on the left holding a very small, smallest of the small, ratchet. And the lighting has caught the backside of the screw I am talking about:


EDIT: At this point, you can go under the car and remove the 3-4 bolts to completely remove the bumper. Be better if you had a friend/wife/sig-other to help take it off and put back on but it can be done by yourself if you're careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)


That silver thing in the center of the picture is not the ratchet, it's a hose from somewhere :p The ratchet is on the left.

As far as pictures go that is about it for getting at the headlights. There is one more thing holding them in, a ball socket type retainer. if you pull hard enough it will come loose - but you really have to pull. If there is a better way to get them off I'd love to hear it, I think spraying some WD40 in there before trying will help a lot. I managed to get them both off but I could have damaged the paint, hindsight is 20/20 hehe!

Putting the new ones back in is actually easer than getting them out, the hardest part is getting them out of that blasted ball socket seat. I highly recommend plugging in the new lights to make sure all the bulbs/LED's are working. My passenger side one was perfect, but my driver side had 2 problems. One of the three LED lights on top of the assembly wasn't lit, I had to get in there and wiggle things around and thankfully it came on. The other was one of the halo lights was missing a wire *cough*cough*. I sent the people I bought it from an email saying so, but haven't heard back. Luckily I have stuff lying around here and replaced it.

The lights themselves are plug and play (headlights, high beams, signals). The others need to be spliced into either the headlight power, or the signal power. It's not as hard as it sounds, and how much time you put in now will make your work last longer. I soldered all of my connections. How you want them to light up is up to you, I'm in Canada so I have daytime running lights.

Lets assume I am talking about the passenger side assembly.

I set mine up so that:

1. when the daylight running lights were on (right most lamp) the left halo comes on (lamp that is not lit) and the three top small bulbs are on.

2. when my full lights are on (left lamp) both halos are on, and the three top lights are on

3. when my high beams (right lamp) are on, the top three lights go off and the halo goes off around the high beam lamp but the left lamp halo stays on.

4. the long thin light only comes on when my turn signal comes on, and flashes at the same time as the signal.

I didn't want to show the daylight runner lights because I'd have to leave the car in neutral with the engine on and quite frankly I don't trust myself even with bricks in place :p

You can set it up any way you want, but that was my personal preference. I wired it so the middle halo comes on when I turn on just the parking lamps. I could have wired it to the daytime running lamps - but then the power would be cut to that halo light when I turned on my full headlights. There is probably a better way of setting it up but for now I'm happy with it. I may change it later on.

At least all the wiring is easy to get at even when it is installed. If you think about the wiring before you put it all in you can save yourself working in a tight area with a soldering gun. Not impossible, but I'd rather not hehe!

Here are the final results:

Full Headlights On:



The second picture it's hard to tell both halos are on but they are.

High Beams:



How it looks on Sunburst Orange:
Shows the tint I got a little bit as well.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Good job. I put the chrome ones on about six months ago. I thought it sucked that you have to pull the bumper cover to remove the lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Taking the whole bumper cover off probably would have made it easier (if that's what you did) but I didn't want to go that far. It's amazing I even got up and attempted it let alone completed it hehe!

Posted that cause I saw a few threads asking people how they installed them so I had that in mind while I put them in, that and I wanted to try out my new digital cam :p
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,855 Posts
dude, definite rep for that one! it's a shame I can only give you 1 rep point for it though.
Add my 25 to yours, that makes 26.;) Good job on the pics and write up fyrstorm.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Not bad, Fyrestorm, Not bad.

Wish I was there to help things out. Not that i'm mechnically inclined but at least get an handle how its done. Not to mention have it recorded on digital video.

Too bad you were not able to make a wiring diagram on those Halo headlights of yours.

Where are you in ON anyways?

Big kudos!

:worshippy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well the wiring is very simple. The instructions that come with it tell you to hook into the parking lights, and there is three wires there. One has constant power, another has power when you use your turn signals, and the other is ground.

The wires from the halo, three LED, and long skinny light all have a power line (white) and a ground (black). To set it up the way you want you can just unplug the bulb, and use the open end of the socket to shove the wires from the lamp assembly into the slots to see which line does what. Obviously ground needs to go to ground but others can go to a power supply of your choice.

So, I used the assembly wiring of the new headlight shell to tie in the 3 LED's and I used the Signal line to tie in one of the halo's and long skinny light.

I am deliberately omitting colours on the wires and using general terms like light coloured and dark coloured cause I'm partially colour blind and don't want to get blamed for saying the wrong colours lol. Like I said before you can figure out which of the light coloured wires do what, if you plug in the ground to the ground of what you want to test. Then plug in the white wire into each of the openings until you get the effect you want, like if you want the halos on when the parking lights are on, do the above - and obviously - turn on your parking lights and start testing.

Going from memory (and using a bit of logical thinking), :

Skinny Light:
  • Ground to ground on the signal plug (dark wire)
  • White to power when signal is in use (light wire)(if you want this on all the time when the lights are on, tie into the gound of the signal plug and the constant power line of the signal plug).
3 LED Lights
  • Ground to ground on headlight plug (which is the dark wire)
  • Power to power on headlight plug, low beams (light wire)(this turns them off when the power is switched from low beams to high beams, if you want them on all the time tie your ground and power into the signal plugs ground and power).
Halo Light, middle of assembly
  • Ground to ground on signal plug (Dark Wire)
  • White to power on signal plug, constant power line (light wire)
Halo Light, Inner Ring (next to grille)
  • Ground to ground on headlight plug (dark wire)
  • White to power on headlight plug, low beams (light wire)(this turns off the halo on the high beam (inner rings) when the high beams come on)
So you can see, there are options to how you want to set it up. If you want everything on all the time, then tie into the parking light signal lines. I wanted to be a bit different so I went the way I did.

And I'm about an hour north of Toronto, but not in Barrie - home of the Mullet. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
The previous post is definitely something that should be moved to
knowledgebase forum for future modifiers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Excaliber07

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Woooooooow

Hey Fyrstorm!

Your car looks really neat with those lights! I was planning to get them too but I wasn't so sure because of the installation problems and I didn't know how they would really look.

Now my doubts have dissapeared! They look awesome, thanks a lot for all the installation tips, now I am really buying them as soon as I get some extra bucks (or.. shall I say "pesos" hahaha)

:worshippy: nice job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Cool 8)

Hardest part was getting them loose from that ball socket type holder - if someone has a better way I hope they let us know :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
a whenyour outting back on that black cowling it's supposed to screw directly into the body right?

because now when I close my hood it looks like I have gap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
I read in other forums that the lights come with a new rubber gasket (that makes the housing fit). They said NOT to use the new one; use the old (original) one and it will fit fine.

I hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Mine fit pretty snug, you can adjust the "ball" socket so it seats and aligns a little better. It tilts the final position just a little bit. The other three screws match right, up almost perfectly. I'm not sure what you mean about the rubber gasket, with my set there was none - only the rings for the light bulb assemblies. The instructions I had with mine weren't that verbose hehe! "Light go here! Wire go here! Happy fun time!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
about that plastic thing that holds the metal ball I think I broke one but im going to go to dodge and purchase another. But the black cowling thingy seems not to screw completly into the front end. When I ou the lights on I damn near took the whole front end off and you think I might have to re adjust that or no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: 45caliberspecial

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
let me ask you this then when you took the black cowling off there was no thing elseattached to it? just the black circular stubs on the bottom of the cowling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Where'd you get yours? Ebay or a specialty shop?
EBay, I'll look up the one I got it from in a bit. I'm at work at the moment hehe! There were two listed at the time, one took forever to get back to me so I went with the other.

when you took the black cowling off
Having a hard time following your post, do you mean the black plastic in the wheel well or the plastic underneath? There are those push plugs in both places. If that is what you are talking about, they just push right back in again into the body/frame. There is 2 screw in types, one holds the bumper up to the fender and the other screws in near the front of the wheel well in front of the tire to pull the plastic back flush with the bumper. Hope that made sense.... lol

If you took the bumper right off you'll probably have to do some pushing and pulling to get it to sit back the way it was, likewise with the top fender bolts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
still can't get over the amount of detail you took with this install fyrstorm
Thanks for the nice comments :) Missed it the first time cause the boss was walking around and I sped read the notes and replied really quick!

Got mine off of k2motor on ebay. Lots of good replies and I got them really fast, i was surprised.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top