Spider bumper/fender RR .... Lesons learned.
I installed some HID bulbs in the dipped beam light housing of my (recently purchased) 2007 Spider today. Here are some things I learned that may prove informative. This is not an entire tutorial. Consider it a supplement to the workshop manual and/or the existing threads covering this subject.
Although it is possible to remove and replace the low beam bulbs without removing the headlight cluster, it is MUCH easier if you take the headlight assembly to the bench. This is even more worthwhile if you're changing to HID bulbs and/or changing the (significantly more difficult) high beam bulbs. Who would guess that removing the throttle body was part of changing a headlight bulb?
I was more or less forced into removing the headlight clusters because when I removed the high beam bulb to see what type the previous owner had installed, I discovered that someone had bent the retaining clip so that the bulb was no longer held firmly in position. There is no way I could repair the clip with the headlight cluster on the car. Unfortunately, I frittered away a few hours with a flashlight, a dental mirror, and several improvised tools before I gave up and decided to do it the correct way.
Raising the car on a lift, removing the undertray, and removing the bumper are the first three steps mentioned in the workshop manual. To tell the truth, I was NOT looking forward to this process. But donít worry. I discovered several short cuts which makes the event much easier than completing the entire ďbookĒ procedure.
For one thing, you donít need a lift since the fasteners along the lower edge of the bumper are easily removed with the car sitting on its own wheels. You also donít need to remove the undertray (as instructed in the Alfa shop manual). You simply have to remove the bolts common to the undertray and bumper, all of which can be reached without difficulty. Some of these are Torx type. If you own an Alfa, you should also own a set of Torx tools.
Once the upper and lower bumper fasteners are out, you must remove a few fasteners inside the wheel well splash guards. Turn the wheels first one way and then the other to make this job easier.
The workshop manual says move the bumper to the side to unfasten the clips between the bumper and fender (wing). What you need to do is pull the bumper outboard starting at the edge near the wheel well. This takes a significant effort and produces really LOUD noises which sound like shattering plastic. However, the clips released without breaking.
Now spread a large soft pad or blanket on the ground in front of the car. Pull the bumper forward and set on the pad. No need to disconnect the fog lights.
Once you have the lamp cluster on the bench, you will notice that the bulb retaining clip on the dipped beam light is made in such a way that it will not flip over the typical HID bulb. Thatís because the bulbs are hard wired; i.e. there is no connector at the base of the bulb. Itís easy to remove the clip so you can install the HID bulb but be sure when you reinstall the clip that you donít put it on up-side-down. It will fit just fine the wrong way round and it looks OK, but it will not retain the bulb with sufficient pressure, so pay attention to the clip orientation.
I reinstalled the light clusters, connected the wiring, and tested everything before proceeding further. Discovering a defective bulb after youíre all through would be a real disappointment. Reassembly is straightforward. I put a tiny bit of grease on the clips between the bumper and fender (wing). Perhaps it wonít make such horrible noises when I remove it next time. Be sure the tabs on the lower bumper and undertray engage correctly BEFORE you start installing any of the bolts and screws.
Bottom line: This job was about half as involved as I first thought after reviewing the workshop manual instructions.