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      05-24-2017, 10:28 PM   #1
liebemeinauto
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Will bad wiring affect headlight swap?

So, having just put in my Lux Amber halos, on my 2008 135i, it seems that my headlights may suffer from the "disintegrating wire shielding" issue, where the wire insulation cracks and falls off, leaving bare wires exposed, due to BMW having apparently used some sort of degradable wire shielding. Not so great.

The shop that swapped in the halos originally thought the first set of aftermarket halos had caused an overheating issue (simply because only the halo wires lost their shielding, the other wires appear ok), since the halo wires seemed fine before installing them, but, the more we looked at it, the more it seems that the wires being handled quite a bit (initial install, re-install due to blocking the adaptive motor arm, removal and install of the Lux lights instead) has possibly revealed the crumbling insulation issue that I've read about elsewhere regarding mid 2000 year BMW's. Handle the wires, and your insulation turns to dust, along with your savings account, to replace the very pricey headlights.

To my knowledge, the rest of the wiring, the wiring adjacent to the halo wiring, seems not to be affected, so, honestly, I'm still trying to figure out if I'm really dealing with overall bad wiring, or some freak instance where the first set of LED's truly did damage the wiring insulation. Seems odd since LED's run cooler than stock, but all I know is the wiring was fine when they put the halos in, and, by the time we went to swap in the Lux, instead (about 2 and half weeks later) the wires looked like the attached photos, which look very similar to posts about the bad wire shielding issue.

I know one fix is liquid electrical tape, and I'm exploring that route (the shop did initial repairs with regular electrical tape, for now, and I currently have no issues, headlights all work great) but if I wind up having to buy new headlights at some point, I'm wondering:

Since new headlights require swapping in certain parts from the old headlights (the ballasts, apparently, at least, but I can't get information from a vendor about what other parts, other than bulbs obviously, will need to be taken from the old headlights -- or replaced new, of course), I am trying to determine if the "bad wiring" in the existing headlights will affect any of what I need to move, from the old headlights, to the new headlight housings.

I have the Bi-Xenon Adaptive Auto Leveling lights with Dynamic Curve, part numbers: 63127164931 and 63127164932 and, if it comes to replacement, I was going to just go with the Valeo's (part #'s 44797 and 44798) since they are far less expensive than getting Valeo's branded as "Genuine BMW."

But, I don't want to invest in new headlights, only to find that I am swapping in parts that carry over the current wiring problem. Is there more that I need to replace, to solve this wiring problem?

Does a new headlight housing wind up replacing all of the bad wires and thus solving the problem? Of the parts that must be taken from the old headlights, are those parts affected by the wiring issue that plagues the rest of the light in these cases of faulty wire shielding?

If anyone has done this, I'd appreciate knowing if I need to be looking at replacing anything other than the headlight housing, to eliminate the bad wiring problem, or if I am fine taking what is needed from my current headlights, to accomplish the swap over to the new headlights.

For now I have my fingers crossed, but I'm not trying to risk a flaming BMW BBQ due to exposed wires

Hope that makes sense. Of the various threads I could find, discussing this, I could not find an answer to that specific question. Will hope for some guidance, and thanks in advance...
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Stay tuned, be tuned. '08 135i N54 6MT, Coral Red Interior, Fire Orange custom grilles and fade-to-black custom BMW Rear Wing, Black Line tail lights, Cobb CP, Forge DV's, aFe DCI's, ETS 5" FMIC, aFe Mach Power exhaust, Cobb catted DP's, M Suspension bits, PTF tune (on Cobb AP), 6000k Xenons, Lux H8 Amber halos, Custom fogs. Conformity is for wimps!
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      06-10-2017, 03:29 AM   #2
liebemeinauto
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Guess no one has dealt with this, or can't help with any info.

I have decided for now to let the repairs stand, and replace the lights when or if they fail. I'm assuming whatever I have to salvage from the old lights will work, or I will just buy replacement parts for those bits as well, if they have failed.

As far as I know, it's the bulb housings that are swapped over, described as the "bulb socket" by someone, and also the ballast, sometimes called the control unit I guess, with apparently a suggestion to change the ballast gasket, whatever the heck that is. Can't find it as a part number anywhere.

For now, I'm dealing with a cylinder 6 misfire plus my front brakes are due, so I'll hope the headlights stay lit for a while....

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      06-10-2017, 10:21 AM   #3
Fakemike
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I had the same issue with my headlights, but luckily the wires hadn't been handled too much and I was able to use the liquid tape on just the halo bulb wires.

I was under the impression that the replacement housing would have new wires and you would just be swapping over the bulbs, ballast and module. I don't think that the wires are easy to remove and swap over. **But this was just my assumption.

How much are you seeing the Valeo housings for? When I was considering getting new housings, I was looking at the euro ones with clear turn signals and they were about $900.
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