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sealed beam to ellipsoid conversion

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  • sealed beam to ellipsoid conversion

    I know this is an old subject and I am browsing through the forums and threads but I am in need to get some articles (links) on how to convert a 1991 (sealed beam) M3 to the ellipsoid smiley system. In 1991 the M3 came with sealed beams where the high beam has a 2 connector plug with 3 wires going to it (1 brown wire and 2 white wires which are connected together). The low beam has a 3 connector plug with 3 wires as well, however (1 brown and the 2 white wires) but the 2 white wires go separately to the 3 connector plug. I can not wire them correctly, or at least without blowing a fuse. Any links are appreciated.

  • #2
    Look at the rear of your headlight assembly. You should have 3 sets of connectors

    2 wires for the Running Lights (top of the elip)
    2 wires for the low beam
    2 wires for the high beam.

    Next lets look at your bmw stock wiring.

    for your high beam you will have 2 wires, those two wires will be spliced into the connector for the new elip high beam.

    Do that for each side. got it? okay high beams are done =)

    Now lets look at the low beam connectors that are on the car. As you have a 91, you have sealed beams, so you should see a connector that looks like this.

    You will see 3 wires that come into this connector, this is because a regular sealed beam low has 2 filaments and a common ground, when you turn on your highbeams the bump switches filaments. This is no longer needed as the H1 bulbs that are inside the euro elip are a single filament.

    Looking at the front of the connector as seen above, you will have a brown/black ground wire (I forget the exact color) and 2 other wires. Using a 12V test light, or a voltmeter (if you don't have one...BUY ONE) you will need to determine when 12volts is being sent down this line.

    Turn on your cars headlights, and make sure the high beams are OFF, using your test lamp, connect one end to the ground wire on teh connector (black or brown usually) and tap one of the other wires, find the one that turns the test light on, these are the two wires that you will connect to the new low beam elipsoid headlight, the 3rd wire you can simple tie off (make sure its nicely insulated away from anything metal)

    Now for the driving lights, you simply splice into your sidemarkers, pretty simple, 2 wires.

    Now if you are not getting power, you screwed up somewhere, check your fuses, check your relays, and make sure you didn't pop anything, if you find a bad fuse...replace it.

    Also remmeber that the headlights do not work unless the ignition is on, so make sure its set to ignition and not ACC.
    Hope that helps.

    Chris L.

    Spray paint and tire shine doesn't equate to a "restoration!"


    • #3
      i did this last night and it was much easier than all the guides i have seen on
      i was also lucky that the ellipsoids i got from ebay had the connectors
      it was brown (ground) and yellow/green (positive) for the low beam
      and Brown (ground) and white/purple for the high beam
      except in the sealed beam design there is one wire going from the low beam connector (joined to the yellow/green) that goes to the high beam (also white/purple)
      you just leave that unconnected on both sides

      or try to figure out how to give power to low beam when you turn on high beam
      but i didn't want that as most cars i have had did the same thing
      it was low beam OR high beam, not both
      ofcourse i will have to change that when i get the HID kit as it's not good to turn off an HID buld and turn it on again in less than 30 seconds
      didn't even change the fuses