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 > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)

E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-12-2010, 08:34 PM
Z4 fanatic Z4 fanatic is offline
Registered User
Location: Little Rock
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2004 Z4
2004 Z4 headlight bulb replacement

I want to change my bulbs to the Xenon type. How do you get to the headlights to replace the bulbs?
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
Old 03-12-2010, 09:56 PM
Jermy1304 Jermy1304 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 508
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
You have to change the whole headlight assembly. Jack up the front end(from the jackpoint behind the front tire) and pull the tire off. Then take the cover off the splashguard by rotating the screws 90 or 270 degrees. After this you will be able to see wiring for the headlights. Look toward the top and you will see the screws for the headlight assembly. That will give you access to the back. You may need to remove the bumper for the rest...anyone feel welcome to finish off the instructions where i left off.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2013, 08:12 PM
eboakes eboakes is offline
Registered User
Location: Holmdel, New Jersey
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0
I just changed the inner, non-HID headlamp bulbs on my 2005 Z4. Yes, you have to remove the tire. To open the flap that covers the back area of the lights, rotate the unusual looking fasteners with clean pliers while pulling slightly. They are locked when the flat side is oriented such that a line perpendicular to each passes through the center of the flap. Rotate them about 90 to 180 degrees to gain access. Take note of their orientation before you attempt to open them. Used compressed air to blow all grit and grime away from the edges of the gasketed water-tight cover. Then, gently pry the wire clip down and away from the back of the rear cover so as to free it. Pull the outer edge towards the back of the car, then towards you a bit to extract it. Watch out for the rubber gasket: If it gets stuck on the light housing, pull it gently away so as to keep it with the cover. The simple headlamp bulb is an H7, mounted towards the center of the car. Rotate the rear black plastic grip about 30 degrees and pull the socket and bulb rear. Note the orientation of the bulb base: one side has a flat with a tab. Note where it is on the socket. It may take some effort to extract the bulb from the socket. I went with the normal, Sylvania long-lasting, not-super-bright bulbs that cost only $19.99 a pair from Autozone. DO NOT TOUCH THE BULBS!! (Your fingerprints will cause hot spots that will tend to fracture the glass when it heats up as halogen bulbs do.) Handle them only with clean gloves or a clean towel, paper or otherwise. Reverse the process to install the bulbs. Make sure that they are inserted such that the springs on both sides have engaged. The socket will fell a bit loose, and can be wiggled, but the bulb will not be wiggling; it should be being held in place. Turn the car on and verify that they bulbs are lighting correctly. Verify that the gasket is clean and free of any dirt, grit, etc. Put the end towards the center of the car in first, holding the cover at a substantial angle. it may take a bit of re-orienting to get it to get into place properly. Be careful to seat the gasket fully before pulling the spring clip back over the back of the water tight cover. Replace the outer flap. Rotate those strange clips back to their original position that you took note of when you started.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 05:23 AM
shipkiller's Avatar
shipkiller shipkiller is offline
Underway on Nuclear Power
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 892
Mein Auto: Me
Originally Posted by Z4 fanatic View Post
I want to change my bulbs to the Xenon type. How do you get to the headlights to replace the bulbs?
The way you worded the first part of your question, I would assume you have Halogen bulbs.

If you have Halogen light assemblies, you cannot just change the bulbs to Xenon. You must replace the entire light assembly (proper way), or buy Halogen to Xenon conversion kit (which have its own issues). Either way requires you to remove the bumper.

Whether you have Xenon or Halogen bulbs the bulb replacement is the same. While it is possible to remove and replace a blown bulb with the tire on the car, it is much easier to do this with the wheel off the car.

How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 04:47 PM
Droptop85 Droptop85 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Fresno
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 351
Mein Auto: 03 Z4 3.0i
I have the halogen headlights. I replaced the high and low beam bulbs with a 6000k slim ballast hid kit from ddm tuning with code elimators. They work perfect. You also don't need to remove the wheels or bumper. Simply turn the wheels right or left and you can easliy get to the rear panels. No need to remove anything except the inspection panel and rear headlight cover. It takes about 30 min for the install. If I were to do it again I would have went with the 5000k lights intead of the 6000k. But color temperature is just personal preference.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 04:50 PM
Droptop85 Droptop85 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Fresno
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 351
Mein Auto: 03 Z4 3.0i
But shop killer is right. The CORRECT way would be to buy the whole hid housing. But if your like me and don't want to spend 1500 bucks on lights. My way works too. Costs about 150 or so
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 04:13 PM
Triaker Triaker is offline
Registered User
Location: San Juan Islands
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 68
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si
Just came upon this thread and found it interesting that someone said replacing the headlights to HID would be $1500. I called around and the cheapest HID assemblies from BMW are $2200, but that does not include the bulbs, the adjustment arm, ballasts, headlamp switch, etc. If you were to do this to factory spec, expect to pay $3,000 to get true BMW HID bi-xenon. I am going the MTEC xenon conversion kit route for the low beams, and probably upgrading the high beams to Sylvania's newest HID-like bulbs (really white, not the obnoxious $20 cheapos that look blue-purple).

2007 Z4 3.0si
Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 04:31 PM
pokeybritches pokeybritches is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Gulf Coast
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 175
Mein Auto: 06 Z4MR, 03 Z4 3.0i
You do not have to take the wheel off to change the bulb. Jacking up the front should provide enough slack to access the panel over the top of the tire. I just changed mine about a week ago without removing the wheel.
Reply With Quote


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
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 10:25 AM.

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