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View Full Version : Has anyone swapped out their projectors?


Duck360198
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 04:23:21 AM
I was wondering if anyone has done a retrofit or something with new projectors for the E46? These bosch projectors really ****. I've been driving around with Valeo's in my Pontiac and there is absolutely no comparison. My Valeo's are as white as can be with an AMAZING blue cutoff. Great range and width with the Valeos. These god damn Bosch's are VERY yellow in comparison with a YELLOW cutoff. It's ugly. I would consider these "xenons" the "perfect halogen."

I would like to get my hands on some headlamps in ANY condition to experiment with them in swapping out projectors. If people know where I could get those that would be awesome. bulbls, ballasts, etc. are not necessary. I can get those for cheap. I just want the housing and projector trim.

Just curious!

sy0296
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 06:55:29 AM
:nixweiss: no complaints here...

daihard
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 09:44:41 AM
I am pretty happy with the factory HID lights, too. :D

One thing to keep in mind is that installing any aftermarket xenon unit in a car is most likely illegal in the U.S. There was a big fuss about it when the law took effect back in August 2003. Unless the new law has been repealed since, I believe it's safest to stick with the OEM.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though. ;)

qqbennyqq
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 09:59:33 AM
just change the HID bulbs, I have them instock if you are interested

splitrock
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 03:40:17 PM
Are the Valeos the ones Nissan Uses? If so, then I have to agree, thy have excellent illumination characteristics. I don't think they're bi-xenon though. I think it would be a tough retrofit. Heres a website that supports aftermarket HIDs. Lots of information here

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/

Too bad the feds put a clamp down on it.

Duck360198
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 04:43:50 PM
Are the Valeos the ones Nissan Uses? If so, then I have to agree, thy have excellent illumination characteristics. I don't think they're bi-xenon though. I think it would be a tough retrofit. Heres a website that supports aftermarket HIDs. Lots of information here

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/

Too bad the feds put a clamp down on it.

Valeos are actually in the Audi's and the Porsche Cayenne as far as I know. The Nissans have Hella, and they are bi-xenon. Same as the 7-series as well. Surely you've noticed the color on the 7 series. Their cutoff is just as blue as the Nissan's. A lot of the color has to do with the design of the headlamp housing itself.

I have been around a LOT of HID so I can pick out what is bad and what is awesome. I'm just picky when it comes to lighting. As soon as I left halogen I was hooked.

This isn't a bulb issue either. I know that hte projectors have 4300K bulbs in them. I'm just not sure what the brand is. Where you see the line on a wall, that should be BLUE, not yellow. Clearly a projector issue.

I'll see what I can do! :thumbsup:

Duck360198
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 04:46:51 PM
I am pretty happy with the factory HID lights, too. :D

One thing to keep in mind is that installing any aftermarket xenon unit in a car is most likely illegal in the U.S. There was a big fuss about it when the law took effect back in August 2003. Unless the new law has been repealed since, I believe it's safest to stick with the OEM.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, though. ;)

I'm not putting a kit in, I'm simply swapping out the projectors. Kits ARE illegal. Projectors aren't illegal. It's taking one OEM projector and replacing it with another OEM projector. They're still DOT approved, it's just that one company (i.e. Valeo) performs a LOT better than another company (Bosch). The feds put the "clamp" on kits and aftermarket HID. PRojectors are much better, safer, and OEM!

TXwoody123
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 04:51:39 PM
Check out the new HID bulbs at bimmian.com
There are some good comparison pics.

splitrock
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 06:24:38 PM
Valeos are actually in the Audi's and the Porsche Cayenne as far as I know. The Nissans have Hella, and they are bi-xenon. Same as the 7-series as well. Surely you've noticed the color on the 7 series. Their cutoff is just as blue as the Nissan's. A lot of the color has to do with the design of the headlamp housing itself.

I don't see too many 7 series around these parts, so I haven't had a really good look at them. But, I can always tell when a Nissan is coming up behind me just from the blue and purple shifting spectrum in my rearviews. The color shift is most pronounced when they are far away. By the time they get right behind me, they are pure white. E46 HIDS do not seem to do this. Audis are also kind of rare around here, so I see lots of e46 and Nissan HIDs, but not much else, maybe an occasional 5 series.

I have been around a LOT of HID so I can pick out what is bad and what is awesome. I'm just picky when it comes to lighting. As soon as I left halogen I was hooked.

I agree, its hard to go back to halogen after having HIDs, but there just aren't that many OEM HID choices out there yet. And the way things are going over at the NHTSA, there may never be.

daihard
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 07:07:48 PM
I'm not putting a kit in, I'm simply swapping out the projectors. Kits ARE illegal. Projectors aren't illegal. It's taking one OEM projector and replacing it with another OEM projector. They're still DOT approved, it's just that one company (i.e. Valeo) performs a LOT better than another company (Bosch). The feds put the "clamp" on kits and aftermarket HID. PRojectors are much better, safer, and OEM!
Thanks for the clarification. Sounds good to me now. :thumbsup:

sy0296
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 07:44:04 PM
actully any type of modification will be illegal. changing bulbs, projectors, OEM, whatever. If it wasn't on the car when the car if left the dealership, then it's illegal. that being said, i've never heard of anyone getting in trouble because of a light modification.

keep us updated! :thumbsup:

Sirius
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 07:55:33 PM
IMO, the optics on the stock E46 projectors for the HIDs are not very good. Theres alot of 'dark spots' I can see with them that are on the road.

My ZKW's have a better, more even spread imo. (I have been in about 200+ E46's [All models] durring dark hours [lights required]; just to let you know where I am comming from)

The halogen lamps are even worse.

Duck360198
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 04:59:27 AM
First, there's no way in hell you'd get pulled over for swapping the projectors. In fact I'd guarantee it! :beer:

I'll definitely keep you guys posted on this. I can't just go and spend cash on headlamps so I'll have to keep an eye out around eBay and the classifieds and whatnot. Also, projectors come in different sizes. Simply put, I could get E46 headlamps, take out the Bosch, and the Valeo's won't even fit. I'm just not sure.

I tell you what, you put a set of Valeo's in and replace the DOT shield with an ECE (Euro Spec) halogen shield and you're going to have one HELL of a lighting system...especially with that auto leveling. Everyone would get a beautiful blue shimmer when you go across ANY bump.

We'll see what happens! :thumbsup:

Daver
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 07:57:34 PM
It's not about getting pulled over for swapping projectors. It's about what the guy at the inspection station notices when he's under your hood and checking your headlight aiming.

On my VehiCROSS, I have not been pulled over, nor did the inspection guy notice my aftermarket H4 HID kit. Not that anyone knows what a VehiCROSS is or that it doesn't come with HIDs OEM...

Yes, swapping projectors would be illegal. Non-OEM stuff and non-approved aftermarket kits (Hella does have aftermarket DOT-approved kits for some cars, btw) basically aren't tested for proper aiming and focus. That's why DOT doesn't like them.

-Daver