B7 Audi Clear Corner Mod
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!
Hey nick, quick question, I want to install bi xenon oem audi headlights for my non- xenon a4 b7 2007, do you need a Vag-com cable?
You’ll need a new harness/adapter for the lights – a company called Kufatec makes a halogen to bi-xenon wiring adapter that you can purchase (around $100 I think) and then yes, you’ll need access to a vag-com setting to reprogram your lighting from halogen to bi-xenon as well. Good luck with the conversion, it’s well worth it!
Hey Nick, I want to clear corner my headlights (2006 non sline A4) but while i am at it i wanted to add LED daytime running lights (your guide), put in the chrome turn signal, as well as change my main beam into a “white color” (those are called xenon?)….my headlights are halogens, and i was wondering if all that would work without any adapters or things like that? also if you know the best bulb to use to change out the main beam so it matches the LED daytime running lights (along with the fogs that i will also be changing) all using your useful guides
sorry i know that those are a lot of questions, i am just not very good at this stuff and trying to learn!
The clear corner process as well as the LED DRLs and turn signal are all the same. Ditto all other bulbs in the headlight housing minus the main headlight bulb itself.
The only difference is if you want to change the main headlight bulb from a halogen bulb to a xenon bulb. The halogen bulbs are H7 sized bulbs whereas the OEM HID lights are a D1S bulb. If you want to upgrade the halogen headlights, you can either get a H7 xenon-look bulb which is essentially just a replacement bulb that has some xenon gas in it and looks more whitish-blue – there are a bunch on the market like these from Philips: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00480J4PU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=niscabl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00480J4PU.
The other alternative is to get a full HID retrofit (like I did with my fogs) that comes with ballasts. You’ll want an H7 HID kit like this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O50ESO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=niscabl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000O50ESO. The only downside to a full HID kit is that the light is very bright and the halogen headlight housings don’t have a projector, so they can’t direct the light as well and there won’t be a cutoff, so it might blind some drivers.
Hope that helps!
Thank you so much! I feel like i should go with the first option instead of a full HID kit (for safety, as well as i think it is easier to install correct? just screw off the old one and put in the new?), but just one more question, would they all match (the lights) if i go with the H7 xenon-look bulb, or at least be pretty close?
The LEDs will all match, hard to say if the main headlight bulb will be a perfect match but it should be pretty close I’d think. Shoot for a main headlight bulb that is close to 6000k in light temperature/color.
hey Nick, AWESOME site! do you have any ideas on how to make my side view mirrors light up as turn signal? appreciate any info, as well as your dedication to all of us AUDI lovers!
Thanks Andre! I haven’t heard of anything that does this, OEM or aftermarket. My guess is you’d have to do something custom and tap into the power source of the turn signals or the fender sidemarkers. Probably wouldn’t be easy…
Nice write up – I have BI-Xenon A4 B7 headlights (damaged) and like to add aftermarket dark halogen headlights. Will the mod work with Kufatec harness.
Thanks in advance ..
Don’t see why not!
I’m in the UK I have removed my fried eggs from my headlights previously but would like to fit the clear covers you buy here link is blank could you let me know where to buy from please
Your best bet is eBay or a parts yard / salvage yard. There are some on eBay US right now but not sure about the UK…
The link is now there (to Ebay) probably he didn’t have any listed when it wasn’t. Strange the only place I can find that can supply ‘Euro’ lenses is a guy in Florida 🙂 – I will order some it makes a better finished job.
Thanks for your swift reply
I was wondering how easy the process of re-sealing the headlights is and if you have ever had any problems with the lights not completely re-sealing and allowing condensation in? Thanks, been wanting to do this for a while but just haven’t had the guts to pull the trigger just yet.
Hi Brian – I’ve never had issues with that, Audi gunks on a ton of extra sealant (almost too much) so you don’t really need to add anymore…just put the clips back on and re-heat the glue so it sets, and you should be fine. Even if it doesn’t set perfectly when you reinstall, the engine generates so much heat (as do the lights themselves) that the headlights will pretty much reseal themselves…
Hey Nick, I have a b7 a4, I am looking to get the clear corner mod. But I’m having trouble finding where to buy the clear lenses. Can you possibly give me the link to where I can order these lenses?
Hi Matt C – your best bet is eBay, check out this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDI-A4-B7-EURO-CLEAR-CORNER-LENSES-/231517111089?hash=item35e77ec331&vxp=mtr
Hey Nick I have a 07 a4 convertible. I have some light damage to the bumper cover, fender, hood and the headlight lens is cracked. They are bi xenon. My question is will the lens from a halogen model fit and or will any sedan body parts fit or are they different. Also do you know any tail light mods or other convertible only mods? Thanks for the info
The halogen lenses can swap over, as can the sedan headlight assemblies, but I’m not sure on the body panels. The tail lights are definitely different, I’m not sure what parts are available for that.
I got a question, like Rob Nicholsen said. When I have removed this indicator amber lens cover. Where can I buy a clear lens cover?
They dont sell anything here in Norway.
A guy who goes by “fly300kts” on Audizine makes replica ones, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to buy a pair. They cost about $60USD, plus whatever shipping would be to Norway.
I have a 2006 A4 and bought the exact Crescent T30 listed above from Amazon and just got back in from trying this and it is almost two inches too short to reach the screw at the bottom. Was my car made on a Monday or are there different versions? I just went back on Amazon to buy an eight inch T30 to try again.
Hey Will – it’s been a long time since I wrote this so I can’t remember if I used a 6″ or maybe it was an 8″ – I think I actually just used a long flathead screwdriver which worked just fine TBH. I updated the post to recommend an 8″ screwdriver, sorry the 6″ didn’t work.
It looks like the link for the chrome turn signal bulbs is dead. Could you point me in the direction of some correct ones on Amazon?
The link is still working for me, can you try again: http://amzn.to/1XOZG3V – the specific product name is Pilot XC-1156W Xenon White HID Chrome Coated Glass Bulb
If not, any 1156 chrome bulb should work, you can see all of the options Amazon has in stock here: http://amzn.to/1LI2kS3
Those links worked great. Thanks!
While I’m in there, I was also thinking about changing the DRL bulbs (those are the inner lights, right) to achieve this matching orange effect: http://i.imgur.com/d1YvlK7.jpg
What do you think I should get for those?
Hi Matt – for the DRLs, you can use the same ones recommended in my write-up here: https://www.nickscarblog.com/diy/b7-audi-a4-s4-and-rs4-led-daytime-running-lights-drl
When adding to your cart you can choose between White (what I have), Yellow (what you want), or Red (technically not legal in US). Here is the direct link as well: http://amzn.to/1XP0zJy
The same effect can’t be achieved with a standard bulb?
Yeah, you could do that too if you want 😛
Cool. Thanks for the help and props for having such a clean, easily navigable site with good photography and writing. Sadly that’s a rarity in the car community.
Where can I get the clear Amber reflector ?
Hi Sam – it’s in the post, but email Phil at tbm850 at gmail.com and he’ll take care of you!
Question Nick – Where can I buy a metal clip for the front light lens? I lost one to the metal part that’s underneath the 2006 a4 and need it replaced. Any suggestions what to look up or where to get it in Wisconsin?
Oh boy. I would check out ECS tuning or call the nearest dealer. Hopefully Audi sells those seperately and doesn’t require you to buy the whole housing – but if they do, it’s probably okay to be missing one as long as the rest are in there.
I love your blog post. I already contacted Phil regarding the clear reflector turn signals lenses. I have halogen headlights for my audi a4 b7 and was wondering if you knew any good LED brands that would fit. For both low and high beams. Thanks.
I used the LASFIT LED headlights on my wife’s car and liked them – I’ve had them a while now and now issues, either. You can read about them here: https://www.nickscarblog.com/diy/hid-vs-led-for-cars-which-is-better
I’ve only waited 10 years to do this to my B7–guess I’m not an early adopter, but thanks for the time and effort on behalf of guys like me! Question: The Pilot XC-1156W Xenon White HID Chrome Coated Glass Bulb in the link you provided, above, is no longer available from Amazon–actually, they have 1 available, which doesn’t help. Any suggestions for an alternative resource? Thanks
Bummer – you want a 1156 bulb…in theory you could reuse the stock ones, but they’ll light up yellow rather than orange. The best ones are coated silver but orange underneath, so that way they light up orange but don’t make the housing look orange. I updated the post with some alternatives that should work.
Thanks Nick! I appreciate your time and quick response. Ordering today and will replace my headlight lenses at the same time I do the clear corner mod. Saying goodbye to pitting and yellowing.
Hey Nick, Trying to get around to doing the clear corner mod on my RS4.. The audizine link doesn’t seem to work anymore. Is there somewhere else i could purchase the clears? Figured I’d do this while I’ve got the bumper off. lol.
Yeah – email Phil at email@example.com and he can get you sorted.
Did mine when I had to replace my bumper a couple of months back. Went out the other night and noticed my new clear lenses had melted! Has this happened to anyone else? BTW if you are going to be at Big SoCal Euro I’ll show you how my Hofele RS bumper came out on my B7 Avant S4….
I haven’t heard of these melting! Did you have LEDs?
No, the chrome coated ones you had up on the DIY….
Damn, that’s super disappointing…I can’t see why that should happen, the bulb is the same wattage so the only difference is the silver coating on it. I used to link to a different version but it’s no longer on Amazon.
Nick, by any chance is there a video or link that I can look at on how to do this mod step by step on my b7? I’ve looked some up but they just show before and after pics or videos but never really anything on how to do it step by step.