Spider HID LED's Front bumper & Strut Brace
Apologies for being in and out of the forum so these issues may have been dealt with elsewhere, however I thought it useful to share my experience of fitting a complete set of HID headlights to my 2008 Spider along with selected LED's and a strut brace.
As with all these things it started off as a simple 5 minute job of replacing a bulb. When I initially inspected however I saw that my offside headlight was, internally at least, in bits. I looked on the forum but could not find out too much about this issue, but basically you have to remove the front bumper to replace the headlight unit.
That said, it is really not too bad a job and well within the scope of a reasonably competent DIYer. You simply remove the obvious bolts top and bottom - you do not even have to remove the engine tray!. In the wheel arches simply unclip the front part of the plastic wheel arch splash guards and then you have access to unscrew the top and bottom screws of the bumper closest to the wheel. Only these four screws (two each side) need to be removed and nothing else. The sides of the bumper are snap fitted into brackets so you just need to gently push side wards rather than forwards and the bumper side edges will unclip. Everything then will slide forward and the bumper can be removed, unclipping the fog light wire as you go.
Once this was done it is clear why the headlight unit cannot be replaced without the bumper being removed as there is a vertical bracket on the unit which would be impossible to access.
I purchased a new headlight unit off Ebay. £95. Seems absolutely fine. (Those nine year old Chinese kids certainly know how to build an Alfa headlight)
With the bumper removed it is extremely advisable to replace all of the bulbs as clearly it is an issue to replace them in situ.
I looked on the forum and I went for 55w 6000 k HID headlights. They cost about £45. They are a piece of **** to fit even with the headlight fully fitted. Sad as I am, I also decided to also fit a set to the front fog lights. Having the bumper off this was really easy as it meant I could "lose" the power packs inside the internal parts of the bumper. By the way, you do not need any ballast packs, just standard HID lights though I am told if you use the lower powered 35w you may, as the Canbus system detects the lower power and assumes a bulb is faulty. Not sure about all this, but the 55W have been absolutely fine. I should also say ,that I used two different makes and both have been fine.
I replace the side front lights with canbus error free LED's as recommended elsewhere on the forum. I also replace all of the interior lights with LED's. I did not however bother with the indicator or rear red lights, though I did do the rear number plate lights. As you cannot put HID lights on the main beam I replace those with what I assume are the most powerful upgrade standard bulbs you can get which are the Ring 120% Xenon Ultima .
Was it worth it? Well basically I think they are utterly brilliant. I can only describe it as having a tube of pure daylight in front of your car. I actually adjusted the beam upwards and not once have I been flashed so I assume oncoming motorists have no issue with them. The car went for MOT and the tester said there was no problem whatsoever with the beam pattern. I mentioned earlier that I put the Ring upgrade main beam bulbs. When you look at both beams there is no comparison. The HID beam is the whitest white whereas the Xenon Ultima, by comparison, is a dismal and disappointing yellow. They really put a whole new perspective on night driving. By the way I have a set of factory standard Xenon lights fitted to another car I own and I believe these cost an extra £400 as a factory fit upgrade. They are not as powerful as those now fitted to the Spider.
The interior LED lights are also worth it as it gives a really white light and actually makes it much easier to do things like reading.
In conclusion, if you are thinking of doing this I strongly recommend, easy to do and you will not be disappointed.
My final point concerns the strut brace. I wrote about this in an earlier post. Just to say, it really makes a noticeable difference in terms of handling and tightness when fitted to the Spider at least!
Last edited by H4lfc; 31-07-13 at 10:36.