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      11-01-2017, 05:10 PM   #1
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tomtuning's Avatar

Drives: 2009 135i
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hope, PA

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Rear Interior Dome Light Retrofit (HELP!)


I drive an '09 135i which came with the button-less interior dome light for the rear passengers. I would like to install the dome light assembly that has buttons on it as I frequently have back-seat passengers and I'd like to make it less sucky for them. From what I can gather, the assembly with buttons was the default option for 2010+ E82's.. but I haven't confirmed this.

I purchased just the light assembly from e-bay before realizing it could not be installed in my car;

When I pulled down the rear dome light in the 135i, there are two cables, and the long, slim one does not quite fit into the socket of the new light assembly. In addition, the square socket from the existing wiring seems to be carrying power and ground, so connecting the "alarm" socket wouldn't work anyway.

My 09 rear dome light (missing lense... it broke off):

New Dome Light Assembly with buttons:

I realize now there is no way for this half of the assembly to be installed with the current plastic dome light assembly. Still, I would like to test this dome light wiring so that I can purchase the full assembly seen here:

So regarding the wiring - thing's I've noticed;

1.) The wiring from the existing dome light is split between two cables. It looks like one cable is for the nonexistent Alarm system, and one cable is power + ground for the single light, 8 wires total;


2.) The dome light I purchased has a single, white cable going to it with 8 total wires

3.) The cables are SLIGHTLY different colors, but both assemblies have the same number of wires! There are two green cables on the existing wiring and only one green/black on the new connector, among other differences.

4.) The connectors have different sized "slots" in the bottom, which prevents the old connector from working in the new assembly's socket. Presumably, this means I would have to re-arrange the wiring from the two existing connectors into the single white connector.

5.) Both the existing connection and the new assembly have the same number of wires, and several matching colors.

Does ANYONE have a diagram for the wiring differences? As soon as I realized there were different colored cables I felt a bit over my head with this.

TL;DR - Retrofitting 2010+ rear interior dome lights with assembly that has buttons, how do I do it / is it possible?

Any help/insight is greatly appreciated

2009 BMW N54 135i Manual - Black / Black: JB4 | VRSF Catless DP | Stock Exhaust | Burger Short Throw with Shift Rod | Burger DCI | Active Autowerke BOV | Active Autowerke Chargepipe | Burger Oil Catch Can | Burger 10mm(F) 15mm(R) spacers | Amber Lux H8 | RB PCV | Some zip ties Photos of Lemon

Last edited by tomtuning; 11-01-2017 at 05:16 PM.
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      11-02-2017, 12:55 PM   #2
Jorgensen54's Avatar

Drives: 2008 AW/AG 135i 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Seattle

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I looked all over the web for a solution to this.
I'm skeptical that it can be done unless you piggyback the harness from the front domelight for the new plug in the rear. The black, 6-wire harness coming from your car seems to have nothing to do with lighting... leaving you with two wires to power a 3-switched circuit board. My guess is that the extra wires are primarily for the extra bulbs, but also the ambient lights.
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      11-02-2017, 02:12 PM   #3
tracer bullet
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Drives: '11 135i , '15 X3 35i
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Saint Paul, MN

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I wonder if you can see and follow the traces for the lights, then pick out which pins and wires they go to. Then do some soldering work to get just those 2 wires connected. Maybe using parts of the old light setup. Depends on how handy you are / willing to try it.

You could apply 12V first to be sure you got the right ones.

Just an idea...
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      11-12-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
iminhell1's Avatar

Drives: 2010 SG 135i auto
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Darwin, MN

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Is there wiring in real oem's new fix database?
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