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Old 09-06-2019, 02:49 PM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 4,501
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
AWR-Fix: DIY facelift headlights

My headlights may have been the worst I've ever seen on any car!

That photo actually is AFTER I polished in front of the low beam so I could have any useful function from the light.

I could have possibly polished them into useable lights. I did that with wife's with good results but I also looked into alternative solutions including buying a decent used one but my style was retired about 16 years ago so it would likely end in similar disaster quickly.

Used ones were typically $80-125 and then I found the assemblies I bought for $220 new.

They use German glass optics for the low beam and have the necessary bits and pieces to work with either incandescent or HID including the self leveling motor.

First before and after pic. Holy crap am I right?!

One installed, lights are off save the parking lights but the halos are on powered by a drill battery.

The right light was in FAAAAR better shape that's why I did the left side first.

Another new v old comparison. Note that the low beam had been polished a week or so earlier that's why there is a difference in the middle.

Car full of bugs etc from country driving but amazing! That's an '01! Looks very close to 04 with facelift.



Halo wiring

Pulling out the level motor placeholder

Leveling motor moved over

Glued the old rubber boot to the new rubber cup to make an appropriate weather seal for HID.

Close up

I recently replaced my post cat O2 sensors and the wiring was perfect for running power to the halos. Look close you can see the new wire going across the top of the radiator.

I forgot to take pics of the final connection for the halos I will take some pics and add them in.

Took this pic after replacing the left light. Picture doesn't do justice to how much more light is coming out.

It's impossible to get a photo that does any justice to how nice they look.

Anybody with a pre facelift X5 owes it to themselves to do this upgrade

So: the bad news: plan a full day or two half days to perform the surgery. I probably spent 3-4 hours the first day (including at least 90-120 minutes wasted looking for key on power under the hood), about two hours installing the second headlight assembly then about one more hour hooking up the halo power.

In addition, the optics are not as good as the BMW original, there is distinct prismatic effect at the cut off that shows up as making white reflectors and road signs having rainbow.

You can also see in the beam shots that the beam mask plates aren't perfectly horizontal and there are more artifacts in the beam but bang for buck at about 1/8th the price of BMW original part it's a phenomenal deal.

I'm beyond thrilled.

Oops almost forgot

[For 2000-2003 BMW X53 X5 Halogen Model] LED Halo Ring Chrome Projector Headlight Headlamp Assembly, Driver & Passenger Side https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071JGQ7FQ..._LQQCDbWCX16VM

Don't worry that it says halogen model. It comes with halogen low beam bulbs you remove and replace.

Jan 2016

Jan 2019

July 2019

Look how amazingly fast the corruption took hold. I figure the UV coating came off late 2018 and it took about half a year to be like a milk jug clarity.

Sep 2019.
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)

Last edited by andrewwynn; 09-06-2019 at 11:20 PM.
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