first of all, READ THE ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS AND PICTURE CAPTIONS BEFORE STARTING, they will prove helpful on not breaking anything.
Now, I would like to say thanks to my BMW technician buddy Nate (Mr. BMW) for the help with everything. OK, i have seen many threads about clearing corners and taking off the bumper, though most of them are extremely helpful, i have found some information between them to be convoluted. though taking the bumper off is not necessary, we found it to be very helpful for doing your first set of headlights. another helpful tip is to use jack stands to lift the car up to an easier working level,this is not necessary but it is easier. also, have key near by and have someone ready to turn wheel for you as you may get dirty. the tools you use are very important as well to ease of r&r (removal and reinstallation), the thinner your extensions the better! these are the tools we used.
ok, so first of all on removing the bumper(if you choose to do so) you must remove the 3 screws under the bumper, 5 in each wheel well, 2 tens on each side, and then the 3 torx above the grill.
to remove the 3 screws under the bumper use a flat head screwdriver, these should only have to turn about a quarter turn before they come out.
to remove the five screws in each wheel well first take out the two torx, then use a flat head to take out the quarter turn screw, peel back the inner wheel well liner and get the other two torx.
after all screws are out of wheel well, you need to gain access to the two ten mil. nuts holding the bumper in. use a quarter inch ratchet with extensions and ten mil. socket and reach directly behind the washer fluid reservoir, they are easy to spot.
the 3 torx around the grill are very self explanatory, here is a pic. to show where they are.
now the bumper is ready to come off, from the top corner by the wheel well pull the bumper directly out. make sure everything is out and you can grab ahold of the bumper around the grill and pull directly out HARD! do not yank, but apply solid pressure and bumper should come off easily,if not, something isn't right. keep a good hold of the bumper so you do not drop it and scratch it, but also be careful not to pull bumper to far away form car before unplugging the two connectors located above the left fog light.
you now have the bumper off (Mr. BMW)
now you have super easy access to the headlights, remove the two screws on the top of the headlight, an then put the extensions on the quarter inch ratchet and reach down the hole, find where the screw is located and with your finger guide the torx bit into the screw head. after the screw is loose(but not removed) finagle the headlight out to the point you can disconnect the plugs. So you have the headlights out.
with the headlights out we went our own way and didn't clear the headlight in any way we would recommend, for our own personal benefit of not being publicly bashed on the forums we recommend you follow Phil's (fly300kts) cc mod DIY. It is one of the most thorough and excellant cc mod DIYs we have come across. http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...CC-Mod-The-DIY
This is an old previous link for the clearing of the lights. But is missing the pictures. http://forums.audiworld.com/a4b7/msgs/88996.phtml
Many people are impatient and just pound/pop out the orange caps in the headlights. This is an option and it sometimes works and sometimes causes damage to the headlight. We were able to just drill through the cap, crack it in half and it falls off, but Phil's method is definitely the safest way.
Note: with bumper off there is very easy access to front emblem for anyone who has thought about painting the front rings. Be very careful the tabs are extremely brittle, we found out the hard way - we broke a couple.
After the lights have been cleared and put back together, reinstall everything the exact way it came out.
note: there are two "bolts" used to adjust the bumper height, don't screw around with these as you will end up with gaps around where bumper/grill
meet hood, it doesn't look good, very tacky.
some hints on re-installation-
-make sure fog lights are plugged in (we forgot this, it sucked)
-make sure everything fits and you saved all the nuts and bolts.
-make sure everything is right and tight.
-double check everything
-once everything is back together, loosen headlight screws and realign headlights to line up with bumper.
After, wash car (especially around headlight area) and make sure there is no condensation or leakage. If there is no problem finish washing car. If there is you may need to go back and reapply some sealant to the headlight. (We recommend NOT using an epoxy but rather a silicon aquarium sealant or something of the like)
And your done!! Enjoy.