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Boris3

e46 330i ZKW burnt projector bowls options

Question

I picked up an 04 330i ZHP earlier this week, drove it home in the rain and couldn't see anything with dims or brights. Had to turn on the fogs just to see where I was going. Turns out the car has the ZKW bi-xenon setup. I just checked today  and of course the projector bowls are toasted. Missed this issue when I was reading through buyers guides of what to look for.

I've been searching assorted e46 forums (Fanatics, ZHP mafia etc) since and have gotten a sense of the options to address this. New replacements are obviously stupid expensive, especially coming from an e30! There are retrofit and swap options. Some WI Bimmers experience would be helpful. For those of you with e46 facelift sedans that have dealt with the ZKW headlight issue what has worked for you, what would you recommend?    

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330i, sweet.

i have experience in bixenon retrofits, but nothing with e46s. how crafty do you like to get? retrofitsource makes good quality stuff, but you'll have to DIY it, and based on the reviews it will take some fine-tuning of your own. the light output should be phenomenal, though.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/complete-retrofit-kits/morimoto-retroquik-bmw-e46-zkw-repair.html

 

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4 hours ago, straight6pwr said:

330i, sweet.

i have experience in bixenon retrofits, but nothing with e46s. how crafty do you like to get? retrofitsource makes good quality stuff, but you'll have to DIY it, and based on the reviews it will take some fine-tuning of your own. the light output should be phenomenal, though.

https://www.theretrofitsource.com/complete-retrofit-kits/morimoto-retroquik-bmw-e46-zkw-repair.html

 

Thanks! I've been reading about the retrofitsource option and you're right about the crafty DIY (some dremmel work and JB weld).  Lightwerkz will also do the installation if you send in your headlight assemblies but it'll cost. Other DIY options focus on replacing the bowls with refurbished ZKW bowls which just postpones the problem, or e90 bowls, etc

With a closer look this afternoon though it looks like a PO somewhere along the line also cracked some the plastic tabs in the headlight assembly that attach the assembly to the frame and RTV'd over the cracks. Also the lens covers were replaced and I'm getting condensation inside the lights. Not sure how much sense it would make to do retrofit in the existing assembly.

Some folks have swapped in the whole used AL headlight assembly with AL plastic mounting bracket. Supposedly the assembly from the facelift sedan and from the pre-facelift coups will work. Finding them is the key.

Or take the really cheap/ big downgrade route and find a e46 halogen assembly and reflash the LCM.

Sad,  I poured all over the engine bay looking for leaks, rattles, etc when I was checking out the car. Test drove it during the early evening when it was still light out and didn't look close enough at the headlights. Doh!!

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