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Thread: Finally retro-fitted my CCFL's into my Depo Projector headlights

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Smile Finally retro-fitted my CCFL's into my Depo Projector headlights

    So about a month and a half ago, I ordered some parts from DDMtuning.com... which consisted of random stuff including HID kit and DJ Auto projector headlights. Unfortunately, I was sent the wrong headlights and ended up getting the Depo Projectors instead. Not the ones I wanted since the DJ Auto's looked a bit more OEM than the Depo's, but I kept them nonetheless. Only thing I hated on them was the cheesy halo setup, that had about 5 small bulbs spaced out behind the halo's. When lit, they were bright, but you could see the bright spots showing where the bulbs were... ugly!

    So I actually found my old CCFL's I purchased from a group buy about two years ago... I never installed them. They were actually suppose to go on my E36 widebody vert. But instead, retro-fitted them into my Depo's... it took a couple hours, trying to be careful... end product looked amazing!!!

    Only things needed to complete the job were:

    - E36 or comparable CCFL rings (set of 4)
    - 8mm socket
    - flat-tip screwdriver
    - hot glue gun & glue sticks
    - wire strippers
    - wire butt connectors
    - wire cutters

    First I used the 8mm socket to remove the headlights. Only 4 bolts... easy. Don't forget to disconnect the wires to the bulbs. After that, I pulled the headlights apart. Spaced out around the headlight housing are tabs. Just have to pull up slightly on each tab around the housing, approximately 7-8 tabs. Doing this will allow you to pull the headlights apart as shown below.


    Below is the front part of the headlight... with the front lens and the halo housings. Notice the series of bulbs connected together to try to form the halo's.


    Pull each bulb out from the housing. They're not glued in or anything... should be able to just pull each one out with ease. Like so...


    Now it's time to pull the halo housings off from the lens assembly. There are 4 metal tabs, 2 per halo housing, that are in place holding them in.


    Here is a closer look. Using the flat-tipped screwdriver, you will have to press in the back side of the metal clips first. Doing this will bend the back piece of them flat, preventing the back side of them from anchoring the clip down. Once you do, then you can pull them straight off... pliers will help with this task.


    Once you get them off, the halo housing will just come right out. Once out, use the flat-tipped screw driver again to poke the 4 tabs out, separating the halo housing and the front halo lens.


    Once apart... here's where the modification/cutting starts. On the front halo lens, there are the 4 tabs that you poked to separate the two pieces.


    You will need to cut off the two end tabs using the wire cutters, shown circled in red. Doing this will allow the CCFL rings to fit and have room for the wires to exit out the halo housing.


    Then looking at the back piece of the halo housing, there are bridge-like pieces that cross over each hole where the bulbs poked thru... circled below...


    There are 5 bridge-like pieces, plus the two end pieces... making 7 pieces you have to cut off.


    Once cut... they should look like below...


    Now it's time to open up the CCFL rings...


    CCFL plastic housing... need to take it apart to get to the actual CCFL ring inside.


    On the back of each CCFL ring housing, there is a chrome plastic back piece that can be pried off with a small flat-tipped screwdriver... shown here...


    Carefully prying off the chrome back piece, you can now get to the actual CCFL ring inside. Careful pulling it out from the housing as there are some glue in it that may hold on resulting in tearing up the ring. Here's the ring housing lens empty...


    And the actual CCFL ring...


    From here was easy. Place the actual CCFL rings into the halo housing from the headlight. The place the front halo housing back on, snapping in the two middle tabs that you did not cut. The top part, you can use a little bit of hot glue to hold the rest together. At this point, I did not take any pics since my phone died. But it is smooth sailing from here. Repeat the process for each halo ring housing, total of 4 housings.

    Once the halo housings have been put together, then reassembly of the headlight is needed. Connect the wires... I used the butt connectors to tap into the wires coming from the turn signal. Make sure you choose the blue and the black wires. This will prevent the halo's from turning into a turn signal.

    Once all assembled, the look is amazing... and very bright!





    Last edited by jamesdc4; 12-08-2010 at 07:21 PM.

    - 1997 528i - DJ Autos - DDM M5 bumper w/ cf splitters - Motorsport moldings - 19x9 & 19x10 RUFF wheels - Megan coilovers - shadow lined - 6000k HID -

  2. #2
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    really bright

  3. #3
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    Where'd you purchase the CCFL rings?

  4. #4
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    Good job mate

    did you have to realy cut the top off the rings though done this to mine a few months ago and there was no need to cut them at all

    all the less top job

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1st3series View Post
    Where'd you purchase the CCFL rings?
    I got them thru a group buy, but for the life of me, I can't remember where. It was about two years ago. If you did a search, I'm sure you can find them. They were originally for my E36... they still fit, with slight mods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Puggie View Post
    Good job mate

    did you have to realy cut the top off the rings though done this to mine a few months ago and there was no need to cut them at all

    all the less top job
    Sorry if the pics weren't that clear. I didn't actually cut the tops off the rings... only the top tabs that held the rings to the ring housing. Doing that left a small gap so the CCFL wires can pass thru and exit out the housing when assembled back together.

    Thanks for the props. Hope this helps others trying to do the same thing.

    - 1997 528i - DJ Autos - DDM M5 bumper w/ cf splitters - Motorsport moldings - 19x9 & 19x10 RUFF wheels - Megan coilovers - shadow lined - 6000k HID -

  6. #6
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    Ahh cool find yourself driving throught the day with them on hahah i do

  7. #7
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    HID projectors?

    I am trying to do the same set up but I am afraid with the bright CCFL rings it will look dumb with the standard H7 and not Xenon. Do you have pictures of this, or can you comment on that?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puggie View Post
    Ahh cool find yourself driving throught the day with them on hahah i do
    LOL... yes I do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Slander86 View Post
    I am trying to do the same set up but I am afraid with the bright CCFL rings it will look dumb with the standard H7 and not Xenon. Do you have pictures of this, or can you comment on that?
    I don't have pics using the normal H7 bulb because I'm running DDM 55w HID kit w/ 6000K bulbs. In my honest opinion... get HID's. I think it would look horrible with the CCFL rings and no HID's... besides, HID's are way better!
    Last edited by PinoIX; 06-24-2010 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

    - 1997 528i - DJ Autos - DDM M5 bumper w/ cf splitters - Motorsport moldings - 19x9 & 19x10 RUFF wheels - Megan coilovers - shadow lined - 6000k HID -

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slander86 View Post
    I am trying to do the same set up but I am afraid with the bright CCFL rings it will look dumb with the standard H7 and not Xenon. Do you have pictures of this, or can you comment on that?
    Here are some awful photos of my pre-facelift Hellas with CCFLs installed.
    They do look really dumb.



  10. #10
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    Do you think one could replace those little stock bulbs with brighter ones, maybe led to achieve a similar result without having to buy ccfl rings? Do you know what kind of bulbs those are?
    THanks

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1997540i6 View Post
    Do you think one could replace those little stock bulbs with brighter ones, maybe led to achieve a similar result without having to buy ccfl rings? Do you know what kind of bulbs those are?
    THanks
    They looked like mini wedge bulbs. Not sure if LED versions of that bulb exist... even if they do and you replace them with LED... I'm sure you'll still get the "bright dot" effect. What I mean is you'll get a bright halo going... but you will also probably see bright dots spread out within the ring from each bulb.

    - 1997 528i - DJ Autos - DDM M5 bumper w/ cf splitters - Motorsport moldings - 19x9 & 19x10 RUFF wheels - Megan coilovers - shadow lined - 6000k HID -

  12. #12
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    Sorry TOO bright! A more subtle glow looks classier. I like James and see my Avatar.

    1999 E39 Touring Sport and 3 pedals

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xpcgamer View Post
    Sorry TOO bright! A more subtle glow looks classier. I like James and see my Avatar.
    Yeah I agree....are the ccfl bright enough to run solo for headlights?

  14. #14
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    Hey PinoIX could you make daylight pictures of the lights? Thanks!

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Nice guide. I wonder where to get the right a/e rings for this project. The normal E39 rings don't fit because they are too big. Where to find the rings with right size?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lekkerbmw View Post
    Yeah I agree....are the ccfl bright enough to run solo for headlights?
    You mean at night? NO!!

  17. #17
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    Very nice hack.
    I just followed it step by step, and became happy with the result. Woooohoooo
    Thanks for a detailed DIY.

    "A happy 1996-528i driver"

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