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Retrofitted OEM Xenons

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by alfiejts, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    In case anyone else is thinking of doing it, I've just retrofitted a pair of OEM Xenon porjector headlights into my non-Xenon A3. Managed the whole jobbie for just about £100 all in.

    Results are absolutely excellent. I've been using an H7 HID aftermarket conversion kit in my ordinary reflector headlights up until now, but the beam patern wasn't wonderful.

    Got the headlights off eBay for just £51 - but that didn't include ballasts or bulbs (well it came with one ignitor but that was no use to me - anyone need a spare OEM Xenon igniter?).

    So I bought a pair of pukka Osram D2S HID bulbs for £28 (eBay again) and I bought a connector cable to connect the OEM D2S bulb to my existing "aftermarket" HID Xenon ballasts.

    The aftermarket ballasts work OK without needing to change "VAG.COM" settings from Halogen to Xenon, so that's one less thing to worry about.

    Removed the bumper and headlights on Sunday and swapped them over.

    Only real issue was the headlight levelling motor. The "automatic" levelling motor in the HID headlight is different to the 3-stage manual motor in the halogen headlight.
    You need to swap over the motors inside the headlight units.

    Two issues follow there -
    Firstly the wiring plug for the motor is different (3 pin vs 4 pin). So you need to cut the connectors off from your old headlights as well and swap the 3 pin plug over into the new headlight too, connecting it up to the right wires. Even that's a pain, because the same colour wires connect to different pins in the different headlights - so you need to connect the 3 pin wires back to the same pin connections on the main headligt wiring loom plug, regardless of the wire colour.

    Next, you can't just fasten the manual adjustment motor into the Xenon headlight in the same way as it comes out of the Halogen headlight because it fouls the deeper projector beam assembly. By cutting off some unnecessary lugs on the plastic motor mount, I could turn the motors through 90 degrees, mount them vertically and avoid the conflict.

    So, all that done, I now have proper Xenon HID headlights and the beam pattern is just great.

    Before some of you kick off, yes I know there are two potential issues:

    1) I don't have the standard "auto levelling" system - but I take great care to monitor my car loading and adjust the beam level manually to compensate - so I don't see that as a real issue.

    2) I don't have headlight washers - but I wash my car every week and if I'm on a journey and they get dirty, I already wipe my headlights when I stop so that I can see properly - so they're probably even more clean than they would be with headlight washers - so again, I see no issue.

    OEM Xenons for £100 - :)
    #1
  2. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Nice work! Really cheap too. Make sure you post up some pics if you can.

    One point though. It doesn't matter if you take care to manually adjust the lighting beam, or keep the headlights clean - as fitted your Xenons are illegal without auto-levelling or washers, but I doubt you'll have any problems unless you fall victim to an eagle-eyed MoT tester or policeman.
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  3. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    The requirement for head light washers isn't a uk thing it for the rest of Europe. There's no mention of it for the MOT etc so I doubt that will be a problem.

    Regarding the self levelling system isn't there a manual adjuster inside the A3 to move the headlights? You know for when you have it loaded up?

    Just about every other car has this feature...

    J.
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  4. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    The manual adjuster is mentioned in the thread above, but I was sure Xenons have to be auto-levelling, because the extra brightness can dazzle other road users.
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  5. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Oh ok that'll teach me not to read the thread fully!

    Yes the auto levelling is for that but if you can adjust the lights to stop them pointing skyward he should be ok. They don't auto level that quick anyway when belting it down the road!

    You always seem to get flashed by people with xenons anyway...
    #5
  6. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Just found this on Philips website:

    “... To comply with European legal requirements Xenon light can only be fitted to your car in combination with an “automatic leveling device” and a headlamp whindshield clearning system”.
    #6
  7. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Yep europe but not a law enforced in this country. The levelling thing I can;t comment on.
    #7
  8. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Active Member

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    The levelling and washing requirement is only for factory fitted xenons, there's no such requirement for retrofitted ones.
    #8
  9. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Vertigo1 is right. The guidelines regarding levelling & washing technically applies to new cars only, but there is no law covering retrofit - that's why its a grey area - there's no definitive position one way or the other....

    According to the actually technicalities of the law, Xenons are technically illegal on all cars, that's why the regs were amended to cover the need for washing and auto levelling, but they didn't actually rewrite the para on headlight bulbs to make Xenon bulbs specifically OK - honestly!

    So in theory, according to the letter of the law, all manufacturer-fitted Xenons are illegal too, because the bulbs still don't comply with the technicalities of the headlight bulb specification law.

    So its all a bit of a mess really. They didn't change the law to make Xenon bulbs legal, they just introduced guidelines that if they were fitted on new cars, they should have auto levelling and washing.

    You couldn't make it up, but that goes for many of the motoring laws, rules & regs introduced by the current government....
    #9
  10. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    There you go some people are a lot better informed than me!
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  11. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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    alfietjs..what headlight assembly/holding did you purchase. i really want xenons on my car as i do a lot of country lane night driving!
    #11
  12. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Hi,
    According to the eBay advert, the part numbers were:

    AUDI A3 / A3 SPORT PAIR GAS DISCHARGE HEADLAMPS
    GENUINE NEW
    PART No'S -
    • 8P0 941 029 E / N
    • 8P0 941 030 E / N
    PAIR OF BRAND NEW GAS DISCHARGE HEADLAMPS WITHOUT IGNITER.
    FITS -
    • AUDI A3 / A3 SPORT - 04>07
    You can browse the eBay advert & picture by looking at item 130036774106
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Graham.
    #12
  13. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Those part numbers match up in the Audi parts cataloge for the Left and Right units for Left-Hand traffic for ordinary Xenons rather than Bi-Xenons. That means the outer dip beam unit is Xenon and the inner main beam unit is ordinary halogen.
    #13
  14. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    I tell you what, £51.00 for the pair is an absolute bargain! I swear the only ones I've seen before this went for well over £400!
    #14
  15. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Dave - Yes you're right. These are the uk-spec RHD "ordinary" Xenons (as fitted to 2003-2006 cars) with a Xenon dipped unit and a separate halogen H7 main beam.

    They'd already been through a full auction with a minimum bid of £79 and no one bid on them.... I thought - no, I don't really need them, so I didn't bother.

    When they went on eBay again at a minimum bid of £49, I just couldn't resist....
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  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Look like you got an excellent deal. eBay has it's uses.

    I've noticed quite a few Audi dealers are beginning to get eBay shops to sell some of their less specialist items and some items for older models.

    If you do need part numbers for any of the other 'bits' that you may require let me know and I will gladly help if I can.
    #16
  17. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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    you lucky guy!!! i think that might be abit much too spend just now. how was the beam pattern with HID's in the reflector housing?
    #17
  18. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Beam pattern using H7 HID bulbs in the dipped halogen reflector was OK-ish.
    I think results can be very variable with these conversion units, as there aren't any real H7 HID bulbs - they're made by fitting an H7 base to a proper D2S HID bulb and the results are down to the quality control and the tolerences of the various companies who cobble these bulbs together.
    One of my bulbs was better than the other - I think the focal point on one was just 1mm out and that made all the difference.

    The main problem I found with using the H7 HID bulbs was the triangular kick-up on the halogen reflector beam pattern that's used to light up the kerb. With a HID bulb, that becomes very bright and if you travel down the middle or outside lanes on a motorway, you were really dazzling the mirrors of cars travelling to the inside of you. I used to get so much abuse from cars I'd passed alongside that I really felt guilty - especially when I'd had it done to me by others with an HID conversion.

    It was a lot brighter bulb, but I don't think I'd buy another HID conversion kit - I'd just stick to the +50% or the new Philips X-Treme +80% performance halogen bulbs....

    The proper projector Xenons have a different beam pattern specifically to avoid dazzling cars from behind in other lanes. Its a ¬_ z-shape rather than the normal \_ tick-shape of the Halogen reflector.
    #18
  19. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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    so you don't recommend gettin a HID kit unless i have projectors?
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  20. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Well its all down to personal choice.

    They're all technically illegal, as none of the HID kit bulbs are E-marked, so you are carrying a technical risk of being stopped and fined.

    There's also the risk and worry that you might get an over official MOT tester picking up on them and failing them on a poor beam pattern(although you should just be able to put your old halogen bulbs in at MOT time...)

    Then you're taking the gamble with the HID kit that you will get two quality rebased bulbs that are aligned properly rather than a duff one.
    (I ended up fiddling with my bulbs every time I fitted them into the headlight housing, with them turned on, to try and get a decent beam pattern - and with 34,000 volts going through, that was a bit daft really.....)

    And then the other problem I had was more specific to my Alfa 156 which had bright headlight trim that used to catch the beam and create loads of very bright dazzling scatter (the black interior of the A3 headlight wasn't as bad...)

    When you're driving down the motorway and the reflections back from overhead signs are so bright that there's almost dazzling you, you do worry about the effect you're having on cars you're following....

    I think its all down to personal views, how much you care about other road users, the unknown quality of the kit you buy and the specific characteristics of the headlight in the make & model you're fitting them....
    #20
  21. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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    i have seen some bosch HID's on ebay. I would never purchase a kit that does not have a reputalbe name.....such as philips, hella, bosch etc... I think i'll try them out and if i don't like them i can always ebay them again. thaks for the help and advice
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  22. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    Bear in mind that no one with a known name makes "ordinary" based HID bulbs. The electronic boxes (ballasts) may be branded but the bulbs will always have been "converted" from proper HID bulbs by another third party.... That's where the gamble comes in.

    Having spent the money once to buy a HID kit, I personally wish I hadn't bothered and saved the cash for something else, but that's your choice....
    #22
  23. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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  24. pav767
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    just got of the phone to vagparts. they really helped me understand more about xenons and using the conversion kit. anyone purchased a kit from them before?
    #24
  25. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I have just read an article in this weeks Autoexpress magazine about fitting aftermarket HID units. The magazine contacted the Department for Transport to seek their view of the legality of them and I quote:

    "It is not acceptable to convert a headlight approved for use with a halogen filament bulb to use a Xenon (HID) gas discharge bulb. The only acceptable way of converting is to replace the headlight for one approved for gas discharge bulbs. Such headlamps will be approved to UNECE Regulation 98 and 'E' marked. If headlamps approved to UNECE Regulation 98 are retro-fitted, they must be self-levelling (as part of the headlamp system) or via self-levelling suspension and headlamp washers must be installed. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to fit or use parts which are not legal"
    #25
  26. pav767
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    pav767 Member

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    thats interesting as alot of people on here state that for retro-fitted xenon's, self-levelling suspension and headlamp washers are not needed. also the headlamp washers are not required by law in this country only in europe. alot of contradictions going on. why the hell don't manufacturers just make xenon's as standard on every model. seeing more helps safer driving, its a fact! its dissapointing to see that top makes such as audi, bmw, mercedes etc don't fit xenons as standard. i mean look at volvo more or less all of their post 2004 vehicles have xenons fitted. they should make it a law to have them standard.

    i know i should of got them as an option, but i bought off the forecourt as i couldnt wait for the car to be built, so its my fault really. but audi should have provided better headlights than the halogens on the a3. they are appaling, have to always use the main beam!!
    #26
  27. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I agree to a degree but it's like a lot of things on the options list. Some are more important to one person that another. In your particular case then I think if you want Xenons that much, do the job properly and change the whole headlights and not just the bulbs.

    In the article the spokeswoman for the DfT also said:

    "Our main concern is the potential for the modified lamps to produce an incorrect beam pattern and to cause glare to other road users. That's because halogen headlamps are designed to emit a defined beam pattern using a filament wire that has a structure which is tightly controlled by regulations. A (HID) gas discharge bulb produces an electrical arc which has a very different shape and dimensions to a filament wire and so the beam pattern will be incorrect"

    For the the article in Autoexpress the magazine had some HID bulbs fiited to a Renault Megane and another part of the article reads:

    "The (beam) pattern was all over the place, and the beam was not where it should be. Also the light was much more dull. The headlamp wasn't performing 100% with the conversion fitted. The ones installed on our Megane wouldn't actually illuminate the road quite as well because the light was being scattered. This could also dazzle oncoming vehicles"

    So personally, I think it may end up as false economy fitting aftermarket units. Far better to bite the bullet and fit 'proper' Xenon headlights. More expensive, I know but then you didn't pay the £675 for them as an option in the first place so at least you have that to play with to start with.
    #27
  28. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    I helped a mate fit aftermarket HIDs to his Mazda, and he called me a week later saying that they weren't as bright as the originals. I think the new HIDs probably were brighter, but because the beam pattern is wrong, they just don't illuminate the road correctly.
    #28
  29. mattandrew
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    Found this thread from the past and hopefully its gona help me solve my issues, thanks for the info.

    THe bumpers going to come off later and see what i can sort
    #29
  30. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    is it the wiring of the levelers your still having problems with? I take it you dont know of anybody else near you that has them factory fitted? I hope you manage to get it sorted this time.
    #30
  31. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor Site Sponsor

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    I have factory fitted but its the 3 wire to 4 wire thats the issue, he asked me just after I had done my S3 front so bit late to stick on meter, also the xenon auto levellers go into a control module but the halogens are wired direct to the motor, so maybe not clean cut
    #31
  32. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    its not like in the old days lol.
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  33. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor Site Sponsor

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    this weathers killing me man, cant do me skirts or rear valance, it sucks & pdc now think found the reason for not working is stuck up north after testing with a mate, god I might have to venture to brighton to do some personal shopping, boring, lol
    #33
  34. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    went out on my bike, its only 6.5 degrees though! Brrrr
    #34
  35. NHN
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    pennyfarthing?
    #35
  36. maars
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    maars Full speed ahead

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    i can't seem to find that eBay listing. Any chance you can repost it?
    #36
  37. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor Site Sponsor

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    good luck from 2 years ago
    #37
  38. maars
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    maars Full speed ahead

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    :rolleyes: didn't see the original post was from 2006 - doh!
    #38
  39. NHN
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    lol, well it happens

    been studying the schematics for the 4 different headlight types, halogen, xenon, bixenon & bixenon adaptive, interesting tbh & now understand it all, now to find some bixenon adaptives to switch my xenons with, wish I had done this earlier then wouldnt have dealt with kufatec who are infact useless, not exactly brain surgery, shittttt, lol.

    They sent me the pdc loom & wired it wrong, wannnkkkeeerrrrsssss
    #39
  40. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    and here was me thinking they were just slow in delivering. N, surely its not rocket science to a man like yourself to make up the leads yourself and supply them to the 'west' with a more reliable service.

    Are your lights bi or single?
    #40

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