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
  #26  
Old 06-17-2009, 05:42 PM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If this is a pic of your car, you don't have Xenons... I don't see the silver ballast for the Xenons like below:



Also, your passenger side headlight has a broken tab. See green circle:


I received my plastic adjusters yesterday and will be changing them this weekend.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Sprite 14.jpg
Views:	1998
Size:	72.3 KB
ID:	189978   Click image for larger version

Name:	hid.jpg
Views:	1987
Size:	68.7 KB
ID:	189979  

Last edited by Max_VQ; 06-17-2009 at 05:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 06-18-2009, 07:14 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
If this is a pic of your car, you don't have Xenons... I don't see the silver ballast for the Xenons
Yes, that's my 2002 E39. That's great you pointed out the "square silver ballast" as I had read about that but didn't know what it was. I seem to have a differently shaped silver ballast (if that's what it is).

It's great that we now know what it looks like (from your picture) so we can identify the type of bulbs we have based on the "ballast" thingey.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	hid_no.jpg
Views:	2573
Size:	202.2 KB
ID:	190022  
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 06-18-2009, 07:18 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
your passenger side headlight has a broken tab
You are very astute. Maybe that's contributing to why I can't adjust my headlight aim!

I don't know if that broken tab is part of the headlight itself (in which case I need a new headlight) or if it's just part of the bracket that holds the headlight onto the car.

Does this broken part belong to the headlight or the bracket?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	passenger_headlight.jpg
Views:	5017
Size:	157.4 KB
ID:	190023  

Last edited by bluebee; 06-18-2009 at 07:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:26 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Maybe that's contributing to why I can't adjust my headlight aim!

I don't know if that broken tab is part of the headlight itself (in which case I need a new headlight) or if it's just part of the bracket that holds the headlight onto the car.

Does this broken part belong to the headlight or the bracket?

There are 4 tabs that attach the headlight to the car. I don't think it is a big deal if one is broken. However, it has nothing to do with your headlights not being adjustable.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:34 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Yes, that's my 2002 E39. That's great you pointed out the "square silver ballast" as I had read about that but didn't know what it was. I seem to have a differently shaped silver ballast (if that's what it is).
Xenon lights require high voltage to work. The ballast increases the 12volts up to 20,000+ volts.
Halogen lights simply use 12 volts, just like any other bulb.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:43 AM
Jason5driver's Avatar
Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Middle of a corn field
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
BlueBee-
Do you have OEM hella ballasts or not?
That will tell you if you have Hella Xenons or not.

The first picture you show on post#27 is an OEM Hella Xenon headlight.

I can not tell from the other pictures if your other side looks the same.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 06-18-2009, 09:33 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I have OEM Hella H7 Halogens with projectors (apparently).

Do you know whether the broken tab is part of the headlight or if it's a separate bracket.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 06-19-2009, 05:55 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
540s came standard with xenon, it was an option on the I6.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 06-19-2009, 05:56 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I have OEM Hella H7 Halogens with projectors (apparently).

Do you know whether the broken tab is part of the headlight or if it's a separate bracket.
I think it is part of the headlight. Don't worry about it, you still have 3 tabs holding the headlight.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 06-19-2009, 06:23 AM
RRsE39's Avatar
RRsE39 RRsE39 is offline
-------------------------
Location: Houston
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,643
Mein Auto: 2001 530iA Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

Do you know whether the broken tab is part of the headlight or if it's a separate bracket.

The tab is part of the headlight.

If you want to fix it, just take your headlight off and use some JB Weld to patch the crack up.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:34 AM
Jason5driver's Avatar
Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Middle of a corn field
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I have OEM Hella H7 Halogens with projectors (apparently).

Do you know whether the broken tab is part of the headlight or if it's a separate bracket.
Roger that.
I have the same.
I thought I was the only unlucky fellow with OEM 2001 Hella Halogens...

Most 2001-2003 Hella's have xenon.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:50 AM
RobV15 RobV15 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Long Beach
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 350
Send a message via AIM to RobV15
Mein Auto: 99 528i Sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrcompton View Post
The tab is part of the headlight.

If you want to fix it, just take your headlight off and use some JB Weld to patch the crack up.
or some Quik Steel Plastic Repair putty migh work!
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 06-21-2009, 09:59 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I thought I was the only unlucky fellow with OEM 2001 Hella Halogens
I would like to check if my 2002 E39 H7 Halogens are actually Hella brand. Is the word "Hella" stamped anywhere on the headlight assembly?
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 06-21-2009, 06:00 PM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: earth
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 568
Mein Auto: little red wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I would like to check if my 2002 E39 H7 Halogens are actually Hella brand. Is the word "Hella" stamped anywhere on the headlight assembly?
Yes it should say "Hella" at the bottom middle of the front.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 06-22-2009, 10:32 AM
Jason5driver's Avatar
Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Middle of a corn field
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,461
Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I would like to check if my 2002 E39 H7 Halogens are actually Hella brand. Is the word "Hella" stamped anywhere on the headlight assembly?
Did you check your lights?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 06-22-2009, 03:26 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Did you check your lights?
Yes. They are Hella.

I wonder, since the adjusters are so easily broken, what everyone sees in these Hella headlamps anyway? I mean, I understand from the discussion above that they are "the best" ... but what particularly makes them better than whatever is their competition? (Certainly not the adjusters.)

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	hella.jpg
Views:	5379
Size:	218.0 KB
ID:	190535  
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-08-2009, 11:21 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I see Jared at EAC Tuning has kindly made available the aluminum headlight adjusters! That's wonderful.

Before I go out and buy a full set of four, I still am not sure mine are broken. Of course, I know enough now how to take apart the headlights but rather than take apart the headlights twice, do we have a definitive procedure for testing if the headlight adjusters are truly broken?

My symptoms (collectively) are:
- Headlights are pointing downward too much
- I can adjust up/down but not enough up to compensate
- I can't seem to adjust side/side for some strange reason
- On each side, the one bulb in rubber wiggles a lot (but it's in rubber)
- On each side, the other bulb doesn't wiggle at all when I move it with my hand.

Of course, I 'suspect' the headlight adjusters are broken ... but is there a more definitive test I can perform?
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-08-2009, 11:40 AM
idp@skypro.be idp@skypro.be is offline
Registered User
Location: Belgium
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 75
Mein Auto: 540i Porsche 911 3.2
Yes they do break, but replaced they adjust the low Xenon and high QI beams at the same time. Do it with the engine running, then the auto system corrects for load. I find it difficult to understand how anyone can expect to adjust these without using beam setting equipment.
Ian
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-18-2009, 04:20 PM
sanchorb sanchorb is offline
Registered User
Location: Costa Rica
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 08 318i...on sale process
Clear circles

Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
What are the clear circles at the top front of the housing for?
Hi everyone. For those of you who want to know what those circles are, maybe it is because you have U.S. versions, and you donīt need this mechanism. For european versions, instead of these clear circles we have a black cover, which has to be removed in order to access a lever. It is used when you are going into a country which has a different traffic direction than the car. For example if you travel to England with your car, you remove the cover and flick the lever, and the lights realign themselves so as not to blind incoming traffic. It is an interesting feature, which to me symbolizes how much attention to detail german car manufarcturers devote. I am including some pictures of how it looks, and another one from the manual, sorry for the quality but my cameraīs shutter decided to malfunction. I just learned that on another forum, so not only these cars are the ones who give us inconveniences, LOL.
Hope this clears the issue.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	0 004.jpg
Views:	448
Size:	138.9 KB
ID:	193819   Click image for larger version

Name:	0 005.jpg
Views:	386
Size:	103.2 KB
ID:	193820   Click image for larger version

Name:	0 006.jpg
Views:	520
Size:	155.3 KB
ID:	193821  

Last edited by sanchorb; 07-18-2009 at 04:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-18-2009, 04:39 PM
E39 Paul E39 Paul is offline
Registered User
Location: Ireland
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 82
Mein Auto: e39 530i
sanchorb....you the man. i was just trying to check out what that was for. thx. as for bluebee bring your car into a garage they dont charge you if broken and cant be adjusted properly....save you lot of time
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 07-20-2009, 01:24 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,504
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchorb View Post
you remove the cover and flick the lever, and the lights realign themselves so as not to blind incoming traffic.
OMG! I love learning this kind of stuff! Thank you so very much. I've been wondering about that "thing" ever since I first started trying to adjust my lights! Thanks. Bluebee
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:08 PM
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchorb View Post
Hi everyone. For those of you who want to know what those circles are, maybe it is because you have U.S. versions, and you donīt need this mechanism. For european versions, instead of these clear circles we have a black cover, which has to be removed in order to access a lever. It is used when you are going into a country which has a different traffic direction than the car.
Hope this clears the issue.
Hot damn i was always wondering why the euro hellas had that access panel but not the nam spec ones..
__________________
Alida:
Born: Friday, 9th January 1998
Arktissilber Metallic on Schwarz 528i/5

Fs: KAC-8103D, Kicker 08ts10l52
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:32 PM
willythewarrior willythewarrior is offline
Registered User
Location: Dublin, Ireland
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2003 E39 520i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Re: what is this thing?

I don't know if you have this on US cars, but on Euro E39's there is a large plastic knob there that you can use to adjust the headlight throw, depending on whether you are driving on the left side of the road (UK, Ireland, a few other places) or on the right side of the road (rest of Europe).

So you just turn the knob to change the throw and avoid blinding other drivers, instead of putting stupid opaque stickers over the front of the lights.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:37 PM
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
^ that question was already covered on post #44
__________________
Alida:
Born: Friday, 9th January 1998
Arktissilber Metallic on Schwarz 528i/5

Fs: KAC-8103D, Kicker 08ts10l52
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:44 PM
sanchorb sanchorb is offline
Registered User
Location: Costa Rica
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 08 318i...on sale process
Talking No problem at all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganesht View Post
^ that question was already covered on post #44
Well, that is no problem at all, really, in fact, we should be very happy of how informative all people on this forum are. In fact this new post should know better about the use of this mechanism, since he lives in Ireland and probably should need to use it, whereas I live in Costa Rica, and will very likely never need it. Of course I might turn those levers someday to see what happens, LOL. Thank you for the replies...
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 01:42 AM.


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