That depends. There have been numerous different standard-equipment
halogen headlamps on E39s such as yours. See if you can get your friend to
report the manufacturer's part number (Bosch or Hella) from the decal on
the back of one of the headlamps, and report it here. Second preference,
answer some questions about the new lamps: Do they have projector dipped
beams (outboard lamp looks like it has a central eyeball), or reflector
dipped beams (no eyeball)? H7 bulb for dipped beam, or HB4?
HIR1 (9011) high beam, HIR2 (9012) low beam. Written up here:
1) You mean "HB3/HB4" -- H3 and H4 aren't the same bulbs as HB3/HB4
2) You're right, HIR1/HIR2 are very tough to get in Europe as yet, even
though they are E-marked. You'd have to get 'em shipped over from America.
Will try and get specifics.
All e39 5 series in the UK have/had projector dipped beam. The only
obvious change in design was from http://tinyurl.com/5bxj4 to
http://tinyurl.com/53nsc . The early projector shines through a hole in
the middle of what looks like a traditional headlamp lens -- what's
that all about?
I'm not sure its possible to tell HID from halogen by appearance of
the unit when fitted in place.
Very good, then. Grab your friend's old set, get a set of the HIR bulbs
and enjoy. The bulbs are even E-marked, so even an extremely zealous MoT
inspector probably won't catch on.
Believe it or not, the "looks like a traditional lens" ring is used to
reduce apparent dazzle/glare. Controlled amounts of low-intensity light
are "leaked" through that part of the lens, which increases the apparent
size of the light source as perceived by oncoming eyes, thus reducing
discomfort glare. The physiological processes behind it are VERY involved.
Hold on there... The set for sale are HIDs -- I already have the
halogen projectors. Or do you mean H1IR for the high-beams? Won't the
HIDs be better than halogens w/HIR bulbs? The cost of HIR bulbs is the
same as what these HIDs will cost me!
Good to see BMW (or Hella) putting so much effort into this!
The newer style with the 'halos' (or 'angel-eyes' or whatever) don't
have this lens -- does the 'halo' perform the same function? Are these
actually an improvement or a purely cosmetic ugrade?
On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 curried email@example.com wrote:
Oh, sorry. I must not have paid enough attention to your original
Er...what is your question, then?
HIR1 for high beams. You'll probably like the HIDs better than halogens
Quite possibly so. Factor in the whole cost, though -- you're in the UK,
and the UK adheres to ECE Regulations including #48, 98 and 99, which
require autolevelling and headlamp cleaning on all HID headlamp systems.
You can't just drop in the headlamps and leave off the autolevelling and
wash systems. Thumbwheel levelling (from the driving seat) is not legal
with HID. Hella makes an autolevelling retrokit, but it is expensive.
Not really, no.
The optics in the later projectors are a little better, but mostly they're
better because the H7 bulb produces 1500 lumens compared to the HB4 bulb's
paltry 1000. (HIR2 low beam produces 1875).
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