Building a Track Car – Lighting Failure

It was with great anticipation that I opened the large carton with the ORACLE Flush Mount Headlight Kit in it.  It seemed like the perfect solution to the barn door pop-up headlights that came on the first generation Miatas.  Advanced Automotive Concepts markets the kit and it is sold through many Miata online stores.

It was not only supposed to cure the aerodynamic flaw in the pop-up design, it would save about twenty pounds off the front end.  Nothing to sneeze at.

The directions are found online as a PDF file.  The AAC web site describes the wire harness as “plug and play”. 

Taking apart the stock headlight so the assembly can be removed.

I went through the effort of removing the stock headlight mechanisms and installed the Hella headlights in the laser cut aluminum frames.  So far so good.  Then the wiring.

The tie wrap that held the connections together.

First off I was to plug a couple of wires of the harness into one of the stock headlight connectors.  Hmm.  The wires just had male spade connectors crimped onto them.  They wouldn’t stay in place unless I held them with a nylon tie wrap.

The aftermarket wiring harness on my pickup has a real connector

I had upgraded the headlight wiring harness in my Toyota truck and it came with a connector that just plugged into the stock headlight socket.  This kit was starting to look a little weak.

Sure, just plug them into the bulb sockets...

Then it wanted me to plug unmarked connectors to each of the headlight bulbs.  I was to test them to get the connections right.  Wait a minute, even a retail auto parts store sells headlight bulb connectors that would ensure the wiring was correct and water tight.  Why should I have to correct their wiring harness?

The kind of connectors that should have been on the wiring harness.

So then I fitted the Lexan headlight covers on to the carbon fiber headlight housings.  That’s when things got really bad.  The two pieces were so poorly formed that with the dozen clips provided in the kit there were only a couple of places that I could use the clips to connect the two pieces.   The gaps were so large that it was likely that even if I mounted the assembly the Lexan covers would pop off at some point.

Trying to connect the Lexan cover to the headlight housing.

Back in the carton everything went.  I placed a call to the retailer explaining the glaring faults and received a return authorization.  Let’s hope I can get my money returned.

Gaps no clip could bridge.

This was barely acceptable as a prototype let alone a production kit.  AAC should be ashamed.

This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Stuff, Care and Feeding, Cars, Life and Cars, Modifying Cars, Racing, Road Racing, Sports Cars. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Building a Track Car – Lighting Failure

  1. Jay Overacre says:

    Jim, check out this discussion thread, hopefully will provide some ideas :

    • jimsgarage says:

      Jay –

      You are truly amazing. I have never met anyone who can perform better Internet searches than you. Your link is a treasure trove of lighting options. Many that I had no clue existed. Thanks.

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