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DIY: Xenon lights in halogen housing
Published by gtmotor
11-13-2007
DIY: Xenon lights in halogen housing

So I thought I'd take the plunge and attempted to retrofit a Plug and Play 4300K xenon kit into my E90. I have the same kit in my Lotus Elise and my E39 and they work with great results.

MODERATORS: Please PM or e-mail me if this thread is inappropriate. I don't know what the rules are for posts like this here. The kit I used is my own that I've been marketing to the Lotus crowd.

Everything plugged in and looked fine, I fired them up and they worked great and looked awesome in the stock halogen housing.

Then... I started the engine and they flickered a bit... then turned off. The car gave a warning signal and the lights wouldn't come back on. My friend with an 07 E350 had the same problem and we traced it back to the fact that the xenons draw less power then stock (35W vs. 55W). His car required a reflash of his ECU so that the car would recognize the lower power draw.

Luckily we were able to fix the BMW by using the "creative" method of placing a capacitor inline with the lights. I wired in the capacitor(s) and they have been working perfectly since. The BMW OBC is happy and hasn't triggered anymore error codes.

I figured the new BMW would be complain but I'm glad I got it working. It's a great low-cost solution to adding xenons to a halogen equipped car.

I'll have pictures soon. It's not the most elegant solution but it definitely works well.

Any questions?
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  #1  
By jct0518 on 11-13-2007, 02:28 AM
I will do the xenon retrofit when I get my car...late NOV.. I was wondering if you could take pics of the beam on the wall or on the street..also what HID kit did you use?? and last what capacitor did you use and where did you exactly place it?? thanks!!
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  #2  
By scanboy on 11-13-2007, 01:15 PM
What's the spec of the cap you used? Any where did you wire it? might wanna do a diy with pictures, most ppl will appreciate that.
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  #3  
By NewBMWDriver on 11-13-2007, 03:43 PM
I would def. appreciate if you did DIY with pictures or something that people with less knowledge about this, ME, would understand.
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  #4  
By gtmotor on 11-13-2007, 08:06 PM
I will do a full write-up if the moderators allow it.

I am using the kit I sell.

Here is a write-up for the install I did for my Lotus:

http://www.gtmotorworks.com/HID/Pict..._installp1.htm

Hopefully I'll have the BMW one written by this weekend. This thread was kind of "testing the waters".
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  #5  
By E90 ANdy on 11-13-2007, 09:08 PM
what capacitors did you use? where can i buy some? and also... what are the specs?/ any info would be greatly appreciated! ( i have the same problem)
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  #6  
By darkcloud on 11-13-2007, 09:43 PM
You can do a write-up on just about everything. As long as your work isn't junk which it seems legit from the looks of the Lotus writeup.

I want to see some pics of the BMW!!!! NOW!!!! haha
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  #7  
By gtmotor on 11-13-2007, 10:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcloud View Post
You can do a write-up on just about everything. As long as your work isn't junk which it seems legit from the looks of the Lotus writeup.

I want to see some pics of the BMW!!!! NOW!!!! haha
Well I plan on selling these kits if I'm going to go through the trouble to do the write-up.

I've been banned from some forums by trying to sell good stuff at low prices (don't know if this is a supplier-controlled forum).

My kit would be $250.00 and be 100% plug and play.
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  #8  
By E90 ANdy on 11-13-2007, 11:17 PM
hey gtmotor, im on your side. passing on a good deal isnt a bad thing
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  #9  
By davidvz on 11-15-2007, 03:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by E90 ANdy View Post
what capacitors did you use? where can i buy some? and also... what are the specs?/ any info would be greatly appreciated! ( i have the same problem)

Perhaps this link http://www.bmwfaq.com/f67/brico-xeno...6/#post3560780 could be useful (it's in Spanish, but with a lot of pictures). The capacitors included on that DIY are 4700uf 35v and also 10000uf 35v.

I still keep trying if this works fine on my E90 with Halogen housing, but since today no good results, the Check Control notify a LAMP Error (or something like this).

I expect to find a solution in the next weekend.

REgards,

David
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  #10  
By E90 ANdy on 11-15-2007, 04:44 PM
I just bought some for my car, they stop the flicker
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  #11  
By gtmotor on 11-16-2007, 12:58 PM
Update: After several days of testing and maybe 20 drive cycles I thought I had this issue taken care of.

The car was getting random headlight error messages (usually when accelerating around 3k rpm) but then it seemed to learn the different amperage draw for the new headlights. I figured it was because the capacitors became fully charged and were able to "absorb" some of the fluctuating load. I'm an engineer but not an electrical one so I can't explain it 100%.

It was fine for 2 days but today it started acting up again today. The headlight warning error came on when pulling into my driveway :sad0147: They have never flickered or shut off since I installed the capacitors but I still get the OBC error. It'll come on... then go away (it doesn't leave the little "!" symbol in the dash...)

I'm not comfortable selling these kits to customers unless they are 100% solid. I will keep researching and then get back to the board. Sorry guys.

The light output is about 10 times better though (no joke). The pattern is good with a clean cut-off and I haven't been flashed by other drivers on the road.

I'll post some pictures of the install later today if I can find some time.
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  #12  
By jct0518 on 11-16-2007, 11:45 PM
Thanks gtmotor...ill be waiting for the beam pics..
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  #13  
By darkcloud on 11-17-2007, 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtmotor View Post
Well I plan on selling these kits if I'm going to go through the trouble to do the write-up.

I've been banned from some forums by trying to sell good stuff at low prices (don't know if this is a supplier-controlled forum).

My kit would be $250.00 and be 100% plug and play.
PM MarkE90M3, he's an administrator. He'll fill you in on your questions about doing a write up and selling your kit(once ready).

As for doing a write up, you can do whatever you want. It's up to someone else to try and copy your work.

As for selling your kit, you may need to pay a fee to become a vendor. Or you may not, I think Mark basis his decision on how many sales you generate but I could be wrong.

So PM Mark and get filled in on that front. As for posting some beam pattern pics and some pics of the headlights would be cool. I and others want to see what your talking about, not just hear about it.

If you can pull this off w/o a error ever and for that price you would prolly swing me in selling my euro xenons. I love them but I also would love the money back that I spent on them haha.
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  #14  
By gtmotor on 11-18-2007, 08:08 PM
ok, sorry for the wait. I've been insanely busy as of late.





^ Don't know why it came out looking greenish. The lights are 4300 Kelvin and are almost pure white. Imagine your stock halogens in a whiter hue with like 100x more light.



Pattern on a school building at dusk. It's not too bad, I'm extremely happy with these.
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  #15  
By darkcloud on 11-18-2007, 10:06 PM
The beam looks great. Do the headlights look any different after the modification? Like w/o the lights on can you notice something has changed?
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  #16  
By jetblk328i on 11-18-2007, 10:10 PM
looks good!
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  #17  
By darkcloud on 11-27-2007, 09:08 PM
any update?
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  #18  
By gtmotor on 11-27-2007, 09:12 PM
Nope...

It throws the headlight error code intermittently for 5-10 minutes after I turn them on. After that it never comes back.

It doesn't bother me though... the lighting increase is insanely better.

darkcloud: It looks 100% stock from the outside.

I'm putting these in the foglights next I have a group buy going on the Lotus forums right now for these so as soon as that's over I'll post some new pics of the Bimmer with the HID fogs (3000K)
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  #19  
By san~man on 11-27-2007, 09:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtmotor


Pattern on a school building at dusk. It's not too bad, I'm extremely happy with these.
There lies the problem with PNP kit: glare. No distinct cut off line and a LOT of light thrown above the the center of the height of the headlight.

Although you get more light yourself, so do all the other drivers on the road unfortunate to be infront of you.

If you're going to use a PNP kit, at least use a rebased D2R bulb. Those have a small cutoff shield on the upper "side" of the bulb that will help remove some of that awful glare. That, or a Casper Shield.
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  #20  
By gtmotor on 11-27-2007, 09:19 PM
As long a they are aimed properly it doesn't leak enough light out to cause problems for other drivers from what I can tell. I even asked my friend if my lights were troublesome when I was behind him and he said: "No, it looks like an OEM BMW."

Of course, YMMV.

Also... noone has flashed their brights at me yet
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  #21  
By guycollege on 12-05-2007, 04:20 PM
gtmotor...

what kit you got and how much you spend for them?

My Mtec kit was about 200 but burned out after 1 year.
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