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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > Help me understand Xenon conversion



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      01-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
E90inSC
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Help me understand Xenon conversion

OK guys, I need some help here. I bought an '09 328i which came with the wonderful factory halogen headlights. I would really like to upgrade to xenon headlights. I tried a cheap conversion using a bulb and ballast, but got the error message on the dash. I expect they don't pull the correct voltage or power and the computer sees a problem. There is also a problem with where to place the ballasts so they are tidy and held securely.

I have looked at a number of posts here and there are numerous things that I don't understand, pre-lci, conversion, adaptive, etc.

I was hoping there was an easy conversion, but I see things about flickering/flashing lights, error codes, etc.

What is the best way to do this with the cleanest look? Naturally, it would be nice to have it at a reasonable price as well.

I was looking for a set from a car being parted out, but I don't know if they will work without modifications, are if they are PNP.

Any thought/comments are welcomed.
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      01-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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You can either go with an OE retrofit by purchasing OE BMW headlights. Many go with an LCI headlight to upgrade to the LCI look but you can also do the pre-LCI headlights.

You can also do the Projector90 Headlights which are a DEPO brand aftermarket solution that are available with or without xenons and angel eyes. These are typically a more affordable solution as OE headlights are fairly pricey.
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      01-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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I have had OEM housings with aftermarket HID's.. That application works but wiring really messy... Then i had OEM "converted headlights using OEM Bulbs & Ballasts.. These did not work @ all....

My final step was jlevisw's Projector90 headlights.... THEY WORK AMAZING and they were a FRACTION OF THE COST... I wish I knew this $4000 ago, after going thru (3) sets of OEM housings, and 2 aftermarket HID kits... I would've saved a TON of money.. but in my own defense,, the project90's were not available when I started modding my car, but the headlights were a 1st must HAVE mod!

Hope this helps.. GL..
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Originally Posted by Nick@Jlevi SW View Post
You can either go with an OE retrofit by purchasing OE BMW headlights. Many go with an LCI headlight to upgrade to the LCI look but you can also do the pre-LCI headlights.

You can also do the Projector90 Headlights which are a DEPO brand aftermarket solution that are available with or without xenons and angel eyes. These are typically a more affordable solution as OE headlights are fairly pricey.
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      01-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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I did the full conversion from halogen to US BMW xenon. Cost was about $1,300; that included
2x bmw usa spec oem xenon headlights
2x d1s bulbs
2x CANBUS ballasts
2x error cancellors (which i didnt need because my car didnt throw a blub out error)
for the LCI just take a look at a current model 335i sedan to see what they look like..
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      01-06-2011, 03:07 PM   #5
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I have a set of Jlevisw's for sale for 400 if your interested. They are like NEW, you can confirm w/ Jlevisw that they were installed a week ago.. They just the wrong style. I wanted the LCI version.

These retail for 700 easy with the upgrades I had them do to them, i.e. 6K Xenons & LED Angel eyes...
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      01-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, but one question? What does LCI stand for?? The other thing is that I have not found any that fit the '09 328i. Everything I have seen (like the DEPO) go up to 2008.
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      01-06-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
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Any thing that fits the lci 328 will fit the pre-lci one. LCI just means Life Cycle Impulse; it's a term that BMW uses when it face lifts its cars like 2-3 years after the initial series release.
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      01-06-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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Nice piece of info. Thanks for that
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Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
Any thing that fits the lci 328 will fit the pre-lci one. LCI just means Life Cycle Impulse; it's a term that BMW uses when it face lifts its cars like 2-3 years after the initial series release.
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      01-15-2011, 04:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
I did the full conversion from halogen to US BMW xenon. Cost was about $1,300; that included
2x bmw usa spec oem xenon headlights
2x d1s bulbs
2x CANBUS ballasts
2x error cancellors (which i didnt need because my car didnt throw a blub out error)
for the LCI just take a look at a current model 335i sedan to see what they look like..
couldn't you use OEM ballasts?
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      01-15-2011, 10:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90sexion View Post
couldn't you use OEM ballasts?
Wont work.. oem supplies 35W while your car is set to supply 50W for the halogens. The Canbus ballasts work perfectly.
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