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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 07-16-2008, 08:06 PM   #1
destroyer427
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Question Radioshack resistor for front turn LEDs not working

I installed some amber 1157 LEDs (88 mA draw at 12v) for front turn signals from superbrightleds and am having an issue with getting my radioshack resistor to work with the bulb so that it prevents the bulb out warning/flashes at normal rate. The resistor is a wirewound 50 ohm 10% 10 watt, it is connected to both turn signal wires via a wire tap and plugged into with a male crimp connector. I've also stripped the wire at the wire tap contact point to ensure that all points of connection are bare metal to metal. See attached pic

With all of this hooked up I still get a bulb out warning and the bulb blinks at the very fast rate. The resistor does get warm however. Am I doing something wrong here or simply have the wrong type of resistor? At this point I am almost ready to just purchase a resistor kit from a sponsor to skip this headache. If there is an easy/cheap workaround to this I would be glad to hear about it. Thanks
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
deadlysyns
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Originally Posted by destroyer427 View Post
I installed some amber 1157 LEDs (88 mA draw at 12v) for front turn signals from superbrightleds and am having an issue with getting my radioshack resistor to work with the bulb so that it prevents the bulb out warning/flashes at normal rate. The resistor is a wirewound 50 ohm 10% 10 watt, it is connected to both turn signal wires via a wire tap and plugged into with a male crimp connector. I've also stripped the wire at the wire tap contact point to ensure that all points of connection are bare metal to metal. See attached pic

With all of this hooked up I still get a bulb out warning and the bulb blinks at the very fast rate. The resistor does get warm however. Am I doing something wrong here or simply have the wrong type of resistor? At this point I am almost ready to just purchase a resistor kit from a sponsor to skip this headache. If there is an easy/cheap workaround to this I would be glad to hear about it. Thanks
I think you need to get a load resistor.

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthrea...=load+resistor
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:01 PM   #3
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:15 AM   #4
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Try post #2 first and let us know. Make sure you didn't reverse the polarity.

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Old 07-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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Maybe try a higher resistance? What formula did you use to come up with the 50 ohms?
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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1. 50 ohms is too high - go lower. I would guess about 10 ohms would be fine. If you already have 50 ohm resistors, you can do two or 3 or 4 in series on each side to figure out how "high" you can go while fooling the computer. Whatever resistors you use, make sure you watch the wattage. Lower resistance = higher wattage: at 10ohms, you need more than 20 watts. Lower you go in ohms, resistor gets hotter, so you also have to watch where you mount it; it could melt plastic. You might need to go from wirewound to aluminum resistors.

2. Picture of how the resistor is installed scares me. T-taps are not very reliable. Exposed metal is not good. Once you get another resistor, solder some wires to it and properly insulate with tape.

3. resistors have no polarity, so it can't be backwards
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
destroyer427
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1. 50 ohms is too high - go lower. I would guess about 10 ohms would be fine. If you already have 50 ohm resistors, you can do two or 3 or 4 in series on each side to figure out how "high" you can go while fooling the computer. Whatever resistors you use, make sure you watch the wattage. Lower resistance = higher wattage: at 10ohms, you need more than 20 watts. Lower you go in ohms, resistor gets hotter, so you also have to watch where you mount it; it could melt plastic. You might need to go from wirewound to aluminum resistors.

2. Picture of how the resistor is installed scares me. T-taps are not very reliable. Exposed metal is not good. Once you get another resistor, solder some wires to it and properly insulate with tape.

3. resistors have no polarity, so it can't be backwards
The 10 ohms work perfectly, thank you! I picked up some aluminum dale power resistor 10 ohm 30 watt 1% that look similar to the following

Connected everything with crimping wire connectors and fully insulated tightly with electrical tape and mounted so that its nowhere near plastic/flammables. No more warning out lights and blinking is normal.

Started tearing apart the license plate lights but looked much more involved. May decide to tackle it later or just install whiter incandescents.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:16 PM   #8
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Glad you worked it out. License plate lights come out easy. Just need to push one end to the side and slide out. Might even be in the car's manual.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:36 PM   #9
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I've already got LEDs for the license plate lights, installing the resistors for those look to be trickier however
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:12 AM   #10
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NO they are pretty easy. You have two options, you can remove the lid carpet liner and get easy access to the wires, or you can intercept the wire harness after the wires come into the car through the rubber boot.
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:10 AM   #11
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Where is everyone installing their load resistors? Don't they need to be secured to the metal body to eliminate the potential of high heat effecting the wiring or plastic if they were zip-tied to something?
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:45 PM   #12
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Where is everyone installing their load resistors? Don't they need to be secured to the metal body to eliminate the potential of high heat effecting the wiring or plastic if they were zip-tied to something?
Preferably, screw them to metal. 2nd best option is to zip tie them to metal.
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:02 PM   #13
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ok here is a stupid question but ... what if i dont use a resistor? my lights go out about a minute after i tur nthe lights off. any damage if i do not use a resistor??

TIA
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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ok here is a stupid question but ... what if i dont use a resistor? my lights go out about a minute after i tur nthe lights off. any damage if i do not use a resistor??

TIA
No resistor = light out error on the dash. It it doesn't bother you, you don't need the resistor.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:52 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=ca1242;9065278]No resistor = light out error on the dash.QUOTE]
thanks,

i dont even get that. so all good NICE! .. on to next mod
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #16
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I'm not sure if you need resistors for the license plate lights. Mine blew and I didn't realize it until someone told me about it, no warning lights on the dash. Maybe can check by removing the bulb and see if the dash light comes on.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:55 AM   #17
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hmm... been reading some posts on the lighting thread and it seems like most people have warning lights for license plate lights being out. Maybe it's my car, will check.
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