Installation of E36
Euro Elipsoid Headlights
|I believe the Euro Headlights are much more efficient at
lighting up the road and the lead crystal in them allows for clearer, brighter light with
the same wattage bulb. Bulb sockets and type are optimized for heavy duty high wattage if
you decide to upgrade to higher power without meltdown the US system can suffer from.
Moreover the ellipsoid low beams project a much more defined beam onto the road and the Euro cutoff highlights up signage and lights up the upper corners of the road, giving an extra caution to other cars to your left and right as you pass them. The light-covers of the Euro are glass and resist cracking and yellowing the US ones suffer from.
US cars like the BMW M3 do not include ellipsoids due to cost considerations. I was disappointed my M3 came with the same lights as other E36ers and thought the more expensive ellipsoids was the ticket to get that front end eye look.
OK, So I bought these Euro lights primarily because I thought projectors and city lights look cool! (Thats the same reason I wanted the Euro S52B32 engine, b/c the engine looks cool with six throttles But I digress!) not because I needed better lighting (stock was adequate). However, these aggressive cutoffs are very good at lighting signage, warning other drivers and the high beams rock in low light conditions and when demanding one yield the fast lane! (blinks become ballistic blasts of white light into the offensive left-lane hugger)
Some others on this digest have been so kind to share there knowledge with write-ups so I thought Id do the same. This write-up was a response to Greg Koenigs e-mail suggesting some possible write-up topics. I cant wait to put in my Heated Seats, its getting cold out there! So if you know how to do something, please share it with others helping is what it is all about.
I lost my film so pictures are not currently available and I apologize but if I find the time I will re-take them and post a revised copy with included pictures.
THINGS THAT YOU WILL NEED:
WIRING COLOR CODES
Splice into pre-existing factory wiring harness. In order to maintain original compatibility and remain able to return to stock headlights in the future label (high and low beams) and tape shut the original factory lighting sockets.
Wiring the Euro wiring plugs. The Euro lights have much nicer connectors that screw into the euro headlight assemblies.
City Lights function. These may or may not be legal in your locale. If you chose to connect them (looks very cool! btw ) Using 3M tap-ins this time (I got lazy!) tap into the front turn signal wire to the gray wire of the Euro socket on each side.
Install your new Euro Ellipsoids (Installation is the reverse of removal). Please Note: You will only be using 4 of the original 5 screws for each side (the Euro Headlights only use 2 adjusting screws on the top whereas the U.S. uses two. I adjusted the middle screw all the way into the chassis and screwed the 8mm screw all the way down to secure it to the chassis and move it out of the way of the new assemblies. This way if you convert back to US headlights you will not have to look in your garage for the screw set.
Wrapping it all up. Using electrical tape wrap any and all loose wiring from the new spliced US and Euro wiring sockets (including your new modified lighting harness). This will ensure your work looks factory!
Test Time! Turn on your headlights once installation is complete and ensure everything functions as intended. City lights if activated should light up in the high beam bucket.
Aim and Fire your headlights by adjusting the upper mounting screws forward to adjust lights down and further in towards the chassis for aiming the lighting higher. I use approximations to aim it correctly. Keep in mind the Euro lights have a very sharp cutoff so you might want to be sensible as to how high you aim them if you want to avoid being caught.Please note that the adjusting sockets on the assembly of the euro lights should be used only for minute adjustments.
Parting Notes: Be advised that most US locales do not allow Euro lights (Not Street Legal!) as these are not DOT approved due to aggressive cutoff. I have never had any problems.
©1998 Garrick S. Louie Permission to distribute freely as long as information is disbursed wholly in its entirety.