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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-17-2014, 04:54 PM
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LCI halogen to xenon conversion

I've searched for the answer but I could not find it...my brother has a 2011 328ix and the headlights aren't great. If I buy oem xenon headlights from eBay for $850, is it a plug and play? Or is it more complex? If it's gonna end up costing well over $1k it's not worth it. Any information/input is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2014, 05:32 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is offline
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It's a couple thousand dollars at least. You need more than just the headlights, the car has to be coded and I think new modules have to be installed. Fdriller knows if you want more information.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2014, 05:38 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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  1. Halogens do not use the same reflector assembly as HID bulbs; wrong reflector with HID bulbs results in blinding other drivers with uncontrolled light.
  2. HID reflector housings have a mandatory self-leveling feature which is not found in halogen reflector housing designs, to aid in control of light from HID.
  3. HID have special high voltage ballasts to provide the very high voltage output to HID bulbs, this requires higher electrical capacity power supply (wiring) to the ballasts.
  4. BMWs need to be 'coded' so that the necessary control units know that HID headlights are present.

For all the above reasons, it costs thousands to PROPERLY retrofit factory halogen to support xenon HID.
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2014, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
It's a couple thousand dollars at least. You need more than just the headlights, the car has to be coded and I think new modules have to be installed. Fdriller knows if you want more information.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilt View Post
  1. Halogens do not use the same reflector assembly as HID bulbs; wrong reflector with HID bulbs results in blinding other drivers with uncontrolled light.
  2. HID reflector housings have a mandatory self-leveling feature which is not found in halogen reflector housing designs, to aid in control of light from HID.
  3. HID have special high voltage ballasts to provide the very high voltage output to HID bulbs, this requires higher electrical capacity power supply (wiring) to the ballasts.
  4. BMWs need to be 'coded' so that the necessary control units know that HID headlights are present.

For all the above reasons, it costs thousands to PROPERLY retrofit factory halogen to support xenon HID.
Thank you guys, oh well looks like my brother is gonna have to deal with the halogens. Do you know of a non-oem solution that works?
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:34 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is offline
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Originally Posted by ScottF10 View Post
Thank you guys, oh well looks like my brother is gonna have to deal with the halogens. Do you know of a non-oem solution that works?

Why doesn't he like the halogens? They're pretty bright and I don't think the xenons are really that much brighter. My headlights weren't aligned properly, once that was fixed it was much better.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2014, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Why doesn't he like the halogens? They're pretty bright and I don't think the xenons are really that much brighter. My headlights weren't aligned properly, once that was fixed it was much better.
You're right, for halogens they're not that bad, but when compared to my F10 xenons there's a noticeable difference. They're not nearly as bad as my MB's halogens though thank god, but he could live with the halogens, for how much it would cost it definitely wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:59 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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To do a full retrofit with self leveling and adaptive will run a few thousand.

You will need a new FRM compatible with AHL. This module will need to be coded into the car.

You also need all the xenon and adaptive components in addition to the headlight housings. You need SMC II modules, ballasts, D1S bulbs (or whatever bulb type your headlamp uses), etc.

In addition to all this hardware, you will need to run new wiring harnesses from the FRM and to the headlights for self leveling and adaptive to work.

You also need to run a harness to the drivers side front and passenger rear wheel wells for the self leveling sensors. As well as installing the sensors themselves.


If you just want to upgrade to xenon without self leveling and adaptive, you will need to code the car by editing the VO and taking out the halogen option code. Then put in the xenon option code only....not the adaptive one. Then write the new VO to FRM and CAS. Then code the affected modules to default using expert mode in NCS.

The headlight main beam, high beam, angel eyes, and turn signals will work. Nothing else will. You may need to move some pins around.

EDIT: If this is for an F10, the modules may be different. Might have to code the FEM_Body module instead of the CAS/FRM.
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2014, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdriller9 View Post
To do a full retrofit with self leveling and adaptive will run a few thousand.

You will need a new FRM compatible with AHL. This module will need to be coded into the car.

You also need all the xenon and adaptive components in addition to the headlight housings. You need SMC II modules, ballasts, D1S bulbs (or whatever bulb type your headlamp uses), etc.

In addition to all this hardware, you will need to run new wiring harnesses from the FRM and to the headlights for self leveling and adaptive to work.

You also need to run a harness to the drivers side front and passenger rear wheel wells for the self leveling sensors. As well as installing the sensors themselves.


If you just want to upgrade to xenon without self leveling and adaptive, you will need to code the car by editing the VO and taking out the halogen option code. Then put in the xenon option code only....not the adaptive one. Then write the new VO to FRM and CAS. Then code the affected modules to default using expert mode in NCS.

The headlight main beam, high beam, angel eyes, and turn signals will work. Nothing else will. You may need to move some pins around.

EDIT: If this is for an F10, the modules may be different. Might have to code the FEM_Body module instead of the CAS/FRM.
Thank you for the knowledgable response, that is way too complicated and pricey! Lol, I wanted to do it for my brothers E90 but it looks like it's not happening unfortunately
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:28 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottF10 View Post
Thank you for the knowledgable response, that is way too complicated and pricey! Lol, I wanted to do it for my brothers E90 but it looks like it's not happening unfortunately
The E90 Halogen bulbs are H7. There are high performance bulbs available from PIAA, Osram, and others. They are not as good as the Xenon lights, but they are an improvement over the factory-supplied H7 bulbs.

My E90 has the Xenon lights, and they are great. But they are from the factory. My X3 has the H7 headlights. I investigated installing Xenon lights in it a couple of times, but gave up due to cost.

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Old 04-20-2014, 03:38 PM
ptrcd003 ptrcd003 is offline
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Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Why doesn't he like the halogens? They're pretty bright and I don't think the xenons are really that much brighter.
Oh, come on. I get that you have to justify your halogens, but a blind person could tell you that xenons are MUCH brighter and offer better visibility. The sad thing is that in 2014, BMW still has them as an option. My 99 328i had xenons...in 16 years they couldn't make the things standard across all models?
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2014, 03:51 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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You have the option of aftermarket housings. Check out Depo. They require some coding but other than that, they are plug and play.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2014, 04:38 PM
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DallasBimmer DallasBimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by ScottF10 View Post
I've searched for the answer but I could not find it...my brother has a 2011 328ix and the headlights aren't great. If I buy oem xenon headlights from eBay for $850, is it a plug and play? Or is it more complex? If it's gonna end up costing well over $1k it's not worth it. Any information/input is appreciated.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HRK1SX4?psc=1
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2014, 06:55 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is offline
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Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Oh, come on. I get that you have to justify your halogens, but a blind person could tell you that xenons are MUCH brighter and offer better visibility. The sad thing is that in 2014, BMW still has them as an option. My 99 328i had xenons...in 16 years they couldn't make the things standard across all models?
Not really, I had to have mine aimed higher because they weren't aimed correctly from the factory. I'm not trying to justify them, I don't see much difference besides different temperature and the fact that they corner with the car. I'd rather have reliability over them anyway.
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2014, 08:44 AM
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Thank you, now that's reasonable a price.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:58 AM
sleeper22 sleeper22 is offline
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My car has the halogens and I just bought some new H7 bulbs to replace the factory yellow bulbs. I haven't installed them yet but will soon. I was looking for a 328i with the xenons as my last car was an Acura TL that had the best lights I have ever seen in a car. Those xenons were frigging awesome. Do I miss them, hell yes. But are they a necessity, no. A buddy of mine said he would rather have the halogens as they are more dependable and cheaper if something were to go wrong. The H7's once I get them installed should be a big improvement over the stock yellowish lights.

I think ALL BMW's should come with xenons for obvious reasons. The angel eyes with the xenons are a BMW trademark so not sure why BMW chooses not to make xenons standard?
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sleeper22 View Post
My car has the halogens and I just bought some new H7 bulbs to replace the factory yellow bulbs. I haven't installed them yet but will soon. I was looking for a 328i with the xenons as my last car was an Acura TL that had the best lights I have ever seen in a car. Those xenons were frigging awesome. Do I miss them, hell yes. But are they a necessity, no. A buddy of mine said he would rather have the halogens as they are more dependable and cheaper if something were to go wrong. The H7's once I get them installed should be a big improvement over the stock yellowish lights.

I think ALL BMW's should come with xenons for obvious reasons. The angel eyes with the xenons are a BMW trademark so not sure why BMW chooses not to make xenons standard?
Thanks and I agree. Please share the results when finished installing.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:35 PM
sleeper22 sleeper22 is offline
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Thanks and I agree. Please share the results when finished installing.
Another member posted some pictures not long ago. He upgraded H7's, halo's and fog lights. See link.


http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=759840&page=3
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2014, 05:42 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Don't do this.

Not only is this illegal, but you also lose light output.

HID light sources NEED a projector to be used properly. Just because you get more light out of a bulb doesn't mean all of that is usable on the road. Like I said, you will lose light output on the road.

Putting a HID kit in a halogen reflector is a DOWNGRADE.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:13 PM
sleeper22 sleeper22 is offline
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Exactly what fdriller9 says. You have to have the correct projector and halogen projectors will not work properly.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:49 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Originally Posted by alpinweiss View Post
The E90 Halogen bulbs are H7. There are high performance bulbs available from PIAA, Osram, and others. They are not as good as the Xenon lights, but they are an improvement over the factory-supplied H7 bulbs.
And before doing any of these, all should read about short bulb life from these bulbs.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:08 AM
sleeper22 sleeper22 is offline
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How short?
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