How to Install Angel Eyes on a BMW E38

Written by chester rockwell
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How to Install Angel Eyes on a BMW E38
Angel eyes are illuminated rings around car headlights. (bmw 540 headlight image by Jorge Moro from

Angel eyes are illuminated rings that surround the low- and high-beam headlights on a car for aesthetic purposes and to increase visibility.They became a standard feature on BMW's "5" series in 2003 and now come on all BMW models. Owners of older BMWs, such as those in E38 generation of 7 series cars built from 1994 to 2001, can buy aftermarket angel eyes kits. Installing them requires removing the headlight assembly and wiring the angel eyes to the headlights.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Torx T-15 driver
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Large Phillips screwdriver
  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Marine silicone glue
  • Scissors
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Open your BMW's hood and disconnect the wiring harnesses that are attached to the headlights. Each headlight assembly has two wiring harnesses: one for the high-beam bulb and one for the low-beam bulb.

  2. 2

    Remove the corner turn-signal lights by inserting the large flathead screwdriver straight down through the notch in the fender and pressing the turn signal's plastic clip outward and away from the car. Doing so will pop the turn-signal light out of place so you can pull it out completely and unplug the turn-signal bulb's wiring harness.

  3. 3

    Remove the trim on the bottom of your headlights. If your car was produced between 1995 and 1998, you will have to pry off the bottom trim with a flathead screwdriver. If your car was made from 1999 to 2001, pop the trim off with your hands and lift it up to remove it.

  4. 4

    Insert the 15mm Torx driver into the outside edge of each light assembly and apply pressure to the plastic tab. Move the tab toward the centre of the car, which will release it from the metal fender. Torx drivers are a type of screwdriver with a multipoint end in a star shape. They are available at most hardware stores.

  5. 5

    Locate the two Torx T-15 screws at the bottom of each headlight assembly and remove them.

  6. 6

    Press on the tabs attached to each of the five pieces of weather stripping that surround the headlight assemblies.

  7. 7

    Rock the headlight assembly slowly back and forth to remove it. Be careful not to scratch the fender when you remove the headlights.

  8. 8

    Locate the clips that surround the headlight housing and secures the front-lens glass to the plastic housing. Pry off the clips with a flathead screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Remove the small screws in the corners of the headlight assembly with a Phillips screwdriver after you have removed the lens.

  10. 10

    Install the angel eye rings so that the flat side is at the top of the headlight assembly.

  11. 11

    Dab a small amount of the marine silicone glue on the underside of the angel eye rings to secure them to the headlights. Add glue at three points on each ring: one at the bottom and one on each side. If marine silicone glue is unavailable, use another glue that is resistant to damage from ultraviolet light.

  12. 12

    Allow the silicone glue to harden for at least three hours. Twenty-four hours is preferable. If the glue has not had time to cure properly before the next step, the angel eyes could fall off inside the headlight assembly.

  13. 13

    Run the angel eyes wiring through the back of the headlight housing and reinstall the glass lenses on both headlights.

  14. 14

    Position the headlights back in the car and locate the wiring connected to the low-beam bulbs.

  15. 15

    Strip away just enough insulation from the low-beam wiring so you can wrap the angel eye wires around it. Use scissors. The spliced wiring will connect the angel eyes to the headlight power source, and the angel eyes will be activated whenever the headlights or daytime running lights are turned on. Insulate the spliced connections with a couple of layers of electrical tape.

  16. 16

    Reinstall the two T-15 Torx screws at the bottom of each headlight assembly and slide in the indicators until they click into place.

  17. 17

    Reinstall the lower headlight mouldings by positioning them into place and pushing them toward the car until they are secured. Turn your car's ignition to"Accessories" and turn on your parking lights. The angel eyes should illuminate.

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