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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #61
maxxinne 03
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NO worries, I fix'd 2 day... Thanx to Justin, friend of mine @ BMW of xxx in Cali.; found a spare @ their certified bodyshop. I attached the clip to the auto vertical level arm and carefully screwed the xenon trim back into the housing and it pop'd back in.
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Old 07-03-2009, 03:45 PM   #62
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yea i saw, glad you got it resolved it
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:52 PM   #63
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Reflector removal

Hi Sillieidiot;

I want to thank you for the DIY instructions for removing the E46 headlight it was extremely helpful for replacing my igniter. One item I wanted to bring to your attention and recomend that you consider changing in your instructions;

When you remove the reflector housing from the tilt motor, it should just be pulled directly off, i.e., straight out; you should not prey up on the tilt motor shaft as it could damage the motor.

Thanks again, I really had no idea on how to get the reflector housing out until I read your DYI.

Tom Dadian
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #64
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you're welcome.

yea on that part there's different ways to do it. the easiest way is to push it down on the arm using a long flat screw driver (not that hard, just as far as it will go) and then pull up the on the reflector and it will pop right out. i haven't broken any of the white connectors really doing it that way. I've only broken one but that's when i was doing the opposite with trying to pry it up instead.

i already asked if i could add/change my original post, but tim (admin) told me since it was so long ago that i posted he cannot. i was thinking, if i ever come across another headlight that needed to be open, i'll make a vid and post it here.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #65
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sweet diy. just finished blacking out my headlights. thanks!!!!
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #66
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Just a note on the auto leveling arm..

Luckily iwas working on a spare lamp before i did this.
I accidentally broke the white clip that holds it (The 20th pic).
Anyways the best way i found was..

From the Non xenon bulb side, remove the rubber ring and all the parts you can from it.

Then get either a long needle nosed plier set or two flat screw drivers and another pair of hands,
If you look from the far side of the non xenon lamp, you will see two small plastic self tapping clips that hold the little grill (in the centre on the 19th picture) on in front of the reflector. If you squeeze the top and bottom of the clips and push slightly it will loosen that one.

Then do the same with the bottom one.

That allows you access to the white clip which you can loosten from the reflector side using two flat screw drivers.

Putting it back is also easy, just align it and push the reflector.

Sorry i dont have pics yet i will take the headlamp apart in a few hours.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:15 AM   #67
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yea everyone breaks it for some reason. i don't. i'm planning on posting up a vid of me taking apart the whole thing, it doesn't take me that long, and i can show people the other method to do it as well since i can't edit my original post to add any other info.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:07 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by sillieidiot View Post
yea everyone breaks it for some reason. i don't. i'm planning on posting up a vid of me taking apart the whole thing, it doesn't take me that long, and i can show people the other method to do it as well since i can't edit my original post to add any other info.
Good stuff.
I came across that way by pure accident..well investiagtion.

I do have one question.

Now providing the ballast unit just controls the bulb, and its all quite seperate, can i not just a different ballast unit from a different E46 model?
Even if the connectors are different cant i just cut the cables and replace the connector?
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:24 AM   #69
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the ballast provides power for the bulb and autoleveling as welll i think.

but to really answer your question, yes but the problem is which wires? your model, i believe has 8 pins while later e46s have close to double that amount. you'd have to figure out which wires do what and which pins they go to. a lot more work than to just find the ones that fit yours lol
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #70
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the ballast provides power for the bulb and autoleveling as welll i think.

but to really answer your question, yes but the problem is which wires? your model, i believe has 8 pins while later e46s have close to double that amount. you'd have to figure out which wires do what and which pins they go to. a lot more work than to just find the ones that fit yours lol
The ballast unit i have in front of me has one connector for the top of it, that has two pins in it.
This then has two wires that go off to the ignitor, then two wires from the ignitor to the bulb.

I was thinking of just chopping the connector from the car to the ballast.
then swapping that.

The way i see the wiring to the headlamp is:
Car --> Ballast --> Ignitor --> Xenon Bulb
--> Indicator
--> Auto level
--> Halogen (full beam bulb)
--> Backup Bulb

Not sure if that makes sense..
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:36 PM   #71
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i get what you're doing, however it's not going to work. you would need to cut the wires inside the headlight and provide a suitable connector for the new OEM ones and rewire as i told you before. not cut it off the car as that's just power from the car. all e46 years use the same connectors.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #72
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So for when you're putting it back together, how do you know when the adjusters are back where they were? So the headlights aren't out of adustment.

???
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #73
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you search for the light adjustment diy that me and rovert created and follow that.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #74
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Pheasant damage, but what's broken?

Hi Sillie,

A pheasant flew into my nearside headlight and now it just points down at the floor. Based on your encyclopedic knowledge of these xenon units, can you help me to identify what's broken so I can decided whether it's worth the 600 my dealer wants to fit a complete new unit...

As you can see from the picture, the "eyeball" appears to have come loose and is no longer a snug fit within the housing. I'm assuming that's all that's wrong, but I guess there could be more to it than that.

What do you think - time for a complete new unit? My car's a 2004 330cd coupe and the dealer tells me there are no spares for this unit, just a complete replacement

Any thoughts/suggestions much appreciated.

Cheers.

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:50 PM   #75
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looks to me like your autoleveling arm is broken. and yes a complete replacement would be necessary unless you can find a used headlight to take the part out of and use that instead. even then, it should be rather hard to fix.

i suggest looking around ebay or something for a used unit and just put that yourself. it should save you a lot more money this way.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:59 PM   #76
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The xenon light still sweeps up and down when I turn the lights on, so I assume the autolevelling arm is still attached. I took it to a dealer yesterday to get a quick opinion from one of their technicians rather than their sales people and he thought the eyeball might have just come unclipped.

As someone who's seen inside these units, do you think that's a realistic possibility? If you think it is, I'll have a go at pulling it apart, following your DIY guide.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:01 PM   #77
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i think you should start by finding a diy and pulling it apart right now anyways. there is no real way to tell what happened until you open her up.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasingSteve View Post
The xenon light still sweeps up and down when I turn the lights on, so I assume the autolevelling arm is still attached. I took it to a dealer yesterday to get a quick opinion from one of their technicians rather than their sales people and he thought the eyeball might have just come unclipped.

As someone who's seen inside these units, do you think that's a realistic possibility? If you think it is, I'll have a go at pulling it apart, following your DIY guide.
the projector cannot be unclipped. it's screwed on by 4 screws (for your car, 3 for others). so it's unlikely you have all of them fail at the same time. I've seen this happen before, it's the arm that is connected to the adjustment screw that is broken. it's near impossible to fix even if you open it up.

btw, for your car, you should be using leonityzhp's DIY on how to install angels.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:15 PM   #79
CrazeUK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazeUK View Post
Just a note on the auto leveling arm..

Luckily iwas working on a spare lamp before i did this.
I accidentally broke the white clip that holds it (The 20th pic).
Anyways the best way i found was..

From the Non xenon bulb side, remove the rubber ring and all the parts you can from it.

Then get either a long needle nosed plier set or two flat screw drivers and another pair of hands,
If you look from the far side of the non xenon lamp, you will see two small plastic self tapping clips that hold the little grill (in the centre on the 19th picture) on in front of the reflector. If you squeeze the top and bottom of the clips and push slightly it will loosen that one.

Then do the same with the bottom one.

That allows you access to the white clip which you can loosten from the reflector side using two flat screw drivers.

Putting it back is also easy, just align it and push the reflector.

Sorry i dont have pics yet i will take the headlamp apart in a few hours.
Going back to my above response, i have added instructions to what i meant:
Other E46fanatics Thread.

Please do tell me if this works for you. It did for me.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:23 PM   #80
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hey everyone im new member
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