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-   -   So I decided to take apart my headlights to clean the foggy inside... (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532135)

blackedout5 04-04-2011 12:01 PM

So I decided to take apart my headlights to clean the foggy inside...
 
8 Attachment(s)
So I bought my 745 last month and have been modding it and so far I love the car. When I bought it the headlighs looked horrible so I spent some time wet sanding them and buffing them out. I was dissapointed when I realized that they were still very foggy but it was on the inside of the lens :mad:, it really made the car look like crap so yesterday I took the headlights out and cleaned the insides of the lenses. I was definetly a pain in the a** but I am very happy with the results. I also added some brighter AE bulbs and l.e.d. corner bulbs... what do you guys think ?

***CCCP*** 04-04-2011 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackedout5 (Post 5970476)
So I bought my 745 last month and have been modding it and so far I love the car. When I bought it the headlighs looked horrible so I spent some time wet sanding them and buffing them out. I was dissapointed when I realized that they were still very foggy but it was on the inside of the lens :mad:, it really made the car look like crap so yesterday I took the headlights out and cleaned the insides of the lenses. I was definetly a pain in the a** but I am very happy with the results. I also added some brighter AE bulbs and l.e.d. corner bulbs... what do you guys think ?

Wow what a good job. A lot of respect. Ppl here are scared to take lights apart and u did it. Great job.
Would u please do a diy for it like what did u do step by step how did u start taking it apart that did u use all the tips and tricks. What to watch for when doing it. What did u use to clean inside and how hard it was. How did u put the light back together? And what did u use to seal them? All this will be very helpful as I know a lot of ppl what to do the same including myself.
U should of taken those yellow side reflectors out unless u like them.
I'm sorry if I'm asking too much but we really need this info. Thank u. Great job respect respect respect.

pass427 04-04-2011 12:45 PM

I concur, excellent work and please post a DIY

pelonx1st 04-04-2011 12:58 PM

im hoping you sealed them headlights good so condensation dont occur in the lights

Tkrtape12 04-04-2011 12:58 PM

Nice job I've been itching to do this but I just know it's going to be a real PIA..diy would be great Thanks

1bad540 04-04-2011 02:04 PM

wow, props bro. How did you do it???

***CCCP*** 04-04-2011 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1bad540 (Post 5970808)
wow, props bro. How did you do it???

Apparently with the screw driver as far as I can tell. Lol. I really want to do the same.

jgriffith007 04-04-2011 02:26 PM

This is the first time ever someone has done this that I know of on here. My guy used a magnet (one inside wrapped in a soft cloth soaked in windex) and one on the outside wrapped in soft fabric, moved it back and forth, and it was spotless!

blackedout5 04-04-2011 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ***CCCP*** (Post 5970813)
Apparently with the screw driver as far as I can tell. Lol. I really want to do the same.

LOL... that pretty much sums it up. Im not the best at explaining things but give me a second to look through my pics and I will try to give you guys a rough idea how I did it.

***CCCP*** 04-04-2011 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blackedout5 (Post 5970902)
LOL... that pretty much sums it up. Im not the best at explaining things but give me a second to look through my pics and I will try to give you guys a rough idea how I did it.

Thank you just do what u can doesn't have to be perfect. Anything will help

blackedout5 04-04-2011 04:23 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Ok, here is a basic idea of how to get the headlight apart, I in no way would consider this to be a proper method of repairing the headlight lens, but to my knowledge there is no other way to open the headlights up. I hack up classic cars for a living so I think nothing of doing the same to my BMW's, but I understand a lot of people would cringe at the thought of going at their car with a dremel tool. I had taken apart the headlights on my e60 to remove the reflector ( same design ) and never had any condensation issues so I felt comfortable doing these.
-Once you get the headlights out there are 4 sliver retaining clips you need to pop off. Also there are 2 small torx screws that have to come out (pic1)
-The clear lens fits inside the black housing, the housing covers the part where the lens is sealed on so you are going to need to remove the part covering the seal to get access to it (pic2)
-I used my dremel with a cut off wheel to cut the lip on the plastic housing being carefull not to cut the clear lens under it (pic3)
- Once I cut around the whole headlight I started to dig up the plastic lip to get access to the seal (pic4)
-Now the hard part... with a sharp screwdriver and a box cutter handy I started to pry in between the lens and the housing breaking apart the seal all around the light. This is not easy and very time consuming. It would not take much pressure to crack the lens so you have to be paitent. the seal seems to have the consistancy of tire rubber and heat does not phase it so your pretty much stuck prying at it and cutting it with a razor a half an inch at a time. (pic 5&6)
-Once I went all the way around it I was able to pull it apart with my hands (pic7&8)
-For those of you wondering, I left the amber reflector alone on purpose because my car needs a little color, but the silver bezel on the headlight ring is actually painted on to the reflector so you can't just pop it out, you would have to paint just the orange part black (pic9).
- I washed the clear lens out with dish soap and water which did not get that film off, so I used some 3M liquid rubbing compound and a microfiber cloth to polish it off and it worked great.
-I used a gasket sealer called the right stuff made by permatex, (you can get it at Autozone) to basically glue the lens back on. I put a thick bead all aroung the black housing and pressed the lens back on. I also used blue tape to strap it together tight while it cured. (pic10)
The downside to this is that where the black lip you cut off was, now has beads of black silicone. The only time you can see any of this is if the hood is up and your looking at the backing of the headlight. Everyone can see the foggy headlights so I think it a pretty fair trade off... hope this helps, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

jlr1125 04-04-2011 06:13 PM

Man, this is great stuff. Thanks for the info

***CCCP*** 04-04-2011 06:17 PM

^^^^ thx for all the instructions and ur write up. It's pretty straight forward now when I see more pictures now it's a mater of a good day and time. I'll do mine when I get a chance. I did outside with 3 m kit and it's foggy on the inside which drives me crazy everytime I look at it

samadkins29 04-04-2011 06:32 PM

Damn, this guy just pwned the **** out of his headlights!! Good Job!! Will be doing this soon.

On a side note, does anyone know how the dust gets in? It will be interesting to see how the new sealant holds up.

Quad745 04-04-2011 06:35 PM

Props + 10000

blackedout5 04-04-2011 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ***CCCP*** (Post 5971424)
^^^^ thx for all the instructions and ur write up. It's pretty straight forward now when I see more pictures now it's a mater of a good day and time. I'll do mine when I get a chance. I did outside with 3 m kit and it's foggy on the inside which drives me crazy everytime I look at it

no problem, glad to help out. The outside of mine were pretty trashed too, I had to start with 800 grit and work my way up. Polishing the inside lenses really made the car look newer than it is.
It was defenitly an all day thing, I spent about 9 hours straight on it ( including the bumper and headlight removal and re-assembly )

blackedout5 04-04-2011 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samadkins29 (Post 5971470)
Damn, this guy just pwned the **** out of his headlights!! Good Job!! Will be doing this soon.

On a side note, does anyone know how the dust gets in? It will be interesting to see how the new sealant holds up.

LOL... actually they kicked my a**. My hands are pretty cut up from the screwdriver slipping.
my buddy said the film is from the xenon bulbs and condensation that finds its way in over time, but I don't know if thats true.

bmw74me 04-04-2011 08:44 PM

man this is awesome you did the impossible ....
do you have a shop in HB ....

Seven11 04-04-2011 08:54 PM

you should have put in those crazy angel eyes from umnitza, cuz they also require taking apart the headlight

Wilassasin 04-04-2011 09:05 PM

You Are The Man, great job!!:guitar:

Keif 04-05-2011 12:16 AM

Great job on everything, thanks for posting all the pictures and descriptions! I've really been itching to do this, but just been nervous. Good spring/summer project!

Country 04-05-2011 06:08 AM

Way to take the lead on that project man! It's been an ongoing topic.

TUF-FKR 04-05-2011 01:35 PM

So. I guess baking isnt going to help? I was so dissapointed when I finally got my headlights out to find they were sealed and I have no idea why they even put the 4 clips on anyways. I will reconsider doing this again, now that I know what im getting in to. I did the outside, but the inside needs to be done. Wonder how much an extra headlight assembly is at the wrecking yard to take my time to do this to another pair.

javier1605 04-06-2011 05:49 AM

Oh men!!! Long time waiting for someone who has enough courage to do so!!!!!

Still seems too complicate for me, but I'm sure it's worth the try

Congratulations... they look brand new

Expo BMW 04-06-2011 05:46 PM

Nice! :thumbup:


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