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Finally, xenon lights! Yes, the chrome paint will easily wipe off, so you have to be careful. They're almost impossible to clean without scratching. As far as the high beam reflector bowls between halogen and xenon, I'm not sure why there is a difference but the xenon lights have a ribbed high beam reflector bowl except for pre-2001 cars with xenons.

You can always get new projector shrouds if you messed up the one(s) you have
 

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What Xenons did you install? In one of the pictures it looks burnt, did you get the ZKWs? I had to retrofit mine with the Miromoto 4.0 kit on my ZHP.
 

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Discussion Starter #243 (Edited)
Finally, xenon lights! Yes, the chrome paint will easily wipe off, so you have to be careful. They're almost impossible to clean without scratching. As far as the high beam reflector bowls between halogen and xenon, I'm not sure why there is a difference but the xenon lights have a ribbed high beam reflector bowl except for pre-2001 cars with xenons.

You can always get new projector shrouds if you messed up the one(s) you have
I'll snag another one at the junkyard when I can. It really is barely noticeable from the outside.

The current head-scratcher is how on earth do people replace xenon bulbs without removing the headlight assemblies? There's NO room whatsoever to get the caps off, and that's after having removed the airbox and washer fluid tank...

Going forward, I think I'm just going to have to remove the bumper and headlight assemblies every time. I mean, I can do it in about 10 minutes by now, but it's still kind of a pain.

What Xenons did you install? In one of the pictures it looks burnt, did you get the ZKWs? I had to retrofit mine with the Miromoto 4.0 kit on my ZHP.
The actual bulbs? I just got them in today: Philips D2S C1 4300K. I might go whiter in the future, but these were $35 each on Amazon, and I just wanted something to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter #245
Huh. I had no idea. Thanks for that. I'm new to this whole lighting thing; that's good to be aware of. I didn't even know there were different brands of xenon assemblies.
 

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Huh. I had no idea. Thanks for that. I'm new to this whole lighting thing; that's good to be aware of. I didn't even know there were different brands of xenon assemblies.
AL headlights don't have this issue and some people with burnt ZKW bowls switch to these. The retrofit to the morimoto bowls is more time comsuming but worth it. They have a very strong cutoff with good, even light distribution. It took me probably 6 hours of trial and error with a dremel to modify the housing to fit the new morimoto bowls.

Here is the current kit offered by the retrofit source.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/morimoto-retroquik-bmw-e46-zkw-repair-CRK-RQ-E46?quantity=1
 

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Discussion Starter #247
Gotcha. I think I DO have the AL xenons; I remember seeing the AL logo molded into the plastic as I was installing them.

Not sure I'm up for 6 hours with a dremel... Honestly I just wanted A) some lighting improvement over the halogens and B) the look.
 

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The current head-scratcher is how on earth do people replace xenon bulbs without removing the headlight assemblies? There's NO room whatsoever to get the caps off, and that's after having removed the airbox and washer fluid tank...

Going forward, I think I'm just going to have to remove the bumper and headlight assemblies every time. I mean, I can do it in about 10 minutes by now, but it's still kind of a pain.
There is just enough room behind the headlight to change the bulbs. Mind you, when I had OEM xenons, the pre-LCI cars had a rubber cap that went over the low beam plug. You have a plastic cover that clips into place, 100x easier.

Bulbs can be changed without removing anything more than the low beam covers. Albeit, sometimes you have to work your hand in a weird way and stand awkwardly, it can be done.

Be thankful you still have a car where you don't have to jack it up, remove the wheel, and peel back the inner fender liner to change a bulb... :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #250
There is just enough room behind the headlight to change the bulbs.
Last night, when I installed the driver's side assembly (no bulb yet), I popped the cap off just for kicks, and I spent the better part of 10 minutes struggling to try to get it reinstalled before giving up. :dunno:

The bumper was only reattached loosely today anyway, so I just installed the bulbs in both assemblies before placing them in the car. Easy.

So I have xenons now:





and you'd really have to know what you were looking at in the engine bay to determine they weren't installed by the factory. :str8pimpi

A few questions:

  1. When coding them in using PA Soft, I checked "Xenons w/HVAC" and unchecked "Bixenons" and "Xenon check." Did I do that right?
  2. This is my first experience with HIDs. When turning them on, is it normal to see a bright flash for a split second as they illuminate? It could just be my imagination...
  3. What kind of longevity is typical for 4300K bulbs?
Thanks for all the help guys. Just need to aim them now and I'll be all set.
 

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Last night, when I installed the driver's side assembly (no bulb yet), I popped the cap off just for kicks, and I spent the better part of 10 minutes struggling to try to get it reinstalled before giving up. :dunno:

The bumper was only reattached loosely today anyway, so I just installed the bulbs in both assemblies before placing them in the car. Easy.

So I have xenons now:





and you'd really have to know what you were looking at in the engine bay to determine they weren't installed by the factory. :str8pimpi

A few questions:

  1. When coding them in using PA Soft, I checked "Xenons w/HVAC" and unchecked "Bixenons" and "Xenon check." Did I do that right?
  2. This is my first experience with HIDs. When turning them on, is it normal to see a bright flash for a split second as they illuminate? It could just be my imagination...
  3. What kind of longevity is typical for 4300K bulbs?
Thanks for all the help guys. Just need to aim them now and I'll be all set.
Looks so much better with OEM xenons. Good work. I would think that you coded it correctly since your car originally had halogens, and I don't think that the wire is in the engine bay that would plug into the ballast/bracket to operate the bixenon shutters.

When xenons first turn on, they do flash fast and bright, then the output decreases, and then slowly increases to operating brightness. The whole thing happens in less than 10 seconds. As far as bulb life expectancy, I think it is around 7 - 10 years under average driving habits.
 

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Discussion Starter #252
Thanks! Any tips for aligning them? Our driveway is (obviously) on a slope, so I'm going to have to use the wall inside the garage. Is there a minimum distance the car has to be from the wall? I guess I need to do some research.

I don't think that the wire is in the engine bay that would plug into the ballast/bracket to operate the bixenon shutters.
It's not. I've thought about trimming off the connectors from some junkyard pigtails that plug into the ballasts in those locations, just to "cover" them or whatever. I hate having vestigial plugs in the engine bay, but at least they're not obvious nor hurting anything...
 

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2002 BMW 325i
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Looks so much better with OEM xenons. Good work. I would think that you coded it correctly since your car originally had halogens, and I don't think that the wire is in the engine bay that would plug into the ballast/bracket to operate the bixenon shutters.
I just tapped into the high beam halogen 12V wire to pin 2 on the bixenon shutter connector pin 2. When you hit the highbeams now you get you bixenon highbeam shutter operation AND halogen high beam lights. Code your fog lights to operate with high beams and you have 6 lights lighting up the horizon making daylight out of night time. :thumbup:
 

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Thanks! Any tips for aligning them? Our driveway is (obviously) on a slope, so I'm going to have to use the wall inside the garage. Is there a minimum distance the car has to be from the wall? I guess I need to do some research.
Find a parking garage

https://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

I just tapped into the high beam halogen 12V wire to pin 2 on the bixenon shutter connector pin 2. When you hit the highbeams now you get you bixenon highbeam shutter operation AND halogen high beam lights. Code your fog lights to operate with high beams and you have 6 lights lighting up the horizon making daylight out of night time. :thumbup:
That was the case when I had my aftermarket xenons...when people thought I was blinding them, I just turned on my highbeams :evil:
 

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Got them aligned behind a local strip mall (boy that sounds sketchy :eek:).

Thanks for all the help folks. I am xenon'd. :str8pimpi
I'm not sure if the fact that there's a pandemic going on and everyone's wearing masks around makes it more or less sketchy.

Glad I came across your post Razor, thanks for the link, I've been meaning to aim mine when I replace my lenses. Those aiming machines aren't cheap...
https://www.bestbuyautoequipment.com/Headlight-Aimers-s/172.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #257

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Discussion Starter #259
OK; got the ABS/DSC module replaced and coded to the car. BaliDawg was a HUGE help with the coding part. You can read the whole saga here:

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1271771

Needless to say, it was a huge pain, from both a mechanical and electronic standpoint.

It's this guy I replaced:



First time using my Motive Power Bleeder; it worked great:



Struggled with BMW Tools and coding side of things before Bali realized I had to calibrate my steering angle sensor as part of the process. That done, and the "light trifecta" is off:



Feels good. :str8pimpi
 
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