04-21-2012, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NW FL
My Ride: '01 330CI / '11 335i
2001 330Ci Tail Light Fix (Fast Blinker, Headlights flicker, Grounding issue)
So, I see there is a recall for the following vehicles:
325I - 2002-2005, 325XI - 2002-2005, 330I - 2002-2005, 330XI - 2002-2005
I've heard there is a recall for 2001 cars, but haven't seen it.
The 2002-2005 cars are different from the 2001, so I thought I'd take some photos and post them.
The concept is the same as other threads on here, but I show you the look for the 2001 car and what I did to secure a new working ground.
On my car I always have fast blinkers and in my case it was the left side of my car. The right side never really did it, and if it did it was a bad bulb. So after looking at the rear left lights I saw I only had a problem on that side and not the left. I also would get intermittent rear light out on the cluster panel, which was a false alarm. In the end this fix has stopped me from years of this pain. It's a 2001, so it goes to show that BMW should be covering this issue also.
Parts needed 14-18 gauge wire ($.30 to .40) cents a foot at Lowes or Home Depot
T-taps or Wire tap connectors ($2-$4) at hardware store or Radio Shack.
Contact cleaner to spray in both the connector and the assembly. (allow time for it to dry before assembling the connects back together.)
Electrical tape or other component to protect the wire from contacting other metal parts.
Any type of pliers to crush the male end of the taps that go into the female end.
On internal rear light assembly there is the metal structure that connect all 3 bulbs together and since ours doesn't have metal end for a butt connector to slide over, we can use the hole which I have circled in red. That whole is used on the outside tail light, but you can easily break off the pin that sticks out and thus allow your new ground wire to utilize the hole in the internal light assembly. When you break off the super small pin, it doesn't have any effect or cause any issues. I'm not even sure what the purpose of it was to be honest. I could of broke it off with my pinky finger.
As you can see the problem on my car is the tail light socket connector is bad.
The old part number above was: 61138369702
The new 6 pin part number below is: 61136984758
Another issue you might run into, but it was not my issue, even though you can see the carrier housing on the tail light is not in the best shape.
If yours is not functioning then you will need to buy a the whole rear light carrier/housing for the left and right.
You only need this part if your socket connector is bad or melted/burnt.
If you need the tail light carrier/housing parts, here they are:
left light carrier housing: 63218364729
right light carrier housing: 63218364730
Example of left:
left light carrier housing, clear light signals: 63218383827
right light carrier housing, clear light signals: 63218383828
Example of left:
Here are photos of what I did below. These are similar to others, but this is specific to my 2001 330Ci.
Here is a photo showing the 14-18 gauge wire should use to fully ground your rear lights. On my 2001 I have a whole which I'm not sure what it's used for, but there was a really small pin sticking out of the bulb housing. It almost broke by just barely touching it with my pinky, so I don't think it really serves any purpose. I broke it off on both of my rear light housings.
Here is the photo of where the small plastic pin used to be.
With this removed you can use the hole for your grounding wire.
Otherwise you would need to either use a self taping metal screw or bend the metal up so you can wrap the wire under it.
Different lighting photo of same thing:
Here is just another close up:
Here is how it was initially wired up, but then I decided I needed to change it in the last photo to get the new grounding wire out of the way. As you can see the connection is to the brown wire or #4 slot. If you have a different pin out check to see which yours is.
The way it was ultimately routed and the black electric tape I used over the ground wire on the housing assembly:
If you need an 8 pin here is the part: 61136909008
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