Adding OEM Rear Fog Lamps On The E46 for under $30 Pictorial DIY.
Finally finished this easy and cheap DIY.
As many of you may know all E46 vehicles made before 9/2001 (prefacelift) have an empty bulb slot
under the reverse lamp in the trunk lid that is reserved for the rear fog bulbs.
In Europe this slot is usually used for the rear fog lamps that powers on with the extra fog lamp switch on the LKM (European version of the Light Switch Module). On the USA facelift E46 cars made after 9/2001 this bulb slot includes a bulb that is used for the normal driving tail lamps. In Europe the bulb in these trunk lid slots on their facelift E46 cars brightens when the rear fog button is pushed. So that noted I will add that my DIY serves those E46 sedans and possibly coupes/convertibles made before 9/2001.
I'm sure this DIY can be used as a general guide for the later E46 sedans as well once the proper LKM faceplate w/ rear fog button is added to their cars.
In the USA rear fogs have been excluded and our LCM (USA version of the Light Switch Module) lacks the rear fog lamp button.
Now to add Rear Fogs to any USA E46 (prefacelift) you will need;
1. The Euro LKM faceplate that has the rear fog button on it. The faceplates all detach from the Light Switch Module body and will attach easily onto your LCM.
I got mine from eBay.co.uk for $15. They are always lots of them there for cheap. Don't pay more than $50 for one and NO you do not need this to get dealer programming NOR does it set off your odometer tamper indicator. Remember you ONLY need the faceplate and NOT the entire LKM.
2. A pair of Pin Bushing Contacts to fit in to the Tail Lamp Bulb Holder connector BMW Parts #61130006626. You need two (one for each bulb). I paid $6.46 for the pair at my local BMW dealership.
3. One Pin Bushing Contact for the LCM Pin 49 slot BMW Parts#61130008998 which cost $3.60 at my dealership.
4. About 30 feet of 20-22 gauge wire. I paid about $5 for a spool at the local radio shack. Also heat shrink and a lighter to connect the wires together. I paid 99 cents for a pack of heat shrink at Home Depot.
5. A Woodboring 5/8" drill bit which cost me $2.49 at Home Depot. You do not need to buy the Steelboring bit which cost about $20 to $30 for just the one bit. The Woodboring bit did the trick. You also need a 6V or better power drill and small drill bits that usually come with the drill. Most households already have this or you can easily borrow from somewhere.
6. wire coat hanger and Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) or some sort of lubricant.
7. Fog light bulbs which is identical to the reverse tail lamp bulbs I got 1157 which is 12volts/26watts. They cost about $1.50 each.
8. Needle nose Pliers, dull butter knife and screwdriver for removing LCM and Trunk lid lining
Let's begin our Pictorial DIY:
To see how to remove the driverside footwell panel and steering wheel trim
please see my previous DIY showing how to do it
dude! that is so freakin awesome! really good diy too, its awesome to see that light on the dash actually work too.
Epic write-up man
Well done, that was an extremely well put together and precise DIY.
Just a question, here in Australia we have the Euro spec E46 so we already have one rear foglight and the appropriate LCM so if we wanted to have two rear fogs all that needs to be done then is drill the hole in the dummy bulb plate and add an extra bulb and then run a new wire from the existing fog light to the new bulb on the other side?
I don't think I would ever need to do this since I live in a 99.9% fog-free climate, but what a freggin DIY!!! Excellent read, and well put together.
yea i loved my euro-spec e36 with rear fogs. i loved to hit the rear fog button with tailgaters behind me and they thought it was me slamming on the brakes, haha!
I just used mine on annoying tail gaiters like 5 times tonight just during a 40 minute drive from Midtown Manhattan to home in Westchester.
It does work...I like seeing their faces light up red from the bright rear fog lamps.
My rear fogs are super bright. I need to wire my reverse lamps to them for super sun blinding effect!
Nice write up! But I did notice one thing...socks with thong sandals? lol
And plus if you drive like a normal person and dont block the left lane going granpa slow, you wont have any tailgaters.
Just tonight I was coming back from the movies in Mt. Kisco and driving southbound on the Saw Mill Pkwy (a dark two lane parkway that is very twisty with sharp turns and dips running about 30 miles thru Westchester) and the are lots Deer everywhere at the edge of the road eating grass and sh!t.
So I'm going like 60-70 mile (the limit is 55 but there is no Cops because there is no shoulder for anyone to pull you over) and guess what?!
I got tailgated twice by idiots who refused to go around me.
The thing is I was in the Right Lane but because deer tend to dart out from the other side no one wants to pass on the left!
So I blasted my rear fogs on all of 'em! It gives them a choice to either slow the fcuk down off my ass OR risk totaling your car on a 12 pt Buck trying to get nowhere fast.
I like giving people choices.
so much work for useless lights.... u don't drive backwards why would u need rear fogs... lol not like they will illuminate that much when u reverse
this was not a lot of work.
I think my Door Handle LEDs was a lot of work and the effect or awe factor wasn't lasting.
It's my only regret so far. I wasted an entire week on that project and I really don't care for it anymore.
since facelift cars already have bulbs there, would we just have to buy a faceplate w/ the rear fog button? or is there a code issue?
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