Well, I finally was able to get the lighting console down today without destroying anything. I had the BMW TIS instructions on how to do it and I will tell you that your instructions were easier to follow. I even went and bought the Griot trim tools and they definitely did lessen my chances of scratching or breaking something. BMW did make some minor trim design changes between the F10 and the F25, but the basics were the same. There were no metal clips in the back of the inner piece, there were clips in the front, but one of mine was bent during the manufacturing process. I straightened it prior to re-installation. Now about those side clips.... BMW's instructions said something about "unlocking a retaining lug". Still have no idea what that means, but what you described is accurate. There is a white plastic extrusion (the retaining lug?) that the clip fits over. The black plastic piece that encircles the switches can be easily removed, which allows you to see the bottom of the white plastic piece through a slot and maneuver it to make it easier to unclip the metal clips. Perhaps that was what they meant by "unlocking the retaining lug". Either way, with enough prodding from the side with one of the Griot tools (a thin spatula), the console popped down.
Lo and behold, there many more wires than my E39 or E93. I really did not want to start disconnecting connectors to test for a switched 12V source, as some of the wiring deals with the "BMW assist" and I had no desire to go anywhere near that. So, I made an educated guess, and went for the green and brown wire (as you did) that headed towards the rear-view mirror. I figured it made sense that BMW would use a similar wiring scheme, and since it worked for you.... My logic prevailed! 12V switched, although I noticed it takes about 2 seconds to go off when the car is switched off (a smart BMW relay?). I was able to use the bolt that went into the roof, so the "ground" was easy. Situating the wires was a bit of a challenge, as my V1 has a plastic barrel connector. In the past it fit very well towards the front of the cavity. Now, all the empty room was towards the rear so I guided the wires and connector towards the back.
I popped the courtesy light behind the visor and ran the radar detector power wire over the headliner and out through the courtesy light opening. The V1 uses a flat phone wire, so it was easy to clip the courtesy light back on with a little extra push. My detector is clipped on the visor so only the end of the wire, jutting out from behind the visor, is visible.
Re-installing the console was the easiest part of the job. I positioned the rear of it, and it just popped right back in. All done!
I hope I do not have to go back up there for a while, as I am still not sure how exactly those side clips released.
Thanks again for your help!
Last edited by alanintx; 03-12-2011 at 12:29 PM.