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5 Series DIY
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  #26  
Old 11-29-2007, 06:45 PM
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devroots devroots is offline
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These are the reasons that I like this forum. Thanks for posting Findog.
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  #27  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:32 PM
Raevin Raevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frhsfootball80 View Post
hey another E39 owner in DFW, welcome. and those adjusters will probably break again in due time. its just how it works i guess. id try to layer them with something that would support them. maybe JB weld?
Hmm...wonder why nobody has made some out of metal (such as billet aluminum), yet.

Lots of companies make tiny parts out of billet alum. for R/C cars, would be nice to see somebody start building parts for full size cars that are prone to failure.

Quote:
meh. you can get solid aluminum adjusters through me cheaper, why buy plastic to replace broken plastic?
oops...nvm. Didn't see that post. Will keep that in mind e39dream, should the need ever arise.
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  #28  
Old 01-16-2008, 11:59 AM
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findog can you please send me the pdf to down.en.out******s@gmail.com
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  #29  
Old 01-18-2008, 06:55 AM
SaveItK SaveItK is offline
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Good write up!

I was able to get mine apart and found out my adjusters are just fine!!! I've been using zip ties to hold the light higher thinking they were broken! Turns out, the lights are fine.. probably the fact that I'm so tall, maybe has a little to do with it me thinking the lights were too low
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  #30  
Old 02-20-2008, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscswa View Post
Good write up. One thing to note is that not all OE AE Headlights will come apart in the oven or with a heat gun, some are sealed with epoxy and will not pry apart.

For example my drivers side comes apart real easy in the oven, but the pass side has will not come apart.
Any more information on how I could determine which I have? Does the glue look any different from the epoxy?

That's a little weird, if you have two headlights on the same car, one glued and one epoxied.
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:45 AM
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I just had this same thing happen. Took it into the dealer and they indicated that it was just installed incorrectly and repaired it for 1/2 hour labor charge only. Guess I got lucky.

Great info though!
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Last edited by TimW; 02-21-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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  #32  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:08 AM
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I found this post while searching for how to identify parts in order to adjust my 2002 E39 headlights.

I took the liberty of shrinking DIY PDF here to fit the 500 KB limit and converting the PDF to pictures so it can be read by anyone without the PDF here.








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  #33  
Old 01-03-2010, 03:00 PM
tnations tnations is offline
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Smile headlight adjustor replacement

Just last week, I followed findog's instructions, including putting the housings in the oven (although only at 180 degrees). That did help a lot in getting the lens off the rest of the housing. I used aluminum adjusters from EAC tuning. All worked out great. You do need to be very careful removing and replacing the headlight assembly from the car as there is a trim piece on the bottom of the assembly that hooks into the edge of the fender. It can be easily broken if you are not careful, and gentle. There is another DIY out on the net that says you do not need to put the assembly in the oven, but I guarantee I could not take mine apart before warming in the oven.

Last edited by tnations; 01-03-2010 at 03:12 PM. Reason: spelling and adding last sentence.
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  #34  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:59 PM
my2002bmw my2002bmw is offline
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Epoxy on the lense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscswa View Post
Good write up. One thing to note is that not all OE AE Headlights will come apart in the oven or with a heat gun, some are sealed with epoxy and will not pry apart.

For example my drivers side comes apart real easy in the oven, but the pass side has will not come apart.
I have this problem. Mine are Epoxied and can not open them by heating. So, anyone has any ideas? I would appreciate your feedback
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  #35  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2002bmw View Post
I have this problem. Mine are Epoxied and can not open them by heating. So, anyone has any ideas? I would appreciate your feedback
Use a sharp xacto knife or razor to cut the epoxy.
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  #36  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:31 PM
TDS TDS is offline
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Mover, does this work on the 2003 headlights that supposedly have a stronger bonding glue and cannot be "baked" apart?
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  #37  
Old 06-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDS View Post
Mover, does this work on the 2003 headlights that supposedly have a stronger bonding glue and cannot be "baked" apart?
It does according to CA Automotive. I have the same issue and contacted them with the very same question.

http://www.ca-automotive.co.uk
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  #38  
Old 06-08-2010, 01:17 PM
my2002bmw my2002bmw is offline
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Mover
Will you please tell me where in the CA Auto website does it show the procedure for opening the epoxy lens?

Thanks
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  #39  
Old 06-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Not only is EAC the only company in the USA who sells the aluminum repair parts, I offer to repair the 2002-2003 lights that will not open in the oven for you. Getting the lens off with a knife or blade is VERY difficult and you will not do so without sacrificing the seal of the light. I have a much better method that does not let moisture or fog build in the lights. I have been repairing these for about 4 years with fantastic results. If anyone would like to send theirs in just send me an email or PM.
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  #40  
Old 06-08-2010, 03:00 PM
Rjim Rjim is offline
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How do you test the auto adjustment feature to see if it's working or not? My low beams seem too low and I don't notice any movement on my garage wall when I turn the lights on.
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  #41  
Old 06-08-2010, 03:12 PM
- Mover - - Mover - is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2002bmw View Post
Mover
Will you please tell me where in the CA Auto website does it show the procedure for opening the epoxy lens?

Thanks
Contact Phil at CA Automotive.

They have never had a problem with the epoxy lens. Knowledgeable and friendly bunch of guys to deal with. They do a lot of business with BMWs. The one below belongs to one of the guys.

E39 540

CA Auto in the press


enquiries@ca-int.co.uk

www.ca-at.co.uk
Tel: 0044 (0) 871 231 1010

Last edited by - Mover -; 06-08-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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  #42  
Old 06-09-2010, 02:03 PM
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TemporarySanity TemporarySanity is offline
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I just replaced my adjusters with the ones from eBay. They seem to be of good quality and the job was no where near as bad as I thought. This write up sure helped. Thanks!
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  #43  
Old 10-04-2010, 08:12 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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How are folks readjusting their lights AFTER repairing them? The Bentley Manual is no help as it just has a grey box warning indicating some special procedure needs to be done.

It would be nice to find out how far from a wall one should be and where on the wall the lights should be adjusted to.

For now, I just adjusted them on my garage door, went for a spin, adjust some more, and called it good but I would like them adjusted correctly if at all possible.
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  #44  
Old 10-04-2010, 08:55 AM
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This is not as technical as what you are looking for but.....

I had my wife drive the car at night behind me while I observed the angle of the headlights. I discovered the driver side was too high and the wall procedure did not reveal this.
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  #45  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99 View Post
How are folks readjusting their lights AFTER repairing them?.
Hi Ågent99,
I still have my headlight adjusters to do myself (I still haven't debugged which ones I need) so I take a keen interest in this.

In the bestlinks thread, there is a point for adjusting headlights at:
- Adjusting headlights

Do the diagrams and procedures there help (I was unsuccessful, but, probably more due to the adjusters doing nothing than to the procedure).





Other than that thread, maybe this set has how to actually adjust the headlights (I didn't check 'em all - just the one above):
Useful BMW E39 broken headlight adjuster links (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)
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  #46  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:05 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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link to aluminum headlight adjusters for the 2001-2003 lights:
http://www.eactuning.com/e39-aluminu...ers-p-467.html

The Hella lights found in 2003 cars, and the Hella euro xenon lights that can be bought aftermarket will not open in the oven. I don't care what anyone says. CA is very reputable, but they do not offer an installation service for these parts like I do. I have handled dozens of these lights and yes, the ones that will not open in the oven are out there. It is well documented that a different sealant was used that is not effected by heat. You will destroy the plastic light before that particular adhesive gives. If you find your set will not open just send me a PM and I would be glad to fix them for you.
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  #47  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:20 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
link to aluminum headlight adjusters for the 2001-2003 lights
Hi Mark,
Even after all this time, I still am frozen with indecision about MY headlights.
I wonder if you've run into this:
- It's a 2002 525i & the headlights are pointing mostly downward very stably.
- I turn the passenger side two fittings and the light moves but in strange ways (maybe I don't understand how to adjust them)
- I turn the driver's side fittings and nothing moves whatsoever (as measured by pointing to a garage door at night)
- However, NOTHING bounces on the road ... it points consistently downward without bouncing.
- Strangely, if I grasp the driver's side bulb, and wiggle, both bulbs wiggle without any friction whatsoever ...
- On the other hand, if I wiggle the passenger side bulbs, they move but with muuuuch more friction holding them together
- It doesn't help that I have broken tabs but people say that isn't the problem.

From that (admittedly lousy) description, should I pay for new headlights or just new adjusters?

That enigma is what is holding me up (I hate when I don't have a good diagnostic tool - it freezes me like, well, uh ... like a deer in the headlights).

Re-using a pic from that thread (the question was answered already that the tab is part of the headlight assembly).

Last edited by bluebee; 10-04-2010 at 09:22 AM.
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  #48  
Old 10-04-2010, 10:50 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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bluebee,

Sounds like your adjusters are busted...just like mine. If you turn the adjusting knobs and nothing to little happens, they are toast. I replaced my plastic adjusters with some aluminum ones I bought like 2-3 years ago. Finally got around the tearing the lights apart yesterday and it went pretty well heating in the oven, working them apart. Once apart, they are simple to replace.

The housing that holds both bulbs is one unit so moving one moves the other. The friction you feel just depends on HOW the adjusters busted and what happened to them as you try to adjust the lights. You could've jammed pieces together or freed them up a lot. So in some cases, they will be very loose and possibly in others, they could be very tight. Hard to say but I'm pretty confident that yours need replaced.

Here is the thing, it is only a matter of WHEN they break and not if. As it turned out, my passenger side adjusters were fine but I replaced them anyway. The driver's side ones were both complete toast.

The broken tab probably isn't an issue but if the light moves around a bit because of it, THAT can be a problem in getting them aimed properly. I think some Plastic Weld (epoxy available at most hardware stores...just go to OSH) will probably fix that one up fine.

Get the aluminum adjusters, come over, and we'll knock this all out in an hour.
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  #49  
Old 10-04-2010, 10:57 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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As to the headlight adjustments, what is suggested in bluebee's post is pretty much what I figured or is standard:

(1) Make sure tires are inflated to normal psi, tank about 1/2 full or so, typical driver in seat.
(2) Park close to a wall on a level surface.
(3) Mark horizontal line with tape.
(4) Mark vertical line with tape to make a + sign for left/right light.
(5) Back up 25 feet.
(6) Adjust centerpoint of light 2" below horziontal line.
(7) Adjust vertical 2" to the right of vertical line.

The horizontal and vertical adjustments are absolutely possible on my Xenons (2001 530i).
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  #50  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:00 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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agent99 is correct. We just have some generic symptoms listed on our site and they may not apply to all lights with busted adjusters. The biggest give away that yours are broken would be the facts that they are pointing too low and do not respond to adjustments you make.

It's much cheaper obviously to just replace the adjusters. However if yours have broken tabs and what not you may opt to replace the whole light. I would be happy to get you a quote on a replacement or a pair if you'd like. Keep in mind though, a couple few years down the road you may find yourself back at square one, with broken adjusters. I would glue the mounting tab and repair the adjusters.

Also, it has been a while but for those of you looking for how to aim the lights there is a lot of great aiming info on www.hidplanet.com, it is a forum all about lighting. Lots of good info there.
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