Headlight swap

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by ScottinBend, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Anyone have any info on if it's feasible to swap pre-facelift lift headlights to post face-lift?
    Standard hid/halogen or bi-zenon .
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Good question. My 02 needs new lights bad. I have wondered what is compatible too. Sorry I am no help.
     
  3. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

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  4. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Wow - those are cheaper than I thought they would be.. Set of aftermarket lights for my F250 are $700... Some of those are less than $300 for the pair. (no idea on quality).. but even Hella are under $400 for the pair.
     
  5. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

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    I've had mine in for almost a year now, no complaints for the quality. I also got taillights from them as well, and LED DRL Fog lamp replacements, though I haven't installed the fogs yet. Weather's been bad and it requires the whole bumper taken off, possibly some soldering, etc.
     
  6. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Those $400 a pair headlights are the halogens, no HID .
    HID replacement looks to be around $500 a side.......☹️
     
  7. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    proper HID OEMs are 800+ per side and another $1600 in computer upgrades, wiring harnesses and leveling sensors. $2500+ when all said and done. Just sell the car and get one with HIDs . Thats what I did, although I kept the non-HID car as well :D

    I was contemplating to get some projector housing and hack HIDs into them, but I find them all ugly and don't really drive the car enough to buy lights I don't really need. The halogens work. It is not like the lights on that car are broke and action is needed.

    I may add a few Hella driving lights if I want the big pencil beams, and should I get bored or real ambitious, I'll take the OEM halogens apart and put some Morimoto bi-xenons in there myself, but again, that's a lot of work and the benefit is a little more light and likely a lot more hassle, plus it's illegal, just to bring that one up.

    There is no legal aftermarket HID low beam option except for the full OEM Mini install at the dealership.
     
  8. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    No legal options but pleanty of aftermarket options that are better than OEM.

    Cops and inspection locations don’t care about aftermarket headlights as long as they light.
     
  9. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    I have the HID low beam and halogen high beam headlights. Was just wondering about options for direct replacements. Want to keep the HID and maybe upgrade to high beam HID
     
  10. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    High beam HID can only be achieved (reliably and usable) with a bi-xenon projector. Basically, you don't want to wait for the HID bulb to ignite and warm up to full output, you want the light right away. Bi-Xenon gives you that by removing a flap that covers up the high beam part. That's all it takes.
    The alternative is to put a high-powered LED into the high-beam part of your headlight. Those will light up immediately and if you buy a quality bulb, you will get far more light than a (legal) H7 halogen can put out. The only reason I don't have my LEDs in the car right now is that there's that little issue with the ECU of the Mini, which by default has this thing enabled

    KALTUEBERWACHUNG_FL
    aktiv

    This stands for "cold monitoring high beam" - FL as in German Fernlicht, or far light.

    This must be disabled, or every time you turn the key in the Costco parking lot, you will flash the guy parked opposite of you with your high beams about 8 times, no matter where your light switch is. However, since I already have HID low beams OEM in the car, I am currently working on getting that ECU coding sorted out so I can set it to "nicht_aktiv" and be done with the flicker in all my LEDs, like the interior LED for the trunk area, or the license plate lights I replaced with LED.

    On my car with Halogen low beams, I may just do the bi-xenon update, and as Dave.O pointed out, nobody cares. Just count the number of semi trucks on the freeway that cruise around with illegal HID bulbs in their regular halogen housings. Compared to that, having HID in a proper projector is just about as good as complying with the law. Doubt many cops would even know how to determine that the setup wasn't legal. It just doesn't make sense on a car that has perfectly serviceable OEM low beam HIDs.

     
  11. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Or, you could just eat your carrots, so you can see at night!:D
     
  12. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    I replaced the OEM ECU with a ViPEC so I will not have that issue if I install mega brigjt LEDs in my high beams. I am also looking to have a custom “one off” set of 50 W Bi-xenon built with LEDs in the high beam spot. This way when I hit high beams and the bi-xenon shield lifts and the LEDs will also come on and give me mega output and still look totally OEM in the same housing.

    It is very important to me to keep the OEM look without adding silly spot or fog lights infront of the grill or the lower area. I hate the rally car look.
     
  13. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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  14. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    I think those are meant to cure flicker of the bulb while lit, rather than to avoid the LED from getting lit by a low voltage check pulse that is sent to feel out bulb condition. LEDs light up at much lower voltages than the OEM bulbs, thus the flicker. There's threshold that causes resistance in a regular bulb and tells the computer it isn't burned out, but the LED will fire up and cause that test flicker.

    I have looked into this wondering if there can't be some sort of circuit or relay that won't let any voltage through to the bulb until it exceeds the test voltage. Theoretically you'd need a relay that has a resistor in the path to tell the computer the bulb is there, and once there is true 12V flowing, it switches and puts the actual bulb into the circuit. I don't think that is what these Morimoto dongles do (they are capacitors, nothing much else), plus I won't buy anything from the retrofit source outfit. Worst customer service I have had to deal with in a long long time.
     
  15. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    I will let you know as a set of H7 LEDs are on the way to me for my high beams that I hardly use.
     
  16. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    but your ECU doesn't do the cold check pulses anyway, so they'll likely work. I have a pair of really nice H7 LEDs intended for high beam in my garage, pulled them a minute after installing because of the flashing.

    I also had some retrofit source Morimoto LEDs and had to return - they do not fit in the R53 H7 high beam position, simply too fat on the retaining ring adapter to clip into the retaining springs in the headlight housing. You may shave that down, but I figured that's just BS and sent them back and got some brighter SuperNova V3 bulbs from the Headlight Revolution guys in Minnesota, and those fit right in.

    bulb shootout video from last year:
     
  17. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    A Zener diode would do just that. Zener diodes are a kind of solid state voltage regulator. You could get one that passes 12 volts, but not the lower test voltage. But It may make the ECU think that the lamp is out when it preforms the test.
     
  18. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    Well, I did a little more research and it is actually the full voltage going out, just extremely short pulses, too short for any HID or incandescent bulb to even begin to light up, while LEDs are the instant light devices that make fiber optic data communication possible. They simply don't have any ramp up - they are on or off, and the moment the voltage is there, they will illuminate..

    So, one would need something like a delayed relay, something that has a little hesitation before it passes on the full flow of current. I bet any relay would do that - but then you'd get the computer to throw a bulb check error.

    Or just disable the feature in the computer, which is my plan A at this point. No rush here. I'll eventually get that software to run without "version mismatch" errors and then the flicker will stop at the source of the issue.
     

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