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1999 Honda Acty HA7 Headlight Conversion?

Discussion in 'Honda Acty' started by NathanH, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Hi all,

    I have an HA7 arriving in BC Canada this week, and I'm planning to convert the headlights to DOT/ECE LHD-friendly lights to make it safe & legal. I've seen some posts describing cutting holes in the existing headlights and fitting H4 sealed beam headlights in the holes, but the threads I found in search results were 10 years old, and not for third gen Acty's. I also saw a link to another thread that apparently had great info & pictures, but appears deleted.

    Has anyone found a better solution, or have done this with an HA6/7 and can share tips or post-conversion pictures?

    If anyone with who's gone through a BC inspection has tips to share I'd appreciate those too. My "known problems" are tires and headlights, so I have new winters already on rims & ready to mount.

    Thanks for any advice!

    JERRY GOULD New Member

    there is a daylight driving kit you can buy at canadian tire for $45.00 it might be a easier rout to go .
  3. eden sunflower

    eden sunflower New Member

    Hey Nathan! please let me know if you find a solution to this. I have been searching and thus far nothing. Cheers
  4. shogun

    shogun Active Member

    Just be careful and do not install higher Watts bulbs than standard. I once did that on my old 1988 built BMW, instead of H1 55W I installed H1 100W, they lasted not very long, wires burnt and the chrome reflectors had bubbles from the heat. Had to replace the complete headlights then.
  5. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Thanks, yeah I'll let you know how it goes. Customs was slow to process my paperwork so I'll finally see the truck end of this week. The shop where I'm taking it said they had a Carry come through a few days ago that came with fully adjustable headlights (Arrows going both ways <--->), but I have a feeling they weren't stock.
  6. Ben_w

    Ben_w New Member

    Any luck? I have a ha7 2000 that goes in tomorrow and am a little scared!
  7. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    I'm planning to do a better write-up when it's actually on the road, but when it arrived we ended up with some additional problems with the fuel system so it's been slow.

    The headlights that come on my Acty didn't have any regulatory markings at all, and were definitely not adjustable enough to make them DOT-friendly.

    What I ended up deciding to do was buying these headlights and trying to retrofit them:

    They were a bit deeper than I had hoped (not that I measured). To make them "fit", I completely removed the reflectors from the existing housing, secure some ABS pipe to the back of these headlights by screwing it into the heat-sink, and then solder/weld the ABS pipe to the back of the headlight housing. To "adjust" them I have to break and re-weld it.

    If I were to do it again, I would have asked around at a few shops to see if I could find someone who would let me use HID-style projectors mounted to the reflectors inside the housing, or I would consider getting a 3D printer service to try and make reversed reflectors for me. Check with your shop to confirm either of these would be okay. Mine retrospectively mentioned the 3D-printing option would have been fine with them but I had already cut them up by that point (also it is probably expensive). I have no idea whether there might have been additional complications with 3D-printing. I didn't think very hard about it.

    [Edit: removed some details and links to my pictures that have since broken, added a new link to an album in a reply below with further details.]
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  8. eden sunflower

    eden sunflower New Member

    My 1997 Acty Just passed inspection today! I would recommend Calling around to different JDM specialist shops and see if anyone is will to modify your headlights. It costs about $400 to get them modified; but it looks really good. Other then that i would just recommend not importing anything that wasn't made in LHD models with sealed beams. also i got my exporter in Japan to send me a couple of extra sets of headlights for the second gen Acty, i'm going to attempt to modify them; if successful I will post a video!
  9. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Hey Eden, can you post some quick pictures of your headlights, and perhaps a description of the changes if it was third gen? Your profile picture looks like a third gen but my understanding is they weren't produced until 1999.
  10. eden sunflower

    eden sunflower New Member

    Hey Nathan, My profile Picture is of a different Honda Acty. I bought a a 1996 Honda Acty a couple of months ago and more Recently a 2002 (the one in my profile picture). The 2002 is sitting in Vancouver and being transported to me on Wednesday. My 1996 Honda Acty Headlights are (hopefully) going to be finished Today, once i have both acty's I will be happy to send you pictures of both sets of headlights. I'm under the impression that the third generation Honda Acty has halogen capsule headlights rather then sealed beam making it way easier to modify.

    Over the last 6 months I've imported my first 6 vehicles and have came to the conclusion that it is a WAY easier to Import vehicles that have a LHD counterpart. If you do import something like any Acty i would recommend buying something with halogen capsule, getting your headlights sealed beams modified costs a lot ($500 for mine and took 3 months).

    For modifying headlights I have found 3 options:
    1.) if you are not in a professional environment, keeping the vehicle and don't care about seeing the road in the dark; you can rent a set of modified headlights to pass inspection
    2.) attempt to modify the headlights yourself; i find this scary because if you screw up what can you do?
    3.) shops like Velocity motors (Vancouver 1 (844) 274 4519) or rocky mountain imports (victoria 1 (800) 921 4536) Will modify them for you; but it costs a pretty penny.

    IE: the difference between the 2nd gen Honda Acty and the Thrid Gen Honda Acty are sealed beam headlights and bulb capsules.

    I will Follow up with pictures when my 2nd gen Acty arrives!

  11. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Thanks for sharing! Yeah I picked the DIY route on my third-gen and it's been a lot of work, and a few mistakes made. I overheated one of the lenses for example and had to get a used replacement through Amazon JP/Tenso.

    Let us know how it goes though. There's still barely any info online for these models since they're not so popular.
  12. eden sunflower

    eden sunflower New Member

    I'm curious, is your Acty your first import? do you plan on doing anymore?
  13. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    First time importing, for personal use. They're becoming a little more popular where I live in Kelowna, so a small importing business would probably be profitable here, but probably not enough to replace my day-job, ha ha.

    If this HA7 survives until then, I'll likely buy an HA9 in 2024 when those become importable, but that's a long way away.
  14. A74runner

    A74runner New Member

    Did you ever pass your inspection? What did you do for headlights and taillights?
  15. PePe

    PePe New Member

    @NathanH do you happen to have new links of your pictures? I'm in the same predicament and I need to start looking at options on how to do this.
  16. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Hey PePe, check out this album I made:

    I see all my previous links broke which sucks. There's some translations of the fuse boxes I made in this album too. The wiring diagram covers how I made DRL + reversed polarity of the headlight connectors.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  17. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    I'll copy-paste some more stuff I'd sent to someone else who asked recently. I think it will definitely be more useful here in a public thread haha:

    Just to have on hand, I've found the parts diagrams through this site really useful: http://jp-carparts.com/honda/figlist.php?maker=honda&type=ACTY TRUCK&cartype=22141

    Getting the headlights legal (for BC) was probably the only really painful part of the whole import process. I ended up spending a tonne of time fabricating custom mounting brackets so I could install some jeep headlights. There might be simpler options, but that worked for me. Other than that, if I need parts, I've found sometimes my local Honda dealer actually has them (if you know the part number), as they're sometimes used on other Honda vehicles too. Often there are generic equivalents, but it can take a lot of googling. I haven't asked, but I don't think the Honda dealer could help you if you didn't already know your required parts numbers.

    A gotcha I ran into with tires was that to get the specific winter tires I wanted I had to go up a bit in tire size, and on the front they didn't "really" fit, so I ended up carving away a bit of the front bumper with a utility knife so they'd stop rubbing during cornering.

    For oil changes, I've been using a Fram XG7317, so you can use that as a basis for fit comparison if you don't want to google the stock part from scratch. The owners manual states a few different oil options on page 195. I've been using 5w30 and it seems fine. Here's a copy of the manual (it's Japanese...): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QePILcirVPVSmu3NYmka7fqyTqIVrUki/view?usp=sharing

    To comment on the reverse-polarity thing in my last reply there, the polarity of the headlights in the Acty are the reverse of what I think is normal in North American vehicles (they have switched ground leads to the headlight instead of switched hots), so this became a nuisance when I went to install my new headlights because I had selected LED headlights, where polarity matters. Also mine are always on if the electronics are on, so my design won't work as-is if you want to use the car radio at drive-in movies lol.

    I imagine some inspectors might take issue to using the old lenses over the new headlights like I did, ie. mine sort of have "two lenses". I would talk to your vehicle inspector about what would be allowed before putting too much work into anything. If you go the fabrication route I did, they should be adjustable too... The whole inspection process in BC is a pretty big "grey area". I got the impression inspectors have a lot of freedom in how they want to interpret rules.

    Since getting the truck I'd say I've have two big annoying problems. The first was the fuel pump died while I was on the Coquihalla which sucked. I was able to get a replacement at Lordco though. The other problem I started having was on cold days starting last year I started having really terrible torque until the engine had warmed up. I started to suspect the fuel injectors so I had this guy clean them: http://www.precisionlinefuelinjectors.com/. The truck has been running much better since then.

    I think that covers all the useful info off the top of my head. Let me know if you have more questions and I'll do my best of course :)
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  18. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    I see I completely missed this reply too haha. Sorry! My inspector deemed my taillights acceptable as-is. Other than the headlights the only lights I had to add to the vehicle were side-markers which are visible in the album posted there, in the 3/4 side profile view.
  19. PePe

    PePe New Member

    That is awesome info!!!

    do you have any details on how did you mounted those LED headlights inside? did you just cut the reflector and fit the light? I'm wondering about the angle and such too
  20. NathanH

    NathanH New Member

    Yeah so my headlight mounting is "very custom"... And kind of janky lol. I would check with @SvenOfTheWoods too as I think he might have found a better inspector or a better solution.

    For mine I completely cut out the reflector, attached large diameter black ABS to the back of the new headlight's heat sinks with bolts, and used a soldering iron and heat gun to attach the original headlight adjusters/mount-points between the original headlight housing to the ABS in a way that would allow for normal angle adjustment after-the-fact. I got there eventually but it was a lot of work lol...
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020

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