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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-09-2008, 04:02 PM
bmw520 bmw520 is offline
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Headlight Lens Renewal?

Just wondering can you purchase headlight lenses separately. Mine are looking fairly aged. I've been searching and all I keep finding is the entire headlight units. my car is a 2001 E39 facelifted model. All I want are a pair of lenes. Any help greatly appriciated.
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2008, 05:20 PM
jieg jieg is offline
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have you tried polishing first?
or polishing with brake fluid?, if you getting rid of them, give it a go
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2008, 05:39 PM
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1bad540 1bad540 is offline
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no the 2001 doesnt come seperate...
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2008, 05:40 PM
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yep if you want new lenses on the 2001+ headlights you have to buy the entire headlight.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2008, 05:59 PM
bmw520 bmw520 is offline
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o well, thanks for the heads up. i can stop looking now. does brake fluid work sounds a bit messy.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:02 PM
lennyd lennyd is offline
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Brake Fluid is a bad idea anywhere near PAINT!
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:15 PM
PJB. PJB. is online now
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I would try wet sanding first.

Plenty of people do it. I've done it, and it worked great. Note that the following DIYs are for the old 1996-2000 style headlights (which is what mine were), but plastic is plastic and I didn't even follow those DIYs, I followed one for a VW. Also, note that the DIYs state to remove the headlights, but I did mine whilst on the car, no problems at all:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=930893

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=261628

A general DIY, courtesy of VWvortex forums:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2485084
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:36 PM
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jonmcc jonmcc is offline
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this is exactly what I did with my 2001+ AE headlights, and I did it without removing the headlights from the car. I just taped everything up around it, and used a water hose instead of the sink faucet

pics before, during, after:





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Old 04-09-2008, 07:53 PM
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Yep I've looked everywhere for facelifted lenses. They don't exist. Still very impressive work there Jon. A slight improvement
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2008, 09:09 PM
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ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
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Jonmcc, how long did it take for you to do that?
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2008, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
Yep I've looked everywhere for facelifted lenses. They don't exist. Still very impressive work there Jon. A slight improvement
haha yeah it looked a bit better afterwards...


Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_kuma View Post
Jonmcc, how long did it take for you to do that?
not including gathering everything and taping the lights, it took me about an hour per light. lots of time spent wet sanding, and then about 25 coats of plastX after the sanding was done! just as a side note, you will have to reapply plastX now and then to keep this lights looking good. plastic sealant helps prolong the plastX, but it will need to be reapplied at some point. I put a couple coats of plastX on about every 2-3 weeks.

another tip: while wet sanding the best method (IMO) is to run the water over the lights, take the stream of water away and sand the lights until you see a milky white substance developing, then rinse them. eventually, the milky white stuff with not develop and you will know to move on to the next higher grit sandpaper. someone else told me that and it proved true for me too!
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2008, 09:44 PM
topazbluee39 topazbluee39 is offline
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I'm with jonmcc and pjb. I recently "rehabbed" my lenses last weekend. They weren't hazy, but there were a few surface dings that bugged me especially when the lights were on. Personally, I went from 600 to 1000 to 2000 grit sandpaper and finished it off with Meguiar's Plastx polish. The results were great. The lens surface is super smooth and the nicks and dings are non-existent. I do plan on going over it again by hand with the polish. (I initially hit it with the mini powerball) There are some hairline scratches that I notice only when the lights are on. (I may be a little ocd on this one, but aren't a lot of us) Save yourself some bucks and spend an hour or so on polishing instead of replacing! Just my .02!
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Last edited by topazbluee39; 04-09-2008 at 09:47 PM.
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