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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 07-10-2004, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the difference between the european headlights and the US headlights?
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The North American e36 headlght assemblies have a plastic front cover, cheap skimpy plastic housing, and a reflector type assembly inside that merely reflects the light on to the road.

The European e36 headlight assemblies have a glass front cover, bigger thicker plastic housings, and an ellipsoid projector lense that focuses light onto the road where you need it most, not spray it all over the place like the NA reflector.

This is most of the reason I bought ZKW's. The Angel Eyes are nice, but the improvement in night vision is tremendous.
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Old 07-10-2004, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Exactly. The projectors are used on Euro specs due to the autobahns. reflectors do not give off enough light to drive fast safely at night. The ellipsoids increase the range of the headlights 30%.

Plus if you add HID, the lighting ability is increased even more. I upgraded to ellipsoids w/ HID, and it makes the NA spec look like 5W flashlight bulbs, both in clor and range.
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Old 07-10-2004, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe you guys should smack the hell outta me for saying this, but I have thought since day 1 when I had my Bimmer that the headlights were pretty damn good...yeah I know they are cheaper plastic, but they illuminate things pretty well with regular sylvania bulbs. I can only imagine how Euro Spec lights would increase vision and lighting...
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Old 07-10-2004, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, and plus the European Ellipsoid headlight installation will take you a good 8 hours full of cut up hands and a nice sunburn =)
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Old 07-10-2004, 04:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mine took about a beer (30min). Bolted right in where the NA specs did, and with the supplied adaptors, plugged right in.
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Old 07-10-2004, 04:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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hey jilphan
where did you buy those ones that bolted on from? and how much were
they? is there a DIY for that?
thanks
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Old 07-10-2004, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought my headlights from HERE}

There is a DIY posted by ElPresident in the FAQ section
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, how the hell did it take 8 hours? I mean, its only 15-20 screws holding everything on. Mine only too about three hours to do, and most of that was fitting the HID junk.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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where can I get some OEM euro headlights?
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jllphan@Jul 10 2004, 07:33 PM
I bought my headlights from HERE}

You don't read threads do you..
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, I checked that out and saw the price. I thought those were some aftermarket ones or something.
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I saw the price on those, 650 dollars, holy crap. All I could think about is there's my springs/shocks right there. Oh well I'll have this car till it exlodes twice so there will be plenty of time for money to be poured into it.

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Old 07-11-2004, 12:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Guys, I'm of the opinion of buying things ONCE. Do the research, and buy decent crap. You guys should be so lucky. I bought them before the price dropped to $650. ZKW is an oem manufacturer for BMW and many other German automakers. I guess I didn't mention that part.

Expensive...yes, worth it....no doubt.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've heard these are illegal in some places...is this true?
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