what are these things?
Here at ESG Prints in our state of the art facility, we (me) make adapters for the installation of modern Morimoto bi-xenon HID projectors into your factory headlight housing. This adapter and projector replaces the factory projector and halogen bulbs in your stock headlight. Hence the term "retrofit".
A lot of time and care was taken to make these as simple to install as possible while retaining the factory look from the outside.
so, why these?
Unless you have the "Sealed Beam" headlights, your e30 already has projectors. But those projectors are designed for and fitted with Halogen bulbs. While this is fine, a common complaint among e30 owners is the subpar light output from the factory headlights. The common remedies you will likely read about on the internet include: brighter halogen bulbs, HIR bulbs, and fitting HID bulbs into factory projector.
So why this option instead of one of those? All of the options above will provide mixed results. One person says it's great and another says nothing changed. The factory projectors are also not designed nor were they ever intended to be fitted with HID bulbs. DON'T DO THIS. Don't be that guy driving down the road blinding oncoming drivers. Because that's what you'll do.
how do they work?
Because the new projectors are a different size and mount differently than the factory projector, we need an adapter. The projector mounts to the adapter and then the adapter mounts to the factory low beam headlight housing.
There is some material inside the housing that needs to be removed to provide enough clearance for the adapter, but this can be easily accomplished with a dremel and takes about 10 mins per side. The adapters are designed to reuse the factory mounting points on the Depo, Bosch, and Hella Smilies. In fact, you could remove the new projectors and reinstall the original ones if you wanted to. The US Ellipsoid adapters reuses one factory mounting point and a second mount is added.
Below you can see the down and dirty to what this retrofit entails. Simply remove the factory projector assembly from the headlight. Clear some of the material from the inside of the housing. Assemble the new projector on the adapter. And install.
what kits do you offer?
There are a variety of kits you can choose from. I know everyone has different levels of experience and comfort and I tried my best to cater to everyone.
The adapters are designed specifically for the Morimoto Mini H1 8.0 projector. We use this projector becuase of its quality and size. I offer a basic retrofit kit that come with the adapter and projector if you would like to source your own bulbs and ballasts or I offer a complete kit that comes with everything you would need to have fully functional HIDs. The kit to the right is a full retrofit kit with adapters, HID bulbs, ballasts, ignitors, and HD Power relay.
how are these made?
These are made using 3D printers. These printers are amazing tools when it comes to producing parts that are made in limited quantities. Everything on my website, unless noted otherwise, is made with ABS. ABS offers a high heat resistance and strength tolerance. All of the included hardware is stainless steel and comes from McMaster Carr. The mounting plates for the projectors are laser cut from stainless steel and add strength and additional heat resistance to the assembly. I put a lot of thought into how these work, the quality of materials, how they feel in your hands as your installing them, and how they look when they're installed.
what about the MLED projectors?
Simply put: they don't fit. The MLED projectors are too wide on the bottom half to fit in the BMW E30's relatively small housing. The MLED is also designed in a way where the back end of the projector is completely open and is required to be installed entirely inside a sealed headlight enclosure like most modern headlight assemblies are. Unfortunately, this is not how the BMW e30 headlights are designed and even if the MLED projectors would fit into the housing, the entire headlight assembly would be open and subjected to the elements. The headlight would be wet and my guess is this would lead to premature failure of the projector.