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      12-19-2016, 12:27 AM   #1
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DIY - Removing and opening Headlights

DIY - Removing and opening headlights

A diffuser in my custom headlights came loose, so I had to pop the headlights out and open them up to refit it.....

I thought I'd make a quick DIY to help others who need to remove their headlights or open them to fit RGB AE, demon eyes or black out the shroud etc

This DIY only covers removal and opening the lights, not the fitting of AEs etc
You will need some Butyl Windscreen Sealant to reseal the lights (see link below)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/301922703...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

My car is a 2008 E92, so some of the steps may be different on other model cars.

As always if you have no idea what you are doing, best leave it to someone who does, or at least have a go but don't cry if it doesn't work out

Hope this helps someone

Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:16 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:28 AM   #2
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First step is to remove the bolts holding the front bumper in place

There are 1 - 12 bolts under the front lip of the bumper (depending on how many you have lost). Lie on the ground and remove them using a 8mm socket

With them out of the way, next we need to remove the 8mm hex bolts behind the wheel arches, that holds the top corners of the bumper to the side panels
Once again use a 8mm socket on an extension to reach them. Also may need a flashlight as its quite dark inside the wheel arch
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:17 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:28 AM   #3
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Next step is to remove the front air duct
Remove the securing screws and pop rivets as show in the pics, then pull out the air ducts (easy)
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 12:53 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:29 AM   #4
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With the air duct out of the way we can now remove the last bolts securing the front bumper
Remove the four torque bolts along the top of the bumper
The front bumper should now be free, but before you remove it we need to disconnect and parking sensors, headlight washer covers etc that are still connected to the bumper.

Luckily my car has both washers and parking sensors, so I can show you what needs to be done

First the washer covers... pull the cover back and using your fingers grab the washer mechanism and pull it out (its tough) until you can unclip the cover. Release the washer mechanism and let it retract back under the bumper

Next the parking sensors.... pull the bumper away from the car (gently) so you can see the parking sensors, there should be four. Unclip them to release them from the bumper.

The bumper should now be free, pull it away from the car slowly, to make sure its not still connected to something, and put it out of the way

Nice work
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:18 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #5
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Next step is to remove the headlights

With the bumper out of the way, you can now access the torque screws holding the headlight in place

The front the headlight is held in place by four torque screws, (see pic below). When you reinstall the lights, these screws allow you to adjust the position of the headlight so it lines up nicely with the bumper and hood. Meanwhile remove these four screws

Next remove the little rubber thing that runs along the top of the headlight, simply push down on the two clips and slide out

Next we need to unplug the wiring harness from the back of the headlight, there are two clips on either side, push in to release the clips and pull the harness back towards the back of the engine bay to remove it

Next the headlight should be free, (test by wriggling it) if not there may be one or two more 8 mm hex screws behind the light, depending on your model car

Once the headlight is free, the trick is to wriggle it past the plastic thing at the front of the car. I found it easiest to rotate the headlight back and work it past the obstruction at the bottom, then slide the light out.

Its a bit difficult to explain, just be careful not the break the point of the side fender off while pulling on the headlight.

Good luck
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:20 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #6
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Next step is to prepare the headlight and bake it

First of all make sure the oven is cold
Remove all but one rack from your oven. Put the headlight on a baking tray (flat steel one for cooking biscuits or cookies) and then put the headlight in the oven to make sure it will fit without touching the ovens' sides, top or bottom. As long as there headlight is not in direct contact with anything (expect the baking tray, it should) not melt or burn or anything

Remove the headlight and heat the oven to 100C or 212F

While the oven is heating, remove the rubber tubes on the back of the headlight, remove the indicator bulb (twist and pull), and the torque screw near the indicator socket. If you have angel eyes, you will also need to remove the top cover and remove the AE bulbs as well.

When the oven reaches temp we are ready to bake
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:20 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:33 AM   #7
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With the headlight prepared and the oven at the correct temp, we are now ready to heat up the headlight. The aim is to simply soften the sealant, not cook it until well done !!!

It is important that the headlight is not in contact with anything, other then the baking tray and that you bake the headlight at 100C / 212F for exactly 10 minutes

If the temp is too hot or you leave it in too long or it is in contact with the cooking elements or wall of the oven, your light can be burned, melted or otherwise be disfigured.... DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK PEEPS

Place the headlight in the oven, bake for exactly ten minutes, then using oven gloves (because it will be HOT) remove the headlight and put it on a workbench

Now to open the light before it cools down....

Using a flat head screwdriver, carefully pry the gap between the clear lens and the housing, so you can release the plastic tubs that run around the headlight.
Work your way carefully around the headlight until all the clips are released. Then pry the headlight open near the indicator (where it is thickest) and pull it open with your hands until the lens and housing is separated.... take care, there is sometimes a wire that connects the two halves that needs to be unclipped. Otherwise, put the lens aside on a soft cloth so it does not get scratched....

Nice work... headlight is now open and ready for your next project
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:23 AM.
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      12-19-2016, 12:33 AM   #8
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Resealing the headlight is pretty simple, but is important that it is done right

The headlight needs to be completely sealed, otherwise moisture can get in forming condensate inside the lens and short out the electronics !!!!

The old sealant should be replaced with butyl Windscreen Sealant (link in first post) but I simply ran a bead of the sealant rather then digging the old stuff out.

Basically roll the sealant into a rope about as thick as a drinking straw to as thick as a pencil... Lay it in the channel around the head light housing, that the lens will fit onto. Make sure there are no gaps. Don't go crazy, it will simply make a mess and prevent the two halves from joining properly

Slowly lower the lens over the housing and push the two halves together. Put the headlight into the oven at 100C / 212F for exactly 10 minutes

Remove from the oven and then using a pair of pliers, carefully work your way around the headlight and pinch the two halves together, making sure the clips, clip back in place..... Fill in any gaps with sealant, including around any new wiring that you installed.. remember the aim is to completely seal the headlight to keep moisture out.....

Screw back in the torque screw, replace the rubber tubes, reinstall indicator bulb and AE bulbs and anything else you removed before

Job done
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Last edited by Socket; 12-19-2016 at 02:26 AM.
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      12-21-2016, 12:20 AM   #9
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Thanks dude. Nice diy and pics. Still trying to get motivated to do this one weekend.
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      12-21-2016, 01:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for the resource.

Quick note, there is a torque screw behind the headlight as well. It can be a bit of a pain to get to.
Also, the headlight is a lot easier to remove if you remove the other torque bolt in the rear holding the black plastic piece under light. The plastic piece and headlight slide out together.


Always remove the ballast and adaptive headlight board on the bottom before putting in the oven.
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      12-21-2016, 03:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.G. View Post
Thanks for the resource.

Quick note, there is a torque screw behind the headlight as well. It can be a bit of a pain to get to.
Also, the headlight is a lot easier to remove if you remove the other torque bolt in the rear holding the black plastic piece under light. The plastic piece and headlight slide out together.


Always remove the ballast and adaptive headlight board on the bottom before putting in the oven.
Thanks for the additions to the DIY nice one RG
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