Build Log: M57 X5

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Nov 7, 2016
San Diego
Paddles in action! :)

Also, this chirping noise shown below would happen periodically on start up, usually when the engine hasen't been ran for >12 hours. This was resolved when replacing my harmonic balancer, alternator pulley, and water pump. My guess it was caused by the alternator pulley.

I had some odd locking behavior, the driver door stopped unlocking at all and you needed to utilize the "actual" key however the driver door would lock with the FOB. Gas cap also needed a manual release to open. All other doors were unresponsive. Research said it was either a fuse or lock actuator. Thankfully it was a fuse, I replaced the 15A with 20A.


My initial fog light retrofit utilized 3M VHB which is amazing stuff but it didn't offer the structural rigidity needed for this application and with the heat sinks of the projectors completely exposed there was too much space for water and dirt to ingress so I revised the design.

To mount the LED projector bracket to the fog housing I used my ultra tiny drill bit and some steel wire to create 4 anchor points

Next was JB Weld which completely seals the perimeter and also adds rigidity.

Last were rubber housing caps to seal the rear, these work but they are a little excessive in their volume and the flange that grabs onto the housings could be deeper so I will be trying a different design later to optimize the design.

I gave the X5 a wash immediately after installing the revised fogs and so far so good, next wash will be with a power washer :)



I finally had the opportunity to take some output pics. Some things to note on these photos: The X5 is parked at a slight angle relative to the wall and the ground also has a slight angle which makes the output scale up in size towards the left. I did a quick aim of the projectors inside the fog housings before installing them into the bumper but never did another aiming once in the bumper, as you can see the driver side is aimed a bit higher and should be lower to match the passenger side.

The passenger side is aimed about as low as it can go, the projector assmebly bottoms out on the fog housing limiting the downward angle. I might be able to improve this a little by mounting the LED projector up a little higher in the fog housing when I join the two assemblies but the improvement will be small. The limited downward aim combined with the relatively high location of the fog lights in the X5's bumper these fog lights are more like supplemental driving lights. That being said with the ho-hum performance of the E70's adaptive xenon lights and the impressive output of the small LED fogs, they do a nice job complimenting the headlight's low beam output and help fill out the beam pattern. Photos are with an iphone and exposure is on auto.

LED fogs only

Low beams only

Low + Fog

Fog only

Here is a video cycling through the lights


Nov 6, 2016
Sell me a set of those fogs. I'll take that revision. Go make another with whatever improvements you want ;)

I have a cracked housing which let moisture inside.

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