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      05-25-2013, 01:55 PM   #1
Dackelone
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Arrow DIY third LED brake light replacement...

I have been wanting to make a third LED brake light replacement DIY for awhile now. I was meeting some BMW friends the other day in Munich (Muenchen Stammtisch, the guys who put together the Welt 4.0 car shows) and one of the members was replacing his LED brake light right there in the parking lot! So with the help of Peter... here is my little DIY. I was merely there to take the pics.



You will need to remove the black push/plugs that hold the trunk lining onto the trunk lid. I forgot to take a pic of Peter doing that part... so here is a picture of LESTER 's that I snagged from one of his posts here.
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You can see the very LEFT edge of the LED brake light is broken.
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LED third brake light lens bmw p/n 63257164978
four new springs for light bmw p/n 63257211238
four new hex nuts for light p/n 63259128043

total costs of all the parts ~50 euros.

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...55&hg=63&fg=25


remove the two torx screws that hold on the bracket for the warning triangle. On some cars these screws are phillips screws.
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IF your car has the EU warning triangle.. there are two torx screws T20 (?) that secure the triangle holders to the trunk lid. Remove those with the black plugs that secure the carpet to the trunk lid.

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trunk liner carpet removed...
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use an 8mm deep 1/4 socket to remove the nuts securing the LED light to the trunk lid.
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old compressed spring and nut. The new springs are much thinner and provide less stress on the LED light. I think this is why some people report going thru numerous LED lights. I bet they never get those springs and nuts replaced when their dealer replaces the brake light. ?
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8mm ratchet in action!
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nuts removed!
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carefully remove the electrical connector and DO NOT scratch your painted trunk lid!!!
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see that little metal lip(center in the slot/hole) thats gotta go...
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old LED brake light on top, new brake light (bottom). See how the new light doesn't have that cut out anymore. This is why you will need to use a file to remove that metal tab on your trunk lid OR... use a dremell tool to mod your new LED lens to look like your old one. Peter chose to use a metal file to remove that lip on the trunk lid...
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use a metal file to remove that lip on the trunk lid...
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going...
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going... some more file work...
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almost perfect...
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Now... see that plastic lip on the bottom of the LED lens... looks like we need to trim that piece off...
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new LED lens sitting perfectly flush! Good job!
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All done!
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      05-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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I take it the later model cars have been modded by the factory in terms of the centre metal tab.
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      06-03-2013, 12:38 AM   #3
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Man, thanks a lot for such thorough DIY, Dack.
My 3rd brake light is cracked and I will need to replace it in the future. Now I know how to replace the light. There has been a couple DIY's but none were like this. Thanks Dack!
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      06-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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Two quick questions,
The plug for the liner, do you just pull that out? I haven't removed them myself but I remember seeing one loose and it was like a screw? So I remember putting it back like a screw.. I can be misremembering.
And is there torque specification for the new bolts? they seem much looser than the ones before
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      06-03-2013, 02:45 AM   #5
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I would use something to prevent rusting on that grinding point...

Thanks for DIY
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      06-03-2013, 05:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TS135i View Post
I take it the later model cars have been modded by the factory in terms of the centre metal tab.
Noop. The earlier cars have the brake light lens mold with a cutout for that metal tab. The new LED lens does not have that cutout - so it will not fit. You have to either mod/cut the LED lens or the metal tab on the car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RimasRS View Post
I would use something to prevent rusting on that grinding point...
Yes, Rimas - I would also have put some paint or primer on that filed area. But it wasn't my car - and these guys were just making the repair in the middle of a parking lot! lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicbimmer19 View Post
Two quick questions,
The plug for the liner, do you just pull that out? I haven't removed them myself but I remember seeing one loose and it was like a screw? So I remember putting it back like a screw.. I can't remember.
You mean the little plugs that hold the carpet liner in place? Yes, you just use a flat blade screw driver or an upholstery or door panel removal tool. Something that looks like a fork to pull those black plugs out and off.

Quote:
And is there torque specification for the new bolts? they seem much looser than the ones before
This is why you buy new springs and nuts with your new LED lens. The new springs put MUCH LESS pressure on the LED lens. I think that is the real reason why some cars go thru many LED lens. Not from slamming the trunk lid, but its the tq those springs put on the LED lens. So do not go crazy torquing those nuts down. You only need enough to have the LED lens flush with the trunk lid. Not too much tq though!
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      06-09-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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There are a couple of 3rd brake light diys out there but none as comprehensive with this with all the step by step photos. Nice stuff!
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      08-06-2013, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS135i View Post
I take it the later model cars have been modded by the factory in terms of the centre metal tab.
Noop. The earlier cars have the brake light lens mold with a cutout for that metal tab. The new LED lens does not have that cutout - so it will not fit. You have to either mod/cut the LED lens or the metal tab on the car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RimasRS View Post
I would use something to prevent rusting on that grinding point...
Yes, Rimas - I would also have put some paint or primer on that filed area. But it wasn't my car - and these guys were just making the repair in the middle of a parking lot! lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicbimmer19 View Post
Two quick questions,
The plug for the liner, do you just pull that out? I haven't removed them myself but I remember seeing one loose and it was like a screw? So I remember putting it back like a screw.. I can't remember.
You mean the little plugs that hold the carpet liner in place? Yes, you just use a flat blade screw driver or an upholstery or door panel removal tool. Something that looks like a fork to pull those black plugs out and off.

Quote:
And is there torque specification for the new bolts? they seem much looser than the ones before
This is why you buy new springs and nuts with your new LED lens. The new springs put MUCH LESS pressure on the LED lens. I think that is the real reason why some cars go thru many LED lens. Not from slamming the trunk lid, but its the tq those springs put on the LED lens. So do not go crazy torquing those nuts down. You only need enough to have the LED lens flush with the trunk lid. Not too much tq though!
I hate you!!!! I already made this!!! Lol your pics are of a lot higher quality than mine and I told you it was an 8mm!!!!!
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      08-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockstar1487 View Post
I hate you!!!! I already made this!!! Lol your pics are of a lot higher quality than mine and I told you it was an 8mm!!!!!

I don't hate you buddy. Can't we all just get along? lolz

Thanks for the suggestion... I made a cross reference posting.

Diy Replace Third Brake Light
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=790340
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      08-06-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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Did the 3rd brake light change to LED at some point? Or has it always been LED? Sorry if ignorant...
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      08-07-2013, 02:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Did the 3rd brake light change to LED at some point? Or has it always been LED? Sorry if ignorant...
I believe its always been LED's on our cars. Its just the part(LED light) has changed slightly.
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      08-07-2013, 07:49 AM   #12
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Good DIY. There is a TSB. I hope my dealer followed it.
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      08-07-2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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I notice my 3rd brake light is cracked in the middle. It doesn't seem to be letting moisture in but is it inevitable that I'll have to replace it soon? Or has anyone had a cracked brake light last for a while even after cracking?

I would be happy to replace it if I knew for sure it wasn't just going to crack again.
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      08-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1descending View Post
I notice my 3rd brake light is cracked in the middle. It doesn't seem to be letting moisture in but is it inevitable that I'll have to replace it soon? Or has anyone had a cracked brake light last for a while even after cracking?

I would be happy to replace it if I knew for sure it wasn't just going to crack again.
The new LED lens/unit that BMW sells now is an improved part. The problem is you will have to either mod the new part or file down/cut/trim your third brake light opening like in my DIY here. As long as you don't over torque the new springs and nuts - you should be fine.

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      08-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
The new LED lens/unit that BMW sells now is an improved part. The problem is you will have to either mod the new part or file down/cut/trim your third brake light opening like in my DIY here. As long as you don't over torque the new springs and nuts - you should be fine.

Dackel
Is this a sure fire way to permanently correct the problem? It'll just be annoying if I buy a new brake light, trim down the metal in the opening, and mount the light only to have it happen again. Especially when, as of now, my current light works fine and the crack is only visible from close up.
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      08-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1descending View Post
Is this a sure fire way to permanently correct the problem?
Only time will tell. IF it doesn't bother you leave it be. I am still on my orginal LED lens(knock on wood).

Replacing the LED light should be your last (LED) lens. (as long as you follow the TSB guidelines and trim the light or trunk mounting.
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      02-01-2014, 09:23 PM   #17
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Did this today and opted to dremel the light housing to original spec rather than cut the trunk and expose it to rust. Brake lights are cheaper than trunks.
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      02-01-2014, 10:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
Did this today and opted to dremel the light housing to original spec rather than cut the trunk and expose it to rust. Brake lights are cheaper than trunks.

^^That is what I would do on my car as well. Its just Peter and the car owner Steven used the "flat rate" method when they did this(DIY) install. I am just glad I was there to take these pics and make this DIY! I would prefer to cut up the third brake light instead of the car, myself.


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      02-03-2014, 10:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
^^That is what I would do on my car as well. Its just Peter and the car owner Steven used the "flat rate" method when they did this(DIY) install. I am just glad I was there to take these pics and make this DIY! I would prefer to cut up the third brake light instead of the car, myself.


Dack
Definitely takes a little bit of dremel experience as the circuit board and light lube is flush to the housing you are removing, so if one is new to it, practice first. I actually ended up using an etching tool for the precision since the plastic was so soft.
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      02-04-2014, 05:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
... Its just Peter and the car owner Steven used the "flat rate" method when they did this(DIY) install. ... Dack
Do appreciate any sharing of ideas and well documented repair info!

The picture in which Crocodile Dundee moves his knive ever so slightly towards the chest of mr. human vice had me on the edge of my seat for the result.
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      02-04-2014, 05:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeghie View Post

The picture in which Crocodile Dundee moves his knive ever so slightly towards the chest of mr. human vice had me on the edge of my seat for the result.
...I'm dying laughing at this statement!
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      02-04-2014, 05:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
...I'm dying laughing at this statement!
made me think of this married with children classic DIY episode
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