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Discussion Starter #1
Ok here is my delema, when I purchased my car it came with some hellla celis clear tails as part of the package deal with the car but they were not installed. These tail lights were in **** condition and have scratches and cracks. So I went out and bought a set of brand new 2001 e39 (led celis tails). When I compared the two.. they have many differences!
1.)The real 01 tails have these little 4 LED's on the side in the middle by the celis strips.
2.) On the reverse side of the tail lights the Real Oem 01 tails have only two bulbs on the bottom and the 3rd is blocked off with plastic, as apposed to the hella retrofit tails which have 3 bulbs on the lower section of the tail.
3.) On the face of the headlights on the outer corners the retrofit tails have a chrome reflector behind the plastic area where the 01 tails have a red reflector.

I have attached pictures for you guys to better understand.

Now my main concern is that I would love to install the original oem 01+ tails on my car and not have to install the hella retrofit tails and ballasts in my trunk. How would I go about doing so? I heard that I Would need to order a light control module and go to the dealer to get my car programed for led tail retrofit?
Guys I really dont feel like having to get rid of these beautiful oem tails and have to resort to using the hella retrofit kit.

 

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I have done this. Sand down the "lip" on the OE tail that runs the around entire rear face. You can see it when you remove the spongy seal. This HAS to be done so the light with sit flush with the body when installed. Also crucial is cutting the stamped connection at the bottom right of each light and soldering in a ground and a power connetion wire, as you will see has been done on the conversion kit light, just copy it. This further enables a flush fitting light. Then, follow the steps from hella to retrofit the mounting holes in the body with the tails removed. Keep checking your fit and remove a bit of that plastic lip to get a snug even installation. Mine eventually fit pretty well, but they leaked water into the spare wheel space despite the HUGE foam seal behind them. Looks great, but probably FAR easier to get the conversion kit from hella and sell what you have on EBay.

PM me if you have Qs or need further help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
ok upon further inspection, I do notice the lip on the 01 tails is much larger.. also there is the presence of a 3rd bulb on the retrofit tails and the 01 tails do not have it instead it is blocked off by a piece of plastic. do i unblock that plastic and install a bulb there instead? also aside fromt he fitment issues... would I still require to purchase the hella retrofit ballasts?
 

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XnitromethX said:
ok upon further inspection, I do notice the lip on the 01 tails is much larger.. also there is the presence of a 3rd bulb on the retrofit tails and the 01 tails do not have it instead it is blocked off by a piece of plastic. do i unblock that plastic and install a bulb there instead? also aside fromt he fitment issues... would I still require to purchase the hella retrofit ballasts?
THAT LIP HAS TO GO.
I think I moved that bulb over and it fitted right in.
unless you have no xenons now you don't need ballasts.
I know of a good write up on this from roadfly.com......do a search for this subject and Randy Millar's DIY should turn up.
 
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