DISCLAIMER: Complete this at your own risk.
NOTE: Please disconect battery first.
You can purchase complete headlights here!
PARTS That You will need:
A. 63117338705 (US) / 63117314531 (EU) - Driver side xenon headlight
B. 63117338706 (US) / 63117314532 (EU) - Passenger side xenon headlight
C. 63127296090 (x2) - Xenon control unit, one per headlight
D. 63117316147 (x2) - Driver control modules, one per headlight
E. 63117311243 (x4) - LED modules, two per headlight
F. 9285148294 (x2) - Philips Xenstart headlight bulb D1S
G. 884856 (x2) - Hillman #8 x 0.625-in screws 7-pack
H. 61130005201 (x4) - Wire bushings with cable (two for smaller headlight grounds, two for FEM
I. 61138366245 or 12527503411 (x2) - Rubber grommets for two smaller headlight grounds
J. 61131391671 - Brown 0.75mm cable for larger headlight ground wires (1 meter)
J. 61138364836 (x2) - Socket connector 2.8x0.63 for larger headlight ground wire
J. 61138369722 (x2) - Rubber grommet 2.8x0.63 for larger headlight ground wires
Image 1: Headlight with all modules
1. Install all the modules onto the headlights if not already complete. Be careful with the LED modules and make sure you clip the plug in securely (image 2) and install with the wire out of the way and without damaging the LEDs.
Image 2 : : LED module plugged in
Image 3 : Picture of complete headlight with all modules and bulb installed
2. Assemble ground wires for headlight harness. Using part J’s, Cut six inch or so of part number 61131391671 (brown ground wire) slide on rubber grommet, 61138369722, strip the appropriate amount of wire and crimp on socket connector, 61138364836. You can but a crimping tool or do it crudely with pliers. You need to make two of these. For the smaller wires, Parts H - 6113005201, you need to try and add in a grommet (Part I), it won't be perfect since they were not meant for them, but they fit pretty snug.
3. Connect small and large ground wires. I attached the smaller ground wire to the larger one by stripping a small area on the larger one about four inches up, wrapped the end of the smaller wire (after stripping about a half inch off), and soldered the connection. I then applied shrink tubing as well as I could. If you want to be super detailed, use liquid electrical tape and cover before shrink tubing.
FRONT BUMPER REMOVAL:
4. Jack the front of the car up using the front side jack points and place jack stands where appropriate. Remove both front wheel. Note: this is not completely necessary, but will make the whole process a hell of a lot easier in the end.
5. Remove front fender liners (they are conveniently two pieces). This consists of multiple 8mm screws. Will go a lot faster with drill or automatic screw driver
6. Remove ten or so identical 8mm screws along the underside of the front bumper (blue circles in image 4)
7. Remove two long (I believe 10mm) screws on each side of upper bumper. The first one is easy to see and the second one is directly behind it about two inches away.
8. Open hood and remove weather stripping covering the screws holding the front bumper from the top. There are six in the space between the two headlights which are the large T-30 hex (red circles in image 4 and image 6) and two smaller ones over the headlights, T-20 hex (dark blue circles in image 6).
9. The front bumper is ready for removal. It is actually clipped on and must actually be pulled off (toward the front of the car). Before you do this, make sure the sides are pulled down some (where you unscrewed the two 10mm bolts) as there is a little nipple that is there for alignment. There are three wiring harnesses (for those without headlight washers and with PDC), two on the passenger side and one on the driver side so don’t just pull it out without undoing these connectors. Once completed, you will have something that looks like the picture above (one of the connectors was being a pain so I left one plugged in and placed the bumper up there, but I finally got it off and removed the whole thing.)
10. This is was the hardest part (most time consuming). For some reason, BMW added a gallon of locktite on the bottom two screws that made them almost impossible to get off. There are five screws total securing the headlight in place. Pay attention to how the headlight sits prior to removal, take pictures if needed. The bottom two screws have a system which is adjustable in a very complicated way.
Image 7: Top Of headlight
Image 8 : Bottom of headlight
Image 9: Screws as installed
11. In images 7 & 8 you see the five screws that hold the headlight in place.. The red circle is part of the screws removed when removing the front bumper. The blue circle holds a T30 screw which is accessible from the engine compartment. Images 8 & 9 shows the two bottom screw locations and the ridiculous contraptions they used, I am guessing to aid in fitment. The blue line in image 9 kind of shows the path of the socket/screwdriver.
12. When you go to remove the bottom two screws, it would be helpful to first take a metal/brass brush and try and remove as much of the locktite from the end of the screw sticking past the nut as possible. This will help tremendously and you will see what I mean when you see the screw. The green arrow in image 8 shows the metal window which holds the nut in place to keep it from spinning. Unfortunately with as much torque that was needed to remove the screws, this provided no benefit and just popped open and allowed the nut to spin. What I had to do is bend it a little out of the way and use a open ended wrench to keep the nut from spinning (I want to say it was 10mm). The screws are T30 and would be best removed using a ratchet with long extension. The red arrow shows the ‘adjustment screw’ which expands/unscrews (clockwise) making the gap larger at the bottom. For mine, it seemed like these were all the way out to begin with and is how I reinstalled them. Just take a mental/physical picture before removing. These were truly a pain in the a$$ and took up the majority of the whole install for me.
HEADLIGHT WIRING HARNESS:
13. The wiring at the headlight is pretty simple, especially if you prepped the ground wires in advance. The first thing would be to unplug it from the light and remove the outer cover. To do this, there are four little tabs (white circles in image 9) that you have to pull/push outward away as you use pressure. The cover then slides inward (towards the wires). The result will look like image 10.
14. Open the ‘windows’ on each side of the harness that secures the connectors in (see image 11 = already open). It opens in direction of the green arrow. Look at the sides to see how it is attached, just use a small screwdriver to unhook and pivot open.
15. Push out rubber grommets that are plugging up the pin holes for #4 and #7 (green circles in image 12, brown circles image 9). You can use either whole to push them out, just use something as small as possible to not damage plastic.
16. For the pin that goes in #8, we are moving the pin from #12 to use (pink circles in image 9). To do this, you have to insert an extremely small pin into the upper (smaller) hole which is circled in green at the top right in image 12 (under the number ‘12’). When you do so, apply force inward while pulling on the wire from the outside. This releases the clip holding the pin in place. It might take a little fiddling but once you get it the first time it becomes easy. Once out, simply slide it into place using the same orientation into the #8 slot. The numbers are clearly labeled on the harness, just keep double checking what you are doing.
17. Finally, insert the ground wiring you created in steps 2 & 3. The larger one clearly goes into slot #4 and the smaller into slot #7. Once all the new pins are in, close the ‘windows’ on both sides to secure the pins. Slide the outer cover back into place.
18. Now you need to attach the grounds to the current ground already in place in pin #2 (thick brown wire). I did this the same way I did in step three by stripping a small section about 4-5 inches up and wrapping the stripped end around it followed by solder then shrink tubing and electrical tape. In the end it should look something like image 13.
19. It is important to do the connections further away from the harness because now that we are done, we are ready to tape them up. Using electrical tape of your choosing (the ones that look like cloth look more OEM), start a few inches from the harness and cover up all of the new wiring connection so it is hard to tell anything we ever done to the harness. Also, remember to place the rubber plug from pin hole #7 in step 15 into the now empty pin hole #12 (it should fit snug enough, if not find something that will work)
20. Repeat on both sides and the wiring harness is done. The only wiring left is inside the car at the FEM module.
NEW HEADLIGHT INSTALL:
21. This is basically the opposite of removal, but with the added step of ensuring the headlight is in the right position before securing.
22. Put the headlight into place and get all of the screws started. As you start to get it into place, begin to tighten them all. I would start with the bottom two. For me, I simply unscrewed the adjustment as far as I could which seemed to line everything up fine.
23. Use your judgement and recollection of how the headlight was positioned when you removed it. It is hard for me to describe everything.
24. This is pretty much just the reverse of removal. Line it up, plug in the connectors.
25. There are a bunch of tabs that must be lined up correctly. Mainly, the green arrows seen in Image #6 and where the bumper fits underneath each headlight.
26. Once lined up, start with snapping the lower part of the bumper into place (opposite of what was mentioned in step #9). You will be able to see the clip mechanisms from looking inside the fender well.
27. After clipped on, begin screwing everything back in. You can start from the sides, top, or bottom. I didn’t really experiment which order makes it easier.
28. When you are ready to start screwing the top screws back in, make sure you put a decent amount of force towards the rear of the car. The gap between the front bumper and hood pretty much requires all of the slack from the mounting holes. The rest is pretty self explanatory, just screw back in all of the screws you took out.
29. Lastly, reinstall the fender liners and the exterior work is all over!
FEM MODULE WIRING:
30. The FEM module itself is pretty easy to find, it is located in the passenger footwell, see image 14. Getting to the harnesses themselves is another story. You can either make it easy for your self (which I did not do) and remove as much stuff in the way (mainly the carpet) or you can simply just remove the panels and struggle a little getting the connectors out.
Image 14: Location of the FEM Module
31. The first step to get to it is remove the panel on the underside of the dash. To do this there are two (I want to say 10mm) nuts. Then just pull it down and unclip the cigarette lighter and interior lighting wiring harnesses and remove the panel.
32. Remove the door sill panel, it will just pull up. The plastic clips will either come off with it or get stuck in the body.
33. The next panel to come off is the one hiding the FEM module. It just pulls off as it is held in by clips. Yank it off an maneuver it out (a little difficult with the carpet and remaining dash panels).
34. The wiring harnesses will be covered by a black plastic cover. This is held on by a screw (I believe T-20) in the location of the red arrow in Image 14. You will then have what looks like Image 15.
Image 15: FEM Module
35. The only harnesses you will be working with are the bottom row, the three closest to you. They are labeled in Image 15 from front to back; A173*2B, A173*3B, and A173*4B (white one) respectively.
36. Now, you can either unplug them all and do it all at once or just the two you are working with at a time (the method I used). You will have to pull back some of the factory electrical tape to allow the wires more freedom to travel from one harness to the other.
37. For the wire transfers, you will have two easy transfers (unclip and reclip in new location) and two hard ones (you have to add in wiring - Parts H). Do one at a time so you don’t lose track of where the wires go. To remove the harnesses, you simply slide the lever on the outside (like an old circuit breaker) as illustrated in by the green arrow in Image 15 and pull. Once the harness is removed, look at the end of the connector to see the numbering. There are two ‘slots’ of wiring for each harness. On some you only need to remove one. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures to illustrate as, again, I was in a hurry.
38. To start with the easier ones, remove harnesses A173*3B, and A173*4B (white one). Find pin #51 on 3B and remove by pulling on wire while pushing clip in window. Place this pin in the right orientation (same as all the other pins) into the pin #53 slot on 4B (simple right?). Now do the same for pin #39 on 3B and place it into the pin #54 slot on 4B. Now you are done with the 4B connector. Reassemble and reinsert the same way you removed.
39. Now for the final two wires!! To prep, go ahead and remove the A173*2B connector. You are going to use the two wiring bushings (Part H’s) for this. The first one goes in to pin #41 on 3B, just clip it in as before. Next remove pin #34 from 3B and use whichever method you choose to connect it to the wire you just plugged in to pin #41. You can use a wire tap, solder as we did with the ground wires, buy a male connector, etc etc.. Since I
was in a hurry, I just stripped the end of the new wire and inserted into the connector and wrapped it around a bunch of times. I will likely redo this when I get a change.
40. The last one (Part H) goes into the pin #53 slot on 3B. Next remove pin #26 from 2B, and connect the ends as you did in the previous step. YOU ARE DONE!!! Now just coding and you have adaptive headlights (minus the autolevelers, which I will complete a separate DIY for). This is a good point to test the headlights to make sure everything lights up, HOWEVER, they will not function with the car on. Just turn the headlight knob to on and see if everything lights up. Make sure you have the daytime running lights activated on your idrive. Check the blinkers, angel eyes, and headlights to just make sure your bulbs and control units work.
41. No coding required.