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      01-28-2012, 09:39 PM   #1
yakev724
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DIY: OEM LED (LCI) License Plate Light Retrofit

First off big thanks to BenAnd from 5 series forums and xxxjecxxx + DimSum (coding info). This DIY wouldn't have been possible without them.

Parts

(Prices are from Tischer BMW--getbmwparts.com)
2x 63267193293 - $13.15 ea
4x 61130005197 - $1.40 ea
4x 61130007452 - $1.74 ea
2x 61136925634 - $1.40 ea

Total (exc. shipping) - $41.66

Shrink Tubing - 3/32" & 3/16" is what I used, Home Depot for ~$2 a bag. I'm sure it'll shrink with a hot hair dryer, though I used a heat gun ($20 at Ace, good investment). I guess you can use electrical tape, though I don't recommend it.

*Soldering isn't required for this to work, especially if you're sealing the connections with shrink tubing. I recommend you do it. If you don't have supplies or don't know how to solder, give it to someone who does, it'll take them 5 mins max.

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Assembly


1 - Cut and Strip

Try and aim for equal lengths here. Specific length isn't important.

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2 - Solder

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3 - Cut + Position Shrink Tubing

You don't want to cover too much of the large male pins. The main reason they need to be covered is to insulate the largest diameter 'rings' as they'll short the connection if they aren't insulated. I covered ~2mm too much (you want to position it a bit further up from the pin than I did).

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4 - Apply Heat

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5 - Cut + Position Shrink Tubing

Here you want to pair the 2 shortest and 2 longest pieces. Also, line up the large male ends evenly, it's OK if the female ends are a bit uneven; their wires are more flexible and will be secured in the plastic connectors.

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6 - Apply Heat

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7 - Insert Pins into Connectors

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8 - Snap Connectors into Lights

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Installation


1 - Remove Old Lights

To remove, you need to insert a flathead into the small opening, and push the entire light towards the right (don't try to pry it off). It should move several mm, after which the side with the opening will free up and may be pulled away from the surface (down out of the trunk). Next you should be able to pull it left/right until it is completely out. Disconnect the electrical connector. *I'll try and add some arrows to the photos to make it a bit more clear. Need to get some iPhoto first

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2 - Install New Lights

Just push the large male pins into the car's connector until it's securely held in and pulling it back has no effect. In my case, the correct polarity was wire 1 of the harness (labeled on blue plastic connector) -> brown wire of car's connector, same for both lights. Not a big deal if you get it wrong, just pull them out and rearrange.

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Physical installation is reverse of removal. You should by now notice that there's a metal spring towards the right of the light assembly which you need to compress to get the left side flush with the trunk surface, after which it'll slide left by a few mm and lock in place.

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Error Removal

This procedure will trigger a bulb-out error on your dash. There are 2 ways (I know of) to get rid of it. The one I recommend is to have the bulb-check procedure (for the lic. plate lights only!) coded out. The 2 values (both in FRM/NFRM) which need to be coded are:

KALTUEBERWACHUNG_KZL

WARMUEBERWACHUNG_KZL

Set both to nicht_aktiv and you're set!


**The second method involves wiring a small halogen bulb (24V 2W) parallel to the LED light (as pictured below). Don't do this--just get it coded, you can learn to code in the coding section.

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Last edited by yakev724; 02-09-2012 at 01:59 AM.
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      01-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #2
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Damn good write up man. Congrats w the new lights
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      01-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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Thx man. I've had these for a few months, just been too lazy to do the install.

Now to find an LCI trunk to match them...
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      01-31-2012, 12:58 AM   #4
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bravo. bravo.
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      01-31-2012, 02:22 AM   #5
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props especially the wiring in the Bulb idea lol
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      01-31-2012, 02:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iFab View Post
props especially the wiring in the Bulb idea lol
That was BenAnd's idea (and his 2 photos). Don't think coding was an option back then.
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      01-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Nice job!

Any particular reason why you went this route instead of purchasing housing replacements from a vendor?
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      02-02-2012, 02:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmertt View Post
Nice job!

Any particular reason why you went this route instead of purchasing housing replacements from a vendor?
I picked the lights up from a member a while ago for relatively cheap, and do a bunch of wiring so had the pins/wires on hand.

I also feel that some of the aftermarket pieces are too bright, though I'm sure there are good products out there (havent looked into it tbh).
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      02-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakev724 View Post
I picked the lights up from a member a while ago for relatively cheap, and do a bunch of wiring so had the pins/wires on hand.

I also feel that some of the aftermarket pieces are too bright, though I'm sure there are good products out there (havent looked into it tbh).
Thanks. I think I will be doing this soon. I also noticed the aftermarket alternatives were too bright. Quality also seems hit or miss as I've seen posts regarding the housings melting.

In regard to the coding, do you know if there is a way to just disable the check on the license plate LEDs? I'd hate to disable the check for all lights.
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      02-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmertt View Post
Thanks. I think I will be doing this soon. I also noticed the aftermarket alternatives were too bright. Quality also seems hit or miss as I've seen posts regarding the housings melting.

In regard to the coding, do you know if there is a way to just disable the check on the license plate LEDs? I'd hate to disable the check for all lights.
The 2 lines that need to be coded are for the license plate lights only. Each light has a 'cold' and 'warm' bulb check, hence the 2 lines.

Set both to nicht_aktiv

KALTUEBERWACHUNG_KZL

WARMUEBERWACHUNG_KZL
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      02-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
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I understand how all of this works but the coding process, can I code it myself or do you need a special device and something that I would have to take my car into the dealer for?

Thanks
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      02-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaks88 View Post
I understand how all of this works but the coding process, can I code it myself or do you need a special device and something that I would have to take my car into the dealer for?

Thanks
To code yourself, you'll need to purchase a $90 cable and spend a few hours learning the process (refer to Coding section, specifically 'Coding Success' thread).

There are forum members which offer this service free for locals, and there are also shops which have the capability. Program used is called NCS Expert.
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      04-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Forgot to update this thread...I did this last month and this DIY was perfect. Nothing is better than the OEM look IMO. Thanks again.
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      04-26-2012, 04:38 PM   #14
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Instead of a halogen bulb could you solder in a diode + capacitor of some sort?
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      04-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmertt View Post
Forgot to update this thread...I did this last month and this DIY was perfect. Nothing is better than the OEM look IMO. Thanks again.
Good to hear!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent11br View Post
Instead of a halogen bulb could you solder in a diode + capacitor of some sort?
I'm sure you could solder in resistors. Not sure of the current that runs through it but obviously you want one large enough so that it doesn't get hot.

Don't do this. Just have the bulb check coded out. I'm almost positive that there's someone local to you (wherever you are in the world) that'll do it in 5 mins max. Not worth having hot wires inside body panels.

Last edited by yakev724; 04-26-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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      02-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #16
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Best Write-up Ever!

This tutorial should be a model on which every guide/tutorial/ is written.
Great job!

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