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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 08-14-2013, 01:27 PM
professorman professorman is offline
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Location: Virgina
 
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Posts: 126
Mein Auto: 2000 525i
Talking DIY: Hard wire 'switched' cigarette lighter /power socket, keeping the flashlight :)

The cheapest way to get a 'switched' cigarette lighter is to buy the $10 adapter from the dealership to convert your flashlight into a power socket. (1)

The alternative method is to perform the mod that cn90 wrote up to convert your existing socket into a 'switched' circuit. (1)

I choose to hard wire a multi-socket adapter in my car, tapping into the power wires for the flashlight. I did not want to loose the flashlight. Granted, its not the brightest, but it is still useful to have a flashlight. I drove home the other day, and realized that the electricity was out in my neighborhood. Not to worry! My BMW flashlight is here to save the day!!!

This probably should take no more than 10 minutes to do.

======================
Tools and parts needed:
  1. Multi-socket adapter (I purchased at walmart)
  2. tap-in wire connectors (available at Radio Shack, see step 6 to know what to buy)
  3. Multimeter
  4. wire cutter (scissors, knife, etc)
  5. flat head screw driver (or just a knife)
  6. Electrical tape (optional)

Essentially, the entire process is simply (1) cut the end off the multi-socket adapter. (2) Use tap-in connector to connect the adapter wires to the power wires for the flashlight.

Here is the detailed instructions:

Step 1: Remove the glovebox clips to give more working room in the glovebox. This might not be absolutely necessary, but I did get a lot more room to work with. You will have to remove the clips at both sides of the glove box. Looking on the clip, you will see a separation. Put a screw driver between the separations and rotate to lift up the clip, then just push it off.



Step 2: Unplug the flashlight socket and remove the power connector from the rear. You will need to reach behind the socket and squeeze the clips at the top and the bottom of it and push out the socket. The power wires will still be attached, so you will need to squeeze the clips on the power wires and pull out the adapter.



Step 3:
You will need to test to find which terminal is positive and which is negative. If you have the same colors like mine, purple is positive and brown is negative. To test, you turn the car on and measure the voltage between the terminals. If the voltage is a positive number, the red lead is the positive side.




Step 4: Strip the covering off the power wires to get more working room.



Step 5: Cut the ed of the multi-socket adapter. You should not strip the wires.



Identify which wire is positive and which is negative on the multi-socket adapter. You do this by measuring continuity between the wire and the side of the inside of the adapter. The sides are grounded (negative), so any wire that is continuous to the sides will be negative.



Step 6: Use tap-in wire connectors to tap into the existing power wires. Make sure to put the negative to the negative, and positive to the positive. I then covered my connections with electrical tape to get a clean job.



My multi-socket adapter came with 3M tape, so I just pealed and stick it inside the glove box, while neatly tucking the wires in the back, wire tied.



Here is the end result



Now, I can have multiple adapters plugged in, my daughter can charge her tablet, while my phone is charging and using a gps....all, without loosing the flashlight.
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Last edited by professorman; 08-14-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:43 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is online now
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Very nice.

You annotated the DIY quite nicely.
What photo-editing software did you use, by the way?
- How to post, shrink, modify, edit, annotate, merge, & upload pictures for posting here (1)

So others find this in the future, I'm adding this to the keyword-rich set of links in the bestlinks found by typing a few keywords, as shown below:
- How to diagnose & repair an inoperative E39 cigarette lighter socket (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & how to make your cigarette socket a switched circuit (1) (2) & a BMW Glovebox Flashlight Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter (1) (2) (3) & how to install the Valentine or Escort radar detector (1) (2) & one users method of installing 12v and USB cigarette lighter power adapters for smart phones and cell phones in 2013 (1) & how people add a handsfree bluetooth cellphone or smartphone in 2013 (1) (2) & how some install an iPad (1) or an Android tablet (1)

You also clarified a question that was in the cn90 thread of which fuse was for the BMW flashlight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by professorman View Post
any idea, which fuse is the flashlight?
- One user's attempt at locating and snapping a picture of every single fuse & relay in the BMW E39 (1)
F39 = 7.5A, flashlight charging socket, courtesy mirror illumination
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!

Last edited by bluebee; 08-14-2013 at 03:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2013, 07:23 AM
professorman professorman is offline
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Location: Virgina
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Mein Auto: 2000 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Very nice.

You annotated the DIY quite nicely.
What photo-editing software did you use, by the way?
Thanks bluebee. I learn from watching you . I am a HUGE fan of the work you put into presenting information on this forum.

I actually did my entire photo editing & annotations using Microsoft Paint in Windows 7.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2013, 09:56 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is online now
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 19,196
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by professorman View Post
Microsoft Paint
Wow. Both you and cn90 use ms paint!
It all goes to show, it's not the editing tool that makes the job great, it's the person writing the DIY!
__________________
Note: Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2013, 06:26 AM
luminmiller luminmiller is offline
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Location: Netherlands
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 14
Mein Auto: 530 In The Works
Nice detail great work! I am happy you confirmed this as a switched power source!
Does it turn on and off with the key or is there a delay when you turn off the key.

I don't currently have a battery in the car or I would bust out the volt meter.
Thanks for your contribution

Kind regards
Lumin
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2013, 07:41 AM
jdiflam jdiflam is offline
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Location: Nashua, NH
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Mein Auto: E39 '99 528i
nice,. gives me a new project :-)
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2013, 01:15 PM
professorman professorman is offline
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Location: Virgina
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luminmiller View Post
Does it turn on and off with the key or is there a delay when you turn off the key.
The socket turns on and off with the key fine. There is no delay.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2013, 11:07 PM
luminmiller luminmiller is offline
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Location: Netherlands
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by professorman View Post
The socket turns on and off with the key fine. There is no delay.
Thanks again professorman!
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