Jordy vd Ven

Halogen to xenon conversion

10 posts in this topic

Hi guys, i want to replace the halogen headlight bulbs on my e46 pre facelift coupe from 2002 with xenon ones. The only problem is that i have no clue how to choose what i need for it. Can i just buy H7 xenon bulbs and plug n play? Or do i need some sort of relay or converter in between? Any recommended sets? I was looking at GP Thunder xenon lights but i dont know if it fits my car though.

Thanks for your help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

momo   

One word - DON'T!!

F'in hate it when people do this! Blinds the f*ck out of oncoming traffic!

Do it properly and retrofit Xenon headlights or get Depo headlights or just don't do it.. Get some higher output H7 Halogen bulbs and be done with it if you don't want to do it properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright thanks for the tip. but still, when i search for the retrofits i get so many results and i really don’t know which is the best pick, and what set i need a relay for or not. I don’t want an error on my dash :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
momo   

That's because they're generally all cheap (quality, not always cheap price) aftermarket, generic kits that are changed a little to "kind of" fit your car..

With the 3 options I gave you

1) Genuine retrofit - you buy Xenon headlights (pretty readily available tbh), fit them to yours and then get your LCM recoded for Xenon
2) Depo retrofit - http://www.modbargains.com/Depo-Headlights-BMW-E46-Coupe-Sedan.htm - probably the most expensive option if you buy new and I think it may need the LCM recoded anyway?
3) High output H7 - https://smile.amazon.co.uk/GE-Megalight-Ultra-Headlight-58520XNU/dp/B06XRP45DX (or Philips nightbreaker) - cheapest of the lot.

But if you REALLY have to go Xenon and you have no intention of changing the headlight bowl to a projector (therefore blinding everyone else) then any generic kit should technically work. You just need somewhere to mount the new ballast and you may have to leave the rear lamp cover off to feed the wires into the new bulb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As momo said.

Xenon retrofit bulbs (i.e. H7 Xenons) in the standard reflector housings is a really bad idea - they're blinding and scatter the light all over the place and crucially won't pass an MOT. This is because the light source within the bulb (halogen = filament, xenon = arc) is in a different place, and the reflector bowls are precisely calibrated for a particular light source.

Genuine Xenon retrofits are by far and away the best option, you'll need to purchase a pair of headlights and get someone local to you to code your LCM / LSZ to accept Xenons to stop bulb warnings or flickering.

Depo projectors are still only designed for halogen bulbs. Although they will be "better" for retrofitted Xenons than just in the reflector housings, due to the projector lens and cutoff, they still won't be perfect.

The other option is to buy a retrofit kit from TheRetroFitSource / RetrofitLab to fit proper xenon projectors into your reflector bowls.

Any proper xenon kit will need the LCM recoding - aftermarket H7 kits etc have resistors in to trick the bulb warning system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, dontpannic said:

Depo projectors are still only designed for halogen bulbs. Although they will be "better" for retrofitted Xenons than just in the reflector housings, due to the projector lens and cutoff, they still won't be perfect.

No that’s not correct, a mate bought a set of Depo projectors and they came with Xenon bulbs, made a huge difference, and the light output was projected properly. 

Money well spent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? Were they proper D2S Xenon bulbs or just a cheap and cheerful H7 kit? Where did he purchase them?

Everything that I've seen from Depo is that they're H7 Halogen for both low and high beam. That's not to say that a cheap and cheerful H7 HID kit won't work - it will, and it will still look "OK" but it's still worth noting that although it will be a massive upgrade over the reflector halogen headlights, they still won't be as good as the OEM Bi-Xenons.

Screenshot 2019-03-11 at 11.09.17.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll definitely go for a retrokit or something like that then. I don’t want to blind anyone. There’s a local bmw specialist who repairs e30’s, e36’s and e46’s so I’ll call them and ask if they can help me code the LCM. If they can I will choose that. Thanks for the help guys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
momo   

https://www.mstyle.co.uk/bmw-3-series/e46/lighting-bulb-upgrades/headlights-front-end-lighting-angel-eye-upgrades/black-angel-eye-headlamps-e46-2dr-upto-2003.html

MStyle do headlights. Not sure if the ones in the link come with H7s or D2S.

Also i'd check with them if the indicator is built in (doesn't look like it, but check as those ones are usually seriously poor quality).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/03/2019 at 11:09, dontpannic said:

Really? Were they proper D2S Xenon bulbs or just a cheap and cheerful H7 kit? Where did he purchase them?

Everything that I've seen from Depo is that they're H7 Halogen for both low and high beam. That's not to say that a cheap and cheerful H7 HID kit won't work - it will, and it will still look "OK" but it's still worth noting that although it will be a massive upgrade over the reflector halogen headlights, they still won't be as good as the OEM Bi-Xenons.

Screenshot 2019-03-11 at 11.09.17.png

They wouldn’t be D2S as aftermarket kits don’t come with these. They certainly weren’t “cheap and cheerful” as you call them either, kit was bought and fitted at Bmstyling. 

Ps. Nobody sad anything about them being as a good as OE Xenons. 

Bi was an extra too. Not standard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now