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From Thu Jan 22 23:24:25 1998
From: Ron Stygar <>
Subject: <E36> Lets Engine Compartment Light my '96 328is

The following guide describes my experience installing a BMW engine compartment light in my '96 328is. Read the complete guide before you start. As always, feel free to do it your way. Here we go.

BMW Parts:

      Engine room light assembly         63 31 8 350 554       $11.68
      Engine room light switch           61 31 8 360 875         3.45
      Bulb 12V 10W                       07 50 9 063 577         1.30
      Rivet                              65 75 8 357 500          .52
      Female Pin (2 each)                61 13 1 376 202         1.17 

Other Parts:

      Tap-in (18-22 Ga.) connector, to tap into parking light           
      Insulated 1/4 inch female tab connector, to connect to switch
      Shrink tubing, to cover BMW pins
      Cable containing two 18 Ga. conductors (10 feet)
      Mini ty-wraps (black)

The hood liner has a serrated rectangle directly above the (B) of the BMW logo on the valve cover. If you cut out the serrated piece you will see a similar rectangle in the hood sheet metal below the hood liner or above the hood liner depending how you look at things. The engine room light assembly will end up snapping into this hood liner sheet metal rectangle with its connector end facing towards the front of the hood.

The light switch mounts in the sheet metal directly above the passenger side high beam headlamp. You will see a 1/4 inch hole and a dimpled smaller hole to the right, which is the switch mounting screw hole. I could not find the part # for this screw in the parts fiche. The screw is the same as the one used in the trunk light switch. I happened to have one in my miscellaneous box. The 1/4" hole has to be enlarged to ~ 3/8 inch to accommodate the switch barrel. Greasing your drill bit will hold on to most of the chips. I smoothed out the drilled edge and painted using BMW touch up. Since it doesn't show, you could use any color.

Attach the BMW female pins to one end of the two wire cable. Shrink tube each pin and push on to the light assembly male pins. Undo the passenger side of the hood liner. Insert the other end of the cable through the hood liner sheet metal rectangle and snap the light assembly in place. Follow the wiring down the hood support continuing toward the right front parking light area of the vehicle ty-wrapping as you go.

Tap one of the two wires in the cable to the front right hand parking light (gray/yellow) wire using one tap-in connector. This is the 5 watt portion of the dual 5w / 21w lamp. Route the remaining wire to the switch. Crimp the 1/4 inch female tab connector to this wire and attach to the positioned switch. Secure the switch. You should now have a lit engine compartment light, assuming your parking lights are on. Pressing in the black engine light switch button should extinguish the engine compartment light. If this happens, good job! Secure the hood liner.

Place a small drop of white latex paint to the tip of the engine compartment light switch button. Close and open the hood. You now have the location of the rivet mounting point. Cut off the disc from the rivet, smooth the cut and epoxy it, centered on the hood liner marked point. Clean the paint from the switch button. When you close the hood, does the light really go out :)?

Tapping into the parking light assumes if your parking lights are on, its dark out. The American way like Ford does, is to light it up whenever the hood is up. I like BMW's way better., FLI BMW, FLY BMW, BMWCCA 15924

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