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Old 02-19-2012, 11:17 PM   #31
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wash. DC area
Posts: 25
My Ride: 1966 E-Type
Question Right and Left Telescoping Self-retracting Assemblies ?

Hi guys,

Ref: 2005 330i E46 sedan w/ winter (headlight washer) package

I'm new to E46's, but have lots of hands-on mechanical experience elsewhere so I jumped right in when my both headlight washers were not working.

Fwiw...... I heard the headlight washer pump working, but nothing from the headlight squirters, nor did either headlight squirter doors there must have been a loss of fluid pressure that opens the squirter doors. Investigation found the passenger side push-in hose telescoping arm plastic connection was seriously fractured.......probably due to plain water freezing in the plastic connector.

Strangely, with the above, my washer fluid container held fluid and my windshield washers worked fine and also held washer fluid without any leaks anywhere. I'm told the headlight washer pump allows fluid to pass through at all times and the only thing keeping the 5.3 liters of reservoir fluid from draining out the check valves in each headlight squirters.

If this plastic connector was all broken-up and virtually severed by water freezing inside it...... why didn't the 5.3 liters of windshield/headlight washer reservoir drain out on the ground ? Curious indeed.......but I can assure you the windshield washers worked fine for the past 2 months as I used them many times.

Moving on........

I pulled both headlamp assemblies out.... a real pain in the arse locating and removing the headlight assembly bottom two 8mm hex securing bolts.

At the headlight the squirter assemblies are in good working order. As mentioned earlier in this thread by dcon999, I blew through them with my mouth in the direction of fluid travel and the internal check valve would not allow my breath to pass through so as to keep the 5.3 liters of reservoir fluid from draining on the ground. But when I applied a air nozzle to them they allowed the pressurized air to flow from the nozzles easily. Good..... no need to buy new nozzle assemblies.

I looked at several on-line parts diagrams and chose RealOEM site.
...... and surprisingly nothing said "right" or "left" for the telescopic headlight washer I bought:

A. Two (2) Headlight Washer Cleaner Telescopic Extending Arms......item #6 in this diagram. mention of "right" or "left". Kind of strange I thought........but maybe they were the same part as they both carried the same part #

B. Three (3) hose connectors, just in case I broke some....... item #2 in the same above diagram.

C. Headlight washer pump...... item #4 in this parts diagram

This afternoon, feeling I had what I needed to make full repairs I removed both headlight assemblies, main fluid reservoir, both washer pumps (windshield & headlamp)...... degreased, washed and cleaned all surfaces... ready to reassemble. I lubed all "O" rings with silicone grease and their mating surfaces to ensure a proper and easy fit.

I started with the drivers (left) side and all went well until right at the end where I wanted to push the squirter assembly into the telescoping self-retracting arm....... problem. The new self retracting arm has a alignment female slot facing down ......but the old (original) squirter I took off the car had the alignment slot facing up. WTF ??

I couldn't believe my eyes. I again asked myself...."Is there a "right' and a "left" to these telescoping arm assemblies ? I went back to the parts diagram to see. No..... no "right"...... no "left"........but that's not what I had in my hands. Parts don't lie when you try to assemble them.

Also, the clips that lock the telescoping assembly into place on the bottom of the headlight housing were facing the wrong direction. Frustrated and certainly not having the right part, I simply removed the male protrusion on the squirter and
heated the plastic clips and pushed them in the right direction so they would "click" into their respective slots......and I installed the squirter assembly on the telescoping arm..... but all this certainly begs the question:

Is there a "left" and "right" to these telescoping self-retracting arm assemblies ?

Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

My best......... Mike in Maryland
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