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2008 335xi Xenon headlights adjustment fix
good procedure to save a few hundred dollars
Published by Mark2010
09-09-2014
2008 335xi Xenon headlights adjustment fix

Xenon headlight was not adjusting properly. After removal of the headlight, I found that the adjustment control arm that connects the housing to the pivoting assembly inside was broken. I drilled a hole in the top of the housing and then repaired the plastic control arm with steel wire. Pictures will be posted upon request. I am not sure if anyone has tried this repair. I was driven to do it because replacement headlights are too pricey.
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  #1  
By meyergsr on 09-13-2014, 09:01 AM
I would like to see some pics. I have broken arm too.
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  #2  
By Mark2010 on 09-17-2014, 02:40 AM
Member reviews
Difficulty [ 1 = Difficult ]
80%80%80%
4
Cost [ 1 = Expensive ]
20%20%20%
1
DIY Clarity [ 1 = Not clear ]
40%40%40%
2
Average 47%
Steps for Repairing the Broken Vertical Adjuster on the Xenon Headlight Assembly

These steps and pictures are from a 2008 335xi with Xenon Adaptive Headlights with auto leveling. The manual warns of very high voltage to these lamps so be warned. This procedure involves some patience and careful drilling. I have done this procedure twice and I have spent almost 2 hours each time.

1. Remove Headlight from the car.
2. Remove the back cover to the headlight assembly
3. Look inside to verify why the headlight will not adjust. While lightly grasping the rear of the xenon bulb assembly, see if the movement is caused by the upper adjuster being broken where the adjuster meets the headlight housing. If the arm is broken, continue to step 4.
4. Use the adjustment screw to position the adjuster inside the assembly away from the hole you are about to drill.
5. Use the 3/16 in drill bit to drill in the top of the housing. If the hole made by the smaller drill bit is in the correct place, then drill a larger 1/2 inch hole.
6. Locate both parts of the adjustment arm and drill a 1/16 hole in each end. It may be necessary to use the adjustment screw to move the adjuster inside so that you can drill it correctly. The goal here should be to get the ends to fit back the way they were before the separation. It is IMPORTANT to drill this small 1/16 inch hole so that there is enough plastic in order to maintain some type of structural integrity when wire is tightened later in this procedure.
7. Weave the steel wire through both holes and make sure that both ends stick through the 1/2 in hole in the top so you can twist the wires.
8. Twist the wires evenly. The included pictures help a lot here. Use needle-nose style pliers to twist only enough to pull the broken parts of the rod together. Do not twist too much as this may tear through the tiny holes that you just made.
9. Cut the excess twisted wire.
10. Cover the 1/2 hole to seal your headlight.
11. Empty the plastic shavings from the headlight by shaking it carefully and letting the bits of plastic fall out of the back. This will ensure the heat from the bulbs don't start a fire.
12. Reinstall the rear cover on the headlight assembly.
13. Reinstall the headlight.
14. Adjust your beam for the ultimate driving experience.
15. Let me know how it goes.
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