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I snagged a pair of BMW E60 halogen headlights off eBay and they have sat in my garage for over a year and I finally got around to them. This was another experimental/practice build.

Although the M5 never had halogen headlights this may be helpful for those with pre-LCI headlights and are interested to see what some options are in terms of aesthetics, these headlights are essentially the same minus the factory Bi-Xenon projector and AFS motors. If nothing else, transformations like this are always fun to observe.

Before


After


First things first, lens restoration, my wagon was kind enough to donate it's headlight brackets for the process


Before:





800


1,200 pics skipped, 1,500grit


2,000g pics skipped, 3,000g


Plastic-x


Finishing Compound, Opti-Lens was applied after this.


After



I thought about it, I wanted to... but not this time, the LS430 projector will continue to wait for the correct housing.


This was the worst permaseal I have encountered. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the E60 housing could be opened, not sure if they used a different permaseal on the older housings or if the age of the headlight had anything to do with it. Either way this sucked, even with those goofy "headlight sealant removal tools"


This corner was a nightmare in particular, you can imagine...BMW permaseal at those angles.


The bowl was nice and tall but just not deep enough. I wasn't confident enough to start hacking up the LS430 shroud with the possibility of it not fitting so I aborted mission.


I was thinking of running the RX AFS but again the real clearance was going to be an issue and I wasn't willing to compromise the housings caps/seal on this build so I went with the very boring but very functional MH1 7.0. With an E46 shroud I has the idea of keeping this an oem+ build with chrome shrouds and everything buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuttt why oem+ when I can experiment with something more exciting


I am so predictable: black demon eye and black bowls


Shrouds rings mounted and shrouds painted


Rotation done and locked in


Now for aesthetics, the oem reflector and turn signal lens are a pretty crude design


Omitting them wasn't really an option as they would leave an obvious void


My hopes were to blend the lens in with the reflector so I tried some silver/aluminum paint and frosted the lens


The chrome was still underneath


Frosted the angel eyes as well



I painted the underlying chrome silver to see if that would help visually join the 2 pieces, noooooot really



Blacked out the ring carriers


The silver reflector wasn't working so the next plan was to black it out, to tone down the frosted lens I painted the turn signal bowl black, frosted rings live on.




Mounted the ballast internally with some VHB tape


With the main headlight trim in place it is a tight fit but it works


Everything is internal


Blacked out angel eyes



Bulbs were in rough shape


I had some LED bulbs lying around


All sealed up


Nighttime running lights


Turn signal performs well with the frosted lens


HID


Some demo shots on my wagon, sorry for the pics, it was hard to capture the headlights without a reflection






Output shots: 35w DDM ballast and 5.5k DDM bulbs. Output is great IMO. I was experiencing some slight bowing on the cutoff, not sure if other MH1 7.0 owners are experiencing this or if I should chalk it up to DDM bulb fitment (hotspots and beam pattern are great).







 

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amazing work as usual bud! cutoff and light output is amazing for what these MH1's are. can't wait for you to start my build and other than aesthetics, I'm really looking for lighting performance over the stock lights. good work my man.


Dan
 

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This is awesome, Evan! May I request some more info the next time around on the beam horizontal alignment and fixing the projector units to the bowls? I found this part the most time consuming and stressful when putting projectors in the WRX. Passenger side beam came slightly misaligned after tightening the nut on the back. I knew I should have fired them up one more time before sealing, SMH.
 

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Great post! Thanks for sharing your write up!

Question: I've always hated the orange side reflectors on my pre-LCI headlights. Currently, I have some 3M carbon fiber wrap covering them, and honestly, it doesn't look that bad. However, I'd like to paint them eventually. What type of paint would you recommend? I'll most likely mask off the area and paint the headlights without removing them.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is awesome, Evan! May I request some more info the next time around on the beam horizontal alignment and fixing the projector units to the bowls? I found this part the most time consuming and stressful when putting projectors in the WRX. Passenger side beam came slightly misaligned after tightening the nut on the back. I knew I should have fired them up one more time before sealing, SMH.
Projector aligning can be challenging if you don't have the car in your presence, especially if you are adding a projector to a halogen bowl (as opposed to replacing a projector), the only way to know for sure is to confirm and finalize rotation while the headlights are properly mounted on the car.

If you are replacing a projector then make sure to mark the cutoffs and align the replacement projector to the original markings. Unfortunately I don't have any universal tricks for mounting and aligning a projector in a halogen housing if you only have the headlights to work with. It is possible with some headlights but usually hard to replicate exactly how they would sit on the vehicle.


Great post! Thanks for sharing your write up!

Question: I've always hated the orange side reflectors on my pre-LCI headlights. Currently, I have some 3M carbon fiber wrap covering them, and honestly, it doesn't look that bad. However, I'd like to paint them eventually. What type of paint would you recommend? I'll most likely mask off the area and paint the headlights without removing them.

Thanks!
For what they are and how much it costs, those vinyl decals are pretty effective, I have seen the ones which are designed off the oem Euro reflectors and unless you within 25ft, it is hard to tell.

Of course opening the headlights and physically changing the reflector is ideal. I typically use a high temp paint on most of my headlight builds, Rustoleum High Temp was used on this build. You can paint the reflector with any paint you like, just make sure the reflector is prepped.

What I think would look the best and maintain 100% functionality is a clear reflector. On this build I would have frosted it to match the signal lens but I love the look of most clear reflectors. Since painting the reflector inevitably kills the reflective capabilities I purchased some reflective finish I was going to test out on the silver reflectors but the build dictated those were going to be black so I never got around to it.

Also, the reflector and signal lens are joined to the headlight lens, so once the lens is cut off you will pop them from there.

Evan
 

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:applause:

So sick. Headlight pron here. Keep it up! I'm liking that frost idea. Does that affect light output at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
:applause:

So sick. Headlight pron here. Keep it up! I'm liking that frost idea. Does that affect light output at all?
Thank you, I am a huge fan of frosting the clear plastics, gives it a unique look but also retains function. The frosting changes the optics a bit but that depends on what it is applied to. For example, on my tail lights with the LED running light tubes, after frosting them the tubes were more intense near the diode but weaker further away since the frosting scavengers/diffuses more light than the unmodified tubes which originally were a gloss finish with ribs to diffuse the light.

So on this particular reflector I would say functionally it is a wash, the turn signal light is maybe not projected as far as it otherwise would be but the light that is diffused from the frosting is still functional for grabbing the attention of surrounding traffic.

Evan
 
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