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S3 8L facelift headlamp compared to A3 8L facelift headlamp...

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by AJD S3, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    Hey all,

    Bit of a weird title I know, but I'm interested to know what similarities, or differences, there are between the S3 8L facelift headlamps, and the A3 8L facelift headlamps. My reason for wanting to look into this is, as you might expect, that the headlights on my S3 are just beyond repair. Despite 4 attempts to fix them, I'm still having issues, particularly with the below:

    - 2 of the manual adjustment cogs have gone brittle and snapped off (common fault). Managed to replace these with A3 equivalents from my local scrappy, but aren't holding well enough, adjustment is near enough impossible.
    - Both auto levelling clips are broken. Had 4 attempts at fabricating my own using pre-facelift A3 clips as a base, but these aren't holding as well as they should really.
    - The lenses, despite having been polished and buffed right up, are just old and tired looking

    So really, I'm looking to find out whether or not I could use parts A3 facelift lights to replace the broken bits on my S3 lights. I'm aware that I could use the manual adjustment cogs no problem, but could I use the lenses? And are the levelling clips the same design? The A3 facelift headlights look absolutely identical, but apparently, internally, they're totally different.

    If anyone can help point out any differences, I'd be really grateful. You might be wondering why I'm even considering attempting this project - fact is, I'm not willing to shell out near enough £500.00 a side for new headlamps.

    Thanks in advance for your help - of course, if I do take on this project, I'll be sure to document the whole thing!
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  2. Greg-S3
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    Greg-S3 Active Member

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    Face lift S3 headlamps are xenon, standard A3 headlamps are halogen bulbs and the optical lens is a lot bigger than a xenon one.
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  3. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    So, with this in mind, the only parts that should be different are the optical lenses, and wiring obviously, as the S3 headlamp includes xenon ballast etc.?
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  4. Greg-S3
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    Greg-S3 Active Member

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    S3 lamps have ballast packs but standard one don't! Suppose the best thing to do is buy a second han standard headlamp, open her up and see what's what!!
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  5. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    If they're made by the same company, then it should be possible to swap the Xenon projector and ballast into the non-xenon unit.

    Its certainly the case on B5's, the non-xenon headlights use exactly the same casing as the Xenon ones, just different internal bits.
    #5
  6. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    Thanks Aragorn, that's exactly the info I was looking for.

    From the part images on ETKA, the casings and lenses appear to be indentical, so I'm hoping I'll be able to cobble together a set of working headlights from parts from my current ones, and parts from some brand new A3 facelift halogens. I've ordered the A3 halogens, so if I manage it, I'll post a thread up showing how it went.
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  7. vfr800
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    vfr800 Member

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    Hi

    The black plastic casing and the lens are from the same moulds(ish).

    However to fit the xenon gubbins to a non-xenon casing you'll have to dremel some holes into the black plastic where the xenon electrics need to enter.

    You will, as mentioned, also need to swap the reflector and projector BUT this will require splitting the headlight unit in half.

    This is easy if you have a unit which has the temperature sensitive adhesive. You can bake it in the oven for a while.

    If you have the Silicon-type adhesive you WILL NOT be able to split the head light apart. Full stop. I tried this, the adhesive is also NOT silicon which can be broken down with a normal silicon digester gunk.

    Any way - good luck with this. If you find a way of breaking down the newer adhesives let me know.

    Liam
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  8. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    Hi, thanks for this.

    I was assuming the holes would still be there for the Xenon cables, considering both casings are from the same mould? I thought they'd just have plastic inserts clipped in to fill the holes? Either way, cutting holes shouldn't be an issue.

    Ive already taken my current headlights apart many, many times, using a heatgun - all seems to go very smoothly to be honest. So I'm thinking it'll be the same with the new ones. I will post up progress photos on how it all goes.
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  9. vfr800
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    vfr800 Member

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    Good luck with it. If you've found a source of headlamps which are bonded with the old adhesive I'd be interested.

    Liam
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  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    The Valeo units on the A4 arent heat sensitive, you need to be VERY brutal with a screwdriver or two to get the units apart. I've done it though, took a few hours, but i managed it!

    Theres a guide on a4mods that explains what you need to do, but basically you use heat and force to bend the outer lip up out the way so its poking up at a right angle to the casing, then you can get the screwdriver in behind/underneath the lens and break it free from the adhesive.

    The older Bosch and Hella units are heat sensitve as mentioned and come apart much easier.


    One thing that might work, is to buy Depo replicas of the proper light units if they're available, as these usually use the heat sensitive glue, and while they have rubbish optics, your throwing them away anyway!
    #10
  11. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    Did you get anywhere with this?
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