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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-02-2013, 07:15 AM
BigMotherWheels BigMotherWheels is offline
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Location: Salem, Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Mein Auto: 06 325ci Coupe ZSP
headlights again

I need advice:

I have a 2006 325ci with BMW Dynamic Xenons - they automatically level and turn left and right in response to steering. These "facelift"lights, as many know, have the main lens glued on with a rubbery sealant and therefore do not simply come off.

When a xenon bulb was replaced at a body shop I guess the technician was a bit too rough and broke the projector unit from the servo that moves it left and right. I don't want to pursue that with them - I certainly cannot prove their wrongness. I just want it fixed. I am very mechanically apt and think that if I could access the area under the projector then I could remake what ever part is broken and fix it myself.

This is what I need advice on - I have read and seen examples of folks removing all electronics and baking the light at 250 degrees F until the sealant is soft enough to let go and remove the lens that way. Is this worth it? Has anyone tried it or seen it in person? What is the risk of destroying the unit and having to buy a $900 unit replacement new or take a risk on a used one.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2013, 07:37 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Mein Auto: 2000 328i
The headlights on my brothers Subaru Legacy are similar in that they are glued together with the sealant. He needed to take them apart but was hesitant to stick them in the oven, so he used a heat gun and slowly worked his way around the edge with a butter knife to get them apart. I witnessed it, and while it was a slow process it worked like a charm.
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Last edited by OfTheLost; 08-02-2013 at 07:41 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2013, 01:47 PM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
The UltimatE46 Enthusiast
Location: SoCal
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 330Ci ZHP
Baking them in the oven is exactly how I got my headlights apart to install the angel eyes.
A hair dryer was used the second time they were taken apart, but by then the factory glue/sealant was gone and we used some other material - silicone or something.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:55 PM
BigMotherWheels BigMotherWheels is offline
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Location: Salem, Virginia
 
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Mein Auto: 06 325ci Coupe ZSP
headlights again

Thanks for the input. I might just give it a try.


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  #5  
Old 08-03-2013, 08:54 PM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 330Ci ZHP
Just one word of advice, don't leave ANY cracks or openings once you re-seal them up after you're done doing what you need to do. The slightest passageway will cause the inside of your lens to fog up when you get a wash.
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