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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2003, 10:45 AM
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Pani Pani is offline
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Question about HIDs in an E36/7 or E36/8

I recently installed a 5000k HID kit from Supreme Power Parts in my '01 M Coupe. The kit was for a 9006 fitment and has Philips bulbs and ballasts. Everything is working fine, but I'm not too happy with the beam pattern and am wondering if they are just not aimed correctly. The lights were installed at the dealer and they said that they aimed the lights after installation. So I assume that the poor beam pattern is due to the reflector housing. My only comparison is the setup on my E36 M3 which had the Euro ellipsoids and a 4300k HID kit. The beam pattern on those was excellent. I guess my question is to those with a similar kit in their Z3's. Are you satisfied with your beam pattern and have you done anything to help focus the light better?

After doing some searching I've been considering just sending my lights to these guys. Illusion Lighting Has anybody heard of them or had any experience dealing with them? Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.

Pani

Last edited by Pani; 01-07-2003 at 08:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2003, 11:06 AM
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Beam pattern on mine are fine. I did not do any aim adjustment. What part of the beam pattern are you not happy with? Mine have a very crisp cut off, like the Hella Dynamic Energies I put on my Mk3 VW.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2003, 12:09 PM
gbrown gbrown is offline
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Mine did the same thing upon installation, I needed to adjust them which did the trick.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2003, 08:53 AM
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dwaynemosley dwaynemosley is offline
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I bought mine early on from SPP before Jon and Andy were carrying them.

My beam patter is crummy as well. Cut-off is not crisp. I had to adjust them upward a LOT to get them useful. I still am generally not happy with this implementation, but am not sure what to do to resolve it.

Any tricks to this, I'm certainly ready to listen.

Dwayne
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2003, 03:55 PM
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Pani Pani is offline
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Unhappy

Man, that isn't what I wanted to hear. Do you really think the two kits are different. They look very similar to me. I'm going to try reaiming this weekend. Hopefully, I'll get some improvement.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2003, 08:59 PM
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Pani Pani is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwaynemosley
I bought mine early on from SPP before Jon and Andy were carrying them.

My beam patter is crummy as well. Cut-off is not crisp. I had to adjust them upward a LOT to get them useful. I still am generally not happy with this implementation, but am not sure what to do to resolve it.

Any tricks to this, I'm certainly ready to listen.

Dwayne
Well it seems that the kit that I bought from SPP (Xenon Technologies) is the same kit that LeatherZ sells, so I guess it is just an aiming issue. Hopefully this weekend I'll get it all worked out.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2003, 09:31 PM
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AndyM AndyM is offline
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I would assume that the dealer did not aim the headlights or they may have just done a poor job. I'm willing to bet they 'aimed' the lights inside a well lit garage. Not the best way to determine the correct placement of the light. Adjusting the headlights is not difficult and is definitely worth a shot. Park the car a fair distance away from a garage or large wall (Terrace Park Elementary worked good when we aimed the CJ's Fog Lights way back in the day) aim the car at the wall or garage door at night and make slow corrections until you get it to where you are comfortable.

JonM's really are perfect. They have a very even spread and they have a nice, crisp cutoff. Play around with aiming them and see if that helps. Be sure to keep us updated.

Dwayne, is your kit the Phillips Kit from XT?
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2003, 04:02 PM
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dwaynemosley dwaynemosley is offline
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Quote:
[i] JonM's really are perfect. They have a very even spread and they have a nice, crisp cutoff. Play around with aiming them and see if that helps. Be sure to keep us updated.

Dwayne, is your kit the Phillips Kit from XT? [/B]
My kit is the 5000K kit. It has the blue coating on the bulbs. From the minute I installed them, both beams were noticeably pointing much lower. I even had to adjust the driver's side considerably to the right to get them to line up and light up the road ahead halfway decent.

The issue I have now concerns the pattern. The right side of the beam shines up pretty high while the rest of the beam shines just about perfectly. Shining on the garage door, the beam closely resembles the pattern from our X5 and 530i. But going down the road, the right side seems to shine much higher into the air on the Coupe than on either of those two. I have kept an allen wrench in the car for months now, tweaking them a little a time.

Any advice?
Dwayne
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2003, 06:43 PM
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JonM JonM is offline
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Hang on a sec. The right side of the beam pattern on LHD cars is supposed to point upwards. This keeps glare out of the eyes of oncoming drivers. It is more noticeable in cars with ellipsoid headlights. I put Hella dynamic energies into my VR6. The beam pattern from the driver's seat looks like:

_____/ _____/

Make sense? Sorry for crude graphic. My Coupe looks like this, but not as perfect as my DE lights were.
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2003, 07:52 PM
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dwaynemosley dwaynemosley is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonM
Hang on a sec. The right side of the beam pattern on LHD cars is supposed to point upwards. This keeps glare out of the eyes of oncoming drivers. It is more noticeable in cars with ellipsoid headlights. I put Hella dynamic energies into my VR6. The beam pattern from the driver's seat looks like:

_____/ _____/

Make sense? Sorry for crude graphic. My Coupe looks like this, but not as perfect as my DE lights were.

Imagine yours with a major drop in the center of it before it climbs back up on the right side. Mine is like a fat check mark. It is very rounded on the bottom with a major drop in the top center. It isn't flat anywhere.

Whenever I adjust the right side down to normal, there isn't any light in front of the car because of the hole in the center of the check mark pattern. It is very frustrating. Would you like to see a picture? If so, I'll attempt one tomorrow evening?

Thoughts,
Dwayne
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2003, 08:11 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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I'll be around for Roadsterwench's xenon install in a few weeks (may end up actually doing the work) to see for myself, so I may have something to report to the Z3 folks afterwards...

But in my previous experiences with HID retrofits in other cars, I've seen quite a bit of variability in patterns and the adjustability of them.

Even in the same housing, different kits can produce different output patterns (this is especially true in non-projector/ellipsoid fixtures) depending on where the HID bulb's light source is relative to the stock halogen bulb.

When the mismatch is especially poor, the output can be completely useless, and/or adjustability can completely disappear.
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