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E30 Halogen Headlamp conversion wiring questions

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by KBurton, Nov 17, 2014.

    • Member

    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    I'm tired of driving around in the dark so I'd like to change out my old sealed beams for Halogens and have a couple of questions.
    The Hellas in question are for my 1987 325i C on which the entire wiring harness is unmolested and i prefer to leave things that way. The lamps in question Can be found at the Hella Page http://www.myhellalights.com/index....lamps/vision-plus-5-75in-conversion-headlamp/

    That said my concerns are as follows.
    1. I know the lamp out sensor circuits in the active check relay (for the overhead alert panel) use little coils wrapped round a tiny glass tube relay and don't want to mess things up so what i need to know is what is the maximum current for the little current sensors? there doesn't seem to be any part number on them.
    2. Will the headlamp relays take the added current or does anyone know of a replacement heavy duty relay which will still fit under the stock fuse cover?
    3. The stock lights / wiring are fused at 7.5 Amp and fine for the old sealed beams but i'm unable to finds any current draw specifications for the new bulbs from Hella and they don't give any specs other than 50% more powerful beam on low and 25% on high… Now is that due to better optics and hotter temperature of the halogens or are these things going to fry my electrical system? Has anyone put these in an E30 with the active check relay control without modification and without causing problems?
    Thanks for your thoughts
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    The page you linked doesn't mention the bulb wattage, which is the main item - I recall that you're probably good up to a 55 watt bulb, I think even w/ stock fuses. I used much higher 90w/110w low/hi & I think I had something like 100w/130w lo/hi at one point, needing to use 15 amp fuses. I would not suggest that, it's way too much for the stock wiring. I never had any problem w/ the stock relays or active check system.

    You can get some definite improvement w/ the hella conversion, just don't expect xenon hid or led-like miracles.

    If you're game for getting max power to your lights without overtaxing the stock wiring, the route is using the stock lights to trigger hi-power-capacity relays, with large hi-capacity wiring from the battery (or underhood battery terminus) through the new relays to the bulbs - high-wattage bulbs run hot, you have to use new hi-temp bulb connectors, the BMW o.e. ones will melt.

    I think this place would be able to offer guidance and likely everything needed:

    http://www.rallylights.com/
    • Member

    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    I found the same kits listed at pelican and they spec 55/60 for the hi/low set and 60 for the highs I'm not sure what is original but it's anemic. So long as the connectors stay tight I'm not predicting any issues. Btw Summitt has them in stock
    Thanks again
    • Member

    hackmechanic

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    Ken, sorry, I don't know the answer to this one.
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    rtwaits

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    In our 1991 E30 convertible, we used the Hella H4 low beam only and left the high beam as sealed. Kept blowing 7.5amp fuses. I had read that the wiring itself is good for 10amps, So we swapped in 10 amp fuses and have not had a problem since. We drive about 3000 miles a year in this car, and not much at night, so your mileage may vary.

    We also have a 1988 iX with ellipsoidals. A previous owner put cheap HIDs in and one of the ballasts flopped around, and it or the other crapped out. The light was rather bluish and I was happy to rip them out and replace with bulbs designed for the lamp. I also think the reflectors in these are not the shiniest at this stage, so I am considering replacing those with new H4s as well.

    Good luck
    • Member

    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    Hella makes conversion kits specifically for these, i'll let you know how they work when they arrive.

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