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Has anyone supercharged the other E46 M3 Bosch Bi-xenon ballasts? The ones with the seperate ignitor inside of the headlight?

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  • Has anyone supercharged the other E46 M3 Bosch Bi-xenon ballasts? The ones with the seperate ignitor inside of the headlight?

    Just wondering if anyone has successfully supercharged these Bosch Bi-xenon ballasts...from an E46 M3...


    They're the ballasts that are external to the headlight assembly and have separate ignitor boxes inside of the headlight housings. If so, got any links or info on how to do it and what resistor needs replacing?

    My car got hit recently and i'll be re-doing some of the work for my retrofit. Thinking about trying to supercharge the ballasts as well if it's possible...preferably with pot resistors so I can adjust the output?
    Anyway, thanks in advance for any info.
    Alvin Caragay
    '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
    '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
    '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
    My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

  • #2
    Let me also preface this by saying that i'm not planning on running them at a higher wattage regularly. Ideally i'd like to be able run them at stock wattage for regular driving and then have the wattage increase for bi-xenon highbeam usage or open road usage. A setup similar to what azdave is using that automatically boosts the output for highbeam useage would be my ideal situation...
    Alvin Caragay
    '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
    '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
    '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
    My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

    Comment


    • #3
      This is Al Bosch ballast so i thing it`s supercharged succes
      http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...ht=supercharge

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      • #4
        Thanks for the reply. Have seen that thread, but I believe my ballasts are slightly different than those. Mine are the bi-xenon version. Not sure how much different the internals are as I haven't take them apart yet to compare...
        Alvin Caragay
        '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
        '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
        '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
        My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

        Comment


        • #5
          i think resistors at the same place.

          Comment


          • #6
            Those look almost exactly like my Bosch AL Gen 2s. Bi-Xenon has nothing to do with the ballast.
            Anthony
            2011 Ford Fiesta SES Hatchback
            2008 Wrangler Unlimited FX-R Retrofit
            2011 Fiesta Retrofit Number 2

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            • #7
              only way to know is open you ballast cover and see resistor number

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              • #8
                Actually, the bi-xenon feature is somewhat built into the ballast. The bi-xenon shield connector has 3 wires...a red, a green, and a black. These are in addition to the red/green/black connector that goes to the ignitor. If I remember correctly from when I was originally doing my retrofit and pulled the cover just to peek in there, the black wire of the solenoid connector actually went into the plug that goes inside of the ballast. It was my suspicion that the ballast itself that makes my strong/weak ground functionality for the solenoid and this was verified by powering the "highbeam" signal and measuring current flowing to the solenoid with my Fluke 88. When first powered up, the solenoid drew about 2A then almost immediately dropped down to about 0.3A. This suggests to me that the strong/weak ground functionality was actually built into the ballast itself and not the LCM (Light Control Module) on the E46 as some have speculated. I further verified this by actually testing the "highbeam" signal output from the LCM to the ballast on an E46 M3 at work (I'm a BMW Level 1 Master Technician and Shop Foreman at Santa Monica BMW). That higbeam signal was merely a source voltage (12V) output to the ballast. So, in my opinion at least, the bi-xenon solenoid functionality on these particular ballasts actually is incorporated into the ballast itself. I assume that the rest of the internals as far as the regular xenon functions are probably the same as the ballasts commonly supercharged (Gen2?), but I haven't actally been able to pull one apart and inspect it. My ballasts are still installed on the car and are in use every day. The car's gonna go into the bodyshop next week though and I'll be pulling the ballasts out of it before I drop it off to do some investigating. Just thought i'd see if anyone out there had actually done these particular ballasts yet. Planning on using some fixed resistors and relays to switch between stock output and a fixed boosted output for bi-xenon highbeam usage, etc...
                Alvin Caragay
                '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
                '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
                '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
                My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

                Comment


                • #9
                  why do not use a potentiometer?
                  you do not need relays to switch between resistors.
                  and yes - ballast has bi-xenon function not lcm
                  but E46 bixenon solenoid not work at 12 volts
                  when you put solenoid at 12 volts - it will break
                  in inet has sheme for resistors between ballast and 12 volt connector on the car

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ivelin View Post
                    why do not use a potentiometer?
                    you do not need relays to switch between resistors.
                    and yes - ballast has bi-xenon function not lcm
                    but E46 bixenon solenoid not work at 12 volts
                    when you put solenoid at 12 volts - it will break
                    in inet has sheme for resistors between ballast and 12 volt connector on the car
                    Depends on the manufacturing date. I've seen a 2002 that had all 3 wires being used, and it seemed like the lcm took care of the voltage changes. My old car (an 03 330i) had a single wire for the solenoid wire, and the ballast handled the voltage changes internally; seems like that's the kind the wolfsentech guy had.

                    I traced the wiring on my 05, and it seems that the solenoid gets the full +12V unlike the earlier models

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      from your picture and the one posted in the DIY, it's the same ballast. the single xenon ballast for older e46s has an inline 6 pin connector with some red rubber seal around it.
                      Last edited by sillieidiot; May 8th, 2011, 03:13 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I have these ballasts and have boosted them, although they were not in a BMW, I fitted them to my golf with S2000 retro, I used a rotary switch which allowed me to run various levels of boost as kind of worried about running them at high power for too long and damaging the bowls.

                        atchipmunk - I now have an E46 M3 CS which comes with these ballasts and I am considering wiring them up so I have the option of boosting them, do you think the stock BMW wiring can handle the increased current draw?
                        Last edited by Ianbuckwell; May 13th, 2011, 03:53 PM.
                        Golf III VR6 Highline - currently AP1 S2000 retro in InPro R32 look lights, 4 stage Adjustable Boosted Bosch ballasts 35W-68W

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                        • #13
                          i'm pretty sure the stock wiring could take it to an extent, but the LCM probably can't. i would still run a wiring harness to be safe

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                          • #14
                            Ok, well I came up on a spare Ballast today and opened it up and yes...it's pretty much the same internally as the Ballasts used in the boosted thread.

                            Ivelin...I don't want to use a potentiometer because I don't want to manually change the output. What i'm trying to achieve is having the ballasts run at stock output normally, but having them jump up to a boosted level (maybe 55-60W) when the highbeam solenoid is activated. The only way I can achieve that is to run SPDT or SPST relays wired in parallel to the SMT resistor on the ballast. For normal (35w) output the relay in it's normally closed state would be connected to nothing causing the regular SMT resistor to function by itself giving stock output. When the relay coil is powered, it would then connect to the added fixed resistor, adding parallel resistance, and causing the output wattage to jump to the boosted output. I could also wire the relay to a switch for manual control of the boost level as desired. Can't achieve that with a potentiometer. With a pot wired in parallel, you'd never be able to run stock wattage because even with the pot turned all the way down, there will still be some added parallel resistance...causing an increase in output wattage. And, it would have to be done manually...can't control it electrically.

                            Regarding +12V being supplied to the high solenoid. When I was doing my testing on an E46 M3 prior to my retrofit into my E36, I tested the voltage sent to the "highbeam" wire on the small 3-pin connector on a bone stock E46 M3 at work. Bothe when activating and after it was held open for a while I measured +12V on that wire. As for the E46 and whether it can take the added boost? Well, I measured the wiring used in the E46 and if I remember correctly it uses 12gauge wiring to the ballast connectors. According to some gauge/amperage charts I looked at before, that 12 gauge wiring should be good for 20A of current so the wiring should be able to handle it. I'm not sure how the LCM would react though. I don't think it has any way of monitoring the actual output of the ballasts so I don't think there would be a problem, but who knows.
                            Alvin Caragay
                            '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
                            '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
                            '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
                            My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Spent a little bit of time working on one of my ballasts today. Here's a couple of pics...

                              Yup...the 6212 SMT Resistor is in the same place on these bi-xenon ballasts...damn are those things small...


                              Carefully soldered on some small gauge wires...


                              Routed those wires out the case and to a slide switch wired up to a 22K Ohm resistor...


                              Then temporarily mounted the up in the car for a it of testing...


                              With the switch off, there is no additional parallel resistance so output is at the stock 35W. When the switch is turned to "on", the boost should jump to around 55 Watts (based on azdave's boosted bosch ballast experiments). Unfortunately, when I completed this step it was still daytime so I had to perform a daytime test. Here is is:
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLmnerqshGE

                              Now that I know it works, it's time to put together a little relay circuit so I can electrically switch between stock output (35W) and boosted output (55W). Here's the parts I bought from Fry's and Radio Shack for this project...some 22K Ohm resistors, some 20K Ohm resistors, a couple 12V micro relays, and some printed circuit boards.
                              I started by mounting up the relay on the board, soldering it in place, and wiring it all up...




                              I then epoxied the relay circuit assembly into the top cover of the ballast so it's out of the way and practically invisible. The wires pass easily up and through the connector opening. Now, I just need to wire those to the highbeam circuit and it will boost the output at the same time that it actuates the highbeam solenoid...




                              This is the "final" result. Just need to wire those 2 leads to the 12V highbeam wire and ground and everything should work...


                              Now that it's nightime, I got out to take one more quick video testing the output at night. It's a bit too close to the wall, but you can at least get a feel for the light output. The relay coil wires are not hoked up yet and i'm just actuating it with a IR cordelss drill battery (hence the reason it flickers a bit..not making good contact). Anyway, Here it is...
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyz5kYzV-EE

                              comments and Criticisms welcome...
                              Alvin Caragay
                              '89 BMW 325iX (now for sale )
                              '96 AC Schnitzer S3 Sport CLS Replica
                              '09 BMW 328i (on lease for the wifey)
                              My OEM E46 Bosch Bi-xenon Retrofit(with mods) into "Euro" ZKW's

                              Comment

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