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Disclaimer: I am not an expert on your car. I am providing this "how-to" solely as a contributing member on this board and cannot guarantee your results nor do I accept any responsibility for improperly following my procedures or resulting in broken parts. The outlining steps herein are based only on my personal experience in the matter. Perform this procedure at your own risk.

Now, contrary to popular belief, the factory D3S HID bulbs DO NOT twist out clockwise or counterclockwise. Let's just put that to rest right now. Instead, the bulbs are attached to a bracket and two (2) T10 torx/star key screws hold them on to the headlight assembly.

Here are the required/recommended tools:


In order to provide the best "how-to" possible, I removed the headlight assemblies to get a better look.

Here are the locations of the screws that need to be removed in order to take the headlight assembly off:

Engine bay; Top view, Passenger side:


Engine bay, Top view, Passenger side, close-up front:



The lower T30 headlight screws are a PITA to access and remove. You have to jack up the vehicle, remove the wheels, remove the wheel well liner, and maneuver the 1/4" drive ratchet with the bit holder and T30 bit into very tight quarters. There's maybe 4" between the head of the screw and the fender. Once I 'broke the screw loose' with the ratchet and T30 bit, I used a dime (10 cent piece) to undo it the rest of the way (yes, there's a slot in the screw head, too)... took about 20 minutes to remove the passenger side (horns take up space), and 10 minutes on the driver side:



Exercise care when removing the headlight assembly. Unplug the main wiring harness and the amber side marker. Pay special attention to the plastic brackets/flaps and areas near the grille and bumper. There is also a groove on the bottom front of the headlight assembly that the bumper fastens into. Gently and patiently wiggling it away from its fastening points will save you frustration and broken parts.

Once the headlight assembly is removed, this is what it looks like when viewing into the low-beam housing (in the picture below, I have already removed one of the T10 screws):


Remove the two T10 torx screws and unplug the HID light harness/plug (I used a small telescopic magnet to ensure I didn't drop the screws into the housing. and I used a small flat head screwdriver to 'pry' the plug off of the light) :


Here is a side-by-side comparison of the factory D3S light assembly (left) and the aftermarket one I'm installing (right). Note the bracket on the factory assembly that needs to be transferred to the new one. The bracket slides off in one direction making it easy to transfer. Installing the bracket on the new one is simply performed by orientating it in the same direction/location as it was on the original light, and lining up a notch in the bracket:


Next, re-install everything in reverse order (don't forget to plug the wiring harness back into the headlight assembly) and test operation before finalizing - you don't want to get everything reassembled and off the jacks before realizing your install didn't succeed ;)

Here are the after shots:

Daytime, taken in the garage:


Night shot; low-beams only:


Night shot; low-beams and fogs:


I'll conclude that it may be possible to perform this procedure without removing the headlight assemblies - at least, now that we all know what's involved - but it had to be done in this case for that determination. In the future, I don't think I'd risk dropping one of those little T10 screws or fussing with the D3S harness/plug - especially since you can't see what you're doing without the headlight assembly removed.

-Cheers!


 

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Thanks

I thought it was more difficult than a twist off when I saw the screws inside the light housing. Will install this weekend and post my after shots. Again thank you for posting the step by step.:D
 

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Hi Justin when removing the SMALL HID lamp plug (plastic encased in metal shield) did you just use the small screw driver to get in between the metal casing and lamp sockect base and "wiggle" down so the metal casing "shell" and the actual plastic plug come down at the same time ? Or did the metal casing / shell half need to be separated before the HID lamp plug will pop "down" ?

I see in one photo the metal casing is separated showing the white plastic plug inside.
 

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sweet! this will help many in the long run

maybe an admin should create a master DIY thread compiling links to all the Escape DIYs
 

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This is an excellent how-to guide. I must say, however, that it's kind of an insane design to have to remove the wheel in order to change a headlight bulb.
 

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This is an excellent how-to guide. I must say, however, that it's kind of an insane design to have to remove the wheel in order to change a headlight bulb.
No kidding. It's good to have an excellent write-up though. I was planning on swapping some Hella Supertones in as well, so now that this is up, I might as well upgrade the bulbs while I'm at it.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Justin when removing the SMALL HID lamp plug (plastic encased in metal shield) did you just use the small screw driver to get in between the metal casing and lamp sockect base and "wiggle" down so the metal casing "shell" and the actual plastic plug come down at the same time ? Or did the metal casing / shell half need to be separated before the HID lamp plug will pop "down" ?

I see in one photo the metal casing is separated showing the white plastic plug inside.
Good catch. Yes, all you do is insert the flat end of the driver between the casing and the plug and sort of twist in a clockwise/counterclockwise motion until the plug separates enough to be pulled off by hand. However, on one of mine (as seen in the picture) the plug didn't separate easily from the light casing, therefore, I had to open the clamp. But, as you can see, you can re-clamp it back down afterwards.
 

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Is it just me or does it seem like the easiest things to do with a vehicle seem way to complicated on the new Escape...a headlight or fog light replacement or a "simple" cabin filter. I'm at a loss these used to be 5-10 min things without taking apart half your vehicle
 

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Is it just me or does it seem like the easiest things to do with a vehicle seem way to complicated on the new Escape...a headlight or fog light replacement or a "simple" cabin filter. I'm at a loss these used to be 5-10 min things without taking apart half your vehicle
I know, right?! The VWs and Subies seem so simple to me now!
 

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I can say this much I've never had a vehicle that I owed or worked on for a friend that required all that for a bulb change. The replacement VANOS sensor on a 2006 BMW 330i seems like cake compared to this. What happened to engine top access bulbs in the headlights that can just do a half turn and pop out with a connector?
 

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One additional question. I see from the picture where you show the lamp base empty and the plug exposed. The OEM lamp appears to have a smooth "non-notched" black circle base. The replacement lamp has "cut-outs" in the black plastic base.

The lamp holder appears to have various ridges / notches that look as if the replacement HID lamp actually can be "twist-locked" into place ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One additional question. I see from the picture where you show the lamp base empty and the plug exposed. The OEM lamp appears to have a smooth "non-notched" black circle base. The replacement lamp has "cut-outs" in the black plastic base.

The lamp holder appears to have various ridges / notches that look as if the replacement HID lamp actually can be "twist-locked" into place ?
Another good observation. The notches in the aftermarket light - and lack thereof with the OEM light - have no relevance/purpose in the factory HID setup. The only relevant piece is the bracket as this is what holds the bulb in place. Explains why the factory light doesn't have them.

Perhaps the aftermarket one is more universal and fits other applications such as Audi.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I bought the Shop DVD ( Service Manuals, Owner Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins - Helm Incorporated ) and the funny thing is it says to twist counter clockwise to remove the HID. The over all manual is not as complete (and I guess now not accurate) as my eBahn (Bentley) VW manual for my GTI.

I have some 6000 Philips D3S that will I will put in at some point.

Many thanks again for the write up !
...That's why my first statement in the write up said they do not twist out. :)

You're welcome
 

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My 8000k D3S and HID fog light result with crappy camera

Did my headlights without removing headlight unit. PITA!!! Used a mirror and magnitized T10 and a whole lot of patience!!!! Good luck to anyone going this route. First pick is just fogs on...
 

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Was going to post a request for a DIY guide, then after searching through many threads and posts for about 10 minutes I found this one! Great DIY thread here.

Would be nice if there was a sticky on the DIY threads for tasks like this.

I'm going with the Philips X-Treme Vision D3S 42403XVC1 bulbs to replace my OE bulbs.
 

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Thanks Socal-jay,

Great job on walking through this project. This helped me get the get to the light bulb but unfortunately found that the harness plugging into the low beam had some scorching around it! I tried new bulb but it did not work. So I have ordered the harness from the dealer. Not sure what caused that scorching and I hope the harness will do it an awful lot of time and effort for a low beam light.
 
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