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Discussion Starter #1
what kind of headlights

I'm a noob so please bare with me. I just bought a 2000 m5 and I was wondering what kind of headlights do I have. I need to know if there Xenon or Halogens? How can I tell? I want to buy angel eyes and don't what kind to buy.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

As far as I know and have read, all e39 M5's came with Xenon as standard. ;)


A simple solution is to watch as you switch the headlights on, they will take a few seconds to gain full brightness as well as being much whiter than standard bulb headlights.

Hope this helps. :M5thumbs:

C.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

cableguy said:
A simple solution is to watch as you switch the headlights on, they will take a few seconds to gain full brightness as well as being much whiter than standard bulb headlights. Hope this helps. :M5thumbs:
C.
An even more simple solution is to open your hood and look. If you have Xenon lights you will notice the back of the light housing is different from halogen lights and the cables that power the bulbs are different, to include a warning label about the voltage they carry.
Yes, all M5 came standard with Xenon but to confuse us in Europe, BMW used the same lenses for both halogen and Xenon on some cars so anyone looking at them from the front could not differentiate the real source of illumination when the lights are off.
Ken
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

Welcome JAFO, I just purchased a 2000M5 and the 1st mod was to do an angel eye swap with the 6000k bulbs so I can help you with that process. I posted pics of the new lights under the heading "what do ya'll think?" I bought the kit from matt at Unmitza. The instructions suck to say the least but I got alot of help from board member Tin and directly from matt(unmitza) on the cell. I just did this 2-3 weeks ago so if you hurry I can help. My cell is 843-200-4282 and office is 843-851-0104. Jonny
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

sampsue said:
Welcome JAFO, I just purchased a 2000M5 and the 1st mod was to do an angel eye swap with the 6000k bulbs so I can help you with that process. I posted pics of the new lights under the heading "what do ya'll think?" I bought the kit from matt at Unmitza. The instructions suck to say the least but I got alot of help from board member Tin and directly from matt(unmitza) on the cell. I just did this 2-3 weeks ago so if you hurry I can help. My cell is 843-200-4282 and office is 843-851-0104. Jonny

THANKS JONNY...I'LL WILL TRY TO CALL YOU THIS WEEKEND. HOW MUCH AND WHERE DID YOU BUY THE LIGHTS FROM.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

I bought my euro angel eyes from ebay seller germanoemparts or oemgermanparts (can't remember exactly). I think I paid $700 or so plus shipping from Germany. Euros have clear corners as opposed to amber. Good luck.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

boplaw said:
I bought my euro angel eyes from ebay seller germanoemparts or oemgermanparts (can't remember exactly). I think I paid $700 or so plus shipping from Germany. Euros have clear corners as opposed to amber. Good luck.
Just curious, as one who has similarly upgraded, how long for your install (including phone time, etc).

Cheers,
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

wilsodh said:
Just curious, as one who has similarly upgraded, how long for your install (including phone time, etc).

Cheers,
A couple of hours give or take. I had to hang a sheet in my garage to mark the proper adjustment position of the old lights. Very easy install. Good luck.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

go to ebay to review latest E39 headlight offerings from various suppliers.

Many folks seem excited about the $99 flourescent halos that you can retrofit to standard BMW Xenon and standard Halogen assemblies. This is because the BMW angel halos tend to yellow and weaken with age. You will see these retrofit fluorescents are very bright and noticeable....although this brighter halo does not look OEM.

Another optional technology is the "projector" angel Xenons being offered in the aftermarket. BMW's OEM manufacturer (Hella) released these upgraded assemblies after the E39 became yesterday's news. As you might imagine, projectors are lenses that look more like the latest Acura or Mercedes. With the angel eye feature, I think they really freshen up the E39 look. They are about same price as OEM
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

are these options all "plug and play"?


will they keep the self leveling feature?
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

3rd One said:
are these options all "plug and play"?


will they keep the self leveling feature?
Self-leveling is retained for these two options:

1) The add-on $99 Halos are essentially four flourescent lighting rings that simply sit behind your existing clear lens, in the black cylinders. They will, in fact, block a bit of the light being cast from the headlights. You must perform "minor surgery" to remove the clear lens covers & mount these halos. I'm completely guessing here, but this process likely involves cutting plastic welds with dremel tool or equivalent, removing lens, installing rings, drilling and tapping to 12v power and gluing reassembly. During this process, some install clear Euro "corner signals" in place of the orange/yellow USA lens. This is a cheap option for folks who have significant hobby skills and patience. The leveling feature is retained.

**Additional steps can address other "issues" such as replacing ugly sandblasted, dull lenses. Fresh lenses with clear corners can be bought new for $110 (Chinese copy) or $240 (Hella). These must be disassembled and used for lens and covers only, since the other guts are not 100% compatible with OEM pre-angel xenon hardware.

This is not a recommended solution for folks who want effortless plug-and-play. You have to pay top dollar for that.

2) The latest Hella Xenon projector halo headlights for E39 are probably 100% compatible including self-leveling. I believe them to be OEM quality and compatible in all respects. They probably even have all the angel eye retrofit stuff integrated into the kit. Hella was the original mfr for BMW & they manufacture the original halos too. Hella's angel eye OEM and angel eye projector kits for E39 Xenon applications are about the same price...starting around $700.
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

Lscman said:
This is not a recommended solution for folks who want effortless plug-and-play. You have to pay top dollar for that.

....They probably even have all the angel eye retrofit stuff integrated into the kit.
Just a note of caution... I had to go to two BMW dealers in Chicago and really push the issue before I could finally get someone to agree to upgrade my standard xenons to the angel eye Hellas. You'd think this would be a simple 'plug 'n play' since this is the OEM kit that went into '01-03 M5, right? Surprisingly both service departments indicated they do NOT have a BMW procedure for this upgrade. Getting the halos to work properly involves re-programming the car and doing some wire harness re-work. Evidently the dealer can lose money on the job, so they don't like to do it. If not done properly, the life expectancy may be compromised (if they work at all). I don't know the specifics of what makes this upgrade complicated, but I didn't want to take a chance on a potentially frustrating experience trying to do it myself with an e-bay kit. I ended up paying $1500 for the upgrade. Pricey for headlights, but I'm very happy with the results.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

I still find it surprising when dealers will do any aftermarket stuff. If you go to www.bmwtips.com you can see the parts needed to make the retrofit harness for the halos.
Mike

wilsodh said:
Just a note of caution... I had to go to two BMW dealers in Chicago and really push the issue before I could finally get someone to agree to upgrade my standard xenons to the angel eye Hellas. You'd think this would be a simple 'plug 'n play' since this is the OEM kit that went into '01-03 M5, right? Surprisingly both service departments indicated they do NOT have a BMW procedure for this upgrade. Getting the halos to work properly involves re-programming the car and doing some wire harness re-work. Evidently the dealer can lose money on the job, so they don't like to do it. If not done properly, the life expectancy may be compromised (if they work at all). I don't know the specifics of what makes this upgrade complicated, but I didn't want to take a chance on a potentially frustrating experience trying to do it myself with an e-bay kit. I ended up paying $1500 for the upgrade. Pricey for headlights, but I'm very happy with the results.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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Re: what kind of headlights

The halo eyes are normally lit during the day with headlights off. This obviously requires a 12vdc source and wiring that is not found on cars that did not come with angel eyes. To do it according to the BMW book would likely involve programming and special cables. There are workarounds & BMWtips is a good info source.

It is safe to say that installing these upgrades is not particularly difficult compared to installing an aftermarket stereo or something. If you expect a BMW dealer service shop to tackle it, you may run into resistance.
 
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