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High Performance rear lights - Early E30

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    High Performance rear lights - Early E30

    OK, Here goes with the public notice... I am trying to start a business here and at local indy shops making and selling tail light upgrades to help keep more E30s on the road and out of the junk-yards (ooh, sorry, automotive recycling specialist facilities).

    I built a set of each (early and late) last year for Gutenparts. Levent was going to install in cars and post pics, but I decided to go ahead and do it myself.

    I have been working on this E30 project for over a year, have [UPDATE- THREE SETS] out there (to browntown, colorado_cabrio, and mike30e) and they seem happy with the improvement. And why not- they're great! See below for pics.

    Three priorities I had upgrading my car (E28 1986 535i) six years ago:
    1) Make the lights easier to see day or night time,
    2) Visually bigger so the car seems closer, and
    3) More reliable by adding a second bulb to provide additional tail and brake lights. This is so that when a bulb fails, you still have both tail and brake lights working on both sides of the car.

    Here goes with the pics: one of upgraded tail lights, then one of upgrade brake lights, then both on together. Forgive the auto exposure limitations, use your imagination.

    January 30 2019 Update-
    Prices may have changed a bit since 2010, please forgive me, for this thread -- "Price subject to change without notice." Contact me for the best deal.





    Last edited by Mo Brighta; 01-30-2019, 08:54 AM. Reason: update on price
    "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
    Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
    Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
    Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

    #2
    Hey Andy -

    Glad to see you on here; I'm a boulder e30 guy, and I hadn't seen your CL adds for a while and was worried you'd left.

    PM me about a price etc. I have an 87 Cabrio.

    Cheers
    Brent

    Comment


      #3
      ok, that looks very smart. :-) what did you do? besides bridge the contacts between the panel. Where did you get the brighter bulbs?

      thanks.
      sigpic

      Comment


        #4
        Interested, what are the details? Using regular bulbs I see, no LED. What about check systems? What about heat issues? How do you have these mounted in the back? Are they using the stock bulb carriers only modified, or is it a whole new animal?

        Pics of more than just the lights on would be needed for me.

        And cost, cores etc?
        sigpic

        Comment


          #5
          Details ... and a deal!

          Originally posted by Ceeker View Post
          ok, that looks very smart. :-)
          Thanks, I agree!

          what did you do? besides bridge the contacts between the panel.
          Actually, bridging contacts for rear fog locations is done in the 'late' tail lights (9/87>), you bridge to provide power (+12V) and add a ground contact. More on these (with pics) in another post.

          Early (>9/87) lights use a metal plate to hold and ground all bulbs. There is a missing (+12V) power contact, tho, left out of US lights in the rear fog location.

          I customize the socket and add a terminal, then add wiring to power two additional filaments. The result is light behind ALL of the red lens, using the Human Factors principle that 'bigger and brighter' are scarier, and tend to grab the attention of the driver behind you faster. The result is as shown- double tails, double brakes each side. Also adds redundancy: when (not if) a bulb fails, you still have tail and brake lights on both sides of the car.

          The sad fact is, from most larger, taller vehicles (vans, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, etc.), small dim lights fade into the background of 'little cars', not to mention all the distractions inside these 'Rolling Living Rooms.' The desired outcome is to make drivers following you aware of your intentions quickly and clearly so they hopefully can avoid creaming your rear end.

          BMW parts, copper wire, heat shrink insulation, and soldered connections are used to maximize reliability, simplicity and quality. Same principles they used when making the lights to BMW Specs. Nickel base bulbs are used to comply with BMW requirements and keep the Check Control panel happy.

          Where did you get the brighter bulbs?
          Actually, six years ago I contacted lighting guru Daniel Stern, and bought a full set of lights and bulbs -- Cibie CSR headlights, and 13 high output bulbs for all locations in my E28 tails and front turns. I now have high output bulbs for five brake lights, six tail lights, and Halogen reverse lights. (I have a center brake, it's an '86.) Since then I became a dealer to get the bulbs directly from the distributer, and use them in all my lighting kits.

          All added bulbs are within the existing light housing -- nothing like that 'Gran Detroit' rented by John Candy and Steve Martin in 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' (from Wikipedia: "The rental car was a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Town and Country with a 2.2L turbo engine that was customized for the film. Modifications included the tail lights, ...").

          The lights look perfectly stock, dark or lighted. They're just bigger, brighter, and more reliable. And single point failure is no longer a problem for brakes or tails! That defect is designed in to rear lights for MOST older BMWs, by the way.

          After I posted a description of my upgrades on the 'my e28' forum, I started getting questions and requests. So, I started building and selling upgrade kits. I formed a very small business (Mo Brighta Mo Betta) in my basement. I also have dealer relationships with XPel Technology (headlight and paint protection films), Hella (H1 Bi-Focus low beam), BMW NA (bulb sockets and terminals), and Able 2, a US maker of high output LED lighting for First Responder (fire, police, emergency) vehicles. I now get parts at 'dealer' prices. I have invented and tested similar upgrades for E23/E32 (seven), E24 (six), and E12/E28/E39 (five), E21/E30/E36 (three), E9 coupes, and other makes and models.

          thanks.
          You are most welcome.

          NOW, the deal- :D

          I hope to do this as a business, to keep a roof over my head AND help keep you, your passengers, and your car safe on the road. To encourage this, I make the following offer to r3vLimited members thru January 2, 2011.

          Buy a $89 kit for early OR late tail lights, and I will include high output (HO) bulbs for: 2 turns, 2 tails, and 4 brakes. Additional HO bulbs - $5 each for center brake, front turn/parking lamps, $5 a pair for HO tail lights.
          (EDIT Feb. 2014, was $99)

          There is a refundable core charge for tail light covers, $100 a pair. If your car can be garaged for a week or so, send your lights, I'll make the modifications and return them to you. JUST the inside covers, don't send the lenses or bulbs; lenses stay with the car, and keep the bulbs for spares. Daily drivers, add $100, and send me yours to get your refund after installing the upgraded lights. There are some exceptions, just ask.

          Fine Print:
          Above prices expire 2 January 2011.
          Installation instructions included.
          Return shipping, $12.
          Satisfaction Guaranteed.
          Technical support by email or telephone (M-Sat, 9-3 Mountain).
          PayPal: please add $4 to cover fees if using PayPal.
          Checks and money orders accepted.
          Made in America (bulbs are imported).
          Your mileage may vary.
          'Be Seen, and Not Hurt'

          Email/pm me for PayPal recipient, check/money order 'payee,' and shipping address information. Your input is welcome; just don't ask me for detailed instructions on how to do this, I had to figure it out on my own. I'm just trying to make a living here, and if all goes well, I may drop the price later on
          Thanks, Andy
          Last edited by Mo Brighta; 02-24-2014, 09:28 AM. Reason: updates
          "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
          Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
          Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
          Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

          Comment


            #6
            You want details, you say?

            Originally posted by Van Westervelt View Post
            Interested, what are the details?
            See above, which I was composing while you were replying.
            Using regular bulbs I see, no LED.
            Correct, high output bulbs are the easiest and most expedient. LEDs will come later...
            What about check systems?
            Should work fine, I will ask Brent tomorrow to post his experience.
            What about heat issues?
            Not expected to be a problem, since the light is designed for these bulbs in these locations.
            How do you have these mounted in the back?
            They are stock parts, stock mounting method. Plug and play after removing a blanking cover in the rear fog reflector. It's already scored, just tap to remove. It's the same as changing a bulb, really, with the one additional step.
            Are they using the stock bulb carriers only modified, or is it a whole new animal?
            Stock carriers are modified, nothing animalistic about it! ;)
            Pics of more than just the lights on would be needed for me.
            Yeah, I understand, you will have to forgive me for being proprietary about the design. Look in your trunk at the stock bulb carriers, that's just what you'll see with the modified carriers. The drivers behind you will see the results.
            And cost, cores etc?
            See previous post.

            Thanks for all your interest and the good questions!

            Andy
            "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
            Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
            Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
            Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

            Comment


              #7
              This looks interestingly good, big change... Question, when a bulb eventually burns out or breaks, where do we get another one of these high output bulbs to match, are you the only source? Thanx...

              Comment


                #8
                replacement bulbs

                Originally posted by Mike30e View Post
                This looks interestingly good, big change... Question, when a bulb eventually burns out or breaks, where do we get another one of these high output bulbs to match, are you the only source? Thanx...
                I have about 50 plus kits using these tricked out bulbs out there, from Australia to Taiwan, Florida to Vancouver, and San Diego to upstate New York. I plan to support these folks, and will support the E30 folks as well.

                I anticipate these bulbs being available for a long time to come, I certainly am not going anywhere.

                The unmodified bulbs are just that- plain old high output (H-O) krypton gas filled nickel base bulbs making 43-45 cp (candlepower, or mean spherical candella for the techies). Stock bulbs are spec'd at 32 cp for turn, brake, reverse, and Euro rear fogs. H-O tails are R10W making 10 cp versus 4-6 stock. I am sure that the wholesale supplier sells to others -- but I am the one with r3vLimited connections. I am here for you.

                The modified bulbs are made by me using the above bulbs in two filament version, and as I said, are slightly tricked out to work in the design that provides two lights in one reflector, thus giving the advantages mentioned: Bigger, Brighter, and Redundant. The visual result is two tails and two brakes per side.

                Hope this helps.

                Andy
                Last edited by Mo Brighta; 12-05-2010, 01:11 PM. Reason: clarify
                "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
                Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
                Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
                Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hey- I re-read mike30e's post. I corrected the above to clarify the difference between the high output bulbs and my modified high output bulbs. Hey, I have several guys in Canada running these upgrades in their E28s, even have a customer with a Porsche and a VW!

                  Colorado_cabrio's lights went in yesterday afternoon in about 10 minutes, he should be posting a review soon.

                  \\\Andy
                  "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
                  Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
                  Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
                  Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would like to see pictures of these 'items'
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Here is a picture

                      Originally posted by Van Westervelt View Post
                      I would like to see pictures of these 'items'
                      The attached picture shows High Output (HO) bulbs I use, they are available for sale individually, in sets, and as part of my high performance rear lights for BMW models E23, E24, E28, E30, etc.

                      The one at the bottom is the modified two filament bulb that provides both tail and brake lights in one location. Put that in the right place, and you can more than double the tail and brake light output from your lights.

                      Left to right:
                      R10W HO Tail light bulb, 12V 10W 10cp
                      P3497 HO Brake/Turn/Reverse light bulb, 12V 25W 45cp
                      P3496 HO tail/Brake light bulb, 12V, 4/25W, 3/43cp
                      796 HO Halogen (reverse ONLY), 12V, 35W, 75cp
                      Bottom: Mo Brighta bulb (same data as P3496 above)

                      Are these the 'items' you were wanting to see?

                      Andy
                      Attached Files
                      "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
                      Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
                      Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
                      Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        if you ever decide to use square LED panels in the tails. like the picture below. id be all for it. as long as its behind stock lenses and doesnt look ricey

                        Originally posted by Lof8
                        Seriously. Every black wheel, regardless of spoke design, looks the same from more than 3 feet away.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          LED - naturally you had to ask...

                          Originally posted by lonestar22 View Post
                          if you ever decide to use square LED panels in the tails. like the picture below. id be all for it. as long as its behind stock lenses and doesnt look ricey
                          I like rice, just not in my German car.

                          Actually, that is in development, top secret naturally!

                          I will only make this available for others if I can do it well. This means to me that the lights will be visible over a wide angle, without the LED uni-directionality problem of being visible only from a small area directly behind you.

                          Right now I am drilling and cutting a pair of lights for my own E28, but if someone had a spare FULL Setup (lenses, bulb carrier and all) from an E30, I would consider getting to work on that set too. All it takes, as I say, is 'cubic dollars.'

                          Do I hear a volunteer, perhaps in Texas?

                          Would you want to see all LEDs -- red tail and brake/ amber turns/ clear reverse lights? Right now it's a clean slate.

                          Andy
                          "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
                          Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
                          Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
                          Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mo Brighta View Post

                            Would you want to see all LEDs -- red tail and brake/ amber turns/ clear reverse lights? Right now it's a clean slate.

                            Andy
                            Yes! Here is the Holy Grail that's been posted on e30.de:


                            '91 318is - OBD-II S52 swapped - E30 M3 5-lug - 5x120 BBS RC090 (E39 Style 5) - TCK D/A coilovers 550/700 [SOLD]
                            '87 535i - Vacuum brake conversion [SOLD]
                            '93 525iT - 5-speed swap - 320k and counting
                            '09 328xi - 6-speed

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hey Guys - As a customer of Andy's e30 kit I can highly recommend it. Simply amazing the difference it makes (the light is even more noticeable in person).

                              Install take less than 10 minutes.

                              Jump on this $99 deal before Jan 2nd; you wont see prices like this again.

                              -Cheers
                              Brent

                              Comment

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