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How similar are oem and replica E46 shrouds? Tips for E46 quad retro.

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  • How similar are oem and replica E46 shrouds? Tips for E46 quad retro.

    Saw a post on here and someone mentioned pity the retroer hadn't used oem shouds. I have a 2005 E46 M3 with xenon projectors as standard, I am thinking of doing a quad retro, with the intention of leaving the factory shrouds and projectors in place and just fitting additional projectors to the inner highbeam reflector area.

    If I were to use E46 replica shrouds from Theretrofitsource would there be any noticeable difference between replica and oem? Also I am assuming I should use the regular rather than the extended shrouds?

    One last question, I have a set of rhd TL projectors, has anyone managed to fit these into the highbeam area on an E46? I am guessing they will be too tall? Therefore I will probably fit the LR3s that I have?

    I have previously done 3 retros on my last car which was a Golf VR6 Mk3, so I know the basics, does anyone have any helpfull tips or pointers for doing retros (particularly quad) in the E46?

    Thanks
    Golf III VR6 Highline - currently AP1 S2000 retro in InPro R32 look lights, 4 stage Adjustable Boosted Bosch ballasts 35W-68W

  • #2
    Has no one compared E46 replica shrouds to the oem ones? Would the shape be the same as guessing they may have used an oem for the mold?
    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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    • #3
      being that no one else answered, i will, not that i know much about them--i've only ever bought the replica's..

      the way i understand it, the oem shrouds are clear and the chrome is applied to the back. the replica's are white, and the chrome is applied to the front surface.. so i would expect the look of each one to be a little different-- the oem should have a 'deeper' shine because there is a layer of clear plastic to make the chrome look bigger.

      in terms of shaping, i believe they are identical, though not completely sure..
      The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time

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      • #4
        The most obvious different is the "XENON" raised lettering on OEM. Shape is similar with mode defined detail for OEM. OEM is "transparent", while AfterMarket one isn't.
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        • #5
          real e46 shrouds have Xenon written on them and are heavier.
          e46 replica shrouds are lightweight with nothing written on them.

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          • #6
            Ignoring the Xenon lettering, once fitted inside the light it would seem like apart from slightly different finish they wont look out of place next to each other?

            Guess if it looks bad I could paint one or paint them both the same color.
            Last edited by Ianbuckwell; July 6th, 2012, 05:03 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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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ianbuckwell View Post
              Ignoring the Xenon lettering, once fitted inside the light it would seem like apart from slightly different finish they wont look out of place next to each other?

              Guess if it looks bad I could paint one or paint them both the same color.
              want me to take a picture for u?

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              • #8
                Regardless, this is in the car:
                2daax49.jpg

                2z3uofn.jpg

                108ejwx.jpg
                These have been in my car for 5 years now.
                Last edited by striker_1818; July 7th, 2012, 01:38 PM.

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                • #9
                  They both have the chrome on the front.
                  The OEM ones are more delicate to handle and chrome will come off if not careful.
                  If you are picky and want them to match with the ones in your car or is going to be a showroom car then get the OEM.
                  The OEM ones have the Xenon writing on them which makes them unique and can cost at least twice as much.
                  I am not sure if the color of the chrome is the same between the replica and OEM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the help.

                    Striker_1818 - I can't seem to load the pictures you posted?

                    It won't be a show car, it's just my daily driver, I will be the only one who will probably even realize that I have changed
                    Y lights, sounds like replicas may be the way to go as I think it will look better with XENON on just one set of shrouds.
                    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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                    • #11
                      Now?

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                      • #12
                        Yep, that's great thankyou.

                        Just looked at the pictures and my lights, my shrouds are quite inset and where as some headlight lenses slope up and over the projectors/shrouds my light lenses are pretty vertical (if that makes sense) so you can't really look down on the shrouds, and with shadows/reflections I think anyone would struggle to notice a difference between oem and replica in my lights unless they were made aware of it.

                        With the delicate finish on oem shrouds, how do you guys clean fingerprints/marks? Or is it a question of not getting them in the first place?

                        Thanks.
                        Last edited by Ianbuckwell; July 7th, 2012, 02:09 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
                          wet fibercloth. Or dont touch them at all.
                          The chrome is the same as the original ones, or better.
                          You can't even tell the difference.

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                          • #14
                            Ok thanks, thats good to know, one last question if you dont mind, is the shape of the replicas the same as the oem and is the quality of the detail in the shrouds molded plastic as good or is the detail less defined? thanks
                            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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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ianbuckwell View Post
                              Ok thanks, thats good to know, one last question if you dont mind, is the shape of the replicas the same as the oem and is the quality of the detail in the shrouds molded plastic as good or is the detail less defined? thanks
                              exact same thing. It just lacks the xenon stamp. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference at all

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