I am Teh Edumacator.
Join Date: May 2005
Location: ATL, London, and Barcelona
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Perplexing E39 headlight problem
I'm installing P39 projector headlights with angel eyes from jlevisw.com into my (Eric's old) 1999 540i. I'm also installing HIDs. Here's the problem:
I have four ballasts, four igniters, and four bulbs. I have verified with the passenger's side wiring that all of these pieces of equipment work.
When I was plugging the ballast into the stock wiring on the driver's side, the plug for the stock wiring broke apart in my hand as I was pushing it into the ballast's plug. Undeterred, I lined up the electrodes and slid together the plugs. No matter which ballast I try, I cannot get the driver's side HID bulb to ignite. So I figured that the wiring harness itself was phuxxored.
I was wrong.
I plugged in the halogen bulb to the stock wiring harness plug, carefully lining up the electrodes etc. The bugger lit right up. So the halogen bulb gets electricity, and the xenon doesn't, or at least not enough to ignite.
FYI, I took a long look at the wiring harness plug and the wires leading from it. I was interested to note that they were covered with electrical tape, while the other side's plug wires were not. I stripped off some electrical tape to discover bare wire that had been sautered together. It looks like someone chopped off the plug at some point and sautered on a new one.
1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.
1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.
Sold 2-28-07: 1997 E36 M3/4, 8-30-05 RIP 1997 528i
Lindsay fan club member.