E90Post
 


TNT Racewerks
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Fried Xenon Ballasts



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      11-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
GenePoole
Lieutenant
 
Drives: '06 E90 330i
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Brighton, IL

Posts: 537
iTrader: (0)

Fried Xenon Ballasts

I had a bulb go out on my 06 330i and verified bad bulb by swapping bulbs right to left. So I did a stupid thing and ordered some cheap Chinese D1S bulbs from eBay and installed them only to find out that nothing worked at all. Putting my old bulb (the one good one) back only reinforced my fear that I'd done some bad damage to the ballasts. Searches here and other forums confirmed my fears. I found out the hard way that BMW ballasts aren't very tolerant of cheap bulbs.

Anyway, I've removed the old ballasts and could immediately smell that rancid odor that they mix with the smoke they compress into chips. Since they were obviously fried, I couldn't resist the temptation to cut one open. It appears that a discreet component (probably a filter capacitor) decided to let its smoke out (click on image for hi res):



Full board:


Ballast on headlight:


Inside the headlight bucket side of ballast:




So it seems that I can pay $477 each for these, or attempt a repair with a $0.05 capacitor. The only problem is that since it's fried itself into oblivion, I have no idea what the value might be.

Does anyone have a clue? Does anyone have a bad ballast with that component intact that could pop it open to see what value is printed on it?
GenePoole is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      11-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
N0OS3
Colonel
 
N0OS3's Avatar
 
Drives: E90
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oak Harbor, WA

Posts: 2,219
iTrader: (5)

ouch... sorry to hear that... i guess if you have xenons, don't go the cheap way out, huh?
__________________
WTB: 3 Stage Intake Manifold and components - PM me your asking price.
N0OS3 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      11-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
GenePoole
Lieutenant
 
Drives: '06 E90 330i
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Brighton, IL

Posts: 537
iTrader: (0)

OK, I decided that I'd give a try at retrofitting a cheap aftermarket ballast into my system. My research determined that there are no aftermarket kits with D1S bulbs, but D2S bulbs seem to have the same size and shape where the bulb fits the socket, so I ordered up a kit from eBay with 4300K bulbs, slimline ballasts and all the harnesses and decided to go from there. Here's my photo documentation of the process. I wanted to make it as clean as possible without cutting/distorting anything should I decide to go back to stock in the future (like if I find a decent OEM ballast set cheap). Click on any photo for full resolution.


First, I removed the socket from the old ballast board so I wouldn't have to cut the original feed connector:





Next, solder up the connection to the harness for the new ballast:








Heat-shrink tubing is an electronic hobbyist's best friend:










Completed harness ready to plug into stock headlight connector:



(Continued in next post)
GenePoole is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      11-29-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
GenePoole
Lieutenant
 
Drives: '06 E90 330i
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Brighton, IL

Posts: 537
iTrader: (0)

Plug it all in to make sure it all works (it does!):




The D2S bulb with it's connector is slightly taller that the D1S. That might be a problem




A zip-tie should take up the slack:




Acceptable fit:




Now I have to seal up the box to keep moisture out. Time for a little woodworking:




A little sanding and it fits snugly with the original o-ring:




Now to make a complete cap:




Epoxy: the other best friend of a hobbyist:




Clean up the excess:




Now that it's set, drill a hole for the wires (I'll plug this with RTV silicone once it's installed):




A little more sanding:




And a coat of paint to seal it:




A metal strap and it fits nicely in the original slot. Now to put it all back together:

GenePoole is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      11-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
SMOKE EM IF U GOT EM!!
Major
 
SMOKE EM IF U GOT EM!!'s Avatar
 
Drives: 06 E90 330, 15 AY F82 M4TMFW
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: L.I, NY

Posts: 1,296
iTrader: (1)

Garage List
2006 330i SPORT  [5.00]
Nicely done man. Good fix for a common issue w the cheaper replacement bulbs. I'm assuming you do have error messages on the dash though right? Nonetheless job well done w extra attention to detail
__________________



LIVE FAST..DRIVE FASTER!!
SMOKE EM IF U GOT EM!! is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      11-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
GenePoole
Lieutenant
 
Drives: '06 E90 330i
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Brighton, IL

Posts: 537
iTrader: (0)

No warnings. There is only the power in (+12V and GND), i.e. no logic feedback of any kind as far as I can tell, so apparently the FRM only looks for a current draw during the bulb check. I assume the aftermarket ballast draws about the same current so the FRM is happy.
GenePoole is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      11-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
X-con335i
Private
 
Drives: 07 bmw e90 335i
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San francisco CA

Posts: 64
iTrader: (0)

Happend to me too man now the cheapest ballast i found was $320 and im still thinking if im going to buy it or look for cheapest one around. Dont have one headlight for 3 weeks now lol
X-con335i is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 PM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST