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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2012, 08:20 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Headlamp question...

Out of the knockoff stuff all over the net/ebay, none of these companies have found a way to replicate m5/540 headlights? They have every single style combo EXCEPT those. What gives?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:26 AM
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I'm confused as to which of the M5/540i headlights you're referring to because it could be 1 of several different headlights. There are the pre-facelift M5 & post facelift M5 w/AEs...and the 540i headlights..there's the pre facelift halogen or HID...then the post facelift 540i HID headlight w/AEs.
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http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:32 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
I'm confused as to which of the M5/540i headlights you're referring to because it could be 1 of several different headlights. There are the pre-facelift M5 & post facelift M5 w/AEs...and the 540i headlights..there's the pre facelift halogen or HID...then the post facelift 540i HID headlight w/AEs.
oh,.. well i mean the good looking ones
post hids 2001+
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:37 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
oh,.. well i mean the good looking ones
post hids 2001+
Okay.

But for some, the pre facelift M5 HIDs w/lemon slice turn indicators (white/yellow) may be the best looking e39 headlights (or at least most unique if not the most popular).
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 02-11-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:43 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Okay.

But for some, the pre facelift M5 HIDs w/lemon slice turn indicators (white/yellow) may be the best looking e39 headlights (or at least most unique if not the best looking).
Where can i get a set that are close in appearance to the 01+ 5 series headlamps? All the other lamps look crappy to me.
And wheres a pic of these lemon slice sigs you speak of??
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2012, 11:32 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Where can i get a set that are close in appearance to the 01+ 5 series headlamps? All the other lamps look crappy to me.
And wheres a pic of these lemon slice sigs you speak of??
I'm not much help with your first question since I have no motivation to upgrade to AEs...not that they aren't great looking lights...its just I still have an appreciation for the pre-face llift HID headlights.

Here's a pic of a pre-facelift Touring with M bumpers & 00 M5 HIDs which have "white/yellow" turn indicators (these were only used on the 2000 model year M5 in the USA which makes them hard to find in the used parts market):

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 02-11-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2012, 11:46 AM
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Don't see any pictures in this thread ... so maybe the OP will benefit from those in these bestlinks threads:
- The age-old argument of whether to buy aftermarket DJ Auto or Depo headlights (1) or OEM Hellas (1).
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2012, 02:31 PM
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i think anything with orange is ugly... and unfortunately face lift or not all OEM e39 headlights Have orange.

STOCK



NOT STOCK
(Notice no orange)




And im not even going to get into the Halos..

Stock



Not Stock

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  #9  
Old 02-11-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LalaRay View Post
i think anything with orange is ugly... and unfortunately face lift or not all OEM e39 headlights Have orange.

STOCK



NOT STOCK
(Notice no orange)


Actually the oem European versions had clear corners like your second pic. You can buy them new for alot of $$ and can can sometimes find them on ebay from Europe. Sometimes they pop up on the forums too. They usually command a premium over the orange corners version especially if they are xenon.

I think a couple of people have mentioned trying to mate aftermarket lenses to facelift lights. Not sure if any one has had any success and I don't know the quality of the aftermarket lens. Once source of lens is Schmiedmann. One caveat is only some facelift lights can be opened. Most agree its 2001 light only, although a few have claimed success with other model years.

OP I have not looked at them closely, but I think DJ autos will be the closest in resemblance to oem lights. And take a look at the link below to see the different oem hella styles available.

Also just fyi there were actually 4 different facelift lift lights available in the US.
  1. Halogen, clear blinker, lit amber corner
  2. Halogen, amber blinker, lit amber corner
  3. Xenon, clear blinker, lit amber corner
  4. Xenon, amber blinker, lit amber corner:


Bluebee

if you find this useful for your best links I posted about the 4 different US and 4 different European lights along with pictures in the other forum. That forum does not seem to let you to link your embedded pics to your attachments though for some reason. If you want I can re post in this thread or another thread.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...3&postcount=18
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2012, 04:24 PM
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:45 PM
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LalaRay -- I'm with you on disliking amber, but I'm not going to try to crack open or put in oven a great set of headlights, like I've read on this forum.'

Doesn't MD do an annual safety inspection? All US corner lamps have to have amber reflectors.

Not that I wouldn't want a nice set of Euro lights, but can't justify the $$ or the inspection hassle. Of course the AEs can be brightened with an easy bulb swap.

OP -- here's a page from Umnitza's site selling E39 look heads for $300 - $400: http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659

I think he resells DJ Auto, after installing his own AE ring design:

For years, E39 BMW owners wanted the look of the more finished Hella product without having to pay the OE price. Now, DJ Auto released their Hella look alike replica headlight. While many retailers will simply repackage the DJ Auto and send it out as is, we replace the wiring and the internals to include the Orion V2 kit with all the orders for a brighter, longer lasting, and more reliable product. Just compare the photos of what you get "out of the box" versus what you get you from Umnitza.
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Last edited by Edgy36-39; 02-11-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:04 PM
vladd07 vladd07 is offline
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do you guys know, if say headlights from the 2000yr model would fit on an 03?

say these for example http://www.ebay.com/itm/1999-2000-BM...ht_2963wt_1270

also what do you guys think it would look like on the car?

Last edited by vladd07; 02-11-2012 at 10:13 PM. Reason: added link
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2012, 01:04 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
LalaRay -- I'm with you on disliking amber, but I'm not going to try to crack open or put in oven a great set of headlights, like I've read on this forum.'

Doesn't MD do an annual safety inspection? All US corner lamps have to have amber reflectors.

Not that I wouldn't want a nice set of Euro lights, but can't justify the $$ or the inspection hassle. Of course the AEs can be brightened with an easy bulb swap.

OP -- here's a page from Umnitza's site selling E39 look heads for $300 - $400: http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659

I think he resells DJ Auto, after installing his own AE ring design:

For years, E39 BMW owners wanted the look of the more finished Hella product without having to pay the OE price. Now, DJ Auto released their Hella look alike replica headlight. While many retailers will simply repackage the DJ Auto and send it out as is, we replace the wiring and the internals to include the Orion V2 kit with all the orders for a brighter, longer lasting, and more reliable product. Just compare the photos of what you get "out of the box" versus what you get you from Umnitza.
Whatever those are on the blue e39 in your sig are the headlamps I prefer.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2012, 01:38 AM
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LalaRay LalaRay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
LalaRay -- I'm with you on disliking amber, but I'm not going to try to crack open or put in oven a great set of headlights, like I've read on this forum.'

Doesn't MD do an annual safety inspection? All US corner lamps have to have amber reflectors.

Not that I wouldn't want a nice set of Euro lights, but can't justify the $$ or the inspection hassle. Of course the AEs can be brightened with an easy bulb swap.

OP -- here's a page from Umnitza's site selling E39 look heads for $300 - $400: http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659

I think he resells DJ Auto, after installing his own AE ring design:

For years, E39 BMW owners wanted the look of the more finished Hella product without having to pay the OE price. Now, DJ Auto released their Hella look alike replica headlight. While many retailers will simply repackage the DJ Auto and send it out as is, we replace the wiring and the internals to include the Orion V2 kit with all the orders for a brighter, longer lasting, and more reliable product. Just compare the photos of what you get "out of the box" versus what you get you from Umnitza.
i dont know about that annual inspection thing, that must just be a Va thing cause i know yall real strict out there.. But anyway you know you could sell your oem headlights and make more than enough to buy umnitzas, so why not do that?
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Last edited by LalaRay; 02-12-2012 at 01:40 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2012, 06:45 AM
Solo12 Solo12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd07 View Post
do you guys know, if say headlights from the 2000yr model would fit on an 03?

say these for example http://www.ebay.com/itm/1999-2000-BM...ht_2963wt_1270

also what do you guys think it would look like on the car?
Not sure if you are serious or not. If you are, yes they should bolt in just fine people put model yr 2001+ lights to earlier cars all the time so no reason why it should not work. The wiring will not match up perfectly because the newer cars had angel eyes and the old ones did not. I think something about the turn signal wiring might have been different too, but I could be wrong. It may be as simple as just having an extra plug lying around. I would check out bmwtips and search on this forum for people converting older cars 97-2000 to newer lights and see how they wired them, that may give you an idea of how to do it. Also someone on here may have already done the swap you are thinking of since some prefer the earlier lights. A search may turn up the exact wiring info.

As far as looks go it will look like any 1997-2000 car. See post #6 for an example. Those just have those rare corners Qsilver mentioned and they are xenon so there is a little projector lens inside the low beams (that smaller round circle in the center of the outer two round lights).

If you find out the swap is possible I am sure you could sell you lights easily to pay for the swap. It would probably be easy to find someone willing to do a straight up trade too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Doesn't MD do an annual safety inspection? All US corner lamps have to have amber reflectors.

Not that I wouldn't want a nice set of Euro lights, but can't justify the $$ or the inspection hassle. Of course the AEs can be brightened with an easy bulb swap.
Is it they have to have orange corners or the corners have to be lit? Or the lit corners is an additional requirement? I think the euro corners are not lit while the US ones have a little fiber optic type cable that illuminates the corner when the lights are on.

I noticed your M3 has clear corners do they hassle you for that or is the requirement based on year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Whatever those are on the blue e39 in your sig are the headlamps I prefer.
Looks like oem halogens or xenons with amber corners and clear blinkers. The halogens and xenons look identical from the exterior (lights off or course) for 2001+ lights. I think maybe you just don't like the clear corners. Talk to the guys a umnitza and see if they have a DJ auto with orange corners or if they can make you one. They are really helpful and do all sorts of customization to their lights anyone. Not sure if that is an options or not though.
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2012, 10:31 PM
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umnitza umnitza is offline
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Originally Posted by Solo12 View Post
Not sure if you are serious or not. If you are, yes they should bolt in just fine people put model yr 2001+ lights to earlier cars all the time so no reason why it should not work. The wiring will not match up perfectly because the newer cars had angel eyes and the old ones did not. I think something about the turn signal wiring might have been different too, but I could be wrong. It may be as simple as just having an extra plug lying around. I would check out bmwtips and search on this forum for people converting older cars 97-2000 to newer lights and see how they wired them, that may give you an idea of how to do it. Also someone on here may have already done the swap you are thinking of since some prefer the earlier lights. A search may turn up the exact wiring info.

As far as looks go it will look like any 1997-2000 car. See post #6 for an example. Those just have those rare corners Qsilver mentioned and they are xenon so there is a little projector lens inside the low beams (that smaller round circle in the center of the outer two round lights).

If you find out the swap is possible I am sure you could sell you lights easily to pay for the swap. It would probably be easy to find someone willing to do a straight up trade too.



Is it they have to have orange corners or the corners have to be lit? Or the lit corners is an additional requirement? I think the euro corners are not lit while the US ones have a little fiber optic type cable that illuminates the corner when the lights are on.

I noticed your M3 has clear corners do they hassle you for that or is the requirement based on year?



Looks like oem halogens or xenons with amber corners and clear blinkers. The halogens and xenons look identical from the exterior (lights off or course) for 2001+ lights. I think maybe you just don't like the clear corners. Talk to the guys a umnitza and see if they have a DJ auto with orange corners or if they can make you one. They are really helpful and do all sorts of customization to their lights anyone. Not sure if that is an options or not though.
Or you could get the headlights and just put an orange bulb in there.
But we have actually painted headlight reflectors in orange for a customer.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:44 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Originally Posted by umnitza View Post
Or you could get the headlights and just put an orange bulb in there.
But we have actually painted headlight reflectors in orange for a customer.
Damn,,,not off topic, but Ive been contemplating on getting those 19 inch lm reps on your site for a week straight
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:46 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Originally Posted by umnitza View Post
Or you could get the headlights and just put an orange bulb in there.
But we have actually painted headlight reflectors in orange for a customer.
btw....whats the closest headlamps to an 01 e39 w hids that you guys stock?
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2012, 03:58 PM
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Damn,,,not off topic, but Ive been contemplating on getting those 19 inch lm reps on your site for a week straight
Come on in, the water is just fine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
btw....whats the closest headlamps to an 01 e39 w hids that you guys stock?
We have these in stock all day every day:
http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:24 PM
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Come on in, the water is just fine!


We have these in stock all day every day:
http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659
This umnitza Guy Better see Ima Bomb ass Model for there Sh*t and start giving Me Discounts
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2012, 07:14 PM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Originally Posted by umnitza View Post
Come on in, the water is just fine!


We have these in stock all day every day:
http://www.umnitza.com/index.php?mai...oducts_id=5659
What if my stock set up doesnt have angel eyes??
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2012, 09:05 AM
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That's ok, this can be installed on cars without AE.
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  #23  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:44 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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That's ok, this can be installed on cars without AE.

Whats required?
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 AM
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2 basic taps, that's it.
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2012, 12:47 PM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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2 basic taps, that's it.
what about light output? will my stock hids fit right in? How bright are the ae's??
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