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. Likewise since you’ll have the bumper off and headlights out, it’s a good time to replace the grille or plasti-dip it, change out the headlight bulbs, DRLs, or City Lights, or even 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 – the trick is having the right tools to access the two bolts on the inside of the wheel well/backside of the bumper. This thread on Audizine has a really good write-up on how to remove the front bumper, so check it out. Tools wise I’d recommend investing in a flex extension such as this one coupled with a 10mm deep socket to reach the bolts – if you don’t have a flex extension than a wobble extension with a 10mm deep socket will work just fine, you just need some play in it as a straight extension won’t reach at the right angle since there is too much in the way…
Step 2 – Remove the headlights
It’s only three bolts, and two are really easy to get to – all three are T30 Torx Bits, but the final one (the tricky one) can be removed using a flathead screwdriver. The middle one is the easiest and you’ll remove it completely, so start there. The screw closest to the grille only needs to be loosened but does not need to be removed completely, and is easy to access.
The third one that is closest to the outside fender is the most difficult – I recommend picking up a 8″ long T30 screwdriver and then it’s super simple. If you don’t have one or are reading this when midway done with the job, a super long (at least 6″ in length) flathead screwdriver will also do the trick – you may need to grind down the head of the screwdriver to fit in the T30 bit, but you can test fitment on one of the other screws. If you’ve got time, order the one linked to above from Amazon and it will be the best $5 you ever spent, trust me 🙂
Once you’ve loosened the third bolt, 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 – I’ve done all of them. 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 hardest method is Phil’s method (fly300kts) and it’s definitely the most careful route but requires a lot of patience and time. Phil is a little more meticulous than you need to be, there really just 4 torx bits you need to remove and you can loosen the housing enough to slide out the amber reflectors. The middle ground is what I’ve done above, using a dremel to break the amber housing, and then it just falls out – this way you don’t risk hurting the housing, but the downside is you can’t reuse the ambers if you want to. 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 New 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.
And you can buy chrome turn signal bulbs here:
And the clear corner lenses are harder to be found, but if you email phil he can source some for you: tbm850 at gmail.com and really give the car an OEM finish and looks excellent – I have them on mine. Be sure to put an extra dab of silicone or super glue to make sure they stay firmly in place:
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. Check out this DIY if you have trouble getting the bumper, hood or headlights lined up with minimal gaps: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/414080-Bumper-Hood-Gap-Adjustment-(after-bumper-removal). Lastly, finish up the remaining screws & bolts and you’re done!