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BMW E34 Grill Removal and Headlight Replacement – 525i, 530i, 540i, M5

November 4, 2010

I purchased a Headlight – High Beam Right, Item No: 63 12 1 382 400 for my 1994 BMW 525i to replace a cracked lens. Unlike my older BMWs, I discovered the black grill is connected to the entire front grill assembly. Do you have instructions on how to remove the grill to replace the Headlight assembly?

In order to replace a headlight assembly, on the E34 chassis (5 series 89 through 96), you must remove the side grills, and the painted center nose piece (that the center grills mount to and goes out under the headlights on each side).

1) Remove the nose piece with center grills:

*  Remove the small screw that goes through the top of the black plastic frame of the center grill assembly (forward of the hood hinge bar). Release the plastic tabs that clip to the radiator support on either side of the screw.

*  Note that there is a hole in the inner edge of the fender just to the rear of the top of the parking light. Place a long screwdriver (Phillips or flat blade) into the hole and locate the snap tab that is securing the end of the nose piece, below the parking light. Push down on the tab and pull the end of the nose piece away from the body. Do this on both sides and pull the nose piece away from the body.

2) Remove the five screws that secure the side grill and pull if from the body.

3) You can now remove the individual headlight assemblies.

This procedure is covered in detail in the Bentley repair manual, with photos.

Bentley manual:


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Categories → 5 Series 89-95 - E34, Tech Tips

  1. James permalink

    Thanks, info very helpful, got it all done but did not know it was my high beam that needed replacing and there is a differences in drivers side and passenger side, so if you go out to a pull it yourself place to get one make sure you get the correct side, it’ll save you a trip…

    • Yes, indeed, the headlights on the E34 chassis are specific for left and right. And, remember, left is driver side and right is passenger side ….. always as if you are sitting in the car.


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