In order to do a headlight swap, you must remove the front bumper. Refer to a factory service manual for detailed instructions on how to do this, or figure it out on your own like we did. Even though Sam decided to flex for this picture, take my word for it—removing a bumper is not that hard!
Okay folks, this is where it's gonna start getting techy. To make the JDM headlights work properly, you will need to re-pin the factory USDM headlight plugs wince they are a different shape than the plug on the JDM headlights. This is actually very easy, but it can be nerve racking if you've never done something likethis before.
1. Here we have pictured the JDM plug, the wires are used as follows.
Small gauge wires: LED (white is power, black is ground)
Pink/red and black medium gauge wires: HID (Pink/red is power, black is ground)
Yellow and blue: these wires are not used; just leave them in the JDM clip so they don't dangle around in your engine bay
2. To de-pin a plug, what you do is use a small screwdriver to remove the inner plug connector piece (in this case, white plastic) to reveal the individual pins.
3. Now use the same screwdriver or a very fine pick to release each pin. You will be able to carefully push each pin up to release it from the plug and then it should pull easily out of the rear of plug.
4. Take your USDM plug from the factory headlights, and make note of the positions of the wires. Take a picture for reference later, that always makes it easy.
5. The USDM wiring is as follows:
Red and black: low beams (red is power, black is ground)
Green and white: high beam (green is power, white is ground)
6. The way this all translates from JDM to USDM is simple. The USDM low beams are the JDM HID, and the USDM high beams are the JDM LED lights. So, place the JDM LED lights into the spots on the USDM plug that are used by the high beam (green and white) wires. Then logically you know that the JDM HID wires will go into the place of the USDM low beams. If you do everything correctly, you will end up with HID lights as your normal lo beam headlights, and the LED lights as your high beams. The LED lights are also going to become daytime running lights (DRL), so when the light position of "off" those will still be on. It's worth noting that the beam pattern from the JDM lights will (obviously) be for a right-hand drive car. But you can adjust it for US left-hand drive like you would do with any normal headlights.
DISCLAIMER: Please use a voltmeter to verify your wiring information. Not only will that make your life easier, but also it will ensure that we get plenty of hate mail if we got one of these colors wrong. We are not liable for your wasted time and any possible damages that may occur from improper wiring!
Out with the old, in with the new! USDM (left) versus JDM (right) headlight housings. Notice the dark housing and LED and HID equipped JDM units, pretty sweet huh?
The JDM headlights have a self-leveling system, but we did not connect this because it’s too complicated and not needed.
Here you can see what the DRL of the JDM light looks like.
And here we have the JDM (passenger) versus the USDM (driver) comparison. This is in the “high beam” position.
For wheels and tires, we decided to go with the ever-classic SSR MS3 mesh wheel in a slightly staggered size. Fronts are 18x8" 37mm while the rears measure 18x9" 37mm. Nitto NT05 tires reside on all 4 corners, sized at 225/40R18 in front and 235/40R18 in back.
These wheels fit really nicely into the factory arches, with help from a lower stance courtesy of KW Suspension's Variant 3 coilovers. You can read about the suspension and all the other mods we have done to the car on garagefrs.com
For more detailed instructions on how to do any of this stuff to your own FR-S, as well as for additional tech stories, photo galleries and videos, head on over to garagefrs.com and spend some quality time learning and enjoying all things FR-S!