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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > e90 LCI Xenon Headlight Custom LED retrofit + Blackout



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      06-30-2020, 11:04 PM   #1
rameetss
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e90 LCI Xenon Headlight Custom LED retrofit + Blackout

Hi everyone, I was looking for threads and DIY's to blackout and install LED angel eyes for e90 LCI headlights but couldn't find any so I took some pics and decided to share.

If you don't want to look through all 5 parts I have attached a PDF so everything's all in one place, and it has a few more pics as well. e90 headlights diy.pdf

I'm NOT an expert, just a kid with too much time during quarantine. This is my first forum post but I figured it could help someone tryna do their own headlights. Ill be starting the DIY with the headlights removed from the car.

Stuff I used:
- Dremel to cut the lip
- Various torx bits
- Heat gun
- 3M tape
- Black paint
- JB weld
- LED rings
- Silicon adhesive
- Recommended: New lenses, I didn’t replace mine and regret it

Part 1 - Opening the Headlights

The e90 headlight design is such that the lenses is sandwiched between 2 lips which are both attached with glue. The first pic is the attached diagram that shows this. The green line is the lenses, which the black is the lips and the blue line is the glue holding the lenses down to the lip. The red arrow is where I cut the top lip to get access to the permaseal holding the lenses.

I used a Dremel to cut the top part of the lip, and give me access to the top of the lens and the glue under it. (Pic2)

Once this was cut, I used a flathead to slowly pry up the lip and remove it from the housing completely. (Pic3)

Once the top lip was cut and removed, I used a construction knife to cut the initial seal between the housing and lenses. (Pic4)

Once the top lip was cut and removed, I used a construction knife to cut the initial seal between the housing and lenses. Once I had a clean cut all around, I slid an old thicker knife I had laying around to get some leverage between the 2 surfaces as the glue is very hard. I used a heat gun liberally to try and heat the glue to make separation easier. (Pic5)

After about 10 mins or so I was able to get some decent separation on 1 side, which gave me the leverage to open the other sides of the lenses as well. (Pic6)
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Last edited by rameetss; 06-30-2020 at 11:39 PM.. Reason: Adding a PDF
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      06-30-2020, 11:12 PM   #2
rameetss
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Part 2

Part 2 - Removing inner angel eyes

Literally 5 mins after I had removed the lenses, the glue had begun to harden again which made removing it later for resealing very difficult. Now that the lenses were off, I could start disassembling the headlights themselves. The first step is to remove the actual “angel eyes” that come stock. The inner eye is where the bulb is inserted, and the outer eye is simply just a clear plastic pipe shaped into a circle in which the light is refracted. This is why LCI e90s outer eyes do not light up as much. There are a few torx screws you have to remove. From what I remember there were 2 at the bottom, and 1 up top. There may be more but they were all easily accessible. (Pic1 and 2)

Once these are loose, the assembly should be loose enough for you to pull it forward and access the back where the angel eye bulb is inserted into the headlight. The yellow piece shown below is what we need to remove to free the outer assembly. Your cornering light, and angel eye bulbs are all connected here, so be careful not to damage any wires. I circled some parts below that you should keep an eye on. This part was pretty hard to take off so I couldn’t take too many photos but I took a few to give you an idea of how it should look like. (Pic3 and 4)

Once everything is loose, it should slide out along with the outer “angel eye” as shown below: (Pic5)

You should be left with this on the headlight (Pic6)

With the yellow rear piece off, we need to focus on the cornering light and remove it as we are painting this part black. There is a single torx screw I removed, and it popped out (Pic7)

Now that the cornering light is removed, we can separate the shroud into 2 pieces simply by sliding them off eachother. (Pic8)

Now simply push the lenses forward through the shroud as shown below (Pic9)
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      06-30-2020, 11:20 PM   #3
rameetss
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Part 3

Part 3 - Removing Outer angel eye shroud

The headlight should now look like this. (Pic1)

Now at this point we have the outer shroud and turn signal shroud to remove, thankfully these are fairly easy. The LED turn signal shroud has a black cover that you can slide off and below it, there is a torx screw (Pic2 and 3)

This should allow the entire shroud to slide off. There are some clips that you can lift up, and it should slide off into 2 pieces. I can’t remember 100% what clips they were, but it should be pretty straight forward. (Pic4 and 5)

The final piece in the headlight is the cover on the large outer beam. There are clips that you can just lift off and it should come loose. (Pic6 and 7)

You should have a mess of parts at this point with everything taken apart and loose in the inner headlight housing. These are all the parts you should have at this point. (Pic8)
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      06-30-2020, 11:25 PM   #4
rameetss
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Part 4

Part 4 - Removing Outer Plastic Lens and Shroud and Painting

Now its time to move on to the headlight lens and shroud. Simply remove all torx bolts shown below. (Pic1)

Now you should be left with the shroud and eyebrow. Simply unclip the eyebrow and everything should be apart. (Pic2 and 3)

Now that everything is loose and taken apart, we can start prepping for painting. The goal is to remove all the chrome off the plastic, so that the black paint will adhere to the plastic surface. I didn’t take pics of this because its just using scotch brite, sandpaper and degreaser (bleach works too) to sand down to plastic.
The only tricky part is the inner lens for the cornering light. 1 trick is to take some latex, and stretch it over the inner lens so that the reflective surface for the cornering lights stays clean, and you can still paint the outer shroud. The part I’m referring to is shown below: (Pic 4)

So from this point on just start painting. I attached a few pics of what I blacked out

It was really late and with garage lighting the paint looks really pale but in reality it was a satin finish and the parts came out really good. I did a few coats and allowed 12 hrs to dry so I wasn’t leaving fingerprints as I re-installed.
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      06-30-2020, 11:32 PM   #5
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Part 5

Part 5 - Mounting LED Angel Eyes and Sealing Headlights

I started re-installing in reverse order beginning with the turn signals and outer cover. At this point, I decided to mount the headlights back in the car so that I could see where “level” was. I wanted to do this since the angel eyes I had bought were flat at the bottom, and did not want to mount them crooked. However I ran into another problem here, as my car has active steering headlights, meaning the outer beam turns as I corner. My initial plan was to mount the headlight directly to this shroud (marked in pic below), however my LED rings would not clear and I did not want to mount them to a moving object. (Pic1)

So I decided to re-use the old angel eyes and attach the LED rings to them since they “float” in front of that shroud and it would not make contact. So I simply laid the LED rings on top of the old angel eyes, marked where level was and cut the plastic rings to mount the new LEDs. (Pic2 and 3)

I got a few questions regarding wiring, and I had initially left it open because it depends on which LEDs you go with. But just as a guide I cut off my old stock angel eye bulbs and used the plugs to solder directly to the LED harness. I then taped them up and I was able to plug directly into the cars lighting harness without splicing. Here is a pic

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I used JB weld to hold them together, and simply mounted the LED the same way I had removed the old “angel eye” rings. MAKE SURE YOU USE BLACK JB WELD. I messed up and only had the normal one, but a black jb weld would make it almost unnoticeable once assembled as the shroud in the outer plastic lens covers most of it. The other smaller inner LED ring simply uses 3m tape to adhere to the headlight. (Pic2 and 3)

While I waited for everything to dry, I took some time and cleaned all the old glue off the headlight lens and housing so it would accept the new silicon adhesive and seal up properly.

Once everything is dry, simply reassemble the headlights in the reverse order, making sure to route the wires for the LED rings out the back.
To reseal, simply refer to the first picture of this DIY and apply the silicon adhesive in the same places where the original glue was. Here is a picture of mine around halfway dry. I applied it to the inner lip, and the inside of the plastic lens. (Pic4)

Once the silicon adhesive was on, I applied black silicon on top to give it another layer of protection, and kind of give it an “OEM” all black look (Pic5)

I waited 12 hrs for it to cure, and kept them tight with ratchet straps. Here is how they came out (Pics 6 7 and 8)
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Last edited by rameetss; 07-01-2020 at 07:51 PM..
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      07-01-2020, 11:01 AM   #6
cpie168
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Looks so sweet. Good job OP!
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      07-01-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
N111K RB
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Very nice. What led rings did you use?
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      07-01-2020, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpie168 View Post
Looks so sweet. Good job OP!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by N111K RB View Post
Very nice. What led rings did you use?
I ordered some switchback LEDs off of ebay, but would recommend the ones from bavgruppe. These you can see each individual LEDs in person whereas the bavgruppe ones are much denser and appear as a straight line.
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