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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Decided to finally attack my headlights today as they were all misted up with condensation, and I've been using the time old trusted method of ignoring the broken headlight adjusters and simply using some cable ties instead!

Now, with the lamp apart, I've cleaned out the water (many minutes of hair dryer-ing and a radiator plus some silicon etc.) and decided to have a look at the adjusters.
Well, firstly, the previous owner must have already changed them once as the lights have been apart before (as evidenced by a failed attempt to glue a broken plastic part around one of the glass lens') and both of the adjusters are broken, no surprise there... So, looking up the part number, I think it's 63120027924 for my car - Halogen clear indicator's but original style lamp, not angel eyes - anyway, I am going to call up BMW parts tomorrow as I often find them cheaper than ebay, but I have come across these metal headlight adjusters from someone in Southampton, and I wondered if anybody knew whether they are worth going for?

Ebay Link - BMW E39 Headlight Adjusters (Non Angel Eye) - Sparkesandnoise (seller)

As a side note, why are my main beam headlights HB4 connection and not H7 like most other people seem to have, as well as the fact that my owner manual also states H7, does anybody know?!?! (And no I'm not talking about full beam which are HB3).


PS. Sorry if topic(s) covered to DEATH before, but haven't found/seen any posts regarding these particular metal adjusters with a quick search on the forums... or anything about my HB4 lamps!
 

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Hi, I ended up making my own adjusters 'cos the delivery time was too long.

The problem with the originals is that whey were made of crap plastic.

The Bimmer replacements are of good plastic and work fine.

The metal ones should also work fine. That's what I'd be going for If I had to do mine again.

Do ensure the parts are compatible: get original part numbers from realoem. The main difference is pre- and post-facelift, and like me you are definitely in the pre-facelift era.

Do ensure you put the rubber boots back on around the headlight surrounds, and put vaseline on all boots and seals. Those lights are horrid for fogging up.

Greg.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Greg

I was wondering about making some myself too, I don't really see why they're such a complex moulding and they could easily be simplified.
Good to know that BMW replacements are of a good quality plastic and (hopefully) shouldn't go brittle and snap like the old ones did.

My one reservaton with the metal ones is that if they don't break, but there is stress there, then they are no longer the weakest link and so something else would be, possibly harder to fix/more expensive etc.

Just called BMW parts at Stevenage & Borehamwood and they've both quoted me £17.10 inc. VAT for a single side repair kit! Yikes, they've gone up in price. Means the metal ones are even more of a bargain really, think I'll go for them after all.

Just to confirm, for anybody reading this thread, my lights are pre facelift and have these adjusters (they look exactly like the picture):
Real OEM - Headlight Adjusters Image & Part Number 63120027924

However, I notice that the ebay seller is also selling aluminium adjusters for post facelift E39's too, see link here:
Ebay Link - BMW E39 Headlight Adjusters Angel Eye - Sparkesandnoise (seller)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the writeup - I had researched this quite a bit before taking the lights out, but always nice to read others in case of differences. One thing I would state is that I won't be pulling it up with a piece of string as it's not necessary. You simply turn the white hex shaped part 90 degrees - which is above the electric ball joint attachment (the only ball joint still in tact since the other two locations are both the snapped adjusters) and it releases it, no need to put strain on the ball joint or anything and it's how it was designed to be taken apart.

Got the metal headlight adjusters, the long one needed a fair bit of filing to make it fit, as it was too tight, and threading the new adjusters on the screws has VERY ANNOYINGLY stripped the plastic thumb knob on the end. So, have had to glue that back in place but apart from that they seem a good fit. The headlights look fantastic all cleaned up, and without condensation. Next up is to polish the exterior plastic clear lens. Have looked into this and found a few products and a few procedures however it appears the sand & polish techniques get rid of the UV protection installed by Hella, so I think I'll put up with the light scratching and simply wax polish the lights a bit. Will post pictures of before and after when am done!
 

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Ach, it is disappointing to hear of your experience of the metal headlight adjusters. They LOOK good in theory.

BTW re: sealing of the headlight assey: if you can get them condensation free then you are a better man than me. And I am one cool dude, so take that as a challenge!

Despite my best efforts I still end up rigging my dehum assembly 3 or 4 times a year to get rid of headlight condensation (see pic below).

Do post back in a month or three as to whether your headlights are condensation-free.
Greg.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RE: The metal headlight adjusters
The second lamp I did was much smoother to do, I pre-filed the long adjusters edge which I knew to be a little too big, and went really careful with the threading of them so as not to strip the plastic adjustment knob like on the other lamp. Thankfully that all went nicely, so the whole process was much quicker to do.
Would I recommend them? Yes. They're cheaper than BMW original (plastic) adjusters at current time of writing, both from BMW parts and seperate ebay sellers etc. They should last the lifetime of the car, they certainly won't break like the old (UNBELIEVABLY) brittle plastic adjusters and so it should only be a one time only job.


To Duggan776:
Haha, well I am a man who likes a good challenge, so I'll certainly keep an eye out for any condensation from now on and let you know.
Loving your dehumidifying headlights solution! I took mine indoors, silicon sealed the lower edge between the black plastic and clear lens of the headlight, and with one of the glasses taken out, put a hair dryer in there on a low heat. Could feel the hot exhaust coming out of the indicator bulb hole, so it had a nice warm airflow through there. At first nothing really happened and the water persistently stayed there, but after about 5 minutes as it had heated up nicely, all the condensation (and actual water droplets) started to disappear. Unfortuantely couldn't clean the inside of the clear lens, but it's definitely dry now at least. Also kept it indoors overnight above my heated desk (bulb holes facing up). So it's got the best chance possible I guess. After cleaning alll the rubbers with some Ecover cleaner, I then applied vaseline all around the seals and ensured every clip was back in it's proper place. Interestingly, the previous owner of the car/their garage who took the lights apart the first time didn't do a very good job as the two side clips holding the clear lens to the lights housing weren't clipped into place so that can't have helped with making a proper seal.
 

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Jonbad1000:-

We are the guys who you bought the metal adjusters from. We have noticed that people have had different diameters on the threaded shaft, but never heard of the large adjuster need to be filed down, which i agree is disappointing! When we designed them we purchased another headlight and we fixed the plastic adjuster to act as a template.I wonder if there are different lights fitted with subtle changes! We very seldomn receive feedback and would like to make the product better. Do you have any photos or demension changes? We already can make different size threaded holes depending on how worn the studded shaft is.

many thanks

sparkesandnoise

Hayden & Gregg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DUGGAN776: "BTW re: sealing of the headlight assey: if you can get them condensation free then you are a better man than me. And I am one cool dude, so take that as a challenge!"
Just thought I'd post a quick reply to say my headlights are still 100% condensation free *touch wood* and the metal headlight adjusters have given me complete peace of mind. Excellent and well worth the trouble. Also great having the built in flat beam adjust for when I travel abroad - much better than putting blooming stickers over the lamps!
 
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