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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2012, 02:51 AM
GlueBall GlueBall is offline
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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
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2012, 02:56 AM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlueBall View Post
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.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2012, 04:21 AM
SwissCheeseHead SwissCheeseHead is offline
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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.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2012, 02:12 PM
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Costa Costa is offline
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You need to order some headlight fluid from the dealer or auto store. Just ask and they'll know what you mean
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2012, 08:05 PM
paperplane94 paperplane94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Costa View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by paperplane94 View Post
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.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:05 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead View Post
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.
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Last edited by snowsled7; 08-22-2012 at 05:06 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2012, 06:47 AM
SwissCheeseHead SwissCheeseHead is offline
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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.
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2012, 02:31 PM
paperplane94 paperplane94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead View Post
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.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2012, 05:19 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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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.
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2012, 11:17 AM
paperplane94 paperplane94 is offline
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If you need to remove the headlight glass to clean it use my procedure here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...43#post6559043
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2012, 10:40 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
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
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2012, 04:51 AM
SwissCheeseHead SwissCheeseHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
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.

Last edited by SwissCheeseHead; 08-24-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2012, 07:10 AM
rdc rdc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead View Post
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.
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:28 AM
SwissCheeseHead SwissCheeseHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdc View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2012, 07:07 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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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.
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  #17  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:08 AM
SwissCheeseHead SwissCheeseHead is offline
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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.
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  #18  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:31 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissCheeseHead View Post
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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