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8th Gen DIY: Front Bumper and Headlight Removal / Alignment

apintofmild

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My drivers side dipped beam (projector) lens has been cracked since (or just after) I got the car (see here: http://typeaccord.co.uk/forum/topic/19482-8th-gen-cracked-headlight-projector-lens/)

It's not really been an issue until recently. As the nights draw in, and the headlights are on more, I've been getting the odd flash from oncoming drivers. It seems that although the beam pattern looks normal against a wall, the vertical split in the projector lens acts like a mirror and at certain angles you get the full force of the bulb. A massive pet hate for me is headlights that are mis-aligned / glaring / faulty / inappropriate aftermarket HIDs. All I could do is fix it...

Mine is a facelift with the clear indicator, and they're not exactly common second hand. Holdcroft to the rescue.
Part number H33100-TL0-E51 should you need one.

To replace the headlight ***embly the bumper needs to come off. A job I wasn't looking forward too, but it turned out not to be as bad as I'd feared. A few people have suggested 'bumper off' is the easiest way to replace a blown bulb. From what I can see removing the bumper isn't going to help you a great deal in itself (stupid, stupid design) but if you remove the headlight as well (only four more screws) it's straight forward and might save a lot of heart (and hand) ache trying to tunnel in from under the wheel arch.

For reference, here are the bulbs in a standard (halogen) 8th Gen Facelift headlight:

 

apintofmild

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This is how I removed the bumper. I'm not suggesting it is the only or best way, but it worked for me. Mine is an ES-GT so no headlight washers to worry about.

The first thing to appreciate is that there are three types of trim clip holding the bumper on. Two are very similar (one with no screwdriver recess and metal lugs, one with screwdriver recess and no metal lugs), the third is a bit longer (to hold three thicknesses of panel together not just two) with no screwdriver recess and metal lugs. I'd suggest having a few spares on hand as they're easy to snap during removal and non genuine ones are only a few pence each.



First remove the trim panel that covers the top of the grille. Using a flat blade screwdriver lift and remove the 8 (type A) trim clips.



Next locate the 12 trim clips in the bottom of the bumper that hold it in place.
There are additional clips that hold parts to the bumper (e.g. lower lip) , but not the bumper to the car -these need not be removed (white). Working left from the empty hole in the centre there are 3 type A (red), one type C (blue) then 2 type B (green). Then remove the other six (same pattern) from the right. The facelift bumper is slightly different to the pre-facelift, but I imagine the general idea will be the same.



Finally there is one self tapper in each of the front wheel arches to remove.



The bumper can now be removed. I suggest laying out a flattened cardboard box, piece of old carpet or similar across the front of the car to catch the bumper when it pops off.

By pushing a hand between the bumper and wheel arch liner (at the position the self tapper was removed) the corner of the bumper can be unclipped by gently pulling. This doesn't take much force at all. The wheel arch liner may need to be maneuvered away from the bumper. Unclip the bumper on both sides of the car before proceeding.



By pulling the unclipped end of the bumper forward and away from the front of the car the row of five retaining lugs can be seen. Four run under the bottom of the headlight, the fifth is under the corner of the headlight. Mine were tight and didn't want to let go. Rather than risk creasing the bumper by pulling too hard I carefully slipped a flat blade screwdriver between headlight and bumper and eased the lugs up one at a time, starting at the outside of the car working in.



When the four lugs under the headlight are released move to the other side. When four lugs are free on both sides it doesn't take much to pull the whole bumper away. I did it on my own, but it might be easier with a second person. The fog lights are just one plug each, but I left them connected for what I was doing.

 

apintofmild

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To remove the headlight itself there are four screws to remove. One is in the side, one is recessed in the front (socket on an extension required) one is visible in the corner of the bonnet cross member, the other is hidden. The plastic side trim needs to be moved to (though not removed) by pulling out (breaking in my case) one of the fir tree clips holding it in place.



With the screws removed the light can be drawn forward. When there is sufficient clearance use long nose pliers to release the two loom clips securing the wiring to the back of the light and then disconnect all the plugs from the bulbs and the beam height servo.
The black plastic piece along the bottom edge is not part of the headlight unit but is removed along with it, and is retained by a single screw.

My new headlight came complete with bulbs, ready to fit. I took the precaution of removing each bulb and adding a thin smear of silicon grease to the sealing washer to make them easier to remove should I need to attempt it in future from the wheel arch end. I'm glad I did, the cover for the dipped beam bulb was almost unmoveable. I had to improvise a wooden 'spanner' and still managed to break off one of the lugs. There is absolutely no way I could have opened it whilst the light was fitted to the car.



Reassembly is pretty much the reverse process. Once the headlight is back in, test all the electrics before re-fitting the bumper. I got the bumper on by myself, but I'll use an ***istant next time. Line up the two upper tabs on the grill to get the thing central then working from the centre line to the sides clip the bumper back in place.



It took a few attempts to get right. A thump with the heel of the hand will get the clips to lock. Refit the clips in the bottom, taking care the right type is used and that each clip passes through the right number of panel thicknesses (two or three). It is easy for the clip to push the inner panel(s) away rather than passing through it. Most have an adjacent finger hole so you can feel for correct fitment. Refit the self tappers in the corner under the wheel arch. Refit the grill cover trim.
 

apintofmild

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All that remains is to check and adjust the headlight aim. The beam can be adjusted horizontally and vertically.

Left / right positioning is set using the adjusting hole part way up the engine bay side trim. Use a No 2 crosspoint (pozi and Philips both seem to work). Note the screwdriver needs to be inserted at an angle. The screwdriver tip acts as a pinion wheel to drive a crown gear that turns a lead screw inside the headlight. Owing to the gearing action it takes many turns of the screwdriver to make a noticeable change in beam position.



Up down adjustment is made on the servo itself. Again use a No 2 crosspoint.



To check the alignment you will need a vertical wall / fence / door at least 3m wide and 1.5m high with about 12m of level flat ground directly in front of it. Luckily my driveway just about fits the bill. I'd suggest having a full tank of fuel (or at least half a tank at any rate) as the difference between full and empty is about 40Kg in the back of the car -which will affect the headlight aim. For the final check you should sit in the drivers seat. If you usually drive with a lot of luggage and / or passengers it wouldn't hurt to check the beam landing when loaded (with suitable adjustment of the height switch as appropriate).

 

apintofmild

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Drive the car as close to the wall as you are able, (i.e. touching) and turn the headlights on. The car must be exactly square onto the wall with the steering wheel absolutely level. It took me quite a few goes to get it right!

The dipped beam has a cross hair moulded into the outer polycarbonate cover at the optical centre of the light. Find this and transfer its position to the wall. I cut a bamboo stick to just the right length and used a small spirit level. An insulation tape cross marks the spot. Do this for both lights. The clearance of my stick was the same for left and right, indicating the car was at 90 degrees to the wall.



To position left / right:

Reverse the car away from the wall, without turning the wheel, until the headlights (not the number plate) are 7.5m away. The 7.5m is not critical, provided you measure the actual distance and use this to determine the correct amount of dip (see later). Imagine a vertical line drawn through each of the tape crosses. As you reverse away from the wall the knee of the projector cut off should remain on the imaginary line (it doesn't matter at this stage how much it moves up or down, only left and right). If the knee wanders off to either side on either lamp, use your screwdriver in the adjustment hole in the wing edge.

This picture is after left right adjustment (note: the height is incorrectly set too high)



To position up / down:

Measure the actual distance from the wall to the headlight (7.5m in my case). The lights are designed to dip by 1%. That is, for each metre from the headlight the beam cut off should be 1cm lower than the optical centre. Add a tape mark beneath each cross on the wall 1% of the distance from the wall (i.e. 7.5cm for me).



If required use the up / down adjuster behind the headlight to set the correct height.



And that's it. Put the kettle on. All told it took me most of the morning. Were I not stopping every 2 minutes to make notes and take pictures I reckon I could have done it in about 2 hours.
 

apintofmild

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Food for thought:

Given the vertical lamp height is approx 70cm, the 1% drop off means the beam will hit the road about 70m in the distance. Owing to the sharp cut off of the projector, on an unlit road, nothing will be visible greater than 70m away (unless you're on main beam).

Imagine you're hammering down a country lane at 60mph and there's a fallen tree across the road, it will only become illuminated 2.6 seconds before you hit it...
 

Stevearcade

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Superb right up. Good work.
 

richsprint

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Excellent guide, you deserve a medal for that!
 

mickfit

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Matt, You're a star mate. You have no idea how much hassle you've saved me. I have 2 cracked fog lamps from previous owner and this looks like the best approach. Also I have the headlight washers, so I'm hoping this is nothing tricky, just unplugging !!

But excellent write up, much appreciated :D :D :D
 

apintofmild

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Until there's a solution to Photobucket's recent change of use policy, I have this (and most of my other DIYs) as PDFs if anyone wants them.
You'll have to PM me an email address to send them to...
 

apintofmild

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Owing to recent changes in Photobucket’s image hosting service some of the information contained in this thread may have been lost.


Until I’ve found a suitable alternative image hosting service, and the time to re-write the post I have uploaded the original as a PDF here:

http://jmp.sh/PBa7fUu


Note that this is also uses a free hosting service, which may change its T&Cs in time, or go off line entirely. Until then though, it may help someone…
 

Petercarman

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Due to the situation with Photobucket and the pictures not being available I have printed the " how to" for bumper off, coolant renewal and gearbox oil change using the DPF you kindly posted.

Thank you Matt.

Pete.
 

deeno1975

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Just as an FYI,, old hat to most of ye but I said I'd give my experience. Changed the infernal bulb this evening. Initially started under the passenger wheel arch but was blocked by the air intake, then took out battery, no access either. Removed bumper and then had access to remove the headlight, easy after that. Didn't bother asking why an engineer designed it this way for a serviceable part... anyway...
 

deeno1975

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Might be useful, here are part numbers for a few that broke. Didn't know but different plastic trim parts for different areas.
91503 SZ3 003 6 of them
91505 59A 003 4 of them
91506 59A 003 2 of them
 

deeno1975

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Also to note these clips are crazy expensive- 2.65 a pop so be car€ful but they are plastic and perishable so not much one can do sometimes.
 
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