Fitting HID converters

S14 & S15 Tech Guides

One of the biggest complaints you will hear about the S14/a is that their headlights are pitiful! There are various options you can take to partially overcome this problem. Fitting high power bulbs, 'special' white or blue bulbs, etc.

The only really effective solution is to invest in a HID (High Intensity Discharge) conversion kit. The price for a kit can vary wildly from £150 to £300. Mine cost about £150 from the US, though you have to take into account additional delivery costs on top of that. Buying several sets for other people will help reduce this. I got mine off Ebay from this seller.


Figure 1 shows one of the converters. I opted for the 4700K bulbs, as these are the closest to those fitted by car manufacturers. Other bulbs are available, but be aware that some are illegal in the UK

HID kitFigure 1 - HID kit



 Remove the first headlight unit. If unsure how to do this, follow my instructions here. Remove the wiring connector, plastic dust cover and rubber seal from the outer light housing. Unhook the wire retaining clip and remove the existing bulb.

Remove existing bulbsFigure 2 - Remove existing bulbs


You now need to find a mounting place for the two ballast boxes. I attached mine to the base of the headlight unit using the adhesive pads supplied with my kit. I found this to be the least obtrusive location, especially if you have an FMIC. The guidelines state to mount it somewhere where it will get an air flow.

Place ballast and ignitorFigure 3 - Place ballast and ignitor


VERY CAREFULLY insert the new xenon bulb and clip it into position. It is imperative that you do not touch the bulb glass with your fingers nor catch it on the housing.

Insert new HID bulbFigure 4 - Insert new HID bulb


Pull the rubber grommet on the wires about an inch from the ballast. Pass the rubber seal over the ballast connectors and wires.

Thread bulb wiring through sealsFigure 5 - Thread bulb wiring through seals


Now fit the rubber seal onto the housing. You should find that the inside of the seal should push tightly against the grommet and form a quite tight seal. You may wish to add additional damp-proofing around the seal and wires before screwing the dust cap back.

Ensure good sealsFigure 6 - Ensure good seals


Join the two ballast connectors to the converter connectors. They are opposing connectors, so you can't get it wrong!

Join connectorsFigure 7 - Join connectors


Slot the two spade connectors into the H4 adapter as show in Figure 8 and snap the back into place.

Wire the H4 adapterFigure 8 - Wire the H4 adapter


Connect the adapter to the existing H4 connector.

Join H4 adapter and connectorFigure 9 - Join H4 adapter and connector


Made sure all the connectors are tucked in neatly behind the housing unit before fitting it back. This makes all the connections accessible.

Repeat this process for the other headlight unit.


When the lights are switched on for the first time, keep them on for ten minutes. This is important for the initial 'burning in' process. Also, ensure you get your alignment checked, otherwise you will find everybody flashing you to dip!  If you want an accurate way to do this yourself, take a look at these guidelines.

Replace headlightFigure 10 - Replace headlight


Figure 11 shows the startling difference between the new HID xenon bulbs and the normal halogen bulbs.

ComparisonFigure 11 - Comparison


Before fittingBefore fittingAfter fittingAfter fitting

Christian Jull

During his 'car years', Christian owned, ran and modified a Nissan 200SX (S14) and Nissan Silvia Spec R (S15). He was an active staff member of the UK 200SX Owners Club and one of the founding members of the S15 Owners Club. He owned and administered the club for ten years. Over the course of five years of Nissan ownership, Christian wrote modification guides to aid others. These guides have proved very popular with 200SX/Silvia owners all over the world.

Included with the guides is a record of car ownership over a ten year period.

Christian is now car-less and lives in the public-transport-friendly city of Helsinki in Finland.