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Old 08-23-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
DrivingPassion
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Replacing Headlight External Lens Cover

I just replaced both of the external lens cover for my 2004 330i.

There is NO NEED to remove the entire headlight unit, just so you know.

Here's what I did:
  1. Remove the side signal light next the headlight unit by unscrewing the screw that is vertically above.
  2. Pop out the signal light
  3. Unsnap the plastic clips from the black upper trim right above the lens cover. Take your time and don't break the clips. Use a flat-head to assist you.
  4. Unsnap the painted trim at the bottom of the lens cover.
  5. Use a flat head screw driver to help pop off all the plastic snapped-on clips which holds the lens cover. There should be 6 or 7 of them. Don't use too much force or you will break them but, with the help of the flat-head, patiently unsnap each one of them.
  6. Wiggle the entire headlight lens cover until it comes off.

Do the reverse when you install the new one.

Of course, you want to use some optical lens liquid cleaner to clean the film of dust/dirt off the internal projector lenses and reflectors before you install the new lens cover.
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2018 (F80) M3 (Garage Baby) | 6MT | Comp Pkg | Exec Pkg
2015 (F22) M235i xDrive (daily commuter) | 8AT | Prem Pkg | Tech Pkg | HK Snd | Cold Weather Pkg | Driver's Assist Pkg | MPE
2004 (E46) 330i AT (Project car)
2015 335xi AT (Sold) | 2009 335i 6MT (Sold) | 2006 325i my kid's car (Sold & regretted)

Last edited by arthury; 08-23-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
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Final result

Final result from Driver's side
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2018 (F80) M3 (Garage Baby) | 6MT | Comp Pkg | Exec Pkg
2015 (F22) M235i xDrive (daily commuter) | 8AT | Prem Pkg | Tech Pkg | HK Snd | Cold Weather Pkg | Driver's Assist Pkg | MPE
2004 (E46) 330i AT (Project car)
2015 335xi AT (Sold) | 2009 335i 6MT (Sold) | 2006 325i my kid's car (Sold & regretted)
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:49 AM   #3
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Discussed many many times throughout the years. Thanks for the refresher for members that haven't done this yet. The DIY is in my sig below as well
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
DrivingPassion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Discussed many many times throughout the years. Thanks for the refresher for members that haven't done this yet. The DIY is in my sig below as well
Thanks for all of your contributed articles and goodies. You have no idea how helpful they are to us!

Also, as an aside thingy, do you have any recommendations for clear tail-lights upgrades? My 1st attempt failed miserably with something recommended by 50's-Kid.
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2018 (F80) M3 (Garage Baby) | 6MT | Comp Pkg | Exec Pkg
2015 (F22) M235i xDrive (daily commuter) | 8AT | Prem Pkg | Tech Pkg | HK Snd | Cold Weather Pkg | Driver's Assist Pkg | MPE
2004 (E46) 330i AT (Project car)
2015 335xi AT (Sold) | 2009 335i 6MT (Sold) | 2006 325i my kid's car (Sold & regretted)
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:18 AM   #5
Solidjake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthury View Post
Thanks for all of your contributed articles and goodies. You have no idea how helpful they are to us!

Also, as an aside thingy, do you have any recommendations for clear tail-lights upgrades? My 1st attempt failed miserably with something recommended by 50's-Kid.
You're very welcome!

As for the tail lights I recommend OEM red/clear/red if you can afford it, if not the DEPO brand is good. I used to have LED tail lights on my facelift E46 but they had intermittent issues due to cheap led capacitors, etc. After I went to RCR it was flawless. I ended up using LED bulbs from theretrofitsource for the entire rear except the turn signal
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:37 AM   #6
DrivingPassion
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Cool, thanks for the recommendations.

Is RCR = Red Clear Red ?
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2018 (F80) M3 (Garage Baby) | 6MT | Comp Pkg | Exec Pkg
2015 (F22) M235i xDrive (daily commuter) | 8AT | Prem Pkg | Tech Pkg | HK Snd | Cold Weather Pkg | Driver's Assist Pkg | MPE
2004 (E46) 330i AT (Project car)
2015 335xi AT (Sold) | 2009 335i 6MT (Sold) | 2006 325i my kid's car (Sold & regretted)

Last edited by arthury; 08-28-2019 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:39 AM   #7
GaryG83
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So where did you get the covers? Sorry I haven't tried looking for them yet. This post made me think of it for the first time. Is there quality differences out there? Thanks
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