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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #51  
Old 06-05-2008, 07:55 PM
besheer besheer is offline
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread! It made what would have normally been a 5 hour disaster turn into a 15 minute job. My two cents though...once you get the radio out, it's insanity to try to pull the AC panel through the radio opening. You guys who were able to do that are magicians. I had to change the bulbs while the panel was loose, but still behind the dash. Still a fairly easy job, but it just took a while to figure out how to fit both hands in there at the same time.
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  #52  
Old 06-05-2008, 10:11 PM
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I don't think anyone has pulled the panel out through the radio opening. It's just a place to put your hand in to get to the back of the HVAC controls.
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  #53  
Old 06-05-2008, 10:26 PM
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greyish greyish is offline
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Originally Posted by dwm View Post
I don't think anyone has pulled the panel out through the radio opening. It's just a place to put your hand in to get to the back of the HVAC controls.
^^ ..what he said.
..
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  #54  
Old 06-06-2008, 08:39 PM
besheer besheer is offline
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Ya, sorry...misunderstood that. Shame on me
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  #55  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:08 PM
robrez robrez is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
You knocked the bulb holder off the outside of the lighter while you were in there.

You'll want to correct that before the hot bulb lays against something it shouldn't.

Might be able to reach up the side of the console, depending on the size of your paws.
Back from the dead. Does anyone have a pic showing where the cigarette lighter bulb holder is located. My bulb is dangling. Thanks
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  #56  
Old 11-08-2008, 04:23 PM
postalZ3 postalZ3 is offline
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Originally Posted by robrez View Post
Back from the dead. Does anyone have a pic showing where the cigarette lighter bulb holder is located. My bulb is dangling. Thanks
If I remember correctly, the bulb just snaps on the side of the lighter socket
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  #57  
Old 11-08-2008, 04:43 PM
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there's a hole for it along the side
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  #58  
Old 11-08-2008, 07:13 PM
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As Randy said, unless you have tiny paws, the best way to get it back in place is to go at it from the driver side footwell. Remove the panel that's over the pedals, remove the two screws that hold the center console to the underdash panel, lay in the footwell and reach in there with your left hand. You can get it back in place by feel without seeing it. Pay attention to the door chime, it's all too easy to knock it off.
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  #59  
Old 11-09-2008, 12:05 PM
robrez robrez is offline
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Thanks for the info. One more tip for that pesky left side HVAC bulb, on M models, if you remove your middle gauge, you'll be able to see the left side bulb holder through the hole in the 10 o'clock position. You can reach through the hole and pull it if you have super strong fingertips or you can use a needle nose pliers. This is assuming, you can reach through the stereo opening to turn the collar behind the gauge in order to first remove the gauge.
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  #60  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:23 PM
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My pain is your gain.

After a failed attempt without removing the HVAC assembly, I decided to go for it one more time.

I don't remember replacing a pair of bulbs being this gory. Please be carefull when pulling on the plastic lock for the radio wires:

Tools used for this operation:


The mirror helped orient me with the back layout.

Removing the E106 bulb was a lot easier with the HVAC assembly still attached. I didn't want to twist and move it around to much just to get to the bulb later.

I decided not to remove the bulb from the wire to prevent the occasional opsies and dropping the bulb disappearing in the web of wires forever. Just be careful with the needle nose when pulling. Make sure you have a firm grip on the plastic body; you don't want your pliers to slide when yanking and accidentally pulling the wires instead.

Hidden behind cables and plastic arms is the second E105 bulb...what great placement:

This is the part were the HVAC assembly needs to come off:

Just support the assembly with one hand and remove the bulb with the other. The less you disturb the cables of the HVAC the easier it is to install back IMHO.

Check if the lights work before plopping the assembly back.

Putting back the HVAC assy. wasn't as hard as others described, it's just a matter of taking your time & familiarizing yourself with the layout. Check if all the chrome rings are in place. line up the bottom of the HVAC assembly first with the center console, then snap the top in place.
Finally, do not forget the ziploc on the self dimming rearview mirrors before tucking your Z away for the week
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Last edited by summereskimo; 11-10-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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  #61  
Old 01-13-2009, 06:53 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
I just replaced both those in the black car last month.

Able to access them through the radio opening (less trouble than removing the console, but still a pain).
12/8/02. Those bulbs lasted a lot longer than the originals...

Now, six (6) years later, since this thread is still used for reference, I'll update it with some new pictures.

Note that while not shown, the head unit has to be removed first, so be sure to have the security code if it's the factory unit. The CD head unit requires a 2.5mm Allen wrench to remove, the cassette player takes a special five (5) sided tool available from the dealer.



















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  #62  
Old 01-13-2009, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
12/8/02. Those bulbs lasted a lot longer than the originals...

Now, six (6) years later, since this thread is still used for reference, I'll update it with some new pictures.
My 318ti is similar and uses just one of the same bulbs. Going on twelve years.
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  #63  
Old 01-13-2009, 11:13 AM
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Great pictures Randy and btotoro! Thanks.
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  #64  
Old 05-07-2009, 06:56 PM
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subscribing for some great info!
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  #65  
Old 06-19-2009, 08:04 PM
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My fan speed light, the temp gauge under it and the clock all have lights that go off for a while and then come back after going over a bump or smacking the console. So something must be loose right? Any ideas what to look for since the lights aren't actually out? Aftermarket stereo wiring might be pressing against something or loosened eventually after installation?
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  #66  
Old 06-20-2009, 02:14 AM
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summereskimo summereskimo is offline
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Originally Posted by 00MR View Post
My fan speed light, the temp gauge under it and the clock all have lights that go off for a while and then come back after going over a bump or smacking the console. So something must be loose right? Any ideas what to look for since the lights aren't actually out? Aftermarket stereo wiring might be pressing against something or loosened eventually after installation?
Sounds like your bulb is on it's way out already. I had the same symptoms. Do they all go on and off at the same time when you hit a bump?
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  #67  
Old 06-21-2009, 08:29 AM
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I did mine the easy way. I recently had to have the a/c evaporator and expansion valve in the dash replaced to the tune of $1200+ and asked them to replace the bulbs while they had the entire dash apart!
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  #68  
Old 06-23-2009, 12:15 AM
00MR 00MR is offline
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Originally Posted by btotoro View Post
Sounds like your bulb is on it's way out already. I had the same symptoms. Do they all go on and off at the same time when you hit a bump?
The clock is independent, but the right side gages go at the same time. Doesn't a bulb just burn out and not come back on though? And the two rows should be different bulbs it looks like.

Do the sides of the console in the footwell come off?

Last edited by 00MR; 06-23-2009 at 12:31 AM.
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  #69  
Old 06-23-2009, 03:59 PM
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summereskimo summereskimo is offline
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Originally Posted by 00MR View Post
The clock is independent, but the right side gages go at the same time. Doesn't a bulb just burn out and not come back on though? And the two rows should be different bulbs it looks like.

Do the sides of the console in the footwell come off?
No, sometimes the bulb will flicker, sometimes it starts to work when you tap it, sometimes it just flats out die. The HVAC assembly has two bulbs. The gauges below it has it's own separate bulbs. I think removing the radio is about the easiest, most straightforward approach to changing the bulbs and checking connections behind the center console. Unless you want to do it this way :

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  #70  
Old 06-23-2009, 11:36 PM
00MR 00MR is offline
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So if I need to do the lower row as well, are they the same bulbs and how many? Randy's pics of bottom row above magically got fixed. Any trick to doing bottom row?
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  #71  
Old 06-24-2009, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00MR View Post
So if I need to do the lower row as well, are they the same bulbs and how many? Randy's pics of bottom row above magically got fixed. Any trick to doing bottom row?
Bulbs are back of the gauges.










Last edited by Ron Stygar; 09-04-2009 at 10:30 PM.
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  #72  
Old 09-04-2009, 10:26 PM
98FLSTC 98FLSTC is offline
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Thumbs up Broken hot/cold control arm

I had a broken hot/cold control arm on my 2000 Z3 where it engages the serpentine groove which is just a plastic tit at the fulcrum of the arm. Well the tit broke off when the blend door was binding up a bit. I removed the arm and drilled a hole in it where the tit was and threaded in a ball link from a remote control airplane servo. You can get them at most hobby stores. It worked perfect and is much stronger than factory. Added weight is negligible!
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  #73  
Old 10-08-2009, 06:50 PM
00MR 00MR is offline
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Thank you everyone for the great info. Even though my lights would sometimes come on for a little while with a good dash smack or road bump, they were obviously bad when I pulled them out and examined them. One extra note - keep checking as you reassemble to make sure the lights don't pull out. Mine didn't stay in very well.

Last edited by 00MR; 10-08-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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  #74  
Old 07-02-2010, 08:27 PM
funsize funsize is offline
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Bulb For Power Jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00MR View Post
Thank you everyone for the great info. Even though my lights would sometimes come on for a little while with a good dash smack or road bump, they were obviously bad when I pulled them out and examined them. One extra note - keep checking as you reassemble to make sure the lights don't pull out. Mine didn't stay in very well.
I thought that I would add my 2 cents on the various bulb replacements for a 2001 M Roadster. I was able to gain pretty easy access to the bulb that can fall out of the power jack by removing the leather boot around the gear shift and pulling the rubber foam spacer out of the way. It opened up the area to get to the bulb. If you ever notice that the power jack is no longer lit up at night, get into the center consol fast because that little bulb gets really hot and will start to melt something if left unattended.
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  #75  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:16 PM
FeeZ3 FeeZ3 is offline
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Z3 Heater Control Repair

Hi All,

This is my first first post. I have to thank all of you for the tremendous info and great pics. I used your experience to repair the "notorious" broken plastic pin issue on the temperature control.

Following your radio and control panel removal/release instructions, I was able to rotate the panel within the radio opening to expose the rear side. Yep, the plastic pin broke off and was still sitting in the track. Using it to determine what would be a proper substitute, I happened on the idea of using a 1/8" diameter x 1/2" long aluminum pop rivet.

After protecting the center circular dashboard opening (where the temp control lives), I drilled through the control arm at the exact location of the old plastic pin. In order to expose as much of the rivet as possible on the "track" side, it was important to ensure a tight fit for the rivet so the riveting tool could release it with only 1-2 squeezes.

Voila. Works really well. I suspect that other parts of the car will break before this does.

I hope that helps someone out there. You folks saved me a lot of dough.
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