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Tar Heel Faithful
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Discussion Starter #1
I really need to stop fiddling around with my X3. I've been trying to install and wire up the EU parking lights as welcome lights. I've hated and been terrible at anything electric. Nearly broke the glovebox light today when it popped out faster than expected, breaking the pigtail connector thing :eeps: and had to make do with a patch-up solution of stuffing the original left-over wire into the plastic connector, in no way a secure fix.

Y'all think it's time to for me to quit? :bawling: I've bought the parts and *theoretically* I've got a way to make it work, but I don't wanna break anything else!

(I'm better with hardware like screws and panels. Swapping out my mom's interior trim is the winter break project)
 

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BMW Enthusiast!
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Sounds like it, unless you can get clear instructions!
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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I really need to stop fiddling around with my X3. I've been trying to install and wire up the EU parking lights as welcome lights. I've hated and been terrible at anything electric. Nearly broke the glovebox light today when it popped out faster than expected, breaking the pigtail connector thing :eeps: and had to make do with a patch-up solution of stuffing the original left-over wire into the plastic connector, in no way a secure fix.

Y'all think it's time to for me to quit? :bawling: I've bought the parts and *theoretically* I've got a way to make it work, but I don't wanna break anything else!

(I'm better with hardware like screws and panels. Swapping out my mom's interior trim is the winter break project)
Azn,

Seems to me we should get together sometime. I could use a hand installing the some minor body changes, and my thing is electronics.

Maybe we could do it at one of the BMWCCA DYI's?
 

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We all have to realize our limitations. Spend a few extra bucks or struggle with it. It is within our capacity to screw up a project without spending a lot of money on it. Been there and done that. Just think about it, we can ruin a $40K car with an expenditure of only a few hundred bucks.
 

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Don't stop now! As long as the mods are useful or have some purpose, keep on doing it. If you learn something, report it. Only useless mods, such as painting flames on the car, should be avoided. Any useful thing, even installing a rocket launcher or oil slick device, can be fun. :rofl:
 

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Don't stop now! As long as the mods are useful or have some purpose, keep on doing it. If you learn something, report it. Only useless mods, such as painting flames on the car, should be avoided. Any useful thing, even installing a rocket launcher or oil slick device, can be fun. :rofl:
I agree :thumbup:

Azn, if you enjoy fiddling around with even the smallest project, good for you. If you break something, you have more reason to fiddle more :D. It's not about wasting money on pointless things (even though our better halves don't always understand our "boys and their toys" way of thinking). It's about standing back and appreciate something you did, yourself!

I would take Evlengr up on his offer - if only I had more DIY Bimmer-fanatics closer ...lol

Enjoy!
 

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NADAVAN
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Mom's interior trim might be better done in the summer. Things are warmer and more flexible and therefore less likely to break. In the cold they are hard and brittle.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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14,127 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I am the worst electrician in all of human history.

But I got it to work! It's not technically done yet since I don't have the tools at home, but I wired things up with the parts, and now whenever the interior lights come on, so does the EU-spec parking light. It is NOT the highbeam bulb, rather a 5W bulb that goes into the empty space in North American cars.

A couple connections under the hood are not secured so I need to find a way to secure the wire that's touching a negative ground screw. Otherwise it'll just fall off at the next pothole. Here's a teaser pic. A write up and better pics will come later, since I've only done one side; the air intake runs behind the left side headlight so I didnt get a chance to access it. Hopefully my car won't explode the next time I drive it.
 

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That's great. Now you can easily spot your X in dark parking lots. Just thinking loud, is it possible to sneak in an angel eye through that hole? I would love to get that look but too scared to bake my lights. Just one AE in DRL would be fine for me.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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Discussion Starter #10
That's great. Now you can easily spot your X in dark parking lots. Just thinking loud, is it possible to sneak in an angel eye through that hole? I would love to get that look but too scared to bake my lights. Just one AE in DRL would be fine for me.
Unlikely. If you open the flap in the back of the high beam headlight, you'll see that the reflector for the inner headlamp takes up all the space; you can't get in front of the reflector except for the tiny hole where parking light would go (which is pinky-sized)
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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I am the worst electrician in all of human history.

But I got it to work! It's not technically done yet since I don't have the tools at home, but I wired things up with the parts, and now whenever the interior lights come on, so does the EU-spec parking light. It is NOT the highbeam bulb, rather a 5W bulb that goes into the empty space in North American cars.

A couple connections under the hood are not secured so I need to find a way to secure the wire that's touching a negative ground screw. Otherwise it'll just fall off at the next pothole. Here's a teaser pic. A write up and better pics will come later, since I've only done one side; the air intake runs behind the left side headlight so I didnt get a chance to access it. Hopefully my car won't explode the next time I drive it.
Ok, I'll ask. What purpose does this serve?

And make sure to use black nylon tie wraps with an eyelet designed to hold wiring.

This will serve two purposes. White tie wraps absorb ultra violet light and crack over time. Black one's do not. I know I know it is the opposite of what you are taught about black and white but anyone that has done outside wiring knows this to be true. And using a tie wrap meant for holding wire will cause less abrasion to the outer jacket of the wire leaving less chance of shorting to ground.
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, I'll ask. What purpose does this serve?
I think you already have it on your 2008 as the "welcome lights" feature. When you unlock the car, the interior lights and the parking lights come on. This feature wasn't on the earlier X3s, and you know I hate to leave empty spots blank when I know what's supposed to be there :p (case in point, the rear foglights which was a bigger headache)

And make sure to use black nylon tie wraps with an eyelet designed to hold wiring.

This will serve two purposes. White tie wraps absorb ultra violet light and crack over time. Black one's do not. I know I know it is the opposite of what you are taught about black and white but anyone that has done outside wiring knows this to be true. And using a tie wrap meant for holding wire will cause less abrasion to the outer jacket of the wire leaving less chance of shorting to ground.
I was thinking of perhaps securing the wiring under the bonnet/hood using electrical tape in specific spots or to bundle it with existing wiring. I ensured enough slack to avoid moving points (the intake fan comes to mind). Finding a negative ground is the biggest challenge since a lot of the screws are painted over.
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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4,252 Posts
I think you already have it on your 2008 as the "welcome lights" feature. When you unlock the car, the interior lights and the parking lights come on. This feature wasn't on the earlier X3s, and you know I hate to leave empty spots blank when I know what's supposed to be there :p (case in point, the rear foglights which was a bigger headache)

I was thinking of perhaps securing the wiring under the bonnet/hood using electrical tape in specific spots or to bundle it with existing wiring. I ensured enough slack to avoid moving points (the intake fan comes to mind). Finding a negative ground is the biggest challenge since a lot of the screws are painted over.
DO NOT use electrical tape as it will heat, come loose, and not protect the wire from vibrating and eventually wearing through. I will send you the correct ties if you like :). A good ground can be had by taking some emory sand paper (the black type that has a fabric back) and removing a bolt and sanding the surface around the top. Then use a simple crimp and eye type hook. Solder the wire to the hook if you are handy that way. If not I still will be happy to help.

Cheers,

EE

And yeah that is a nice feature :thumbup:
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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Discussion Starter #14
Perhaps I will take you up on that help offer Ev. I'm coming up to the DC area early next week so I might be able to stop by. I'm at school so I only have electrical tape, a couple screwdrivers, and plyers. I wish I could solder some connections since I'm leery of having so many crimp-on connectors.

Looks like I'd better park in the garage when it rains later this week to be on the safe side.
 

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Ukemi - that's how I roll
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4,252 Posts
Perhaps I will take you up on that help offer Ev. I'm coming up to the DC area early next week so I might be able to stop by. I'm at school so I only have electrical tape, a couple screwdrivers, and plyers. I wish I could solder some connections since I'm leery of having so many crimp-on connectors.

Looks like I'd better park in the garage when it rains later this week to be on the safe side.
Feel free to PM me and we can set something up. More than happy to help.

Will be away until Saturday with daughter at Disney but will look when I get back.

Cheers,

EE
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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14,127 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Got both of them in today. It's not a great picture because of the night shutter, but I'll do a write up and post it in a few days.

 

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