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Old 02-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #15921
TerraPhantm
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Great information. All filed in my head. As for the ballasts, where did you source new ones? TRS? We talking direct replacements or did you get a lightly used pair of modern Denso equivalents with 9006/D2S input/outputs?
I ended up going with Hella Gen 3s. I was able to mount it on the passenger side using the E39 bracket. On the driver side, I secured it to the stock M3 ballast bracket (which sits next to the air filter). I think on a non-M, it could be mounted the same way on the driver and passenger sides (in the M3, there's a large intake tube in the way). I used the E39 low-beam gaskets to seal around the bulb.

I don't have my bixenon solenoids working yet since I'm waiting on my Wolstentech adapters.

I imagine you might be able to use the Densos or Matsushitas in a similar manner with some creative mounting -- but I went with the Hella Gen 3s since they're waterproof out of the box.

Most ballasts come with 9006 inputs. Some will take both 9006 and 9005 connectors as well. And it should be easy enough to tell if it's meant for D2S (that said, ballasts with external igniters, like our stock ones, can theoretically be used to power both D2S and D1S setups)

Last edited by TerraPhantm; 02-13-2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #15922
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
I ended up going with Hella Gen 3s. I was able to mount it on the passenger side using the E39 bracket. On the driver side, I secured it to the stock M3 ballast bracket (which sits next to the air filter). I think on a non-M, it could be mounted the same way on the driver and passenger sides (in the M3, there's a large intake tube in the way). I used the E39 low-beam gaskets to seal around the bulb.

I don't have my bixenon solenoids working yet since I'm waiting on my Wolstentech adapters.

I imagine you might be able to use the Densos or Matsushitas in a similar manner with some creative mounting -- but I went with the Hella Gen 3s since they're waterproof out of the box.

Most ballasts come with 9006 inputs. Some will take both 9006 and 9005 connectors as well. And it should be easy enough to tell if it's meant for D2S (that said, ballasts with external igniters, like our stock ones, can theoretically be used to power both D2S and D1S setups)
Now you've got me worried/thinking that I'll need to get new ballasts if i want to properly/efficiently run CBIs. Like PM for your bulbs

I'll look into the Hella ballasts you mentioned. Sounds like a pretty expensive upgrade but anything done right is usually expensive.

So I understand I'll need E39 brackets left and right (assuming they come w/ mounting hardware such as bolts?) And the bi-xenon adapters required w/ ballast change? (not too familiar to where the bi-xenon shutter gets its signal from)

Also why did you need gaskets to seal around the bulb? What happened to the stock ones? Sorry if I'm missing something here.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:13 PM   #15923
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Now you've got me worried/thinking that I'll need to get new ballasts if i want to properly/efficiently run CBIs. Like PM for your bulbs

I'll look into the Hella ballasts you mentioned. Sounds like a pretty expensive upgrade but anything done right is usually expensive.

So I understand I'll need E39 brackets left and right (assuming they come w/ mounting hardware such as bolts?) And the bi-xenon adapters required w/ ballast change? (not too familiar to where the bi-xenon shutter gets its signal from)

Also why did you need gaskets to seal around the bulb? What happened to the stock ones? Sorry if I'm missing something here.
I wouldn't worry about replacing the ballasts unless yours specifically shows some issues. I know there are a lot of other people running these bulbs on E46s without any issues. I've had some bad luck with the E46 ballasts, so I got frustrated and chucked them (buying a brand new one would've been more expensive anyway). Actually I'm sure my passenger side one was still good - so I'll put that up for sale one of these days. I'll probably throw in the "bad" one for free since it might still be fine for "regular" bulbs.

Yeah I used the E39 (facelift) ballast brackets on the passenger side (and on a non-M you could probably use them on the driver side as well)-- they are a little more expensive than they should be. If you can find them on eBay or some classifieds for cheap, get them there. They're just pieces steel shaped/cut appropriately.

There's a small 3-pin cable connecting to your existing ballast along with the 9006 connector. The center pin is +12V. No one seems to know what the two outer pins are for -- and late model cars (2004+ or so) don't even have those outer pins. The ground comes from the 9006 connector. Then internal to the ballast there's some fancy circuitry. Basically the E46 bixenon shutter has 2 solenoids - "strong" and "weak." The weak one can hold the shutter open, but cannot open it by itself. The strong one does the opening -- it obviously can hold it open, but it consumes a lot of power (I've heard as much as 30W) -- that would way too much to sustain for long periods.

So basically what happens is that when you flick on your highbeams, the weak solenoid is immediately energized via the the +12v and ground (which are essentially directly connected). The ballast senses the the slight current increase through the ground, and it quickly energizes the strong solenoid for a split second. This is enough to keep the solenoids open until you cut power. If you use a non-E46 ballast, you need a circuit to emulate that functionality. The Wolstentech circuit is compact and cheap, so it makes sense.

As far as wiring it up goes... Since I've got my car coded to fire up the halogen highbeams anyway, what I'm going to do is just use a 9005 splitter, keep one end in the high beam bulb, and the other end going to the wolstentech adapter (which will ultimately end up going to the shutter itself). Alternatively you could get a couple wiretaps, tap into the center (or only) wire of the 3-pin plug for the positive, and then tap into any ground for the negative. Main reason to do this would be if you wanted to use the US-style high beams for some reason or if you have DRLs enabled.

Oh and the reason I used the E39 bulb gasket/cover is because the ballasts are external. The wire is rather thick, so it'd be just about impossible to put the stock cap on with an external ballast (or specifically, an external igniter). The E39 gaskets are sized about right and designed for a near identical setup (even the bulb holder is similar). So That seemed ideal. You do have to stretch it *slightly* for it to fit over the hole, but I think that's true of the E39 as well.


Also -- even though I went with brand new Hella Gen 3s, that probably isn't strictly necessary. Every report I've read indicates that they are ridiculously reliable ballasts, and are able to ignite bulbs that are far past their intended lifespans. A used one would probably be fine. The Philips LVQ-212 is the same ballast with a sticker.

Last edited by TerraPhantm; 02-13-2013 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #15924
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I looked at it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:29 PM   #15925
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I looked at it.
Did it look nice?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:01 PM   #15926
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Looks good now lower that bad boy!
Thanks! I plan on lowering it soon when I get some money $$
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:13 PM   #15927
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It looked VERY nice
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #15928
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I installed the diy aux cable and then watched the passenger side window regulator break. Time to learn how to replace the window regulator!
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #15929
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Lemfoerder CAB's shipped today.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:24 PM   #15930
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Installed led trunk lights, ran a wire to the rear fog socket that didn't have a connection, fixed my intermittent front turn signal bulb, and cleaned the MAF.

Last edited by RKiepper; 02-14-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:19 AM   #15931
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LED license plate bulbs, cffl angel eyes, led interior lights, control arm bushings driver side and passenger.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #15932
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
I wouldn't worry about replacing the ballasts unless yours specifically shows some issues. I know there are a lot of other people running these bulbs on E46s without any issues. I've had some bad luck with the E46 ballasts, so I got frustrated and chucked them (buying a brand new one would've been more expensive anyway). Actually I'm sure my passenger side one was still good - so I'll put that up for sale one of these days. I'll probably throw in the "bad" one for free since it might still be fine for "regular" bulbs.

Yeah I used the E39 (facelift) ballast brackets on the passenger side (and on a non-M you could probably use them on the driver side as well)-- they are a little more expensive than they should be. If you can find them on eBay or some classifieds for cheap, get them there. They're just pieces steel shaped/cut appropriately.

There's a small 3-pin cable connecting to your existing ballast along with the 9006 connector. The center pin is +12V. No one seems to know what the two outer pins are for -- and late model cars (2004+ or so) don't even have those outer pins. The ground comes from the 9006 connector. Then internal to the ballast there's some fancy circuitry. Basically the E46 bixenon shutter has 2 solenoids - "strong" and "weak." The weak one can hold the shutter open, but cannot open it by itself. The strong one does the opening -- it obviously can hold it open, but it consumes a lot of power (I've heard as much as 30W) -- that would way too much to sustain for long periods.

So basically what happens is that when you flick on your highbeams, the weak solenoid is immediately energized via the the +12v and ground (which are essentially directly connected). The ballast senses the the slight current increase through the ground, and it quickly energizes the strong solenoid for a split second. This is enough to keep the solenoids open until you cut power. If you use a non-E46 ballast, you need a circuit to emulate that functionality. The Wolstentech circuit is compact and cheap, so it makes sense.

As far as wiring it up goes... Since I've got my car coded to fire up the halogen highbeams anyway, what I'm going to do is just use a 9005 splitter, keep one end in the high beam bulb, and the other end going to the wolstentech adapter (which will ultimately end up going to the shutter itself). Alternatively you could get a couple wiretaps, tap into the center (or only) wire of the 3-pin plug for the positive, and then tap into any ground for the negative. Main reason to do this would be if you wanted to use the US-style high beams for some reason or if you have DRLs enabled.

Oh and the reason I used the E39 bulb gasket/cover is because the ballasts are external. The wire is rather thick, so it'd be just about impossible to put the stock cap on with an external ballast (or specifically, an external igniter). The E39 gaskets are sized about right and designed for a near identical setup (even the bulb holder is similar). So That seemed ideal. You do have to stretch it *slightly* for it to fit over the hole, but I think that's true of the E39 as well.


Also -- even though I went with brand new Hella Gen 3s, that probably isn't strictly necessary. Every report I've read indicates that they are ridiculously reliable ballasts, and are able to ignite bulbs that are far past their intended lifespans. A used one would probably be fine. The Philips LVQ-212 is the same ballast with a sticker.
Thanks for all that info. I'll try my luck with CBIs and my existing ballasts. My driver's side ballast was swapped with one from a 2005 M3 that had 200 miles on it when totalled(flipped over end on end @ 90 mph--no injuries!) I swapped it over cause the plastic clips on the red D2S plug broke.

So it's sort of a fresh start for my headlight system...
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #15933
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So it's sort of a fresh start for my headlight system...
What good does a brand new cooling system do if you hit a pole at night because you cannot see?! Rofl!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #15934
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Met up with Megalocnous last night to borrow his gun. time to get this subframe reinforcement thing on the road. need to go to hardware store to look for a stepped drill bit (necessary to be stepped?) and some tubing for the seam sealer
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #15935
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What good does a brand new cooling system do if you hit a pole at night because you cannot see?! Rofl!!
oh believe me, i can see
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:04 AM   #15936
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Mangolingus.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #15937
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Met up with Megalocnous last night to borrow his gun. time to get this subframe reinforcement thing on the road. need to go to hardware store to look for a stepped drill bit (necessary to be stepped?) and some tubing for the seam sealer
That expiration date is creeping up.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:18 AM   #15938
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That expiration date is creeping up.
i'm gonna try to do it tomorrow morning. will you be around?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:24 AM   #15939
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i'm gonna try to do it tomorrow morning. will you be around?
I am teaching 3 classes tomorrow (12hrs) but I may be able to get out of the first one, and If so, I will be free from 8a-11ish.

How early would you like to start?


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Old 02-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #15940
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I am teaching 3 classes tomorrow (12hrs) but I may be able to get out of the first one, and If so, I will be free from 8a-11ish.

How early would you like to start?


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hmm i'm not sure yet. i have to see if i can get a hold of all the materials/tools and my other friend to help me. if so around that time might be good. i can't imagine the whole thing taking more than an hour. i have to jack up the car get under it and tape the hole that might take the longest as i'm paranoid getting under a lifted car.

i'll text you. text me so i know i have your correct #. i've been through a few phones since haha
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