Jun 05

BMW E61 Wagon: SC430 Low, D2S 4.0 High. Hella Gen 3, CBI, Full Vader

So after spending 12 months on jackstands in my garage after blowing my engine my BMW E61 is back on the road. Along with the engine replacement I did a manual swap, AWD-RWD conversion, ABS pump relocation, retrofitted complete M5 drivetrain, uprgraded the fuel system, and added some other goodies. For those inclined there is more info here:

My old headlight setup:
...with quad H1 projectors was sold to a fellow wagon owner so I decided to re-retrofit my original set of lights:

I guess you could consider this my "dream build" for this point in time. Here are the specs.

- SC430 Low Beam Projector:
- E30 Clear Lens
- Bowl shift
- Shaved "J slope" shield
- Black demon eye
- Shroudless
- D2S 4.0 High Beam Projector
- Shield/solenoid delete
- Black demon eye
- Boosted Hella Gen 3 Ballasts 46w Low, 55w High
- Osram CBI Low, Mori 5.5k D2H High
- Full Vader Black Trim "distressed" finish
- Frosted Fins and Brow Strip

Dynamic is OUT, SC430 is IN

After some trimming I got the 4.0 to sit flush in what was originally the reflector bowl for the oem angel eyes.

I was originally going to mount switchback Diode Dynamic strips in the eyebrows but it takes a surgeon's hand to remove the material without damaging the brow, I tried with my dremel and failed, it would likely be possible with an ultra sonic cutter and laser focus, I passed on the mod at this time but maybe in the future...

As I was keeping the oem LEDs my plan was to keep the side marker intense but kill off the light shining down the tube. In hopes of doing this I removed the reflector for the large LED, I couldn't desolder it as it would break the circuit.

I have a brushed aluminum theme on my wagon inside the cabin and in the engine bay so my plan to was to brush the SC430 and leave it raw so I sandewd everything by hand. Here the lens retrainer on the left is oem and the one on the right is brushed,

Everything brushed

Drilled out the mounts to allow mounting hardware

Shields were sanded to create a "J step" and allow a tad bit more light to pass through. My E61 is lowered and have no concerns about the added light blinding people.

Projectors are mounted rock-solid, no wiggle or wobble. The lower tab on the bowl sits nicely on the outer gimbal.

SC430 left, oem Hella Bi-X on the right.

Brow was originally silver which was "fine" and unoffensive but I wanted the brow to match the complete look of the headlight, I also wanted to test my skills on extracting and reinstalling the brow. It resides in it's own cavity above the main headlight area. So you could remove it with the headlight lens remaining sealed. It is VERY challenging to remove since it is so visible and when you use razor to cut it out any blemish form the process is easily visible.

Here is the look I was going for; tying the lights and the brushed look into the rest of the car, unfortunately the SC430s were so recessed behind the larger shroud they were not able to be "celebrated" as I had hoped and instead of them being showcased they were tucked away and the silver in the otherwise blackheadlight made it looked a bit unfinished. This was confirmed after I mocked up the headlight with the lenses off.

D2S 4.0s with solenoid removed and black demon eye applied

SC430s after receiving the "Vader" treatment. Being high temp paint with ceramic I put it through a few heat cycles to help it cure and release any extra gasses.

My original wiring harness was in bad shape, luckily I had some extra parts from an eBay light I bought for components. It should be easy to tell which harness is which.

SC430 painted, tuned, and ready to go back in

Digital angle finder and a Bosch laser level FTW

Going back in

Love the raw projector look #CelebrateOemProjectors

You can see the D2S slightly aimed upward.

No JB here, just some precise dremeling and serviceable hardware. i wanted to run CBIs for the highs but Mori CBHs were called into duty for space constraints, happy I got the D2S 4.0 to fit in here, previously it was a MH1.

Grommets for the CBH

Excess butyl after the seal


All done, finished up just in time for Bimmerfest 2017

That D2S lens is in a PRIME location for some projector burn, I have to be mindful of where I park.

Running light

Laser beams

Here are some output shots. Passenger side projector is just a hair off (or driverside is) It can be tricky to aim the projectors which have a sloping cutoff like the SC430 and Murano, It isn't perfect but not bad enough to warrant any serious concerns. The D2S are aimed a bit high but I will adjust them down a hair.

Disclaimer: Acme 75w ballasts are powering the high beam in these pics, NOT the 55w Hellas, (still need to build the Hellas), The high beam will be strong but not as face-melting nuclear strong as shown in these pics. The output is INSANE.

BTW this is about 15' from the wall, love the SC430 width.

High beam champ: D2S 4.0 + Arsenal

Laser beams

Exposure locked for the following 2 photos

Choppin trees