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

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-26-2011, 05:57 PM
fuzzynations fuzzynations is offline
Registered User
Location: california
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Mein Auto: 1998 528i manual
My DYI e39 Headlight restoration weekend project!

Test vehicle
1998 BMW 528i 114,000m

front headlight condition? very poor

Results =

Product = EZ1 cotton ball technique

What extra items grab to get setup

clean dry microfiber cloth
scotch-brite heavy duty scour pads (you can get these at any grocery store)

small pack of cotton balls
tight fitting glove for firm grip to pad

Now that you got those items let's move on to what comes in a standard kit.

1 plastic glove
1 small scour pad
1 cotton ball
1 bottle of diamond dust
1 bottle of clear coat
1 plastic glove

Getting started to the nitty gritty!

1. throw glove on
2. open up your bottle of diamond dust
3. in a <---- -----> motion with heavy pressure depending on the condition of your lights scrub away! Areas that aren't as bad you may spend less time on. For me the top area was my bad spot so I did that the most.

Here's what it looked like when I first started

After hitting the entire light for about ten minutes I wanted to check on my progress. Get out the microfiber and clean off the diamond dust to reveal how your doing.

After inspection I decided to go at the top again!

check on your scour pad! if your lights were as bad as mine you've probably getting close to some holes in the pad or tears. Cut off a new small sheet off the ones you got at the store, add some dust and continue!

By this time your getting tired. Too bad keep going!

make sure you keep the paste on there wet, keep at it you can do it!. The more time you spend taking off the pitted, areas the better the results. Don't be afraid to lay down some pressure. You can always work out other areas to make them look good.

Here's how I ended up after I ran out scour pads.

Unfortunately I didn't take my own advise and I only had the pad from the kit and it was toast.

We're not done yet folks, time to install the clear coat!

This part is important, read careful or you'll end up doing the light twice.

buff your light with the microfiber towel until all residue is off!!
grab out the cotton balls. (you should use 1 per light)
Place cotton ball against bottle, turn it up side down quickly in two spots in the middle of the ball.
In a FAST smooth accurate one direction stroke go all the way across the light from corner to corner. Overlapping until you get to the bottom. DO NOT USE TO MUCH!!! Less is more, literately! 2 dabs!! (trust me I made the mistake, that's why I have only a picture of the right side finish! haha!)
Admire your hard work.

Now, time to go inside and relax for at least 2 hours while the coating is drying. Do not attempt to fix it or add more coating later. If you messed up no big deal come back in 2 hours with the diamond dust and do it over.

I'd also like to note, there is a very good DYI on a wet sanding method. I have a hunch if you were to fallow the wet sanding DYI than go over it with this process I suspect your lights would come out looking factory fresh!

Don't give your hopes up, wet sanding is hard, scary, and your worried you might mess something up don't, because this is the DYI for you! No risk, no worries, just a less old looking lights!

I bought my kit at p & s auto detailing store, you can find them online at http://www.productioncarcare.net/sto...-10799873.aspx

I'd like to hear if any of the supporting vendors stock this product!! thanks enjoy!
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 06:40 AM
j1mwcooper j1mwcooper is offline
Registered User
Location: Western and shoreline CT
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 18
Mein Auto: BMW '03 530i& F350 diesel
Great looking results! And excellent pix.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 06:55 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This is a nice DIY that will help others (including me) gather the courage (and materials) to polish our headlights.

So that it isn't lost in the searchmess, I will cross link it to the Bimmerfest canonical thread on headlight polishing.

In addition, the bestlinks lists the following, for reference:
- BMW E39 headlight plastic polishing & refinishing DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & replacing just the headlight lens (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2011, 10:13 PM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
Registered User
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 68
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
That looks like a nice product. Looks easier than the hours I spent sanding.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2012, 01:25 PM
MJB9 MJB9 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Keller, TX (DFW)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 458
Mein Auto: 2002 525i (E39)

Not to lessen to quality of any product or work done to further our bimmer efforts, just adding my results.

A couple of days ago I used Pastx (step 1/light duty) to remove haze of lights. It worked great!!! and with very very little effort. Maybe 5 minutes per light. Being slightly perfectionist, I wasn't satisfied and ordered the turtlewax restoration kit (after much researching of reviews online). It is hand wet sanding with included pads. I didn't want effort of power sanding wiht hard to reach corners, etc. little sanding blocks were perfect size! It took about 20 minutes each light. AMAZING results. My lights looked like fuzzynations first pic. I think I got great results with very little effort (and low cost). And very little mess--very little.

The only thing that was a negative about the turtlewax kit (if it even is one) was that it includes enough liquid to do lights a dozen times, but only one sealing pad (single use). I ordered some alternate sealant for the next time I do them.

Here are the links of products I used:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o05_s00_i00 (good for basic but good cleaning. Does not remove scuffs/scratces--just the haze). Probably should use a sealant after though


You'll want something like this for when single use package is done (I can't speak to this products results yet, but reviews are good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 2 (1).jpg
Views:	219
Size:	92.0 KB
ID:	339396   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 1 (1).jpg
Views:	211
Size:	87.7 KB
ID:	339397   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 1.jpg
Views:	163
Size:	116.2 KB
ID:	339398   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 2.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	115.3 KB
ID:	339399   Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 3.jpg
Views:	161
Size:	115.0 KB
ID:	339400  

Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 4.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	112.7 KB
ID:	339401  

Last edited by MJB9; 08-28-2012 at 02:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 07:42 AM
MJB9 MJB9 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Keller, TX (DFW)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 458
Mein Auto: 2002 525i (E39)
few more pics
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1346251246.502052.jpg
Views:	142
Size:	104.0 KB
ID:	339475   Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1346251307.720597.jpg
Views:	134
Size:	80.0 KB
ID:	339476  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 11:18 AM
z_driver z_driver is offline
Registered User
Location: Laguna
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 50
Mein Auto: 528i

I also took on this project this past weekend with similar results to the OP. I used a different kit with 2500 and 1000 grit sandpapers and a sealant that is said to come with a lifetime warranty but I didn't catch on to the fact that less is more until too late. This was possibly due to the fact I was working later in the day and the sealant was applied under difficult lighting. I still have one more batch of sealant so I suppose I could go at it again if I feel it's necessary.

In any case, I'm quite satisfied with the results given the fact that my headlights were worse than the OP's(147m) if I simply go by the before pics. I was almost certain I'd have to remove and open the lights to clean the inside as it appeared 1/2 the stains were internal. But this was not the case. With a bit of patience and thorough sanding I was able to remove all traces of yellowness, scratches and/or dirt 'n grime. At this point any further improvement in sealing and final polish are a detail I'm looking forward to handling.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 11:28 AM
BentValve's Avatar
BentValve BentValve is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NH
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,054
Mein Auto: 00 528i 3 pedals
If you think that's poor, this was how my lenses looked when I got mine.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 06:09 AM
moiz1322 moiz1322 is offline
Registered User
Location: Dallas TX
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2001 540i
Bent Valve, What product did you use to clean your headlights? Mine are in similar condition.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 06:13 AM
BentValve's Avatar
BentValve BentValve is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NH
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,054
Mein Auto: 00 528i 3 pedals
I usdd the 3M Kit. Ive tried the meguiar Kit but thats more for light hazing.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2014, 10:57 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 26
Mein Auto:
Looks ace, do you know how to open them up I have this problem Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1399139858.119206.jpg
Views:	156
Size:	170.9 KB
ID:	437276

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

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 06:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms