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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > Super easy way to remove front interior light cluster for LED or hard wiring detector



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      01-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
crashoverride
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Super easy way to remove front interior light cluster for LED or hard wiring detector

This is such an easier way and works for so many different reasons to remove front center interior light cluster. That I felt it was worthy of it's own thread. Such as hard wiring a radar detector, replacing bulbs with LED's or just plain manual access to sunroof.


The first thing I did was bend a strong nail. I accidentally bent it too much on one end. The smaller end works best. However the bend on the larger end helped for pulling.



I then removed the frosted plastic and the map light lens. This picture shows the metal clip visible through a hole in the back of the map light.



I then fished the small end of the bent nail behind the silver clip and pulled back towards rear of car. Which in less than thirty seconds releases the clip.






I tried many of the other methods using my fat fingers along the front windshield didn't work for me. Neither did a screwdriver butter knife, small screwdriver etc (please note the putty knife and brand new screwdriver I tried using both marred the interior.) Also I just grabbed the first nail a thinner one would have worked even better. Or even better if you have one of those screwdrivers with a bent hook tip... I think they are technically a radiator hose remover. They always come with the uber cheap gas station dollar tool bin set. I finally found a use for that tool...lol
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      01-08-2013, 02:34 AM   #2
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I had a hell of a time releasing the clip the holds in the front dome light/map lights assembly too until my friend helping me recommended unscrewing the sun visor holders.

This allows the headliner to drop down MUCH more and allowed even my fat hands to easily reach the front of the front dome light/map lights assembly to unclip for easy removal.
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      01-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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nice trick. I used the same procedure as Flat4Turbo described, works best
But the bent nail seems to be faster, so
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      04-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
charmin
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Crashoverride.... you are my saviour, just been trying for 2 hours to get that bloody front light dome out without success, tried the screwdriver, spatula etc and all I got was a cut hand...!
I looked at it and wondered about trying to get to the clip through the light but of course it's hard to see until you get the damn thing out, so your pics show me it can be done.
So I've taken an old wire coat hanger, cut it about 6 inches long, bent hook at one end and loop at the other to grip onto.. I haven't tried it yet but damn I know it's gonna work.. so many thanks.

How many people on here have struggled with this... ? easy now, I'll let you know how it works.

Cheers
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      04-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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OK, tried the coat-hanger, small 1/4" bend at one end and loop at the other to grab onto... took me about three mins to get the light housing out... perfect.

Don't make the bent bit any bigger than 1/4" as it won't fit through the gap in the light, one side at a time, used the plastic spatula thing to hold the first side in place to stop it popping back in then did the other side clip. The real annoying thing is the light goes back in just so easy...
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      04-09-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
crashoverride
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Awesome I'm so glad others could take advantage of this. It truly is frustrating beyond belief and I feel this is such easy solution to a such a hard problem.

It confuses me that you're supposed to actually get in that area to manually close sunroof... usually in a rainstorm. I mean only a consumer would manually close... yet there is no easy just pull this release or such to get in there.
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      12-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
modobrew
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I know this thread is old, but thank you for this. i was able to change all of my bulbs with no issues except one map light. This allowed me to get the fixture lowered so I could access the bulb from above. Thanks!
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      12-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
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Wondering if those hundreds of allen keys i have in my tool box could be a good alternative for the "nail"?
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      12-11-2013, 02:46 AM   #9
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How do you remove the map light lens? I can't seem to get it off. Anyone provide a picture of how to get it off? Where do I pry?
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      12-18-2013, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latino1ny View Post
How do you remove the map light lens? I can't seem to get it off. Anyone provide a picture of how to get it off? Where do I pry?
I got a plastic, non marring pry tool kit for about $6. You can get something similar at Harbor Freight or AAP.

The side closest the windshield or closest the sunroof is actually flat rather than rounded a bit (hard to notice at first). You can use your tools to wedge, wiggle, pry it off. Once you got that off... I found it easier to remover the sun visor clip nearest to the FZD. Once the screw and clips r removed... U can easily reach behind the sun visor to press the metal tabs so the FZD pops down.
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