Walk Through: Building High-end Headlights

TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
SpoolStreeters,

I wanted to share the process of building these custom headlights for this single turbo E90.

At first glance it may just appear that some paint was applied and the angel eyes were removed but internally there were some major changes made and this thread will cover all of those changes.

The "paint + LED angel eyes" is the all-too-common recipe for BMW headlights, yes it can look cool but it doesn't address the purpose of the headlight: light output. Many BMWs are equipped with underwhelming headlights and my goal is to address that by retrofitting quality HID projectors and components to improve light output, intensity, and control.

This headlight build was particularly challenging due the the enormous size of the Porsche 997/Murano projectors used; securely mounting it while making sure aim and rotation were correct, all while confirming that clearances front and rear were acceptable along with up/down movement for the factory auto-leveling system. It really is a dance and all of these clearances came down to a few millimeters.

Sit back, grab a drink, and see what is involved with a high end headlight build!

Evan


Build Specs
- Angel Eye Delete
- Tuned Porsche 997/Murano Bi-Xenon Projectors
- Passive White Demon Eyes
- Universal LED Fog Corner Light
- Molded Shrouds
- Low Gloss Black Bezel and Trim
- New oem Lenses
- Apollo 3 Shrouds
- D1S-D2S Igniters
- Mori xb 5,500k
- OEM Bosch 35w Ballasts
- New OEM Lenses


Let's go....

Yoink!
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Headlights were previously modded with the standard BMW cocktail which is paint + LED angel eyes and doesn't address output ....silly headlight "builders" you're doing it wrong!
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Lenses were in pretty poor condition with the clear coat shot by the previous shop chipping off.
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Get in
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Original LED angel eye wire soldering. No bueno
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The original "angel eye installer" didn't remove all the oem permaseal before he resealed with butyl. He and I have different ideas of what a "clean" channel looks like
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His idea of clean
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My idea of clean
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Much better
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Quads were attempted and it would have looked sooooooo good.
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oem angel eye ring + centric ring + H1 7.0 fits like a glove
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The problem would be accessing the bulb if anything happened, the housing car was very small ~2" and you would need to reach over 5" through that hole to reach the the bulb. H1s are already annoying to change so changing this bulb would require needle nose pliers and some skill. Didn't seem worth it from a practical stand point.
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One difficult bulb change...
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Murano with oem gimbal ....NOPE!
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Much cutting
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Much better
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Murano sat in front of the gimbal instead of behind
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TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
Murano fitted to gimbal or gimbal fitted to Murano?
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Test fitting shroud clearance, TIGHT!
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Looks good though, I like how protrusion of the lens and rake of the shroud match up with the rest of the housing
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Trimmed part of the brow to upper shroud clearance
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With quads not in the cards the next best option was a Morimoto universal fog
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Trimming up some of the left over plastic from the injection molding
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Graphite shrouds and xb fogs are a good match, I have used the combo before
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Trimming some of the oem angel eye diffuser
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Taping the graphite shroud before sanding down the ridges.
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Test fitting
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More Murano trimming
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Not much left to hold the solenoid to the projector!
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OEM screws are deleted for a bolt pass through, had to convert it for mounting purposes
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Murano shields sanded to remove any imperfections
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White Demon Eye
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STI-R Clear Lens
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OEM
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Passenger
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Driver
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More porn
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TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
OEM projector beam pattern: Streaky, narrow, excessive foreground, no real hot spot.
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Murano beam pattern: limited foreground, smoother light output, much wider.
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OEM projector beam developed a bit
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Murano
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Mounting holes drilled in oem gimbal
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To better disperse load on the gimbal I added some spacers to fill the pockets in the oem gimbal
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Nut added
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After projector rotation was established I needed to fill the extra space in the slots I made
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Added another lower mounting point for stability
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Lower mount added, these were also instrumental in aiming the projector upwards
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With all the tension on the gimbal from the mounting points the oem ball joint wanted to wander inward and out of the adjuster which made the gimbal a little sloppy, I added a screw and washers to firmly hold the ball joint in position.
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Projectors mounted!
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Once the projectors were locked in it was time to trim the shrouds, top was cut
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TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
Bottom was ground down
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Lower trim was cut and sanded to accommodate some adjustment if needed (in case lights are sold and mounted on a non-lowered vehicle).
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Oem trim which surrounds the shroud was also cut and trimmed on all 3 sides
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Shroud was prepped for wires to add security
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Shrouds painted and mounted with steel epoxy + wires, you can also see the hardware I added to stabilize the headlight adjuster (white plastic arm).
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My solution for mounting the fog to the graphite shroud.
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fog was mounted perpendicular to the shroud so the hardware could mount on the flush surface.
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angel eye diffuser had cracked
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So I gave it some steel stitches
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Figuring out fog rotation
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Made some access ports so that the fog could be easily mounted after the graphite shroud and oem angel eye diffuser were joined.
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Graphite shrouds flush- mounted to the oem angel eye diffuser with hardware
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Clean! Took a bit of time but offers much more peace of mind and security than a sea of JB Weld
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Shrouds + JB Weld
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JB sanded
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Spot putty
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Round 1
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Round 2
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Shrouds painted. Before and After
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TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
Had top trim down some of the hardware so it sat flush in the larger oem shroud
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The oem angel eye reflector bow came in handy as once mounted it pinches the molded shrouds inside the larger shroud which made mounting easy.
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Unfortunately I accidently discarded one of the bowls earlier in the build and was kicking myself for doing so. This forced me to come up with another mounting solution for one shroud, this included some JB Weld and another bolt + nut.
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With the fogs all mounted up time to connect them. Fog is wired into oem cornering light so it is more for looks than function.
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High beam inputs were soldered (and shrink wrapped of course)
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OEM projector had AFS incorporated into the lens holder which sucks. So on this build AFS was deleted.
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Modules were removed
9Uy-j8xhMN33nKKBe95mqMCZRR25ESUwO0Jcmf2350upPoQsHtn5w-EvPQvapr0WBtjRNjq5FZMeze9ILA=w1318-h988-no.jpg


To keep the CANBUS system without any coding the modules were deconstructed to save room
Vf-8M-sLYdD6-7zlEeBEQ23MD8RE4FI75rTPyKFlAxa64PfkAnhJsQHok3ARycQ992JFqbvtcW9TaKv43Q=w1318-h988-no.jpg


Mounted safely out of the way with some 3M VHB
KBxActDAHvWOfJ1Cw5nHyhY3Mknen68etiR_d2LFKSmLWu0WpJrgfgy7m90-_acI9QU8cqGYX9W5nC3a6w=w1318-h988-no.jpg


The OEM D1S cable was also deconstructed to save space and keep it from hitting the housing during downward projector adjustment
mxGKYycCHNRMQUBrVMY-rosO7ZBzOWay6XUTb-xGaLRbwJ9VvYSL2NOhroJLtcziN7HLzwgKBb4S2fgzMg=w1318-h988-no.jpg


Igniters had to be mounted sideways to keep from hitting the rear housing panel once installed.
hpCg74CcjzaAHzb0IKXqvSckXR1_3DZgMs5gZtgTIvg0UuojNQrRGYX-qo0Lj9G2tUpkueclVX6YbxuMWw=w1318-h988-no.jpg


Lenses were in poor condition inside and out even after some cleaning attempts so new lenses were ordered from Europe.
K6y0oMDXiovKmU95gz9nz67TfYAb-DjfkO3v8Z4WXmdqIHW-jAqRkJ-r6x46JxMJDXkJJ-7Tn2l73a7DiA=w1318-h988-no.jpg


BOOM
3yFqVH_mVNyZAXY3HwEAPr_ZsHZa6lKPRhfLcNcCqYchbC3WewAuoM19NOdmBd0K8K03yvbwJk3wd8WASg=w1318-h988-no.jpg


Some glamour shots with the lens off
RWInbmM8zIWT1gLOTVNtm9ulT03t6x09gv8ikvbgPwQsDkr6hwN0QF7M1gG71gnRlAK8Ck7O2fDAIowgKA=w1318-h988-no.jpg

Csg5S3DDSujzFWwGTVbBnvgczR6GyCKbcol9PEyU2tTgXANNvFwhTJ7xPe24B7iA0oPPq5edw38mnDsT2Q=w1318-h988-no.jpg

ntAxUTTDHQXj_q6FGx-egUyW8-KEX8GegMJ7WhgPM7Uaii7wq7VUawVo7AY5C4blkS9JDGmvb3Ar1Vex0g=w1318-h988-no.jpg
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: crowdedthehouse

Kervio

Private
Jan 7, 2017
43
15
0
turned out amazing! A lot of janky stuff needs to be done behind the scenes to get everything to work but the end product is beautiful
 

TwinTurboWagon

Corporal
Nov 7, 2016
165
173
0
San Diego
Absolutely! Didn't mean to come off like I was insulting your work, they turned out great
I didn't take it that way. We are all good. I was simply stating all the stuff behind the scenes that you don't see if common for retrofitting since it looks so simple when viewed from the front but little do most people know all the creative solutions that went into it.

Evan
 

Jsherry20

Sergeant
Dec 21, 2016
313
47
0
With having an extra set of headlights layin around I really need to test my skills at building headlights
 

Jsherry20

Sergeant
Dec 21, 2016
313
47
0
An extra set is the best set to practice on!
That's what I thought too, I got backed into and the headlights had a broken tab but it really didn't bother me, however the insurance agency let me keep them lol. So I'll give it a shot. I dabbled with my cobalt SS headlights a bit and I just get scared trying to seal the lenses to the housing. Hopefully it's pretty easy with these.
 

rebo0t

Specialist
Mar 14, 2017
59
13
0
Ride
E90 335i
I just received my Morimoto Mini 4.0's today, going to try something soon :)