Thread: Tailight Fix
View Single Post
Old 10-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Philippines
Posts: 860
My Ride: 2004 325i
Originally Posted by PHX325 View Post
... This is the best reply I got but I still dont know what to do ...
Thanks for the compliment.

I did the right taillight before since it was the one giving me the problem. I saw your post so I did the left one today -- this time with pics.

All photos are for the left taillight. Process is the same for the right.

The only materials and tools you need are:
- a 0.25" blade receptacle (available in Radio Shack, Home Depot or any electronics shop)
- a 5" strip of size #18 or larger wire
- rubber or vinyl electrical tape
- utility knife
- pliers

1) Release the taillight housing and lay it on the trunk.

2) Release the connector by pressing on the sides then pulling. Take note of the circled tab. That's the point we'll connect to later.

3) Cut a 5" piece of wire and strip one end about a quarter of an inch.

4) Insert the stripped end into the blade receptacle and crimp using any pair of pliers. Try pulling out the wire afterwards to make sure it's tight.

5) At the connector, the ground wire is the brown one. It's noticably thicker than the other wires.

6) Using a utility knife, carefully strip half an inch of insulation on the brown/ground wire 2"-3" from the connector.

7) Strip half an inch of the other end of the new piece of wire and wrap neatly (mine wasn't too neat in the pic) around the exposed ground wire.

8) Wrap tightly with electrical tape.

9) Plug in the connector again and insert the blade receptacle into the tab.

10) YOU'RE DONE!! If you've been having that annoying intermittent bulb-out problems and all bulbs seem to be ok, this is I think a more permanent solution. Replacing just the connector like what's done at the dealer will just bring back that problem after a few years. The problem is that the connector pin for the ground is too thin to carry all that current to the bulbs reliably. So eventually the pin builds up electrical resistance and will melt in some cases. Running a parallel connection using a thicker connector will solve it. (I'm an electronics engineer by education btw)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_1.jpg
Views:	65248
Size:	82.1 KB
ID:	245219   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_2.jpg
Views:	53558
Size:	63.8 KB
ID:	245220   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_3.jpg
Views:	54061
Size:	65.9 KB
ID:	245221   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_4.jpg
Views:	53597
Size:	63.2 KB
ID:	245222  

Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_5.jpg
Views:	53809
Size:	64.9 KB
ID:	245223   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_6.jpg
Views:	53699
Size:	68.4 KB
ID:	245224   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_7.jpg
Views:	53995
Size:	69.0 KB
ID:	245225   Click image for larger version

Name:	taillight_diy_8.jpg
Views:	61886
Size:	83.2 KB
ID:	245226  

Last edited by ssm1991; 10-12-2007 at 01:53 PM.
ssm1991 is offline   Reply With Quote