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View Full Version : How to get access to Fiat 500e stock lightbulbs to change to HID



mpbruin108
04-02-2015, 10:10 PM
I had the hardest time finding a online resource telling me exactly what I had to do to change the light bulbs on the Fiat 500e, yet alone how to get access to them. What do I mean? Have you seen the back area of the passenger side headlights? I will focus my energy on this thread on explaining how to get access to the headlamps (mainly the passenger side because the driver's side was super easy to access with lots of room) and where I ended up putting the ballast. I am ASSUMING you know how to connect the cables of the HID kit to our stock lighting plug once you remove the stock headlamp bulb.

If you thought you needed to remove those 2 pink tanks before we start removing the headlights (without having to remove the headlamps themselves) then you are correct. I'll get into that more later. First, lets talk about what you will need to do it my way.

1. HID Xenon 9012 bulb conversion kit (I opted for the 5000k one as I didn't want to stand out too much).
2. A ratchet
3. 10mm socket
4. A Extender for the ratchet to reach hard to reach places
5. A 1" circular saw or a drill bit that has
6. A wonderful invention called a Ratcheting Wrench for this really hard to reach bolt.


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So lets get started.

1. The driver's side is pretty straight forward. There is a lot of room to remove that back cover under your hood and install the 9012 bulb in there.
A. Remove the back cover to the part that will give you access to the low beam/high beam bulb. Set it aside carefully (do not touch the bulb with fingers).
B. I then made a small 1" hole in the middle back of the back cover to allow the lighting wires to go through the cap when I put the back cap back on. I used the circular saw for this.
C. Then you put the HID into the socket and twist it in. It should be pretty quick.
D. Pull/put the wires of the kit through the hole in the cover and secure the cover to the back of the housing.
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E. I then connected the wires together and check to make sure the connection was good by turning on the headlights. NOTE: If it doesn't come on, then reverse ballast plug (polarity) and then it should turn on. The ballast plug is the bigger/wider plug that goes into the ballast. Usually has a yellow rubber piece around.
F. I then mounted it here. There is a lug/bolt already here at that arrow (below) and so you just attach the ballast there.

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2. Passenger side took a little more work because of the cramp space. I have medium to larger hands (a Man's hand) and I couldn't get it in there to turn the back cover so we have to take off and move some parts around. NOTE: THIS SHOULD BE COMMON SENSE BUT DON'T REMOVE ANY OF THE PLUGS TO THE 2 PINK CONTAINERS. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THINGS YOU DO TO YOUR CAR IF YOU DO THAT. IN FACT, I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING YOU DO. =)

A. Pull off the cover of the 500e engine to give you room (just carefully pull it off).


B. Now we remove the screws holding the tank on the right next to the engine first. There is 1 bolt and one nut (at a different location behind the tank) holding this tank down.

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C. Now pick up that pink tank and turn it slightly away from you towards the engine so you have some room to get the next few lugs out. Just don't break anything okay?! =)

D. Remove that black metal holder that was attached to the first pink container and holding the second pink container in place blocking the back of the cover to the headlamps. There are 2 lugs holding this in place. The lug on the bottom, you have to use your extender if you want to not hurt your hands by squeezing it in there. The second one attached to the silver metal piece, I used the Ratcheting wrench for this part and it was a breeze (a slow breeze but a breeze).

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F. Once you move everything slightly away and to the side, you have free(er) access to the back cover. Just turn it counter clockwise, remove the cover and the bulb. Replace the bulb like how you did on the driver's side and make the same hole in the cover for the wires.

G. Once you finish, put the new bulb in the socket. Pull/put the wires through the hole in the cover and secure the cover to the back of the headlamp.

H. I then re-secured the last pink container that we just moved and then re-installed the black metal piece.

I. Then I found a nice place to secure the ballast under the pink tank that isn't touching any metal pieces of the car. Connected all the wires to the ballast and checked to make sure the lights turned on.

J. Put back that last pink container back on. Put the 500E cover back on and now you are done!

Congrats.

Atv
04-03-2015, 12:58 AM
Thanks for the write up, can you check the pictures? They aren't showing up. Thinking about doing the HID swap on mine as well.

mpbruin108
04-03-2015, 12:36 PM
Done! I didn't know there was a 5 picture limit so I had to do some creative addition of pictures together to make them one. Hopefully this is better. I had more pictures but Fiat500forums don't allow me to upload anymore. =(

Fiat500USA
04-03-2015, 01:35 PM
Done! I didn't know there was a 5 picture limit so I had to do some creative addition of pictures together to make them one. Hopefully this is better. I had more pictures but Fiat500forums don't allow me to upload anymore. =(

That's strange. Maybe the images were really big? You can normally post up to 25 images in one post. There is a limit to the storage, though. For registered members - I just increased it to 10 Mb. Premium users get 20 mb and lifetime users get around 45 mb. You can also host your images on something like Picasa for free and then you will never bump into the limits. When you do that, I just asked if you leave your image account up so the members can always see the pictures posted here. I have at probably 1,000 + images posted here and have less than 10 mb used.

Let me know if you have any issues.

mpbruin108
04-03-2015, 04:08 PM
That's strange. Maybe the images were really big? You can normally post up to 25 images in one post. There is a limit to the storage, though. For registered members - I just increased it to 10 Mb. Premium users get 20 mb and lifetime users get around 45 mb. You can also host your images on something like Picasa for free and then you will never bump into the limits. When you do that, I just asked if you leave your image account up so the members can always see the pictures posted here. I have at probably 1,000 + images posted here and have less than 10 mb used.

Let me know if you have any issues.

It was odd. My pictures were about 150 to 200kb each but the uploader wouldn't let me upload anything past 5. Everytime I tried, it would try to upload then end the upload with a big "!" with a red triangle around it and nothing showed up in terms of my picture. It would fail to upload. I would have to refresh the page or just combine the pictures and then it would upload but after many tries. Not sure why. I just hope it went through this time.

Tweak
04-03-2015, 10:39 PM
That's strange. Maybe the images were really big? You can normally post up to 25 images in one post. There is a limit to the storage, though. For registered members - I just increased it to 10 Mb. Premium users get 20 mb and lifetime users get around 45 mb. You can also host your images on something like Picasa for free and then you will never bump into the limits. When you do that, I just asked if you leave your image account up so the members can always see the pictures posted here. I have at probably 1,000 + images posted here and have less than 10 mb used.

Let me know if you have any issues.


It was odd. My pictures were about 150 to 200kb each but the uploader wouldn't let me upload anything past 5. Everytime I tried, it would try to upload then end the upload with a big "!" with a red triangle around it and nothing showed up in terms of my picture. It would fail to upload. I would have to refresh the page or just combine the pictures and then it would upload but after many tries. Not sure why. I just hope it went through this time.

Last paragraph here explains managing the files and all prior to it speaks about hosting and linking. ;)

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?13130-How-to-post-pics-videos-on-the-forum

Atv
04-04-2015, 02:14 AM
Quick question. Why did you pick 9012 bulbs instead of the factor 9006 bulbs? How is the quality of the beam in the stock housing? It's not uncommon for HID in factory housing to be less than ideal. Thanks!

5OOE
04-05-2015, 01:30 AM
what brand of HIDs did you buy and how much? got pictures of the car with the lights on? super curious :]

mpbruin108
04-05-2015, 03:06 PM
Quick question. Why did you pick 9012 bulbs instead of the factor 9006 bulbs? How is the quality of the beam in the stock housing? It's not uncommon for HID in factory housing to be less than ideal. Thanks!
The 9012 bulbs fit PERFECTLY into the housing. Easy and quick snap and fits everything well. I was told by a Fiat service guy that it was a 9012 bulb that I needed and it seemed to be true so far. The quality of the beam is great so far too.

mpbruin108
04-05-2015, 03:07 PM
what brand of HIDs did you buy and how much? got pictures of the car with the lights on? super curious :]
I haven't taken a picture of the HIDs yet on the car at night. I'll do it tonight when I get some time. =)

Atv
04-05-2015, 10:52 PM
Thanis. Just ordered a 35w kit with 9012 bulbs. :)

mpbruin108
04-05-2015, 11:53 PM
what brand of HIDs did you buy and how much? got pictures of the car with the lights on? super curious :]

Here are the pictures.

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With 5000K 9012 Xenon Bulbs and PIAA DRL (the PIAA bulbs for DRL look a lot whiter during the day when headlights aren't on. They are dull yellow when low beams on)

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Headlamps only

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DRL of the PIAA when I turned off the headlamps. Note how much whiter it is than stock.

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5OOE
04-10-2015, 02:31 PM
I haven't taken a picture of the HIDs yet on the car at night. I'll do it tonight when I get some time. =)

Looks great! Now what brand and how much was the kit?

5OOE
04-29-2015, 07:18 PM
Made a crude vid chronicling my install: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiWOcmQp4nY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiWOcmQp4nY

jimsnorton
09-24-2018, 12:06 PM
Nice write-up....
Old thread, new member....
Has anyone installed LED headlights yet? Have them in my Tahoe, and my motorcycle. For me, there isn't any other choice, super low power draw, super lighting. I personally, had serious issues when I installed an HID in my motorcycle, it took out my alternator! Installed LED, never looked back, and can I see at night!

maximizese
09-24-2018, 02:31 PM
I've got an LED headlight in the driver side headlamp, but I left the passenger side with the stock halogen. I thought I would give the Yumsen 9012 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N041IS1/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) set a try, and it took about 5 minutes to do the install. Most of my time spent was trying to guess where to drill the headlight covers so the rear of the heatsink fan could protrude. It took about 20 seconds with a hole-saw bit and power drill. The results are a little mixed. While there is much more light output and no significant glare/hotspots, the issue is that there are a few blindspots that leave a little to be desired. Fortunately, I was able to rotated the light so that blindspot is covered by the range of the fog lamps. However, if I were to do reinstall some headlights I would go with some HIDs. The light dispersion is much better. LED headlights are more efficient, but I think they need to be designed as an integrated headlamp...retrofit LED bulbs will have pattern issues.

Tweak
10-02-2018, 10:18 PM
Nice write-up....
Old thread, new member....
Has anyone installed LED headlights yet? Have them in my Tahoe, and my motorcycle. For me, there isn't any other choice, super low power draw, super lighting. I personally, had serious issues when I installed an HID in my motorcycle, it took out my alternator! Installed LED, never looked back, and can I see at night!

Listen to maximizese, totally agree that HID would be the better option. I have HID and I tried at least 3 different LED options and it looks GREAT to look AT the car but the output due to the housing not being designed for LED lightning falls short. HID however does a much better job of looking good and actually working for the driver to provide the needed lighting, the real purpose of lights of course.

aceswerling
01-05-2019, 03:08 PM
I hope everybody doesn't mind if I resurrect this thread. I bought my 500e about a month ago and have been looking for brighter headlights for our dark and wet Seattle nights. I've found our moist air can condense on the inside of the lenses, which makes me wonder about drilling the rear dust cap and leaving it open to the atmosphere. Has anybody else had this issue? Have you found a way to seal the rear cap after drilling it?

Has anybody tried different halogen bulbs to see if they make a difference? It appears like they all have the same 1700 lumen output and many have only a 100 hour lifetime. That points me toward the HIDs but, of course, I want to avoid that condensation.

Finally, I understand the 500 has LED headlights from the factory now. Is it practical to swap those in to my 2015?

rkw
01-05-2019, 06:30 PM
Finally, I understand the 500 has LED headlights from the factory now.Where did you see that? I can't find any evidence of it, and I would be surprised that a factory LED headlight option would be offered in a low end car.

Ricksuiter
01-06-2019, 06:30 PM
100% the 500e use halogen bulbs. They are a weird HIR2 9012 size which is supposedly a brighter burning filament than a standard bulb. The 9006 bulb has a nearly identical base which can be installed in the housing with a tiny bit of dremel modification so I would first check and see if you do not have these dimmer bulbs in there in the first place. The HIR2 is supposed to be a tighter tolerance bulb (hence the higher price) which allows for better focusing of the beam.

At least that's what I read online about it. I bought a set of brand new Philips bulbs on eBay a little over a year ago to proactively replace mine.

And regarding the condensation check that the cap is in place and that the seal is intact. You can access the bulbs via a slot in the front fender liners. Also make sure the removable piece is present. My running light / turn signal housings had condensation in them when my car arrived via transport two years ago and it never came back since. I do live in Phoenix though so my exposure to water is significantly less.

aceswerling
01-06-2019, 10:21 PM
@rkw, yes, you're correct that the 500 still has halogen headlights. Perhaps I got confused since the taillights are LEDs now.

@Ricksuiter, I didn't realize the 500 takes a non-standard 9012 bulb. That's really interesting. I imagine condensation wouldn't be much of a problem in Phoenix and I'm not so concerned about it in Seattle if I leave the system as it came from the factory. I'm more concerned about cutting the dust cap to fit an HID bulb since that'll likely leave the system open to the environment and allow moisture from the atmosphere to condense on the inside of the lens.

I'd like to hear if anybody with an HID headlight conversion has experienced this problem.