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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 02-27-2013, 09:54 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
This is not some sort of current/amperage problem where a new wire is providing ability to carry more current. If it were a current problem the wire would show it and not a disintegration of the much more current capable metal contact spade plug.
it's more like it looses ground connectivity, due to oxidation, vibration leads to bad contact, moisture etc on the original wire; thus a new ground may fix that problem. I would rather fix the original ground connectivity, just cleaner solution rather than having extra wires added.
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  #27  
Old 02-27-2013, 10:46 AM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
This is not some sort of current/amperage problem where a new wire is providing ability to carry more current. If it were a current problem the wire would show it and not a disintegration of the much more current capable metal contact spade plug.
It is a current problem, the current is backed up at the contact point between the harness plug and the spade contact point on the fixture. This resistance, as explained earlier, causes heat. The resistance is caused by two different metals on the spade and on the light fixtures recepticle (much like the electric contact problems between aluminum and steel). The insulation on the brown wire is melted away from the heat generated at the contact point.

I see a few ways to approach the problem from info presented.
1. Place additional ground wire to carry some of the current load, reducing the heat. This must be separate wire and contacts from existing brown wire. Instead of heating up the brown wire, the excess will flow to less resistance of the new wire. Indeed, random placement of ground contact on light fixture will cause problems. Thats why I will attempt to attach the contact to the ground circuit, that runs to each of the other bulbs on the light fixture, much like a printed circuit board. Have not fiqured connection method yet.
2. Decrease the resistance at the plug and spade by cleaning and using electrical contact grease.
3. Bend contact spring for bulbs to induce a better contact point with more pressure.
4. Place a drop of solder on contact point of bulb to improve conductivity and thereby less heat made by resistance.
This is all simple high school electrical physics I had 40 years ago. It is a true wonder that the BMW engineers cant recognize and remedy the design flaw.
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2013, 11:14 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Steel View Post
It is a current problem, the current is backed up at the contact point between the harness plug and the spade contact point on the fixture. This resistance, as explained earlier, causes heat. The resistance is caused by two different metals on the spade and on the light fixtures recepticle (much like the electric contact problems between aluminum and steel). The insulation on the brown wire is melted away from the heat generated at the contact point.

I see a few ways to approach the problem from info presented.
1. Place additional ground wire to carry some of the current load, reducing the heat. This must be separate wire and contacts from existing brown wire. Instead of heating up the brown wire, the excess will flow to less resistance of the new wire. Indeed, random placement of ground contact on light fixture will cause problems. Thats why I will attempt to attach the contact to the ground circuit, that runs to each of the other bulbs on the light fixture, much like a printed circuit board. Have not fiqured connection method yet.
2. Decrease the resistance at the plug and spade by cleaning and using electrical contact grease.
3. Bend contact spring for bulbs to induce a better contact point with more pressure.
4. Place a drop of solder on contact point of bulb to improve conductivity and thereby less heat made by resistance.
This is all simple high school electrical physics I had 40 years ago. It is a true wonder that the BMW engineers cant recognize and remedy the design flaw.
If the insulationis melted, BMWNA needs to issue recall due to "too small of wire" used.!

Again if this is common problem, it's a very serious issue, anything to do with electrical heat that's hot enough to melt insulation is not something I want to brush off casually.
Hey I come from the area where Li-Ion battery fire on 787 is hot lunch discussion (no punt intended).
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2013, 03:21 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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OK....so I got off my A** and went outside to ground the right light fixture. I drilled a hole through the ground wire circuit on fixture, and with metal screw attached ground wire from body ground to the screw.

It took all of 10 minutes, 5 of which was unloading and loading my trunk. No this was not a random placement of the ground wire...so guess what...it works.
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  #30  
Old 02-28-2013, 09:21 AM
jim165 jim165 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Steel View Post

OK....so I got off my A** and went outside to ground the right light fixture. I drilled a hole through the ground wire circuit on fixture, and with metal screw attached ground wire from body ground to the screw.

It took all of 10 minutes, 5 of which was unloading and loading my trunk. No this was not a random placement of the ground wire...so guess what...it works.
Fantastic! Many thanks for sorting this out. I will modify my bulb holder in a like manner...
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  #31  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:40 PM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Your solution will work but not for the reasons you describe. It is not a current problem - that gauge wire is perfectly suitable for the amount of current required for the lights. Your car did not suddenly start needing more current for the
Lights and just now melted the insulation.
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  #32  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:00 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
Your solution will work but not for the reasons you describe. It is not a current problem - that gauge wire is perfectly suitable for the amount of current required for the lights. Your car did not suddenly start needing more current for the
Lights and just now melted the insulation.
You do not understand the word current. Look it up. If it involves electricity, by definition it involves current. The other term you could look up to understand what this is about is "electrical resistance" Too much resistance is what is causing the problem at the factory ground connection at the plug. Your statements indicate the need for more study on the subject before posting. Then expound on the subject professor, and let us know reasons why my solution will work.

I see you wear the term NoQuarter with good reason and yet, with no reason

Last edited by German Steel; 02-28-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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  #33  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:15 PM
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NoQuarter NoQuarter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Steel View Post
You do not understand the word current. Look it up. If it involves electricity, by definition it involves current. The other term you could look up to understand what this is about is "electrical resistance" Too much resistance is what is causing the problem at the factory ground connection at the plug. Your statements indicate the need for more study on the subject before posting. Then expound on the subject professor, and let us know reasons why my solution will work.

I see you wear the term NoQuarter with good reason and yet, with no reason
You have had some pretty good posts on this forum up until now. Instead of asking questions you actually contributed some help this time. However, with even the slightest rebuttal you have turned all butt hurt and display the attitude of an angry teenager. Grow up a bit and your retirement years spent on car forums learning about your new car will go much better.

Last edited by NoQuarter; 02-28-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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  #34  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:56 PM
German Steel German Steel is offline
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Originally Posted by NoQuarter View Post
You have had some pretty good posts on this forum up until now. Instead of asking questions you actually contributed some help this time. However, with even the slightest rebuttal you have turned all butt hurt and display the attitude of an angry teenager. Grow up a bit and your retirement years spent on car forums learning about your new car will go much better.
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  #35  
Old 03-13-2013, 10:14 AM
Darnell J Moore Darnell J Moore is offline
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I read somewhere that the 3 Series had a recall on this. It seemed BMW's solution was to replace both bulb socket unit and female plug. A larger ground (brown wire) was spliced to ground and placed in female plug.
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