2014 Nissan Juke Headlights
Demon Eyes, Lens Etching, Paintwork, Projector Retrofit, RGB Strips
FINALLY! I’ve been waiting a long time to do a custom build for the upper lights on the Nissan Juke — commonly referred to as ‘gators’. Several people had attempted similar builds in the past with results varying from lackluster to downright embarrassing. Several flailed potential clients later, good ol Andrew came through and pulled the trigger to finance the first ever professionally built gator light set. Andrew is a previous customer– the owner of the EVOXR Juke Projector Retrofit build. He wanted some gators to match the styling of his headlights and make an impressive visual statement. Well I’m on board with that mission, let’s do it!
As per the usual, the first step is to get some housings and tear em apart.
The first and biggest step was to figure out how to get the Morimoto Matchbox projector to fit in the upper housing area. This was the big mystery that nobody had suitably solved to date. Well, for everyone reading this in order to replicate my work, get ready, cuz here you go. You gotta remove a bunch of material in the way and then plastic weld in a newly shaped housing that can support the projector assembly. Superior Mobile FTW.
Time to pimp out some Matchboxes. First we got em etched with a lil kanji emblem. And then installed some Diode Dynamics RGBW demon eyes.
Test fitting and trimming shrouds and bezels to fit.
Customer requested amber side-marker delete. Good call buddy, that thing is obnoxiously big, bulky, and… well… just ugly. It also ruins the design flow of this piece. So I removed em and cut out the plastic to which they were mounted.
Before I could do any bodywork on those though, I had to strip the chrome on everything.
Now it was time to get crafty and let some of my skillsets developed from other walks of life shine. Namely, fabrication and body work techniques picked up over the years from being in the car audio industry. First I had to fill the big open gap with plastic and bond that shut. Then I used body filler to create the gentle natural curve that I desired. I wanted to recess an RGB strip into the design so I created a plug to replicate the size and shape of the strip and used body filler to shape up to it. Then a coat of high build polyester primer followed by guide coat made the sanding of the final shape consistent. Then it was ready for paint!
One last step before paint. Andrew wanted some halos up front as well. A mounting plate was cut and bonded into place.
Time to get everything painted! OEM Nissan B20 body color and clear coat… yummy.
Getting the halos all mounted and starting on reassembly:
And that’s it! Viola! They’re done!
I really like this picture… it’s a before/after comparison:
All righty, let’s show off all the features of this build now! The RGB LED strip is super bright and lights up the rear halo ring purely by proximity. I wish I could say that I had intentionally designed it that way because man is it COOL. Creates a faux-RGB halo effect. The strip and demon eyes are independently controlled via the Morimoto XBT BT controller.
The halos are red only and are to be wired as the blinker circuit along with the LED strip which is switchback. The blinker effect is quite impressive as it overwhelms the whole housing.
As you can see, I installed the gators on my personal Juke. I did this primarily because I needed to check the orientation of the Matchbox projectors and make sure that the cutoff was accurate. But also because I really really really wanted to see these things installed ASAP.
Rocking the blue demon eyes and strip….
Again, to clarify: The Morimoto Matchbox Bixenon projector assembly is a fog light HID projector rig designed to provide a bunch of additional controlled light out onto the road. So essentially they’re like a mini headlight. To be honest, they’re actually brighter than some OEM headlights. Here’s some pictures of me adjusting them and the beam output. It’s not flawless like you’d expect from a full sized projector lens, but they’re certainly powerful and do a mighty fine job for how compact they are.
Well that about wraps it up. I’m super super pleased with how these came out and it was fantastic to push my boundaries again with another ground breaking build. These are the types of things that fuel my soul! Until next time, much love!