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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #26  
Old 11-08-2007, 10:24 AM
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johnf johnf is online now
John Firestone
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,625
Mein Auto: 1996 318is
Assuming these LEDs will do(*), I estimate the material costs would be roughly $300 for ten replacement boards. If we increase that, to say, $90/board, I might be able to earn the minimum wage designing and building the lot -- but I rather doubt it. I will leave it to you guys to decide what would be a fair price, and then I will consider it.

For comparison, BMW wants over $200 for a replacment circuit board: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...26&hg=63&fg=25 Ouch.

(*) Each LED has to replace a roughly 1W, 10 lumen minature lamp rather than a 21W, 400 lumen brake light.
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  #27  
Old 11-08-2007, 11:29 AM
Vinci Vinci is offline
DO IT YOURSELF.
Location: Sarasota, FL
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,297
Mein Auto: 98 M Roadster
I don't think those would be bright enough for brake signaling. My usual source is down at the moment for server maintenance, but the LEDs I would use are around the same price for much higher output with around 45 degrees of viewing. I'll double-check that as soon as the site comes back online.
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2007, 01:17 PM
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johnf johnf is online now
John Firestone
Location: Bremerhaven, Germany
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 318is
Will 45 degrees illuminate all the way to the midpoint between two LEDs? The reflectors in the stock assembly limit how far back you can place them.
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  #29  
Old 11-08-2007, 02:52 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Location: Sarasota, FL
 
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Aesthetically, I would suggest using more LEDs than there were incandescent bulbs, no matter which LED you went with. The more you use and the closer together they are, the less obvious the hot spots will be.

That said, I think 45 degrees would be sufficient. That is what I used in the video posted earlier in the thread. Those, however, were mounted about an inch behind the lens and were mounted pretty densely.
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  #30  
Old 11-08-2007, 05:43 PM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
A Clean Windshield
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,191
Mein Auto: 2000 Imola M Coupe
25,000 mcd are available, they should be quite bright don't you think?
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Last edited by bob lindquist; 11-08-2007 at 05:47 PM.
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  #31  
Old 11-08-2007, 06:00 PM
Vinci Vinci is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob lindquist View Post
25,000 mcd are available, they should be quite bright don't you think?
Yeah, that would be pretty damn bright. The brightest I used in mine were 14,000mCD.
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  #32  
Old 11-09-2007, 02:16 AM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
A Clean Windshield
Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 Imola M Coupe
I am in the process of making a 20K board with resistors.
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Dinan suspension, M rotors /Axxis pads
Eurosport Cam Kit 1, touch lane change
Zaino polish, Beach Sand
Garys mirror adapter, S54 Oil Cooler
seat tilt coupling nuts, spare tire

"life's to short to drink cheap beer"


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  #33  
Old 11-02-2012, 07:50 PM
keithhe keithhe is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: Z3
All,

I know this is an old thread, but I came up with an easy LED solution that took all of about an hour. After constant issues with third brake light (rust, broken bulbs, failed bayonette connectors), like I suspect many finding this thread I set out to convert to LED. I really wanted an easy solution using the Z3 existing print circuit board and 7 LED's wired in parallel so that if one ever burned out, others would still work.

First stop, as I'm also a boater was West Marine, since I knew they would have a bunch of bright LED's that I figured I could repurpose for this. I lucked out after looking through all they had and found this light: Taco Luma LED Work Light also found online here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/TACO-LED-DEC...-/230858804554 for much cheaper, but I didn't want to wait.

Sorry in advance if I'm not supposed to use links, just trying to help other with same issues.

Tested in store and was way bright enough and bulbs were perfect size for holes. I had no idea though what I would find when I opened the light and was pleasantly surprised. It was PERFECT!! You wll find 30 LED's in this light, and only need 7. They are wired through a 12v step down to 9 volts which in turn via light's print circuit board had 10 parallel circuits of 3 in series each. 3 volts each and a few quick calculations (thanks Bobby!!) and I knew what to do.

1) With VOM meter, test which side of the Z3 print circuit board (PCB) is positive and which negative. Mark it with permanent marker.

2) Remove the Z3 PCB from vehicle by removing the three screws, pulling out PCB and carefully remove wire lead.

3) Throw out the old lamps as you will never need them again (100,000 hour LED life)

4) Lightly sand the Z3 PCB to bare copper for good solder contacts

5) Purchase seven (7) 1/4 watt 270 Ohm resistors (Radio Shack or wherever you wish)

6) With philips screw driver open the Taco light. Pry open case and remove the PCB.

7) Cut off the wires and step down circuit as they will not be needed.

8) IMPORTANT mark the positive and negative side of each LED with a permanent marker. I simply used a dot with a sharpie on negative side of each lamp. You must do these as LED's are polarity sensitive.

9) Using small cut of wheel (I used a dremel) carefully cut each LED into separate pieces. Cut the PCB is what I mean and you will have a little of the positive and negative foil which you marked earlier for polarity in small one LED squares. If you cut exactly in middle you will have perfect size for next steps. You really only need the 7 pieces so need not cut all 30. Sand or scrape a small area on each side of LED PCB to allow solder in later steps

10) Place the led squares in the Z3 PCB with foil side of the LED squares and Z3 PCB on same side. Light will pertrude out on none conductive side of the Z3 PCB. I used a small clamp to a bar to hold the Z3 PCB while I did the following (make it easier to free up your hands) NOTE this is opposite of the original orientation of the Z3 PCB, as foil side will now face out rather than in toward the third brake light, but needs to be this way

11) Starting on the connector side of the Z3 PCB, using a small (1" or less) cut piece of the resitor lead, as a wire, solder between each negative side of LED PCB and negative side of the Z3 PCB

12) Using resistors, solder one side to LED positive side and other side to positive side of Z3 PCB. Keep these short and tight to avoid them getting in the way for reinstallation.

13) Use whatever you wish to protect the solder side of the PCB's to avoid any shorts that can cause the LED's to fail. Electrical tape, carefully fasioned shrink wrap, liquid electrical tape or duct tape, but important to do.

14) IMPORTANT As this is opposite of the way this Z3 PCB was in care originally, now with all solder and foil sides facing inside of trunk you CAN NOT use the 3 screws as they will short the Z3 board, or if you do, use platic or nylon washers.
Alternative is to use nylon screws or simply use RTV to hold in place. Your call.

15) These will fit perfect and are plenty bright enough. Do not adjust the resitor values much, as you can over drive LED's and burn them out. The calculations I used were for these specific LED's via testing.

Took about 45 minutes, plus time to buy light and resistors. Will never have to screw with these again. Very easy, and relatively cheap. If you can use a VOM, screw driver and soldering iron, you can do this.

Hope it helps, and happily giving back to a forum I have long read, but never posted to.

Good luck !!

Oh, I have no idea how to post photos here, so if anyone has questions, or wants pictures, or if you can post them? email me. keithhe @ comcast dot net Subject: Z3 LED
11)

Last edited by keithhe; 11-02-2012 at 08:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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