Wednesday, September 08, 2010

HID on Bajaj Pulsar 220F

Finally the HID is on! (For the impatient souls, scroll down fast :) )

Ever since I started digging through various forums and groups, one magical acronym always sounded desirable - HID. There was enough information to read about it and posts flooded with questions, opinions and experience that caused an overload :)

With VT-KIRAN nearing 4 years of existance, and daily commute nearing 70kms, most of it on dark highway, it was tempting to get HIDd. I had done the avenger coil mod but it still didnt seem sufficient. HID kept tempting.
When I finally decided to get HIDd, I got my hands on two projector assemblies salvaged from from P220F and a pair of Raylux 4300K HID. The excitement of getting slim ballast shortlived when I could not get this going!
You could buy these projectors at Kurla bazar for a few hundred bucks. It was crude to get those mounted on top of P180. And then, no mechanic around me was sure how to wire the stuff. In desparation, I wired it directly to the battery on Mahabaleshwar ride, just to discover that the projector was mounted incorrectly and the beam pointed to sky :( So the projector was left on during the entire trip and served well to attract folks around who could not get what that protruding thing was :) In second attempt, I used a relay and switch to swap it with stock low beam. It failed miserably too and then I suspended the project. VT-KIRAN soon left me and gave way to VT-RAPTOR.

Inside HID packing, note the slim ballast
Raylux HID pair

I thought adding HID to P220F would be simpler but many ensured that its not as easy as it seems. I was told that opening up P220F fairing is a daunting task and should not be undertaken. I wondered how would it happen if stock bulbs fail? Someone pointed out that P220F has a mechanism to detect failed low beam bulb based on lower current draw and then it would switch over to high beam (HIDs draw less operating current than stock P220F bulbs).

Many thanks go to the low beam bulb that died. On a fine evening I started and noticed that the high beam stays on. Next day at service center, it was a matter of minutes to get that replaced. Looking at it, I decided to get my hands dirty again and be glad about it.

Here are quick steps to wire HID to Bajaj Pulsar 220F

What would you need
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Electrical insulation tape
  • HID (bulb, bllast and wiring harness)
  • P220F :D
Steps to plug it in
  • Switch the lights off and turn off engine
  • Use a spanner to unscrew two retaining nuts under the front number place
  • Just above it, there is a plastic cover kept in place with 4 small screws, remove that with phillips screwdriver
  • Put your hands under the fairing and remove rubber cap at the back of low beam bulb.
  • You can now pull out the wire plug that provides power to low beam bulb
  • HID kits are easy to setup, the HID bulb will fit into ballast using polarised connectors. Then the ballast has two wires with flat lugs at the end.
  • Put these flat lugs directly inside the low beam plug that you pulled you out. You have to check the polarity. If connected the wrong way it wont turn on the bulb. But you can use general electrical commonsense to detect the polarity (Black is GND ;) )
  • You might have to press the lugs a little to ensure that they fit tight
  • Start the engine and turn low beam on to check that BCU doesnt detect bulb failure and switch to high beam. If this test passes, congrats, you are already through! You need not look directly at the HID. Also do not hold it with your fingers, IT WOULD GET VERY HOT!!!
  • Turn off engine again and let the bulb cool off for few mins.
  • Carefully press retaining clips on stock bulb and take it out. This has to be done with little guesswork if you haven seen it how those tiny wire springs clamp the bulb in place
  • With greater care, put the HID bulb inside and clamp it. This is tricky as the bulb is longer. It fits inside properly so do not worry or press hard. If you have to use pressure then you are putting it wrong way ;)
  • Put the wire clamps in place to keep the bulb firm in position
  • You can cut the rubber cap a little so that you can put it back on
  • The HID kit must have come with cable ties, use those to secure the ballast inside fairing
  • Use insulation tape to wrap up the stock plug and ballast connection
  • Put the Plastic cover and number plate back on
  • Fire up and amaze yourself with the upgrade
  • Adjust beam throw using adjustment screw under the fairing. Your beam cut off should remain parallel to the ground. This would ensure that road is lit maximum and oncoming people/traffic do not get glare
  • Ride out and enjoy!!!
The whole setup should not take more than 30-60 minutes.

I am yet to figure out how to replace high beam bulb but as of now this looks sufficient. Road illumination is improved for sure and I am finally HIDd :D