BCNR33 Series 3 headlamps

One of the most popular upgrade for owners of earlier model R33 GTRs is to upgrade the headlamps to Series 3 BCNR33 headlamps. Another reason why most people haven't  These are a very pricey purchase which is the the only main discouraging factor for considering the upgrade and often only true enthusiasts will invest in this change. So naturally it was on the my list for my resto mod. Further more projectors were only ever available on the BNR32 and BCNR33 GTRs. Due to the manual headlight dipping function and also due to various cost cutting measures employed in various areas of the BNR34 they were never made available on the BNR34.

Here is my car as it came with the standard earlier model reflector headlamps with aftermarket HID low beams.

The numbers of remaining stock of these parts are dwindling and at the time I couldn't source a full assembly for the drivers side. A complete assembly which includes the headlight housing as well as the factory HID ballast and bulbs. So my alternatively was to just get the housing alone for which there is ample stock available. 

The passenger side (RH) (Part number: 26025-98U00)

The drivers side (LH) (Part number: 26075-98U00)

So as the name on the part sticker suggests it is the housing minus the ballast and bulbs.
Even this part was not plentiful so I thought better sooner than later.

There was one issue which you will run into, it is the fact that you will need to source an aftermarket HID kit. Now my car came fitted with a aftermarket HID kit however the bulb type was different from the Series 3 headlamps. The BCNR33s until Series 2 (Model year 1995-1996) used the same H1 bulbs shared among all R33 Skylines. However the Series 3 (1997-1998) with the factory Xenon HID headlamps used a D2S/DSR bulb.

The other minor complication with the housing is that it comes pre-wired with the harness  embedded in housing itself. As a result you will have to disassemble the entire housing in order to completely remove it. Therefore I decided to sever the bulb harness which was sticking out as it is a proprietary design which will only fit the factory HID system.

So now comes sourcing an aftermarket D2S/D2R HID kit. There are many reasonable solutions available on the market. One specific kit released by a local company called Seabass-Link which was introduced in a issue of GTR Magazine (a magazine here in Japan dedicated to the GTR) which was applied to their own BNR34 car. The part that took my interest about this specific kit was that the ballasts were made in Japan by Panasonic and the bulbs are sourced from Philips. The other bonus was that it offers a higher wattage than the factory unit of 42W over 35W. I did consider LED headlights as well but as I was not fully confident yet of their reliability I decided to wait on them abit more.

The kit is provided by a local company which specialises in aftermarket automotive lighting kits called Seabass-Link.

The kit also comes with mounting plates for the ballasts which fit the factory ballast mounting points on the underside of the Headlight housings.

The ballasts are quite large and slightly heavier than the factory units however their as expected by a made in Japan product the build is solid.

So now I am sure you are thinking about cost. If I had sourced the complete headlamp assembly including the factory ballast it would have cost close to $2k USD per side. However with just the headlamp housing and including the aftermarket HID kit the cost was just over $2K USD. Furthermore the Seabass-Link HID due to it's premium component make up is significantly pricier at around $400 USD so if you want there is money to be saved there too if need be.

To go along with the Low beams I needed an LED parking light to match. as the bulbs used in the Seabass-Link kit were Philips I decided to try my luck with Philips T102 of the same 6000K brightness. Further more the high lumens (130lm) should match up nicely with the HID bulbs.

And here we are all fitted. It seriously brings the car up a generation and really gives it a fresh modern look

As you can see the Philips T10 Parking LEDs were a perfect match.

For the High beams the bulb type is no different to the regular replector headlights high beam bulb type, both are H1. However the previous bulbs were getting abit tired and dulled so in keeping with the Philips theme I decided to go with high visibility bulbs which sacrifice the light colour away from the white colour of the other bulbs for increased visibility. Now these bulbs are under a different name depending on region so the name may differ in your area but in Japan they are called Philips X-tremeVision 3350K 12V 55W .

The combination of HID kit and parking light and high beams is down to personal choice so just go with what you prefer and have access to.