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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about replacing the adjusters and remove the amber lens on my car. Has anyone with an '03 managed to dissemble their headlights?
I believe there are some issues with the '03 cars and the adhesive used in the light?

Tried search but wasn't too successful....
 

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I have done this and i really didn't see any difference between the 01-03 adhesive they use for the headlights...all you need is an oven (to warm the headlight adhesive ) and a blow dry to keep the adhesive warm and alot of patience...good luck:cheers:

btw make sure you seal it tight when your done, so you wont have a problem with moisture on the lens...
 

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DO NOT TRY TO TAKE YOUR OEM HELLA APART IF THEY ARE FROM AN 03 E39. For some reason Hella decided to use a different glue on the 03 units then they had on 01 and 02 angeleyes. This new glue they used on the 03 will not soften up and come apart at ANY TEMPERATURE. I know because I destroyed one trying to take them apart to replace some broken adjusters :grrrrr:. I am no amatuer at performing this task either... I had done 2 E39s and an X5 before and those went smoothly with no problems as they were all pre 03 cars.

BTW: We E39 are not the only ones with unbreakable 03 headlights... the E53 (X5) people run into the same problem. I know this because when I owned an X5, i was on the x5world.com and see a lot of people run into problem too. Thank god mine was an 01 so I didn't have a problem taking those apart. Here is one thread on x5world with the same problem for 03.

http://www.x5world.com/x5-e53-forum/...eadlights.html
 

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Well 155plus it's your call now...I'd say do it and Ultraman said don't...:hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
actually done it?

Ultraman206, Laidback - thanks for your answers.

First question - Seems like both of you have actually done an '03 headlight? That is - actually performed the operation? Sounds like it, and you both had done other lights before, but you had very different results...

Second question - Did you use a proffesional grade heatgun or something beyond just baking it and hairdryer? Used higher temprature? Seems like Ultraman had trouble even at the higher temp?

Third question - did any of you check the build date of the cars you worked on (If not your own)? Maybe they changed the glue sometime during the model year?

:confused2
 

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Dont any of you waste your time with a hair dryer, it got to be an oven and/or proper heat gun
 

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I guess I should revise my post and not say "DO NOT TRY". ;)

I guess I should clarify and say I am not sure if all 03 headlights have this unbreakable adhesive or just certain date ranges (sorry don't have build dates of these things). I would say if you are a capable DIY guy; go ahead and try heating it up and prying it open... but STOP if it does not even budge one bit. You will know which glue is used once you heat it up and start to pry. The regular ones will become soft and almost gooey while the unbreakable one will remain a hard rubber consistancy.

I used the oven method and a professional heat gun trying to take them apart without success. First baked it in the oven for 5 mins at 200... then at 10 mins at 210, then at 225 for 15 mins!!! didn't even budge. :grrrr:

FWIW: When I was doing mine, I could've stopped and not destroy my lights after I realize it is not going to soften up and come apart no matter what; but I was determined to open it so I took a dremel to it. :hihi:

Good luck and let us know if you are successful.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks.

I'll make sure to avoid the Dremel attack! :haha2:

Good news is that I think I will have a chance to see two others try their '01 lights first. Hence we can compare and contrast the difference. And as you say - if it doesn't budge - stop....
 

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Uh oh! I took my headlight out suspecting I had a broken adjuster, and sure enough the side to side adjuster is broken. Luckily the up and down one is not. I was about to order some adjusters and try to replace them, as well as take out the amber corner pieces, but I read this and I too have a 2003.

I have never replaced this before, so I am having a hard time figuring out if I have the kind of glue that cant be melted. I hate to order the adjusters come to find that I cant even open my headlight.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to tell which material was used to seal the light, without completely removing it? I tried a heat gun to see if it would budge, but maybe i did not heat enough of it. Is there anywhere I can heat up and stick something in to see if the glue turns sticky?

I am tempted to call Hella, but I have no idea where to even begin with that approach.
 

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Most 01-02 headlights have a different silicon than the 03 counterparts.
03 cannot be opened through ordinary means.
You do need either a hot knife and a dremel or just a dremel and some silicon to close it up after finishing.

Just check the build date on yours and definitely definitely definitely do not use a heat gun. Always use an oven and if the heat is too much for your hands, use 2 layers of surgical gloves to offset the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you. Based on your business I assuem you can be viewed as an expert here!

:)

I guess the only way to open then is the destructive force approach...
 

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Bad news for me. I just spent a couple of hours and have not gotten anything to budge. I have a 2003 540i6, with a 10/02 build date. I thought I might be safe. Unless I am not getting it hot enough, I think I have the non melting silicon. Unless there is are two types of silicon within the gap where the lens joins, which I doubt. I managed to get some of the material out and try to melt it with extreme temperature, and nothing.

Can someone explain to me the destructive force approach? Am I basically cutting the lens off and then using silicon to attach it back? Any help would be appreciated...Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ouch - that's not good news since mine is 12/02 build date...
 

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I got razor in the gap and was able to get a piece of the sealant out, which I then set on the stove on high. Did not melt, just a little smoke eventually.
 

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Bad news for me. I just spent a couple of hours and have not gotten anything to budge. I have a 2003 540i6, with a 10/02 build date. I thought I might be safe. Unless I am not getting it hot enough, I think I have the non melting silicon. Unless there is are two types of silicon within the gap where the lens joins, which I doubt. I managed to get some of the material out and try to melt it with extreme temperature, and nothing.

Can someone explain to me the destructive force approach? Am I basically cutting the lens off and then using silicon to attach it back? Any help would be appreciated...Thanks!
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to take the 03 headlights apart. I suggest now is a good time to bite the bullet and upgrade to the Euro spec Hella headlights and put your old ones on eBay... that's what I did.

If you really still want to be adventurous and attempt to open your 03 headlights... I suggest cutting at the housing side along the channel. I've done this with relative success (PM me if you want details). But it is NOT easy and it will not be pretty and definitely not for the faint of heart. ouich
 

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Unfortunately, there is no easy way to take the 03 headlights apart. I suggest now is a good time to bite the bullet and upgrade to the Euro spec Hella headlights and put your old ones on eBay... that's what I did.

If you really still want to be adventurous and attempt to open your 03 headlights... I suggest cutting at the housing side along the channel. I've done this with relative success (PM me if you want details). But it is NOT easy and it will not be pretty and definitely not for the faint of heart. ouich
I've done the "cut and paste" method on an "03 headlight as well and it looks OK, but if I had to choose to do it again I probably would not have. Not that it looks that bad, but not something that I'm going to be able to live with for too much longer. OK if you must know, yes I finally came to my senses and ordered a pair of replacement headlights from UMNITZA.com. Can't wait for them to get here!!!
 

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'03 AE Adhesive

Has anyone by chance figured this one out? I just spent the last couple hours fighting the adhesive before I stopped and found this thread about the '03 'super adhesive.'

Let me know if anyone has figured anything else out...

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
not working

I have heard from two more people offline that this is not working for the '03 cars. :sad2:
 

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I'm trying to make one good headlight out of two. The one I ordered for its lens must have been from an '03, because the glue wouldn't budget. I baked it twice, hot enough to curl the tab on the bottom of the lens. Since that headlight had a broken housing, I ended up dremeling the lens off of the body of the light, and then removing it one piece of shrapnel at a time. I managed to get it off, but it took me a few hours.

luckily, it seems to physically be the same lens as my original housing. now to find some new adjusters.

Ed
 
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