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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 10-08-2012, 12:42 PM
YinD YinD is offline
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2003 E39 post facelift headlight adjusters

Today I finished up a repair to the E39 by replacing the plastic headlight adjusters with aluminum ones from EACTuning. I used the repair strategy from this post. No cutting.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1622291

I did not have to remove the front lens.

I have small hands... and lots of skinny long flat head screw drivers.

It took me 5+ hours to screw with my first install. It would have helped if I knew which orientation the high beam adjuster went in. I probably lost 2+ hours just screwing around with that.

This one in particular had broken in several places. So when it came out I did not see how it was situated. But then I could have researched, but in the heat of battle, who wants to read? Grrrr.

But when I figured out how it is oriented, is installed within 10 minutes.

So then the task was to see how long it would take for the other side. That one took 1.5+. These adjusters were not broken yet. Which poses its own challenges. When they are broken they all just fall apart. So I probably spent 30 minutes trying to disconnect them and pull them out.

The other challenge I found was that I had gotten the process down using my left hand on the drivers side headlight. Well, I had to re-learn how to install but using my right hand. Most of the access I used was from the high beam light access hole.

The only advice I have was that to insert the high beam headlight adjuster holder, I used teflon tape wraped around the screw driver instead of plastic. The teflon tape stayed on the screwdriver.

I can see how a circular hole like they do at EAC Tuning would be extremely helpful in the task.
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1997 Toyota Landcruiser 40th anniversary edition

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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:10 AM
YinD YinD is offline
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Additionally, I wanted to provide some pictures of the high beam side adjuster holder screw as accessed through the angel eye bulb opening. These images were not on the bimmerforum post that I referenced earlier. The ones that were shown on that posts were out of focus.

Here you can see the screw head after pushing the fiber optic cable to the side.


Here you see the long torx screw driver through the angel eye opening and onto the screw.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:25 AM
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manticore33 manticore33 is offline
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Thanks for the post! I need to do this, however, I am waiting until I match my factory AEs (one has the clear signal indicator and the other does not).

Any of the posters on the forum try the plastic 2001+ adjuster parts that are floating for $20-30 on the interwebz?
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:32 AM
FLE39 FLE39 is offline
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I just did mine this weekend. I feel your pain. My times are in line with yours. tooke me 4+ on the first, about 1.5 on the 2nd. Tedious job. But well worth it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:33 AM
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Very nice!

I'll cross reference to one of these:
- What to read 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)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:47 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manticore33 View Post
... stuff deleted ...
Any of the posters on the forum try the plastic 2001+ adjuster parts that are floating for $20-30 on the interwebz?
I bought adjusters for my 2003 at $11 per light assy including shipping from an eBay seller in Latvia. Total $22 for the car.

They appeared well molded and finished. Both sets fit just fine ... just took me dozens of attempts to teach my fingers the trick of sliding them into position.

I installed them only a couple of months ago so I've no comment on how they stand up to time and temperature aging.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:52 PM
jp5touring jp5touring is offline
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I did the passenger side couple weeks back, Took me two hours. Go real slow and everything kinda fell into place.

Mine are Odometer Gears I think ?? Great how to

Oh and so Nice to See at Night again !!!!
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:51 AM
YinD YinD is offline
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BlueBee, thanks for cross referencing my new information. I feel like I have been 'promoted'. As if I have a 'claim to fame' now.

On to the next project!
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:49 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Good thread!
Thanks!
Jason
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:32 PM
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manticore33 manticore33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I bought adjusters for my 2003 at $11 per light assy including shipping from an eBay seller in Latvia. Total $22 for the car.

They appeared well molded and finished. Both sets fit just fine ... just took me dozens of attempts to teach my fingers the trick of sliding them into position.

I installed them only a couple of months ago so I've no comment on how they stand up to time and temperature aging.
Thank you! Like I said, I may need to replace one of my lights for a matching set, so I don't want to invest in the aluminum parts until that time.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2012, 01:23 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I bought adjusters for my 2003 at $11 per light assy including shipping from an eBay seller in Latvia. Total $22 for the car
I updated the canonical headlight adjuster thread with this information. Previously, there wasn't a whole lot written about the Latvian adjusters - but I'm with you on this.

These things cost far far far far far too much for what they are. I fabricated my own, for about $5 for the set of four - but I don't recommend that method. $22 for both headlights seems just about the right price (4 pieces).

You might want to update this thread with your observations:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > List options available (sorted by cost) for 2001-2003 E39 broken headlight adjusters
Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
Someone else I know successfully used the first link from Latvia.
So, the days of the $100 adjuster are over. Both above are $12/per headlight. $25 total
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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