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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-14-2005, 08:09 PM   #1
Penguin Koolaid
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DIY: Painting Amber Bulbs (56k Warning)

Purpose: Remove the “egg yolk” effect.








Supplies:

High Temp Spray Paint


Masking Tape


String


Rubbing Alcohol
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:09 PM   #2
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Steps:

Take a small strip of masking tape, and tape off a section of the amber bulb near the base. This allows for the amber light to shine through, while still maintaining the new anti-egg yolk look. Once completed, finish taping off the bottom of the bulb to prevent paint from making contact with the connector.






Next take a piece of string approximately a foot long and tape that to the taped off connector. The reason behind this is to allow the bulbs to hang freely when drying once painted.






The next thing to do is clean the bulbs with some rubbing alcohol. After handling them so much from taping, you don’t want any oils from your hand on the bulbs.

Once the bulbs have been taped, stringed, and cleaned, it’s time to begin painting. Place some newspaper on the ground and place the bulb on top of that. Hold the can approximately 1.5-2.0 feet away from the bulb, and spray very lightly. You only want a thin coating of paint. My first attempt led to disaster. I put too much paint on the bulb, and it started to drip and bubble. I tried cleaning off the paint, but it took half of the amber coating with it. Chances are I will simply buy another bulb (cheap), and try it again. The other bulbs turned out perfect though. Just remember to only spray lightly, and rotate to get an even coating.

After you paint each bulb, hold it upright (bulb at top, connecter at bottom) and let it air dry for roughly 30 seconds. Once you’ve done that, it is now safe to hang the bulb on something to finish air-drying.

Let dry for a few hours, and then remove the tape carefully. I would then let them dry a few more hours just to be safe. Then all that is left is reinstalling the finished bulbs.

So instead of paying roughly $40.00 USD to buy a whole set of bulbs (i.e., Polaris), you can spend $5.00 on the paint and do it yourself. Remember, if you mess up you can always buy new ambers cheap, or if all else fails, you’re out $5.00 and go ahead and buy yourself some aftermarket bulbs. It’s well worth the $5.00 investment if it works out for you.
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:10 PM   #3
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Before:


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Old 10-14-2005, 08:12 PM   #4
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Awesome Brian, good job

-Ken
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:29 PM   #5
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Awesome DIY... Did mine a few yrs ago and worked great...
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:31 PM   #6
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good diy - just a heads up - they come out a lot darker than the silvervisions. I just tried for comparison sake.

but obviously its a cheaper mod.
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Old 10-16-2005, 01:28 AM   #7
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can u post how the lights on your car looks? really curious.. what it ACTUALLY looks like..... great DIY though..
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Old 10-16-2005, 03:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jeffreywai
can u post how the lights on your car looks? really curious.. what it ACTUALLY looks like..... great DIY though..
Sure







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Old 10-16-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
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How's the light ouput?
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tblue3cibm
How's the light ouput?
Not as bright as stock, but still visible. I might go back and scratch off some more paint from the bulbs, but for the mean time it works well.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:20 PM   #11
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what you could do is on put like 2 small pieces of masking tape on the sides of bulb before you do this.. so the light can shine through those parts
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:22 AM   #12
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Just to let you all know that at first everyone DIY silvervision including myself but over time I found out that bulb contact and holder started to corrode. This ended up causing more $$$$ spent. I just got these bulbs instead and now I don't have to worry about dash light flickering cause of the bad contact. The new bulbs is much brighter too.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=297351

http://www.yellowmann.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20

Charlie
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Old 10-29-2005, 09:05 PM   #13
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I just did this to my bulbs as wel...i even left more of an "orange" part by covering more of the bulb with painters tape....

the side bulbs came out fine and the light output is great...

but the light output on the front corner bulbs is reduced dramatically. I find this more of a safety concern than anything else..

So tommorow, Im going to take the stock bulbs and try again or just order the silvervisions from bimmian...
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Old 10-29-2005, 09:21 PM   #14
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How's the light ouput?
garbage - by silvervisions or LED blinkers.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:30 AM   #15
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Great write up and this is how I did mine. It's good enough for light out put. The person behind you isn't going care how bright your amber bulbs are, really. Painting them doesn't risk any safety. Sure other bulbs are brighter, but it's not worth the $30+ bucks for the person behind you.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:55 AM   #16
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i guess its just me...but I like my bulbs to be nice and bright...

At first I was also contemplating why anyone would buy "silver" bulbs when you could do it at home....now I know.

Im ordering mine as we speak.
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