I recently did the clear corner mod for my newly acquired S4 and now that I’ve done this mod four different times (twice for myself, twice for friends), I felt it was long overdue to write-up my process and share some tips. It’s not a tricky mod per say, but it does require you to take the bumper off so it does take some time and patience to line up everything back up when you’re done.
The basics are pretty easy – remove headlights, use a hair dryer or heat gun to loosen the glue, pull the headlight lens off, remove the amber reflector, replace with a clear reflector (optional), then put the headlights back on & reset the glue with the heat gun and reinstall everything. The devil is in the details, so we’ll get on to that next…
Also, if you want to change out any bulbs in the headlight housing (DRL, City Light, Turn Signal, or the Xenon bulbs themselves) now is the time to do it as it’s really hard to change the bulbs with the headlights installed, but super easy if they’re already off the car. Likewise since you’ll have the bumper off, it’s a good time to replace the grille or plasti-dip it, or to replace the side reflectors, since all of those items will be easily accessible.
Step 1 – Remove the front bumper
Oh, the B7 and that pesky front bumper. If you’ve had a B7 and modded it all, chances are you have removed the front bumper before. If you haven’t, it’s not that hard, but the first time is always the hardest. This thread on Audizine has a really good write-up on how to remove the front bumper, so check it out. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments below, but I’ll get on to the good stuff for now…
Step 2 – Remove the headlights
It’s only three bolts, and two are really easy to get to. The middle one is the easiest and you’ll remove it completely. The screw closest to the grille only needs to be loosened but does not need to be removed completely. It is easy to get to as well. The bad news is the third one is accessed through a hole in the top of the fender and is super difficult to get to as you can’t see what you’re doing and working in a very tight spot. You’ll need a long extension with a T25 torx bit at the end that is skinny enough to fit down that hole, and then you’ll need to try to line it up so that the bit catches with the screw and you can then ratchet it out. You don’t need to remove it completely, just loosen it enough that the headlight can slide out like the side nearest the grille. The headlight will then pull forward and come out. Remove the wiring harness so you can work on the headlight on a work bench or table.
Step 3 - Separate the Housing
First you’ll remove five metal clips that hold the lens from the rest of the headlight housing. Two are located on top as shown above in blue. There are three on the back as well. These pop out really easily with a flat head screwdriver. Hold on to them as you’ll need to reinstall later.
Next, use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat up the glue. Do not overheat to the point of melting anything, but give it some solid heat all around the seal. Once it seems nice and warm, start to pull apart from one end. You may need to pull for 20-30 seconds before the seal is broken but then they’ll pull apart very easily. The glue will stretch so try to keep the glue out of the housing…Audi provides copious amounts of glue so you won’t need to add any extra to reseal the housing, you’ll just need to reheat the seal and you should be set.
Note: some people bake their headlights in an oven to do this. I don’t recommend that as you may melt the housing and your heating everything, rather than only the glue. Using a hair dryer or heat gun lets you concentrate the heat where you need it without risking overheating or melting other components that do not need heat.
Step 4 – Remove the Amber
There are a few methods to remove the amber reflector, and I call my method the goldi-locks method as it’s not the easiest but not the hardest either, it’s somewhere in-between and a good compromise IMO. The easiest (but most dangerous) method is to remove the amber cap with brute force by hitting it with a screwdriver to pop it out. You have to apply a LOT of force to do this – watch this video to see. I strongly recommend against this as you risk breaking the headlight housing. The other method is Phil’s method (fly300kts) and it’s definitely the most careful route but requires a lot of patience and time. Instead, what I’ve done is use a dremel to break the amber housing, and then it just falls out – this way you don’t risk hurting the housing, but it’s still a quick & easy method. You’ll want to use compressed air or an air gun to blast out any shavings from the amber reflector out of the headlight housing, but otherwise it’s a very easy & relatively risk-free method.
Step 5 – Install Bulbs & Reflectors (optional but recommended)
You can replace amber reflector with a clear reflector, which I think looks really nice and completes the OEM look. Likewise, I recommend replacing the turn signal bulb with a “chrome” bulb that still lights up orange but looks clear. If you reuse the OEM turn signal bulbs they don’t light up orange and instead look like a normal halogen bulb, which kind of looks off.
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And you can buy chrome turn signal bulbs here:
Step 6 – Reinstall Everything & Enjoy
First plug the wiring harness back into the headlight and test that everything works right (e.g. you screwed the bulbs in correctly).
Next, install the headlights first and pay close attention to how they line up with the fender. If the headlights aren’t lined up correctly, you won’t get the bumper to line-up either. You may need to loosen the bolts and then re-adjust once you have the bumper back on.
When installing the bumper first put the middle section on and make sure the bumper height adjusters on the crash bar haven’t moved and the bumper sits properly on them. Next press the bumper in and tighten the three screws on the top of the bumper first. Check for fitment and adjust as necessary, then tighten the two 10mm nuts inside of each fender. Lastly, finish up the remaining screws & bolts and you’re done!
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