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    E30 Lighting Guide + DIY Bi-Xenon Conversion

    Introduction

    The purpose of this guide is to provide information for e30 owners wanting to upgrade from sealed beams to something better, but there is a lot of useful information regardless of which set-up you run currently.

    Many e30’s came stock with sealed beam headlights, which offer relatively poor visibility in dark and rainy conditions compared to modern standards. My car has had a set of mismatched headlights since I got it, Wagner's, Sylvania's, and General Electric's. I have been wanting to get my car set-up with matching lights for quite some time, so I started researching what upgrade options exist. I list the options I found, and walk through the installation of the one I chose. Your choice will be determinate on your budget, aesthetic goals and overall lighting expectations.

    In case you need a refresher or simply don’t know, these are the 3 stock lighting set-ups you will see on an e30:
    1. Sealed Beams (H5006), 2. US Ellipsoids (9005/9006), and 3. Euro Ellipsoids a.k.a. Smileys (H1/H1)


    Articles of Interest

    E30 Headlight FAQ by Dale (out of date) - http://www.unofficialbmw.com/phpBB/v...c.php?p=198030
    Depo Bi-Xenon Conversion Kit by DinanM3atl on r3v – http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=340586
    Squared Adapaters for Morimoto Mini H1 by glucklich21 on r3v - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=321623
    Sealed vs Ellipsoid vs Ellipsoid w/ HID by eld4au6 on r3v - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=138145
    I have been e-mailing back and forth with Daniel Stern. He shared a few links to posts from "Virgil" on the candlepower forums which are a must read for anyone considering a projector retro-fit and/or LED bulbs.
    What's wrong with projector retrofits? - http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ctor-retrofits
    LED Upgrade for 2001 Vehicle - http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...=1#post4533560
    LED headlight bulbs illegal? - http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-bulbs-illegal

    Sealed Beam Upgrade Options

    Option 1: Hella H1 BiFocal/H4 Conversion/Cibie’s, ~$125-200 Low only, $250-400 Low and High
    This will convert the sealed beam housing with a housing that can accept bulbs. This supposedly provides ~4x the light output on the low beam, and ~2x on the high beam. Cheap bulbs could end up being worse than the stock headlights, but top of the line bulbs should offer a solid improvement. The two brands are Hella or Cibie. I can’t speak as to which is better, if you think this is the route for you then I recommend researching the differences.

    Hella H1 BiFocal (Bi-Focus) Low beam (outer): http://www.rallylights.com/hella-5-3...1-hl26700.html
    Hella H1 High Beam (inner): http://www.rallylights.com/hl71157-h...-ece-each.html
    In order for all four lights to stay on at the same time you would need to modify your relays, so that the low beam relay remains powered when the highs are on, and would need to remove the cross-over wire between the high beam circuit and low beam circuit. If you don't do this the low beams will go out when the high beams are enabled. Otherwise if you try to power all 4 lights off just the high beam circuit you will blow the high beam fuse.

    Cibies: http://www.danielsternlighting.com/p.../products.html

    There is also a mixed Low/High beam unit, just like the stock sealed beams work, though rallylights.com say it gives up some light over the BiFocal unit in order to accomplish its dual lighting nature.
    Hella H4 Low/High beam (outer): http://www.rallylights.com/h5006-hel...dlamp-kit.html
    However, this unit uses higher wattage low beam bulbs than the stock sealed beams, so you would need to investigate whether upgraded wiring is required for this, or if you can get away with just using a 10A fuse on the high beam circuit.

    Pros:
    Looks stock
    Lighting expert Daniel Stern recommends the BiFocal as an excellent upgrade
    BiFocal adds a low power city/driving light (requires wiring). This lets you be seen during the day without much extra strain on your battery/alternator and without wearing out your low beams.
    No wiring changes required that I know of, though you may need to check how to ensure the BiFocal low beam stays on when the high beams are triggered, since it likely is a 2-prong connector instead of 3-prong like the stock sealed beam.



    Option 2: Ellipsoid Conversion, ~$200-700
    The lights were offered in a few forms by both Bosch and Hella and for both US and European markets. These lights are more recently produced by Depo as a replacement. Hella still makes them, but a new set will set you back $400-600. You can search the classifieds for a used set which will set you back $100-200. I have read complaints about the Depo filling with condensation, but some people don’t have any issues with them. For US ellipsoids the bulbs are 9006 in the low beams and 9005 in the highs, and there is a large range of bulbs out there. From my research the Philips X-treme Power seemed like a good budget option. But the Philips 9012 HIR bulb, with slight modifications, is supposedly the superior bulb. If you have a European ellipsoid it will take H1 bulbs in both sockets. High beam options are discussed in more detail below.
    Hella US Ellipsoid (non-smiley): Driver - http://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/5330...d-63121385797/, Passenger - http://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/5331...d-63121385798/
    Budget 9006 - Philips X-treme 9006 - http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-9006.../dp/B00480N154
    Best 9006 - Philips 9012 HIR - http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-9012.../dp/B00480N18G - Modifying guide: http://store.candlepower.com/mohirbuba.html

    Pros:
    European look
    Good selection of bulbs
    Cons:
    Wiring harness or splicing is required
    Low beams can be wired to stay on with the high beams, but the low beam projector itself continues to produce the same light output in both low and high mode.

    US Ellipsoids left, Euro Ellipsoids right


    Option 3: Ellipsoid Conversion + HID, ~$300-800
    Building on option 2, you can replace the 9006 bulbs in the low beam with an HID bulb. Depending on which projector you go with this could cause your low beams to be excessively bright and blinding to other drivers on the road, so I would steer away from this option. The stock projector in the ellipsoid headlights were design for halogen bulbs, so stuffing an HID bulb into them causes light to scatter to places BMW did not design for. Many consider this conversion dangerous and I have to agree with them, unfortunately this is probably the most popular upgrade. For this you need an HID bulb, an HID amp + igniter, and a Canbus harness so that your car does not show bulb out warnings.
    Morimoto XB35 Bulbs - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWYbHhBf6k
    Morimoto XB35 Amp - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWYVXhBf6k
    9006 Canbus Harness - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWZPnhBf6k

    Pros:
    Yellower/Whiter/Bluer light output over Halogen bulbs depending on Kelvin temperature chosen
    Cons:
    May or may not offer more light output than HIR bulbs depending on ballasts and bulbs chosen
    May not be legal, could blind oncoming traffic (lots of debates about this). Long story short, the projectors were designed in the 80's and were not design with HID in mind.

    Euro Ellipsoid 35w vs Halogen left, Bosch Euro Ellipsoids 55w 6000k right


    Option 4: Ellipsoid Conversion + Mini H1 Projector + HID, Option 3 ~$400-900
    Building on top of Option 3, this conversion places a new updated projector, the Morimoto Mini H1, which was designed for HID bulbs and that also supports bi-xenon functionality. It contains an electrically activated shield that can flip out of the way when the high beam is enabled, allowing for more down the road visibility from your low beams when the highs are triggered. Unfortunately, the Mini H1 projector doesn’t just slide into the ellipsoid housing. Fortunately, other members in the community have taken on this project, and one member sells an adapter that makes this route feasible. You would need the same Bulbs, Amps, and Harnesses from Option 3, along with the Morimito Mini H1 projectors, and the Squared adapters. The Mini H1 projector can be bought in a kit with the bulbs/amps/harness at a reduced cost. The Squared adapters require a portion of the inner moulding in the projector housing to be cut away to fit properly. If you need something completely reversible you should look at the other options, as these are non-reversible. Part of that decision will depend on which high beam you want to run.
    NOTE: A new updated Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 is in prototyping (scheduled to ship Jan 1, 2016), and a new Squared Adapter v2.0 is just starting to ship that promises a better fit and tighter tolerances. So these links may be out of date, be sure to look around to make sure you have the latest version available.
    Mini H1 kit - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWbyHhBf6k
    Mini H1 stand-alone - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWby3hBf6k
    Squared adapters - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=321623 - http://squared-motorwerks.myshopify.com

    Pros:
    Modern lighting technology
    Cons:
    Most expensive, unless buying DinanM3atl's kit it will take some time to assemble

    Morimoto Mini H1 lows left, highs right (from nrubenstein on r3vlimited).


    High Beams ~$50-100
    The high beam options will be determinate on which option you went for above.
    Hella E-Code's or Euro Ellipsoids use H1 high beams. US ellipsoids use 9005 high beams.

    For H1
    Everything I have found suggests the Philips X-treme Vision or Osram Night Breaker are great H1 high beams, though I noticed Daniel Stern only sells the Narva/Flösser bulbs (also cheaper!):
    Philips X-Treme Vision - http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-X-Tr.../dp/B004G395NU
    Osram Night Breaker - http://smile.amazon.com/H1-OSRAM-Bre.../dp/B00GPJPBBI
    Narva or Flosser - Only 55W, the 100W may not be safe on stock wiring or even legal - http://www.danielsternlighting.com/p.../products.html

    For 9005
    A good budget option is the 9005 Philips X-treme Vision halogen bulbs: http://www.amazon.com/Philips-9005XV.../dp/B00BQWQLOU
    The better option is the slightly more expensive, but supposedly much brighter 9011 HIR (Halogen Infra-Red), which requires just a small amount of dremel'ing to fit in the 9005 socket - http://smile.amazon.com/Philips-9011.../dp/B00480J5CW - Guide to modify them: http://store.candlepower.com/mohirbuba.html
    For an LED high beam, there are options such as the Morimoto XB LED 9005 - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/led...ght-bulbs.html or the kit from DinanM3atl on the r3vlimited community - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=323966
    I personally believe the LED ultimately projects a less useful light pattern than the halogen bulbs above. Due to the design of the LED placement they have an incomplete projection pattern compared to a halogen. That said, they are very bright, and reach full brightness instantly. Also, if you want a "bluer" bulb, the LED is equivalent to ~6500K of an HID, definitely more blue than I would prefer. The LED does have one unique trait however, it draws only ~20W, meaning you can run it with the 35W HID low beams on the stock sealed beam wiring, without having to re-wire any relays or mess around in the fuse box.

    Daniel Stern Recommended Upgrades
    From Sealed Beams: Daniel Stern strongly recommends the Hella BiFocal. He believes the optics on the Hella BiFocal are a bit better than the Ellipsoids.
    From US Ellipsoids: Daniel Stern simply recommends putting Philips HIR1/HIR2 bulbs in them. If the projectors/glass are getting worn out/dirty/chipped, he recommends replacing them with new or nearly new units.
    From Euro Ellipsoids: I did not speak with him enough to know which are the best H1 bulbs, and how they compare against the Hella Bi-Focal or US Ellipsoids.

    E30 Sealed Beam to Bi-Xenon Conversion

    This guide should apply to any e30 that has sealed beam headlights from the factory. A car that came with ellipsoids from the factory will be very similar, the wiring will be different, but easier.

    Parts acquired:
    1. US Hella Ellipsoids – Left: http://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/5330...d-63121385797/ Right: http://www.eeuroparts.com/Parts/5331...d-63121385798/
    2. Morimoto Mini H1 HID kit with 35w 4500k bulbs and 35w ballast and H4 Canbus harness - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/com...l#.VZWbyHhBf6k
    3. Squared adapters for US Hella - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=321623
    4. Morimoto XB LED high beam bulbs - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/led...ght-bulbs.html
    5. 2x H4 male pigtails and 2x 9006 female pigtails (for H4->9005 high beam harness) - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/acc...l#.VZWfr3hBf6k

    Total for parts came to ~$900 (summer 2015). Ouch! If I did this bi-xenon conversion again I would look for a decent set of used ellipsoids, and skip the LED high beams and get 9011 HIR (Halogen Infra-Red) for the high beams.

    Tools Required:
    1. Dremel w/ sanding wheel - http://www.amazon.com/Dremel-4000-2-.../dp/B002L3RUVG
    2. Tamper-proof Bits - http://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-32.../dp/B0015S4JRG
    3. Very small regular screwdriver
    4. Philips screwdriver
    5. Needle nose pliers (small)
    6. Wire cutters
    7. Silicone gasket sealant
    8. Wire stripper + crimper
    9. 20-24 gauge wire connectors with shrink tubing (and lighter/torch)

    Time Required
    Assembly = 4 hours
    Installation = 2 hours
    I spent ~6 hours on the first projector (over the course of 3 weeks), acquiring tools and parts as I went. Once I knew what I was doing, I was able to assemble the second project start to finish in 1 hour.

    Disassembling US Hella Projector

    The US Hella projector is bolted in with three tamper proof screws. You can try to get these out with some conventional tools, but I would highly recommend just getting a nice set of tamperproof tools, a bit set like I got is cheap and can be used in a power drill or screwdriver with a bit adapter, an easy recommendation to accompany any tool set.

    Unscrew the three screws using your tamper-proof bit and pull the projector out of the housing.


    US Hella Projector vs Mini H1 Projector

    As you can see the Mini H1 is a bit shorter than the US Hella projector, and while the Hella has a condensation outlet, the Mini H1 does not (one mark against them for that, time will tell if moisture builds up).
    The squared adapter is about an inch deep to make up for this and push the Mini H1 projector deep into the housing so that the projector lens sits in the same position within the housing as the OEM projector.


    Here you can see the shield on the Mini H1 which is electronically controlled to flip out of the way when the high beam is enabled (hence the term bi-xenon!). You can also see the notch in the shield that makes the left side drop off slightly more than the right, as to produce less light in oncoming drivers eyes, and more directly in front of you.


    Prep the Headlight Casing (US Hella only)

    Getting the Mini H1 projector with Squared adapter into the headlight casing will depend on which ellipsoid housing you have. For the US Hella housing we need to do a bit of prep work first. The European and depo lights do not require any physical changes, but if you have the US Hella lights then lets get started.

    You can see that the Squared adapter has a groove around it, this groove perfectly fits over the housing, but because of the width of the adapter (ultimately because of the width of the Mini H1 mount) most of the internal mounting points for the OEM projector must be cut out of the way, all but the bottom mounting point, which is re-used by the Squared adapter for centering/alignment.


    I used my dremel sanding wheel again to slowly take the plastic ridge down, until just the bottom mounting point is left. I ran it between 5k-10k rpm, and it took ~15 minutes. You do not have to get the ridge perfectly smooth, as the adapter has ~1/8” all the way around that it can clear.

    First tape off the inside so that you don't get dust all over inside your lens


    Go ahead and get sanding taking care to leave the bottom center screw mount untouched. Once you think you are close than test fit your squared adapter to see if it can slide into place. Once it slide in and feels secure you can stop. Feel free to make it as smooth as possible, but be careful not to gouge into the housing.


    Once fitting is confirmed you can vacuum out the dust, and then finally remove the tape and paper, and give another vacuum for good measure.

    Disassemble the Mini H1 Projector

    The projector has to be disassembled to mount it to the Squared adapter.

    Remove the 4 screws on the projector and separate the components


    Mounting Mini H1 Projector to Squared Adapters

    Now that the projector is apart you can start to play around and test fit it into the Squared adapters to get an idea of what you are working with. You will notice that the reflector housing has four bumps on it at each corner. To get a nice tight fit in the Squared adapters we want to remove these. Get out your dremel with a sanding wheel and set it to 5k rpm and sand these off.
    Before left and After right:


    Overall the Squared adapters are a nice bit of kit. The tolerances are a little bit off, but overall are the sole reason this swap is as easy as it is.


    I found that the Squared adapter was too small to fit the projector housing without the screws starting at an angle, so I took a file to the corners of the mount to get a little more clearance.
    Original left, modified right:


    Now go ahead and place the gasket into the squared adapter, install the housing on the inside, the shield panel and projector on the other


    Get all of the screws started before tightening them down, and pull the shield trigger wires through the small hole:


    Assembled:


    Install the Projector Assembly into the Headlight Casing

    Place some gasket sealer into the groove on the Squared adapter and push it into the headlight casing. Take care to line it up as carefully as possible. You will probably see small amounts of the sealant, if there is excessive amounts you can wipe it off before it dries.


    If you have US Hella lights than go ahead and screw in the centering screw from one of the screws provided in the Squared kit:


    Finally, put a little silicone over the hole to seal where the high-beam trigger wires pass through the Squared mount, to ensure that moisture cannot enter.

    Installing the Bulb Housing
    Install the Bulb Housing on to the Mini H1 projector is an easy task, but the space is very tight, so some time and a lot of patience is required. The Squared adapters instructions have a good tutorial for this step - http://squared-motorwerks.myshopify....s/installation - However, I did find a couple of inconsistencies and things that weren’t clear.

    First off, they do not state which direction the bulb housing should be installed. The housing is bell shaped, and I chose to install it so the top of the bell is pointing up. If for any reason water gets up in there I think this would be the best at shedding water off, otherwise it may pool up if the flat side of the bell was facing up.

    Install the bulb housing in this order:
    1) Bulb Housing
    2) Rubber gasket
    3) Notched Washer
    4) Nut (tighten with need nose pliers)
    5) Bulb mount base (Use a magnetic screw driver as not to drop the tiny screws into the housing, I used all 3 screws and had no fitment problems with my H1 bulbs)

    Second I found that the supplied bulb securing wire was in no way going to fit inside of the Squared bulb housing. I had to make some changes to get it to work. You should compare your clips to the housing, as maybe Morimoto will be sending different clips when you order. In my case I had to trim one section of the clip off and flatten it off a bit:



    Clean the bulb with the provided wipes and install it into the housing carefully. You will notice that it doesn't quite look parallel, but this is fine.


    Slowly coerce the clip into place using needle nose pliers. The smaller the needle nose pliers the easier this job will be. Don't plug the wiring in yet, it makes securing the clip much more difficult than it needs to be. After securing the clip than plug in the wiring


    Pull the other ends through the bulb casing cover and coerce the rubber grommet into the housing cover. Then gently pull the wires through until the cap fits neatly over the bulb housing and secure with the 3 remaining screws from the Squared kit.



    For the two wires that activate the shield, pull them through the 9005 plug handle on the bulb housing, and then plug them into the supplied 9005 connector, as shown in the photos. I found it was easiest to push the wire in through the back, and then grab them with need nose plier to gently pull them until I could feel them snap into place


    Installing LED High Beams

    Assuming you have 9005 high beams, this is as easy as it gets, place the bulb into the socket and twist it in.

    Finished product:


    H4->9005 Wiring Harness
    To create a H4 to 9005 wiring harness you will need one H4 Male pigtail and one 9005/9006 female pigtail. Normally a 9005 connectors has two notches in it, and a 9006 has one notch. The 9006 connectors sold by TheRetrofitSource do not have any notch in them, so they are universal for 9005 or 9006 connections.

    It helps to take a photo of your stock wiring, so you know which side is ground


    If you got the H4 pigtail like I did it will have three wires leading to it. The 9005 high beam connection only takes two wires, so I chose to remove the third one, and decided to pull all wires to re-arrange the colors to match the stock wiring, so that Brown would be ground.


    Now that the H4 pigtail is ready, just strip the ends of the wires and connect Brown->Black and White->Red. Be sure to use shrink splices, shrink tubing or electrical tape to seal the connections.


    The Assembled Product

    Stock left, Morimoto right

    Morimoto left, Stock right


    Wiring

    It is important to note that depending on your cars original wiring (up to 1987 sealed beams, 1988-1989 ellipsoids, or 1990+ sealed beams), that you will have different headlight wiring.

    For sealed beam cars when you turn on your high beams you are actually powering both the inner and outer lights on a single circuit with a 7.5A fuse per side. The low beam circuit loses power entirely when the high beams are turned on. This means the maximum you can power on the high beam circuit is ~90W before you will blow a fuse. The stock sealed beams on 1990 or later cars are a 50W inner high beam and 35W outer high beam, for a total of an 85W draw. With the Morimoto 35W ballast and the XB LED ~20W high beam, the high beam circuit will only be pulling ~55W, so no changes are required.

    However, if you try to put in a normal Halogen bulb into the high beam 9005 socket, it by itself will pull 65W. Between the 65W halogen and 35W ballast of the HIDs you would be pulling 100W, and your fuse will only last a few seconds before popping.

    If you want to run a halogen high beam you will have to do one of two things.
    1) Modify your relays/fuse box so that the low beam circuit remain on when the high beams are on, and remove the jumper wire which acts as the third wire to the low beams (otherwise when the high beams are on the low beams would receive power from both circuits), and finally split the high beam input and use it as the input to the bi-xenon shield solenoid.
    2) Replace your stock 7.5A fuse with a 10A fuse (potentially dangerous)

    While option #2 is a possible short term solution to test that everything is working correctly, it is not a recommended long term solution, as the risks of pushing more power through the wiring than designed could be catastrophic.

    For option #1, the steps to have the low beam circuit remain powered when the high beam circuit is turned on is covered very thoroughly by this document -
    http://users.rcn.com/nifftylion/head...%20-%20Pub.pdf
    Though, you will need to remove the jumper wire from the high beams to the low beams and split the high beam input to the bi-xenon shield solenoid, which I have not put a DIY together for yet.

    Testing
    Before you start ripping your old headlights out, now is a great time to check that your wiring is correct and that your bulbs and ballasts are all working as they should. Carefully check that each wire color on your harness matches up as you would expect with your cars wiring. Generally Black and Brown wires are ground colors.

    Unplug the headlights in your car and plug them into your new lights. Turn the key to the on position and test that your low and high beams are working as you expect, for me they were on the first try. As Borat would say: “Greeaatt succcesss!”


    Once night falls give them another test to make sure the light output is as you expect.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5qMTJ8Ud9I

    Installing into Car

    1) Pop the hood, but leave it in the down position. Remove the front grilles/headlight surrounds on each side, there are two screws along the front on the bottom and three clips along the top under the hood holding each side in place.
    2) Unscrew the headlight assemblies. There are three big screws holding them in place. Be careful not to drop the screws. Unplug the lights if you haven't already as you carefully pull the assembly out.
    3) Plug in the new headlights and carefully push them into place. Be mindful of the adjusters so you don't break one. Tighten the 3 screws on the assembly.
    4) Re-install the headlight surrounds.
    5) Secure the wiring and ballast with zip-ties. You could look for a place to mount the ballast with screws, but I did not want to drill any holes in my car.

    Comparison

    Stock halogen on left




    Review

    Overall I am extremely happy with my new light output. I have not had a good chance yet to go out on country roads at night and really see them shine, but even in parking garages and in low light conditions I can see my lights shining in front of me, where with the old halogens even driving around the city in the dark it was hard to tell if they were on, as most street lights were brighter.

    This shows the output at ~50 feet to the bottom of my neighbors steps, and ~60-70 feet to their door w/ Morimoto XB LED high beam

    and this one with the Philips HIR 9011 high beam (taken a different day in slightly brighter ambient lighting)


    Squared Adapters
    A very nice piece of kit at a fair price. The tolerances were a little bit off, requiring a bit of filing that I would really rather not have to do, but I can’t expect much more from an enthusiast creating car parts with a 3D printer. I definitely recommend this product to anyone installing the Morimoto Mini H1 projectors.

    Morimoto Mini H1 Projectors
    The build quality is not quite up to my normal standards. The paint on the reflector looks uneven and runny. That said, they get the job done. One of biggest gripes is Morimoto warns against running a 55W ballast in this projector due to possibly melting it from the excess heat. Morimoto has since released a 7.0 version of this projector, though I don't know where they stand with a 55W ballast for it. However, the thing that bugs me the most, is after being installed for a couple of weeks I am getting condensation in my headlights, due to these projectors not having any vapor release like the stock projectors have. I will need to take them out and dry them and attempt to re-seal them when I have a chance, but it remains to be seen if I will be able to achieve a perfect seal.

    Morimoto XB LED High Beams
    The build quality on these seem good enough, but nothing special. I do not like that they just have two bulbs opposing each other. If you look at high quality LED flashlights they have a single bulb pointing straight forward at the base of the reflector. These XB bulbs (and almost every LED high beam I have seen) use opposing LEDs near the end of the assembly, which causes the light to point to the sides of the reflector bowls, instead of the base. Meaning it throws a wider beam pattern instead of a longer beam pattern. I think we will see better designed bulbs soon that will provide better coverage. These bulbs look excessively bright when viewing them straight on. But ultimately, I do not believe they provide the best overall output, and at more than twice the price of an 9011 HIR bulb I can't recommend them. But, if you absolutely want to refrain from modifying your stock wiring it is still a viable option.

    View of dual bulb nature of the high beam, only seen by a camera:


    Comparison vs Philips HIR 9011


    The Retrofit Source
    Throughout this process I used their online support to chat with representatives about bulb options, wiring harnesses, etc. Everyone I spoke with seemed very knowledgeable, and one of them even owned an e30. As noted above one of my Morimoto projectors showed up with a chip, but the retrofit source sent me a new one no questions asked, even though I did not let them know until ~2 months after I received my order, when there policy states to let them know within 30 days. I definitely recommend them, but also urge you to check your order for defective products when it arrives.

    Summary

    Overall I am very happy with this upgrade. It took me months of preparation to get it ready, and another few weeks of working a few minutes each day to get it installed. I wanted the ellipsoid look without the smiley’s, so the US Hella was really my best option. That said, at $900 I spent more than I should have for what I got. I would like to see this kit offered at ~$500, and I be damned, if you are willing to go with brand new Depo lights it is! http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=340586

    For those folks that want their car to look completely stock but have OEM+ performance it would seem the Hella H4 conversion is a no-brainer, as it seems to offer an excellent upgrade while being the best value of all the kits. If I had to do it again I would go that route. Since this was for my M3 and I wanted to do a no expenses spared type of project getting the new Hella lights was the route I chose. But if I was doing the bi-xenon swap for a non-M3 e30 I would probably go with DinanM3atl’s $500 depo smiley set-up.

    FAQ

    Why not run 55w ballasts?
    I have read too many reports that these Mini H1 plastic housing simply melt under the heat of the 55w ballast. If you live in a cold climate you might be able to get away with it, but I did not want to risk it myself. I see DinanM3atl sells a 55w upgrade with his kits, perhaps he can offer some insight on the problem.

    Shouldn't you add a Relay to handle the initial Ignite of the bulb?
    Some older ballasts did draw a lot of current when the bulb was firing, as high as 15A. The stock wiring is using a 7.5A fuse, and a standard 55W bulb would use 55W/12.8V=4.3A of current during use. The Morimoto XB 35W ballast states that it uses under 5A of current during the initial ignite of the bulb, and much less for normal running. As such as long as your car came factory relayed with a 7.5A fuse you should not have to worry about installing an extra relay with this set-up. If you decide to use another Ballast you will need to read the specifications to decide if you need to add a relay with larger wiring.

    Do the LED high-beams take extra time to warm-up? Losing the ability to flash your highs?
    No. Not even a little. In fact slowing down a video of turning on the high beams you can see that the LED is already at full brightness before the stock halogen bulb even shows the slightest hint of starting to glow. This actually does present a draw-back; Flashing your high beams at a by-stander or other driver to grab their attention now runs a higher risk of blinding them, as the Halogens would only produce a small amount of light when flashing, but the LED's go full brightness during flashing.
    Last edited by hankolerd; 02-03-2016, 01:28 PM.

    Daniel
    1990 M3 - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=376104
    2011 328i Sport Wagon - 6sp Manual, RWD, Sport, Cold Weather, Premium, Value, Navigation

    #2
    Thanks for this really detailed write up, I'm considering going the projector route.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for going through the trouble to compile all of this information.

      I would just like to add that there is also an H1 conversion option in addition to the H4 conversion you have mentioned under option 1. The H1 conversion is supposed to be better than the H4 but it does cost more.

      For anyone interested in the H1 lighting please refer to the following thread: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=334417

      Vote to sticky!!

      Comment


        #4
        Damn son, nice work!

        Comment


          #5
          Another vote to sticky. Those led highs do not fux around. Wow.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by blazinxpk View Post
            I would just like to add that there is also an H1 conversion option in addition to the H4 conversion you have mentioned under option 1. The H1 conversion is supposed to be better than the H4 but it does cost more.

            For anyone interested in the H1 lighting please refer to the following thread: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=334417
            Thanks for the info, I added it to the list with a link to the product at rallylights - http://www.rallylights.com/hella-5-3...1-hl26700.html

            Daniel
            1990 M3 - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=376104
            2011 328i Sport Wagon - 6sp Manual, RWD, Sport, Cold Weather, Premium, Value, Navigation

            Comment


              #7
              Good job!:up:

              LOVE my Mini H1/Squared Motorwerks adaptors in euro Bosch smilys. It truely lights up the night! Will be looking into those Xtreme vison highbeams!

              I "think" I have the very first set of Squared adaptors out in the world and they still work great!:up:
              -Christian

              '02 ///M3 CarbonSchwartz 6MT daily beast
              08/91 Mtechnic II 325IC alpine/lotus
              318iS, slow build/garage queen...
              '37 Chevy pickup, the über project
              Originally posted by roguetoaster
              Be sure to remind them that the M42 is one of the best engines ever made, but be sure to not mention where it actually falls on that list.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DER E30 View Post
                Good job!:up:

                LOVE my Mini H1/Squared Motorwerks adaptors in euro Bosch smilys. It truely lights up the night! Will be looking into those Xtreme vison highbeams!

                I "think" I have the very first set of Squared adaptors out in the world and they still work great!:up:
                You thought correctly or at least so my memory tells me. :)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Nice write up! I thought I needed to modify my euro Hellas to use the Squared adapters. If I don't need to, I can move ahead! Thanks!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by nauqneyugn View Post
                    Nice write up! I thought I needed to modify my euro Hellas to use the Squared adapters. If I don't need to, I can move ahead! Thanks!
                    Glucklich21 can confirm, but I am pretty sure the euro lights are no modification necessary.

                    Daniel
                    1990 M3 - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=376104
                    2011 328i Sport Wagon - 6sp Manual, RWD, Sport, Cold Weather, Premium, Value, Navigation

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by hankolerd View Post
                      Glucklich21 can confirm, but I am pretty sure the euro lights are no modification necessary.
                      On my euro Bosch, I had to grind off a little tab, was super easy and took like 5 seconds. I don't think that would effect going back to stock, but I have no idea why you'd want too!

                      I don't know if the current adaptors are different though, I have the original ones
                      -Christian

                      '02 ///M3 CarbonSchwartz 6MT daily beast
                      08/91 Mtechnic II 325IC alpine/lotus
                      318iS, slow build/garage queen...
                      '37 Chevy pickup, the über project
                      Originally posted by roguetoaster
                      Be sure to remind them that the M42 is one of the best engines ever made, but be sure to not mention where it actually falls on that list.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Didn't want to modify my NOS smoked Hellas. Pretty sure you have to modify them to use the Squared adapters.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You are all correct, sorry for the misinformation. Somehow when I saw the 3 outer mounting points on the euro units I assumed the euro units did not have any inner moulding that had to be removed, but this is not correct, it looks like all euro and US units do need most of the inner moulding removed. I updated the original post to make it clear that the bi-xenon retrofit using Squared adapters is non-reversible.
                          Last edited by hankolerd; 11-16-2015, 10:11 AM.

                          Daniel
                          1990 M3 - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=376104
                          2011 328i Sport Wagon - 6sp Manual, RWD, Sport, Cold Weather, Premium, Value, Navigation

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The next version of the mini h1 projectors are supposed to be more compact. So here's hoping that the buckets don't have to be modified for them.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Mini h1 7.0 supposed to have even wider better beam too! Supposed to be better than s2000 low beams
                              -Christian

                              '02 ///M3 CarbonSchwartz 6MT daily beast
                              08/91 Mtechnic II 325IC alpine/lotus
                              318iS, slow build/garage queen...
                              '37 Chevy pickup, the über project
                              Originally posted by roguetoaster
                              Be sure to remind them that the M42 is one of the best engines ever made, but be sure to not mention where it actually falls on that list.

                              Comment

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