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R53 Stock Xenon to LED conversion help

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Old 11-06-2017, 09:37 PM
ursmokd
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R53 Stock Xenon to LED conversion help

I decided to venture into LED because the stock ballast/igniter/headlight bulk was just too much for me. The ballast replacement + bulbs pays for a whole LED kit, and that's just one headlight..

So i used the DDM 36W LED's for my DRL / Hi's, and it's fantastic.
I consulted with DDM about doing the same thing for my stock HID replacement. They assured me it would plug right in and fit in the same socket.

Got the kit... after 4 weeks and 7 emails asking where my order was and why they didn't tell me it shipped from overseas..

Anyways.. got the kit, totally not plug and play. 2 open wires you had to strip and solder/connect. Well being that there are no open wires in that headlight the only semi-logical thing to do was cut the igniters out and run a power wire to the harness.

Long story super short.. I tested all connections and wires. Correct wires etc.. were used.. however.. the light output is insanely low. I am not sure if this is because of the housing.. or the power input from the car to the LED's?
I am using the 40W Saber LED's low beams.
The 36W LED's are about 10 times brighter.

Has anyone converted their Xenon headlights to LED's?
And if not.. I have been looking at full housing replacements.. but the only housings I keep finding are R53's without stock Xenon headlights.

Any insight to this would be great. Thanks!

PS Will never buy from DDM Tuning again. Worst customer service I have ever experienced. I've been in the motorsports industry for 15 years and have never experienced such crap service. Be sure all your questions are answered first before you buy from them.

Cheers
 
  #2  
Old 11-07-2017, 03:31 AM
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It wouldn’t surprise me that DDM Tuning is selling crap products. Any pictures of the output?

There are a couple things you can check... Are you getting 12v power at the LED control box input? Are the bulbs aligned correctly inside the housing? Try rotating the bulb to see if the output changes any. LED headlight bulbs are very sensitive to proper alignment.

If you are sure the installation is all well and good, and the output still stinks, see about getting your money’s back, and chalk it up as a learning experience.
 
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:00 AM
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LED and Xenon normally use a different optic set.

Which direction does the LED point?
 
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:38 PM
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Did you ever have any luck with this. I am LED crazy in all my vehicles, yet the only thing I can’t seem to figure out is a replacement or procedure for converting stock xenons on my 04 S to led.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jdknight1023 View Post
Did you ever have any luck with this. I am LED crazy in all my vehicles, yet the only thing I can’t seem to figure out is a replacement or procedure for converting stock xenons on my 04 S to led.
No luck on this, sorry. It seems as though the optics inside the housing may not be bright enough, or focused enough to get a beam forward. I am assuming it's because of how large the housing is, instead of it being a projector style.
The DRL's are all I use now, and the beam is amazing as an LED, but it still kind of bumbs me out, because I spliced my connections. So now I have to find whole new housings if I want the stock HID's back. No one makes an aftermarket headlight replacement for Xenon equipped R53's.

FML lol
 
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:50 AM
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Facelift

I might have some helpful info.

I've been tired of the way my '04 R53 xenon headlights started to look over the years, the bland housing and the yellow glazing that appeared. Last week I went all in and found that Helix (who makes MINI's OEM rally lights) had a set of headlights for the R53 that resembled the factory facelift headlights from '05, but with a black interior. They just happened to be on a limited quantity sale for $200, so I snatched them up.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-helix-pa...ni01hl-bc~hlx/

I also picked up new DRLs with an LED halo and a central turn signal bulb, plus some silver finished turn signal bulbs so that they don't appear amber.

Amazon Amazon

Amazon Amazon

I was delighted to find when the headlights arrived that the Xenon hardware is all specific to the housing and not the car, so I returned the new Xenon bulbs I had bought for them.

Turns out, the new housings use standard H7 bulbs for both the high and the low beam! I've ordered a pair of LED conversions that should be here tomorrow, I'll post pictures once I have them in. For now, I just have the H7 high beam bulbs in the new low beam position, so nothing fancy.

Amazon Amazon
 
Attached Thumbnails R53 Stock Xenon to LED conversion help-6cb078d5-0e1b-46f4-a130-97cf64c3cbf8.jpg   R53 Stock Xenon to LED conversion help-img_1592.jpg   R53 Stock Xenon to LED conversion help-img_1587.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2018, 10:30 AM
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Those looks great, yep we carry some h7 led or Xenon conversion kits also now. Those have an h7 upper and lower so 2 kits and you can have all 4 bulbs done. Or just keep normal h7 bulbs in the high beams.

Whats great is now your 04 looks like an 05+ on the front end. Very OEM+.

The only downside you lose the headlight washers if you have factory xenon.
 
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:53 PM
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I'm really happy with the look of the lights, and they fit perfectly. I was happy to lose the washers. I can wash them myself, and I prefer the look without them there. And, weight reduction! Right?
 
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Old 03-30-2018, 09:56 PM
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They look great! The xenons were never this bright, not even close! These LEDs are super bright and are a perfect match for the housing. The cutoff line on the road is sharp. Here is a side by side with my ‘17 JCW’s factory LEDs.

Too bad Torchstar sent me one box with two bulbs in it and one box with one bulb, so no high beams for now.


 
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ursmokd View Post
No luck on this, sorry. It seems as though the optics inside the housing may not be bright enough, or focused enough to get a beam forward. I am assuming it's because of how large the housing is, instead of it being a projector style.
The DRL's are all I use now, and the beam is amazing as an LED, but it still kind of bumbs me out, because I spliced my connections. So now I have to find whole new housings if I want the stock HID's back. No one makes an aftermarket headlight replacement for Xenon equipped R53's.

FML lol
Here's my situation
I have a 2002 R50 with D2R HID low beams and H7 DRL/high beams. I am less than impressed with the HID low beams. The battery is good, aimed lights up slightly, and the both bulbs are genuine Philips made in Germany. I was thinking that a simple and cost effective solution would be to install LEDs in the H7 DRL/high beam position. I just want to confirm that the DRL with LEDs will be sufficient as low beams at night instead of using the HID.
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:42 PM
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I would advise against using the high beam/drl spot as a pseudo low beam because of its lack of vertical cutoff line like the low beam has.

Do you have the factory Xenon headlights?
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:03 PM
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Yes I have the stock xenon low beans.
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:04 PM
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It is typical for xenon bulbs to degrade in brightness over time, and if you haven't replaced them in the past few years, that would be a good place to start. You could even notice them turn a purplish color as they begin to fail. A brand new bulb, even an identical replacement, might be brighter. Those xenons back in their day were super bright.

Also, if your headlights are glazing over with that typical yellow haze that develops over the years, you can have a detail shop buff and polish them. That can block some light too.
 
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:33 PM
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I just bought the MINI about a month ago so I don't know how old the bulbs are. They are not turning purple. The lenses are hazed but I don't think that's enough to explain the lack of clarity and brightness. I was hoping to avoid trying new Philips xenon bulbs at $130 Canadian for the pair from Amazon just to realize that that's as good as it gets or that something else may be wrong.
 
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:55 AM
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I've run into an issue with this. I have the Xenon bulbs for low beams.
I have effectively replaced my H7 high-beam bulbs with LED H7 bulbs. I'm running into a flickering issue on ignition, however. When I put the key in the ignition and turn it upon startup, the lights strobe for about 5 seconds back and forth, then stop. They don't flicker at any other time. I know this has to do with the leftover electricity the car is picking up, since the LED lights draw so much less voltage. On a R53, how can I fix this? There's no "sensor" how there is on the R56 to bypass. Help! I love my LEDs and don't want to go back to OEM.
 
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:13 AM
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The flickering you're experiencing is normal for this kind of conversion. Here's what's happening. Upon startup, the car sends tiny pulses through each bulb in the car to check for functionality. In an incandescent bulb, this quick pulse is not strong enough or long enough to visibly illuminate it, but the car can see by the fact that the circuit shows closed that the bulb is good. With your LED bulbs, like you said, they draw so much less voltage and illuminate immediately, you can see the systems self-check process when they are installed. If you let your car run for a few minutes at night, you will notice that they flash once every few minutes as well. MINI's techs are not able to disable this bulb check feature, I'm sure someone has found a way to hack it themselves. I just don't know about it myself.
 
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CarFreak427 View Post
The flickering you're experiencing is normal for this kind of conversion. Here's what's happening. Upon startup, the car sends tiny pulses through each bulb in the car to check for functionality. In an incandescent bulb, this quick pulse is not strong enough or long enough to visibly illuminate it, but the car can see by the fact that the circuit shows closed that the bulb is good. With your LED bulbs, like you said, they draw so much less voltage and illuminate immediately, you can see the systems self-check process when they are installed. If you let your car run for a few minutes at night, you will notice that they flash once every few minutes as well. MINI's techs are not able to disable this bulb check feature, I'm sure someone has found a way to hack it themselves. I just don't know about it myself.
Yup! My '06 R53 with LED lights do the exact same thing. The flickering is annoying but you learn to live with it.
 
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:41 AM
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depending how long the flicker is you can just run an appropriately sized capacitor to take out most of the blip. Will just become a v-droop instead of a blip on the circuit, but i'm not sure what that does in terms of triggering or not triggering a headlight fault in the system initiating that flicker.
 
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:33 PM
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You can also use NCS Expert to disable cold and warm bulb checks. I did this when I converted to LED and successfully got rid of the flickering.
 
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:54 AM
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so you were able to use these to replace the factory Xenon headlights... i need to replace a headlight and i want a different headlight look but i have post facelift xenons. what was the wiring like to do this?
 
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:26 AM
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So with these lights there is no modification needed to the wiring harness? Also did you ever add LEDs to the low beams? If so how was the light output?
 
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:31 AM
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Most people go with helix and then upgrade to LED or Xenon aftermarket:

Parts: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-helix-parts/v-mini-2005/ Three versions to choose from, the one set is on Backorder right now but you can sign up for auto notifications.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...installed.html

 
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