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Thread: BMW 330i ZHP - My ZKW to AL headlight swap to include ZKW lenses doityourself

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Lebanon, OH
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    BMW 330i ZHP - My ZKW to AL headlight swap to include ZKW lenses doityourself

    Just some notes I think will help someone trying to tackle this. I would like to thank Jon publicly for his help on this, and answering my several texts and emails.

    This build replaces the normal ZKW headlights with AL headlights (SAT bowls) and ZKW lenses.

    "Nice to have" tool list, above and beyond normal sockets and screwdrivers.

    - Telescoping magnet pickup. Perfect for "getting started" the inner/lower headlight Torx screws.
    - Torx sockets. You will need a tiny Torx bit to remove one screw on the ZKW lense housings. In addition you will need regular Torx set.
    - Six inch extensions.
    - Glass cleaner. Ensure you use on inside/outside of ZKW lenses and on outer headlight lenses just prior to final install.
    - Electronic parts cleaner.
    - One set of used AL headlights
    - Your set of ZKW's, or ZKW lenses from the http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...roducts_id=136

    1. Drain windshield fluid reservoir > I used a Motive Power extractor to do this. This is only necessary if you plan to fully remove the headlight washers. This headlight swap can be done without removing the headlight washers though. Be advised.

    2. Remove interference > I removed my intake to facilitate room on the drivers side. Nothing needs to be removed on the passenger side.

    3. Go ahead and unplug all lighting connections. There will be 4 connections on each headlight, and a couple of more, if you have angel eyes installed.

    4. Remove 4 screws on each headlight. 2 above, and two below. The two below are Torx and the two above are normal bolts. You can use the below video to facilitate removal. Like I said though.....the headlight washers need not be fully removed to remove the headlights.





    5. Now that you have the headlights out of the car.....go to a somewhat clean area....with a lot of room to facilitate breakdown and removal of your ZKW lenses for install into your AL headlights with SAT bowls. I used the below video, and I thank Jon for providing it. Now remember....in the below video he is disassembling AL headlights. NOT ZKW's. The ZKW's are different in three regards.

    1. The upper center socket needs to additionally be jarred loose, and...
    2. The inner hinge will have to be disconnected to facilitate removal, VA and...
    3. Actual lense removal differs on the ZKW's.

    I will post pictures of the three items mentioned above when time permits.



    The above steps should get the ZKW headlights out of the car and get the AL headlights rebuilt with ZKW lenses.

    6. Modification of ZKW headlight brackets to receive AL headlights > The picture below will describe exactly what you need to do to facilitate install of your newly rebuilt AL headlights with ZKW lenses.

    But DW.....why do I need to modify my headlight brackets? The box on the bottom of the AL headlights interfere with the headlight bracket. That is the major reason.



    Drivers side before



    Drivers side after bracket modification



    Passenger side before



    Passenger side bracket modification



    7. After you get the headlight assemblies to seat properly, you're golden. Snug them down with your 4 hold down bolts, re-install intake, lower trim, and re-fill washer reservoir (if drained)

    8. The last thing you'll want to do is perform the headlight aiming procedure. I used the below procedure as I could not find Trevors pic.

    http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum//showthread.php?t=176238

    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jupiter, FL
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    Excellent write up Dane. I believe that a culmination of ALL the DIYs out there will eventually make this whole process much better. Your DIY helps immensely. Great photos and writeup.

    And thanks for the kudos. I'm just glad I was able to help. If anything, thank my wife. We were having Mexican at a little place near home my last night before coming to the ship when you called. I got the 'roll eyes' look when I said I had to answer...
    Jon aka "Joop"
    2011 Lemans Blue Metallic/Bamboo Beige ///M3 2013 Alpine White/Chestnut X3///M Sport
    ...Past Love Affairs...
    2010 Silverstone Metallic/Black X5///M
    2003 Alpine White/Natural Brown 330i Dinan3 ZHP
    2014 Mineral White Metallic/Saddle Brown 328d
    2004 Alpine White/Natural Brown 330i ZHP
    2012 Alpine White/Oyster X3///M Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Lebanon, OH
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    Welcome to the "Eye roll" club. Apologize that I interrupted your dinner.

    In retrospect, for the fella's that have ZKW's, I wonder if a guy could just buy a set of P46's (only for the bowls), and retrofit the bowls into his ZKW's?

    I guess the question is, are P46 bowls better than ZKW's bowls. I've heard of "build quality" issues (with P46's), but if your just using the bowls and retaining all other ZKW parts, I wonder if it would be ok? So the real question is, are the bowls any good?

    Kinda sucks to spend $600 on lights then take them apart, but unfortunately, that's the life we live in. Or....you spend $1500.00 on Magnetti Marelli's.



    http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...hts/ES2500715/
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  4. #4
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    If you are married, you are clearly NOT doing enough mafia/car stuff until you get the eye roll. If you haven't gotten it, you either married an angel (male or female) or you are just not true mafia yet. The eye roll puts you one step closer to being "made".
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
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  5. #5
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    Very good write up. Very cool.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnrando View Post
    If you are married, you are clearly NOT doing enough mafia/car stuff until you get the eye roll. If you haven't gotten it, you either married an angel (male or female) or you are just not true mafia yet. The eye roll puts you one step closer to being "made".
    Oh trust me, this is so NOT my first eye roll.
    Jon aka "Joop"
    2011 Lemans Blue Metallic/Bamboo Beige ///M3 2013 Alpine White/Chestnut X3///M Sport
    ...Past Love Affairs...
    2010 Silverstone Metallic/Black X5///M
    2003 Alpine White/Natural Brown 330i Dinan3 ZHP
    2014 Mineral White Metallic/Saddle Brown 328d
    2004 Alpine White/Natural Brown 330i ZHP
    2012 Alpine White/Oyster X3///M Sport

  7. #7
    Hi Dane/Group -

    Sorry to bump this old thread, but it's the most concise swap thread I've found.

    A few months ago I replaced my burnt ZKW bowls with refurbed ones from ClemsonE46. This was done in tandem with brand new ZKW headlight covers (plastic), seals, etc. I'm afraid that they are already starting to burn - I've got a brown/yellow hue coming from one side. I need to check bulbs first before jumping the gun, but I've begun planning on removing the ZKW assemblies entirely.

    I have a low mileage set of E46M AL headlights.
    I understand the fitment/bracket issues outlined above when installing AL's into a ZKW equipped car.

    However, I'm unclear on your mention of the lens swap above?
    Are you indicating I should be swapping the ZKW clear projector lens over and replace the Bosch/AL "foggy" projector lens?
    Is there any functional purpose to this or just the aesthetic aspect?

    If I install the proper AL brackets, are the AL headlight assemblies a plug and play install without projector lens swaps?

    Thank you!
    -Chris
    Christopher L.
    www.VSR1.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherL View Post
    Hi Dane/Group -

    Sorry to bump this old thread, but it's the most concise swap thread I've found.

    A few months ago I replaced my burnt ZKW bowls with refurbed ones from ClemsonE46. This was done in tandem with brand new ZKW headlight covers (plastic), seals, etc. I'm afraid that they are already starting to burn - I've got a brown/yellow hue coming from one side. I need to check bulbs first before jumping the gun, but I've begun planning on removing the ZKW assemblies entirely.

    I have a low mileage set of E46M AL headlights.
    I understand the fitment/bracket issues outlined above when installing AL's into a ZKW equipped car.

    However, I'm unclear on your mention of the lens swap above?
    Are you indicating I should be swapping the ZKW clear projector lens over and replace the Bosch/AL "foggy" projector lens?
    Is there any functional purpose to this or just the aesthetic aspect?

    If I install the proper AL brackets, are the AL headlight assemblies a plug and play install without projector lens swaps?

    Thank you!
    -Chris
    Hi Chris,

    Have you contacted ClemsonE46 to discuss premature bowl burnout?

    S7 Edge, out
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    123
    Since the dimming headlight is a safety concern, is it possible for BMW to issue a recall on these headlights? or was there any attempt to force BMW to recognize this problem?

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatFrog View Post
    Since the dimming headlight is a safety concern, is it possible for BMW to issue a recall on these headlights? or was there any attempt to force BMW to recognize this problem?
    From what I understand, BMW was not compelled to issue a recall for the ZKW lamps. Thus we're on our own fixing the problem.


    5/2003 Silbergrau Metallic ZHP
    - Sedan :: 6MT :: Style 68 -
    H&R | drvanos | koni | active autowerke | vibrant | akg | tms | morimoto

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