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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2013, 08:01 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3, '04 330xi
Anyone else's reverse lights suck?

My 2004 has the absolute worst reverse lights. I actually had to have the wife put it in reverse and check to make sure they were on. Bright as hell when you are looking at them, but they barely light anything up on the ground. Wife is driving the car now, and this might explain why there are tire tracks through the yard!

Anyone upgrade? Suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:08 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3
Long a pet peeve of mine! I added some 50w halogen bulbs to my Tahoe and that improved those b/u lights -- but not enough, so I added a couple of halogen lights under the bumper -- mainly for trailer hookups in the dark. None of this would work on the X3 without looking tacky (on a truck, who cares what it looks like -- if it works!) or out of place. I am convinced the b/u lights are just there to indicate to someone behind you that you are in reverse and about to back up. A signal light really, not a serious illuminator and that is sad.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:57 AM
vince217 vince217 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X3 2.5i
i wish it was easy to replace the stock bulbs, but from what i understand, its a PITA to get to them
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2013, 10:12 AM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3, '04 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by vince217 View Post
i wish it was easy to replace the stock bulbs, but from what i understand, its a PITA to get to them
I'll take a look tonight, but from what I've read online and other bmw forums, the LED bulbs are a lot brighter, but don't actually provide useful light. Another bulb in there would cause obvious issues. I'll figure this out eventually and share back with others.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2013, 05:19 PM
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sixspeedz sixspeedz is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 3.0i, 6 Speed MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
I'll take a look tonight, but from what I've read online and other bmw forums, the LED bulbs are a lot brighter, but don't actually provide useful light. Another bulb in there would cause obvious issues. I'll figure this out eventually and share back with others.
Let us know what you find for sure... Mine too are worthless as is almost!
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2013, 06:03 AM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 X3 3.0i
We need a combo center brake/back-up light. If there were two strips of LEDs in the top brake light with one being a white set activated by the back-up lights it might throw good area light.
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2013, 08:40 PM
elevatorguy925 elevatorguy925 is offline
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Mein Auto: Silver 2006 BMW X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by vince217 View Post
i wish it was easy to replace the stock bulbs, but from what i understand, its a PITA to get to them
I have new bulbs, high output LEDs but after looking at the rear it looked like a big job to change them out, any diy on changing the bulbs?
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2013, 08:53 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by elevatorguy925 View Post
... any diy on changing the bulbs?
There are 9 plastic clips/plugs that retain the interior panel of the tailgate.

Knowing where those clips are located helps you in levering them loose.

Pictures show the inside of the panel, and the outside with the spots marked in blue:

Use an appropriate non-marring tool to start pulling the panel free at one corner.
If you are pulling at right angles to the plugs you should not break them.
Once started with one or two, you should be able to use hand force for the rest.

It may be possible to create just enough space in one lower corner to do a bulb change by feel without having to take the panel completely off.

But once a few clips are free, the panel is ready to come off quite easily if moved around.

If the panel is to be taken off completely, you have to carefully disconnect the little red warning light.
On re-assembly, that can be fiddly to reconnect while simultaneously lining the panel up to the plug holes. (A second person as a helper is needed here.)

The thin plastic trim piece that covers the striker plate will fall off when the panel is removed.
It is reattached just by pressing into place.

Not too difficult at all if you approach it methodically, and have that helper on hand.
If you attack it with too much gusto I can see clips getting broken and frustration on getting it reinstalled without introducing rattles.
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