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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 11-28-2009, 02:50 AM   #81
yonmoor
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Originally Posted by sillieidiot View Post
Hey guys, DIY time. Anyways, this is just a DIY on how to take apart your headlights and take out that trim in the middle (this was the whole reason why there is this DIY in the first place). I'll also show you where (and how to take it apart) the igniter and ballast are so you can stop asking what it looks like. While I'm at it, i'm going to show you guys how to change the xenon bulbs for these headlights, except I'll have these outside of the car. You can see that thread here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...11#post8554311

***Note: Follow this at your own risk. I am not liable for any damages or injuries that may have resulted or caused by this DIY.***

Tools needed:
- Gloves (because it gets dirty, also prevents you from leaving fingerprints on the chrome especially on the shroud)
- Phillips screw driver (a power drill with the right bit would definitely help)
- Flat screw driver (a longer one than normal is a plus)
- t20 driver (or bit for your screw driver or whatever)
- Pair of needle nose pliers

Before you start, make sure you take the headlights off the car otherwise, you are going to have a very hard time doing this.

First of all, you want to take out all the easy parts. The plastic lense, bulbs, etc. If you already know how to do all that, just keep scrolling down.

As for those that don't, to take out the lense, you up pop (lift up) the 7 tabs that is holding it down, and pry it apart. If you cannot do this, please do not continue, and find someone who is competent enough.







And this is what you end up with:


Next remove the headlight trim, which is clipped in by 4 prongs (one on each corner). you want to pull them toward you.







Here's a picture showing 3 of the 4 prongs:


Next you want to remove the bulbs/bulb holder, and disconnect everything.

For the high beam side, you will see 2 prongs/tab that protrude out. You want to twist them a quarter turn or less to your left, then pull out the whole bulb holder. You can put that aside. (if you have halogen headlights, you will just do this twice; once for lows, once for highs). Take out the rubber dust cover as well.







For the low beam side just follow this DIY i just wrote at the same time: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...11#post8554311

You should end up with something like this:


Next you want to remove the ballast. The ballast is held on by 3 t20 torx screws. Remove those, then pull the ballast straight up to disconnect it.





Here's a shot of the ballast with part numbers and stuff:


Lastly, you need to unplug the connector that supplies the power for the bixenon shutter. (if you have single xenons, this does not apply to you).



Ok we're done with the easy part, now for the most time consuming part.

You see these 2 adjustment knobs (even though one of them has a piece missing), you will be turning these clockwise until you can't go anymore. As you're doing it, you will see the reflector bowls move forward and down. Otherwise, you are turning the wrong way. This is where you would want to use that power drill or phillips screw driver (turning it with your hand will be painful and time consuming). And trust me, it takes a long time, even with a screw driver.





100 years later with my ratcheting screwdriver, this is what you should end up with:


To take out the reflector bowl, you need to remove one more piece that's holding onto the bowl. It's the autoleveling arm, you need to pry this arm up with a flat screw driver (or push it down. whichever is easier for you). I usually pry it up, but i found it easier to push down on this particular headlight while pulling on the bowl and everything should come off. (for halogen headlights, the arm is white and is stationary).

Here's a shot of what it looks like:


Another showing where to stick the flat (prying up method):


Now you have the 2 pieces apart.



To take out the igniter, just remove the 2 t20 screws that is holding it on, and disconnect the white connector that is attached to it.





Here's a shot of the igniter with the part numbers and what not:




That's pretty much everything you need to replace those parts. So no need to go on there. Just reverse everything you did to put it back. This next step is just for ASAed330 and those people who wanted to know how to take out the center trim to paint or something.

Here's the trim in question:


On the back of the bowl, there are 2 little prongs that hold that sucker in.



you want to take a needle plier and just squeeze the two edges like so:


and it will pop right out like this:




And you are done. now just do the reverse of that. Normally I would keep going, but I have a migraine so yeah


Again, you can thank ASAed330 for requesting this DIY.
Holy **** doot.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:47 PM   #82
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Had to replace an flakey ignitor last night-Couldn't have done it without this DIY. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:06 PM   #83
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Has anyone put together a DIY that shows how to swap out the lens and/or to retrofit the FX-R projectors from the Retrofit store? Thanks!

http://store.theretrofitsource.com/p...b6947eb37b8501
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:11 PM   #84
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not really, you'll need to take a few steps more than this for the lense, then work with some spacing to get the cutoff to come out right. as for the retrofit, even if we gave you one, it would only be a really rough outline. i could just tell you right now, you cut a big hole to fit it in, and then figure out a way to secure it in place. pretty much gotta figure the rest out yourself.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:07 AM   #85
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:35 PM   #86
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is it possible to take AL components and install them into ZKW housings?
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:25 AM   #87
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Hi, could you please explain how to take the headlight off the car in the first place? Or point to an other thread of someone who has already done it? Photos with instructions will be very much appreciated :-), cheers.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:56 PM   #88
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bimmerdudexi, i'm pretty sure you can't. the mounting point for the ballast and ignitors are a little bit different. well i guess you can do it, but with some modification.

kalexa, diy in my sig.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:30 PM   #89
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This DIY was incredibly helpful. I bought my 2000 328ci used and whoever had the car before me had the corner headlights glued on to the side of the main headlight assembly. I later found out that the previous owner had broken the plastic snap in clips that extend from the main headlight assembly. If i disassemble the entire headlight assembly can I replace the housing(the part that has the plastic clips)? Does anyone have a link to the part number/name/listing of this part? Can anyone help me out?!!? I dont want my corner headlights rig'd up and make-shift. THanks guys!
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:11 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazsabi View Post
This DIY was incredibly helpful. I bought my 2000 328ci used and whoever had the car before me had the corner headlights glued on to the side of the main headlight assembly. I later found out that the previous owner had broken the plastic snap in clips that extend from the main headlight assembly. If i disassemble the entire headlight assembly can I replace the housing(the part that has the plastic clips)? Does anyone have a link to the part number/name/listing of this part? Can anyone help me out?!!? I dont want my corner headlights rig'd up and make-shift. THanks guys!
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:26 PM   #91
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found this whole DIY very useful, my dad and i did this on my 2001 330ci and i pushed the auto trim lever down with a screwdriver while he twisted the two knobs on the top (clockwise) and it disconnected very easily, thanks for the DIY it helped immensely!
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:45 PM   #92
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Has anyone put together a DIY that shows how to swap out the lens and/or to retrofit the FX-R projectors from the Retrofit store? Thanks!

http://store.theretrofitsource.com/p...b6947eb37b8501
I'll probably take pictures of this swap when my ZKW-R lenses show up.

Not looking forward to this, though, as my apartment has a strict "no working on cars" policy, so I'll be taking the headlights off the car and leaving the hood unlatched...
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:13 PM   #93
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Thank you for this DIY.

I looks like your reflector is also burned. Is that correct?



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Old 01-07-2011, 08:25 PM   #94
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you're welcome.

they are not burnt. these are bosch projectors. that's just how they look. on the zkw (which are plastic) is where the burning occurs. sometimes you'll see the bubbling as well.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:12 AM   #95
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@ Sillieidiot,

I see. I just checked and it looks like I also have AL ligthning. They look like yours. This means my projector should still be oke. I saw brown spots on the backside like yours so I tought they where burned. When I look at my lens it is not like your lense. In your lens there is a braking line in the center. Mine doesn`t have that line. That was why I tought I had ZKW lightning.
Strange maybe it has something to do with bixenon? I have single xenon for instead.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:36 AM   #96
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From what I can recall, single xenon Bosch projectors do not have the line across the lens.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:16 PM   #97
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Thanks for your reply.

So only a fx-R lens should help to improve my lights?
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:48 PM   #98
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Your lenses should be fairly clear in the stock form. Try to adjust the shield, only. If that doesn't help, then you will have to search for other options such as a retrofit.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:34 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinadrachten View Post
@ Sillieidiot,

I see. I just checked and it looks like I also have AL ligthning. They look like yours. This means my projector should still be oke. I saw brown spots on the backside like yours so I tought they where burned. When I look at my lens it is not like your lense. In your lens there is a braking line in the center. Mine doesn`t have that line. That was why I tought I had ZKW lightning.
Strange maybe it has something to do with bixenon? I have single xenon for instead.
like infinite said, the single xenons do not have that line going across. since you have a euro unit, it should already have a clear lens. the rubber seal along the older ALs tend to go bad so if you're getting bad output or something along those lines i would try replacing the seal (it's located in the groove where the plastic headlight lens meets the housing) and at the same time clean/wipe the lens (probably fogged up by now).
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:26 PM   #100
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New, OEM bulbs will also help tremendously.
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