1 On the X-Type each headlight is held in place with four bolts, but the lower pair are hidden behind the plastic bumper cover which will need to be removed. It’s mainly held in place by the clips under the front wings and by a 10mm bolt on each side but you’ll also need to free it from the plastic undertray and arch liner.
2 You’ll have to work by feel here but inside the wheelarch you’ll find a 10mm bolt (circled) and with this removed, the bumper cover will be free. A certain amount of brute force is needed so if you’re working by yourself, you might want to use some masking tape along the lower edge of the wing to protect the paint as the bumper can come away suddenly and is a bit unwieldy.
3 With the bumper cover off the car, you can remove the lower pair of bolts and the headlights can now be slid forwards sufficiently to access the wiring plug.
4 The connector is a sealed plug with a retaining clip which must be released before the plug can be removed.
5 Here’s proof that the internal adjuster linkages had failed. See the extent of movement here...
6 ... and here, in the other direction. The only thing holding the bulb carrier in place is the single attachment to the adjuster motor at one corner.
7 Here’s where the problem is. The adjuster link at the top of the photo should be connected to the bulb carrier but the frail, brittle plastic has simply broken away.
8 In order to replace it, you’ll need to disassemble the lamp unit. First stage is to unclip the rubber gasket around the edge and pull it off.
9 Using a hot air gun, carefully heat up the area where plastic lens mounts to the rear housing. Be careful not to melt the plastic and if in doubt exercise caution – it only needs to be hot enough to soften the sealant and we used a 350° heat gun on its low setting. In a pinch, a powerful hair dryer would probably work just as well.
10 As you heat up the unit, release the clips securing the lens to the housing.
11 Gradually ease the lens forward as you work rather than gouging the plastic by levering it with a screwdriver.
12 It takes a few minutes but once it starts to release you’ll be able to pull the unit apart by hand.
13 While the sealant is still soft, pull the reflector out. It’s held at three places by tabs sitting in the joint. Avoid getting it dirty or covered in fingerprints.
14 Remove the three Torx screws holding the indicator in place then disconnect the indicator unit and put it to one side. Don’t forget it when you’re reassembling the lamp! 15 We bought these replacement adjusters online and the set cost £20 for enough parts to rebuild two headlights. 16 Comparing the new adjusters with the broken old parts it’s easy to see they’re much higher quality. The originals are made of plastic which can’t handle the heat of the lights and becomes brittle over time. 17 Only two sets of external adjuster gears were included and to be fair it’s unusual for all four to fail but more can be bought separately if required. Replacing the external adjuster gears is probably the hardest part of the task. The old ones can easily be prised off with a screwdriver or even by hand but getting the new ones in place is harder since they’re a much tighter fit on the knurled adjuster shaft. We heated the new parts up in boiling water to expand them before sliding them on and you can also use a small woodworking G-clamp to drive them on to the shaft. 18 Each light uses one short and one long adjuster so they need to be fitted the right way round. 19 The socket for the adjustment motor is also often broken and the kit includes a replacement for this. It’s held in place with a Torx screw. 20 There’s a shaped key on the rear of the part which ensures it can only fit in the correct orientation. 21 With all the broken adjusters replaced, the lights can be reassembled. In a pinch you could just heat up the sealant again and clip the lamps back together but we used this black mastic sealant which is sold at Screwfix for £4.04. It’s messy stuff but sticks hard and can still be released with the heat gun if we need to dismantle the lamps again for any reason. 22 With both lamps rebuilt and the bumper bolted up, the lights needed to be adjusted. An MoT station can do it but it’s possible to do a pretty good job at home. We measured the physical centre of the beams and then marked that on a garage door and then with the car backed up 25 feet away, turned the adjusters through the access hole in the slam panel so that the horizontal part of the dipped beam is aligned with the mark. In this image our left-hand light still needs to move up a touch.