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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This has been a year in the making...unfortunately.

Out of rebuilding what has to be 150+ individual headlights now, you;d think I'd do something special for myself. Well yes and no.

Being the OEM stickler that I am, I wanted OEM fitment and OEM quality. The goal of this job was to Add bi-xenon capability to the factory E39 Xenon headlights without sacrificing anything. Luckily that is available for us! Fortunately some audis (For sure LCI-A6/all-road) and porsches(?) utilized our projectors, the only difference being they use bi-xenon functions, otherwise they are 100% the same structurally.

I initially did this mod a year ago, but never finished the DIY. Reason being I hit a few roadblocks, namely the projector itself and now we have quarantine time.
Sometimes the internal wiring of these guys either give up the gun or a shutter might act up. Since this was my Prototype #0 set, (2003 unbakeables) and with MASSACRED housings, it was time to clean up house.

I had recently tried out EVOX-R 2.0's and while they were bright as gods grace, for some reason, the drive side beam was off rotation. No amount of drilling / modifying of the projector helped (Top tip: I'll be selling these soon, so deal spotters... drop me a PM for some cheap evos). With how bright they were the leftmost angle was too high up and I would assume that would tick off on-comers.
---See ucsbwsr's post about that here. I had the same issue as pictured: Retrofit Headlights

So in a fit of rage I threw on some random lights I had. But, then I went to fleabay, low and belold, What had to have been 2 re-plated RS6 Bi-Xenon projectors! I mean these bowls. Daum, you tell me that isn't sexy. 5 miles down the road too? Bought.

3 big things with out lights at this age; Projector bowl condition >>> Bulb Age >>> lens clarity.
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So that brings me to the mod. Most of these pics are from last year so ignore a few continuity errors. I'm going to take a few liberties as there are many DIY's out there.

First, get some lights:
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Cut em, bake em, disassemble em until you end up with just the projector.
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Remove the 4 bolts holding in the old projector and then you can now see how the non-bi-xenon looks against the bi-xenon.
The lower module ends up fitting fine inside our housings too! The only issue here is wiring. Here you can take 2 routes.
A) wire it out via the low beam hole or even a vent hole
B) Drill a hole on the housing and make a double connector system to appear more (OEM).
-Connectors can be a pain to find if you aren't "yard savy", but I chose B and used 2x 2 pol connectors and 2x 2 pol water proof plugs from E39 Washer nozzles. Via this, the projector is not locked into the housing and can be removed (unplugged internally and externally).

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Re-install and don't forget the red (sometimes green) rubber o rings on the studs!
To be more thoughouh with this step you would want to align the high beam hot spot with the xenon hot spot.
To me the halogen high beam was to become redundant so I tried to match original positions/firmness.
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Next is back to the housing. Ideally replace your adjusters, clean em up, etc. As for me in path (B) I drilled a hole under the vent hole and routed my connectors and did some splicing. This is the final result. This position allows for the bi-xenon wiring to loop around the back and not be pinched all that much and still allow mobility for beam adjustment.
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Ideally I would say every time you make an electrical connection, TEST IT! You won't want to be baking open the lights again to fix wiring. It's annoying.
All said and done, re-install the old (or new) lenses and bake / cure for a solid day or so.
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The more technical part. If you like things plain and simple, you can get some 9006 "Y" splitters to source power from the high beam, and splice the other end into the wiring harness you made to power your bi-xenon shutters.
With this your flash to pass will work, but the shutters will activate. Cool when you're no driving at night, possibly annoying when you are.
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
If that's where you want to end it, job done! Kicking lights now for a varying budget.
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But wait, there's more! With the use of the newer LCM4 (IV) we can make these bixenons work as intended thanks to later E46/E53's. But there are a few more tricks.

Converting to LCM4 will open new coding menus and abilities not seen in LCM3B (or some very late 4A equipped E39's). Namely being the option to code bi-xenon functionality.
This will retain your high beam (H7) flash to pass "Pull" while the Bi-xenon shutter can be activated by the "Push" forward of the signal stalk. Though we need some wiring adjustments and coding.

First and foremost, you need an LCM 4 from 2004 ONWARD. Easily attainable from LCI E53's and ebay in general.

Two things to keep note of. That is if your E39 was PRODUCED in 2003 (NOT Model year 2003), the actual year. As these E39s have a high likelihood of having an early LCM4 WITHOUT bi-xenon capability and the other hand being us LCM3B and below folk. There is probably some leeway in that statement but you can easily check your LCM version in the passenger foot well.

One thing to take note of... LWR. Abbreviated German for your Headlight Auto leveling module. In the vast majority of E39s (With Xenon) this is an independent module. However, in those 2003 produced cars with that oddball LCM4 the LWR is internal and this must be noted!

1- LCM3B and below Folk- You will need an LCM4 WITHOUT LWR and will have to do some wiring.
2- LCM4A (early edition) 2003- You have two options, one being getting another LCM4 WITH AUTO LWR and bixenon OR PCB board soldering, updating, and coding. (I have no experience with this avenue)

I personally got a 2004 LCM4 -253 from an E53 (Notice the "WITHOUT LWR") as I had an LCM3B originally.
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And this is what the other type of LCM4 WITH Auto LWR will look like
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For the vast majority doing option #1 here is what needs to be done. This is basically a knowledge dump I accumulated.

Coding can BRICK not only a module, but also your car. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you cannot proficiently code something, don't attempt it, have a bmw tuning shop do it. I wont be liable if you brick something! Take all this information as reference on my trial/error.

Firstly with a LCM from an E46/E53 the signals might act odd and maybe some DSC/4x4 errors on the dash. No worry, this is where the fun starts.
The reason this occurs is due to Vehicle order coding. To use an LCM 4 you need 3 things, Vin, Mileage, and Vehicle order (VO/FA) on it.

If one has access to NCSExpert // NCSDummy it can handle all this coding I'm about to explain below.
I for one am a noob with NCS expert and didn't want to brick anything so i used it sparingly.

There are some DIYs with that here: Dummies Guide to Basic coding with NCS Expert
INPA/NCSE/D link: One Click INPA install and upgrade to ISTA - E46Fanatics
Mikes tools will not have NCS with Manipulation, it will be needed later. A manipulation profile can be found here: Existing profiles not working in NCS Expert V4.0.1
I had to open the C: Drive folder > NCS Expert > Profiles > and insert there with the 2 other profiles in the folder.

Note, in E46's for some reason, you CAN use PASoft to copy the VO/FA from the Cluster (IKE) to the LCM, this is NOT the case in E39's for some reason. A handful of E46 DIYs show this being possible. But that's only for them :(

I was lucky enough to have access to Autologic to do my VO coding. I don't know the steps there so I'm no use. But it is possible, which is good. However prior to ANY coding via autologic I had to first write the VIN and Mileage, otherwise it will give an error. (Remember BMW tools hate used modules even if they are 20 years old because BMW).
Here is the DIY on how to do that step: How to code a used LCM with PASoft/BMW Scanner doityourself
And here:

Now, since the LCM has all 3 core pieces of info, Vin, Mileage, and Vehicle order (VO/FA) on it. It's time to get some Bi-xenon work on!
(NOTE, as far as I could tell Autologic will not have these options, so you need NCSExpert and PAsoft.)

Do note, all this can be done in NCS Expert, I just used PA soft for ease.
Open PA soft > Locate the LCM > Coding > Light Coding and this will open
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Lots of new options! The cold/hot/BC warnings are great if one has LED's installed anywhere. Now, don't go too crazy here.
II don't care for DRL's so the "Lighting options" sub options should be all deselected.
I have Xenons from factory with auto leveling, So I had All 3 sub options under "Headlight vertical aim control" selected.
--Under "Xenon options" I had both of the 2 sub options selected
--Under "Xenon/HVAC/AHL" I had "Xenon with automatic HVAC" (No, this is not your AC.)

There is also the menu for more Dash warnings Open PA soft > Locate the LCM > Coding > Check / Control Messages
Where one can select what message have to ability to be displayed in the cluster

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Coding is 1/2 way done. Now we need to focus on wiring at the LCM.

In the LCM3B (and below), the LWR (auto leveler) is located at pin 27 of the middle connector. However when upgrading to the LCM4, pin 27 now functions as the Bi-xenon shutter signal. If coding was already done up to this point "Pushing" the stalk forward, the autolevelers will power cycle. Odd.

This is why:
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Now would be a good time to run some wire from the LCM to the headlights. I routed a single wire from the LCM through the passenger firewall hole up to the ECU box.
From there I made a splice, one wire to run to the driver light, and the other to traverse the ECU loom to the other side of the bay then down to the bi-xenon plug.
I chose to undo the headlight harness loom and use the Angel eye as a ground/splice point.

The "new" bi-xenon power wire is then spliced into Pin 27.
To power the LWR, the wire must be spliced into an existing wire. I chose the angel eye. This would be pin (18 gray with green stripe) for the driver side angel eye as it is on the same block.
With this set up, the LWR will function as it did prior.

At this point the Bi-xenons functions as they should! However there is one problem. Chances are the high beam is coming on also!
This is where we need to get dirty with NCS Expert

This is a great visual coding DIY:
(Note, this is where that "Manipulation" profile comes in handy!) Using the "default" profile will not apply any changes made. It just rewrites stock settings.

With that guide above I had to pay attention to one line of code. PWM_FL_BIX = wert_01
This line must be changed to PWM_FL_BIX = wert_02

01 = High beam ON with Bi-xenon
02 = High beam OFF with Bi-xenon

And bam. Hours of work and coding for bi-xenons :)

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As for final light output, this is as new as an E39 can get. New bulbs from FCP also.

low beam:
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Bi-Xenon
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Low / High again
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I’m in the process of doing this so great timing! I knew most of this from my research but there are a few other things you mentioned that will be helpful. I’m a little concerned with running the wire from LCM to engine bay. I want to use pass side harness as you did. Any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you've never passed wires through that "U" shaped hole, it will be quite easy the first time.
If you fish the wire in the from cabin side you can actually see it feeding through the back/bottom of the ECU and with the aid of some pliers, guide it out.
 

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Did you use the same hole that the main wiring harness uses? It looked pretty tight so was thinking to use a skewer or similar to poke the wire through.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, you don't use that bundle. There is an independent slot slightly adjacent to the interior Module stock holder (Black rivet) that acts as a port hole into the engine box box.

It's hard to even photograph, but I'll see if I can snap one tomorrow.
 

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Just to add, I used "RS6" projectors for my headlights as well because I drive in Japan and needed RHD projectors. Excellent upgrade, especially with ZKW clear lenses, as the rs6's projectors stock are not perfectly clear.

Also, the rear rubber weather seal fits perfectly on these projectors!

Definitely a great upgrade!

Props on getting the LCM4 to work with bixenons! I heard of Light Rain Sensor issues with the LCM4, as they share the same pin or something. Was that an issue you ran into?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No issues with the RLS nor any codes to speak of.
 

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Excellent work. I know what you mean with the Evo's being off. Occasionally I'd get people flashing me at night as if I had my highbeams on. I spent forever trying to adjust them. But in order to get them without blinding oncomimg traffic, I had to set them so low to where they barely lit the road ahead in front of me. So I said screw it and went back to normal height. Yeah I risk blinding other drivers. But at the same time if I had a nickle for every person in new cars with retina melting lights blinding me...lol


Sent from Uranus with Love.
 

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Hey Daniel, nice job on the install. I had no idea that there was a bi-xenon projector that was basically identical to ours or I would have gone that route instead of the Hella G4s that I ended up using on mine, but I am happy with the light output I get.

One thing to add about the LCM IV compatibility that TerraPhantm discovered when we first did the bi-xenon R&D on those was that you can use a LCM IV with LWR on a car that has a separate LWR just fine. When you code it using NCS Expert to the ZCS of the car, it will just disable the built-in LWR and work the same way. It's simply that the LCM IV without LWR lack the components on the circuit board for that functionality. The reason for that is on LCI e53s with bi-xenon, they had the adaptive headlights and those had the "LWR" functionality in the headlights themselves.

On both of my 2003 e39s, the sedan came with a LCM IV with Auto LWR, while the wagon came with a LCM IIIB, but I was able to make the bi-xenon function work properly in both. For the sedan, I sent my LCM IV with auto LWR to TerraPhantm and he swapped the main CPU with one that he purchased online from an electronic component store (Mouser perhaps?). This effectively made a LCM IV with auto LWR and bi-xenon functionality. He needed a copy of the programming from an actual LCM IV from an e53 with the later software to copy onto the new chip, so I had bought one of those as well and ended up using that in my wagon, which had the separate LWR. Both work exactly as they should and only require running one wire from the LCM to the headlights.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the additional info!

Interesting to see the AUTO LCM works like that.

A electrical thought occurred to me as to whether it's even possible to create a new pinout in an unoccupied slot for LWR power relocation. But setting parameters in hex would probably suck XD and waaay beyond me.
 

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Hey Daniel, nice job on the install. I had no idea that there was a bi-xenon projector that was basically identical to ours or I would have gone that route instead of the Hella G4s that I ended up using on mine, but I am happy with the light output I get.

One thing to add about the LCM IV compatibility that TerraPhantm discovered when we first did the bi-xenon R&D on those was that you can use a LCM IV with LWR on a car that has a separate LWR just fine. When you code it using NCS Expert to the ZCS of the car, it will just disable the built-in LWR and work the same way. It's simply that the LCM IV without LWR lack the components on the circuit board for that functionality. The reason for that is on LCI e53s with bi-xenon, they had the adaptive headlights and those had the "LWR" functionality in the headlights themselves.

On both of my 2003 e39s, the sedan came with a LCM IV with Auto LWR, while the wagon came with a LCM IIIB, but I was able to make the bi-xenon function work properly in both. For the sedan, I sent my LCM IV with auto LWR to TerraPhantm and he swapped the main CPU with one that he purchased online from an electronic component store (Mouser perhaps?). This effectively made a LCM IV with auto LWR and bi-xenon functionality. He needed a copy of the programming from an actual LCM IV from an e53 with the later software to copy onto the new chip, so I had bought one of those as well and ended up using that in my wagon, which had the separate LWR. Both work exactly as they should and only require running one wire from the LCM to the headlights.
This was the microcontroller I bought FWIW


It's a direct swap, and can be programmed in circuit. Though unfortunately I lost my picture that showed the actual programming points. I could probably figure it out again if I had another LCM IV to probe around.

So a couple things to note: Even the earliest LCM IVs do support bixenons, but not in the way US cars functioned. Instead it would function like Euro cars, where both the bixenons and halogen highs work together. I personally like that functionality (and that's how my E46 is coded), so I personally would be okay with even what an early LCM IV can do. But if you want the separate bixenons and halogens, then you need a newer module.

What I do know for sure as far as hardware / SW versions:

LCM.C20 (earliest LCM IV version) - found on MY2003 E39s, came with the MC9S12DG256 CPU. Not compatible with US-style bixenon functionality
LCM.C21 and LCM.C22 -- Found probably on late 2003 X5s, but pre-facelift. Unknown CPU, not capable of US-style bixenon functionality. If they came with the MC9S12D64 CPU, they'll be flashable without having to replace any chips
LCM.C23 (second to last LCM IV) - found on 2004-2005 X5s, US bixenon capable
LCM.C24 newest revision -- found on 2006 X5s, and also what BMW will supply if you buy one new. Also US bixenon capable.

Replacing the CPU isn't too bad if you have some surface mount soldering experience. Use hot air to remove the old CPU, clean up all the solder pads, and solder on the new CPU (making sure you have the pins lined up appropriately). Biggest risk is that it's somewhat easy to lift a pad.

After it's installed, you can program it with a BDM programmer. Instructions similar to my E46 DIY here would apply: DIY: Flash your LCM with Newer Software (For triple blink and more) - NA M3 Forums
 

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Great info, what makes the RS6 which I presume is an older design better than the G4 and I think I've read the Hella E55 is a drop in option, if so do you know what makes the difference between the different versions? I'm in the UK so need a RHD version.
 

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Great info, what makes the RS6 which I presume is an older design better than the G4 and I think I've read the Hella E55 is a drop in option, if so do you know what makes the difference between the different versions? I'm in the UK so need a RHD version.
The "E55's" are an older design with a matte reflective bowl. The "RS6" has a chrome reflective plating, which should give you more output with the same bulb. Never measured the lux, so I can't say for sure. I'm not sure if the RS6's are better than the G4's. If I'm not mistaken, aren't the G4's Chinese improved replicas of the original Hella design? I think the true successor to the Hella Bi-xenon's can be found in some F10 5 series. (Not the F10 types with the adaptive projectors that have the roller type shutter)

Edit: Also, the E55 have a clip based bulb holder and the design is different in the rear so it will not work with the e39 rubber grommet like the rs6’s does.
 

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This is sick! I wish I had thought about going this route when I made my headlights. I used 2 bi-xenon projectors from the E82 and added Morimoto ZKW lenses and custom (and i mean, very custom... too custom) mounted them all up to the factory lowbeam shroud. Because the summer clock was ticking and I wanted to get my car back on the road (and be able to drive to work) I never actually implemented anything in the stock high-beam slot. It's just a halo holder for me. Light output is plenty though (probably mostly due to my hours of custom aligning the bulb/reflector bowl/lens alignment and the usage of the superclear ZKW lenses)
 
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