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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 03-30-2014, 07:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 2
My Ride: 03 m3 vert
DIY: E9x puddle lights on an e46

If you can get hold of some E9x puddle lights you can fit them to your e46 with the following guide:

1) Remove the negative terminal on the battery. Prob not that necessary but I do this pretty much every time I make a mod so I don't get any warning lights...

2) Remove the triangular bit of trim by the wing mirror. it has a clip and a slotted bit, pop the top off and pull the piece up.

3) Remove the door card. There are 5 Torx screws 2 short and 3 long. The two short ones are covered up by a circular bit of plastic and the "airbag" sign. Once these are removed the door card is held on by the plastic clips which can be popped off relatively easily.

You need to disconnect the speakers, door handle lock thing and the electric mirror panel. To do the latter I had to remove the interior trim door handle to get my hand in, this is just held on by 6 Torx bolts conveniently the same size as before.

4) Remove the back bit of the door handle. There is an Allen head bolt hiding under a rubber flap on the door, undo this, and the back bit of the handle will pull out!

Next separate the metal lock barrel and the plastic trim, there are three clips, tow on the top and bottom and one on what would face the front of the car. I found it easier to stick a small screwdriver into help get it off.

5) Modify the bits . Next we need to modify the light, it's a pretty tight fit with the locking mechanism so quite alot needs to come off! Cut away the but shown in the pic. But it will take a bit more trimming after trial fitting.

Now we need to cut the plastic trim, use masking tape and mark out roughly the shape, I lined mine up on the front edge as shown in the pic. Then use a dremel tool to cut out the shape. I did this bit by bit to avoid taking too much off…

The lock barrel needs to be altered slightly, I used a hack saw and a file. First of all cover any open bits to avoid metal filings messing up the lock! then cut off the bit shown in the picture.

After filing this down cut away a grove in the place shown and also file away another part “filed area” to route the wires into the door.

After loads of trial fitting the metal barrel can be put in and the light glued in place, I used 1 hour epoxy resin and some superglue to tack it in place...

6) Putting it back on the door. I took off the noise proofing layer to access inside of the door and allow me to run the wires clear of the window glass. This involved taking another bit off that connected to the speakers and mirror control and also unscrewing the airbag from the door.

It took a few goes to route the light wire clear of the door glass but after a few goes I managed to cable tie it with enough slack to clear the glass... I soldered extensions to these wires and ran them along the wiring loom, and through the rubber connector between the door and the car.

This connector has an 8mm socket bolt on the top and pulls out upwards much like the triangular piece of trim in step 1. It was a pain to get them through this rubber connector but a piece of carbon rod/coat hanger helped!!

7) connecting the wires to the foot well light. Open up the compartment under the headlight controls, it's just 2 Philips head screws. Next, feel around inside on the right for a circular bit of foam which plugs a hole. Feed your bit of coat hanger through until it pops out the hole as in the pic.

You can tape your wires to this and pull them into the compartment. Then it's a case of soldering the wires to the light, note positive was black and red and the negative wire was brown, the orange wire is a trigger wire running to the relay for my angel eyes.

So, that's about it really! Reassembly is pretty much the same as dismantling... Here's the results!

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