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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
BimmFiniti
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Need help with headlight lens replacement

I'm trying to replace my headlight lenses ('01 330i sedan, pre-facelift) and can't figure out how to get the trim pieces below the lenses out. I've watched a video from this DIY section which sorta trivializes the operation. I've also seen still pictures of the operation which make it look simple.

I've removed the top seal strip (not w/o incident), but can't release the body-colored trim strip at the bottom. I've tried to release the center part first but can't seem to do it. I've tried to pry the tab over, push on it from behind, etc. but nothing moves. I don't want to really force it because I already broke one of the tabs from the seal strip.

Maybe I'm just a klutz because all the DIYs say it's easy. Not for me, I'm afraid.

Can someone point me to more explicit instructions and/or provide some tips?

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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The bottom trim piece is hinged at the corner lens. From what I remember you pull hard from the center of the car out towards the front. The seal strips break pretty easy but these clips are stronger. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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The body colored trim piece is held in at the turn signal and towards the center of the car. Start pulling from the center, like TitaniumSedan said.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
BimmFiniti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumSedan View Post
The bottom trim piece is hinged at the corner lens. From what I remember you pull hard from the center of the car out towards the front. The seal strips break pretty easy but these clips are stronger. Good luck.
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Originally Posted by infinite012 View Post
The body colored trim piece is held in at the turn signal and towards the center of the car. Start pulling from the center, like TitaniumSedan said.
Thanks, guys. Guess I have to keep reefing on it. If the trim piece is hinged, do I need to take it completely off or can I just leave it hinged?

There's no obvious tab to release in the center. Just pull?

Would also appreciate some advice on the actual lenses:
  • Ordered new lenses through EAS. I ordered Bosch, '01 pre-facelift sedan lenses; I got non-Bosch (Magnet Marelli??) lenses for a facelift sedan. Returning them with a nasty note; not going back.
  • Should I stick with OEM ones ($72.78 through getbmwparts) or do you think the ones through Bavarian Auto ($39.95 ea) are good quality?
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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I bought mine from Khoalty along with their AE's. $76 for both lenses and they were AL brand. You can leave that trim piece hanging on the hinge. This is the best pic I have from the install:

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Last edited by TitaniumSedan; 05-15-2011 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:43 AM   #6
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I wish someone would record me taking the headlights off of my car. It takes all of 5 minutes each side.

You could leave the trim piece on the car like above, but I like to pull them completely off and place them in the back seat of the car. You know, just in case I knock them loose and they hit the ground.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
BimmFiniti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumSedan View Post
I bought mine from Khoalty along with their AE's. $76 for both lenses and they were AL brand. You can leave that trim piece hanging on the hinge.
Just went up to Khoalty and will definitely go with them once my EAS return is confirmed. They're very up-front that the 2002 lenses aren't Bosch, but the 1999-2001 ones are. This explains why the ones I got from EAS weren't Bosch (but still doesn't account for the incorrect part being shipped!).

The responses I've gotten give me a bit more confidence. Appreciate it guys; don't know why I've had so much difficulty. Will update when I install my new lenses, but that will probably be a week or so.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
Sansho
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When I've done headlight work on my 2001, I've left the trim strip on the bottom attached on the outside ... haven't had to remove it physically off the car.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
BimmFiniti
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When I've done headlight work on my 2001, I've left the trim strip on the bottom attached on the outside ... haven't had to remove it physically off the car.
Success! Got the correct lenses from Khoalty and installed them today. They look great.

You definitely need to pull with significant force on the trip strip center to get it to come out. Was a bit worried, but it did budge. After that, it was a piece of cake getting the lenses out.

Once the new lenses were in place, I had to take the trim strip off to install the trim strip correctly. Things wouldn't line up correctly without this.

Thanks for your help guys.
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