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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:11:03 PM   #1
gam3cock
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Default New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Hey guys, new member but not new to BMWs or forums, so I did use the search function but I am still stuck.

I have recently picked up a 2004 M3 with stock BiXenons. The first time I drove the car at night, I was shocked about how crappy the lights were. I went straight to the forums and read about bulbs and also the bulb housing that is a common problem on some OEM lights. I fortunately do not have those light. I have the Bosch lights.

First step was getting the headlights "restored." They were a tad faded when I bought the car, so I assumed this would help. IT helped on my x5, so I was optimistic. It did not.

Second step was attempting to adjust the lights with the knobs as I have done on previous cars and they actually got worse.

Third step was replacing the bulbs. I didn't get the OEM or Phillips, I went with the Morimotos so that If the bulbs were not the problem, I wouldn't be out $200 for nothing. This helped a little, but they are still HORRIBLE.

Fourth, I tried to adjust them again, nothing. This is where I currently am. The "beams" seem to be pointing WAY to the left (from in the car) and when you are looking at the headlights, the projectors appear to be angled towards the center of the car. So I am stuck here. Here are some options that I think I might have. Please let me know what yall think.

- Take of the lense and Manually adjust the projector?
- Purchase new projector lens from TRS
- Purchase new headlights (worst case)

I can get some pictures tonight, if you think it'll help. If so, let me know what angles you'd need.

Cheers!
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:30:03 PM   #2
Kcalhoun27
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

From what ive seen, replacing the lens seems to really help. From my own searching, it seems like the consensus is that theyre just poorly designed, but replacing the internals can make a big difference. As with everything on this car, it comes down to how much you are willing to spend.
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:31:41 PM   #3
gam3cock
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kcalhoun27 View Post
From what ive seen, replacing the lens seems to really help. From my own searching, it seems like the consensus is that theyre just poorly designed, but replacing the internals can make a big difference. As with everything on this car, it comes down to how much you are willing to spend.
Yeah, after writing the above post, I just went ahead and ordered new lenses When you say "internals," what are you referring to? Ballasts and wiring or projector and housing?

Last edited by gam3cock; Thu, Apr-20-2017 at 02:32:12 PM. Reason: didnt finish thought
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:41:21 PM   #4
WOLFN8TR
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Search ZKW Lens upgrade.

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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:46:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

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Originally Posted by gam3cock View Post
Yeah, after writing the above post, I just went ahead and ordered new lenses When you say "internals," what are you referring to? Ballasts and wiring or projector and housing?


Exactly what Wolf posted actually haha. Those lenses are on my long term list to replace. A little more work seems to produce pretty respectable results, from what ive seen. And for the price, they seem worth it vs a complete rebuild for 300ish
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 02:50:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

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Originally Posted by WOLFN8TR View Post
Search ZKW Lens upgrade.

Yup, these are the ones I just ordered. Have you installed these? If so, how was it. I've found some DIYs and talked to TRS and the DIYs make it seem like a 5/10 (difficulty) and TRS make it seem like a 1or2/10

Also, do you have a specific DIY that you followed?
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 03:14:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Nvm - search is my friend
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 04:02:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Easy to do the swap. But....... the lens will not quit right. You will have to work the metal frame that holds the lens in place. I had to enlarge it just enough so the new lens fit squarely into the frame. Then slide the lock ring in. Take pictures of the position of the buckets before taking them apart. Beware DO NOT TOUCH ANY OF THE CHROME PART BEAR HANDED! Use gloves!
Also DO NOT USE ANY LIQUID CLEANER ON THE HIGH BEAM LENS!
Use a microfiber eyeglass cloth to wipe out any dust. Good luck!
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Old Thu, Apr-20-2017, 04:29:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

Hahah thanks for the advice. Already have latex gloves and I will not use liquid cleaner.

I do have a few eye glass things laying around. thanks for that tip
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Old Sat, Apr-22-2017, 01:51:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: New member, need help with headlight alignment (?)

X2 on Serg's advice.

Also the chrome scratches really easy. If you buy OEM ZKW lenses they will fit perfectly without any grinding but they are twice the cost. Also once you get them to fit mount them back into the reflector and plug them in to test the light pattern before completely reinstalling the entire light assembly back into the car. On mine I had to use some washers to adjust the light pattern. This is a great upgrade and makes a big difference in the light output and pattern.

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UltraGauge - BAVSOUND Stage 1 - Valentine One - Orion V4's - SBV2
TTFS Engine/SMG Tune - SGT Headers/Sect 1/SCZA - Evolve Eventuri
VIS XTS CF Hood - CF Lip/Console/Diffuser - OE CSL Trunk - Turner Spacers 15/12 - BWS 500S 12k/16k
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Discussing New member, need help with headlight alignment (?) in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)