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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 09-28-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
aahmed2016
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STOCK E46 Projector to Halogen Retro?

Hey everyone, a friend of mine has 2 2001 325i's, One has a problem with the engine, and has projectors, the other is perfect, but is halogen. He wants me to take the projectors from the damaged one, and install them onto the running one. I saw a DIY here, but it was [I believe] a aftermarket install. My question is, can I do this? and will I need anything special? And if I can do this, without any extra parts, How would I go with this install?
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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If they're aftermarket you'll be fine. I think with OEM you would need to code the car to eliminate errors. Not quite sure though.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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Yeah it's all OEM. I really don't want to get any errors, but like what kind? Light on the dash saying my front lights are dead?
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:32 PM   #4
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To be honest, it would be simpler switching engines. Then you don't have to deal with coding, the auto leveling system retrofit, all the excess wiring, and a lot of the problems that come with it.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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^really? You think an engine swap would be easier than installing a canceller, which is what OP needs, that to MAYBE?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
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^really? You think an engine swap would be easier than installing a canceller, which is what OP needs, that to MAYBE?
No, to get the entire system to work properly, and completely retrofit the entire lighting system would be pretty difficult.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #7
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If the headlights are perfect in both cars then its a direct swap along with the lens and the housing. just 4 screws each headlight housing.
If not get the projectors and headlight bowls from the car with projectors and switch it to the one with the halogens. But this would mean there wont be a place for the ballasts to attach in the halogen housing.

Pretty simple swap.

Both will need the LCM to be coded though.

Find someone with a bmw scanner PA soft or buy one. Not expensive.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
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Yes, I am sure it will be. But definitely not more than an engine swap.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:49 AM   #9
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you should just get the morimoto mini projectors. solidjake wrote up a fantastic thread about the retrofit that explains it in detail and what parts are required.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:24 AM   #10
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Yeah, but my friend, is a cheap arab. He wants it for free. Its okay if I don't have the auto leveling feature. Also, HOW TF DO I DO THIS? I wish this was a bolt on mod. Like just swap in the projector, plug it in, and BOOM! 50 bucks in my pocket. :L
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:51 AM   #11
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Yeah, but my friend, is a cheap arab. He wants it for free. Its okay if I don't have the auto leveling feature. Also, HOW TF DO I DO THIS? I wish this was a bolt on mod. Like just swap in the projector, plug it in, and BOOM! 50 bucks in my pocket. :L
I already told you, it's a direct swap. Just 4 scews in each headlight. How much more easy swap do you want?
If you want only projectors from the donor car then you have to change the inner bowls too.
And anyone with PA soft will code it for xenons in 1 minute. Free.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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It's not the physical swap I'm worried about, it's the coding, but anyway, You think a dealer might be able to do it for me? or do you know anyone in the South Atlanta [Stockbridge, Jonesboro, Mt. Zion] who might have the equipment? I'll look for a PA soft right now. Thanks too
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #13
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I just found a PA soft for sale near me [45 shipped] and I remembered, that I read somewhere that you CAN NOT reprogram 2001and earlier BMW's. Only Post 2001's. Is this true, will the PA soft work?
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #14
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http://www.bmw-scanner.com/?page=bmw..._v140&lang=eng 650?!?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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the PA software will work on any e46, you can post maybe on the regional forums or just buy it off ebay.. its a great tool for any e46 owner.. as trj mentioned, is a direct swap. and even if you don't code the car the lights will work, but bulb out will appear on the dashboard until coded.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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the PA software will work on any e46, you can post maybe on the regional forums or just buy it off ebay.. its a great tool for any e46 owner.. as trj mentioned, is a direct swap. and even if you don't code the car the lights will work, but bulb out will appear on the dashboard until coded.
**** if thats it, then I can do this before the weekend is over. It won't flicker will it? I read a few posts about people saying after a swap, their headlights/ taillights started flickering on and off. But if it's only the fused bulb light coming on the dash, I'll do it!
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:07 AM   #17
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**** if thats it, then I can do this before the weekend is over. It won't flicker will it? I read a few posts about people saying after a swap, their headlights/ taillights started flickering on and off. But if it's only the fused bulb light coming on the dash, I'll do it!
Did you even search about this stuff?
Practically every step has been covered in may be 100 threads here in this forum.
I never ask anyone to search for an answer, but you are asking the same question again and again.

I am going to tell you again, yes they are 100% swappable. 4 screws per headlight.
You will need to code your cars to xenon to make them work properly.

The lights will flicker and your ballasts will probably wont last long with improperly coded LCM.

you can get it coded at the dealer or use PA soft or any other bmw coding softwares like INPA and all. You can spend $80 at the dealers to code one thing or have PA soft for $32.

The seller is even a sponsor for this site I believe. Now I leave the searching of the seller to you. Just as a hint: I bought my PA soft tool for $45 off ebay from a US seller because I needed it sooner for the xenon coding.

PA soft bmw scanner 1.4 works with all e46, 99-06. pre 01 cars will need a circular 20 pin to OBD port adapter. Your car being 01 will have OBD port under the steering wheel next to your left knee.


PS: do not put the xenons till you have coding system ready. Why would you want to risk your perfectly working xenons and LCM just because you were impatient.

Ask in the regional forum if someone has the software and can code your car. It will take 2 minutes max.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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Thanks TRJ, and I looked on the regionals yesterday, but I would like to do it myself, just to learn. thanks for your advice, really helpful.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:00 PM   #19
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Thanks TRJ, and I looked on the regionals yesterday, but I would like to do it myself, just to learn. thanks for your advice, really helpful.
Lol, just purchase PA soft and the cable. U don't need 20 pin to obs connector as u have an 01.

With that little software u will never have to go to autozone to check codes or to the dealers to code ur car.
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