BMW E36 Blog

Replacing BMW E36 Headlights … DIY

11th June 2012

Replacing BMW E36 Headlights … DIY

posted in Do It Yourself, Electrical, Exterior, Photos, Technical Info, Uncategorized |


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Hello,

If you’ve seen my BMW E36 pictures before, you’d know that I have low quality Chinese headlights. When I bought the car, I knew these headlights are not the best (lighting-wise), but I kinda liked the way they looked and of course the angel eyes with blue circles added to that look. So, I thought that I can’t replace them easily while keeping the car looking as good as it looked back then.

With time, these headlights started to show the marks of age and since they’re made of plastic, they were deteriorating fast. A month or may be 2 ago when I showed you that BMW E36 Headlights Guide, I thought to myself that may be it’s time that I replace those old-dusty-looking headlights with some original ones that are made of glass (this was my top priority). Headlights can be of huge effect on whether the car looks nice or looks old. Since glass headlights are not affected by time (at least, they are better at that than plastic), I made up my mind to get those glass headlights.

Replacing the old headlights with the new stock ones was very easy. If you care to learn how to do it, the most important thing is to keep in mind that there are 5 screws that will hold a headlight in place in BMW E36 cars.

Take a look at this picture. 3 screws at the top and 2 at the sides (bottom).

Lucky me, I found that my old headlights were using only 2 of the top screws to hold the headlight and the two at the sides were missing. So, I removed the 2 screws and the old headlights came out right away.



There was one catch here which made me realize how lucky I am, otherwise, this replacement task would’ve become a nightmare. The guy who changed the old stock headlights with these one-piece headlights was smart enough not to cut the sockets that were designed to plug into the original stock headlights. Instead, he scratched the wires and used auxiliary wires to connect the headlight wires with the old one-piece headlights. So, this meant that in order to restore everything to its original shape, I had to remove those auxiliary wires and tape the scratched wires. After that, I’ll just plug the sockets into the stock headlights and I’m done.

That’s exactly what I did. Then, I put the headlight in the correct place and slide it there carefully.

Before each headlight sits perfectly in its position, I connected the sockets to the the headlight.

Installing the turn signals was very easy too. The signal light with its socket will fit into the new stock turn signals perfectly. I didn’t have to do anything in there. Just plug them and you’re good to go.

Notice that you’ll have to be extra careful when sliding the turn signals to the side of the headlight. Never ever try to force it into position. If you’ve installed everything correctly, the turn signals will slide in perfectly with small pushing power.

Next, I’ll post about delensing my headlights, but for now, I’ll leave you with these two pictures of the new stock headlights

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There are currently 3 responses to “Replacing BMW E36 Headlights … DIY”

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  1. 1 On June 12th, 2012, ooo7jb said:

    stock e36 headlights by bosch or zkw are the best choice!they simply never deteriorate or become yellowish but for your chinese headlights you could simply use the 3m headlights repair kit’with a few effort and with instructions followed properly you could have them look as new!congrats on your effort though&the explanatory steps!very good guideline as i’m about to change by oem bosch with hella angeleyes!

    hope this helps=>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfsuCbxviDA

    people that used it in sunny environments never complained again for at least 2 years!its a bit pricey about 50euros but does the job if applied properly or you go to a 3m dealer and he does the job with the additional cost!

  2. 2 On June 13th, 2012, Tony Sticks said:

    ooo7jb » I have tried a similar solution and had it done by a professional, but unfortunately, it came back worse after 6 or may be 7 months. that’s why I decided to get rid of the lights altogether.

  3. 3 On June 21st, 2012, Sam said:

    Great car! I’ll buy one for myself!

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