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Old 12-02-2012, 09:48 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
I was talking ab my *nephew* being the brand new gnurd... Gnurd!

... You mention the sockets are different for '01 +- other than knowing that, what kind of effort does that translate into upon install? Splice wires? Buy new bulbs? Does a kit include adapters? Are they necessary? I don't think I'll be fortunate enough to install OE tails, but I'd like an idea of what is needed in case he gets smart.
The 99-01 rear tail lights use a different bulb holder for the rear tail lights...and I believe the brake lights. This is due to the introduction of the LCM III starting with the 99 model year. The LCM III has the ability to reduce voltage output and replace a burnt out bulb by using another bulb. Because of this multi-function/multi-purpose use...BMW uses dual filament bulbs in the face-lift rear tail lights.

Installing a 99-01 rear tail light requires nothing new (unless it doesn't come with bulbs). The electrical harness and the four bolts that secure it to the rear of the car is the same from 95-01. Again, if you purchase a new or used set of 99-01 rear tail lights with out bulbs & bulb holders...all you need to do is order new ones for the 99-01 e38...and insert the correct bulbs in them. The old bulb holders (95-98) won't fit in the newer rear tail lights.

A quick look up on will reveal which bulb holders are exclusive to the 99-up rear tail lights. the turn indicator bulb/bulb holder and back-up bulb/bulb holder may work in all of them...since they are still single filament bulbs in both style lights.

When my bro-in-law had his 97 e38...he found a used pair of 99-00 (crystallized/amber turn indicators) rear tail lights (see image below)...which again, still gives the rear end a fresh look over the duller 95-98 rear tails. It was plug-n-play since they came with the bulbs/bulb-holders already installed.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)
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