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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 08-25-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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How I restored my pitted OE $200 ZKW foglights glass for $30! Super easy.

So are your E46 fog lights pitted and destroyed from years of rocks? If you know anything about lighting, you know that ZKW foglights are the business and the internals (projection unit) is all business. Therefore simply installing aftermarket fogs doesn't cut it. New ZKWs are $106 EACH from our vendors. That's $212 + TAX + shipping for replacement foglights!:

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...ghts/ES173938/

What I did was bought these aftermarket units for $30:

E46 Foglights replacement pair - Amazon.com

All you need to do is separate the halves and use the NEW glass and plastic casing with the OE ZKW fog light rears. Throw away the aftermarket chrome reflector (backs) in the trash. They are useless. The aftermarket front glass halves and stock ZKW chrome backs are plug and play 100% They are identically assembled to the stock ZKW units! The best part about this is no tools required. Just use your fingers!

As many of you know, polishing the glass is absolutely next to impossible. It will take custom polishing equipment, specialized cerium glass polishing powder and hours and hours of hard labor polishing the glass as glass is hard as hell to polish. F that.

After cleaning the inside of the new glass perfectly as well as gently cleaning the 10+ years of film over the stock chrome reflective surface with a microfiber towel, the newly restored foglights look THE BUSINESS.

In case anyone is wondering, the aftermarket glass seems to be ever so slightly thicker than the stock ZKW glass. It even has the same SAE markings on it. Either case, $30 is not bad for refreshed glass!

Old ZKW glass:



The aftermarket glass and ZKW rears assembled!



This may be moved to lighting but I know a LOT of people might be interested in this.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Dude! Last time I looked mine looked like shiiiiii....
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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How I restored my pitted OE $200 ZKW foglights glass for $30! Super easy.

Good work. Looks 100% better my friend. Glass is tough and doesn't take long to get pitted. Best advice I can add to this is for all of you to give yourself some distance behind vehicles on the road while driving. Getting to close increases the amount of debris being thrown up into the front of your ride. Not to mention its dangerous. I always leave myself at least 10 to 12 car lengths at highway speeds for both cutting down on front end damage, and to give myself time to bust a move if the $$$$ hits the fan in front of me. Great thread mango, all these little tips and ideas add up to give us all endless amounts of info on the E46.


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Old 08-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpgolf1 View Post
Good work. Looks 100% better my friend. Glass is tough and doesn't take long to get pitted. Best advice I can add to this is for all of you to give yourself some distance behind vehicles on the road while driving. Getting to close increases the amount of debris being thrown up into the front of your ride. Not to mention its dangerous. I always leave myself at least 10 to 12 car lengths at highway speeds for both cutting down on front end damage, and to give myself time to bust a move if the $$$$ hits the fan in front of me. Great thread mango, all these little tips and ideas add up to give us all endless amounts of info on the E46.


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Thanks. Yeah I was thinking of just dropping the cash on new fogs but I had these laying around from another project. I didn't think it would work but I said what the hell and just tried it. Fits 100% perfectly.

In case anyone is interested, I have blazer fog units and morimoto 35w system up for grabs. The fogs retailed for $50 and the morimoto kit for $110. I'll give both the projectors and ballasts/ 4k bulbs to the first person shipped for $100
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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They glass or plastic??
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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They glass or plastic??
I already said in the OP. What do you think?
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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They glass or plastic??
Glass, as stated... to restore them via polishing requires much more trouble than it's worth, so this option is infinitely better.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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I already said in the OP. What do you think?
Always thought they were plastic
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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How I restored my pitted OE $200 ZKW foglights glass for $30! Super easy.

Are they real glass? The original units?
Edit* looks like they're glass. Well let me find something here real quick.

if they are, in fact, real glass you should be able to try either of these methods with good results.
http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=216455
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...on-the-*CHEAP*
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
Are they real glass? The original units?
Edit* looks like they're glass. Well let me find something here real quick.

if they are, in fact, real glass you should be able to try either of these methods with good results.
http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=216455
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...on-the-*CHEAP*
Those methods you cite are ok for the particular applications used in those threads, but for ours, we luckily have an aftermarket replacement alternative that restores them to new for $30 and almost no labor or time involved.

Real glass polishing is using cerium powder and hours of labor to polish out the pits and even then it won't be 100% as deep pits will still remain visible.

This method I made a thread on restores to 100%.

For $30 and a few minutes of time, it's a no-brainer
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Last edited by Mango; 08-25-2013 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mango View Post
Those methods you cite are ok for the particular applications used in those threads, but for ours, we luckily have an aftermarket replacement alternative that restores them to new for $30 and almost no labor or time involved.

Real glass polishing is using cerium powder and hours of labor to polish out the pits and even then it won't be 100% as deep pits will still remain visible.

This method I made a thread on restores to 100%.

For $30 and a few minutes of time, it's a no-brainer
there are aftermarket lenses available for the e30 zkw's shown in those threads as well.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:35 PM   #12
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there are aftermarket lenses available for the e30 zkw's shown in those threads as well.
Shrug. Don't know and don't care. All I know is $30 later and I have new fogs.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Awesome thanks for the tip
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #14
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MANGO! are you recommending NON OEM!? dammm.... Heard everything now. lol, just messin with ya
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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MANGO! are you recommending NON OEM!? dammm.... Heard everything now. lol, just messin with ya
Most of the parts i've added or installed on my car are "non-OEM"
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #16
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Awesome! Just tried polishing my fogs and realized I was going no where fast!

I was wondering if u could replaced just the glass lenses

I'll have to order these

Maybe buy some clear film to put over them.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #17
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Awesome! Just tried polishing my fogs and realized I was going no where fast!

I was wondering if u could replaced just the glass lenses

I'll have to order these

Maybe buy some clear film to put over them.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:43 PM   #18
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The Mtech and M3 foglights are the same aren't they? Meaning that I could just order them from the Amazon link you provided in the original post.

I was actually looking for replacements for the foglights without having the dish out $200+. It's strange/unfortunate that nobody sells just the glass.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #19
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Something interesting everyone should note: some cars came with fluted glass for the fog lamp lenses and others did not. My 2004 330i with the M-Tech I kit came with fluted glass as you can see in the photo below. Not sure what kind of difference it makes when it comes to the light dispersion. I always liked the fluted glass because it made the pitting less evident.



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The Mtech and M3 foglights are the same aren't they? Meaning that I could just order them from the Amazon link you provided in the original post.

I was actually looking for replacements for the foglights without having the dish out $200+. It's strange/unfortunate that nobody sells just the glass.
According to realOEM, it appears as though pre 03.5 M3s came with the same fog lamps as the M-Tech non M cars. The part numbers are the same. After '03 they change.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #20
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According to realOEM, it appears as though pre 03.5 M3s came with the same fog lamps as the M-Tech non M cars. The part numbers are the same. After '03 they change.
Cool, thanks.

I checked via Amazon and they said that it would fit but I feel that it was worth confirming with some enthusiasts before ordering.
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