Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:12 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just curious about 2002 halogen headlights once taken apart

I disassembled one of my headlights today and was curious about a few details.

I'd like to ask those more knowledgeable than I what to make of these details.

For one thing, there's no ballast that I can find. Is that normal for the H7 bulbs on the 2002 525i?

For another, there is this circular plastic 'fiber optic' pipe around one of the bulbs that fell out but not the other. Is that the "angel eye"?

Also, there's a fiber-optic looking 'fitting' at the end of the yellow turn-signal light, but not fiber-optic plastic pipe. Is that normal?

Lastly (for now ), there is an unused stalk on the back of the headlight. What is that for? (Is it for self-leveling which I don't have?)

I hope these pictures show the questions.


Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	darkspot.jpg
Views:	10386
Size:	78.9 KB
ID:	249709   Click image for larger version

Name:	fiberoptic.jpg
Views:	6388
Size:	77.1 KB
ID:	249710   Click image for larger version

Name:	stalk.jpg
Views:	2735
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	249711  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 10-10-2010, 12:00 AM
ganesht's Avatar
ganesht ganesht is offline
(oOO)\(lll)(lll)/(OOo)
Location: san diego
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,566
Mein Auto: 98 528i 5 speed
the balasts are only for xenons; the halogens run at 12v thus nothing is needed.


its the parking light; when the angel eyes come on this lights up


the fo cable brings the light to the window above ^ from the ae blub.


iirc isn't that where the auto leveling motor goes? #7 in the diagram below

im not sure if its the same as the xenons; but i think thats the low beam ae ring.

__________________
Alida:
Born: Friday, 9th January 1998
Arktissilber Metallic on Schwarz 528i/5


Fs: KAC-8103D, Kicker 08ts10l52

Last edited by ganesht; 10-10-2010 at 12:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-10-2010, 08:25 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Ah. Thank you. There were so many unknowns. Now they're understood, one by one.
- There is no ballast for the H7 halogens
- The post is where a self-leveling motor would have gone
- There are five fiber optic cables (FOC), two for each beam, and one for the side-marker light.
- There are four bulbs (high beam H7, low beam H7, angel eye (AE) for five FOCs, & yellow side marker bulb)
- The AE bulb has a five-pie cable in front of it, therefore each 20% pie wedge handles one of the 5 FOCs

My next quest will be to take the headlight further apart to extricate the adjusters themselves.

Then I can decide if I should spend my $160 on tools to fabricate plastic or wooden replacements; or if I should head off to EAC for the aluminum replacements - or if I should buy new headlights altogether (not likely due to their expense and I don't wish to reward Hella for making horrid lights).

I do wish to reward EAC for making the aluminum replacements. If only the aluminum replacements were a bit cheaper, it would be an easy answer; but I can get a LOT of good tools to fabricate the adjusters for ~$160. The question is 'what tools do I need' to fabricate my own headlight adjusters.

These guys used a table saw:
- How to make your own headlight adjusters (1) (2)

But I wonder if I can get away with a grinder and perhaps a jig saw?

May I ask ...

If I took a block of wood or plastic, and tried to fabricate the adjusters, what TOOLs do you suggest (that would be around the $200 price point of the adjusters themselves)?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF3842.JPG
Views:	509
Size:	74.7 KB
ID:	249741   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF3839.JPG
Views:	262
Size:	72.8 KB
ID:	249742   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF3834.JPG
Views:	195
Size:	64.2 KB
ID:	249743   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF3809.JPG
Views:	240
Size:	58.6 KB
ID:	249744   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF3806.JPG
Views:	2624
Size:	85.8 KB
ID:	249745  

Attached Files
File Type: pdf headlight_adjusters.pdf (110.1 KB, 255 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 10-10-2010 at 08:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-10-2010, 08:50 AM
borderchris's Avatar
borderchris borderchris is offline
Ich liebe meine Funfers!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 628
Mein Auto: 550i and E34 530i
Great ideas, Blue. I think that the majority of people don't look at this route just because of the availability of $50-60 adjusters that are flexible. However, I think that you could easily do it. In concept, all the adjuster itself does is anchor a corner of the projector, and thread in and out of that anchor. If you were to buy some type of non-shearing plastic, you could easily fit the ends with a Dremel tool, and thread the projector-end post receivers with a threading drill bit. As far as the post-ends themselves, your photos above show a great idea, which could probably be replicated with some small brass cap feet from a hardware store. That said, there are many reputable sellers with pretty inexpensive adjusters. Aluminum is not absolutely necessary; the newer adjusters use a far more flexible plastic compund that twists instead of breaking when stressed. Have fun!
__________________


550i . Sport . Nav . L7 . Sirius . Cold . Eibachs . Bilsteins . 19" TSW . K&N . MTech V3

Last edited by borderchris; 10-10-2010 at 08:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-10-2010, 08:58 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by borderchris View Post
Aluminum is not absolutely necessary; the newer adjusters use a far more flexible plastic compund that twists instead of breaking when stressed.
Oh my!

I did a LOT of research (see references below) and didn't realize there were "affordable" replacement adjusters for the 2002 BMW. Are you sure?

Can someone provide a reference to the "better plastic" adjusters?

I like to weigh my options before drowning in the whirlpool!
- $1,000 new headlights (I'd not wish to reward Hella so it would need to be another brand)
- $160 aluminum adjusters from EAC (I do wish to reward EAC but I'd also like to weigh my options)
- ~$160 to buy the tools to make my own adjusters (I'm all for re-use)
- $?? better plastic adjusters from ??

REFERENCES:
DIY Headlight threads:
- Broken headlight adjusters (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)
- How to buy new headlight adjusters (EAC E39 prior to 9/2000) (EAC E39 after 9/2000) (odometergears)
- How to make your own headlight adjusters (1) (2)
- Headlight aiming DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- Headlight replacement H7 bulbs (1)
- Headlight plastic polishing & refinishing DIY (1) (2) (3)
- Headlight autopsy DIY (1)

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010137.JPG
Views:	2524
Size:	44.6 KB
ID:	249838   Click image for larger version

Name:	adjusters2small.jpg
Views:	2688
Size:	21.2 KB
ID:	249861  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-10-2010 at 09:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-10-2010, 09:01 AM
borderchris's Avatar
borderchris borderchris is offline
Ich liebe meine Funfers!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 628
Mein Auto: 550i and E34 530i
Whoops. Here you go- I highly recommend these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...3309&viewitem=

That's for a pair, and I can tell you that they bend instead of break due to their compound. And I got them in about 2 days, USPS. Excellent!
__________________


550i . Sport . Nav . L7 . Sirius . Cold . Eibachs . Bilsteins . 19" TSW . K&N . MTech V3

Last edited by borderchris; 10-10-2010 at 09:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-10-2010, 09:45 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by borderchris View Post
they bend instead of break
Interesting. I'm still a bit confused (e.g., how do you know you're getting the bendable Delrin plastic versus the brittle PBT OEM plastic) and I'm not sure if the Xenon adjusters are the same as the Halogen adjusters (see choices below), but I'll check this out.

Roughly, your EBAY link sells them for $54 USD (+ $10 USD shipping) for a set of four, but the prices seem to vary widely (as shown in this comparison of twenty different sellers) so I have to locate a 2002 halogen H7 headlight adjuster set first to price it out for comparison purposes.

BTW, mine seem to look more like these which are listed for the 2001 to 2003 E39 Xenon (I don't have Xenons, I have H7 halogens).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ebay_adjusters.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	49.5 KB
ID:	249758   Click image for larger version

Name:	000028865200_#_3_#_HETPE3B.jpg
Views:	122
Size:	189.7 KB
ID:	249760   Click image for larger version

Name:	ebay_bmw_xenon_adjusters_2001-2003.png
Views:	3008
Size:	140.1 KB
ID:	249761  

Last edited by bluebee; 11-01-2010 at 11:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-10-2010, 10:23 AM
borderchris's Avatar
borderchris borderchris is offline
Ich liebe meine Funfers!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 628
Mein Auto: 550i and E34 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Interesting. I'm still a bit confused (e.g., how do you know you're getting the bendable plastic versus the brittle plastic) and I'm not sure if the Xenon adjusters are the same as the Halogen adjusters (see choices below), but I'll check this out.

Roughly, they look to be about $100 a set of four, but the prices seem to vary widely so I have to locate a 2002 halogen H7 headlight adjuster set first to price it out for comparison purposes.

BTW, mine seem to look more like these which are listed for the 2001 to 2003 E39 Xenon (I don't have Xenons, I have H7 halogens).
The link I gave you is for all four of them- it's a great deal. Look at his photos of the twisted adjusters; I also had a set of these in my last lights (my old '01). I intentionally tried to break one when I tossed the lights after replacing them (broken lenses due to vandalism)- they would not break. Twisted a bit, but would not break, after one year installed.
__________________


550i . Sport . Nav . L7 . Sirius . Cold . Eibachs . Bilsteins . 19" TSW . K&N . MTech V3
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-10-2010, 11:09 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
So that makes four viable options:
- new Hella lights
- aluminum adjusters from EAC
- plastic adjusters from Ebay
- wood/plastic home made adjusters

Right now, I'm stumped because I can't figure out how to remove the guts of the headlight assembly to get to the adjusters themselves.

Do I need to remove the stalk where a self leveler would normally go?

If so, HOW do I remove that stalk (it isn't threaded)?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	rear_of_e39_headlight.JPG
Views:	9445
Size:	52.2 KB
ID:	249768  
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-10-2010, 11:14 AM
borderchris's Avatar
borderchris borderchris is offline
Ich liebe meine Funfers!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 628
Mein Auto: 550i and E34 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
So that makes four viable options:
- new Hella lights
- aluminum adjusters from EAC
- plastic adjusters from Ebay
- wood/plastic home made adjusters

Right now, I'm stumped because I can't figure out how to remove the guts of the headlight assembly to get to the adjusters themselves.

Do I need to remove the stalk where a self leveler would normally go?

If so, HOW do I remove that stalk (it isn't threaded)?

The business end of that stalk should have a ball on the end of it. It should be slid sideways into the receiver on the projector assembly; i.e. it will slide out to the side with a bit of prodding from a long screwdriver.
__________________


550i . Sport . Nav . L7 . Sirius . Cold . Eibachs . Bilsteins . 19" TSW . K&N . MTech V3
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-10-2010, 04:40 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
So that makes four viable options:
- new Hella lights
- aluminum adjusters from EAC
- plastic adjusters from Ebay
- wood/plastic home made adjusters

Right now, I'm stumped because I can't figure out how to remove the guts of the headlight assembly to get to the adjusters themselves.

Do I need to remove the stalk where a self leveler would normally go?

If so, HOW do I remove that stalk (it isn't threaded)?

I ran into the same problem as your, so instead of looking for ways to separate them. I turned mad and creative. Here are some pix of the before and after.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Non_leveling.JPG
Views:	5484
Size:	50.4 KB
ID:	249814   Click image for larger version

Name:	Manual_leveling.JPG
Views:	314
Size:	42.0 KB
ID:	249815  
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-10-2010, 05:06 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
I turned mad and creative
OMG! What did you do?

Your before picture is exactly like mine. I don't even know what "leveling" is (why would I need it anyway), but, I guess there's an advantage to the now-adjustable leveling that you have.

BUT ...

HOW DID you manage to get that stalk out?

I've been staring at it for hours! I've learned, everything plastic in this BMW breaks when I don't know ahead of time how to handle it.

I saw the advice prior to yours to do some "prodding from a long screwdriver" to make it slide out from the side but those words have little to no meaning to me.

MAIN QUESTION:
- Do I disengage this non-leveling adjuster from the REAR or from the FRONT?



Last edited by bluebee; 10-10-2010 at 08:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-10-2010, 06:25 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
OMG! What did you do?

Your before picture is exactly like mine. I don't even know what "leveling" is (why would I need it anyway), but, I guess there's an advantage to the now-adjustable leveling that you have.

BUT ...

HOW DID you manage to get that stalk out?

I've been staring at it for hours! I've learned, everything plastic in this BMW breaks when I don't know ahead of time how to handle it.

I saw the advice prior to yours to do some "prodding from a long screwdriver" to make it slide out from the side but those words have little to no meaning to me.

MAIN QUESTION:
- Do I disengage this non-leveling adjuster from the REAR or from the FRONT?
Bluebee,
First of all, do you know about the business of baking the headlight in the oven in order to soften the glue to be able to separate the lens from the headlight ass'y?

BorderChris tried to tell you how to dis-engage the stalk rod, but since I didn't do it that way I can't help you neither.
But since I had an idea to do away with fixed leveling as per the first picture, I destroyed the stalk plastic knob by twisted with a plier. Now, with the manual leveling adjuster in place, it helps assemble and dis-assemble the headlight with ease, and the greatest gain from this is I have a much higher range to aim my low beam up and down like no other on this planet earth. If you need more info on how to do this mod I will be more than happy to walk you through, it's actually a very easy and relaxing job, all you need is a grinder to make the round shape aluminum plate, some 3/16" aluminum plates, a drill and some tap and dye.

Your other alternative is to buy a set of P39 from DDM for less then 300 bucks, I think they are decent looking but not for me I don't like the Euro's style.

Or you can send them to me I'll do it for you as a favor since you're a big contributor to the community.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-10-2010, 07:38 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
do you know about the business of baking the headlight in the oven in order to soften the glue to be able to separate the lens from the headlight ass'y?
Yeah, I read all the DIYs. But ... I'm impulsive. I had time on my hands. I was sitting alone in a parking lot. The sun was hot. There was nothing else to do. So, I considered it baked enough.

Anyway, after about a half hour of prying the headlight apart, it came apart w/o breaking anything. The only thing I couldn't do in the parking lot was remove the two T10 Torx screws. So, I don't think you really need to bake the headlight in the oven, at least I didn't need to do so.

But, maybe that's why the black bezel came out with the front clear plastic.

Anyway, I'm still stuck. Been staring at the thing for an hour waiting for the impulse to get the hammer strikes me. There MUST be a DIY for getting that ball-and-socket joint out somewhere that applies to my model headlight (no self leveler motor, no Xenon).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
BorderChris tried to tell you how to dis-engage the stalk rod
Yeah. But I don't understand the instructions. Do I attack that ball-and-socket from the front or the rear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
I destroyed the stalk plastic knob by twisted with a plier.
I tried removing that plastic knob from the back also and gave up because I did not want to destroy it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
all you need is a grinder
I'm thinking I have set myself a budget of $160 to buy or make my own adjusters out of wood or plastic so a grinder may be in my future. I wonder what's a good grinder to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
buy a set of P39 from DDM for less then 300 bucks
Wow. A set of two headlights for $300? That's only double the price of the aluminum adjusters! Are you sure about that? I'm VERY unfamiliar when it comes to headlights - they confuse me to no end.


Last edited by bluebee; 10-10-2010 at 08:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-10-2010, 07:52 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Here's link to DDM and their headlights. These are plug and play and also an upgrade to HID (high intensity discharge same as Xenon)

http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/E3...-Eyes-Included


For options of color and AE to pick go with 4500 and Halogen AE, these are the same setup as BMW.

Last edited by 16valex; 10-10-2010 at 07:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-10-2010, 09:16 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Here's link to DDM and their headlights.
Thanks for the link. They look like they're $500 for the set but there are some modifications necessary.
Here's a video extolling the virtues of the DDM headlights:


When I finally get the adjusters out, I'll make an assessment whether to:
- Buy new DDM headlights ($500)
- Buy new plastic or aluminum adjusters ($160)
- Buy tools and build my own adjusters (~$160 but I get to keep the tools)

At the moment, I'm stuck trying to get the ball-and-socket of my permanent leveler out.

This article says the following:
"6. Here comes the hard part - removing the metal plate from the plastic housing. The self-leveling servomotor has a metal rod pointing forward hat terminates in a black plastic ball. This ball fits into a plastic socket that has a tab protruding forward through the metal plate. You have to pull the socket away from the ball to get the metal plate away from the plastic housing. I tried prying along the middle with a long flathead screwdriver but was unsuccessful with this approach. Ultimately I threaded a piece of long nylon rope behind the metal housing between the high and low beams, gathered the ends into my fist and pulled -- HARD -- to finally pop the metal plate away from the plastic housing. I had a helper (my wife) hold the plastic housing while I did this. Pretty unnerving because I feared I would break something - but I used this approach without breaking anything for both headlamps. Heard a loud 'pop' - that was the socket being freed from the ball."

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3001.JPG
Views:	4490
Size:	116.5 KB
ID:	249862  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-10-2010 at 10:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-10-2010, 10:34 PM
bmw_n00b13's Avatar
bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
Freude am Fahren
Location: Cambridge, ON
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,372
Mein Auto: 99 528iA
Bluebee, have you got access to a 3d printer? If not, a hackerspace near you may be able to help you find one. It might be possible to create an adjuster in a CAD program and print it for a reasonable price. I don't know how much time or money would be involved if you were to rent one for that purpose. I do know that there's a very healthy hacker community in California and possibly Oregon.

Please note the non-sensationalist use of the term "hacker" to mean one who modifies things to do something other than the creator originally intended. Most shadetree mechanics are hackers in this sense--we don't use the fan clutch tool, for instance, we use a screwdriver.
__________________
'99 528i ('98/12 build). 174,000km BY29428/Royalrot
Breaking My Wallet since 2009
Mods: Stoptech SS brake hose, 280piece toolkit resting on trunk floor, Beisan VANOS seals
'99 540i (grandfather's)

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-11-2010, 05:02 AM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
- Buy new DDM headlights ($500)
I think they are sold as a pair for $250.

Quote:
- Buy new plastic or aluminum adjusters ($160)
I think this is your best route, keeping your OEM Hella, nothing out there can beat the real thing. The aluminum ones will last you a life time.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:10 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
best route, keeping your OEM Hella
If I don't destroy it first!

Is the consensus that I must disengage the ball-and-socket static level from the FRONT?

Note: The rear "looks" like it can twist off but it seems like it's pressfit or melted on that knobbed post. Maybe the round plastic on the back "pulls" off the knob?

It sure would be nice to hear more from folks who have done this who didn't have the self leveling motor before I destroy it!

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	headlight_assembly.JPG
Views:	14482
Size:	46.6 KB
ID:	250025  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-11-2010 at 08:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:54 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
Is the consensus that I must disengage the ball-and-socket static level from the FRONT?
Yes, no other way around it.

From the rear no, that knob is ultrasonic melted, unless you ready to go with my mod

Quote:
It sure would be nice to hear more from folks who have done this who didn't have the self leveling motor before I destroy it!
Go to Bimmerforum and search for E39dream write up.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-11-2010, 04:05 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Go to Bimmerforum and search for E39dream write up.
I've already seen all his stuff. Unless I missed it, he simply points to the ubiquitous odometers gears writeup, which doesn't show ANY pictures of the leveler being removed.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	access_to_leveler_ball-and-socket_1.JPG
Views:	7834
Size:	58.9 KB
ID:	250019  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-11-2010 at 08:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-11-2010, 04:50 PM
16valex's Avatar
16valex 16valex is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Albany NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,659
Mein Auto: 530I/Stick Blown
Quote:
OK. I needed the courage to know which direction to attack the ball and socket joint.
From what I've gathered, if you look at the HL ass'y from the back you need to push the ball rod to the left to slide out.

Attached is another DYI, but again it's written for Xenon and self leveling, but check it again for yourself to confirm my statement above.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf E39_Headlight_Adjuster.pdf (631.3 KB, 199 views)
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-11-2010, 05:48 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Attached is another DYI
I can't count the number of times I've seen THAT DIY! It's the same one. It's all over the place. And, it doesn't have a single picture of the ball-and-socket removal procedure in any usable form. Plus it's for a different headlight (it's for a Xenon with a self-leveling motor which I don't have but even so, it still doesn't cover the ball-and-socket thingey).

BTW, it was interesting to shine a flashlight where the angel-eye bulb would go. I never knew there were five fiber optic cables (FOC) in this Hella headlight!

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	FOC_front_angel_eye_rings_dark.JPG
Views:	117
Size:	28.8 KB
ID:	250015   Click image for larger version

Name:	FOC_front_angel_eye_rings_light.JPG
Views:	132
Size:	72.5 KB
ID:	250016   Click image for larger version

Name:	foc_side_light_1.JPG
Views:	2753
Size:	52.4 KB
ID:	250017   Click image for larger version

Name:	foc_side_light_2.JPG
Views:	120
Size:	53.0 KB
ID:	250018  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-11-2010 at 08:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-11-2010, 08:01 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I'm so sorry I was so very thickheaded!

After taking a walk and watering my plants, I took another look at the Hella headlights and, now, I (finally) agree with you that the removal of the leveling ball-and-socket stalk is not achieved from the rear.

As you can see from this closeup, the knurled stalk appears to be glued or melted into the circular plastic cap in the rear holding it in place (probably glued because it does not budge when I try to twist the circular plastic plate by hand).

Now that my decision tree is a straight line, I can proceed to figuring out how to remove the stalk from the front! (I freeze like a deer in headlights when I don't know what to do!)

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	stalk_solid.JPG
Views:	3785
Size:	73.3 KB
ID:	250011  
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-11-2010, 08:04 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,621
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Here is the culprit! This is the OTHER END of that knurled post!

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ball_and_socket_1.JPG
Views:	4167
Size:	44.1 KB
ID:	250014  

Last edited by bluebee; 10-11-2010 at 08:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms