From RonStygar_at_aol.com Fri Sep 11 23:40:51 1998
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 02:41:08 EDT
Subject: <E36/5> Lets light up the trunk in my '97 318tis
The following, how to, describes how I added additional trunk lighting to my
'97 318tis. While you have it apart you could also double up the brake lights
following Bob Collins instructions. If you are going to do that, you might as
well also add the rear fog function.
I initially performed this modification on my '86 325es, and have recently
performed a similar (in concept) version on my '96 328is.
Check it out here.
You will have to create an ~1 inch by ~2 3/8 inch rectangular opening in
the area just below each rear lamp assemblie to accommodate the added two
trunk lights. You will also have to tap into a hot at all times + wire
red/white and the switched ground brown/white from the trunk light switch.
The following is just a guide. Read it completely prior to attempting this
modification. As always, feel free to do it your way. Here we go:
2 each Lamp Assembly 63 31 1 378 089 $5.37 each retail
2 each Lamp 07 50 9 063 577 $1.30 each retail
4 each red (22-18ga) 1/4 inch female tab connector NAPA 784287 $0.95/8
4 each blue (16-14ga) 1/4 inch female tab connector NAPA 784294 $0.95/8
2 each red (22-18ga) 1/4 inch female/male daisy chain tab connectors NAPA 784288 $0.95/4 or
2 each blue (16-14ga) 1/4 inch female/male daisy chain tab connectors NAPA 784295 $0.95/4
6 ft 18 ga. red hookup wire. I used NAPA # 785302 (18ga), 45 feet $4.29
6 ft 18 ga. brown hookup wire. I used NAPA # 732401(16ga), 100 feet $11.40
You will also need tywraps and the parts for the means of tapping into
existing circuits that you use. I remove a small ring of insulation and
attach/solder the new wire to it. I seal the junction using Star brite liquid
electrical tape. This is available from NAPA in a 4 ounce can # 765-2950 for
On the ti remove the two rear main lamp assembly covers. If your not sure
on how to do this, it is in your owners manual. Make up a template out of
paper or whatever to accommodate the lamp assembly ~1 inch by ~2 3/8 inch
size. I used vinyl shim stock. You do not want the hole any larger than
this, so make the template accordingly (which means, make it smaller than the
While holding it in place, mark the four corners adjusting for the drill
size you will use. I used my automatic prick (center) punch. Drill the four
marked points. Connect the drilled holes. I used a stainless steel scribe.
You now have the opening marked. Drill a series of holes along the inside edge
of the marked lines. Holding a 1/4 inch wood straight edge along the line
keeps the drill from wandering out of the area. Cut between the drilled holes
using the diagonal cutters and/or a razor knife. Hand file the opening to the
~1 inch by ~2 3/8 inch size, test fitting the lamp assembly as you go. This
will ensure a nice fit.
I paralleled the existing trunk light wiring. I picked up the switched
ground brown/white wire which goes to pin 3 of the connector which plugs into
the passenger side rear lamp assembly. The hot at all times red/white wire is
pin 4 of this same connector.
Tap in to these wires and run them to the added passenger side trunk lamp
using the daisy chain connectors. Take care not to short the hot at all times
wire to ground or remove the fuse associated with the tap in point. In my
case that was 10A (red) fuse # 33. Add wires to the daisy chain connectors
and run them over to the drivers side. Pull up the lower trunk weather
stripping, starting at each side of the lower portion of the opening. Run the
two (three if your adding the fogs and doubling up the brake lights) wires in
the cavity created by removing the weather stripping. Replace the weather
stripping. Connect the wires to the added drivers side lamp assembly.
Replace the fuse if you chose to remove it. If the added lamps light up, its
a good sign. If they don't, check the fuse if you didn't remove it or reread
the above. Press in the trunk lid lamp switch. If the lamps go out, good job!
Install the rear lamp assembly covers. If your wondering if the lights really
go out when you close the trunk, you can open one of the fold down rear seats,
and check. From the ti digest: Pulling out the trunk lid lamp switch also
shuts off the lamps. This feature is handy when parked for extended times
with your trunk open.
RonStygar_at_aol.com FLY BMW (Marlborough, CT)
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