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  1. #1
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    Yes | No

    HID backup light mod-gotta do something in winter(

    OK, so I might take some heat for this one but with 25% tinted windows it's hard to see when backing up at night.
    I have to give Randall (Spray 540) credit for this mod, he did it first and email me his link on youtube. He's the guy that was molding and machining parts when he went to the U of Salt Lake or some college in Utah.
    The HID kit came from eBay, $35 shipped, the other parts I had in my collection of "good stuff" not ready to be tossed out.
    This would be much harder to do requiring some hefty cutting if done to the OEM tail light assy. With aftermarket smoked lenses it was pretty easy to do.
    This replaces the 21 watt lamps with 35 watt HID bulbs, they generate more heat, but after having them on for 2 minutes I could still keep my hand on the plastic lens. Don't think I'll ever need to backup for more than 2 min. Warm up time for the HID's to get to full intensity is 3-4 seconds.
    Randall also installed a switch in the cabin to turn on the HID's while driving forward, for the cars behind you that won't turn off their high beams. Sounds like a good option, only requires that you ground one wire that connects to the instrument cluster.

















  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    Oh man .. would I love to have something like that

    ... please let me know when your turn key retail package comes out and sign me up to be your first customer ;-)

    Tint & a long dark driveway has me wishing for brighter backup light all the time



    Michael in MD
    CCA #442539



    2003 540i 6-speed M Tech II sport
    Sterling Gray / Black Leather
    Cold Weather Package
    Electric Rear Sunshade
    Premium Sound
    Gas Guzzler
    Build Date 5/03

    35% 3M Tint

    ASA 17" AR1's Black w/ Machined lip
    Pirelli 210 Zero winter wheel & tire package

    CDV Deleted
    All fluids replaced @ 37k
    Passed emissions 01/24/11

    [Grinning from ear to ear]

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    Yes | No

    how "reversible" is this mod

    something tells me the friendly state inspection guys wouldn't know what to do when they check this out every two years.

    I do like the "flashing the high beam guys" idea. Or just leave them on and pretend you're one of those audi/jag/MB guys with the rear-fog-lights-always-on-in-any-weather attitude.

    dave

  4. #4
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    Yes | No

    15 minutes and it's back to the old bulbs






    "Drive It Like You Stole It, A Sickness for Quickness"
    The Bottle Rocket "King of Spray" 2 Stage Nitrous Oxide
    Dare to be different and stand out among the crowd of me-to-cars!
    No guts, no glory! Tire smoke, not traction control!
    Zionsville all aluminum radiator to replace the 3 leak prone Nissens Radiators!

    NOS Progressive 2 Stage Controller with port injection
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    Eisenmann Race Exhaust (from H8-Rain's car)
    ///M5 3.15 LSD
    ///M5 Sway Bars, Front & Rear
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane Sway Bar Bushings
    ///M5 Gauge Cluster Rings ///M5 Lip Spoiler
    ///M5 Mirrors and Switches
    Leather Z weighted shift knob (thanks H8-Rain)
    Rogue “Octane” Short Shift kit w/WSR
    Rogue Tranny Mounts
    StopTech Brake Lines Front & Rear
    Axxis Deluxe Plus pads Front & Rear
    Staggered M Parallel 66, Xenons
    Modified CDV, UGDO
    Euro Storage Tray (thanks Zombywolf)
    Redline in Diff and Tranny
    Passport 8500 X50, Escort ZR3 Laser Jammer
    G-Tech/Competition Pro Data Logger
    Auto Enginuity OBD-II Scan Tool
    25% Tint, X-Pel, LoJack
    PIAA Driving Lights
    BMW CCA Member Boston Chapter

  5. #5
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    Yes | No

    Don't think that will happen any time soon (m)

    Too many ideas and not enough time to do all of them. Got 3 more mods coming in the next few weeks if it will stop snowing and I can spend more garage time and get out from behind the snowblower.
    There should be enough info for you to do it, if you have aftermarket tail lights.


  6. #6
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    Yes | No

    few yearsa go I bought a halogen bulb

    as backup bulb from JC Whitney. It worked fine and gave me the needed extra boost.

    I did not worry about the burning of the tail light as I used it for backing into a garage/driveway and that was it. It was only ON for a 25-40sec not enough to melt.

    Now, I did better, I installed 3 large lights above the garages with motion and darkness sensor. They have the fluorescent bulb 23W=75W with bright light version (the bright light version makes a huge difference, as the soft white is horribly dim)

    There is no need for anything just slide the car into the driveway, and boom... instant daylight !



    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)

  7. #7
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    Yes | No

    To much free time Jim? This can apply to..

    any car or truck. Great idea. I think I'll try this on the motorhome since backing that thing at night is a biotch, even with the back up camera.Fritracer
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 540ia Sport Package 9/99 Silver/Black
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 420 stroker w/6 Pak 430 HP,
    510 lbft torque

  8. #8
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    This is the first winter ever that I have not

    had to shovel or snow blow. The shoulder surgery got me out of that; son and daughter areen't happy now since they have to do it (it's about time).Fritracer
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 540ia Sport Package 9/99 Silver/Black
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 420 stroker w/6 Pak 430 HP,
    510 lbft torque

  9. #9
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    Yes | No

    How much harder with OEM tail lights

    ... because that is what I have ;-)

    I may try swapping in a halogen bulbs as Laszlo suggests because my "dark driveway" problem is way after leaving the garage (I have lights installed there)

    The country gets dark at night lol

    Michael in MD
    CCA #442539



    2003 540i 6-speed M Tech II sport
    Sterling Gray / Black Leather
    Cold Weather Package
    Electric Rear Sunshade
    Premium Sound
    Gas Guzzler
    Build Date 5/03

    35% 3M Tint

    ASA 17" AR1's Black w/ Machined lip
    Pirelli 210 Zero winter wheel & tire package

    CDV Deleted
    All fluids replaced @ 37k
    Passed emissions 01/24/11

    [Grinning from ear to ear]

  10. #10
    Spray540i
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    Yes | No

    Thought I would chime in

    I did this install on CELIS tail lights. Mine was only 1/2 a step different from JimLev. I hollowed out the OEM light fixture -the only difference.

    Since I used the OEM fixture, reversing the mod is as easy as pulling out the HID bulb, killing the power to them temporarily (pull their fuse) and insert stock bulbs. You would need another set of fixtures though, since these are now ruined for normal bulbs.

    I'm glad JimLev made a DIY writeup, cause I was feeling far too lazy to do it. I did make some videos though where you can see the difference in installation.

    Install Vid

    Warm up Vid

    Halogen vs HID Vid

  11. #11
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    Yes | No

    Got a rare green plate How long have you had it?

    My Mom still has the same one she's had since I was in grade school. That was a looooong time ago.______________________________________________ ______________


    Mark

    "Things break; it's scientific." - D. Byrne

  12. #12
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    Yes | No

    Think I got it in the early '80's. Back then we (m

    Only needed to have a rear plate (MA was trying to save $$ by going to 1 plate).
    It looks pretty beat now, I can't get a replacement. The registry said my choices are keep it or get new plates, front and back.
    I'll keep it, a front plate does nothing for the looks of most cars.

  13. #13
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    Yes | No

    JimLev uses aftermarket tail lights!!!???

    Omg the world IS coming to an end! lol

    What aftermarket tail lenses did you use?

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)

  14. #14
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    Yes | No

    Got them on ebay a long time ago (m)

    The quality is actually very good, exact fitment. There was a sticker on them, made in Taiwan.
    IIRC the pair was about $100, I see them now going for ~$60.
    I still have the original Hella lights if that makes you feel better...LOL

  15. #15
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    Yes | No

    Re: HID backup light mod-gotta do something in winter(

    If your looking for things to do, I have a car in the garage that could probably use a thing or 2. Sandwich is not that far.

    (Step away from the bumpers) please.

    '03 540i/6
    Sterling Gray/Black
    CDV Delete c/o JimLev
    BMWCCA Member - Boston Chapter


  16. #16
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    Yes | No

    Does that garage have HEAT?






    "Drive It Like You Stole It, A Sickness for Quickness"
    The Bottle Rocket "King of Spray" 2 Stage Nitrous Oxide
    Dare to be different and stand out among the crowd of me-to-cars!
    No guts, no glory! Tire smoke, not traction control!
    Zionsville all aluminum radiator to replace the 3 leak prone Nissens Radiators!

    NOS Progressive 2 Stage Controller with port injection
    Snow's Performance Methanol/Water Injection
    Dinan downloads, VAC Under Drive Pulleys
    Dinan Carbon Fiber CAI
    Dinan Front Strut Bar
    Electric Cooling Fan w/PWM controller
    NGK Iridium Plugs
    DDE Enhanced Angel Eyes, Smoked Lenses
    Koni FSD's/H&R Springs, BAV Brass Caliper Bushings
    Eisenmann Race Exhaust (from H8-Rain's car)
    ///M5 3.15 LSD
    ///M5 Sway Bars, Front & Rear
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane Sway Bar Bushings
    ///M5 Gauge Cluster Rings ///M5 Lip Spoiler
    ///M5 Mirrors and Switches
    Leather Z weighted shift knob (thanks H8-Rain)
    Rogue “Octane” Short Shift kit w/WSR
    Rogue Tranny Mounts
    StopTech Brake Lines Front & Rear
    Axxis Deluxe Plus pads Front & Rear
    Staggered M Parallel 66, Xenons
    Modified CDV, UGDO
    Euro Storage Tray (thanks Zombywolf)
    Redline in Diff and Tranny
    Passport 8500 X50, Escort ZR3 Laser Jammer
    G-Tech/Competition Pro Data Logger
    Auto Enginuity OBD-II Scan Tool
    25% Tint, X-Pel, LoJack
    PIAA Driving Lights
    BMW CCA Member Boston Chapter

  17. #17
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    Yes | No

    Almost like the aircraft landing light bulbs

    some used to rig up in the Navy...had to step up to 24 volts though
    Michael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

    08 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C Anniversary Edition Number 0064/3200 Copper and Vivid Black (FOR SALE)
    16,800 miles

    2006 GMC Sierra SLT all options

    1988 GMC Safari 400,000 miles plus and still going

    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
    06 E90 330i sport pkg +all options
    98 E36 328i 5 speed Sport/Premium PKG
    00 e46 323ia Premium Pkg
    04 X3 sport/premium 3.0 six speed (back again)


  18. #18
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    Yes | No

    It will by the time you get here!



    '03 540i/6
    Sterling Gray/Black
    CDV Delete c/o JimLev
    BMWCCA Member - Boston Chapter


  19. #19
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    Yes | No

    LOL, U mean late May? Any BBW down there?






    "Drive It Like You Stole It, A Sickness for Quickness"
    The Bottle Rocket "King of Spray" 2 Stage Nitrous Oxide
    Dare to be different and stand out among the crowd of me-to-cars!
    No guts, no glory! Tire smoke, not traction control!
    Zionsville all aluminum radiator to replace the 3 leak prone Nissens Radiators!

    NOS Progressive 2 Stage Controller with port injection
    Snow's Performance Methanol/Water Injection
    Dinan downloads, VAC Under Drive Pulleys
    Dinan Carbon Fiber CAI
    Dinan Front Strut Bar
    Electric Cooling Fan w/PWM controller
    NGK Iridium Plugs
    DDE Enhanced Angel Eyes, Smoked Lenses
    Koni FSD's/H&R Springs, BAV Brass Caliper Bushings
    Eisenmann Race Exhaust (from H8-Rain's car)
    ///M5 3.15 LSD
    ///M5 Sway Bars, Front & Rear
    Energy Suspension Polyurethane Sway Bar Bushings
    ///M5 Gauge Cluster Rings ///M5 Lip Spoiler
    ///M5 Mirrors and Switches
    Leather Z weighted shift knob (thanks H8-Rain)
    Rogue “Octane” Short Shift kit w/WSR
    Rogue Tranny Mounts
    StopTech Brake Lines Front & Rear
    Axxis Deluxe Plus pads Front & Rear
    Staggered M Parallel 66, Xenons
    Modified CDV, UGDO
    Euro Storage Tray (thanks Zombywolf)
    Redline in Diff and Tranny
    Passport 8500 X50, Escort ZR3 Laser Jammer
    G-Tech/Competition Pro Data Logger
    Auto Enginuity OBD-II Scan Tool
    25% Tint, X-Pel, LoJack
    PIAA Driving Lights
    BMW CCA Member Boston Chapter

  20. #20
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    Member No: 92682 Filehorse will become famous soon enough Filehorse's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    Great mod Jim. I have a Lexus RX300 with backup >

    lights that should only be used in bright daylight. Otherwise, you may as well have a white cane sticking from the rear bumper to "feel" your way as you back up in the dark. My E39 has the best backup lights I've ever had on any vehicle. But, as you can attest, there is always room for improvement. As usual, another flawless mod. Nicely done.


    Filehorse
    Knoxville, TN
    BMWCCA #407627

    2002 525i Steptronic Sport/Premium | Build Date: 05/02
    81,000 Ultimate Driving miles
    Xenons
    Style 81s | Bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS
    Titanium Gray | Gray Leather
    35% LLumar ATR LLumaStar tint
    Valentine 1 | Hardwired
    Steering wheel position memory w/Alzheimers
    "Lifetime" ATF replaced at 40,000; Switched to Valvoline MaxLife @ the 80,000 mile service
    "LIfetime" Final Drive gear oil replaced at 81,000; Redline 75W-90 GL-5
    StopTech SportStop slotted rotors w/Axxis Deluxe Advanced pads
    StopTech SS Braided Brake Lines

    2001 E46 325i (Jet Black) Forced Retirement 6/28/09

    2001 E46 325i (Orient Blue) Forced Retirement 10/09

    1989 E30 325i (Alpine White) Retired

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