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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

Even though I told myself I would not cut open my headlights on my 2008 535xi wagon, I could only stand the terrible oem Angel eyes and chrome for so long. In this DIY I will guide you through what I did for a quad projector setup. This is for oem LCI Bi-xenon headlights, feel free to use this as a base for your own endeavors and use at your own risk.

After I had some Mini H1 projectors in my possession (purchased for a retrofit I am doing on her car), I took some calculations along with a leap of faith and decided to try fitting a projector in place of the cornering light and angel eye assembly.

My previous E39 M5 had Orion V2 AEs, FX-R projectors, Philips 85122 bulbs and 55w DDM ballasts, I loved it and I wanted that sort of lighting performance back. This winter I retrofitted my headlights to run off D2S bulbs for greater bulb and ballast choices, the oem units were replaced with 55w ballasts and light output increased but the intensity, clarity, and beam pattern were all lacking. Time for a REAL improvement!

I sourced the parts from The Retrofit Source Inc and have nothing but great things to say with the company. They have a live chat box during business hours (and they are actually online to chat), the have great deals in the clearance section for those of you who are suckers for deals, and a well sorted website with fair prices. For this project I ordered:

- Mini H1 6.0 Projectors "B-Stock"
- Morimoto 35w DSP ballasts
- 9006 Female Pigtail Connector
- 9006 HD Relay
- JB Kwik Weld
- OCI Butyl Rubber Glue

(You will need to supply an H1 bulb of your choice)

While I had my headlights opened I also chose to swap the oem projector lens for an STI-R unit, painted my housing, and installed Orion V2s which I modified for a U shape. For the sake of clarity I will keep this thread focused on adding the projector.

This mod will delete your oem angel eye function since you are using the angel eye housing to mount your projector, this is fine since the oem angel eyes suck and since you already cut your headlights open: install some legit LED angel eyes.


I hope you guys enjoy,
Evan



Remove all bulbs, trim, and extra headlight parts, grab a drink to calm your nerves, then cut your housing open using a Dremel. I followed Umnitza Orion Install Guide. It recommended a soldering knife to open the housing, I tried that with minimal success, perhaps it was my old Weller I got at a garage sale but in my case the Dremel was superior. Examine the housing before cutting, plan your cutting trail and this about the cutting angle and anticipate how it will be sealed at the end of the project. The smoother and more uniform your cut(s) are: the better the seal will be.


My workspace. I don't have pics of this but you will separate the cover from housing (once cut) ad the the shrouds and black trim from the main housing, this part is fairly straight forward, there are some T20 bolts which need to be removed. Once the shroud/trim is removed, remove the oem


Mini H1 (MH1) Projectors: These were "B-Stock" meaning they were blemished, I had a hard time pin-pointing the flaws, I think it was either a spec or two in the lens or some rough texture inside the reflective bowl. Either way, minimal.


This is what your car will look like with it's face ripped off


I forgot the exact type of washer used but it was this big. It could be slightly larger or smaller in diameter by a few millimeters but not by much. Ideally your washer will be slightly thinner, this will allow for your lock-ring to be further threaded. Mine is secure and 100% stable but I could have used more depth on the threads while adjusting the MH1s but I managed and overcame the minimal challenge, you can too!


MH1 with supplied mounting disc.


+ rear bowl for oem angel eyes.


+ washer and lock ring (lock ring is finger tight for test fitting and beam pattern alignment.


How it sits in the housing, notice there is not a ton of room around the MH1, for this reason I chose to run only 35w ballasts, it is likely the lack of space would create higher running temps and blistering the chrome is nothing I want to change.


Projector mounted in the shrouds/trim. You will need to tap the MH1 high/low solenoid into the oem wires, simple wire taps work. Mount your bulbs holder and prepare the housing the be mounted on your vehicle for aiming, since theoem projector is likely unaltered, you can just match it to that, or aim it where you prefer, just not HIGH as it will blind oncoming traffic.


I cut a whole in the cover and utilized the harness from my HID bulbs. CLEAN! Use the Pigtail connector and some appropriately sized wire taps and tap into the power/ground wires going into the headlight connector. I believe is was yellow+green stripe is RED and brown is BLACK, double check before. Connect the pigtail into the 9006 wiring relay and the replay to your ballasts, don't forget about the relay grounds.


Once you have your lights aimed and everything is looking good, it is time to complete any other modifications you chose, your headlights are cut open! Why not? Als, put a small amount of the Kwik Weld on the MH1 before mounting the small oem shroud. It is pretty cool how the cornering light housing and shrouds all all utilized, OEM+!! Next make sure all the schrapnel from the initial Dremel work is cleaned up: pry it with a flat-head screwdriver, trim it with a box cutter, sand down the rough edges (I did all 3).

Now, apply the butyl glue around the edge. Again, be mindful of how the housing joins the cover and strategically place the butyl. bake healight at 270 for 7 minutes, remove and have an array of clamps or mechanisms for applying firm and consistent pressure as the butyl cools.


Another shot of the butyl, I used a healthy amount.


Headlights off


headlights on


Installed and catching some reflective light.


oem projector. I modded it with an STI-R lens so your results may not be as blue at the cut-off as mine


MH1


Both


Both again


Look at that cut-off intensity! Although my STI-R lens swap yielded some results with lacking beam pattern, light output is certainly improved over oem, and as a bonus I got a "showtime" cutoff. This blue prism effect is what many people lust after, whether is a Civic driving teenager who is running an 8000k HID kit thinking it is the same thing or automotive-lighting aficionado, they want the blue!
 

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Awesome DIY! I don't think I would have the patience to do this myself. I sent my E46 lights to Caesar at Lightwerkz a few years back since I had the ZKW with the plastic projector bowls that were burnt and he did the TFX retrofit for me. The new light output with the clear lens is AMAZING. I have the prism effect cut off light like shown in your pics and driving down the road the beam breaks up inside the projector going over bumps so you get that color flicker it looks wicked looking at the car coming towards you. Clear lens swaps are a must when modding any projector headlight.

Did The Retrofit Source discuss any spacers with the STI-R lens? From what I was aware certain lens you have to run spacers to achieve the best clarity and beam output.

Do you plan on writing up a DIY regarding the other things you did to the headlight like painting your shrouds and internal housing along with the LED turn signals?


My M5 has the clear lens swap but the effect isn't as great as my E46.
 

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super awesome writeup! I like lots of pics. On a side note, isn't it illegal to have projector's for your high beams?
 

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Great job my man! Awesome DIY and I want see this in person now. How many days did this take you? I know it's havoc trying to cut open the lens' and working on them. Let me know when you're free. I want to see this.

Dan
 

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super awesome writeup! I like lots of pics. On a side note, isn't it illegal to have projector's for your high beams?
no
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice. Is it possible to just swap over the STI-R lens into the OEM housing?
Of course. I have heard of people using ZKW-R lenses but I believe that was in preLCI housings or maybe when there were no other replica lens options on the market. I was told by The Retrofit Source that their D2S 3.0 lenses are the best for our application (by there in house BMW expert) unfortunately there was a 2+ week wait for new stock AND they typically don't sell those lenses by themselves although I was told an exception could be made. I saw a retrofit where STI-R lenses were used on F10 bi-x projectors with 10mm spacing. The results were incredible.

I closely examined the photos of his projectors and mine (E61 vs F10) and I although the part# was different, they looked identical so I took the chance. With 10mm spacing the results were subpar, I removed the lens are played around 8.5m spacing was ideal and with the washers I was using for spacing the lens sits at ~8.7mm. Beam pattern isn't great but I am happy with the overall outcome. I am curious to see what the D2S lenses can offer and how/if they need to be spaced.



Do you plan on writing up a DIY regarding the other things you did to the headlight like painting your shrouds and internal housing along with the LED turn signals?
Yes, I will start another thread about the headlights modifications in general. Or maybe I won't! Perhaps I will keep it a secret and start charging people tons of money for me to customize their headlights!! :happybirt:happybirt Keep your eyes out for another thread in the coming days.



super awesome writeup! I like lots of pics. On a side note, isn't it illegal to have projector's for your high beams?
Thanks for the compliment. Not sure what you are referring to about the high beams. My headlights perform all the same functions as oem units (each projector is a low and high beam), just with x2 the brightness + awesome custom-mod brownie points. I don't see any way why these would be illegal.



Great job my man! Awesome DIY and I want see this in person now. How many days did this take you? I know it's havoc trying to cut open the lens' and working on them. Let me know when you're free. I want to see this.

Dan
Hey Dan! How goes it? I am in the middle of retrofitting my second headlight everything should be completed tomorrow or Wednesday, my schedule is fairly open. Any plans to make C&C this Sat?

Evan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On a quasi side note: Since my wagon began life as a normal 5 series with a non-M bumper, it had fog lights. The fogs were coded out when I installed my M5 bumper but for the life of me I can't fine the wires/connectors that ran to the fogs. The light bump went off and I had the idea of wiring the MH1s into the fog lights so I could OEM, MH1, or BOTH on my command. I can't find the stupid wires to tap into though, I am afraid that there might have been a wiring harness left attached to the oem bumper when I sold it. Anywa, just rambling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I received my replacement relay from TRS (first one had a problem in the wiring that ran to the passenger side) so my setup is fully functional. I will replace my DDM and Morimoto 5five bulbs with some xb35 bulbs in the near future but in it's current state I am very happy with the results.

Here are some additional photos along with a legitimate beam shot showcasing the light output.
Evan





 

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Siick!! Looks good man. Sorry for the late reply but I couldn't make C&C last Saturday. Are you coming out to PT's open house this Sunday?

Can you do my lights now? I have pre-lci and would love some custom work done. Only things is I DD my car and my car can't be down for more than a day. Not sure how this will work LOL.

Dan
 

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Siick!! Looks good man. Sorry for the late reply but I couldn't make C&C last Saturday. Are you coming out to PT's open house this Sunday?

Can you do my lights now? I have pre-lci and would love some custom work done. Only things is I DD my car and my car can't be down for more than a day. Not sure how this will work LOL.

Dan

I was unaware of their open house, thanks for the heads up, I will look into it. Regarding doing work on your lights, it is probably best we meet up to talk details and see if that is a viable option for both us. I am certainly all for modding cars!!! ha

If I can make the open house I will send you a message to confirm and if not we can setup another time to view the lights and chat.

Evan
 

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I was unaware of their open house, thanks for the heads up, I will look into it. Regarding doing work on your lights, it is probably best we meet up to talk details and see if that is a viable option for both us. I am certainly all for modding cars!!! ha

If I can make the open house I will send you a message to confirm and if not we can setup another time to view the lights and chat.

Evan
Sounds good! Let me know either way and i'd love to see your lights! Thanks bro!

Dan
 

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Sounds good! Let me know either way and i'd love to see your lights! Thanks bro!

Dan
Dan, because I'm such a good friend, if Evan needs your car for multiple days, you can borrow my car while I'm off for two weeks in Asia on business travel. :D
 

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Dan, because I'm such a good friend, if Evan needs your car for multiple days, you can borrow my car while I'm off for two weeks in Asia on business travel. :D
Randy, I might take you up on your offer and I promise i'll keep revs under 8k lol. Evan can you PM me your # again? I got a new phone and lost a bunch of stuff.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Things sure are progressing quickly!
 

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Evan,

If you can swing by PT's event. I would love to see your headlight set up as well and see your car in person. We should have done a Forgestar photoshoot before I sold my wheels. :crying2:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to make it this weekend. My girlfriend has no scheduled classes Monday or Tuesday so we are taking the opportunity to head up to Tahoe. When you are dating a law student you need to jump on opportunities like this.

Evan
 

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Here are a couple additional beam shots. Tahoe is great since you don't have to battle city lights when photographing.

Evan




 
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