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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 07-24-2004, 10:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I've heard a couple of things about these rear lights.. the backup, tail lights, brake lights, etc.

One is that dialectric grease is great for them.

The other is that disalectric grease causes the warning lights on the dash to light up erroneously.

Which is the case??

Also, I notice an unused bulb socket on each side.. what would this be for? They appear to accept the smaller 5W bulbs rather than the larger 21W ones. Is this something I could use, and if so what would they do? Or is this just an option for Europe?

Tks,
Bob
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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my lights work fine without any greasing. forget the grease and you don't have to worry about check engine lights. there are extra housings toward the inside of the lights that are used in europe as rear fog lights. not an option in US. you can wire these to work with your brake lights for added visibility in the rear. just bridge the connectors behind the lights. (vague, i know, but i'm tired this morning)
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Old 07-24-2004, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Skipper. Maybe I'll try that bridging idea.. can't have too much in the way of brake lights I guess.

Thanks again,
Bob
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Old 07-24-2004, 07:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skipper5@Jul 24 2004, 03:13 PM
my lights work fine without any greasing. forget the grease and you don't have to worry about check engine lights. there are extra housings toward the inside of the lights that are used in europe as rear fog lights. not an option in US. you can wire these to work with your brake lights for added visibility in the rear. just bridge the connectors behind the lights. (vague, i know, but i'm tired this morning)
I don't supose anyone would have a diagram or picture of exactly how to bridge these extra sockets to become extra brake lights?

Would the change be likely to cause any problems with fuses blowing or dashboard warning lights or the like?

I gather I would use the normal large brake light bulbs in them? Sounds like a easy and useful mod, but it's hard to tell exactly where the bridge should be without getting back there with a voltmeter and having someone hold down the brake pedal.

Oh, and the best way to "unplug" the hole in the lens? It's currently blocked by plastic to would need to be drilled, pulled, broken out, or some such...

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've just wired my euro fog-lights/brake lights/running lights. I removed the rear lights and removed the plastic that covers the hole with a rotary tool, pretty easy, just be sure to cover the other holes so no little pieces of plastic get inside...pain to get out. I simply connected the + lead of the brake light to the + lead of the "euro fog-light" socket using some 20 gauge wire. The wire sort of "plugs in" to the + leads on both sockets. (ill post a picture of it when i can) I secured the terminals with some elec-tape, seemed to do the trick. They look great when they're done!
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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///Matt,

The picture would be helpful it if isn't too much trouble. On mine, I have what looks like a printed circuit board, with wide strips of metal as the "printed" circuit.. don't see any place to "plug" anything in. Maybe just don't understand what I'm looking at. I presumed I would jumper across some of those strips of metal, and solder the jumpers. I'll go look again.. maybe I missed something obvious. Our camera is broken, so I can't post a pic..

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mine is a 97, and i dont remember anything about a printed circuit board, but ill get those pix up asap....(on vacation)
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Old 07-26-2004, 03:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ///Matt@Jul 26 2004, 04:47 PM
Mine is a 97, and i dont remember anything about a printed circuit board, but ill get those pix up asap....(on vacation)
Thanks! No rush....

When I refer to a "printed circuit board" what I mean is this:

I open the trunk, pull down the side cover, twist the little thingy to release the module which holds the actual bulbs, and when I pull it out what I see on the side with the bulbs is a bunch of metal strips which form the connections to each bulb.. does that make sense? I think of it as being like a printed circuit in that you have a bunch of metal conductors arranged in such a way as to route power to certain places but not to others.

My thought was to solder a jumper across a couple of these metal strips. Trying it with just a piece of wire worked fine... but the solder wouldn't bond to the metal strip.

I think we must be talking about two different things here, as I'm seeing strips of metal and you're seeing things which you can plug wires into.

Yeah, when you get a chance, please let me know where I *should* be looking.

Thanks!

Bob
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