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Euro headlight conversion

Discussion in 'E28 (1982-1988)' started by BlueAngel M3, Sep 21, 2009.

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    How much would it cost to convert a US model E28 front grill assy (including headlights) to a Euro? Any places where they sell the complete kit here in the US? Any links? Thanks in advance guys!
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    mooseheadm5

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    Mye28.com or ebay are your best bets. Look to spend in the $300-$400 range and realize that if you break a headlight lens that you have to get one from Europe because they are not available in the US at any store.

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    Hi Paul and thanks for your input. I'm sure you can order it through a local BMW dealer. All I need is a part number and I think they can order it from Germany???

    Samir
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    mooseheadm5

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    You would have to be insane to do so. List price is $156.05 for each replacement lens.

    I hope you did not mean that you want new parts for the conversion. You obviously won't want to buy all new parts there as the list price for everything you need is about $1000.

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    Paul, I get up to 40% off from my local BMW dealership depending on how much they pay for it. I have very close ties with my local BMW dealership & have been a loyal customer for 19 years.

    When you say $300-400 do u mean used?
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    az3579

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    Even a 40% discount would still yield an awfully high cost for the setup. Just buy used and save yourself a bundle of cash.


    I would definitely hunt on eBay as you're most likely to find a set of grilles and headlights there.

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    Agreed. Just a heads up I don't own an E28, but was thinking of buying one. I'm in the market for a car (BMW) and its tough which to choose. Most likely I will end up with a 1974-76 2002 and probably do an engine swap. I currently own a 98 M3 sedan that I use for everyday use including work. Now i'm looking for a weekend toy and the 2002's are great candidates. I want to buy one and do an engine swap. :D
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    mooseheadm5

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    Well, there is a nice (needs paint) 535is with euro lights and bumpers for sale right now on mye28. There are lots of cars for sale over there, actually.

    I don't know what you did to get that kind of discount, but the dealers here offer shops less than the CCA discount- %10 off of an inflated list price. If you start looking up some of the parts you may either be relieved or peeved when you compare the dealer list to BMW suggested list.

    Yes, $3-400 used for everything you would need for euro lights and grilles. Sometimes cheaper, sometimes not.

    BlueAngel M3 guest

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    My dad brought property from the owner of the dealership in 1976. I was 4 at the time when my dad took me to the dealership to get the remaining paper work for the property my dad brought. I remember looking at the 2002's at the lot. I quickly fell in love with BMW. The owner is still alive and everytime he see's me he always ask how's my dad doing and he takes care of me when i'm at his dealership. He also reminds me that I peed in his office, but I don't remember that (thank God!). :D
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    CRKrieger

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    Actually, Daniel Stern can get brand new Hellas for you. Not just the 7" H4 conversion, but the E28-specific part. I think they run about $75 each.
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    granthr

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    As CR mentioned you can get the actually headlight from a lot of sources and they are not too expensive and Hellas Kick Azz. Here are a couple links for the just the headlights, you will need the get the Euro Grills and housing that actually hold the headlights.

    http://www.oconeeoffroad.com/servlet/the-5788/Hella-Vision-Plus-7"/Detail
    (I know it says Jeep, but they are the same thing)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Hell...-355/911-_W0QQitemZ220407392200QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Hell...5006-EURO_W0QQitemZ360190905782QQcmdZViewItem
    (This set would work for you if you don't want to change the size of the outside lights, this is plug and play, great deal too!)

    Just an FYI, currently you have four headlights sized 5,3/4 inches. If you switch to the Euro sizes, your inside highbeams will stay 5,3/4 inches and your outside high/lows will be 7inches. Highbeams are H1s and the Outside high/low are H4s no matter which size you go with.

    Either way your lighting situation will improve and you will feel like you were driving around with candles prior! :D Either way you do this upgrade I strongly recommend it. Just be sure up the fuses for your high beams to 10amps. The wiring can handle the extra draw.
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    mooseheadm5

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    THose headlights don't fit Euro fixtures.
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    granthr

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    Thanks Paul, I did not know that!

    He can still stick with the 5,3/4 inch size though on all four, but it won't give him that euro look, just the lighting benefit.
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    CRKrieger

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    X2. Hella supplied the OEM lamps and, although they are a Hella part, they are E28-specific because the mounting system is integral to the lamp body. ISTR there were one or two other European cars of the era that used the same lamp, but they're far more rare than the E28. If I am not mistaken, the high beam lamps are also non-standard mountings, so the usual conversion lamp doesn't fit there, either.
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    granthr

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    Just an FYI, a few years ago I found a euro 730i in a Upstate NY junkyard. I pulled the Euro highbeams from the car and they fit right into my US dot sealed beam headlight retainers on my 84 318i. These high beams are definitely Euro Hellas b/c they are different compared to the Hellas I bought for M3 and 325ix (both of which had sealed beam US DOT headlights).

    The difference between the two is the cap that protects the bulb from the back. The mounting "feet" are identical. The Hella replacements that you can now buy just have a rubber grommet type seal on the back. The Hellas I pulled off the Euro E23 have a metal cap with a rubber seal and has wires running from the cap to the bulb. Then on the outside of the cap are two prongs for the plug on the car side.

    The inside is also different. The ones from the euro car have little shields inside the light housing that covers the top half of the bulb. The Hella replacements you can buy now here in the US do not have this shield.

    So now I am wondering if you two are correct on the low/high beam (outside light) as well. :)
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    CRKrieger

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    I thought I worded my reply above so it was clear that I am not certain about the high beam lamps. They may very well be the same as a sealed beam, in which case you could substitute any standard H1 lamp in there. Thank you. That's good to know.

    When it comes to the H4 high/low beams, I am absolutely certain about them because I have had them apart in my hands. They are unique to the E28 and are they are not interchangeable with standard H4 7" lamps. The reason I was not sure about the high beams was that the set I had for years came with them mounted to the bucket and the backing plate that screws to the radiator wall. I never took them off. The 7" lamps were for a RHD car (came from Scotland) and the 'light wedge' on the side of the low beams went up to the left - directly into oncoming traffic. I had to swap them out for LHD lamps so the light distribution was safe and legal. That's when I learned all about the differences as well as the availability.
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    granthr

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    Thanks CR for the info. I just had to give you a hard time! :p

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