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  • Headlights 101

    I've spent quite a bit of time searching around the board trying to figure out the differences between the Euro/Early Euro/US/Ellipsoid/Ellipsoid with smilies/Etc. headlights but am pretty much confused. Could someone explain all the various headlights (preferably with fotos of each), what they originally came on, what modifications are needed to install them on a US-spec car, etc.? Thanks in advance!
    1988 BMW e30 M3
    1985 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
    1981 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
    1971 Porsche 911 2.5L R Gruppe

    Blog: In The Garage

  • #2
    I don't know the difference between the various headlights; However, the hot setup seems to be CIBIE headlights. I've heard they are kick-ass.

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    • #3
      http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...ight=ellipsoid

      That's a good start, including some retailers to call.

      FWIW, a good condition used set of Euro Ellip's is a great starting point - it is a cookie cutter documented deal, and if you don't like the results you can turn them over quite quickly for little monetary loss. My 2 cents.

      My setup is smoked Hella's with a set of 5K HID's installed, if you wondered.

      Mel A has both smoked & non on sale for a great price right now if you have deep enough pockets.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MazdaMAn View Post
        I don't know the difference between the various headlights; However, the hot setup seems to be CIBIE headlights. I've heard they are kick-ass.
        I'll second that. I've had Euro ellipsoids, too. Still not as good as the Cibies, particularly on low beam.

        It's the Cibie CSR lights you want.:Jake:

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. Good info.
          1988 BMW e30 M3
          1985 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
          1981 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
          1971 Porsche 911 2.5L R Gruppe

          Blog: In The Garage

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          • #6
            The old skool factory H1 Hella's and factory Bosch were not bad either. But by using ellipsoids it's easy to convert to HID's.
            Who knows where I'll be, changes from day to Continent.

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            • #7
              Can anyone tell what is on my car right now?


              Shot with FinePixS1Pro at 2007-07-07
              1988 BMW e30 M3
              1985 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
              1981 Audi Ur Turbo quattro
              1971 Porsche 911 2.5L R Gruppe

              Blog: In The Garage

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              • #8
                US Ellips
                1988 BMW M3
                1993 BMW 325i
                2017 Bentley GT Speed

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                • #9
                  They look like standard US elips.

                  Do yourself a favor, contact Daniel Stern and get some Cibie CSR's. The light output is incredible! They blow the euro elips away.

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                  • #10
                    Let me suggest that you verify the US ellipsoids are properly aimed and have good bulbs in all 4 units, and are clean. Bulbs do lose some light output over their lifetime and of course there are upgraded bulbs that don't draw more than stock amperage.

                    Headlight technology has come a ways since the last E30 left Bavaria - true that. But I have found the stock setup is pretty damn good, and has the advantages of already being there, easy parts availablity, etc. etc.

                    I guess it depends on your expectations, but I am OK with the stock ellipsoid setup.

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                    • #11
                      I noticed a lot of new threads about installing HID's in stock ellipsoids. How does the Cibie CSR stand up against the newer HID kits that are floating around?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by peaceman17 View Post
                        I noticed a lot of new threads about installing HID's in stock ellipsoids. How does the Cibie CSR stand up against the newer HID kits that are floating around?
                        I am interested in this question to?? does anyone have any comparisons?? or experiance with both?


                        thanks.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by peaceman17 View Post
                          I noticed a lot of new threads about installing HID's in stock ellipsoids. How does the Cibie CSR stand up against the newer HID kits that are floating around?
                          Originally posted by M3shark View Post
                          I am interested in this question to?? does anyone have any comparisons?? or experiance with both?


                          thanks.
                          I think this might answer your questions (taken off the Cibie website):

                          Can I put high-wattage bulbs in the CSR lamps?

                          You wouldn't want to do that. The CSR lamps are so efficient that using a high-wattage bulb in them actually produces too much light! Road signs are so brightly lit that they "burn out" and become unreadable. This can be fun, but even if you're a lighting geek, the novelty wears off after about 10 minutes. The CSR lamps come with standard 55w bulbs. You can have a significant improvement over the already-excellent performance these bulbs give by installing
                          high- or ultra-high efficacy 55w bulbs


                          My standard US Ellips with 6k HIDs (along with 3k HIDs in the stock fogs) equal a RIDICULOUS amount of light on the roadway. Flipping on the highs (which are still standard 9005 stock style bulbs) is noticeably less light and don't actually illuminate any further down the road (the lows are enough with the HIDs installed).

                          That is my experience so far anyway.
                          Last edited by blaquea8; 07-08-2008, 02:30 PM.
                          “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… that’s what gets you.”
                          Jeremy Clarkson - BBC Top Gear
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                          • #14
                            Just in from Europe-
                            Hella Smoked and Clear Euro Ellipsoids with Smileys and City lights only $499 a set
                            Mel Abrahams
                            Abrahams Motorsport
                            www.abrahamsmotorsport.com
                            Direct contact:[email protected]

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