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View Full Version : Removing H8 bulbs (pain in the a$$)


burnie35
06-20-2012, 05:15 PM
2009 535i Sport (LCI)

Ordered some LED bulbs today, and thought it would be a good idea to remove the H8's (just for practice) ... to see if they can be removed easily or not.

After some wrestling with the passenger side bulb, I finally got it out ... at first it move maybe 1/8 inch and seemed to hit a "stop" of some sort ... but finally put more pressure on it and it turned the specified 1/4 turn and I was able to remove it.

However, the driver's side bulb resisted all my efforts (less room to work there). I wanted to use something as a "pry bar" like a large screwdriver, but was afraid to break the bulb or the mounting (or maybe break the bulb off inside the mount).

Has anyone else had this problem? I suppose at my age (77, but 6'2" and 240) my hands are just too weak to turn it. But the driver's side also seems to turn a tiny bit then run up against a "stop". I tried pushing in on the bulb, that didn't seem to make any difference.

I'm open to suggestions about a solution to this "stuck" problem ... if anyone has an idea, please let me know.
Maybe I'll just have to find someone stronger than me. :dunno::mad:

NoQuarter
06-20-2012, 05:52 PM
Some people prefer to just remove the entire headlight assembly to work on the bulbs. 4 screws and the whole thing pops out.

burnie35
06-20-2012, 06:01 PM
Thanks, I'll check it out ... but are these bulbs always so tight? Wonder if a little WD40 (gently applied aroung the joint) will help?

NoQuarter
06-20-2012, 06:07 PM
Thanks, I'll check it out ... but are these bulbs always so tight? Wonder if a little WD40 (gently applied aroung the joint) will help?

I don't think you want to get any WD anywhere around there. It will end up on the bulbs, in the housing or something and you really don't want that to happen.

I don't recall how tight they feel. I know it seems overkill to remove the entire headlight but I really think you should do it that way. Then you will know exactly how the bulbs come out and can decide whether to do it next time one of them needs replaced.

burnie35
06-20-2012, 06:10 PM
You're right about the WD, of course ... just frustrated.

I got the passenger side out okay, but the driver's side is busting my butt!

burnie35
06-22-2012, 06:18 PM
Well I finally figured out why I couldn't get the driver's side H8 bulb out. All the instructions I read (including the Bentley manual) say to rotate the bulb counterclockwise ... but that only works for the passenger side bulb, the driver side bulb needs to be rotated clockwise, just the opposite. Guess I'm just dense, but after all, I was only following instructions ... oh, well. :dunno:

By the way, the plastic covers over the light assemblies both rotate counterclockwies for removal.

Installed LED angel eyes from Burger today ... they look awsome!

I wrapped a bit of small bubble-wrap around the ballast on both sides because they just lay inside the compartment, and I didn't want them to rattle.

One more note, the OEM plugs are keyed, and can't go in the wrong way. However, the BMS plugs are not keyed ... and as luck would have it, I plugged them in backwards ... and no lignt. After reversing the plug, things worked as advertised ... and no codes either (yet).

Oceans10
06-22-2012, 07:54 PM
Be careful with wrapping the ballasts. They might get hot. Maybe check it out after driving a while. You don't want to melt plastic in there.

Congrats on the rest! Good going.

burnie35
06-22-2012, 09:14 PM
Be careful with wrapping the ballasts. They might get hot. Maybe check it out after driving a while. You don't want to melt plastic in there.

Congrats on the rest! Good going.

I considered that ... I don't think it gets that hot, but your right, I'll check it out in a couple of days. Of course, if it's melted when I check, it'll be a moot point.