My Xenon Depot HID Kit installed in a 2016 Honda Pilot Touring w/ pictures - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
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post #1 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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My Xenon Depot HID Kit installed in a 2016 Honda Pilot Touring w/ pictures

Hello fellow Pilot owners. My wife and I have a long history of Honda's, coming from 1991 Accord, 1998 Prelude, 2009 Accord, 2010 Accord, 2010 TL and 2014 Odyssey. Now we've bought our first Pilot (Touring AWD) and I decided the factory lighting was not up to snuff during night driving. I have never installed an aftermarket HID kit before, but I am mechanically inclined, so I figured I would give it a go. After a month of research, I determined that I trusted reviews claiming the superiority of Xenon Depot kits the most. So I decided to order the XT-H11 bulb kit with Philips 4300k bulbs (+$45) and a CANbus installation kit (+15). After using a 20% off coupon code, the kit was a little over $170.
The kit was very well packaged, as many have stated before, and the directions were easy enough to understand. I would like to state that before I even started, I could tell that I would need more zip ties OR more double sided tape than what the kit came with. I say this because I knew that I wouldn't feel right unless the relay box, the black box that comes off of the end of the ballast box and the CANbus "CBFIX" box were all secured to some part of the vehicle. I chose to zip tie every element because in the long run, the double sided tape may give away and zip ties are easy to remove and put back on if you make a mistake.

Before I begin, I would like to mention that my pictures will show you how I installed the CBFIX (CANbus) box. But when I was finished, I ended up removing them because neither HID light would turn on. I will explain where I was in error a little later on with reversing the polarity, but for now, let's begin the installation process...

First, remove the front trim piece under your engine hood with your hands. Just pop it all out. This exposes everything you need to work with.



Next, remove the 4 push-clips from the intake by unscrewing, then lifting at the base with a flathead screwdriver. After that, the upper intake assembly will come out by hand with no more tools necessary.




Now would be a good time to remove the negative battery cable. A heavy-duty paper grocery bag isolates nicely...


Starting with the passenger's side headlight first, reach your hand in there and disconnect the bulb from the stock connector (it is green, easy to see when you're done) and twist the base of the bulb until it detaches.




Next, I laid out the entire wire and HID assembly prior moving it into the engine bay so you can see how I lined everything up.



A quick comparison of the stock headlight bulb compared to the Philips headlight bulb. The bases were a perfect match. There was no trouble getting it to fit in the stock housing. The only difficult part comes if you have a large hand (like me) because you're going to have to contort it in ways that don't seem possible. I ended up using my left hand to tighten and twist the bulb in. Your results may vary.



From the base of the HID bulb, it is obvious which connector you need to connect into the factory green clip end. This is a picture of the first connector we're going to begin with to attach to the rest of the wiring harness...



This picture shows where I will mount the little black box that dangles on one end of the ballast box and connects to the two connectors on the back of the HID bulb. I can't get a good enough angle to show you which connectors I'm talking about, so I will reference my previous picture. I have zip-tied this black box to a tiny factory wiring harness location.




Now to place the relay box somewhere... I decided to use the side of this fuse box. Make sure to zip tie it well.




The relay box has a positive and negative wire strap that you need to correctly wire. I picked this great location almost directly below it where the engine has a grounding wire connected to the chassis. The pictures do the talking...





The front of the fuse box seems to be a great location for the CBFIX CANbus box, I just zip-tied it onto the wire loom.



Now do you remember the wire that came off of the HID bulb in the beginning? Here is the time you can connect it.



Now it's time to securely mount the ballast box. Make sure to use all of your 3M double sided tape. The location I used is actually very flat. You're not going to find a better location than right here in my opinion.




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post #2 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, now the last wire left on the relay box is the positive ground wire. For this installation, look underneath the black tray that runs the width of the car between the firewall and windshield. Underneath it is a series of small "hooks" that are great to clamp down on a wire. You'll run this all the way over to the fuse box on the driver's side, then go underneath the intake filter and back up to the battery. Loosen the bolt with a 10mm ratchet.








Alright! Now you should be done with the passenger's side. Now it's time to do the driver's side. Start by trying to get your hand in there to remove the OEM light bulb, which you may find easier than the passenger side because you don't have the ABS unit in your way.


Here is your factory low beam connection...


Now install the HID bulb. Once again, I can't show you pictures of how I did it, but just take your time. This will go easier than the passenger's side. Here is the blue wire that you'll want to thread how I did. It eventually connected to the CBFIX CANbus box as shown in the next picture. If you're not doing this, it has the room to run up to the relay box I put near the hood hinge.



This picture shows where I zip-tied the CBFIX CANbus box (if you're not using it, don't pay attention to this). But zip-tying it to the factory hood-latch release cable is a great idea, it's not going anywhere.



Here is where I mounted the relay box with zip-ties. It is very close to the hood hinge on the driver's side. Don't worry, the hinge doesn't come close to pinching it.



Connect the relay end to the CBFIX CANbus box, or if you're not using that, then the female end will run down to that blue HID bulb wire anyway.



The relay box "ground wire," where I mounted it at least, *just* couldn't reach the factory battery negative cable ground...



So I found another suitable location right above it. Also take note that I had to trim a tiny bit of the rubber insulation so that it would not affect the washer/bolt from mounting flush...





Now to connect your ballast box, it's going to roughly mirror the same spot that you chose on the passenger's side. Here is the installation of it running from the relay box to the ballast and back to the headlight bulb harness:




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post #3 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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This picture shows where I mounted the tiny black box that comes off of the ballast box and zip tied all of the wires tightly to avoid a rat's nest of clutter...



Now to attach the positive cable from the relay. You're going to have a lot of excess wire loom, so I just coiled it up, zip tied it and neatly tucked it under the air filter box so that future air filter changes won't have to worry about moving this wire.



Now that you have two aftermarket cables running to the positive battery cable location, I noticed that you should probably trim some of the plastic surround in order to ensure these cables won't rub in the future and expose some bare wire threads.



Now you can attach the negative battery cable to test it out!



At this point, neither of my lights turned on, so after a little bit of troubleshooting, I decided to remove the CBFIX CANbus module and hook all connections up the same way. This time, they both worked with no flickering and only minimal time to completely warm up (think: 5 seconds?)

Bypassing the CBFIX CANbus module on the passenger side:



And this is after removing it from the zip-tied location on the driver's side from the hood-latch cable area.



And now for some absolutely terrible night shots where I demonstrate my incompetence to use a DSLR (Canon Rebel) to accurately capture the light it gives off. The bottom line in my observations that these pictures can't show you are:
1. The light it projects is a warmer color, I couldn't really distinguish any blue area, but this made it look SUPER-factory. But the light on the road was more than twice as illuminating than the old halogens
2. There was no glare for my 20 minutes of night driving. It wasn't illuminating far away distant objects and I got out of the car, walked 50 and 75 yards up the street and knelt down a little bit and could not detect that the lights were giving off any sort of unnecessary glare. I will try having my wife drive towards me in another car in the near future...




50ish yards away...

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post #4 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 06:05 PM
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Wow great pictures and that looks great!
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post #5 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'll post a couple more pictures in the coming days including how neat and tidy the engine bay looks after it's all tightened down and buttoned up. I am pissed that Honda couldn't put HIDs in the Touring model, because no vehicle over $40k should have those awful halogen bulbs. I highly encourage everyone here to consider installing an HID kit for just the reason of safety. I was overly concerned about excessive glare coming out of the halogen housings, but everything has checked out and I feel extremely comfortable with the lack of glare, durability and great illumination of thsee bulbs.
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post #6 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 06:20 PM
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That is cool... Yeah I would have done the same if I didn't have the Elite model. Halogens are like so early 2000's and light output is terrible.
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post #7 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 10:11 PM
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That is a very detailed write up and lots of great pictures.

I hate to be the guy who rains on your parade but there are several issues:

1. The halogen projectors were not designed for an HID or LED setup. They may work fine in there for years, they may not
2. There is a very distinct cutoff with the HID's in my Acura TSX and also in my Pilot Elite. From your images there is no cutoff and this could be very very dangerous to oncoming drivers.
3. This setup is illegal. When installing HID's in a car that didnt come with them from the factory there needs to be a complete retrofit done with the headlights. The correct projectors need to be installed and they need to be positioned and aimed correctly to insure all drivers are safe.

I understand what everyone is trying to do but to do this correctly is a 1-2k job.

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post #8 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Your statements are the same ones I would read every time a thread like this was posted (i.e. cars without HIDs running HID bulbs in halogen projectors) and it had me concerned enough that I held off buying the kit for several months. But then I decided to take the plunge because the affordability of the kit made me realize the risk wasn't so high if I didn't like them.

The fact that these gave me the results that I desired with none of the negative consequences (noticeable glare, flickering) were testament enough that I did make the right decision in getting these. If I have to replace a bulb or two in the coming years (but I do have a 3 year warranty, so I think they're covered?), the investment is still worth the money compared to buying overpriced OEM components like new headlight assemblies and all of the wiring for the harness. I would expect that I could burn through 20 bulbs or so before it becomes an equal investment to replacing it with OEM components. Like I said, I feel like the vehicle is twice as safe traveling down the road with these in it because of what the old halogens were not seeing.

Also, after seeing the lack of glare with my own eyes, I will look any Pilot-owning friend in the eye and tell them that there is no way a 3rd gen Pilot with a Halogen Projector fitted with THESE HIDs will blind oncoming traffic. Perhaps other vehicle makes and models have had this problem, but I feel safe and comfortable enough that I would ride around any town at night knowing that a cop wouldn't pull me over for headlights that looked "illegal." Because they don't. They look totally OEM. And that little bit of peace of mind is the main reason I am so satisfied with owning these.

I will update this thread if and when I would get pulled over for illegal headlights and post a picture of me eating my hat, but I am confident that'll never happen.
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post #9 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 02:03 AM
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Nice write up, so much details and picts... I threw in a Morimoto XB35 HID Kit on my Pilot the very first day and the wife had not had one high beam back from on coming traffic. I don't want to do a retro on this car just yet (too New), might not even do one... I've done plenty of retros before on my other cars, so yes, I know all about cut-offs and yada-yada...

My Lexus GS400 with Infiniti Q45 Gatlings (early 2000s)




My old Legend LS Coupe with Euro Audi S4 in JDM one-piece back in the days (early 2000s)



2013 Highlander with Lexus LS430 projectors.

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post #10 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 07:12 AM
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I'd love to see some cutoff pictures of the Elites leds. Have been on these forums for ages and not a single pic of their cutoffs, throw and spread. I'd love to compare them to my HIDs. So please, have at it for the greater good.
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post #11 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 09:45 AM
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Thumbs up 1st Rate install

Excellent write up on your install, prepreludesh! I really appreciate the simple step by step instructions with pics for every step.

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post #12 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TYPEII View Post
Nice write up, so much details and picts... I threw in a Morimoto XB35 HID Kit on my Pilot the very first day and the wife had not had one high beam back from on coming traffic. I don't want to do a retro on this car just yet (too New), might not even do one... I've done plenty of retros before on my other cars, so yes, I know all about cut-offs and yada-yada...

My Lexus GS400 with Infiniti Q45 Gatlings (early 2000s)

My old Legend LS Coupe with Euro Audi S4 in JDM one-piece back in the days (early 2000s)

2013 Highlander with Lexus LS430 projectors.
That's pretty cool, I like all of those. The Q45 Gatlings are something I've never heard of before, but I like the styling!

I still have an Acura TSX retrofit in my Prelude, it's one of the best investments I've done for driving enjoyment, safety and aesthetics on the outside.

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post #13 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 10:09 AM
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Great write-up with detailed step-by-step instructions and photos.
I noticed you have a Touring. Do you have any issues with flickering with idle-stop?

Thanks

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post #14 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 10:23 AM
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Kudos for the super detailed install to help those that want to make this change.
Agreed that this is an easy upgrade to the existing lights.

I went the cheaper route with DDMtuning HIDs and no issues yet.

Also installed the relay because of concerns with flickering on idle-stop, when my idle-stop works I haven't had an issue, though i'm not sure if that is due to the relay or not.

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post #15 of 87 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepreludesh View Post
That's pretty cool, I like all of those. The Q45 Gatlings are something I've never heard of before, but I like the styling!

I still have an Acura TSX retrofit in my Prelude, it's one of the best investments I've done for driving enjoyment, safety and aesthetics on the outside.

Damn ya! Clean Lude!!!! I have a 97 SH Lude too (daily). I have been wanting to do a retro on my headlights, but have put it off forever, I bought the Morimoto Mini H1 over a year ago and they have been collecting dust... Mugen exhaust, suspension and header on her.

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Last edited by TYPEII; 08-03-2016 at 12:39 PM.
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