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Thread: Replacing OEM H7s with 55 watt HID H7s question 2012 R1200RT

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    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Replacing OEM H7s with 55 watt HID H7s question 2012 R1200RT

    I have replaced the twin H7 low beams with 55 w HID H7 bulbs and that worked for a little while but now I get the fault icon, right light doesn't work. Problem is the HIDs drawing too much amps diluting start/ heat up. Going to require the low beams directly to the Fuze Bloc but want the 'light out' warning icon to be off so I intend to put a resister in the OEM circuit in place of the OEM H7 ohms.
    Question: what is the ohms with the OEM 55 watt bulb?
    Ride safe,
    Robert
    Please reply directly to my email address also.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 01-25-2014 at 12:41 AM. Reason: added year/model to thread title
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  2. #2
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Robert - since this is a somewhat specific question, it would be useful to have your year/model of the bike you're asking about. I'm gonna assume it's an RT (dual bulbs) although a few other models use dual bulbs...

    Please review: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?46055

    If you can pass that info on - I'm sure it will help get a good answer. What you're doing isn't anything new, and people have BTDT and likely have some advice for you.

    Note that any resistor you're going to add must be capable of dissipating the same current the H7 bulb does to fool the bulb monitor - meaning 50 or 55W or so. That's a BIG resistor and it's going to get hot.

    All HID's draw a high current during the fire-off cycle, but this shouldn't have changed, so if it worked one, I'd try swapping the HIDs and see if the fault moves with the modules. If so - it's a module problem, not a ZFE bulb monitor problem.

    BTW - if you want a reply to your email address one of two things has to happen:

    1. You have to give it to us.
    2. Or - you can simply "subscribe" to the thread and you'll receive any replies in email format.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Don,
    No problem, I have a 2012 R1200RT. CaptRehkopf@gmail.com
    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  4. #4
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Instead of wasting that power in big resistors, wire in a couple 55w driving lamps for conspicuity.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  5. #5
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    I installed aftermarket projectors in my Passat TDI which also has a Canbus system. The ballasts for the HID's have a "Canbus ready" sticker on them, no bulb warnings. You may want to check with your supplier for a different ballast.
    I did have to install a small resistor to eliminate the bulb out warning for the LED's that replaced the DRL's.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

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    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the help. Please keep the ideas options coming.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  7. #7
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRehkopf View Post
    Don,
    No problem, I have a 2012 R1200RT. CaptRehkopf@gmail.com
    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Great - I'll add that to the thread title. I know people have successfully done this conversion without huge amounts of trouble, just have to entice one of them to open the thread and impart some knowledge
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  8. #8
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Great - I'll add that to the thread title. I know people have successfully done this conversion without huge amounts of trouble, just have to entice one of them to open the thread and impart some knowledge
    Thanks again for the help. Hopefully I'll get a resolution soon. I need to take a litte trip to gather some BMR bonuses.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  9. #9
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    In my 2007 R1200S

    I have a 35W HID 6000 color. It works great!
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
    My Blog

  10. #10
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    I have a 35W HID 6000 color. It works great!
    Thanks,
    I want to use the 55 watt system. Thanks for letting me know if I can't go with that much wattage I can install the lower wattage.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  11. #11
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    I've played with this on a 2011 1200gs for quite a while. Lots of good info on AdvRider by Jim Von Baden and others. My experience has been that on low beam 55w HID's have problems and 35w HID's don't. The 55w's work great on high beam. IMO, the 55's might be too bright for low whether they throw errors or not. My first 55w low beam was by DDM. It worked well for several months. Then it started to throw and occasional LAMPF! error that would go away after the bike warmed up, like in 5 to 10 minutes. A month or two passed by and it would stay off for hours to all day. It worked much better in warm weather, but in cold the errors appeared. I got a Can-Bus error eliminator. Again, it initially worked then began to fail. IMO, the straight resistor fixes are NOT the fix. I also tried a set of the HID's that had ballasts designed for use with Can-Bus. They failed too. The better error eliminators have capacitors and resistors. I got a set of cheap 35W HID's off ebay and they have worked on low beam with no problems for almost a year. IMO, and unlike what Delenberger stated, I believe the problem is the ZFE. Can-Bus is just a signaling protocol. The high and low have separate connections directly to the ZFE and it determines if there is an error.
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

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    If you ride enough you'll learn the other downside of 55W systems- the bulb is the same, only the ballast is different. A 55W ballast compatible with CANbus is the right answer to your current issue but will be clunkier than non types due to added components.
    Bulbs die faster on 55W ballasts- the bulbs were designed for 35W heat loads initially and there are no true 55W HID H-7s that I know of- you're just running stuff beyond its design intent for as long as it will work. Of course, some bulbs are very cheap these days so you can carry a spare while touring.
    Remember bulbs must be quality types or you run the risk of burning off adhesives used on some cheap bulbs which will coat your reflector when they condense. Also, UV damage to your housing and coatings from cheap bulb envelops is possible. 55W exacerbates these possibilities compared to 35W.
    The 55W ballast produces only about 20% more light for a lot more power use- its not efficient. Ballasts use about 30% more power on startup than their rated output so a true 55W ballast would use a little less than 75W on startup- relevant for fuse choice. An RTs pair (150W startup) would suggest a 25A fuse or 30A to feed them if on a single line to both. Of course, some ballasts will fail to produce rated output- remember most are cheap Chinese stuff and its buyer beware.

    35W types double the power of stock halogen lights and the 20% more from a 55W is not a huge gain compared to just going to HID over stock though it is noticeable.

    I've used a fair number of different ballasts and bulbs- my current choice for bikes is 35W DDM Tuning stuff for ballast with more upscale bulbs that use better envelops and construction - all 4500K. The ballasts are small and create no CANbus or RF problems on any of the bikes we have.

  13. #13
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    THANKS, for the help.
    I have DDM's kits. I sent them a email re: do they make canbus ballasts and haven't heard back yet! As you know they say their bulb is for either 35w or 55w so no new bulbs needed regardless.
    I bought a 55w canbus kit and will try it, http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-55W-Slim-...item3cdaede028
    and the $10 cancelers they sell on eBay as someone suggested http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-pcs-HID-FL...61371060264%26

    If this doesn't work then I will install the 'regular' non-canbus 35w ballasts. As you've said, I have NOT had any trouble with my high beam.

    A point of information for RT owners: Also my low beam 'focus/aim' was blinding some oncoming vehicles, and no matter how I adjusted the knob on the dashboard I could not lower the beam enough. My dealer and I were working on a fix when he discovered a 'KNOB' under the dash for MACRO beam adjustment! We are now in the process of MACRO adjusting the low beams and high I assume to, to give me the down range throw I want at the same time as help with oncoming traffic. We are adjusting the macro setting so I can use the dash micro setting knob to account for luggage aim, etc.

    Please comment and look over what I'm planning, comment ans suggestions requested. I do not want to be on the Cape Fear Rally in the middle of the night with NO lights!

    Ride Safe,
    Robert
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  14. #14
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    If you ride enough you'll learn the other downside of 55W systems- the bulb is the same, only the ballast is different. A 55W ballast compatible with CANbus is the right answer to your current issue but will be clunkier than non types due to added components.
    Bulbs die faster on 55W ballasts- the bulbs were designed for 35W heat loads initially and there are no true 55W HID H-7s that I know of- you're just running stuff beyond its design intent for as long as it will work. Of course, some bulbs are very cheap these days so you can carry a spare while touring.
    Remember bulbs must be quality types or you run the risk of burning off adhesives used on some cheap bulbs which will coat your reflector when they condense. Also, UV damage to your housing and coatings from cheap bulb envelops is possible. 55W exacerbates these possibilities compared to 35W.
    The 55W ballast produces only about 20% more light for a lot more power use- its not efficient. Ballasts use about 30% more power on startup than their rated output so a true 55W ballast would use a little less than 75W on startup- relevant for fuse choice. An RTs pair (150W startup) would suggest a 25A fuse or 30A to feed them if on a single line to both. Of course, some ballasts will fail to produce rated output- remember most are cheap Chinese stuff and its buyer beware.

    35W types double the power of stock halogen lights and the 20% more from a 55W is not a huge gain compared to just going to HID over stock though it is noticeable.

    I've used a fair number of different ballasts and bulbs- my current choice for bikes is 35W DDM Tuning stuff for ballast with more upscale bulbs that use better envelops and construction - all 4500K. The ballasts are small and create no CANbus or RF problems on any of the bikes we have.
    I am taking your advice, I have two DDM tuning 35W ballasts from another project and I'm having them installed Tuesday. My reasoning: Not sure of the canbus ballast life expectancy. Still worried about overloading the bikes systems with the 55w ballast. And from what you're saying about the 20% more light difference, and using a Forrest Gump philosophy of, one less thing to worry about, I'm willing to try it. Additionally, I like the idea of using a 'normal' non-canbus tried and true DDM Tuning ballast versus somebodyelse's.

    I can always go back and use the canbus type 55w ballast if the 35w light throw isn't enough for me.

    Hopefully if it works, the worst that happens is an hour or so labor and a $60 HID kit wasted!

    Thanks to all for the help and insight.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

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    That knob adjusts the hi and low beam at the same time- there are no separate adjustments- BUT it also doesn't matter because only the low beam adjustment is critical- the high is basically a cone shape with plenty of width to accomodate any sane adjustment of the low.

    I've got my RT ballasts (I only use HID for low, not high) zip tied to the crossbar under the plastic. Keeps them about as far away from other stuff to minimize any chances of RF interference.

    You can mix and match ballasts and bulbs in most cases as long as the connectors work. Most of my better bulbs are sourced from Japan though I haven't had any specific problems with the DDM items used at 35W. But be aware that adhesive issue is not readily predictable and very nasty if it happens- you will permanently cloud a reflector- which is why I stay away from unknown suppliers (anyone who hasn't been in the market long enough to have an established rep)

    Some of BMWs stock bulb connectors where the HID plugs in get very brittle from the heat of the 55W halogen bulb- to the point they will disintegrate instantly if you put any type of tool on them to pull them- really bad ones fall apart under hand pressure alone. Any bike over a few years old can have this problem so always be careful when doing that first install. Of course, once you go HID, the bulb connector is no longer exposed to that heat so will last indefinitely. If one gets broken, you can source ceramic replaecments on the web cheaply but access tightness makes them a nuisance to install.

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