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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:18 AM
VonRoundel VonRoundel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i, 6-Speed
E39 2000 to 2001 tail light swap?

First post. Sorry if duplicate, but I searched and could not find an answer to this specific question.

Just bought a 2000 540i 6-speed. I would like to upgrade the tail lights. I found a 2001 parts car at a local junk yard. Does anyone know if this is a straightforward swap? I know some of the later e39s had LEDs which required voltage regulators, ballasts, etc...and I don't really want to get into all that. I'm just looking for a simple, straightforward swap to update the look of the car.

Thanks in advance! The forum has already been a great help in DIY replacement of the windshield rubber seal.

C.
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Last edited by VonRoundel; 02-08-2011 at 11:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:38 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Though other methods including an updated LCM, adapters and retrofit programming exist, the most common upgrade requires ballasts and to drill/shape your rear tail light sheet metal to accommodate the CELIS tails from 2001 or higher.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:46 PM
VonRoundel VonRoundel is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i, 6-Speed
Thanks for the help.

OK, I somewhat suspected that answer.

Turner has a non-LED clear lens set for 97-00. It's plug and play. Looks like I'll go that way.

Thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:53 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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I just purchased a set of tail lights for a 2003, and I have a 2000 do i need to get a retro fit kit? If i do where can i get one?
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:00 PM
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golferjohnm golferjohnm is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 540i 6sp '01 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonRoundel View Post
First post. Sorry if duplicate, but I searched and could not find an answer to this specific question.

Just bought a 2000 540i 6-speed. I would like to upgrade the tail lights. I found a 2001 parts car at a local junk yard. Does anyone know if this is a straightforward swap? I know some of the later e39s had LEDs which required voltage regulators, ballasts, etc...and I don't really want to get into all that. I'm just looking for a simple, straightforward swap to update the look of the car.

Thanks in advance! The forum has already been a great help in DIY replacement of the windshield rubber seal.

C.
Soooo....getting back to this '01 parts car, I don't suppose it would have the stubby antenna on the back window would it??? Car wash ate mine and I've been looking for a replacement for months.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2012, 07:53 PM
Dboy23 Dboy23 is offline
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Maybe it's got wheels/aluminum interior trim?
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:29 PM
vinceanderson vinceanderson is offline
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Location: N. Carolina
 
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Mein Auto: '99 540i
So... I didn't think to look here first, but I have a '99 540i. I blew the engine and recently had a dealer friend buy me a wrecked '03 540i at an insurance auction. I'm planning to strip everything I can from the newer one and one thing I thought would be pretty simple was the tail lights. I drilled holes and took a hammer to the mounts and got them to fit flush, but I didn't know about needing ballasts or anything extra... I saw that the connectors were different, but I thought I'd just be able to splice the wires and call it a day. Has anyone done the upgrade to an actual set of the newer factory tail lights? What other parts would I need from the '03 in order to make it work?

S/N hit me about any parts you might need... Front end is smashed, but suspension, automatic transmission and pretty much everything but the engine is available.
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