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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2012, 12:05 AM
sannouni sannouni is offline
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Bi-Xenon Bulb Replacement

Lately, I've been noticing that the passenger side Xenon Bulb is emitting a slight purplish hue when compared with the driver side HID bulb (actually, it's been happening for the past year or so, but now it's getting worst)

I'm searching for a set of replacement Bulbs, Philips 85122 D2S is one option, but i'm not sure if it'll fit the Bi-Xenon setup, will it ??

car is a 2005 330XI Bi-Xenon

Thanks a bunch
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2012, 07:40 AM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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D2S is the correct bulb for your car... I replaced mine with Phillips 85122+ (5000k) bulbs and love them. The purple/pink that you are seeing is the bulb color shifting as it is reaching the end of its useful life.

The bi-xenon function is just a shield the moves inside the light housing to refocus the xenon light when in high beam mode.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2012, 08:29 PM
JupiterX3 JupiterX3 is offline
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As already stated, 'D2S' is simply the bulb style number. The newer E90 cars use a D1S bulb, something different. Any bulb you buy will need to be a 'D2S bulb. Aside from that, you'll need to select the temperature rating of the bulb you'll want, also known as the Kelvin rating. OEM is 4200K, which is essentially pure white, no blue. The 4200K does have a touch of yellow to some, but it still looks great. As the temperature rating number goes up, the color of the bulb gets more blue. 12000K is the highest I've seen, its a blue/purple light. But, keep in mind that the luminosity goes down as you get up that high. Most people go with either a 4200K or 5000K for a crystal white/ice white color, while still maintaining as much light output as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E46_Ci View Post
The bi-xenon function is just a shield the moves inside the light housing to refocus the xenon light when in high beam mode.
Technically, not really... As for the bi-xenon assembly, it is a 'shield' (technically its called a shutter). When you operate your high beams, a small solenoid actuates the shutter to move it out of the way of the light. The shutter basically blocks some of the light output until you activate the high beams. Then it swings down and out of the way, allowing for more light output, at the top of the beam. When I did my ZKW retrofit, I was able to learn how the shutters work, and its actually pretty cool.

Good luck with your lights.
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Last edited by JupiterX3; 08-12-2012 at 08:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:57 PM
sannouni sannouni is offline
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different bulb part numbers for different headlight brands ( ZKW or AL ), didnt know which xenon bulbs to get

this might sound really stupid, i tried a quick search but got no where, is there a thread that explains how to find out which headlights i have ?

and why is there a different xenon bulb for ZKW and AL ?? ( http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...50&hg=63&fg=05 )

Edit: the same light that is emmiting the purple hue is now flickering, i'm assuming it's dying... or should i check for something else as well (it flickers maybe 5 times a second, really fast, not noticeable unless you stare at the light reflection off of a wall)

Last edited by sannouni; 01-27-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:09 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sannouni View Post
this might sound really stupid, i tried a quick search but got no where, is there a thread that explains how to find out which headlights i have ?
First, look for the manufacturer's sticker on the top of the headlight assembly. It is obscured by the black painted metal reinforcement, but look carefully and you may see the manufacturer's logo on the sticker.

Second, look at the low beam projector lens. If it has a frosted appearance and has a horizonal line milled across the center of the lens, then you have AL headlights. If the lens is crystal clear and has no line, then you have ZKW headlights.

The logo on the clear headlight cover is not a reliable indicator of the headlight manufacturer, as there is some interchangeability between covers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sannouni View Post
and why is there a different xenon bulb for ZKW and AL ?? ( http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...50&hg=63&fg=05 )
The note that a particular bulb isn't suitable for ZKW headlights seems to be a quiet acknowledgment by BMW NA of the ZKW projectors' tendency to burn up when exposed to the heat produced by a typical D2S bulb.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:11 AM
sannouni sannouni is offline
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after searching some more, i found out that i had to look at the rear cover of the headlight assembly (engine compartment side) to see if i have AL written on the black plastic cover (if so, it means i have the AL brand, otherwise, it would be the ZKW), and i do, so I have the Automotive Lighting (AL) brand of Bi Xenon headlights ...

now, why are there two different Part Numbers listed for AL and ZKW bulbs ( Is it a voltage / wattage issue ? ), do i need to get the AL specific bulbs (by the way, they both say D2S when checking RealOEM : http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...50&hg=63&fg=05 ) or can i just get a set of Philips 85122 D2S 5000K bulbs from eBay ??

I need to buy a set as soon as I reach a verdict ... any helps would be great, I'm about to loose the passenger side light
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:13 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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Location: Birmingham, AL, USA
 
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eBay D2S bulbs: $15.

I honestly could not tell the difference between those and Philips $100 bulbs. I'm not even kidding.



EDIT: This is where I bought them from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-D2S-HID-X...item4aa5c56849

I've had them for over a year and have had no issues out of them.

Last edited by SPDSKTR; 01-28-2013 at 06:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:26 PM
sannouni sannouni is offline
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What is the colour temperature that you chose ?

Ill give them a shot and see how they turn out ...
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:29 AM
sannouni sannouni is offline
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just to follow up, i got the Bulbs that SPDSKTR suggested above (5000K), and they turned out excellent, I've been using them for a couple of weeks now, i really cant tell the difference (except they are much brighter than the old ones, and have the same colour temperature)... thanks a lot for all the help
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:32 AM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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If you want the best legal lighting possible, go with the Osram 66240CBI or 66240SVS (about the same brightness, but the latter is 4500K instead of 5000+K). The Philips 85122XV1 is also looking to be quite promising, but the jury's still out on them. All of the above should be significantly brighter than 85122+s. I wouldn't go with a Chinese bulb, ever. Don't go with anything higher than 5000K as the brightness drops off sharply from that point (except for the 66240CBI which seems to start at 5000K and end up at 5200ish -- it also gains quite a bit of brightness during this breakin period).

Bixenon vs single xenon is irrelevant for HID bulbs. All E46s use D2S bulbs.

Edit: Never mind I guess, looks like you already bought the Chinese bulbs.
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Last edited by TerraPhantm; 02-20-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:35 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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No problem. There's no sense in spending $100 for a pair of bulbs that acts the same way a $15 pair does. Worst case scenario: the $15 bulbs blow in a year. I've spent $15 (and more) on fancy cheeseburger dinners.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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As long as the bulb is the long one labeled D2S, you're fine.
I had Khoalty's $2x 6000K bulbs before and they were pretty good looking and bright, better than the factory Philips ones. But those were old, so that's probably why they were getting dim.

Now, I have Osram CBIs. Very bright and it's obvious that they're brighter than both the generic $20 ones and Philips but it probably wasn't worth it in the end at around $200 for the pair.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:44 AM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPDSKTR View Post
No problem. There's no sense in spending $100 for a pair of bulbs that acts the same way a $15 pair does. Worst case scenario: the $15 bulbs blow in a year. I've spent $15 (and more) on fancy cheeseburger dinners.
Eh, that's far from the worst case scenario. Poorly made bulbs have been known to melt igniters. Remember that the igniter sends ~25000V to the bulb to get the arc going -- needless to say, that can do quite a bit of damage if something's not right. Having used many different HID bulbs... noname bulbs are definitely dimmer than bulbs from the likes of Philips, Osram, GE, etc... (new vs new of course. Comparing a new bulb to a 5 year old bulb isn't really fair).

This picture below is from a Mercedes, but it's basically the same as the E46 setup

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  #14  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:51 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPDSKTR View Post
No problem. There's no sense in spending $100 for a pair of bulbs that acts the same way a $15 pair does. Worst case scenario: the $15 bulbs blow in a year. I've spent $15 (and more) on fancy cheeseburger dinners.
Horrible advice.

x10000 on everything Terra said.


Cheap bulbs have the possibility of f'n with your ballasts and ignitors. How do you think their quality control is there for something as important as xenon bulbs? Philips, Sylvania and Osram are the ONLY brands I suggest. Everything else is garbage.

Aftermarket bulbs have very bad materials, horrible light output due to bad salts and the overall bad design of the bulb from the molds they use. Simply, no. Do not get aftermarket xenon bulbs.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:02 PM
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av98 av98 is offline
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Where do you guys purchase your Osram D2S bulbs? Hopefully the legit non-counterfiet ones.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:50 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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www.theretrofitsource.com

Use coupon code TRSRCFS for free shipping.
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2013, 02:47 PM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av98 View Post
Where do you guys purchase your Osram D2S bulbs? Hopefully the legit non-counterfiet ones.
The Retrofit Source. On their Facebook page, they posted a coupon code that gave you 10% or 15% off your order a month or so ago, apparently they said it was always usable but they just never publicized it until then. Not sure if it's still listed, I forgot what it was. Already have everything I need from them

They're legit for sure, once you see the light, you'll know why...
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