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Discussion Starter #1
Based on some experiences of others on the forum, I picked up a Morimoto HID kit. I finally got around to installing it yesterday, but I ran into some issues and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar problems.

The installation was actually more difficult than I imagined. The instructions were vague and had errors. The most annoying was the instruction to drill a 7/8" hole in the light cover. I drilled a 7/8" hole only to find that it was not big enough for the connectors to fit through. Of course, once the hole is drilled, you can't drill a larger one, so I had to use a file to (sloppily) enlarge the hole.

The posts from others on the forum were helpful in figuring out the correct way to install the light system. I was able to follow this video for some suggestions. I was unsure whether or not the lights actually needed a separate power source. In the video the ballasts are connected directly to the headlight harnesses, which was the easiest thing to do. I mocked up this configuration to make sure it would work, and the lights came on properly.

Things seemed to be going well. I got ballasts neatly mounted and the wires organized. Then I turned the car on to test it out. As soon as I put it in reverse both lights started flickering badly. I figured the problem may have been caused by insufficient power, so I installed the relay wiring harness. I tapped the power into fuse slot #3 (10A unused) in the fuse box, as was done in this thread. Again, I turned the lights on and things seemed to be working well, so I tried to make everything as neat as I could, and took the car out for a test. After about 30 seconds the driver's side light started flickering.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I switched the power source to fuse slot #31 (also 10A "ress cool"). This seemed to work. I drove around for a bit and the lights were working without issue. I did feel like there was a slight dull spot in the lower left corner of my field of view, but at least the lights we working. Unfortunately, this morning when I turned the car on (and it was cooler), the driver's side light started flickering again. It eventually stopped, but obviously something is wrong.

The installation guide suggests that there could be a bad ground if flickering occurs. I hooked the ground up solidly to the ground bolts on both sides (it was a little hard to reach the one on the passenger's side, but I got it). Is it possible that 10A isn't enough for the lights?

Any other ideas on what might be wrong?
 

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http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?16960-Volt-HID-instructions-photos&highlight=HID

These instructions are close to what I used on my 2011 Volt. I used the DDM 35W 5,000K HID kit and the fused relay harness. Since the relay harness has an in-line fuse, I connected to power and ground where the above thread shows, instead of inside the fuse box.

Try hooking up your relay harness this way (assuming it has an in-line fuse!) and see if that helps with the flickering. Luckily, I've not had to troubleshoot my HIDs since I installed them a couple years ago. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a shot. The relay kit does have the fuse on it, so it shouldn't be a problem directly hooking it up to an always-on 12V source.

Any ideas what might be causing the dim spot on the driver's side (see attached)?
IMG_5049.jpg
 

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The Morimoto kit with relay has it's own fuse in the line you are supposed to hook to the positive 12 volt power. And, it does require close to 10 amps for both lights, even if you have the 35 watt bulbs.
The proper connection, which is what I used, is to connect that fused lead to the 12 volt jump-start terminal directly. (just to the left of the brake cylinder, when viewed from the front) under a black plastic cover on the firewall.
Also, make sure you have all the rest of the connections correct.
You are right about the slightly inadequate instructions, I had to cut out a little extra on the 7/8" hole to get the connecter through it.

Hope this helps.
 

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Based on some experiences of others on the forum, I picked up a Morimoto HID kit. I finally got around to installing it yesterday, but I ran into some issues and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar problems.

The installation was actually more difficult than I imagined. The instructions were vague and had errors. The most annoying was the instruction to drill a 7/8" hole in the light cover. I drilled a 7/8" hole only to find that it was not big enough for the connectors to fit through. Of course, once the hole is drilled, you can't drill a larger one, so I had to use a file to (sloppily) enlarge the hole.

The posts from others on the forum were helpful in figuring out the correct way to install the light system. I was able to follow this video for some suggestions. I was unsure whether or not the lights actually needed a separate power source. In the video the ballasts are connected directly to the headlight harnesses, which was the easiest thing to do. I mocked up this configuration to make sure it would work, and the lights came on properly.

Things seemed to be going well. I got ballasts neatly mounted and the wires organized. Then I turned the car on to test it out. As soon as I put it in reverse both lights started flickering badly. I figured the problem may have been caused by insufficient power, so I installed the relay wiring harness. I tapped the power into fuse slot #3 (10A unused) in the fuse box, as was done in this thread. Again, I turned the lights on and things seemed to be working well, so I tried to make everything as neat as I could, and took the car out for a test. After about 30 seconds the driver's side light started flickering.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I switched the power source to fuse slot #31 (also 10A "ress cool"). This seemed to work. I drove around for a bit and the lights were working without issue. I did feel like there was a slight dull spot in the lower left corner of my field of view, but at least the lights we working. Unfortunately, this morning when I turned the car on (and it was cooler), the driver's side light started flickering again. It eventually stopped, but obviously something is wrong.

The installation guide suggests that there could be a bad ground if flickering occurs. I hooked the ground up solidly to the ground bolts on both sides (it was a little hard to reach the one on the passenger's side, but I got it). Is it possible that 10A isn't enough for the lights?

Any other ideas on what might be wrong?
A couple of thoughts:

I have never had to use a relay harness, although I know you'll see a bunch of people who swear by them. Also, this is at least the third time I've seen someone complain about Morimoto's flickering lately. Maybe a bad batch? The fact that both sides flickered seems to rule this out.

Also, your flickering doesn't make sense. HID ballasts draw a short burst of increased power when they are powering up, otherwise they draw equal to or less than factory halogens. I'm assuming you installed the 35w kit. The factory harness should have absolutely no problem supplying 3 amps. The fact that yours started flickering only after you put it into reverse makes me think perhaps your 12v battery was a tad low. Did you perhaps leave the dome lights on a bunch during installation with the car powered off?

Anyway, it sounds like you are set, so enjoy your HID's. Make sure to adjust the height, though. It makes all the difference.

Steve
 

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Based on some experiences of others on the forum, I picked up a Morimoto HID kit. I finally got around to installing it yesterday, but I ran into some issues and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar problems.

The installation was actually more difficult than I imagined. The instructions were vague and had errors. The most annoying was the instruction to drill a 7/8" hole in the light cover. I drilled a 7/8" hole only to find that it was not big enough for the connectors to fit through. Of course, once the hole is drilled, you can't drill a larger one, so I had to use a file to (sloppily) enlarge the hole.

The posts from others on the forum were helpful in figuring out the correct way to install the light system. I was able to follow this video for some suggestions. I was unsure whether or not the lights actually needed a separate power source. In the video the ballasts are connected directly to the headlight harnesses, which was the easiest thing to do. I mocked up this configuration to make sure it would work, and the lights came on properly.

Things seemed to be going well. I got ballasts neatly mounted and the wires organized. Then I turned the car on to test it out. As soon as I put it in reverse both lights started flickering badly. I figured the problem may have been caused by insufficient power, so I installed the relay wiring harness. I tapped the power into fuse slot #3 (10A unused) in the fuse box, as was done in this thread. Again, I turned the lights on and things seemed to be working well, so I tried to make everything as neat as I could, and took the car out for a test. After about 30 seconds the driver's side light started flickering.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I switched the power source to fuse slot #31 (also 10A "ress cool"). This seemed to work. I drove around for a bit and the lights were working without issue. I did feel like there was a slight dull spot in the lower left corner of my field of view, but at least the lights we working. Unfortunately, this morning when I turned the car on (and it was cooler), the driver's side light started flickering again. It eventually stopped, but obviously something is wrong.

The installation guide suggests that there could be a bad ground if flickering occurs. I hooked the ground up solidly to the ground bolts on both sides (it was a little hard to reach the one on the passenger's side, but I got it). Is it possible that 10A isn't enough for the lights?

Any other ideas on what might be wrong?
The power supply to the original lights is pulsed. I have never measured it or seen it on an oscilloscope myself but I heard it enough to believe it is true. The explanation for using a pulsed voltage is to make the filament last longer.

If you power the ballasts from the pulsed voltage, you will get well, flickering.

A relay is an option that works. You use the signal that powers the original light to close the relay. This is what I did and it worked in my case. For a while. Eventually, the relay started buzzing badly and failed. I replaced it and it failed again. What I think happened is the pulsating voltage opened/closed the relay fast enough until it self-destructed. I got fed-up with all this and removed he HIDs.

One solution that works is to install a filter that will smooth enough the pulsed voltage to get something stable enough to cleanly trigger the relay. A simple RC circuit should suffice. I haven't gotten time to do this but I plan to put back my HIDs eventually.

Hope this helps and good luck with the install.
 

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I've never heard this. And what does "pulsed" mean? Surely, you're not saying switching the power on and off. What would this accomplish. Can you sight a source for this?
 

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I have recently started getting buzzing and flickering on the passenger side as well, typically within 1-2 minutes after driving and the first time the HID's turn on after being parked for a while. This would go on for about 15 seconds, then it stabilizes -- buzzing stops, lights stay on constant.

I am using the relays.

TRS suggested i remove the relays and try the CANBUS harness instead. But, looking at some posts here recently, that may not even work.

Currently, what i've done is put the CANBUS harness in-line, in conjunction with the harness.

The relay will still buzz, not as loudly and only for a shorter time, but the lights no longer flicker.

Folks have suggested adding the capacitor on the relay itself, this will prevent the relay from buzzing altogether, but i am not handy enough to know how to do that.

On a different note, what do you guys think of my method above? The CANBUS harness is supposedly just some caps and resistors. Will i damage anything by doing it this way? TRS suggests using one or the other, they will not tell me if it's okay to use both together.

Thank you.
 

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All I can say is that I have absolutely no issues with my Morimoto 4300K 35W HIDs with relay kit (no canbus). The op probably received a bad kit, or installed wrong or the 12V util battery is low.
 

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Based on some experiences of others on the forum, I picked up a Morimoto HID kit. I finally got around to installing it yesterday, but I ran into some issues and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar problems.

The installation was actually more difficult than I imagined. The instructions were vague and had errors. The most annoying was the instruction to drill a 7/8" hole in the light cover. I drilled a 7/8" hole only to find that it was not big enough for the connectors to fit through. Of course, once the hole is drilled, you can't drill a larger one, so I had to use a file to (sloppily) enlarge the hole.

The posts from others on the forum were helpful in figuring out the correct way to install the light system. I was able to follow this video for some suggestions. I was unsure whether or not the lights actually needed a separate power source. In the video the ballasts are connected directly to the headlight harnesses, which was the easiest thing to do. I mocked up this configuration to make sure it would work, and the lights came on properly.

Things seemed to be going well. I got ballasts neatly mounted and the wires organized. Then I turned the car on to test it out. As soon as I put it in reverse both lights started flickering badly. I figured the problem may have been caused by insufficient power, so I installed the relay wiring harness. I tapped the power into fuse slot #3 (10A unused) in the fuse box, as was done in this thread. Again, I turned the lights on and things seemed to be working well, so I tried to make everything as neat as I could, and took the car out for a test. After about 30 seconds the driver's side light started flickering.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I switched the power source to fuse slot #31 (also 10A "ress cool"). This seemed to work. I drove around for a bit and the lights were working without issue. I did feel like there was a slight dull spot in the lower left corner of my field of view, but at least the lights we working. Unfortunately, this morning when I turned the car on (and it was cooler), the driver's side light started flickering again. It eventually stopped, but obviously something is wrong.

The installation guide suggests that there could be a bad ground if flickering occurs. I hooked the ground up solidly to the ground bolts on both sides (it was a little hard to reach the one on the passenger's side, but I got it). Is it possible that 10A isn't enough for the lights?

Any other ideas on what might be wrong?
Radx4,
I just installed my Morimoto kit last weekend. When I ordered the kit I was torn between the relay option and the canbus option. I talked to the tech at TRS and he told me that they "strongly recommended" the canbus option for the Volt, so that is what I settled on. I did a few tests with amperage draw on start up and found that just starting the HIDs on battery power they were quite stable with or without the canbus........the interesting thing that occurred without the canbus in the circuit when I actually "powered up" the system to drive is that the HIDs almost immediately went into strobe mode. The inside of my garage looked like a 1980's disco floor! I immediately powered the car down and reinstalled the canbus. The driver's side bulb flickers (barely noticeable) for a bit and then steadies out. It's only been a few days, but so far so good.

I totally agree with Soundmike's theory of a separate, clean power source, but the buzzing relay that he is experiencing gives me pause. His latest install of the canbus along with the relay harness makes sense to me. It's obvious that the canbus is not just for vehicles with bulb out warning lights.....the canbus seems to smooth out the pulses that are being generated in the system. Others have posted that they have no issues without the canbus, so as some have suggested, there might well be something a bit different with this batch of ballasts from TRS. As of right now, my system is working fine with the TRS recommendation, so I'll leave everything as is......not to say that I won't add the relay harness at a later date.
 

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All I can say is that I have absolutely no issues with my Morimoto 4300K 35W HIDs with relay kit (no canbus). The op probably received a bad kit, or installed wrong or the 12V util battery is low.
Me as well. My installation is about 18 months old now and with the relay harness and has been flawless. The Volt does not require the Can Bus harness, and there is absolutely no reason for it on our cars. The relay harness makes certain you have a solid power source and I am happy I got it. It sounds to me like there may be a bad batch of something going on. I also installed a full blown Morimoto projector conversion kit on my son-in-laws T-bird a year ago and it too has worked flawlessly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Okay, I was able to rotate the bulb and fix the dim spot. So that's a plus.

I did move the power supply from the fuse box over to the supply box by the firewall. It was a pain to get it connected due to the tall bolt, but I did get it hooked it. Unfortunately, that did not make any difference. Shortly after I started the car the passenger side light flickered for about 5-10 seconds. I do have both ground wires securely bolted to the firewall, so I believe they are properly grounded.

I'm not really satisfied with the quality of this set, so I think I'm going to try to return it. HIDs are nice, but honestly the stock headlights were fine and I probably should not have messed with them.
 
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