The following is a detailed procedure on how to
remove the amber inserts found in North American Audi's. It involves
removing the headlamp assembly's from the car, taking out the turn signal
bulb, the low beam halogen bulb and removing the projector lens out of the
assembly. Then you will be required to drill out two small tabs that hold
the amber insert in place freeing the insert that can then be removed thru
the large hole that the projector lens was mounted in. This is on a set of
halogen headlamps, not xennon lamps which may be different.
the procedure for doing this modification on 96-01 A4's, this does not
require destroying the insert to get it out. (A plus for people that
lease) However because of the little plastic lens covering the turn signal
bulb it's not as easy to perform.
The design of the headlamps is in
such a way that all the components inside are very closely spaced, because
of this, you will need to purposely misalign the internal lamp assembly in
order to be able to remove the projector lens. You will need to realign
both headlights afterwards. The procedure is the same for both
Perform this at your own risk. This involves cutting and
drilling and some level of mechanical skill. If you have never attempted a
project like this or are uncomfortable with drilling into your brand new
Audi's headlights I suggest you take a moment to think about this and
consider asking someone for help. Please read this entire how-to before
beginning. I did my best to explain everything in detail but it does not
cover basic mechanical skills.
-5/32 hex head
driver or suitable sized Torx driver
-Duck Bill pliers or long needle
-7/32 magnetic nut driver
-Dremel tool with high-speed cutting bit (I used model
#190) or small (less than 1/8) drill bit.
-Can of compressed
I recommend starting by first parking the car on a
level surface in front of a wall or garage door and noting the position of
the beam pattern on the wall. This will make it easier to realign the
lights later once everything is done. Keep in mind that if you have to
move the car during this, you will need to park it in the EXACT same spot
so it's best to just leave the car there if possible.
There are four screws holding each headlamp in place,
two are on top in plain view, remove these. The other two are back and
down behind the headlamps. To get to the screws in the back you will need
to remove the plastic cover over the power steering reservoir on the
drivers side and on the passenger side you will have to take off the air
intake tube which runs from the grill to the intake box. There are only
two Phillips screws holding this intake tube in place. Once these pieces
are out you should be able to see the back screws. You DO NOT need to
remove the two back screws just loosen them a few turns. (Fig
1 Bottom two screws on passenger side, drivers side is the
The headlamp should feel loose in the car now. Unplug the
harness and pop off any other wire looms that may be attached to the lamp
assembly. You should now be able to pull the lamps off the car
Prepping the lights
Remove the rubber gasket
that surrounds the lamp being careful not to tear it. Next remove the
amber turn signal bulb, the access cover for the low beam and then the
halogen bulb itself. Inside you will see the back of the projector lens
assembly held in place by three small nuts and a silver metal clip. You
will also notice the beam adjustment screw. (See fig 2 and 3)
2. Close up of lens, adjustment screws and nuts.
3. Metal clip
First remove the metal clip using the duckbill
pliers. Grab one side and push it inward while also pulling on it being
very careful not to slip and hit the glass of the projector lens. Do not
bend this clip out of place you WILL need to reinstall it. It's purpose is
to put pressure on the light assembly so that when going over sharp bumps
the lights do not shake up and down.
Once the clip is out
remove the three little nuts. Now the lens should feel completely loose.
Next you will need to turn the adjustment screw so that all or most of its
threads are extended. The goal here is to "swing" the internal assembly
(towards the front of the car) so that there is enough clearance to get
the lens out. You should not need to touch the other adjustment screw but
it may help. Once the screw is at it's max you can try to remove the lens.
I found the best way is to pull the lens straight out while slightly and
gently twisting it around. It may not seem like it will come out but if
you extended the screw enough giving it proper clearance it will.
It is very important to note that there are two white nylon
spacers around the two threaded studs opposite the adjustment screw. If
these fall off while taking out the lens be sure to retrieve them
immediately. You will not be able to remount the lens without these in
place. (See fig 4)
4 Projector assembly removed. Note the white nylon spacers on the threaded
Removing the amber insert
Since you removed the
rubber gasket before it's very easy to see the two little tabs that hold
the insert in place. (Fig 5 and 6) The goal is to drill a small hole thru
the clear plastic of the lamp assembly from the outside and "eat" away at
the tabs with the tip of the Dremel bit. You need to be very careful when
doing this as you will now be creating a hole that will be visible from
the outside so you want to remove only enough material to free the amber
Fig 5 View of bottom tab.
Fig 6. View of top tab.
Place the lamp assembly securely on a
table or bench and carefully begin to carve out the tabs with the Dremel
tool. You want to try to cut only the amber plastic and not try to enlarge
the existing holes any more than necessary. (See fig 7) I suggest doing
the top tabs first. I found that a medium speed works best. Too fast a
speed will just melt the plastic. Be sure to wear some type of safety
glasses when doing this.
After you think you have cut enough
material so that the insert is free, insert the tip of the cotter pin
extractor into the turn signal bulb socket to try and slide the insert
away. Be very careful not to scratch the inside of the lamp with the tip
and also not to disturb the clear plastic "lens" piece that covers the
bulb. If done correctly, the insert should just need a little nudge to
break loose. You may need to slightly tweak the whole internal turn signal
assembly to allow clearance for the insert to slide out. Looking thru the
access cover you will see how this possible.
If all went well you
should have been able to get the insert out and can just grab it thru the
large hole that the projector lens mounts into.
7. This is how the hole should appear when finished.
compressed air throughout the inside to blow away any particles that may
have been created by the drilling.
Make sure the white nylon
spacers are in place around the threaded studs and reinstall the projector
lens. Pay attention to the way you insert the lens assembly to reinstall
it. It must and can only be mounted one way. Be careful not to
over-tighten the little bolts and also not to cross-thread them. Reinstall
the metal clip exactly as it was making sure it has contact with the metal
plate on the bottom. Reinstall the halogen bulb and the orange turn
signal. Seal up the holes with silicone sealer and reinstall the rubber
gasket. Do not over do it with the silicone, you don't want it to seep
inside and overflow into the headlight. Just use enough to make a
Reinstall the headlamps into the car checking
their operation before securing all the screws. Once all screws are tight,
don't forget to realign the headlights.
If you did a good job, you
should be able to save the amber inserts so they can be reinstalled