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-   -   Headlights somewhat dim (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=640838)

GlueBall 08-21-2012 03:51 AM

Headlights somewhat dim
 
Recently installed new 115A alternator and new battery, but headlights are still not as bright as they should be. Is it time to buy new headlamps? '89 525i E-34

_Ethrty-Andy_ 08-21-2012 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlueBall (Post 7024853)
Recently installed new 115A alternator and new battery, but headlights are still not as bright as they should be. Is it time to buy new headlamps? '89 525i E-34

are you comparing to other E34s or to other cars? BMW headlights of this age aren't very good to start with. if your comparing to other E34s, then start with your fuses and relays.

SwissCheeseHead 08-21-2012 05:21 AM

I don't think it has anything to do with your fuses and relays. If any of those were bad, you wouldn't have lights at all. OP - The lights are just dim to begin with so it's not just you. Many people "upgrade" to the Euro smileys with HID bulbs and ballasts. I'm just going to try the HID bulbs first in the US spec ellipsoid headlights to see how much of an improvement it is over halogens. If it's not any better, then maybe the change to the smileys will result in better light output. DDM tuning claims 3200 lumens in their HID kit. I haven't had any experience with them or their kit yet but they have a lifetime warranty. Their reviews have been somewhat mixed.

Costa 08-21-2012 03:12 PM

You need to order some headlight fluid from the dealer or auto store. Just ask and they'll know what you mean

paperplane94 08-21-2012 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Costa (Post 7026118)
You need to order some headlight fluid from the dealer or auto store. Just ask and they'll know what you mean

lol, a joke.


Some have had luck with cleaning their stock ellipsoids, but that requires removal of the lens by baking. If you are interested ask and you shall receive.


Most just buy HID lights, just make sure they are aimed properly so that people won't smash your lights.

Costa 08-22-2012 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paperplane94 (Post 7026736)
lol, a joke.


Some have had luck with cleaning their stock ellipsoids, but that requires removal of the lens by baking. If you are interested ask and you shall receive.


Most just buy HID lights, just make sure they are aimed properly so that people won't smash your lights.

Haha I know, the best thing to do is take the glass lens off and clean it a lot with alcohol and glass cleaner - in that order. Make sure it's bone dry or else it'll fog and you'd be back to step one again.

snowsled7 08-22-2012 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead (Post 7024901)
I don't think it has anything to do with your fuses and relays. If any of those were bad, you wouldn't have lights at all. OP - The lights are just dim to begin with so it's not just you. Many people "upgrade" to the Euro smileys with HID bulbs and ballasts. I'm just going to try the HID bulbs first in the US spec ellipsoid headlights to see how much of an improvement it is over halogens. If it's not any better, then maybe the change to the smileys will result in better light output. DDM tuning claims 3200 lumens in their HID kit. I haven't had any experience with them or their kit yet but they have a lifetime warranty. Their reviews have been somewhat mixed.

Please read this before buying or installing converted hid bulbs in housings not made for them. http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...nversions.html

I recently purchased and installed a used set of halogen euro smileys for my car. It came stock with what are known as the "free forms" around here, awful lights by any measure. I can tell you that the euro smileys with halogen bulbs are really all you need as far as a lighting upgrade. I recently did an all nighter across country and found that with the new lights, I almost never felt necessary to use the high beams. I was not over driving the lights even at 80-90 mph. This is even prior to finding a set of +50 halogen bulbs. Huge improvement, huge.

If you want the blue look, well, then actual lighting isn't your concern and best of luck with the hid's.

SwissCheeseHead 08-22-2012 07:47 AM

I just skimmed through the article, but I'm pretty sure this is more relevant to the standard halogen housing where there is a reflector behind the bulb that reflects the light outwards. This is much different than the US ellipsoid housing where the lens in front of the bulb is what controls the light. The standard halogen bulb with an "HID conversion kit" scatters light everywhere, blinding oncoming traffic. This is not what anyone wants. The ellipsoid lens however provides a cutoff where the light would not blind oncoming traffic. This is what makes an HID conversion more plausible and safe for our headlights. I do not want the blue look. I want the daylight look (pure white), not the dreadful light up nothing yellow that came stock with our headlights. Lighting is my concern and being able to see more than 10 feet in front of me will make it safer for me and other drivers.

paperplane94 08-22-2012 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead (Post 7027252)
I just skimmed through the article, but I'm pretty sure this is more relevant to the standard halogen housing where there is a reflector behind the bulb that reflects the light outwards. This is much different than the US ellipsoid housing where the lens in front of the bulb is what controls the light. The standard halogen bulb with an "HID conversion kit" scatters light everywhere, blinding oncoming traffic. This is not what anyone wants. The ellipsoid lens however provides a cutoff where the light would not blind oncoming traffic. This is what makes an HID conversion more plausible and safe for our headlights. I do not want the blue look. I want the daylight look (pure white), not the dreadful light up nothing yellow that came stock with our headlights. Lighting is my concern and being able to see more than 10 feet in front of me will make it safer for me and other drivers.

I think you are right...
Freeforms don't have any cutoff, thety are just aimed down to regulation.

The US ellipsoids have an actual piece of metal in the housing to cutoff the light at a certain level.

snowsled7 08-23-2012 06:19 AM

The article addresses the use of ellipsoids directly. It acknowledges that the cut off remains effective. The same issue with the design exists though. The lights were designed for the much different shape of the halogen light source.

Safe? most likely. More effective lighting? I kind of doubt it.

paperplane94 08-23-2012 12:17 PM

If you need to remove the headlight glass to clean it use my procedure here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...43#post6559043

_Ethrty-Andy_ 08-23-2012 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowsled7 (Post 7027102)
Please read this before buying or installing converted hid bulbs in housings not made for them. http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...nversions.html

I recently purchased and installed a used set of halogen euro smileys for my car. It came stock with what are known as the "free forms" around here, awful lights by any measure. I can tell you that the euro smileys with halogen bulbs are really all you need as far as a lighting upgrade. I recently did an all nighter across country and found that with the new lights, I almost never felt necessary to use the high beams. I was not over driving the lights even at 80-90 mph. This is even prior to finding a set of +50 halogen bulbs. Huge improvement, huge.

If you want the blue look, well, then actual lighting isn't your concern and best of luck with the hid's.

interestingly, i find the E30 and E34 elipoids crap. the smileys are the best of all of them, but still nothing amazing. get som high output H4s for them and they are okay though

SwissCheeseHead 08-24-2012 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowsled7 (Post 7029337)
The article addresses the use of ellipsoids directly. It acknowledges that the cut off remains effective. The same issue with the design exists though. The lights were designed for the much different shape of the halogen light source.

Safe? most likely. More effective lighting? I kind of doubt it.

So you're saying that with all things equal, a standard 9006 halogen bulb which produces on avg 1000 lumens is just as bright as an HID bulb which produces between 2500 and 3200 lumens? If the lens is doing what it's supposed to do and the cutoff remains effective just as you say, a less bright light will be just as effective as a more bright light? I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just putting things in a logical perspective.

rdc 08-24-2012 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead (Post 7031526)
So you're saying that will all things equal, a standard 9006 halogen bulb which produces on avg 1000 lumens is just as bright as an HID bulb which produces between 2500 and 3200 lumens? If the lens is doing what it's supposed to do and the cutoff remains effective just as you say, a less bright light will be just as effective as a more bright light? I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just putting things in a logical perspective.

All I know is that my 55w HID at 3,400k in projector housings in my 95 are much brighter than my old headlights and much safer to drive. Careful alignment took care of any potential glare issues of other drivers. Love them.

SwissCheeseHead 08-24-2012 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdc (Post 7031690)
All I know is that my 55w HID at 3,400k in projector housings in my 95 are much brighter than my old headlights and much safer to drive. Careful alignment took care of any potential glare issues of other drivers. Love them.

Agreed. Thank you.

snowsled7 08-24-2012 08:07 PM

My projectors are H1 bulbs, E1 housings using +50 halogens at 1800 lumens. Less money, no hacking or guessing about placement, more than adequate lighting.

SwissCheeseHead 09-01-2012 10:08 AM

I just put DDM's 35 watt HID bulbs and ballast (9006) in my US ellipsoids and they are a huge improvement over the stock halogens. No modifications with this kit either. It's plug and play. The light output is 100% better.

luckydog 09-02-2012 12:31 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead (Post 7047284)
I just put DDM's 35 watt HID bulbs and ballast (9006) in my US ellipsoids and they are a huge improvement over the stock halogens. No modifications with this kit either. It's plug and play. The light output is 100% better.

Yes Same kit here DDM tunnings 35 w is plenty 4500k color, white light, Smileys. I kept the cut off lower for oncoming traffic.I could only imagine putting 50w lamps would be too bright.:)


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