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Old 10-19-2015, 02:06 PM   #15
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OK--I'll take a shot and try and answer a few of your questions. In no particular order: 1] WRV used headlight assemblies from the BMW 5-series auto, E39, 1997-2003, or there abouts for later Alpines. Accordingly, there are no WRV part numbers to look for--just BMW. There are a number of replacement options out on Amazon/Ebay. As you can imagine, OEM replacements for BMWs are pricey; after market ones, not so much. 2] Not a VANSCO expert but am of the opinion that automotive accessories are powered thru the front Vansco power unit, this could account for some low voltage issues--helps explain why using a direct feed from the bats with a relay might work better. 3] Fit and finish for either OEM or aftermarket assemblies is a modest challenge. The fiberglass opening and mounting tabs make it difficult to get either type of light to aim high enough. Might also note that on most Alpines, the fiberglass cap radius on the driver's side opening is very close to the shape of the light assembly; the passenger side is not as good--so some "fitting" is needed regardless. Final note: if you do shop for aftermaket lamps--eg Depot brand--these assemblies come with several "pigtail" options--apparently, BMW changed their wiring configs during the period. Biggest issue is the orange lights on the outside edges. The replacement lights I purchased came with a single element bulb/socket. Alpines use a two-filement bulb to combine running/marker and turn signal.....good luck

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Old 10-20-2015, 11:05 AM   #16
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If your existing headlight housings are in good shape with no haze or discoloration of the clear lens, you should be just fine as long as the adjustment screw has not been stripped or broken.

The trick is that the headlight housing needs to be re-positioned. You will need to remove the housing and grind away some fiberglass and slot the mounting holes. Like EM said, the issue is that WRV molded the front fascia so the lights fit nice and tight and look very nice. The problem is that they are aimed at the ground and the adjustment knob on the housings cannot be adjusted up far enough to point the beam of light down the road.

To get the light to point down the road, you need to tilt the headlamp housings back and to do that, you need to grind away some of the fiberglass around the headlights. (this is just based on my experience, YMMV) When you first do this you are going to find that the headlights will not be as smoothly integrated with the shape of the front of the coach. Nobody but you will never notice this after its done.

Over the years it seems like there is endless discussion about how to make the Alpine/BWM E39 headlights brighter. In most cases, THEY ARE PLENTY BRIGHT. You just can't tell because they are pointed at the ground.

Hope this helps.

2001 Alpine 36MDDS
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:40 PM   #17
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My experience (and Dale Gerstel's after a lot of effort) was that proper re-aiming of the lights actually produced a gap at the upper part of the headlight lens to the body of the coach.
IIWMI'd re-aim the "running lights" or fog lights upward (bend the bracket). To do this in a totally professional way you would also grind a bit off the lower round fiberglass cutout to push the bottom of the round lens forward against the new cutout profile. Then use the driving lights for proper wash of the road w/usable light after dark.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:44 AM   #18
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I'll second using the driving lights. They work great even without adjustment. Mine seem to be adjusted pretty well to start with.

However I still prefer to stop well before dark!!
Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #19
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On our totally different rig I replaced the bulbs with LED's. They have a separate "transformer" that must be wired in but all connections are already done. The hardest part was cutting out the rear cover for the cooling fan on the back of the new socket.

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