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  1. #1
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    Euro headlight conversion

    Went to look for some interior parts today and ended up with a Euro headlight conversion, center grills included. Has the large outer lamps. $160. I need to refinish the buckets but everything else is in good shape. Are there any electrical issues I should be aware of when installing these?

    Thanks Dennis


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    From another site

    European Headlight Wiring(how to convert from US)

    They way you need to rewire it is as follows.

    First you will need quite a few butt crimp end connectors. You will also need the proper Euro plugs to plug on the back of the lights. Now this is what wiring you need to do.
    Disconnect the battery.

    First, you need to locate pin number 85 in the low beam relay. Once locating this, mark it and remove the relay. Mark the exact plug it is. Then open the fuse box. Be careful as you don't want to pull any of the wires too hard. Then locate the other side of pin 85 on the low beam relay. You will see that it is a loop. What you need to do is find the one wire that runs between pin 85 and the high beam relay. This wire needs to be cut at the high beam relay. You want to cut it as close to the connector on the back of the high beam relay as possible without damaging the other wire coming out of the connector on the high beam relay. Now with this cut, strip it, and put a butt end connector on it. Then you will want to run a new piece of wire through the lower rubber grommet. After running this wire through the grommet, attach it to the other end of the butt end connector. Tape everything up, and close up the fuse box. Now with the wire on the outside of the fuse box, you want to run that to a ground. I run it to the main ground on the fender.

    Now time for the lights. Remove the old lights. Now you will see 2 connectors that look like U s. The one on the high beam has 2 wires in it. One is a ground(brown) and the other is the power(white/blue or white/purple) from the relay. The power has 2 wires coming out of the connector. The one that runs to the low beam you want to cut. MAKE SURE YOU CUT THE RIGHT ONE! You can test by pulling on the wire on the low beam side and see which wire moves. That is the one you want to cut. Now, once that is cut, you want to pull it through to the low beam side. This will give you some extra wire that you will need later. From what I remember the Euro connectors on the back of the lights are different than the US ones. You can do this next step 1 of 2 ways. First you want to remove the female spade connector from the plastic. DAMAGE THE PLASTIC, NOT THE CONNECTOR. Once you have the connectors removed, you can either just plug them on the back of the light, or you can insert them into the Euro connectors. If you have a used Euro harness, when removing the female spade connectors, damage the metal when remove them from the EURO harness. This will preserve the plastic which you will need when you insert the spades on your wiring harness. Once you have done this for the high beam, then it comes to wiring the low beam. The ground(brown), a low beam power wire and you will have another wire which is loose. That would be the old high beam which you now are going to make into the street light. This is done by removing the side marker light in the bumper. You will see that it has 2 wires going into the connector. What I did was spliced in this wire into the power lead to the side marker light. This will turn on the street lights in the head light at the same time you put on the parking lights. And as for the third and final wire, that is the low beam wire. This does not need to be modified and connects directly into the plug or to the back of the light. Once this is done, then insert the Euro lights, and you will need to then wire the caps to the backs of the lights. Make sure that all of your connections are the same. For example you have the ground to the ground and the power to the power for the correct bulbs. There are 3 prongs on the back of the H4 bulb, one of these is ground, one is low filament and the other is high. You can place the low beam lead on either one of the filaments and then change them to see which you like better.

    What this accomplishes is that when you turn on the high beams, the high beam lights come on, the low beams stay on, instead of switching filaments, and the fog lights stay on. This is the way the Euro cars work.
    Written by Rob Anderson '01

    More clarification on the Euro lights

    Well the way I have it wired up, which is the Euro way. Even though the H4 has 2 filaments, the Euro wiring only uses one. So what happens is that when you put on the parking lights the 4w bulbs turn on. Then if you flash the brights, only the center lights(high beams) turn on. Now, you put the switch in the second position and you will find that the low beam will turn on and the 4w will stay on which is how it works in the Euro cars. Now, if you put on the brights, the low beam and the high beam are both on, but the filament used in the low beam is the same all the time. You only use one filament in the low beam. In the US wiring, both filaments are used in the low beam so when you turn on the high beam, the low low beam filament turns off and the high low beam filament turns on. You have to eliminate this to have them wired correctly. By the way, the fog lights will also remain on when you have the brights on. So basically if you have the low beam on then you have filament number 1 in the low beam on and the fog lights. Now you put on the high beams. In the Euro wiring, filament number 1 remains on and so do the fogs and then the high beam turns on.
    Written by Rob Anderson '01


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    Re: From another site

    Has anyone tried this, sounds pretty twisted? Read instructions carefully would be the rule of the day. Anyone have a simpler solution?

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    You can cut and splice your harness to connect to

    the euro connectors. You can also just plug your connectors directly on the lamps. Problem with option two is the weather protection for the Euro lamp is compromised and connecting the city lights is a lot harder. If you follow the originally posted directions the lamps will function as originally designed.

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    Re: You can cut and splice your harness to connect to

    Thanks for the info. I found another link with pics which make the directions a lot more clear. Will probably do the Euro wiring setup.

  6. #6
    wjosh
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    What was the link? I have Euro's I am looking to

    to do on mine.

    Thanks,

    wjosh

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    Re: Another Re-wire link

    I haven't really compared the instuctions given to the pics of the fuse box, but they sounded like the same thing. Not sure if I will go the route of added relays as this guy did.
    Euro Headlight Install

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    The simple way ...

    ... assuming the E24 uses the same lamps as the E28:

    1.) Take off the big 1/4 turn cover on the back of the big lamps. Underneath you'll find the back of the H4 bulb. You can plug your US connector directly onto this. In this way, you will be able to use them immediately (like tonight). Both filaments will operate as on a US car. The low beam will be the low beam and the high beam (not used in Europe) will be the high beam. The 15W 'city light' stuck in the lamp will not illuminate unless you wire it separately (most use a parking lamp lead).

    2) The high beam H1 lamps will connect directly to your US connectors without modification.

    The procedure you've read is to give you the 'correct' European lighting. IMHO, the Europeans are stupid and wasteful for using only the low beam filament of an H4 bulb. My way is quicker, neater (except for having to solder 2 wires to that little bulb socket) and makes lots more light in front of you.--
    C.R. Krieger
    '88 535is - Da Red Dog

    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/2/web/578000-578999/578895_4_full.jpg">

  9. #9
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    Oops! Thought I was in the E24 group.

    What I said is based on E28 experience with Da Dog (below). It will work just fine on your M5.--
    C.R. Krieger
    '88 535is - Da Red Dog

    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/2/web/578000-578999/578895_4_full.jpg">

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    Re: Oops! Thought I was in the E24 group.

    As simple as that? I have the euro connectors with about 6 inches of wire to where they were cut out of the donor car, was considering splicing and shrink wrapping them into the original harness. Read somewhere the current draw is different between the original buls and the euro's. A concern?

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