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From digest.v7.n306 Sat Sep 20 00:02:00 1997
From: Jim Cash <>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 23:27:33 -0400
Subject: Re <e28> Headlamp upgrade ?s

Stephen Serafin askes numerous questions about upgrading his headlights on his E28 533i.

Stephen you quoted the main manufacturers that I know of. I used Cibie's (purchased back in 1983) - but if you can only find Hella - go with them
  • - most people on the digest are thrilled with them.

You are correct that they consist of a lans, reflector & bulb - but the lens and reflector are integrated like your sealed beam units. It is just that the bulb is replaceable and plugs in the back. You simply remove your sealed beams and put these in their place - aim and your done. There are not right and left lenses. But yes - the lenses are different for the H1 (high beam) and H4 (low/high beam). These lenses are suited for the required pattern for high and low beam lights.
You will note that on the low beam lights there is an angled portion that gives some light at a higher level to the shoulder of the road - to light road signs . This is very useful but be careful when passing people since you are shining this into their mirror - don't linger beside them.

The H1 and H4 bulbs you mentioned are the ones to use. I know that some people upgrade to the higher wattage, but personally experience is that they are not really required for highway driving, and it does place more stress on your electrical system - especially in the winter when you use your lights more and you battery is also under more stress. You might be better to replace the bulbs every 2-3 years. They are brighter in the first 2/3rds of their life.

You may want to ask if they have different high beam units. I am looking at my original Cibie box (may be old part numbers) but they list 2 different lights for the high beam with H1 bulbs. 57-32-02 - reflective range is 4,800 feet. 57-30-02 - reflective range is 8,600 feet.

I used the long range lamps - gave great light way ont front on country roads - BUT YOU HAVE TO GET IN THE HABIT OF DIPPING THEM MUCH EARLIER THAN YOU WOULD WITH THE SHORTER RANGE LAMPS. If you forget you WILL be reminded.

Not sure if the price you quoted could be bettered but it seems reasonable as long as bulb is included.

Hope this helps.

And by the way - do this!
You will never go back to sealed beams again. To me it is the best safety mod available. You will notice that the light is even across the road and that you no longer have areas of bright light and shadows. You will find you eyes are not as stressed during night driving.


Jim Cash
London Ontario, Canada
E39 540ia (with xenon's)

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