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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 05-08-2011, 04:43 PM
hudock hudock is offline
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Corner Bulb Removal Question

Afternoon Forum!

So, I completely know how to remove the corner etc.

However, how do you possibly get the bulb out without breaking the plastic clip?

I can not turn the plug away from the clip only towards the clip, and it seems it has to go a bit farther before it will release from the corner casing.

(Note: I already broke one trying to avoid breaking the other).

Thanks everyone!

I will have pics up soon of the fresh paint (had clear coat problem) on the car and corner/side clear out.

- Hudock
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2011, 04:58 PM
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operknockity operknockity is offline
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What model year is your E46 and are they OEM parts or not? There were several different OEM designs used on the various models each year. And that doesn't include non-OEM parts.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:14 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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if you know how to take out the corner light housing then it should be cake to take out the bulb...I can't possibly see why this would be an issue. Can you post some pictures?
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:44 PM
hudock hudock is offline
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Yeah sorry,

Its from a 2002 facelift sedan 325i.

It is aftermarket housing (depo clear) though, installed by the shop that repainted the car. However, the holes line up exactly the same as the OEM corners did (as I had both).

I know that it's easy and should not be an issue, but I just could not get the bulb out and once I turned it enough is when it broken the clip.

Maybe it was just my bad luck lol. Was not sure if anyone else had to put as much force on the clip on removing there corner bulbs as i did.

- hudock
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:55 PM
theruined theruined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hudock View Post
Yeah sorry,

Its from a 2002 facelift sedan 325i.

It is aftermarket housing (depo clear) though, installed by the shop that repainted the car. However, the holes line up exactly the same as the OEM corners did (as I had both).

I know that it's easy and should not be an issue, but I just could not get the bulb out and once I turned it enough is when it broken the clip.

Maybe it was just my bad luck lol. Was not sure if anyone else had to put as much force on the clip on removing there corner bulbs as i did.

- hudock
I had a couple of buddies have this happen, just ended up taping the thing back on...face lifted issue I guess? idk, could be the aftermarket item that just devoured your bulb housing
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:05 PM
hudock hudock is offline
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ugh. yeah.

emotions sort of went like...

I don't want to break it, swear words ending with "I broke it", searched and found some electrical tape and decided to not check the other bulb.

When I do the other one out I'm going to place the bulb in my OEM just to find out if its the aftermarket part of the facelift sedan part.

- hudock
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2011, 04:08 AM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Hey man, worst case scenario I've got a couple extra bulb sockets from my old sedan that I could probably give you - I notice you're in drums, which is like a 10 minute drive from where I am
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:12 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Must be an aftermarket part issue. While getting the holders out is a slim-fingerered adventure in itself, removing the bulbs was a non issue when I changed to stealth bulbs.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:50 PM
hudock hudock is offline
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I think maybe I'm confusing the issue, the "BULB" came out no problem. It was the problem of getting the actual "holder" out I guess.

I'm changing to stealth bulbs and when trying to remove the holder out of the corner lense itself I broke the retention clip.

- hudock
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:46 AM
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operknockity operknockity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hudock View Post
I think maybe I'm confusing the issue, the "BULB" came out no problem. It was the problem of getting the actual "holder" out I guess.

I'm changing to stealth bulbs and when trying to remove the holder out of the corner lense itself I broke the retention clip.

- hudock
You must have some strange aftermarket housings since I don't remember having any such problems with either my original OEM amber housings and now with my pseudo-OEM clear corner housings on my '02 facelifted sedan. The bulb holder just twisted right off without any contortions. Haven't done this in a while, so can't say if there is anything special you need to watch out for, but I don't think there was any such issue on mine.

I say pseudo-OEM since I've had folks more knowledgeable than I look at them and have been told that they are exactly the same as the real thing. There are OEM suppliers that also sell the same parts, just without the OEM stamps and BMW part number markings. Guess I just lucked out.
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Last edited by operknockity; 05-10-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:24 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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The connector comes off by pressiing on the little locktab while pulling. I've found that the length of cable is too short to be able to remove the holder without disconnecting. Then the holder comes off the headlamp by twisting a quarter-turn to unlock. Here again, there is so little room that I use a mechanic's plier with the jaws wrapped with electrical tape to avoid marring, to grip the edge of the plastic where the connector plugs in, in order to be able to do the quarter-turn.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:08 AM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
The connector comes off by pressiing on the little locktab while pulling. I've found that the length of cable is too short to be able to remove the holder without disconnecting. Then the holder comes off the headlamp by twisting a quarter-turn to unlock. Here again, there is so little room that I use a mechanic's plier with the jaws wrapped with electrical tape to avoid marring, to grip the edge of the plastic where the connector plugs in, in order to be able to do the quarter-turn.
Facelift coupes seem to differ pretty significantly from sedans and prefacelift coupe in this regard. On the other cars, you will not be able to access the cable or holder without removing the turn signal housing period. At that point you can remove the socket pretty easily with or without the cable plugged in
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:33 PM
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operknockity operknockity is offline
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Facelift coupes seem to differ pretty significantly from sedans and prefacelift coupe in this regard.
Indeed. On the facelifted sedans, there is only a single screw holding the housing in place. On the other models there is a screw AND a spring loaded tab (which apparently is kind of difficult to get to release).
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:41 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Indeed. On the facelifted sedans, there is only a single screw holding the housing in place. On the other models there is a screw AND a spring loaded tab (which apparently is kind of difficult to get to release).
Not quite.

Prefacelift (99-01) sedans and 00-01 coupes = clip in corners with the spring loaded tab. No screw.

Facelift (02+) sedans and 02-03 coupes (and 02-06 m3s) = screw in corners (with single screw). No clips

Facelift coupes (04-06) = single piece headlight/signal housings.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:32 AM
hudock hudock is offline
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Hey guys, I installed my stealth bulbs today, and realized what happened last time.

When I had the frontend repainted I had them install my clear corners at the same time. When they put the socket back into the corner he started from the top entry instead of the side/bottom. So once the plug was in, the only exit point was to turn towards the clips.

When I took off the driver side they had put that one on correctly therefore you twist farther away from the clip as to not break it. So all is good!

- hudock
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