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From Sat Oct 3 18:05:43 1998
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 21:02:21 EDT
Subject: Lets ti trunk light switch my '96 328is

The trunk light switch on my '97 318tis lets you shut off the trunk light, (lights in my case) by pulling out the switch actuating pin when the trunk is open. This resets itself when you close the trunk. This feature is handy when you park for some time with your trunk open. The switch on my '96 328is does not let you do this. I decided to add this feature by installing a ti switch in the 328. You have to create a rectangular hole in the same area as the stock switch to accommodate the ti switch. You also have to add a ground wire, since the ti switch does not have a mounting screw.

The following is just a guide. Read it completely before attempting this modification. I completed this modification on my '96 328is (build date 4/96). If your car is different, modify the following accordingly. As always, feel free to do it your way.


     1 each BMW Switch 61 31 8 360 464 $11.31 retail
     4 each BMW Clip   51 48 8 181 420 $ 0.37 retail
     2 each Pin AMP MOD.IV Mouser (see below)
     2 each Tywraps
     1 each stakon
     Shrink tubing for the pins
     Wire to add the ground
     Touch up paint in the color of your car.

AMP 025

Here we go:

Open the trunk and remove the stock trunk light switch. Undo the carpet on the trunk lid in the vicinity of the trunk light switch. I undid four of the clips (the left side one and the three left top ones). If you can remove these clips without damaging them you don't have to purchase the above mentioned new ones. I find it easier to just replace the clips with new ones.

You have to create a rectangular hole in the same area as the stock switch to accommodate the new switch.

You want the actuating pin of the new switch to reside in the same area as the pin of the stock switch. I made a ~1-2 inch by ~1 inch paper template and scotch taped it to the trunk. I positioned the left edge of the template so that it just covered the stock left hole. You also want to position the template down enough to allow for the switch trim which is larger than the hole you are making. I used my automatic prick (center) punch to mark the four corners within the template. 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. Cut between the drilled holes using small diagonal cutters. File the hole to size checking as you go. Touch up the filed edge with the touch up paint.

Cut off the connector from the wire that was going to the stock trunk light switch. Add (solder) the AMP MOD. IV pin to this wire and shrink tube the result. Create the ground wire long enough (see photo) with an AMP MOD>IV pin on one end and a stakon that fits the screw you are attaching it to on the other end. Unscrew the screw (TORQ 20) you will be fastening (see photo) the stakon end of the created ground wire to. Neatly remove some paint from this area so that the stakon will provide a good ground. Fasten the created ground wire in place. Tywrap as shown in the photo. Run both wires through the created rectangular hole. Plug the added ground into the switch pin two. Plug the stock wire into the switch pin 1 or 3. I added a tywrap around both wires.

The trunk light should be on now. Install the switch. Push in its actuating pin. The trunk light should go out. Pull out its actuating pin. The trunk light should go out. If the above happens, good job! Fasten the trunk lid carpet back in place. If you have the rear fold down seats check to see if the light really goes out when you close the trunk:). FLY BMW (Marlborough, CT)

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