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Discussion Starter #1
HI there all, new to any bmw forum although i have owned bmw's for 6 years, I have recently bought a 1996 528ise steptronic and no matter what i do the headlights are useless, cleaning the projectors, hid 6000k kit and polishing up the lens and no real improvement, i am baffled as previously i had a e34 520ise touring 1992 and when all of the above had been done they were amazing and able to reach further than cars headlights in front of me. what can be done to improve my pre angel eye headlights or is just that they are rubbish, if so is a silly idea to try to fit the e34 dipped units or has anybody fitted aftermarket projectors and what were the results?
 

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Possibly a silly suggestion but in case you've overlooked, there are levers for switching the headlight aim for driving abroad. Have you checked these are flicked to the correct side?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes i have looked at these and they are in the correct position, one thing i have just heard about is the spacing/length of a hid bulb is much longer (i think we have all seen that) and that means that the bright spot may be out of position to what a halogen bulb's position would be, so i will try to draw the bulb back slowly in the holder and see if i get a better output, this may be the answer i am looking for as i have measured the halogen bulb against the hid and the "filament" of the hid is about 4 mm further forward than the old halogen therefore not using the reflector bowl properly.
 

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Yes i have looked at these and they are in the correct position, one thing i have just heard about is the spacing/length of a hid bulb is much longer (i think we have all seen that) and that means that the bright spot may be out of position to what a halogen bulb's position would be, so i will try to draw the bulb back slowly in the holder and see if i get a better output, this may be the answer i am looking for as i have measured the halogen bulb against the hid and the "filament" of the hid is about 4 mm further forward than the old halogen therefore not using the reflector bowl properly.
Hmmm, that makes sense, I always felt dip's on E39's (any non HID's) were crap. - Time to investigate :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have had a play at drawing the working hid bulb out of the socket and it makes a large difference to the intensity of the light output, this may be a problem that only i have in this instance as the hid kit was taken out of my e34 and retrofitted to the e39 and they are completely different fittings, i made it fit with a little ingenuity using the 9005 bulb holders base, a grinding wheel and plenty of super glue. i have already ordered some correct fitment bulbs and they should be 4300k temp as well:thumbsup. also i would like to hear if anybody else has any idea why we have the glass lens in front of the projectors when all later bmw's have deleted them, do you get petter clarity without them and would you fit a shroud around the projector lens making them look alot like the facelifted e39?
 

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I had the same thing with my 1996 E39 540i. In NZ the HID kits are illegal, so what I did was dismantle the headlight unit, cleaned the reflectors and both sides of the glass lens, polished the polycarb covers with wet and dry sandpaper and then plastic polish.
I then fitted some of those "50% brighter" halogen bulbs - in fact I got them sent over here from the UK. http://www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/

Dip was still poor, but better.

I now have a 2002 E39 530i Touring with factory HID and they are great !!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have now fitted some 4300k hid's and they are much better, it has occurred to me that many hid kits are H7 bulbs that require an adaptor to fit them into our 9005/6 lights, this may also give the bulb a spacing issue so check and measure your halogen and hid "filament" positions to each other if you are not that impressed with light output. The bulbs i bought were of ebay and were about £11.00 from china and took about 3 weeks to arrive, i was a little dubious if they would actually look like 4300k colour temp but they really are and look as good as i had hoped, they are NOT blue at all.
 
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