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Who wants a Volvo P1 specific, WMM safe, HID Retrofit?

60571 Views 362 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  Bernie (NoVA)
SwedeSpeed P1 (C30, S40, V50, C70) HID Retrofit Index
  1. SKBOWE Plug-and-Play harness for P1 HID conversion (you are here)
  2. Background info, general questions, and share your HID setup <- Non-SKBOWE HID install issues/discussion/WMM kills
  3. KBOWE How-To (Original 2009 Version) build your own PWM filter <- if you want to build your own
  4. Original 2009 investigation and technical discussion on S40 HID issues <- Technical/Engineering discussion on the CEM, PWM, WMM, and alternate designs
  5. ForceFed's E46 D2S Bi-Xenon Projector Retrofit guide
  6. Rewire OEM Bi-Xenon headlights to work on the halogen harness
  7. DRL Disable Alone not enough for safe Aftermarket HID retrofits
  8. LizardOfBodom's EU/RHD Bosch ("E46") Bi-Xenon replica retrofitting writeup + angle eyes + running lights

This thread is for discussion of the SKBOWE PWM filter, a plug-and-play error harness that I developed to help the P1 community with HID retrofits. If you have a question that's not related to the SKBOWE, please see if it fits in one of the other HID threads (above) before posting here or starting a new one.

Lets face it, the OEM halogen headlights in our cars suck. We should all know by now the issues with HID retrofits, and that the DIY solution is not trivial since it takes some soldering and hacks up the CEM harness. I have been PMed dozens of times over the years asking for a better way...

So... I found something really sweet ;) If you are interested in a commercial, plug-and-play (no cut wires!) solution that was designed specifically for Volvo P1 cars (S40, V50, C30, C70) check out:

https://www.skbowe.com/ - Shipping Now! Limited Quantity Remaining

Orders as of October 2017 (82 total): boulderc30, V50toS40, thefisch33, rhags138, persianelf, nhiggins, S40R-by-design, walky_talky20, taskmule, viggen, Puddlepirate56, chrisasdf, Noswal, beachnut, stevien1, evy0311, MJC70, MCRDSM-S40, hq_, et al... *
  • Prototype: #001A (test) #002 (mine), #003 (display unit/open box)
  • Batch 1: #004-#028 CLOSED & SHIPPED (JUL 2017)
  • Batch 2: #029-#050 CLOSED & SHIPPED (DEC 2017)
  • Batch 3: #051-#075 CLOSED & SHIPPED (FEB 2018)
  • Batch 4: #075-#100 - Shipping Now (OCT 2018)
* Don't see your username here? PM me with your SN#

Click here to see SKBOWE Installs!!

rhags138 (007) - Install
mgm7890 (024) - Install + writeup
:thumbup: SirScarFace - Install
:thumbup: Saab - Install

SKBOWEs have shipped all over...


Useful Snip

For those of you looking for projectors, I put together a reference sheet to help you identify compatible Bosch AL 3-inch "E46" projectors in auctions or at salvage yards:

See the full resolution PDF here: https://www.theeshadow.com/files/volvo/e46/guide/al_projector_guide_v1_web.pdf

You want to look for "Gen 2" projectors, they have the best optics and the wiring is simple. Gen 1 requires a solenoid controller for bi-xenon functionality. All projectors with black plastic rings will fit D2S, the ones with octagon-shaped bulb holders might need a simple modification (bending a small tab) to allow them to take D2S bulbs.

If junkyard hunting and eBay stalking aren't your thing, Nick has been nice enough to hold a few for us:
matched sets of gen 2 projectors... PM if you're interested.
Here are some projector beam patterns:

<a href="https://www.skbowe.com/a/2017/08/01/al-projector-e46-identification-chart-selection-guide-pdf/" target="_blank"><img width="683" height="1024" src="https://www.skbowe.com/a/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/al_projectors_hid_cutoffs_sixup_montauge-683x1024.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large" alt="" srcset="https://www.skbowe.com/a/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/al_projectors_hid_cutoffs_sixup_montauge-683x1024.jpg 683w, https://www.skbowe.com/a/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/al_projectors_hid_cutoffs_sixup_montauge-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.skbowe.com/a/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/al_projectors_hid_cutoffs_sixup_montauge-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.skbowe.com/a/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/al_projectors_hid_cutoffs_sixup_montauge-1200x1800.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 709px) 85vw, (max-width: 909px) 67vw, (max-width: 984px) 61vw, (max-width: 1362px) 45vw, 600px"></a>

SKBOWE install is plug-and-play:

Survey Stats as of May 2017: 87 responses, 82 on board.


We need a reliable manufacturer / distributor for high volume manufacturing of a specialized error canceling circuit designed specifically for the Volvo P1 series. A complete validated production ready design is available. If you are a vendor and are interested in taking on this project, please contact me!
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Installed and working. Ill get some nightshots and fine tuning tonight hopefully. Writeup soon to follow......hopefully. I did take pics and document. The only thing left to do is figuring how to splice in the shield actuator for bi-xenon. Thank you for delivering this to the community.
Dang son ... from your first post to this one it was 2 hours, nice work!

I've been lurking these retrofit posts for 2+ years now, and now that the S40 is my DD I'm thinking about it more seriously. The thing is I hardly ever drive at night. I know that sounds odd, but if we're cruising out after dusk it was either in my old DD (the '04 S80) or now the newer S80 (the wife's whip). I guess I need to pull the trigger though, especially with shadow's new invention :)
Man, I think my brain is starting to melt :D All I can say is WOW Nick, thanks for all your knowledge. I'm getting more interested in doing a retrofit but have a few reservations. One being the oem real-deal e46 projectors versus the knock-offs from a plug-n-play perspective (I don't have time for a protracted hobby/project). Second being my existing housings ... plastic lenses are somewhat crummy (probably can be fixed, know how to do that), but more worrisome is the brittle wiring inside my housings. When I bought the car 2+ years ago I pulled the projectors to clean the lenses and tossed in a set of Silverstar Ultra's (yeah I know, yada,yada, yada) and the insulation on just about every wire I touched just crumbled in my fingers. I'm guessing this is due to the heat in FL, but probably more due to the heat generated by the DRL function that I can't turn off like I can in my other cars without greasing the dealer's palms :mad: . It's almost like I should pick up another set of lights, but then there's just more expense ... sigh.
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Sorry for the n00b question lol ... but the first pic is retro on stock projectors/lenses, yes? Doesn't seem too bad, but of course that's a short distance on a wall. Looks like there's still enough cutoff as to not invoke wrath from oncoming drivers?
Since I drive mostly in a suburban/city environment at night I'm trying to decide which is better in regards to width of beam pattern. It's not like I need to see a deer about to prance across the road, but a random pedestrian or cyclist isn't out of the question. Highway driving at night? Rarely happens, and if it does it's we're off to see family a couple hours away and we won't take the S40 since it's too small for all four of us. All that said, anything is possible I suppose, and with daylight savings time coming soon (ugh) I'll be needing headlights at 5pm through the winter season.

Here's a couple OEM projectors I found last night, one a Merc, the other a VW. I'm wondering if the lenses on these are the same (or close enough)?



Shadow, without digging back on the eta of your assembly process, where are you now on availability for an skbowe?
Digging? lol no digging required... current status at https://www.skbowe.com/a/order/ or in the OP of this thread
Yeah, I was being lazy :D October gives me some time to decide and prepare, but I will buy one very soon from your next run.

Note that both of those are Gen1 AL projectors, so you'd need a solenoid controller to use them as bi-xenon.

But the Gen1 lenses are pretty consistent, if there is a difference you'd only notice up against a wall. Gen2 have some crazy designs to them.
Yep, I noticed the gen1 thanks to all your help (and Nick too) and a lot of eBay surfing. I think I'm getting pretty good at spotting the differences. That visual chart is awesome! I've also spent a good deal of time reading here, TRS, HID Planet, etc. the past few days and am getting fairly well versed in the retrofit. Going back to my "don't want a hobby" statement versus wanting something better than crummy aftermarket I have to decide on a happy medium that I can accept. I can make another thread about it if you like. It's not my intention to clutter up your skbowe thread with my own project.
I have a question (see, my hand is raised :D) ... the gen2 oem projectors, the ones with the octagon rings ... so, I'm learning that those are for D1S bulbs w/ integrated igniters ... will those fit inside our housings and still be able to shut the back cap? I have the pre-FL lights. Those are more common, and they are newer, so hopefully in better condition. Oh ... which brings up another question ... some of these I see have *burn* marks on the reflector bowls. Can those marks be cleaned somehow, or is that a "steer clear of those" kind of thing?
That hose shouldn't be isn't commonly in the way.
I have that hose too, along with the upper reservoir where you can check the fluid level without removing the headlight. Mine is an early build '05 before they went to this: . I'm just leaving mine alone unless it breaks.

I think even most D2S-AMP adapters will be a similar situation.

The bottom of the bowl (behind the shield) does absolutely nothing for the beam pattern or light output, and tends to get hotter because of all the internal reflection. Top of the bowl may cause dark spots - but the gen2 projector in my spread above had the **** burned out of it (Nick's discard lol) and still seemed to impress everyone ;)
You mean these adapters right? Wondering if the 90-degree ones are better than the "straight-ons". Regarding burn spots, many of the projectors I'm seeing on eBay have spots in the upper bowl. Then there are those auctions that don't even show the bowl, so would have to ask for more pics :thumbdown:

Question about your ballast install ... are those hex-head bolts with nuts on the other side? I'm guessing you took your wheel liner out (I would at least). I'm planning on using the Morimoto XB35 AMP ballasts, I think lol.
Looks fantastic MGM, great job!

The stock headlight wiring is very fragile, so be careful when manipulating it.
Yes, I know all about the crummy wiring. I spent some time today starting to get my lights ready, and the wiring on the the driver's housing was pretty much shot. Almost thought about throwing in the towel and trolling eBay for a used one. But ... I spent at least an hour doing this and it lives to see another day:

Oh and Shadow ... I'm ready for that official AL E46 thread ... will have plenty of questions :cool: I even took out the driver's H11 projector today to get a few pics in preparation.

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Ok Shadow, I'm down for an skbowe from your next run :) I've been doing some projector shopping and am starting to put the pieces of my project together.

Just an observation, but there seems to be a slight difference between your projector identification chart and Nick's rundown post on AL projectors , which is not all "Gen1" projectors are 3-wire. I've seen a few newer ones (ex. 2007) that are 2-wire and have plastic reflector housings. I think Nick's definition of a "Gen2" revolves more around the aluminum housing with integrated bulb holders (octagon) found on even later model years. I know, potayto, potahto lol.
You're right, they're not plastic. Whatever metal they are (some kind of lightweight cast?) sort of threw me off because they're plated all over, inside and out, except for the inside of the bulb holder, so I thought they might be plastic. This is on the OEM BMW E46 projectors I picked up. All the aluminum housing projectors I've seen are not plated that way, and some seem slightly corroded (not in the bowl however).
Yep Nick, I bought that guy's other Caddie 2-wire projectors today. Will get them next week. He had a set w/o the ignitors, but it had the holders, and based on this other auction I felt like I could get a D2S ring and bulb on them without any mods, plus I got a 2-wire, so no controller. Too bad I already bought Wolstentech controllers ... learning by fire lol. I'll probably just put the beemer projectors and controllers up for sale here.
Well, I don't think there's any 3-wire Gen2's. I like the classifications you developed though, it helped me a lot, and others too I'm sure. IMO it's probably enough to accept that there were some Gen1's with 2-wire, but the rest is the same with some slight differences in bulb mounting. Seems like the year-break for 2-wire solenoid *might* be around 2007?
Great news! Now you need some more orders ... c'mon people!

If you tell me they'll work on my P3 S80 I'll get another pair. I'm sure they will, it's actually the whole lens popping, retrofitting, customizing, projectorizing (not actually a word) a halogen reflector assembly that I'm not so sure about.
Well, not really an install yet ... but I am gearing up :D

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Hmm, should I be wary of Morimoto stuff? I was planning on getting AMP XB35 ballasts/igniters with 90' AMP>D2S pigtails, and a set of ZKW-R lenses. I also have a new (very good used) set of headlight assemblies, which not only have much better looking lenses inside & out, but no internal wire fraying. Both my original assemblies were really awful. Even though I've fixed them all up neatly with cloth harness tape the new lights give me the ability to retrograde easily if needed.
Yep, and kudos to Shadow as always for figuring this out. This doesn't disable DRL though, just the low-duty voltage on position 0. Your lights will still be on, and since I want to be to be a cool dude I want to do the true disable w/ the software download. Just need to ask my dealer what they want for it. If it's just a few dollars more than a 3-day subscription and the $30 software I will let them do it. Not worth messing my hacked Vida install up to load 2015 web version.
The dealer wanted $165 to disable my DRL's so I ended up getting a 3-day VIDA subscription from Volvo Tech Info and got the job done on my own time in my own garage for $65 less :) HID retrofit is full green light now, got all my parts, just need to find more time :(
I looked at buying those Camaro projectors a while back, but by then I already had about 4 sets of projectors lol. Good luck and please report back with pics about the mod needed to get D2S bulbs in that holder, or maybe Shadow can mark up one of those posted pics (?). Every newer projector I saw for sale had those retainers so I shied away from them , even though I knew they could be made to work somehow.

Are you going to leave those funky lenses?
How's this?
Perfect ... so simple :)
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