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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > DIY on crack open the e90 LCI headlight?



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      11-16-2012, 02:43 AM   #23
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Good to know you did it without damaging anything, you really should have done another DIY for us all.
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      11-19-2012, 01:15 AM   #24
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I've opened headlights on a few cars by throwing them in the oven at 225 for 15 minutes. Is there any reason these lights can't take the heat?
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      11-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeenon53 View Post
I've opened headlights on a few cars by throwing them in the oven at 225 for 15 minutes. Is there any reason these lights can't take the heat?
Doesn't work with the E90 headlights. They use a different glue that isnt affected by heat. It will only get hot and not soft
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      11-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by LuxAngelEyes View Post
Doesn't work with the E90 headlights. They use a different glue that isnt affected by heat. It will only get hot and not soft
Now i'm confused, what does a heat gun do then?
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      11-19-2012, 03:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
The sealant between the two are the same...as for cutting. no one really shares their process on the vendor side of things. people usually heat and pry like mark mentioned.
on the contrary... i asked OSS directly and they confirmed they cut it open. I have a bunch of recordings on my process, if you give me a day, i will put together a video of what i did... i have some good tips on how to make a clean cut using a wheels. I plan on doing one too with using a router bit [2 flute solid carbide 1/32" bit]

Even though i had some hiccups along the way, it definitely was not because of the cutting process, but because i had shitty headlights to start off with. I've since then had plenty of practice on other peoples' headlights and i think i have it down pat now... ^__^

EDIT: And to add on to LUX's comment, i've tried the heatgun method, it doesn't work... the headlight lens will melt and bubble up before the glue gets soft/sticky in order to peel apart. I also tried heating up just the black housing part (directly behind the clear lens) and again, the housing gets soft and malleable before the glue does. If there's another method out there that someone KNOWS works, then please make a video of your process in order to not only prove me wrong, but to help the rest of use have a clean and professional project we can be ultimately proud of. ^__^

The reason the glue doesn't work like other headlights is because this (like the new GM/Chevy vehicles) headlight uses "Perma-Seal Gasket" it's an epoxy that resists heat below 500, it's commonly used in making valve cover gaskets. Thus, why a heat gun has no effect.

Last edited by N0OS3; 11-19-2012 at 03:31 PM.
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      11-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N0OS3 View Post
on the contrary... i asked OSS directly and they confirmed they cut it open. I have a bunch of recordings on my process, if you give me a day, i will put together a video of what i did... i have some good tips on how to make a clean cut using a wheels. I plan on doing one too with using a router bit [2 flute solid carbide 1/32" bit]

Even though i had some hiccups along the way, it definitely was not because of the cutting process, but because i had shitty headlights to start off with. I've since then had plenty of practice on other peoples' headlights and i think i have it down pat now... ^__^

EDIT: And to add on to LUX's comment, i've tried the heatgun method, it doesn't work... the headlight lens will melt and bubble up before the glue gets soft/sticky in order to peel apart. I also tried heating up just the black housing part (directly behind the clear lens) and again, the housing gets soft and malleable before the glue does. If there's another method out there that someone KNOWS works, then please make a video of your process in order to not only prove me wrong, but to help the rest of use have a clean and professional project we can be ultimately proud of. ^__^

The reason the glue doesn't work like other headlights is because this (like the new GM/Chevy vehicles) headlight uses "Perma-Seal Gasket" it's an epoxy that resists heat below 500, it's commonly used in making valve cover gaskets. Thus, why a heat gun has no effect.

I have opened up about 30 of these headlights since i used to the the CF wrap over the amber part. You need to set the heatgun to a fairly low temp so that the black plastic gets soft but not hot enough to burn or bubble the clear lens. After that you need to slowly pry the black plastic up so you can start breaking the seal on them. its not an easy process and its rather back breaking. You need to use a screw driver to break the seal and rip the glue apart that way
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      11-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeenon53 View Post
Now i'm confused, what does a heat gun do then?
Gently heats up the plastic housing to allow space for a screwdriver to get underneath and brake the seal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxAngelEyes View Post
I have opened up about 30 of these headlights since i used to the the CF wrap over the amber part. You need to set the heatgun to a fairly low temp so that the black plastic gets soft but not hot enough to burn or bubble the clear lens. After that you need to slowly pry the black plastic up so you can start breaking the seal on them. its not an easy process and its rather back breaking. You need to use a screw driver to break the seal and rip the glue apart that way
10-4. I confirm what Mark says. I used a blow dryer instead of a heat gun. It was enough to get the job done. My housing is mint. Not even mangled a bit. I will send pics when I get to it. Cutting, is the quickest and easiest way I am sure. It was back breaking for sure to use this prying process but it will look and feel best in the end.
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      11-21-2012, 02:09 AM   #30
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i guess i just couldn't get the hang of that process then... maybe i'll get another pair of LCI lights and then try again another day....
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      11-21-2012, 02:45 AM   #31
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Here are pics of the housing and the lens.



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      11-21-2012, 09:35 AM   #32
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damn! O__O that's pretty clean! When i get a new set of lights, care to help me out with this?
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      11-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
Here are pics of the housing and the lens.
Now thats what i'm talking about!!! good job scraping all the old glue from everything.
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      11-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N0OS3 View Post
damn! O__O that's pretty clean! When i get a new set of lights, care to help me out with this?
Thanks. I have baby #2 about to come out of the oven any second. Let me know when you get another set and we can see how it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxAngelEyes View Post
Now thats what i'm talking about!!! good job scraping all the old glue from everything.
Well, I used your guidance to get through it. I just refuse to take cutting to be the answer. I am awaiting my orion v4's so I can smack these babies back together again. The other side of the housing isn't as good as this one. I fudged it a little at the top because I didn't perfect the process. I think I have a pretty good handle on it now. I can't wait to do another set.
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      11-23-2012, 09:42 AM   #35
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interested to see how the DIY turns out...i'm waiting to do a morimoto h1 projector retrofit in an LCI halogen headlight...is a blow dryer enough?
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      11-23-2012, 10:13 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastrchee View Post
interested to see how the DIY turns out...i'm waiting to do a morimoto h1 projector retrofit in an LCI halogen headlight...is a blow dryer enough?
It was enough for me. Still didn't get my orion v4's yet.
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      05-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
Here are pics of the housing and the lens.




I'm trying to do a similar process on the X5 forums for my headlights, and agree that a blowdryer is much more controlled heat and less chance of mangling the plastic of the housing.

did you just use one small thin screwdriver, or a thicker one to get under and break the seal? I see a lot of the DIY's showing these big flat heads like a pry bar and all it does is mangle the housing, yours is CLEAN and any helpful tips would be appreciated!
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      05-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #38
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I just did a projector retrofit with led rings for my pre-lci. and as mentioned before all I used was a heat gun a butter knife and a lot of patience. Took about 1 or 2hrs a light.
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      05-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beady1 View Post
I just did a projector retrofit with led rings for my pre-lci. and as mentioned before all I used was a heat gun a butter knife and a lot of patience. Took about 1 or 2hrs a light.
OK I will keep that in mind, thanks for the input! Butter knife is a good idea, usually they are thick enough to make a good prying tool but not sharp enough to mangle up much.
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      05-02-2013, 07:25 PM   #40
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Feel free to pm me if you need any help.
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      05-03-2013, 11:11 AM   #41
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Not an easy task in any form. Our local lights guy here doesnt wanna touch any e90 lights cuz theyre a PITA.

If you really wanna DIY, i hope you have experience as these are not cheap to buy or get fixed
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      05-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
Thanks. I have baby #2 about to come out of the oven any second. Let me know when you get another set and we can see how it works.



Well, I used your guidance to get through it. I just refuse to take cutting to be the answer. I am awaiting my orion v4's so I can smack these babies back together again. The other side of the housing isn't as good as this one. I fudged it a little at the top because I didn't perfect the process. I think I have a pretty good handle on it now. I can't wait to do another set.

details on the process you used? yours being opened is the cleanest job I've seen yet, which is why i'm interested on how you opened so cleanly. A detailed description along with tools used to pry (besides blowdryer) would be helpful, thanks
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      05-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #43
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I just used a small flathead screwdriver to break the seal. I have a secret after that but I am holding on to it in case I decide to do these for others. Lastly, be very careful with the lens. As stated earlier, these are not cheap. If you damage the lens in any way, you need a whole new set.
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      05-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
I just used a small flathead screwdriver to break the seal. I have a secret after that but I am holding on to it in case I decide to do these for others. Lastly, be very careful with the lens. As stated earlier, these are not cheap. If you damage the lens in any way, you need a whole new set.
how did you get the projectors out? I've been at it for over an hr and it doesn't seem to fudge they are loose right now but i can't find what is holding on to them. Does it pop out?
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