The following directions can be utilized in converting the factory foglights to HID bulbs in the 2002-2003 Maxima. One person can accomplish this task with no problems. Please view pictures with steps for additional detailed information.
NOTE: If you have purchased new lights that have “DEPOT” stamped across the glass instead of Nissan, please see the special note at the bottom of this article.
-10mm socket or wrench
-Phillips Screw Driver
-Needle Nose Pliars
-Soldering Iron + solder
****Instead of the Soldering iron and Shrink Wrap, you could use butt connectors
The above image is a representation of the parts I had to work with. For this project, I purchased a new set of fog lights since one of my factory fogs was broken. In the picture, the top light is factory and shows how the factory wiring comes into play. The lower light shows the H3 HID bulb in place via the kit-supplied wiring. The remaining wiring for the kit shows the bulb to ballast wire and the ballast to vehicle connection wiring. As you see, with the kit, the supplied wiring will not allow the back cover to be utilized nor will the kit interface directly with the cars factory foglight connector. This is something I wanted to remedy.
Conversion for H3 bulb: As seen in the first pictures above, the factory wiring goes through a rubber grommet within the backing. Since the kit does not supply this part, the back of the fog light would be “open to the elements” which was unacceptable.
Step 1 – As the first step, I cut the factory wiring behind the connections then pulled the wiring out. I then took a pair of needle nose pliers and removed the rubber grommet as seen in image 2.
Step 2 – As you can see, the factory wires are a bit smaller than the HID bulb wires. This will require you to increase the size of the holes in the grommet. I actually used a sheet-rock screw to shove repeatedly into the holes in order to increase their size, you can do this task with whatever is handy.
Step 3 – Cut the HID bulb wires approximately 3″ from the connector ends (may be longer if desired). Press the free ends (containing the socket connectors) through the grommet. At this point, you will have the grommet with the two wires sticking through and the socket connections poking out the flat end. Now, reinstall the grommet into the backing piece. At this point, you are ready to solder.
Step 4 – I cut and slid some Shrink Wrap (about 1.5″ in length) onto the long wires attached to the HID bulb. I then stripped the ends of the wires, twisted and soldered them together. Finally, pull the shrink wrap over the solder joint and heat with a lighter to seal. At this point, replace the backing on the foglight. Once completed, you should have a final product similar to images 3 and 4.
Interface to factory wiring: The first two images above show the changes made to the kits car interface wiring. These are the wires that run from the ballasts to the factory car connector. Since the Kits wiring does not have a Nissan connector, I used the factory connector from the new foglights.
Step 1 – The first step is to cut the excess wiring off the factory connector, leaving approximately 3″ of wiring left over. Then, cut the blade connectors off the HID kit wires. For the final results, you will need a 3″ piece of shrink wrap that will go over the whole HID-kit wire and two 1.5″ pieces to fit over the “soon to be” soldered connections. Slide the larger piece onto the HID kit cabling followed by the two smaller pieces. Make sure they are moved far enough away so the heat of the soldering iron will not shrink them down prematurely.
Step 2 – Strip the ends of the wires and solder them together. Once cooled, slide the two individual shrink wrap pieces over the joint and heat with a lighter. Once cooled, slide the larger shrink wrap over the two connections and heat. At this point, you will have the finished cable which consists of the Ballast connection on one end and the factory connection on the other.
When all wiring is completed, the final result should look like the 3rd image. The kit is ready to be installed at this point.
Foglight Removal: I will not detail the removal process of the factory foglights. For that information, you may visit: Replacing 2k2-2k3 Maxima Foglight Bulbs. The steps below reflect the differences and/or additional steps required for installation.
Step 1 – When installing the foglights, it is easier to pre-connect the Ballasts to the bulb connections as seen in image 1. It can be done after mounting but this is easier. Once connected, follow the installation instructions linked above to mount the lights.
Step 2 – The other difference is the mounting of the ballasts. On the passenger side, there is a 10mm bolt which holds the bottom of the washer fluid reservoir (image 2). Remove this bolt and use it as the ballast mounting location. On the drivers side, the bolt mounting point is there, but not being used. I utilized the 10mm bolt that was provided in the CoWay kit to mount the ballast on that side. Prior to mounting, I added some 2-sided tape to the back of each ballast as this added additional stability.
Step 3 – Simply install the final connection cable to the ballast and the cars factory harness connector and the installation is complete.
Final Result: The final result was great! While it did take me a bit of time to customize the kit, the process could have been shortened by utilizing butt connectors for simplifiction. The way it is currently installed, I can easily remove these new foglights and reinstall a factory H3 set if needed. The image to the left shows the car with the CoWay H3 HID kit used for the foglights and replacement CoWay D2R headlight bulbs. Both the foglights and the headlights are 6000k.
***As noted at the top of this page, I did run into one major problem that took me a while to figure out. I had ordered a non-Nissan set of replacement foglights. What I did not know is that there is a small flaw with their wiring. The wiring to their factory plug is backward! Once I figured it out, I “simply” rebuilt the Ballast to car connection cable to have the wires reversed and the rest of the installation was smooth as silk. So, if you have foglights with the word “DEPOT” stanped on the lense, check its wiring polarity against the factory harness connector.