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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently bought a bmw 530i 2003 and the xenon headlights seem really low cant see more than 75–100ft.

When the lights are turned on they adjust up and down a bit but when i turn the allen key knobs to raise them the headlights dont move up or down.

In addition, the headlights seem a bit easy to move when gently moved. The sensor which is broken atm and is zip tied all the way up will move the headlights a bit but stops moving them after only a bit of movement.

Are the adjusters broken on the inside of the headlamps or am i adjusting them wrong?
 

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It sounds like your adjusters are broken. The 2003 version is not easily repairable if at all. I replaced my entire headlamp assemblies. Expensive.
 

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Busted adjusters. You can try the ship-in-a-bottle herculean task of replacing the adjusters without cutting into the housings, but I recommend finding some 2001-2002 lights to "rebuild" with new projectors and adjusters, plus new DJAuto lenses.
 

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I have small hands and im a model builder so i think the ship in the bottle method wont be too hard for me so thats what im gonna do rather than spend 600 a headlight otherwise ill cut into them if that doesnt work.

Why are the headlights moving up and down when the car is turned on if the adjusters are broken?
That is the auto-leveling (hope that name is right) system going through a startup test. That movement mechanism is different from the adjusters discussed above.

Also, there are some vendors out there that can repair your headlights for you. Sounds like you are willing to tackle the no cut method but if not there are other options for you.

For me stuff like this comes down to being able to find time to get it done.
 

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Yes, you’re seeing the auto leveling motor work when the lights move. The headlight adjusters hold the bulb assembly in place at the top of the assembly; the auto leveling motor holds it in place at the bottom. With broken adjusters, the up-down movement is minimal. When the adjusters are working properly, you’ll be surprised how much the lights actually dip.
 

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Mine moved up and down some although the adjusters were broken. I was able to replace the adjuster for the up down, the longer ones, but not the shorter ones. They work well enough for me. My hands aren’t huge but I can’t see to replace the small plastic adjusters. You may want to replace those first, maybe that will be easier.


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Mine have started acting up. Sometimes the adjust upwards after being turned on, and occasionally they don't, which leaves them aiming too low.

Time to research my 02 options.
 

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I replaced the broken adjusters in mine shortly after I bought it in 2015 doing the "ship in a bottle" method. For what it's worth, it is no easy task and I'm pretty adept at working on most things. It took me six hours to do both of them (about 4 hours for the first and about 2 hours for the second light). I'm not sure I'd go that route again; the tediousness of the task and difficulty of moving small parts inside a cavity that has a small opening will try your patience heavily. For those with little patience, I'd buy another set of lights, lest you smash these into a shop wall...
 

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Mine have started acting up. Sometimes the adjust upwards after being turned on, and occasionally they don't, which leaves them aiming too low.

Time to research my 02 options.
The adjusters are easy to check; is it adjusters or electronic?

If it's electronic, hopefully it's a ride height sensor. Those are easy to replace. I've heard of some dead early M5 LCMs; hopefully it's not that.
 

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The adjusters are easy to check; is it adjusters or electronic?
What's the best/easiest way to check? Like I say, they don't always point down. FYI I did check the adjustment arm last time car was in air, looks fine.

I don't have the patience for the repair method. I'm wondering if this isn't a good retrofit opportunity. Need to school up, maybe call the RFS guys.
 

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What's the best/easiest way to check? Like I say, they don't always point down. FYI I did check the adjustment arm last time car was in air, looks fine.

I don't have the patience for the repair method. I'm wondering if this isn't a good retrofit opportunity. Need to school up, maybe call the RFS guys.
Best way to check the adjusters is to simply grab the back of the low beam bulb and try to lift up the bulb assembly. If it moves an inch or so, you have bad adjusters.

The TRS guys? The retrofit source? I know Vision Auto Lab does good work, it's run by forum user ucsbwsr.
 

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Thanks. Yep, very easy to move the low beam assembly, lots of play.

Yes, I meant RetroFitSource. Hadn't heard of Vision Auto Lab - will check out.
 

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First hand retrofit experience?

I know Vision Auto Lab does good work, it's run by forum user ucsbwsr.
Looks like he does E60. Interested in hearing from owners who have retrofitted more modern projecters into stock headlight assemblies.
 

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Wow - thanks for that thread, lots to learn. Kudos to your project skills. I'll probably be looking for a set that comes assembled.
 

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Wow - thanks for that thread, lots to learn. Kudos to your project skills. I'll probably be looking for a set that comes assembled.
There's a lot of geeky detail in that thread pertaining to custom modifications with chip on board style LED angel eyes; replacing the projector only is a far simpler project.
 

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Wow - thanks for that thread, lots to learn. Kudos to your project skills. I'll probably be looking for a set that comes assembled.
Oh, yeah, and there's Lightwerkz Global. They do custom headlights as well.
 
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