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From digest.v7.n539 Tue Nov 4 19:19:56 1997
From: "Mike and Julie" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 23:23:43 -0500
Subject: Re: E36 headlights..overwatt bulbs?

Jason Leung wrote:

> Has anyone put in high-watt low beam bulbs for the E36? I'm
> hoping that a simple fuse change will do the trick....has anyone
> experienced wires melting, bulb holders melting, or lens melting??
> Tell me I can do this *relatively* cheaply!

It works. I've done it and have been running this setup for nearly 2 years now. You only need to change the fuses. The wiring and relay are ok. There's only one problem though: you're wasting money. The improvement is so marginal as to be nearly impossible to notice. You see, the problem isn't the wattage of the bulbs. The problem is the lens/reflector design. Instead of a sh*tty pattern with poor distance, poor uniformity and poor side coverage, you get a slightly whiter sh*tty pattern with poor distance, poor uniformity and poor side coverage.

I've ordered a set of Euro lights from BMP. They are still on back order. I'll report back on them as soon as I have them installed. Right now I'm not satisfied with the 9006 80/100 watt bulbs, except on high beam. To give an indication of how lousy the lights are, one of my 80w lows burned out and I replaced it with a 55 watter from my spares inventory. The right light (80w) doesn't project any farther than the left light (55w), and even the overall brightness (whiteness) is not much different. So, either save your pennies or go whole hog and pop for the biggies (euro lights). But before doing the latter, wait 'till I've tried them, in about a month's time. You see, I'm fanatical about decent lighting. Up here in Canada the dark season is very long, and the weather very crummy quite often so good lighting is a must. Not to mention those deer and moose on the roads. (now you know the true secret about why E36 drivers drive with their fogs all the time: any extra light is greatly appreciated, especially on low; the fogs at least improve your view of the road edge, quite useful around here where the edge lines are more often than not completely faded away).

Mike Gammon
'96 328i

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