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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start off by saying Tommy's awesome. Read on...

I left Seattle earlier this week to spend some time with some family out of town for the holidays and gave my friend Tommy (TommyRidgeway on here) my car for the duration of my trip (so it didn't have to stay on the driveway for a little over a week). Tommy and I both knew that my headlight adjusters were all messed up -- he offered to pop them open and see if he could replace the adjusters. After he popped open the headlights, he called me up and said that it would be pretty easy to retrofit a different (and better) projector in there.

After seeing the light output in Tommy's car, an E36 332i with ZKW headlights and TSX projectors, as well as another E36 on Bimmerforums with FX-R projectors (FX-R retrofit into e36 Bosch ellipsoids: finished! - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum) I decided "Hell yes!" to giving it a try. Tommy found some FX-Rs for sale in Seattle, picked them up on Saturday, and started playing around with the headlights. The light output from these projectors should be far better than the stock projectors, and they will have bixenon functionality.

I'm still out of town for a few days, but here are some of the pictures Tommy has sent:

Dirty M5 parked in a garage instead of on the street for a change:


Stock projector. Note the nice gap.


Back view of FX-R in E39 frame thing:


View of the FX-R projector lens:


Again, thanks Tommy! I'll post more pictures as they become available. I'm really excited to fly back to Seattle in a few days and see the light output.
 

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This looks like it may be a project fore me!!!!
 

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the replica fx's are nice.. and they are so easy to install in our housings! you will be really happy with the light output with these... the only problem i had with the replicas was the hi beam pattern.

almost any projector on the market is going to be better than our hella projectors.
 

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I heard FX projectors almost bolt directly into the E39 housing! I may consider doing this to gain a little more output and a more defined cut off.
 

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Gotta love friends like that! I would definately like to see how it turns out.

Dan
 

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very interested also in this, keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I guess my drivers side projector mount was broken to the point where the projector was just kind of sitting in the headlight. The adjustment screws were broken causing the metal frame to rest on the plastic housing of the headlight. Vibrations of driving probably just wore out the nice brittle plastic. Tommy has some sort of plan to fix the mount to make it work.

I'm planning on using both the solenoid for the bixenon as well as the stock high beams. Quite a bit of my driving happens on empty roads at night, sometimes out in the middle of nowhere where my headlights are my only source of light. The extra light output should make night driving considerably safer than the stock projectors that were pretty much aimed at the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, more adventures today. Tommy and I realized that the pre-facelift adjuster repair kit available at the dealership would not work. On RealOEM, I found a headlight repair kit (63 12 6 908 410) with no details as to what was inside. I searched around online but wasn't able to find anything. Called up a couple dealers and they said that it was a set of screws -- probably for mounting the headlight. The closest mystery box is in Oregon, so we decided to go for custom adjusters that will not break.

I found a thread on here about making the adjusters out of scrap plastic and acorn nuts / screws (http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/87831-adventures-headlight-adjusters.html) -- Tommy said that it was doable and made this:



A couple hours later, I got a couple more pictures. The passenger side headlight was almost done -- just need to bake the front cover back on:



I think the cutoff picture is focused more on the stool in the foreground... but you get the idea. Nice and sharp.

 

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the "repair kit" for the facelift lights are not adjusters, they are the upper mounts for the headlights. the kit consists of a metal versions of the plastic mount/flange, and two screws.

if anyone is interested i have a couple sets of e60 bi-xenon projectors. the cutoff is about the same as the stock projector but has bi-xenon functionality and bolts right onto the e39 mounting studs without modification.
 

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Am I correct in my understanding that this swap won't work on 2003 models because the adhesive used to attach the lenses to the headlamp assembly won't come loose if you bake it?

I'd love to improve my light output, but not at the expense of buying whole new assemblies w/updated projectors.
 

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idk from what production date they started using this sealant but if you have the later type then no. there are two types, the first is basically butyl type adhesive which can easily be seperated. the other is an adhesive which is somewhat like urethane, this does not give and no matter how much you bake them they wont come apart. easy way to tell is take a pick and try and pull out a piece of it. if it gives and is soft it is then you can open them.
 

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I actually just had Lightwekz do this same exact swap for me and put the headlights back in the car this past weekend. Looks great!
 
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