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Date: 17 Apr 1997 18:16:14 -0400
From: (Michael Sclafani) Subject: some initial comments on foglight installation

The foglight kit I ordered for my ti arrived on Tuesday. I opened it up and started reading the instructions. It comes with the basic instructions (for E36/2, /3, /4/, and /5) and a special set of 95-96 E36/5 amendments.

The instructions seemed reasonably clear, and, to my relief, did not call for removing the airbag. Unfortunately, the addenda did call for some parts from the Electrical System Repair Kit IV that were NOT supplied with the kit. In effect, the kit is both incomplete and requires a modification to one of the wiring harnesses that it supplies. I called the store I ordered it from to make sure they hadn't left something out. Nope. That's the way the kit is shipped.

Part numbers for these five missing pieces are supplied, so I headed over to my local dealer and ask for them. No dice. Those part numbers do not come up on the computer, and apparently are not "over-the-counter" parts. The parts dude suggests asking the shop foreman if he can help me out.

So over I go to the repair shop. The guy there is really helpful, even though he doesn't know from part numbers. After poring over the instructions together, he grabs a box and fishes out some likely-looking bits. He even copies the relevant lighting system page from the troubleshooting manual. More first-rate service from the folks at Allison BMW.

Early yesterday morning I set out to do the installation. It was a nightmare. It took me all day and some of the evening. Keep in mind that I'm a slow methodical worker without a garage, and I have almost no prior BMW experience. I may eventually write up my own installation instructions, but for now I'll just make the following comments:

The fuse box is a bitch and a half. The instructions say you'll need a torx 10 screwdriver for getting the screws off. The instructions don't tell you that you need a torx 10 screwdriver with a rubber shaft in order to reach the rear pair of screws.

Even with the screws off, working with the fusebox is still a pain. There isn't enough play in the wires to flip it up, so it's a constant struggle to have enough access to do what needs to be done.

At one point in the process, you're instructed to plug into an existing connector. There's a little footnote to the effect that it might already be full. That means pulling an existing connector, cutting it off, and crimping two wires together onto one connector. I was damn glad the shop foreman gave me one more connector than I thought I needed.

The instructions say the dash is attached with phillips-head screws, but mine had torx 20's on it.

The kit doesn't come with the fuse you'll need. Fortunately, the fuse box has a spare, but it's an unbelieveable omission.

As shipped, the lights are aimed very low. I intend to play with the adjusting screw tonight.

If you can get a shop to a commit to a reasonable fixed price for the installation, get them to do it. It's not much fun to do for its own sake, and the satisfaction from doing it for myself was overshadowed by the immense relief at not frying the electrical system.

Date: 17 Apr 1997 21:06:57 -0400
From: (Kenneth L. Potter) Subject: Re: some initial comments on foglight installation

>Early yesterday morning I set out to do the installation. It was a
>It took me all day and some of the evening.

I've said it before, but I'll re-post: I'm glad I paid for my foglights (at dealer cost) as part of my original purchase price. It took my dealer *6* hours to install them. Nice job, though!

Ken Potter                    |"If all of the ignorance in 
                              | the world passed a second         | ago... *what* would you say?"