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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
This is my first post as I recently picked up a V50 with terrible low beams (burned reflectors) and after some research decided to do the E46 projector mod with D2S bulbs.

I used the Morimoto XB35 ballasts and igniters with a OEM 2-wire solenoid E46 projector assembly. My issue is that with the igniters on the back of the bulbs it seems like the whole thing is too long for the dust cover on the back to actually seat against the seals. I does "fit" as in in I can get the wire closures clamped back over the dust cover, but I'd feel better if the cover was not actually pressing against the back of the igniter, and if I had good seal around the dust cover.

Is this an issue anyone else ran into? I figure with it being such a widespread mod I'm missing something straightforward. Is there a way to just move the whole projector assembly further forward inside the housing to create some extra space at the back?

Thanks This is my first Volvo (used to inline-6 rwd bimmers) so I'm sure I'll be back often.
 

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an idea easier than modifying the assembly - can you use heat to stretch the back cover to make more clearance? heat it up with a heat gun to soften it, then press it against something slightly larger than the igniter to stretch the plastic, then dowse with cold water to lock it in its new shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, that was my primary source for picking the right AL housing and wiring a capacitor into the harness to deal with the PWM of the low beams. That write up was so detailed that’s why I’m surprised I’m running into this issue with no previous mentions.
 

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Yeah, that was my primary source for picking the right AL housing and wiring a capacitor into the harness to deal with the PWM of the low beams. That write up was so detailed that’s why I’m surprised I’m running into this issue with no previous mentions.
With D2S bulbs you shouldnt have any igniters at the end of the bulb, unless I misunderstood you? OEM xenons on our cars are D1S with igniter, but E46 mod should be done with D2S bulb + L-shaped connector that goes to external igniter...
 

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With D2S bulbs you shouldnt have any igniters at the end of the bulb, unless I misunderstood you? OEM xenons on our cars are D1S with igniter, but E46 mod should be done with D2S bulb + L-shaped connector that goes to external igniter...
For D2S, it depends. Yes, D1S bulbs have an integrated igniter that cannot be separated from the bulb, while D2S bulbs leave the igniter to the ballast. However, D2S ballasts vary in their design. Some, like the xb35, have the igniter at the "bulb connector" that connects to the base of the D2S bulb, while others place the igniter inside the ballast housing.

@ OP, you could either get a different ballast that have the igniter integrated into the ballast housing (like the older morimoto ballasts, 3Five), or get a ballast that has a smaller igniter at the "bulb connector" (like Matsu***/Panasonic Gen 5, see picture below). If you want to keep your xb35 ballast, perhaps buy the xb35 AMP connector (whose igniter is on a separate box somewhere between the bulb and ballast; this one I believe), and then get a AMP to D2S adapter, either straight (like this one) or 90 degrees (like this one). I'm guessing the straight one will fit better. One potential concern is that as that is a high voltage AC line, it is generally not a good idea to add too many extension. But I've read people take this approach in a headlight forum thread.

Disclaimer: I don't own nor have ever retrofitted a V50.


 

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With D2S bulbs you shouldnt have any igniters at the end of the bulb, unless I misunderstood you? OEM xenons on our cars are D1S with igniter, but E46 mod should be done with D2S bulb + L-shaped connector that goes to external igniter...
my OEM xenons are D2S bulbs, with the separate igniter mounted directly to the bulb.
 

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my OEM xenons are D2S bulbs, with the separate igniter mounted directly to the bulb.
Hmm, interesting, what year is your car? I am 100% sure D1S are used in *SOME* EU cars but maybe its fl/pre-fl difference or normal/ABL xenons.

@satrya, ok, true, didnt think about the design diffrerence, never had Morimoto kit. In that case I can understand the problem. As you said - different ballasts could easily sort it out.
 

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@satrya, ok, true, didnt think about the design diffrerence, never had Morimoto kit. In that case I can understand the problem. As you said - different ballasts could easily sort it out.
Indeed. Iirc, even some OE ballasts (maybe the Hella or Mitsubishi) can have a rather large igniter box that sits where the bulb connector is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all, I'll just get different igniters that sit outside the housing that have more space. Appreciate the input! Hopefully this helps anyone else in the future get ones that fit in the first place. Having the Bi-xenons themselves have been great; I've felt much better driving in the dark with the upgraded light output.
 

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I had this same issue when fitting mine. I used a BIC lighter to heat up the trouble spot on the cover until it was soft (read: visibly melting and filling my kitchen with burning plastic fumes*), then pushed against it from the inside with a spoon. I also ground down some of the excess bulky plastic from the connector that attaches to the bulb . This allowed just enough clearance for things to work. I think it still basically touches, but it was loose enough that the projector was adjustable. A better fix would have been to cut out the offending section and glue on a new piece, adding some clearance.

*Yes, doing this outside or in the garage would have been advisable. But it was 10F outside at the time.
 

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Mine are "e46?" AL Bosch ballast and separate igniters D2S (2004.5) I think all pre facelift (2004.5-2007?) are these, and after they changed to different ones. My ballast is under wheel arch.
 

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My new (to me) S40 has burned reflector bowls as well in my OE Halogens, but I think I'm going for D2H bulbs when I retrofit for that exact reason.
 

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Genius. I didn't even know these existed otherwise I'd have gone that path first.
One caveat, is that since D2H is not an OE specification, I haven't seen any OE HID bulbs in D2H configuration. The quality of aftermarket HID bulbs can vary greatly, which can affect whether or not the HID arc it creates is located correctly relative to the reflector bowl and lens optics.
 

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One caveat, is that since D2H is not an OE specification, I haven't seen any OE HID bulbs in D2H configuration. The quality of aftermarket HID bulbs can vary greatly, which can affect whether or not the HID arc it creates is located correctly relative to the reflector bowl and lens optics.
You are 100% correct about that. They're all going to be aftermarket bulbs with varying quality.

The way I see it, if you buy your bulbs from a reputable brand and vendor, it should be good enough for government work and is a far cry better than the filthy flashlights that pass for headlights in my car right now xD.

I'm going for the E46 bi-xenon reps, so I'll eventually change to D2S at some point, but I'd want to be able to do a little engineering to see if I can make it look completely OEM with no bulges or visible holes/grommets or anything.
 
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