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About PliSsK

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    '01 E39 Alpina B10 V8

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  1. Cotswold agreed to refund me on Cowl 2 if I ordered another new one and sent Cowl 2 back. So that's what I did. Both cowls were the correct part number. Hole alignment was very similar, possibly fractionally better on Cowl 3. Hard to photograph though. Cowl 3 was slightly less curved than Cowl 2 so needed pinning down with the rivets and screws more than Cowl 2 which just sat flush with the windscreen (like my original Cowl). Still, only the 2 centre holes were properly aligned the others progressively misaligned the further from the centre you went, the worst being the hole on the far left of the cowl. I found that I needed to really force the rivets in where they were most misaligned to get them to be reasonably flush with the cowl and not sticking up at an angle. However after a day or two they kinda popped up and were slightly wonky, so would probably let in a little water at these points on the front of the cowl. This is about as good as it's going to get. So I think I will just leave it as it is and hope not too much water gets underneath it (I don't think it's 100% waterproof anyway). Otherwise I could either redrill the holes (might be too much space either side of the rivets for them to grip properly even if they would be better centred) or use some sealant (but then taking it off would be harder if I need to replace the firewall etc.)
  2. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    Ah good for you! I had one headlight fail on the MOT and the girl commented that both xenon lights were loose inside the housing - the other side being loose but still passing the MOT although it would be bad going over bumps with the light beam moving horizontally. They adjusted my new headlights at the re-MOT. Yeah it was a pleasant surprise to see all new bulbs and holders etc. I can't complain as 17 year old ballasts with rusty looking casings can't hurt to replace at this stage even if they haven't seen a huge amount of use over the years compared to some cars because of the low mileage.
  3. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    Hi Dan, I'm just asking you out of curiosity. I read something about xenon fog lights needing to be projectors not reflectors so simply sticking a xenon conversion kit into them was a bad idea. I bought a set of new xenon headlights and did wonder why they were so much more expensive than the halogen headlights as I wasn't expecting the ballast and xenon bulbs to be included. My headlights are facelift.
  4. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    lol yeah this is true, but they tend to want to take the shirt off ur back. It's a marginally better option than simply taking them down the dump. If I could fix them both in a couple of hours then I was trying to aim to do that. So far it's taken me 2 hours to remove the broken adjusters and to understand how to fit the new ones properly as it's dark and tight in there. Ah ok, well done. Did you need to swap out the reflectors for projectors or something?
  5. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    To tell the truth I did get new ones and fitted them myself, however I can't really sell the old ones with broken adjusters so I need to try to fix them without killing myself in the process. So you were able to screw on the ballast etc. onto the normal halogen headlights ok? Or did it need modding?
  6. Yeah I definitely will. Idk, I think it was a UK stock part, 90% sure.
  7. I don't think any dealer would keep this part in stock, those I spoke to just sourced it from BMW UK. Cotswold were of the opinion that if they ordered another one from BMW UK, it would just be the same batch and there was no chance of it just being a one off because of manufacturing processes or that BMW UK would have stock of different batches, so their preferred route was to ask me to send photos so BMW could check their existing stock to see if it was all defective and if so, put all stock of this item on hold whilst they remanufacture it, however their initial response was wanting proof that the cowl was indeed the correct part number, in the event there was a mistake with labelling, which is a bit ridiculous as it was identical to my other one bar the misalignment with the holes, but I can understand they want to know 100% definitely. However given that the cowl otherwise fits, I'm not expecting a positive response from BMW in any case. If the cowl was a foot too long, then I think they might consider remanufacturing it. According to Cotswold they have a record of any complaints to BMW about problems with parts in their system, and there is no record of anyone having complained to BMW about it, which I find hard to believe, but most people tend to mail order everything these days and complain on the internet. If you search around on the part number for reviews you can see numerous instances of defects being reported. So I need to take the cowl off for a 4th time to photograph it, but I'd like to install a replacement at the same time as the existing one is slightly bent and leaking water after all these reinstallations. My local dealer just said they could sell me the part, and if it is defective then I would have to book it into the workshop for them to examine, and if it was deemed defective, they'd replace it under warranty (with one from the same batch presumably) - and if not I'd have to pay them for the labour - but did not mention or consider the possibility that a defect could be batch-wide or even the concept of them contacting BMW about it (they aren't that helpful tbh, they would never do it). From these photos, if you got another one just like it, would you favour using sealant around the rivets over drilling/grinding it to make the rivets fit better? Or just fit it as is and forget about it?
  8. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    If I replace all 4 then I'm definitely going to open them up, otherwise I will probably try again and just do the 2 Xenon adjusters from the outside as I think I was close to managing it on my first attempt. I guess there is the argument of not meddling with the seal vs opening them up and cleaning the insides out.
  9. PliSsK

    Replacing headlight adjusters

    Congrats on getting it done! Did you do it from the outside like the above or open them up with a heat gun?
  10. What is your preferred method of replacing broken headlight adjusters? I came across this video on youtube for replacing all 4 of them on Xenon headlights without opening up the headlights but doing it all from the outside. On my car, my old headlights only have the Xenon adjusters broken, the full beam adjusters are fine. Removing the broken Xenon adjuster and the white base it plugs into was not that hard, but trying to get the new long adjuster in place between the two tabs and into the adjustment screw was proving to be very difficult. And apparently this is supposed to be the easy one to install. I had the adjuster in place on the bottom of the adjustment screw without any tape to pull it up, and tried to simple turn the hex/philips adjuster at the top of the headlight and the screw went in a few mm but it just didn't budge any further and got really tight, so much so that the cogs on the adjuster at the top slipped as they are just plastic, and I can't imagine pulling on it will help that much. I guess this will be an issue whether I open the headlights up or not but it likely to be fractionally easy to do it with the headlights opened up. I looked at the broken and new adjuster and they were almost identical. I saw one youtuber in the comments said it took him 4 hours to replace all of the adjusters using this outside method, which seems ridiculous as it would surely be much quicker to simply take the headlights apart.
  11. Here are some photos I took of the cowl and going from the left to the right of the car. Do you think this looks iffy? https://photos.app.goo.gl/6YpUQwXPzXzf4NTP6 I tried refitting it 3 times so far in total and the part is definitely defective or out of tolerances, but whether BMW considers it significant enough is another matter. The first attempt I used the original grommets and rivets (cleaned up). The second attempt I thought new grommets and rivets would help grip the rivets better at the ends and stop them popping up as the plastic rivet screw was screwed down. It made no difference. I was asked by Cotswold to take it apart and take photos of the alignment so I took it apart a 3rd time and tried to adjust the fitting, removed the cowl to check for water ingress, then stuck it back on and adjusted the position for the best compromise ignoring the wiper arm bolts this time and just focussing on the the grommet alignment. This still resulted in the rivets popping up in several places as it was still misaligned. I need to replace it anyway even if its from the same batch as it is now slightly bent from all the refitting and leaks in water in the middle of the windscreen. So assuming I get exactly the same defect again next in a new cowl, do you think I should just try to install it as best I can as is and if necessary use a little black sealant around some of the rivets that pop up as they are badly misaligned? The cowl if I'm not mistaken is not designed to be 100% waterproof anyway as some muck will always get under it anyway. The other option would be to use a grinder or file it down on the edges so I can get the grommets sitting more centrally, but then they might pop up anyway or even more as the hold is too wide and there is nothing to grip onto on either side, and if not then there might well be a gap on both sides of the rivet for water to leak into.
  12. I wish I'd kept the old one, I could have refitted it - it wasn't leaking it was just cracked and looked bad. I'll have to check out the M5 board. Visual appearance is one thing but if the part isn't fit for purpose, they can't really sell it. I was actually waiting on the same wiper arm from Cotswold for months too although I didn't notice it looking bad but the black plastic cover for the left wiper arm doesn't click on properly at the round part, no matter how hard you try to push it on, the sides don't grip the base of the wiper arm. Getting the wiper blade into one of the new wiper arms was a nightmare too although ok on the other side. The can holder I got didn't really fit that flush with the rest of the front panel, so I won't bother buying another BMW one next time, I'll just get an OEM equivalent part from Febi etc. Either they should sell them properly or not do it at all, doing anything in between just makes them look bad, as owners of older cars may well have newer ones as well. Maybe the Chinese will start making more parts for older BMWs.
  13. Thanks. The dealer said I should take some pics of the discrepency so I will disassemble it and try one last time, and taking pics. If it is defective, which I suspect it is, then the whole batch would be bad and BMW to put the entire part on hold whilst they check their inventory, as if I order another one it will likely be exactly the same (from same batch). I spoke to my local indie garage about it and he said he's never had any such issues with these cowls in the past. I considered getting them to fit it but if the part is defective then they'll have no more joy than me. It's about 5mm out on one side if I line it up properly on the other side. Otherwise it looks like the correct part. It was suggested that I compare the hole alignment with the old cowl but unfortunately I threw it away already. I bought a set of front cupholders recently and one side is hard to open, it seems to be a defective item or damaged in transit (one cupholder was open when I got the part), although I didn't notice until I'd fitted it. Sure, mechanical parts are more prone to such issues but it just made me wonder if QC in general isn't an issue these days at BMW for older parts.
  14. I got the microfilter housings back in, now the main remaining issue is that the fit of the cowl is not very good. If you line up the 4 holes on the left side with the 4 rubber grommets in body on one side, they don't line up properly on the other side, and vice versa; and equally if you try to get the protruding bolts from the wiper arms centred in the middle of the hole in the cowl, it throws off the alignment of the 8 grommets even more. I presume it's more important to get the grommets properly centred in the cowl holes than it is for the wiper bolts to be centred in their 3 larger holes, even if they are close to the edge of the hole and the sponge surround? I settled for a compromise to get all 13 holes as well lined up as possible but this didn't work. What happens is the cowl looks to fit ok (albeit the above hole misalignments), you push in the rivets and they click in and sit flat, albeit one or two have a slight gap around one edge for water to get in (if it's not on one side it's the other side), but when you push the 8 screws and screw them in, half the grommets seem to lift up (they start to lift when the screws are half way in). I am assuming this is because the holes for the rivets are not properly centred, so they can't grip properly against the cowl on all sides of the hole. Initially I thought it was because I had used the original, old grommets and rivets (cleaned up), so I took the whole thing apart and installed new grommets and rivets and reassembled it, with the same alignment issues of the cowl, and it didn't make any difference. So it looks like I need to take it apart a third time now (at least) to get it right. BMW must have some working fudge factor to take such factors into consideration (the 3 wiper bolts were fairly well centred in the holes of the original cowl and all the riverts were flat af) - unless the quality of the cowls or rivets has gone downhill in the last decade or so. I assume there is no point trying to get a replacement cowl as likely it will have the same issue. The 8 holes in the cowl are presumably as large as they are to provide a little leeway on each side to get the rivets in. Anyone else had this problem? Cheers.