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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 08-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
turbo8765
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Halogen to factory xenon balast mount issue

I have an 01 that came with halogen low/high headlights. I ordered complete xenon housings from Pelican. These should be the exact headlights that would've come in the car had it been optioned with xenons (these are not bi-xenons). The drivers side balast won't fit due to the factory airbox. Did I receive the wrong housings? If anyone could post a photo of an 01 with factory xenons showing the original drivers side balast mounted in the car that would be helpful.

Also, before I turn the headlights on, I get a warning light for both sides. Once I turn them on everything works fine. Is this to be expected? Is this because I need to have the LCM recoded?

Do 01 cars that were equiped with xenons from the factory having the leveling sensors?
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:41 PM   #2
aggieE46
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You don't HAVE to get it flashed, you can just install capacitors in-line.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #3
turbo8765
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I actually would rather have it flashed. I guess I should've expected the warning light since my LCM expects to "see" halogens.

Using google I was able to find some engine bay pics showing the drivers ballast mounted under a large cover on the drivers fender. Is this the same setup for all model year M3s? If the balast for all years is the same, then I suppose I should be able to order the bracket and cover.

Last edited by turbo8765; 08-27-2009 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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you need a ballast relocator so that it mounts the ballast onto the fender of the m3. and yes you can order the ballast and cover.

yes you are getting those errors due to not having a reflash

yes, all cars that come with xenons from the factory have auto-leveling.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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I've been able to answer a couple of my own questions.

All model years, including '01s came with level sensors.

The housings are correct.

Last edited by turbo8765; 08-27-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply. Obviously I was typing while you posted.

I already have the ballast. I believe I just need to get the mounting bracket and cover.

Now I'm thinking the capacitor may be the way to go. I'm afraid if I have the LCM reflashed for xenons I may get errors related to a lack of leveling sensors and/or nothing being connected to that circuit in the headlights.

Do you know if the factory ballasts are the same for all e46 xenons?
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:01 AM   #7
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Installed capacitors. Warning light went away, but now the lights flicker whenver I turn the car on or off.

Big thumbs down for the capacitor mod.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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yes i know you have the ballast, i just said you need the relocator bracket.

the reflash will not show errors if you don't have autoleveling so don't worry about that. The factory ballast are the same for all cars except those with zkw units (generally 03- early 04 sedans)
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:38 PM   #9
turbo8765
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For the record, after installing the caps, flicker isn't the best word to describe what the lights did. Whenever the key is moved form the acc to on position, the lights would flash exactly three times over roughly three seconds. I can only assume this is the power pulse sent out by the LCM to perform the cold bulb check. Seems as though this is enough to actually ignite the bulbs given the energy stored in the caps.

So where did the idea of a 4700 microfarad cap come from? This seems like a rather large cap. I wonder if a smaller cap wouldn't prevent the bulb out warning light and also not store enough energy to actually ignite whenever the LCM performs the cold bulb check?
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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Question

Just thinking out-loud but could be the capacitor is remaining charged from last time the lights were on and the cold check gives just enough extra juice to flash them before the ballast says "under volt!" and disconnects. Measuring the voltage across the cap some time after using the lights should tell if this is the case, if it is a highish-value resistor could be added across the terminals of the cap to leak the charge away.

EDIT: Had chance to try my OEM AL ballast out, starts trying to ignite when given around 8-9volts. Below this it still drew around 40mA so your capacitor would be discharged anyway. Maybe the cold-test is full battery voltage just for a very brief time, long enough to get a reading but so short a H7 halogen doesn't light.

If the cold-test occurs upon switching the ignition key then could try putting a small electrolytic cap like 10uF-47uF correctly across the factory low-beam (with no bulb/ballast), forcing the cold-test with the IGN key, then remove the cap and the voltage pulse of the cold-test would be the voltage "recorded"/charged on the cap.

As you state you have OEM Single Xenons then the recode (or new LCM) means your high-beams will not be affected/lost by the code like bi-xenon which makes things easier as no additional wiring required for bi-xenon shutters.
Have to have a search around to see if an '01 LCM will accept a xenon reflash.

Last edited by 325com; 09-03-2009 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Additional info...
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