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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 11-09-2014, 06:29 PM   #1
Mango
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Retrofitted: 2014/2015 BMW F15 X5 LED fog lights

I wanted to do this a year ago and ordered the parts. Then returned them because they were a quite a bit of money for something I wasn't sure that would fit. Now the price has gone down a bit when I looked at The Retrofit Source--they are $60! A steal for lights that list at hundreds (i think $800 or so?) Ordering from TRS was a breeze and they shipped fast. I got my CBIs from them as well. Great store.

Anyway I saw that someone had posted some info stating these would fit but their info was poor beyond that and didn't even show the things wired up. Thanks to that person anyway for trying and reassuring me the possibility that these might actually fit my stock housings. I think it was on Youtube or something. You may do this if you have MTECH foglights such as the one shown on my car in the sig. You are cutting your existing foglight housing to shove these inside.

Given that I'm either one of the first or the first to write detailed information on this and attempt this mod to completion, some of you may find better ways to do it. If you have suggestions, I'm all ears.

These are the lights on the X5 with the optional LED Technology Package:


Unboxing time. These things are huge. One of the reasons I was chicken to do it at first. You'll see a little adjustment handle on it. Just take a large screwdriver and pop it off. Break off any plastic stuff in the way too. You'll throw the carcass in the garbage anyway.:


Time to take a dremel and cut it open. Just slice around the plastic casing. Don't have to be too precise about this. you can cut anywhere you like just as long as you separate the two halves to pull the inner module out. The inner module is recessed pretty deep, so not a huge concern to cut into it. Just use common sense. I used a dremel with a reinforced heavy duty cutoff wheel. I read you can also bake it for 10 minutes @ 200f and the front glass will separate. Do what you want.


You should end up with two LED modules. Left and right. Make sure the black painted part faces upwards. The part is painted black as to not reflect any light upwards to cause glare. Smart. The top is where the main light comes from and faces downward. Don't install these upside down or you'll be pointing towards the sky. Pardon all the plastic shavings from the cutting the case. You will make a mess if you cut! Wear safety glasses!




Another look at the bare module:


Modifications:

I wired up a simple harness. Extended the factory ZKW F15 X5 LED leads by soldering and wrapping the wires. You'll want to do this so you have larger gauge wire to work with as the OE ZKW wires are extremely thin. This also gives you more room to pull the fog light out and adjust while connected to the car. I installed quick connects at the ends of the extended fog light harness. I made another harness for the car side by tapping into the existing OE fog light wiring by using wire taps. I have leads on the car end with corresponding quick connects as well. I then wrapped those leads in electrical tape.

You will have to cut roughly half of your OE/aftermarket plastic fog housings in order to make these "fit." You'll also need to cut a small notch for one corner of the X5 fog light housing that kind of sticks out making it impossible to fit in your E46 *cut* fog circles. I just notched out a rectangle shape piece of plastic. Make small cuts at first so you don't cut too much. Cut as you need. If you try this, you will see how this needs to be done. I probably cut a bit too much but I don't mind as the housings I cut were aftermarket eBay housings and they were just $30. If I want to go back to stock in the future, I can just buy another set of eBay foglights and replace the optics with my OE ZKW halogen optics I saved.

As far as mounting, I used two small screws. (I had some extra BMW torx screws laying around) I installed one screw on the bottom of the housing and one on the side. Use a drill to drill a hole in the bottom frame part of the LED housing and one on the side. Put the screws through your OE BMW fog light housings (This is why don't cut too much off!) and you can tilt and adjust to your liking and tighten the screws. This was almost too perfect. You may use my method or come up with your own. Be creative. Maybe your method might be better. Feel free to share.

I used metal tape to cover any holes. Someone might have better ideas how to do this but this seems fine for now. My concern was heat so that's why I used metal tape. However others report that they've run these for hours with very little heat. The large heat sink does a very good job at managing heat.

Tip: The brown striped wire is HOT (+) and black is ground. This took me a little while to figure out. Nobody on the web seemed to mention this. I hooked them up reversed polarity for a brief moment and nothing bad seemed to happen. Don't chance it though.


Result:


I did some fine tuning today but when it gets dark I'll take some pictures. The output is extremely wide--nearly 180 degrees. The fogs match my CBIs perfectly. These are rated at 5,000k and consume 8.4w each compared to the stock halogens @ 55w each. I love them and the front end looks sharp and they look stock. I'll take some night time pics w/ output and post them soon.

Update. Here are some pics. Camera settings unchanged shot to shot. Don't pay much attention to "brightness" but more so pattern change. I ran out and did these quickly... more accurate ones can be done but it would take more time. These are fairly accurate though.

Low beam CBIs alone:



X5 LED fog lights alone. Notice the wide fan pattern? (with DRLs--sorry):



Low beam CBIs + fogs:



Overall:
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Last edited by Mango; 11-10-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:14 PM   #2
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Those look great! I can't wait to see some night shots.

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Old 11-09-2014, 07:18 PM   #3
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Thanks. I wonder if I can use these as DRLs somehow in coding. or maybe enable them when I unlock my car? (I think is saw that option in coding?) it would be cool since they use next to no power.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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nice work. look forward to seeing the night photos and your review.
i saw these on sale earlier in the year. i thought about retrofitting them but i
1) already have projectors with Xenons for fogs
2) M3s have a tight space for fogs and these looked long
3) my projectors have more a driving light "pencil beam" pattern and I use them more for that than fogs in SoCal.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Yes!! mango.. I am so in need of stronger fog lights but refuse to use HID. .

Jake should add this to his lighting thread.

In for the pic at night.

What kind low beam bulb you're using?
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
nice work. look forward to seeing the night photos and your review.
i saw these on sale earlier in the year. i thought about retrofitting them but i
1) already have projectors with Xenons for fogs
2) M3s have a tight space for fogs and these looked long
3) my projectors have more a driving light "pencil beam" pattern and I use them more for that than fogs in SoCal.
Thanks. The stock Bosch AL projectors are already pencil beam like from the factory. I think these complement the system perfectly by giving a lot of foreground light at a wide angle. I think you should do it. The remaining stock will dry up fast as soon as people read this thread, I'm sure. It's a very cool mod and I'm very happy with it. It looks great in person and very crisp/modern. assuming your fogs are the same as mine (pretty sure they are) these actually take up less space than the stock setup if I had to guess. you won't have any problems fitment wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus330vrum View Post
Yes!! mango.. I am so in need of stronger fog lights but refuse to use HID. .

Jake should add this to his lighting thread.

In for the pic at night.

What kind low beam bulb you're using?
as mentioned, I use CBIs
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
nice work. look forward to seeing the night photos and your review.
i saw these on sale earlier in the year. i thought about retrofitting them but i
1) already have projectors with Xenons for fogs
2) M3s have a tight space for fogs and these looked long
3) my projectors have more a driving light "pencil beam" pattern and I use them more for that than fogs in SoCal.
What type of projectors for fog? Cost & pic of it at night please.

I have a mtech II bumper.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:01 PM   #8
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updated w/ pics original post
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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M-tech, M-tech II, and M3 all use the same fogs, right? Might have to do this
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:06 PM   #10
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M-tech, M-tech II, and M3 all use the same fogs, right? Might have to do this
Pretty sure yeah. E39 M5 also shares the same unit AFAIK. Do it before the stock runs out. Let me know if you find a more clever ways of covering it up. I feel like I did an OK job using metal tape. I suppose maybe fiberglass would work as well but that could get messy and you couldn't make adjustments.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:22 PM   #11
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Just ordered a pair. Worst case, it was only $60
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:24 PM   #12
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
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This is epic. Totally doing it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #14
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Just ordered a pair. Worst case, it was only $60
True. Also if you do a review like I did, you get some money back I requested some pics from F15 forums so i get an idea how far ahead they should be adjusted.

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Old 11-09-2014, 09:37 PM   #15
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ordered a pair
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:25 AM   #16
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Order a pair also!
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:56 AM   #17
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Can you order these with a 2500K output? which is meant for foggy conditions?
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:40 AM   #18
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Wouldn't be cheaper and easier to keep the original fog lights and use some high output LED bulbs, as these below?

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Old 11-10-2014, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Can you order these with a 2500K output? which is meant for foggy conditions?
no. These are not r!cer items. These are professional OE equipment on the 2014 X5 made by ZKW.

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Wouldn't be cheaper and easier to keep the original fog lights and use some high output LED bulbs, as these below?

no. those are trash in comparison. These are not r!cer items. These are professional OE equipment on the 2014 X5 made by ZKW using specific professional optics, heat management, and thermal control monitoring. I would not trust those in a small space and even then the output would be trash not even mentioning halogen optics are not designed with them in mind. you can try it if you want
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:04 AM   #20
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And a side note, I'm starting to think mine need more adjustments and are pointing too far down. So the output will be even better than what you see in my pics. I'm still digging around for more info. you guys doing this will be doing a few adjustments. but that's what retrofitting light stuff involves.
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