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DIY - LED licence plate lights and door entrance lights
Published by rikuF10
10-15-2006
DIY - LED licence plate lights and door entrance lights

Since the ECU is monitoring the current of any exterior light, changing to a LED bulb will trigger the error message.

In order to avoid the error message, you will need to fool the ECU that you are using the correct power consumption.

This is what I used in my LED licence plate light mod...

1) an extra pair of Licence plate light housing (less than US$6 for a pair)
2) Three 25W 220 Ohm resistor w/ metal heat shink. (pls note the resister value will vary with different LED bulbs)
3) some Telfon coated cables and Telfon tubes
4) a few Nylon ties
5) a soldering iron and some solder
6) two 37mm 6LED bulbs

I bought a new pair of the licence plate light housing, so that I can easily reverse the process........when I bring my car into service, they won't even know I did anything to the lights.

For the telfon cables.....actually, you can use regular cables. I only use it for added protection.

Just one more reminder: DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK
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  #1  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 04:20 AM
First, you have to take out the licence light housing. Just put a flat screwdriver into the hole to the left of the plastic lens.....push to the right & pull the housing down.

Then just pull off the plugs.
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  #2  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 04:27 AM
Then you need to solder the 3 resistors to the housing. I am running them in parallel. Since the two lights are running in parallel, it doesn't matter where you install the 3 resisters. For the cable length, 30cm is good enough.

I put two to the left housing and one to the right housing.

In first photo, you can see a small resister at the right. It is actually good enough to just use this one. However, it will gets very hot. For safety, I divided the load to 3 extra large resisters.
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Last edited by rikuF10; 10-15-2006 at 05:15 AM.
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  #3  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 04:33 AM
Now, install the modified light housing back to the trunk lid. and secure the 3 resister with nylon ties.

I found there are 3 good places to put this inside the trunk lid...
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  #4  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 04:35 AM
Now put the trunk lid lining back.....and it is done! :rocks:

.....also noticed that my blacklines has no white lights leaking at the edges? ....just replace all four P21W bulbs with a red color bulbs. Not only will there be no white light leaking out, the blackline also looks cooler at night!
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Last edited by rikuF10; 10-15-2006 at 11:41 AM.
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  #5  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 05:04 AM
For the door entrance lights, it is not being monitored by the ECU....so you don't need anything to fool it.

For this mod, I am using a 6 LED plate. On the passenger side door, I put the LED plate right behind the plastic diffusor, so doesn't really get to be diffused. The result is 6 bright LED squares projected to the ground (with three dimmer ones as bonus). Looks kind of
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  #6  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 05:07 AM
On the Driver side, I put the 6 LED plate with a clearance of approx 1cm to the diffusor. I get one large bright lights. This illuminate the floor very well....make sure I don't step on any shXT when exiting the car...
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  #7  
By cntlaw on 10-15-2006, 06:03 AM

WOW ! Thank you for your kind sharing with these wonderful E90 LEDs works with us.
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  #8  
By HO on 10-15-2006, 07:32 AM
Danny, Excellent job
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  #9  
By RD Sport on 10-15-2006, 07:48 AM
D, thanks and good job on the rear license, I am going to get mine installed shortly. Hopefully we will be able to sort out my int. LED project
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  #10  
By sunnywuh on 10-15-2006, 08:46 AM
you are the man!!!
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  #11  
By DILLIGAF on 10-15-2006, 09:04 AM
Nice DIY
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  #12  
By SocalTy on 10-15-2006, 11:35 AM
Wow. Great DIY! Think I'll try this in the upcoming weeks.
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  #13  
By Leonardo629 on 10-15-2006, 12:41 PM
nice.....
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  #14  
By RichP on 10-15-2006, 12:44 PM
Excellent writeup. I especially like how you used the resistors with a heatsink, which is a necessity in these applications.
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  #15  
By kelvinso on 10-15-2006, 08:08 PM
Great and nice job
Next Q: When should I mod mine??
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  #16  
By EBMCS03 on 10-15-2006, 09:44 PM
Excellent! I hope the rear licence plate is the same for the E60 or very similar... I've been wanting to do that for like a year.
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  #17  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 09:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBMCS03
Excellent! I hope the rear licence plate is the same for the E60 or very similar... I've been wanting to do that for like a year.
On the E60, it is very similar since the licence plate light bulb is the same 12V5W. The only thing is to buy the equavilent LED bulbs and test the difference in power consumption. Then use the corresponding resistor value.
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  #18  
By rikuF10 on 10-15-2006, 10:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvinso
Great and nice job
Next Q: When should I mod mine??

Feel free to come & take a look before deciding to mod it....

Let's have a mini HK LED meet!
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  #19  
By txusa03 on 10-16-2006, 12:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RikuE90
I bought a new pair of the licence plate light housing, so that I can easily reverse the process........when I bring my car into service, they won't even know I did anything to the lights.

Just one more reminder: DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK
nice writeup, always thinking ahead...

the door light is cool bro with the 6 small led shooting down the ground...
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  #20  
By joebaggg on 10-17-2006, 12:02 AM
hey i set off the ECU when installing led's in the headlights, i believe its the parking light (the peanut bulb) any idea how i can fool the ECU for that?
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  #21  
By EBMCS03 on 10-17-2006, 12:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RikuE90
On the E60, it is very similar since the licence plate light bulb is the same 12V5W. The only thing is to buy the equavilent LED bulbs and test the difference in power consumption. Then use the corresponding resistor value.

Sounds like a plan.
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