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Old 8th April 2010, 05:13   #1
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Arrow Black Line Tail Lights installed

All U.S. bound E90 sedans come with full red (other than Reverse), tail lamps.

The front blinkers are yellow but the rear indicators blink red - as was the norm in U.S. in the past. Regulations were then modified to allow yellow / amber blinkers in the rear.

I know the Europe (and Asia too?) bound cars have a full red tail light too, but the blinkers blink yellow.

Then BMW came out with the clear / Black Line lights. They have clear lenses and blink amber and they look great!

This is what you need to order - BMW P/N: 63 21 0 406 678
It comes as a set of 4 lights. 2 for the sides, and 2 for the trunk section.

If you need to order individually:
Left - Side: BMW P/N: 63 21 0 406 878
Right - Side: BMW P/N: 63 21 0 406 880
Left - Trunk: BMW P/N: 63 21 0 406 883
Right - Trunk: BMW P/N: 63 21 0 406 884

Please check model numbers and part numbers for your car before ordering. My car is pre-LCI (pre-model update).


Original

This is what the original factory lights look like:

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Tools
  • Flat head screw driver (from tool kit)
  • 8 mm socket with 1/4" ratchet, and extension (You will need to keep alternating between using only the 8 mm socket, the socket with ratchet and the socket with extension).
  • Plug remover (if you have it, else another flat head or fingers are fine)

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I didn't have a plug remover, so I just used the screw driver and a flat spanner that I found lying around, to help pry out the plugs.


Plugs

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Remove the marked plugs using your fancy tools, and let the carpet hang. The emergency trunk release cable will hold it.


Left - Trunk

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Remove the marked nut, and the plastic tab.


Right - Trunk

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Repeat for the right side.


Compare

Here's what the old and new look like:

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Remove nut & tab

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The lights which go onto the trunk (Left & Right), come with new nuts and plastic tabs. You will have to remove these before mounting onto car. Otherwise, the lights won't mount.

Once the light assembly is mounted, then slide in the plastic tab from the bottom - it goes into a slot. Then tighten nut.

Repeat for other side.

Don't over tighten, as the assembly is all plastic!


That's the trunk section dealt with. Now the Left & Right side sections.


Left - Side

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Pull out the carpet on the Left as shown.


Left - Side nuts

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Remove marked nuts.


No new nuts

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The side lights don't come with new nuts, so you'll have to re-use the existing nuts from the old lamp assemblies that you remove.


Right - Side nuts

Open the battery panel knob, and you have access to the Right side assembly. Remove marked nuts.

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You might have to align the assemblies if they don't line up - you can do that by adjusting the 3 nuts till you're satisfied.

The side sections are a little tougher (strength-wise) than the trunk sections but still try not to break anything.


Black Lines

Here's a picture of the car with the new lights installed:

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(Needs a wash).


Hope you like it! Very simple procedure - shouldn't take more than 1/2 hr or so.


Here's a look at what I'm working on currently:

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Last edited by aah78 : 14th April 2010 at 05:01. Reason: Spell check.
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Old 8th April 2010, 11:19   #2
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this is what i like about USA. it teaches you everything. totally DIY. i have been doing so the same here right from paint jobs to engine swaps all done at home itself. its fun
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Old 8th April 2010, 15:06   #3
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Another nice one Aah!

A good complement to your earlier DIY threads :

1) DIY: BERU TPMS sensor install for BMW E90 made easy.

2) DIY: Oil Change - BMW E90 (E91, E92, E93)

3) DIY: BMW E90 factory alarm system install


Have you posted these on any other (BMW-centric) forums? They'd be quite useful there!

cya
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Old 8th April 2010, 15:29   #4
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Looks Great
Aah78, your D.I.Y projects are superb and precisely explained.

are the tail lights you worked on L.E.D. one's ?
i am sure you are installing some nice L.E.D. Glow in the gear know.
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Old 9th April 2010, 06:23   #5
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Arrow Thanks guys!

Thanks guys!

Yes, DIY is a fun job! I'm horrible at art, so I think I'm going to leave any painting part to the professionals.
A little bit of mechanical & electrical is alright for me.

I usually browse through other BMW-centric forums, where there is a LOT of DIY going on.
Most of the stuff I'm doing has already been done by other chaps; so instead of re-inventing the wheel I just follow their directions, adding my own little touches here & there.

No, that knob's from an SMG gearbox. I'm trying to install it in my car.

A couple of guy's have thoroughly researched and done it successfully, which makes the process much simpler but it still means a LOT of work.

We'll see how it works out - I'm working on the wiring harness now.

Last edited by aah78 : 9th April 2010 at 06:28. Reason: Added.
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Old 9th April 2010, 10:56   #6
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Awesome one Aah.
Guess We should have a separate topic(sub-folder) dedicated to Your DIY's.

Voted 5 for the thread.
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Old 14th April 2010, 05:33   #7
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Arrow BMW Performance Black Kidney Grille

Thanks Rocky_Balboa!




Here's my next:

My car came with chrome grilles.

They were pretty good and didn't bother me until BMW Performance came out with the black grilles.

These are the part numbers that you need to order (for cars with a production date up-to 09/2008. Later models have only 2 grilles with different part numbers):
Black Lower Kidney Grille - Left - BMW P/N: 51 71 2 151 895
Black Lower Kidney Grille - Right - BMW P/N: 51 71 2 151 896
Black Upper Kidney Grille - Left - BMW P/N: 51 71 2 151 897
Black Upper Kidney Grille - Right - BMW P/N: 51 71 2 151 898

They come individually or in sets of 2.
2 strips for the bonnet / hood (mustaches) and 2 kidney grills.


Original

Here's what the original grilles looked like:

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Tools
  • One torx T-20 screw driver.


Upper grilles / trim strips - 6 x T-20

The top two (hood / bonnet) sections are very easy to remove. Just undo the marked screws and replace the trim strips. You might have to clean the area once you get the old strips off.

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Lower grilles

These are a little fidgety. Get your multiple Godfather rings off first. Having slim fingers helps, which I don't have.

You have to slide a finger between the slats, feel around till you find the tab and then push the tabs that I've marked in the pictures, away from the center of the grille, i.e. towards the frame to release them.
Do this with one finger and pull on the grille with your second hand.
Note the positions of the tabs in the pictures.


Position of tabs - Right

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Rear view - Right

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Position of tabs - Left

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Direction to push to undo tab

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Note positions of the slats on the body - the tabs slide onto these.

Position of slats - Right

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Position of slats - Left

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Final

The new kidney grilles just slide in easily.

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Simple! Takes 15 mins, and they look great! They look a little bluish in the pictures - maybe I need to take a picture in daylight.

ps. Also, because they're manufactured by BMW Performance, they reduce overall weight of the car and add around 2 hp.

Last edited by aah78 : 14th April 2010 at 05:36. Reason: Spell check.
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Old 14th April 2010, 11:50   #8
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Neat.

Please tell me your next upgrade will be some sweet RIMS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
They look a little bluish in the pictures - maybe I need to take a picture in daylight.
Yeah. Please post a day shot, and of the whole car as well, in addition to the close-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
ps. Also, because they're manufactured by BMW Performance, they reduce overall weight of the car and add around 2 hp.
Plus they are black, so they absorb heat and therefore cool the air entering the engine bay. Thats atleast another few horses, compared to the chrome ones that reflect the sun and therefore heat the air more! Maybe we should work in marketing....

cya
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Old 15th April 2010, 03:25   #9
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Arrow Rims!

Yes, I'd love to put on some nice rims.

I'm planning to stick to 18" and I want those BMW Motorsport Style 216 wheels from the 320si (Fifth Gear - VBH in Wales).

Another option are the BBS LM or CH style wheels but they're just too expensive - so unless I can find a used pair, they're just way out of my league.

Here are the pictures though:

Clear Tail Lights

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Black Grilles

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Last edited by aah78 : 16th April 2010 at 00:24. Reason: Pictures uploaded.
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Old 19th April 2010, 22:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post

Another option are the BBS LM or CH style wheels but they're just too expensive - so unless I can find a used pair, they're just way out of my league.
Go in for CH they are very good rims.CH 18x8.5 and 18x10 will be perfect.LM will be cool on M3 (E90,92 or 93).
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Old 20th April 2010, 01:20   #11
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@aah78 Nice DIY,but the all black matte finished kidney grille looks a bit bland to me.IMO a more glossy black finish for the slats with chrome outlines would have looked better,like on the E92 M3.

Also the all black grille contrasts sharply with the chrome trimmings on the front bumper.
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Old 21st April 2010, 04:39   #12
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Arrow Bbs

Yep, BBS rims might come later - maybe next year or something.


Hey, the grills are already gloss - I guess I am going to have to wash the car sometime now.
I like having the no-chrome look. The coupe doesn't have the smaller / upper mustache grills, which makes it look much better.

You're right - changing out the metal in the lower bumper to black trim will match better.
Also the window trims will need to be changed - hopefully sometime this summer.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 21:40   #13
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Loved it!
Looks like you had a lot of fun sprucing up the car.
The new grill looks fabulous though i think it'd look better with some darker rims & if you got rid of the door trims

Keep us posted on the new gearbox...
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Old 5th May 2010, 06:33   #14
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Arrow Euro light switch to activate rear fog lights

Musicmaker23 - I'm done with the knob and I've been using it for a while now.

I haven't had time to make a write-up as I'm terribly busy at work but am working on it slowly. Just had the thing sewn on last weekend (thanks to my wife for that) and now I don't have a wobbly knob anymore.


Here's another quick one in the meantime.

For some reason - the U.S. bound sedans don't have the rear fog light button on the light switch. The cars are wired for them though.

There are a couple of folks who have modified the existing switch to activate the rear fogs, but the Euro light switch is an exact match and it comes with the rear fog light button.

This is what you need to order - BMW P/N: 61 31 6 932 796
[Please note that this P/N is for cars with fog & xenon lights and rain sensor. Goto RealOEM.com and verify the part number for your car before ordering.]

Original & prying locations

See the original switch has a blank for the rear fog lights.
Begin pulling (with a prying tool / fingers) - the clips are hard so use steady, non-greasy fingers. The screw driver from the tool-set can be used but be careful.

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Chipped

This is what happens when you try to hurry and use a screw driver instead of a prying tool. :(

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Trim

The lower trim is easy to remove. Put your fingers inside and pull towards you with a steady hand. It comes off easy!

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To separate the switch from the trim, use a small flat head screw driver from a watch-maker set. Slide it under the tabs and twist. The switch should un-clip easily. Check the green circles. There are two more tabs underneath. Unfortunately, I didn't take a proper picture here when I undid the trim.

Latch

Note the fancy latching mechanism.

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Test

Attach the new switch and check if it's working before putting everything back together.

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Here's what it looks like now.

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Fog lamps OFF & ON

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Takes 15 min but a plastic trim removal kit will definitely be worth purchasing!

When you turn the rear fog lamps ON, the emergency brake light flashing feature is de-activated.

Last edited by aah78 : 5th May 2010 at 06:38.
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Old 19th September 2012, 06:13   #15
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Arrow Happy Robot! Rear Power Outlets.

This one is widely referred to as the Happy Robot mod in BMW forums.

It's a quick 1/2 hr job.

Most of the E90s sold in the US didn't come with any rear power outlets.
The only way for a rear-seat passenger to get 12V was to use an outlet located under the front arm-rest.

This is what you need to order - BMW P/N: 51 16 7 150 157
This part number is specific to the Beige trim. Other colours have a different part number that you can easily find.

You'll also need four 18-14 AWG quick connects / wire tap-in squeeze connectors.
A trim puller might also help.

You can also splice, solder and heat-shield wires but I took the easy way out on this one - using the squeeze connectors.

Pictures are pretty self explanatory on this one ->

You have to chop-off the power connector on the new part as there's no where to plug it in.
DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc01678.jpg

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DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc01681edited.jpg

DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc0168702.jpg

DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc0168601.jpg

DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc0168803.jpg

DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc01684.jpg

Make sure you have power before putting everything back.

Plugged in.
DIY: BMW E90 (pre-LCI) - General Modifications-dsc01690.jpg

Thanks for looking!

Last edited by aah78 : 19th September 2012 at 06:17.
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