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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 10-02-2008, 04:19 AM   #1
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Lightbulb DIY: Aligning Xenon Headlights for Dummies

Hey guys,

For those who need to align their headlights and have been scared of the process, here is a DIY that should be easy to understand.

First, here is a picture of where the adjustment screws can be found on your vehicle:




Last but not least, the DIY:

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Old 10-02-2008, 04:20 AM   #2
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lol nice disclaimer
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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One Stupid ?

Thanks for this DIY. My stupid question is when turning the height adjustment screw clockwise, does this raise or lower the light and also the same stupid question for the side to side adjustment.
My reason to ask is that these things are hard enough to get to and I want to make sure to turn them the right direction the first time. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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I can't remember. I just turn the screwdriver and watch the light. If it's going the wrong way I turn the opposite direction. It shouldn't be that hard to get to?
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:17 AM   #5
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hey rovert, i just got some p46s and the pasenger beam is high and im turning it to lower however i think ive gone the max it will go and it just keeps turning with no lowering. the passenger beam is VERY high still... is there any other way to adjust this and why is it so high still?

thanks in advance
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle670 View Post
Thanks for this DIY. My stupid question is when turning the height adjustment screw clockwise, does this raise or lower the light and also the same stupid question for the side to side adjustment.
My reason to ask is that these things are hard enough to get to and I want to make sure to turn them the right direction the first time. Thanks!
lowers the headlight. that is my picture of the adjustment screws posted.
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alibusoul View Post
hey rovert, i just got some p46s and the pasenger beam is high and im turning it to lower however i think ive gone the max it will go and it just keeps turning with no lowering. the passenger beam is VERY high still... is there any other way to adjust this and why is it so high still?

thanks in advance
because they are p46s, they don't exactly work the same way as OEMs. sometimes those stupid knobs don't even work on the p46s. you'll just have to keep trying at it. if it still doesn't work, i suggest opening the headlight (just take the headlight lens off) and pushing down on the reflector bowl. see if that does anything.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:16 AM   #8
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ok thanks sillie i guess the projector just came aimed too high bc it will go up and down, however the lowest itll go is about 1ft over a perfectly level drivers side. i sat there for about 2 min with a screwdriver then i gave up. it feels broken but i know its not bc it works....

can the projector be pushed down with little resistance?
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:22 AM   #9
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when i screwed it (clockwise of course) it just kept slipping... what do you think this indicates?
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:45 AM   #10
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when i screwed it (clockwise of course) it just kept slipping... what do you think this indicates?
reached the end, broken gear or gear off track.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:13 AM   #11
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reached the end, broken gear or gear off track.
+1
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alibusoul View Post
ok thanks sillie i guess the projector just came aimed too high bc it will go up and down, however the lowest itll go is about 1ft over a perfectly level drivers side. i sat there for about 2 min with a screwdriver then i gave up. it feels broken but i know its not bc it works....

can the projector be pushed down with little resistance?
check to make sure you installed the headlight in correctly first. sometimes you can get it in, but if it's not going in those 2 prongs, the light isn't sitting right. everything will bolt right up though
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:21 PM   #13
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well my p46s came with the headlight washer bracket preinstalled so it got in the way with the one installed on the car. the one that is installed on the car is what you screw those back 2 screws in to secure the headlight. that braket is screwed on to the car with 2 screws in the front so i took those out and put in the p46s... those front screws were a PAIN to screw back in with the headlight on, i almost resorted to take off the bumper, but just removing the fender well was semi ok... so after some scratched up hands i got my p46s on, the hard way (i know that there could have been some other way haha but i was being stubborn). So now my headlights are on via 4 screws but not the 4 screws that everyone usaually uses. that may be why my projectors are off. and also i believe that the "adjustment limits" for the p46s is smaller than oem. however, i did what u told me sillie and i pushed down the projector and it works now!! thanks!
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:39 AM   #14
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no problem, glad you resolved you issues almost pain-free lol
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:10 AM   #15
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how high should the lower tape be on the wall? Also how far apart from left to right?
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:24 AM   #16
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Thats really helpful thanks. i wat to know what is the right height for the headlight? Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Dude Xi View Post
how high should the lower tape be on the wall? Also how far apart from left to right?
it's different for every car, so just follow the instructions. he tells you where to put it
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:40 AM   #18
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guys read step 1 lol
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:39 AM   #19
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+1

It's a good start, but no specifics as to how high up the beams should be, nor how far apart they should be at 35 feet. At 80 feet, the beams should come together into one beam, so there's some trigonometry for you when you get the numbers!
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopasBlau46 View Post
+1

It's a good start, but no specifics as to how high up the beams should be, nor how far apart they should be at 35 feet. At 80 feet, the beams should come together into one beam, so there's some trigonometry for you when you get the numbers!
When you car is that close to the wall. It doesn't matter if the light is pointed up/down incorrectly. The first step of tape will always be relative to your vehicle's ride height in most poeple's cases. Now if you're slammed maybe that 2.5" might be too much. If you've got a 2 foot lift kit on, then maybe 2.5" will be too little. You'll have to make that decision and also guage upon how oncoming drivers treat you and adjust from there.

I thought step three provides enough information to aligning the headlights right/left-wise.
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