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View Full Version : E39 Lighting Upgrade - please help newbie


rsh
11-13-2004, 09:34 PM
Hello,

Yes, I'm a newbie to this forum so please forgive me if I'm asking questions that have been answered many times already. I have a 2000 528i and guess I have the upgrade bug like a lot of people get with these fine cars. I'm looking to upgrade to angel eyes and maybe the clear rear light assemblies. I would appreicate it greatly if someone could help me with the following questions.

1. I'm trying to decide on the angel eyes. I can buy the entire assembly or I thought about replacing only the corner parking assemblies inside the housing with clear ones and then adding the angel eyes through an upgrade kit. I was wondering if anyone compared the look between these two options. Inside the angel eye entire assembly, the corner parking light clear cover is partial so you can see the actual bulb from the front. This is kind of cool since it looks like there are three lights. The other option is that I noticed inside the bavarian auto sport magazine was the option for purchasing only the parking assembly that goes into the complete housing. Then I would add the angel eye rings myself. Doing it this way is more work, less money but the parking bulb is completely covered by the clear lense so you only see the two headlights from the front. It gives kind of the E46 look instead. I can't really find pictures of this way so it's hard to compare both options. Any thoughts out there?

2. The other question is with pinnacleperformanceonline.com that I noticed someone on this forum recommend. There prices seem so much lower. What's the deal with these? Are they worth it or not. It seems like the angel eye assemblies are a lot shinnier inside compared to the normal ones I usually see. Are these assemblies worth buying to save money or not? The rear clear assemblies look tempting to buy since I really don't want to hassle with drilling with the ones that aren't plug and play. Are these worth buying? I really have a hard time paying the normal $400 range for the assemblies that I would have to drill holes and make modifications. Doesn't seem worth the added value that the angel eye upgrade would be. At least it seems like you get a lot more with the angel eye assemblies since they make a bigger visual impact.

3) Not worry about the angel eye assemblies to buy, any thoughts on the all clear compared to the amber corners? I thought the all clear looked best but the amber corners would blend better with the rear assemblies I have on my car in amber if I don't replace those.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
rsh

TheMatrixz
11-14-2004, 06:43 AM
I vote for the real Hella angel eye lights, which are BMW OEm product. I've seen a couple aftermarket lights and thought the halo rings are brighter, the quality is not anywhere near Hella's.

rsh
11-14-2004, 09:47 AM
Thanks for replying. Where do I get Hella's??? I found a good selection on Bekkers.com. Are these Hella's?

The other question is with the corner reflector being amber or clear. They list the amber one as the U.S. option and the all clear as Euro. Are the Euro ones legal? It's hard to tell on your car but it looks like you got the amber reflectors. I was wondering if the clear corner reflectors could be as easily seen for safety by other drivers.

bmw540i
11-14-2004, 03:06 PM
Thanks for replying. Where do I get Hella's??? I found a good selection on Bekkers.com. Are these Hella's?

The other question is with the corner reflector being amber or clear. They list the amber one as the U.S. option and the all clear as Euro. Are the Euro ones legal? It's hard to tell on your car but it looks like you got the amber reflectors. I was wondering if the clear corner reflectors could be as easily seen for safety by other drivers.
You can get them from Beekers and if youre going to upgrade your lights might as well go with the clear blinkers they look 10 times better.

PropellerHead
11-14-2004, 04:04 PM
You can get them from Beekers and if youre going to upgrade your lights might as well go with the clear blinkers they look 10 times better. that's BeKkers (www.bekkers.com). Sorry- I just couldn't get the muppets out of my mind. :rofl:
http://sepwww.stanford.edu/sep/jon/family/jos/pic/beeker.jpg

TheMatrixz
11-14-2004, 04:22 PM
Yes, the stuff you saw on Beckers Import are Hella's. You can try Ebay also, there's a seller named Pravac who has them. As for clear corners, you have to use amber bulbs or silver bulbs that emit amber light, they are as visible as amber coner lights. I prefer amber corner lights personally. If you have a light color car, clear coner lights look better IMHO.

Tan

waapples
11-14-2004, 06:50 PM
i would go with the genuine hella brand headlights.

you can buy them for pretty cheap if you go to ebay like how i did.
i've never wanted to spend too much $$ for the AE headlights, so i went for the used one.

i paid $620 shipped to my door, and they were the US version xenon AE-headlights w/ the D2S bulbs & all other bulbs but w/o the ballasts.

shop around, you might find pretty good deal on the used ones, but make sure they don't have any broken tabs or anything.

good luck!

rsh
11-14-2004, 11:00 PM
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. Looks like the recommendation is the same as the results I came up with myself. I keep coming back to Bekkers.com as having the best "new" Hella prices. I also came to the same conclusion that clear corners will look best. I have the Anthracite color which actually looks various colors of light and dark gray depending on the sun, shade, night time, etc. I've searched out lots of angel eye pictures on light and dark BMW's with both the amber and clear corners. I keep coming to the clears as looking best. I'll keep Ebay in mind as well. Anyway it looks like I got my Christmas present figured out.

I am interested in what Tan said above about the silver bulbs being as noticeable as the amber ones. What's the deal with the pictures in Bavarian Autosport that show the silver looking like you can't see the bulb compared to the amber. I guess this is the camera fooling us. This will save me money with the silver ones costing $30 a pair. Do others have the same experience with the silvers as being just as noticeable as the ambes and not being worth the price?

Cheers,
RSH

TheMatrixz
11-15-2004, 11:41 AM
Get the silver bulbs if you want the complete clear corner look (no hint of amber at all), not camera trick, they are actually silver but emit amber light, how strange.

Tan

rsh
11-15-2004, 02:07 PM
Thanks Tan,

I'm a little slow I guess. It just hit me that you meant that the silver bulbs with the clear corners are just as clearly visible as the amber colored ones. That's good to know since I did as about safety and wondering if the clear wouldn't be as obvious at night when turning.

RSH

SoCaLE39
11-19-2004, 11:39 AM
ok guys im new as well but have been looking around these forums for about a month or so helping me pick up my 99 540i 6sp sport and i also want to upgrade my headlights to the 2001+ angel style. I currently have the self leveling xenon system factory however i was wondering if i can simply buy a non-xenon headlight assembly and just take the hardware from my existing headlight assemblies to make the xenon new ones? i found new assemblies (non-xenon) for $500 and they are oem so i just want to know if my hardware will work on these new assemblies. thank you in advance!

justin

TheMatrixz
11-19-2004, 11:42 AM
ok guys im new as well but have been looking around these forums for about a month or so helping me pick up my 99 540i 6sp sport and i also want to upgrade my headlights to the 2001+ angel style. I currently have the self leveling xenon system factory however i was wondering if i can simply buy a non-xenon headlight assembly and just take the hardware from my existing headlight assemblies to make the xenon new ones? i found new assemblies (non-xenon) for $500 and they are oem so i just want to know if my hardware will work on these new assemblies. thank you in advance!

justin

Yes, you can do that, you might need to get a couple of connector to convert xenon plugs into halogen plugs (I don't know if they're the same or not), but that's about it.

But, I wouldn't downgrade like that, xenon is unbeatable. Be patient and wait for a xenon AE deal, you'll find them out there. I paid $420 for my xenon AE set (used)

SoCaLE39
11-19-2004, 11:49 AM
Yes, you can do that, you might need to get a couple of connector to convert xenon plugs into halogen plugs (I don't know if they're the same or not), but that's about it.

But, I wouldn't downgrade like that, xenon is unbeatable. Be patient and wait for a xenon AE deal, you'll find them out there. I paid $420 for my xenon AE set (used)

how would it be a downgrade if i use my xenon setup on the non-xenon headlight assemblies? are the housings different than those of xenon minus the obvious bulbs/ballasts/etc? thanks

TheMatrixz
11-19-2004, 12:05 PM
The halogen projectors are different than xenon's, also, you'll lose the self leveling feature, which is very important since xenon light is so bright it will blind incoming traffic if not adjusted correctly.

Also, the stock xenon bulbs won't fit the halogen bulb holders, you'll need to buy re-based bulbs.

SoCaLE39
11-19-2004, 01:51 PM
The halogen projectors are different than xenon's, also, you'll lose the self leveling feature, which is very important since xenon light is so bright it will blind incoming traffic if not adjusted correctly.

Also, the stock xenon bulbs won't fit the halogen bulb holders, you'll need to buy re-based bulbs.


ok thanks a lot for the info, good thing i asked..lol. Well if you ever come across some please let me know and ill most likely pick em up. oh yeah one more thing, if i buy 2001+ xenon headlights w/o the ballasts/bulbs, will my current ones bolt right in? thanks again you have been very helpful!

justin

TheMatrixz
11-19-2004, 05:37 PM
There are 2 different versions of ballast, if you have one with the red+black connector to the bulb then you have the newer version which works with the 2001 headlights. The older version has an all black connector and mount to the projector by 3 torx screws.

raynyc
11-19-2004, 10:52 PM
i bought my hella 4200k? hid angel eye kit off of "pavrac" on ebay. just search him in sellers search. he's sold many kits to the roadfly guys.
i paid around 1200 for my kit with plug and play harnessing.

good luck