Trick to headlight replacement?

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Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:20 pm

Hi guys,

My brother and I took a quick look (using the factory shop manuals) at replacing the stock headlight lenses with the H4 upgrade kit I bought a few months ago.

We removed the screws from the black cover around the headlight assembly but found we could not extricate it from the car (which would make the four trim ring screws accessible) because it would catch on the top of the bumper.

Is there something we were missing? It seems like that surround piece definitely has to come out so you have clear access to the trim ring screws, but we didn't want to force it if there was a step we weren't seeing in the manual.

Thanks,

Jeff
1988 XT6; 1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby grossgary on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:09 pm

It's been awhile but did you try to remove the screws on the silver trim holding the light in place?

Its been awhile but It's only the metal retainer holding the bulbs in, the trim just needs loosened enough to remove those screws to loosen the retaining ring around the bulb.
Gary
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:33 am

Gary,

The trim ring does indeed need to come off; however, the screws seem very tough to reach with the black housing / surround still in place. I may need to invest in a different type of screwdriver than can get in tough places.

And just FYI, I am replacing the full lens housing + bulbs. The Hella H4 kit requires that you replace both the lens housing and the bulbs itself.
1988 XT6; 1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby grossgary on Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:19 pm

Oh yeah some of the side screws are hidden.
You can move the headlights by hand by turning that small knob. Just don't be touching it if the lights activate as it'll spin and lights will move.

I feel like maybe I've used some right angle screw drivers before as well for those.
Gary
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06 Tribeca
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby crazyhorse_001 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:50 pm

It takes a bit of wiggling, and cursing, but the surrounds do come off. You can unhook the battery, and turn the manual knobs back downward just a tad to make life a little easier.
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'91 XT6 FWD/4eat, Silver, lost the battle with the the rust monster
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:25 am

crazyhorse_001 wrote:It takes a bit of wiggling, and cursing, but the surrounds do come off. You can unhook the battery, and turn the manual knobs back downward just a tad to make life a little easier.


OK - so once the black surrounds are unscrewed, there should be a point at which they come free and off the headlight assembly?

We just did a quick assessment as opposed to wiggling them back and forth until they appeared to be ready to clear the bumper.
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby crazyhorse_001 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:16 pm

I've pulled several, they come out, but its not a nice easy pull it out. You can work them down below the upper trim screws, and change the bulbs. Only the uppers have to come out to pull the bulb. If you're doing HIDs you'll want the whole frame off to mount the ballast.
Nought but by the grace of God
Don't run out of talent, grip, and road all at the same time
'88 XT GL FWD/5spd, Gunmetal Grey "Little Bit"
'91 XT6 FWD/4eat, Silver, lost the battle with the the rust monster
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:43 pm

crazyhorse_001 wrote:I've pulled several, they come out, but its not a nice easy pull it out. You can work them down below the upper trim screws, and change the bulbs. Only the uppers have to come out to pull the bulb. If you're doing HIDs you'll want the whole frame off to mount the ballast.


Yeah - I'm installing the Hella H4 kit which includes the entire lens assembly in addition to the bulbs, so I'll have to get the whole thing out.
1988 XT6; 1980 320/6; 1987 325is; 1981 'Yota Hiace
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby grossgary on Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:56 am

Yep the surrounds are exactly as he described, they just slide off but don't just slide off without some wiggling

What are and why Hellas? They're HID and brighter?

I know they're not high performing but I kind of like the XT6 bulbs - they last forever and the glass doesn't fade and pit like plastic. I haven't replaced one in like 10 years. My newer Subarus need the lenses reconditioned and eat bulbs.
Gary
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02 OBW VDC H6
06 Tribeca
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:05 pm

grossgary wrote:Yep the surrounds are exactly as he described, they just slide off but don't just slide off without some wiggling

What are and why Hellas? They're HID and brighter?

I know they're not high performing but I kind of like the XT6 bulbs - they last forever and the glass doesn't fade and pit like plastic. I haven't replaced one in like 10 years. My newer Subarus need the lenses reconditioned and eat bulbs.


Not HID - H4s are the standard in European lighting and represent a modest upgrade without having to go to the obnoxious and watt-sucking tendencies of the aftermarket HID kits. I've put H4s in every one of my BMW projects and it's just a solid performer with a sharp cutoff.
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby crazyhorse_001 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Gary, you have hella h4 conversions in my old 6. They are a full GLASS housing with h4 halogen bulbs and are the shiznit over sealed beam units
Nought but by the grace of God
Don't run out of talent, grip, and road all at the same time
'88 XT GL FWD/5spd, Gunmetal Grey "Little Bit"
'91 XT6 FWD/4eat, Silver, lost the battle with the the rust monster
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby grossgary on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:53 pm

Nice.

Great thanks crazyhorse, good to know.
Is it obvious how and what to replace them with when the bulbs blow?
They're pretty good about not blowing often?
Gary
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06 Tribeca
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Re: Trick to headlight replacement?

Postby RhodyM20 on Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:08 am

grossgary wrote:Nice.

Great thanks crazyhorse, good to know.
Is it obvious how and what to replace them with when the bulbs blow?
They're pretty good about not blowing often?


The H4 bulbs in my '87 3-Series have been installed for three years or longer and I've never touched them. Had similar experiences with other cars.
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