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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

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  #1  
Old 04-21-2014, 03:34 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Headlight swap

Okay, so my headlights are trashed to put it mildly. the adjusters are broken and they are so fogged over that cleaning is more labor than I'm will to put in to them.
So, I ordered new lights last week and they arrived today.
I chose Spec D Tuning Double Halo with LED driving lights
First impression:
Decent quality
Second impression:
They don't fit exactly.
I'll have to play around with them but I love the way they look.

As for wiring:
I will have to clip every connector and make it work with the new lights. The LEDs will be easiest, but the headlights and blinker will be a monster. the factory plug is a slide in bulb with 3 wires and the new one is 2 wires with a screw in type.
I may have to rig the OE plug to fit. not sure how yet, though.
the low/high beams will be easier though. not too concerned about them.
The LED/Halos will be cake.
Oh, and the instructions are vague and moderately useless for me.
Perhaps I'm old
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:10 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Oh man those look not good

Can you return them? You could buy new lenses(OE, clear corner, smoked etc) and adjusters for less than $100 and the swap takes an hour or less and you will have 'new' and perfect fitting lights.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:20 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Oh man those look not good

Can you return them? You could buy new lenses(OE, clear corner, smoked etc) and adjusters for less than $100 and the swap takes an hour or less and you will have 'new' and perfect fitting lights.
here are my old lights: this is after I tried to clean them up
that was honestly the best I could do.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:26 PM
juststeve juststeve is offline
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I predict LED eyebrows will go the way of lime green wiper arms once the norm on all flat black civics...
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:27 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Originally Posted by juststeve View Post
I predict LED eyebrows will go the way of lime green wiper arms once the norm on all flat black civics...
I saw them on amazon... almost couldn't resist.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:42 PM
juststeve juststeve is offline
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well, you can never pass up free shipping...
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:13 PM
ctsellersjr ctsellersjr is offline
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Is your car a factory hid car?

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  #8  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:32 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Originally Posted by ctsellersjr View Post
Is your car a factory hid car?

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Nope. It's a halogen setup on the factory lights and the replacements are halogen projector.
I thought about HID, but passed because I think they just look odd on some cars. Ours are one of them.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2014, 11:05 PM
ctsellersjr ctsellersjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
Nope. It's a halogen setup on the factory lights and the replacements are halogen projector.
I thought about HID, but passed because I think they just look odd on some cars. Ours are one of them.
U lucky. My lights cost a lot. just because its a d2s car

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  #10  
Old 08-17-2014, 02:46 PM
ncwomack ncwomack is offline
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Could show a wiring diagram of how you wired yours up? I bought the exact same lights and not sure how I want to wiring mine up. I really want the AE's on all the time and not the driving lights. Also what to do with the blinker and parking light three wires?
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  #11  
Old 08-17-2014, 05:20 PM
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I will take pictures tomorrow of how its wired in to the car relays. Also, I will take pictures of the wiring mess of the headlights
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2014, 05:45 PM
ncwomack ncwomack is offline
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Thanks that would be great. I really like the headlights and they fit right in and look great. Just not sure how to wire up the AE and LED's.
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2014, 05:56 PM
CaptinCrunchy81 CaptinCrunchy81 is offline
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I was recently looking at those same lights for purchase!! after a front end collision, I'm replacing the whole Front of my e39. The original headlights are nice, but very pricey! I was wondering about these lights and if they were a direct swap. Once you are able to get them to work, please come back and share!! As I will follow you down this rabbit whole to the halo lights.. lol. I think they look good..
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2014, 06:36 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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I definitely can't complain about them. They are bright enough that oncoming cars will occasionally flash their brights at me as if mine are on, but I rarely drive with my brights on.
I even have them aimed lower than normal- or so I think.
as for the halos, they are not very visible during the day since they are not LED.
I'll update again with the install process I went through when I put them in and make a crude diagram of my wiring.
Also, for the poster asking about wiring, the plugs from the factory lighting will plug directly in to the headlights. The blinkers are different because they have hooks to plug in to the OE light socket, but the new lights will not accept the socket. Also, do NOT use the blinkers that came with the lights. It won't work.
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2014, 09:40 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I realize the switch has been done, but for someone coming to this thread for help, alternative options are to fix the headlight adjusters and polish the lenses for all but the 2003 model year E39.

For how to replace the adjusters for about $10 in toto for all four adjusters, see this canonical thread (which refers to others), found by typing /headlight f3 in the bestlinks:
- A summary list of all your options when your headlight adjusters are broken (1)

And, to polish the headlight lenses or replace them, typing /headlight also brings up related threads:
- Headlight plastic polishing & refinishing DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)


See also:
- Headlight aiming DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to physically remove the BMW E39 Hella headlights (1) & how to twist out the headlight bulbs (1) (2) (3) including HIDs (1) & which stock H7 'halogen' bulbs to buy (1) (2) (3) & how to physically remove the front turn signal bulb (1) (2) (3) (4) & what front turn signal bulb to replace it with (1) & how to remove the angel eye bulb (1) (2) (3) & which stock angel-eye bulbs to buy (1) (2) (3) & how to retrofit halogen angeleye bulbs to LEDs (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to modify pre-facelift headlights to angel eyes (1) (2) (3) (4) & headlight plastic polishing & refinishing DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & replacing just the headlight lens (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how to cross reference all light bulbs for any BMW E39 including for the headlights, stoplights, backup, blinkers, dome, vanity, side markers, licplate, parking, fog, trunk/boot, glovebox, etc. (1) & more information if you really want to know everything about broken headlight adjusters (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) & how to make your own headlight adjusters (0) (1) (2) (3) and a summary list of all your options when your headlight adjusters are broken (1) & headlight autopsy photos (1) (2) (3) & an explanation of the weird flat spot on the USA spec headlights (1) (2) & an explanation of HID versus conventional headlights and why the high beam is always a halogen H7 bulb (1) (2) (3) & the age-old argument of whether to buy aftermarket DJ Auto or Depo headlights (1) or OEM Hellas (1).
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #16  
Old 08-17-2014, 11:37 PM
BaliDawg BaliDawg is offline
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Actually, you can also replace the headlight adjusters in the 2003 non-bakable headlights. Search around on this forum. I have read the thread. It is all done from the bulb opening, sort of ship-in-a-bottle style. There is even a guy doing this repair for a business.
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2014, 05:06 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Actually, you can also replace the headlight adjusters in the 2003 non-bakable headlights. Search around on this forum. I have read the thread. It is all done from the bulb opening, sort of ship-in-a-bottle style. There is even a guy doing this repair for a business.
I probably shouldn't have combined my answer to BOTH the lens and the adjusters, because the fact the lens can't easily be removed in the 2003 really only prevents replacing the lens in toto (which can be done on the earlier models).

As you astutely noted, to replace the adjusters in the 2003, people have cut holes, which is described in the headlight links above.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #18  
Old 08-18-2014, 11:33 AM
BaliDawg BaliDawg is offline
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Here is the DIY thread I was referring to that demonstrates replacing headlight adjusters on a 2003 E39 with the non-bakable sealed lens with no cutting required.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...nt-(no-cutting)

It is quite amazing how he figured this out!
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2014, 06:37 AM
jtleitner jtleitner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I probably shouldn't have combined my answer to BOTH the lens and the adjusters, because the fact the lens can't easily be removed in the 2003 really only prevents replacing the lens in toto (which can be done on the earlier models).

As you astutely noted, to replace the adjusters in the 2003, people have cut holes, which is described in the headlight links above.
I have a 2003 E39 with self leveling HID. I had a small hit on the drivers side which cracked my lens. It seems I can't bake the headlight assy apart for just a lens replacement. I've searched eBay for replacement lens and can't seem to find anything to just replace the lens. All options seem to have me replacing both self leveling with a knock off import.

My goal is to initially just replace the lens as that is the only thing wrong. The lights still work perfectly. Is there any hope for me? I did see on eBay where a guy is separating the lens cover but I need to contact him to see if he can deal with the epoxy issue on the 2003 model.

I have searched this form for tips and only really found your cutting of the lens apart DIY.
I'm just not sure I want to go this way or what lens I need to get to replace my cracked one. I can post a pic of the damage but it makes me sick in my gut to see it. LOL
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2014, 06:40 AM
jtleitner jtleitner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Oh man those look not good

Can you return them? You could buy new lenses(OE, clear corner, smoked etc) and adjusters for less than $100 and the swap takes an hour or less and you will have 'new' and perfect fitting lights.
Where can I get a replacement lens for a 2003 self leveling HID for $100?
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