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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 06:32 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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DRL bulb replacement...

Driver's side...

Do I really have to disassemble the airbox to get to a stupid bulb?
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:41 PM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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No you do not... if you can fit your hands down behind the headlight housing, you can get the DRL bulb out... I did this when I replaced them with Nokya yellow bulbs... I did not move anything out of the way

Referred to in the manual as "High Beam" (although with Xenons, they are not used for high beam of course).
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Last edited by E46_Ci; 01-14-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:05 PM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
Driver's side...

Do I really have to disassemble the airbox to get to a stupid bulb?
no u don't have to. when i installed the Angel Eyes, i removed the bulbs cuz i wasn't sure how to get the wires to the back of the headlights. once i was done i got them back in smoothely, it's a matter of clearance since it's a bit tight but u don't have to remove the airbox.
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:17 AM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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My God, its only a couple of bolts and a clamp to remove the air box. Takes less than a minute.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:34 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Originally Posted by stickbuilder View Post
My God, its only a couple of bolts and a clamp to remove the air box. Takes less than a minute.
^^^ This. It honestly takes only a minute or two to remove the air box, and while you don't HAVE to, it will certainly give you more room to work in. Don't be afraid, just go for it.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2013, 05:59 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
^^^ This. It honestly takes only a minute or two to remove the air box, and while you don't HAVE to, it will certainly give you more room to work in. Don't be afraid, just go for it.
Every time I'm not afraid, I break off a clip that can't be replaced... ;-)

As far as doing it without removing the airbox? No way I can get that done with my hands... might have to rent an anorexic ten-year-old..

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:14 AM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
might have to rent an anorexic ten-year-old..
Not quite sure where to go with that... Since my hands fit down there just fine, and I am no where near 10 or anorexic ... guess you'll have to brave it and remove that airbox... or have your DRL's deactivated and not worry about it
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:08 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Just a follow-up..

Bought a Hella bulb off Amazon for around $9. It's in a Hella box and says Hella on it, but it's also made in Korea, so doubtful it is legit, but it's a DRL, so no big deal... It's the right wattage.

Got the plastic cover off the back of the light... got plug off and tested new bulb, and it worked, so all good so far..
And, maybe the coupes are tighter, but there was no way I could get the retaining clip loose by feel.. Only way to get my fingers on it was left-handed, which made it harder.. So, next job is to removed the airbox. I was hoping that just unbolting it from the inner fender would give me enough flex to get my hand in (and, it did, sort of), but without being able to see it, I still couldn't do it by feel.

So, unclipped the airbox from the exit tube, plus, a random hose that is secured to it by a clip... then slid it off on the top front side... but, what's this? It's attached to another piece of plastic down below the headlight... an oblong piece that slides over a matching piece on the airbox and has four (very breakable) clips on each side. What is this piece? It's got some foam on it that is up against the front of the car.. maybe it's bracing... not sure... thought about just leaving it on and pulling it out with the airbox, but I can't tell if its attached or what.. So, get a screwdriver and pry the clips back and get the airbox out... only broke one clip! No sweat, because four on each side.

Dropped my screwdriver into the engine bay... that's okay, I'll retrieve it from underneath the car... Nope, that's covered and it's still in there, but I can't see it.... that's okay, I'll get it before I put it back together... along with the O-ring that I dropped down there from the back tube..

Okay, the airbox is out of the way, and I can stick my whole head into the engine compartment so I can see the clip... bulb out, bulb in... re-clipped... plug on ... test it.. all good.. dust cover replaced.... Now, wrestling the airbox back in place.... three connections... it's a struggle... damn it!! Screwdriver and O-ring still in the engine compartment.... 10 minutes of looking and fishing and both retrieved... More wrestling... airbox back in place, bolted in.... Everything works...

90 minutes later, I'm done.... The dealer wanted about $100 to replace that bulb, so I saved $90...

But, that's why I don't work on my own car.... LOL

I do want to thank everyone for the direction and encouragement.

regards,
kyfdx
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:17 AM
lgr122 lgr122 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post

90 minutes later, I'm done.... The dealer wanted about $100 to replace that bulb, so I saved $90...
Maybe it wasn't too easy, but 90 minutes work and $90 saved.
Do you gain more than $60/hour in your job?
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:22 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
Maybe it wasn't too easy, but 90 minutes work and $90 saved.
Do you gain more than $60/hour in your job?
Not complaining about the cost savings... It's my free time, so it isn't like I'm giving up pay...

Happy with the savings... wishing I didn't suck at stuff like this... lol
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:52 AM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
And, maybe the coupes are tighter, but there was no way I could get the retaining clip loose by feel.. Only way to get my fingers on it was left-handed, which made it harder..

90 minutes later, I'm done....
Damn... I thought the 10 minutes it took me to replace my DRL's was a lot of time for a simple halogen swap... and I too have a coupe.
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Last edited by E46_Ci; 02-11-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:39 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46_Ci View Post
Damn... I thought the 10 minutes it took me to replace my DRL's was a lot of time for a simple halogen swap... and I too have a coupe.
Must be the special ZHP airbox and that massive 3.0 litre engine taking up more room... ;-)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2013, 08:01 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Don't worry. It took me an hour to figure out how to take out my stock airbox and install the new one with a new filter....
My hands back then were small enough to fit between that small space and replace the bulb though.
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