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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY - Clearing your headlights (removing amber/orange reflector)



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      03-01-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
longtran
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Exclamation DIY - part I: Clearing your headlights (removing amber/orange reflector)

so as you guys know it is possible to remove the amber lens. this was my experience of removing the lens. if any you guys try to do this, please do it at your own risk. i am not responsible for any damages you cause to your own headlight while trying to remove the amber lens. i am posting this to show how i remove the amber lens. another thing, if you succeed on this project and got a ticket for it, do not blame it on me...so basically what i am saying is please do this at your own risk!!!

it is pretty hard to explain this, but i will try my best to do so. if you guys have had experience taking apart headlights before, then you shouldnt have a problem doing this.

here is what i used:

flat screw driver
heat gun
needle nose pliers (need this later to move the plastic back to its place)





begin by heating each clip and pry it back with the screw driver. (there is a total of 6 clips, do not worry about bending them back too much. you can bend them back later.)



now using the heat gun, start heating up the section you want to begin. i started on top and move to the right. everytime you heat up a section, pry apart the cover from the housing. then move on. continue doing it until you get to about the halfway point. some section are harder than others. like this.

it takes alot of time to get it open halfway. just be patient and do not break anything.



now you should be able to get a little opening, like this.


now heat the unpry area really good. this is where you need to put some muscle into it. like this.

if it is not coming apart, do not force it. just do some more prying.


now that you got it apart just use the screw driver to unclip the amber lens. at this point you should be sweating like a pig, tired, wanna go sleep and at the same time feel proud you are saving yourself a bunch of money to make your e90 look good.


i have not attempt to put the headlights back together yet. but here is some process i did. now that all the surrounding look like this




get the heat gun and heat that section up, like this



and use the needle nose pliers to put it back to its place.


what i recommend is to remove all the old glue. make sure everything lines up. put the cover back on housing to see if it clicks in. go to the dealer and buy the german glue or ask them what can you use to seal headights together. german makes the strongest glue, i think. when you add in the sealer, use masking tape to tape the cover to the housing to keep it in place. leave it for how long the directions recommend you to. this will keep it seal real good.


well, thats all for now. i just did this to give you guys hope about removing your lens if you want.

Last edited by longtran; 03-07-2006 at 11:38 PM. Reason: add to tittle
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      03-02-2006, 12:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethirtynine
I'm afraid that water might leak in after gluing it back together
It won't, just use enough glue. Could be messy and might not look clean like from the factory, but as long as you use enough, you'll be fine. I've resealed lights on an M-Coupe and S2000 before and they never had leakage problems.
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      03-02-2006, 12:05 AM   #3
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thanks for posting the write up. I can't wait to see pics on the car.
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      03-02-2006, 01:07 AM   #4
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thanks!

i'll have to debate hard whether to do this. love the look without the amber though!
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      03-02-2006, 03:26 AM   #5
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Does the glue seem harder to heat up on these headlights then others you've done? The glue and everything looks pretty similar to other headlights I've pried apart. I always just use hair dryer combined with the oven, haha. And about 5 different screw drivers.
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      03-02-2006, 04:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzerofive
Does the glue seem harder to heat up on these headlights then others you've done? The glue and everything looks pretty similar to other headlights I've pried apart. I always just use hair dryer combined with the oven, haha. And about 5 different screw drivers.
yes, these damn german glued is so strong. my bb6 prelude lights came apart when i soaked it with hot water. not boiling water but hot water from my bathroom.
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      03-02-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
yes, these damn german glued is so strong. my bb6 prelude lights came apart when i soaked it with hot water. not boiling water but hot water from my bathroom.
Ok, that's a lil too easy. If the heatgun works, it doesn't appear that these headlights are too much tougher then the Eclipse/Civic/VW headlights I've pried apart before.
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      03-02-2006, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzerofive
Ok, that's a lil too easy. If the heatgun works, it doesn't appear that these headlights are too much tougher then the Eclipse/Civic/VW headlights I've pried apart before.
i think it is the same as any car except the way it was condtruction. the cover seem to sink into the housing more then the honda/acura headlights. thats what was hard about removing it.
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      03-03-2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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      03-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
i think it is the same as any car except the way it was condtruction. the cover seem to sink into the housing more then the honda/acura headlights. thats what was hard about removing it.
Ya, the Eclipse ones were sunk it pretty well also, and it goes backwards, so you have to stick the screw driver in one direction, then once it's in, you twist it the opposite direction, then dig in some more, that's why I had to have 5 screw drivers holding the whole thing open. AND it had small clips in there. Can you take a picture of the amber piece you removed, I'm wondering if I can fashion a clear piece of it out of those fluorecent light covers. My friends and I use to do that in high school when clear corners were "hip" but not available for all cars yet.
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      03-03-2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzerofive
Ya, the Eclipse ones were sunk it pretty well also, and it goes backwards, so you have to stick the screw driver in one direction, then once it's in, you twist it the opposite direction, then dig in some more, that's why I had to have 5 screw drivers holding the whole thing open. AND it had small clips in there. Can you take a picture of the amber piece you removed, I'm wondering if I can fashion a clear piece of it out of those fluorecent light covers. My friends and I use to do that in high school when clear corners were "hip" but not available for all cars yet.
i ddi that to my 88 prelude. i custom clear corners for that car. my first car. i dont think it is possible to do it with the e90.
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      03-03-2006, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
i dont think it is possible to do it with the e90.
How come?
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      03-03-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzerofive
How come?
its too cury and they have clips.
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      03-04-2006, 12:21 AM   #14
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nice DIY, but how do I take the headlight out? do I have to remove the bumper?
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      03-04-2006, 02:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fucy626
nice DIY, but how do I take the headlight out? do I have to remove the bumper?
i didnt do my own headlight. i bought this one.
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      03-04-2006, 03:14 AM   #16
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longtran: excellent diy! thank you. Can you please tell me where to get spare ones for cheap so i can tinker with it too?

By the way, instead of using masking tape to hold it together, did you consider using a plastic clamp you can get from home depot? they sell these blue and yellow colored plastic clamps that have soft edges and i think they may work much better at creating a tight bond. and if you use it gently, you may be able to return it later. hehe.
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      03-04-2006, 07:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
its too cury and they have clips.
Curvy, I assume you meant, part I can solve. I've made one for the JDM CRX DC type front bumper signal lights, thats like an almost 90 degree bent. Clips should be easy to replace with some clear silicon I think.
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      03-08-2006, 12:04 AM   #18
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PART II: sealing the headlight.



things you need:

1. box cutter
2. heat gun
3. needle nose pliers
4. betalink k1 (germn glue use to install spoiler)
5. hose repair tape (optional)
6. dremel (optional, makes life easier)






first off i heated the section that were over pried and moved it back to its original place with the nedle nose plier. (dont have to be exact).






from here i do not have pictures because i did this at work.


once it kinda look like it was before, use the box cutter to clean out the old seal. just kind of slice it away from the plastic. use the dremel with the sanding bit to clean deep inside. if you do not have a dremel, keep picking out the old seal.


now everything is cleaned, fit the cover back on to make sure it goes back in. if it doesnt you need to clean the seal more or adjust the plastic piece with the heat gun. do not rush.


at this point the clear cover should fit back in the housing. not perfect but enough. use your own judgement. if you dont trust your judgement, go the extra mile to clean more old seal out or move the housing around to make it fit good. mine did not go in perfect but it was enough to seal.


make sure evey dust, partical, dirt, hair, or any debris are clean from the inside. i used an air compressor to blow all the dust out. i also washed the lense with dawn liquid soap. make sure it is dry before continuing.


now, with the BETALINK K1 add it in the crack where the lense will sit in. 1 bottle should be more then enough. do not use it all at once. you should have 1/4 left after going around the headlight. it is very important to save 1/4 or to make sure buy 2 tube. you can now put the lense on. (make sure you practice this without the seal many time before doing with the seal)
make sure it is nice and tight. use some sort of tape to hold them together. i used duct tape. go around the headlight once again and look for gaps. this is where the 1/4 seal comes in. try to seal it up real good. so you wont have leaks.


here is a picture of the headlight with the tape.





i let it sit for about 6-7 hours before touching it.

after the wait, remove the tape. at this point you should be almost done. i would let it sit for 24 hours beofre putting it back on your car. for extra precaution i used hose repair tape to cover the seal. this will help seal any leak. (if this thing can stop a hose leak for temp, it should seal pretty good, plus it gives a cleaner look) here are some pictures of the finish product.













hopefully this will not leak. does anyone know how i can check for leaks or condesation????
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      03-08-2006, 12:11 AM   #19
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      03-08-2006, 12:13 AM   #20
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Long, you're brave, man. You have the halogen ones, and it's worth to do this. If you screw up, you can always get the Euro version on ebay for ~$600. For bi-xenon, damn, it will cost us ~$2600-$3000 if we mess up the job. By the way, good job. it looks better.
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      03-08-2006, 12:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretender
Long, you're brave, man. You have the halogen ones, and it's worth to do this. If you screw up, you can always get the Euro version on ebay for ~$600. For bi-xenon, damn, it will cost us ~$2600-$3000 if we mess up the job. By the way, good job. it looks better.
i bought the halogen to do this. i have xenon. i am ready to do my xenon. soon...
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      03-08-2006, 01:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran
i bought the halogen to do this. i have xenon. i am ready to do my xenon. soon...
I'd do this just to color match the interior of the head lights to the body. good job!
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