rear light cluster R+ R

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garyinwestoz
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rear light cluster R+ R

Post by garyinwestoz »

One of the beauties of the E12 v;'s E28 is that some parts are re-buildable, such as the rear tail light cluster.

Below is photo and description of what I did to a set of mine to make it all good again. They were pretty dirty and had signs of corrosion on some bulbs.

Image

SYMPTOMS
- no light
- intermittent light ( can move bulb too + fro and it works sometimes

probable causes

- faulty bulbs - easy fix - just replace with new of know good bulb
- corroded connections or earth plate - after 40 years what can you expect - see below to correct

DESIGN

e12's use 4 x 21w/32 CP and 1 x 10w 6 CP bayonet bulbs

like this narva bulb
Image

These bulbs are located in a plastic bulb holder with a spring loaded copper strips attached - this contacts with bottom "positive " end of the bulb.

each bulb holder is held to an earth plate with a press-in tapered side ears . This earth plate is a single galvanised steel plate the is approx 60mm wide and 320mm long.

At each bulb location is a cut out in the earth plate which has 2 ears that are folded downwards

Each bulb holder has copper strip that has a coloured cable which runs to the central plastic 6 pin connector. These colours coincide with the required function;
stop
indicate
driving (night time (tail light)
reverse

ImageImage

I wonder what e (fifth bulb is for?

The bulb has 2 x lower side ears/pins are "negative (earth)" which when pressed into the bulb holder and rotated then makes contact with the 2 ears in the earth plate.

The earth plate connects into the top left pin of the 6 pin connector

The earth plate is held to a plastic cover with 2 very stiff tapered clips.

This whole assembly can be disassembled.

DISASSEMBLY

1. remove all bulbs ( push and rotate 30 degrees then pullout)

2. using fingers or (screwdriver if you have to) - gently push the top tapered clip inwards and gently pull up the earth plate just enough to clear the indent( note - you don't want to push too hard and break the plastic ears)

Image

3, using fingers or (screwdriver if you have to) - gently push the bottom tapered clip inwards and gently pull up the earth plate just enough to clear the indent - whole assembly ought to come off with a bit of gentle wiggle

4, using fingers gently do same with each bulb holder (ie push clip ears inwards) I found, do one side first and the other just falls out.

Image

5. with all bulb holders out, clean the surface of the earth plate - with scotch brite pad, sand paper, wire bush etc - what ever works for you

Image

6. clean the inside of the earth plate ears at each bulb holder- a small curved file ( 6mm dia ) or rolled up sand paper on a nail or screw works okay, till the metal looks clean and maybe even shiny.

Image
before ^
after v
Image

7. reinsert bulb holder and good bulb and test - by - install a clipped wire to the earth pin of the 6 pin connector , then connect that to a 12v battery earth connected cable , then with a positive connected cable touch the other pins on the 6 spin connector and respective light ought to light up. If does, all good, move onto next step

Image

if not, go back to step 4 then 5 and clean up the earth plate ears better, then retest.

Image

8 If satisfied all light are now working, reinstall whole assembly to plastic cover. A hard snap is heard when the plastic ears clip in tightly.
Note my plastic holder was very dirty , so I cleaned it up with kero and tooth brush followed by velvet soap on a microfibre towel - worked very well

9 I test again just to make sure, otherwise reinstall into vehicle.

Hopefully now all your lights are working brightly.

UPGRADE

if you want to upgrade to brighter lights or more Brake light lights,, then install LEDS - once I know how to do that I can post here
77 528i -4 speed manual getting rusty
76 525 - 4 speed, LPG and holley carb- restoring
81 528i - auto - to be relicensed with a 3.5 (83 735i)
80 528i auto - ready to relicense
79 SA ? 528i auto
79 528i auto parts car
86 525e 5 speed manual- dd
HB528i
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:53 pm
Location: Huntington Beach

Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by HB528i »

These are available from Amazon and have made a dramatic improvement in the tail and stop lamps.
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garyinwestoz
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:05 pm
Location: perth, australia
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Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by garyinwestoz »

interesting find on those LED's

says (Set of 2 Bulbs)
54SMD 3014 & 3SMD 3030 high Brightness chips per bulb,
Size: 1.55"x 0.61" x 0.61"
High Brightness LED: 54SMD 3014 chipset & 3SMD 3030 chipset.
Working Voltage: 9-30V (fit 12V, 24V vehicles).
Output Wattage: 3.8W/bulb (Low Power Consumption).
Color: Xenon White 6500K.
Service Life: Up to 30,000 Hours.

Fits:1156 1003 BA15S P21W 1156A 1156NA 87 93 97 97A 97NA 199 631 1073 1095 1141 1195 1295 2396 3497 5007 5008 7506 12088 1295NA etc.

Easy installation, plug and play.
iBrightstar is a registered brand with Amazon

$ 35 AU @ amazon
https://www.amazon.com.au/iBrightstar-N ... JWGXS2667Z

or W

$50 for box of 14 @ WISH

https://www.wish.com/product/5ebceb463b ... &share=web
77 528i -4 speed manual getting rusty
76 525 - 4 speed, LPG and holley carb- restoring
81 528i - auto - to be relicensed with a 3.5 (83 735i)
80 528i auto - ready to relicense
79 SA ? 528i auto
79 528i auto parts car
86 525e 5 speed manual- dd
User avatar
Robert Bondi
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Austin, TX

Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by Robert Bondi »

Sounds like the LEDs worked out for you? Ideally, LEDs are the way to go, but direct substitution is a bit
hit or miss. I tried LED substitution in my 2002 Dodge truck a few years back - result was blinkers blinked
at twice the usual frequency. It was so annoying I went back to the usual halogens. I actually got a Bavarian Autosport
LED upgrade kit in a box somewhere; further hesitant to use now.

The LED looks like a different load to the electrical system. The change in blinker rate is the consequence of a different resistance from the standard bulb.
Robert
77 530i
77 Euro 528
garyinwestoz
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:05 pm
Location: perth, australia
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Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by garyinwestoz »

I havn't done the LEDs yet - I just got 2 standard bulb for now $4 for the 2 - I did notice REPCO had LEDs but were $35 for 2 - that can wait.

your comment about he blinker rate is putting me off.
77 528i -4 speed manual getting rusty
76 525 - 4 speed, LPG and holley carb- restoring
81 528i - auto - to be relicensed with a 3.5 (83 735i)
80 528i auto - ready to relicense
79 SA ? 528i auto
79 528i auto parts car
86 525e 5 speed manual- dd
HB528i
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:53 pm
Location: Huntington Beach

Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by HB528i »

I didn’t use the LED blinker bulbs as there is not enough resistance in the circuit to work correctly without going to an electronic flasher relay.
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Lock
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:51 pm
Location: Washington state
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Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by Lock »

Great write up, thanks! I need to do this too. The extra bulb space for the inner lens is for the rear fog lights, which were an AU option but mainly for the Euro market, not available in the US. I've considered adding extra taillight bulbs each side in there because people tell me it's hard to see my car at night, the taillights are dim.
I'd recommend a known brand LED bulb - cheap ebay bulbs will give a crappy light pattern and burn out early, but Phillips/Sylvania/etc illuminate equally and really emulate a filament bulb, plus the reds and ambers can compensate for a faded lens, worth the extra cost.
The e12 flasher unit is a special (and expensive) unit that also illuminates the green indicator light in the dash, and if a bulb is out it will flash only once as a bulb-out indicator. I replaced my flasher unit with one with that was LED-compatible (electronic not mechanical) and had an adjustable flash rate because I use a Blinker Genie on the front Euro bumper indicator lights. They have that cool effect where if your marker/indicator lights are on and you put on your indicator, it will blink 'off' while the other stays on. It messes with the flasher unit so I had to replace it.
https://www.customled.com/products/blinker-genie-2
You can get by with adding resisters inline with LEDs, or look for ones that include resistors or ballast, or state they don't cause 'hyperflashing'.
1979 528i 5-speed conversion G260/6, Motronic 1.3 179
1980 Honda CX-500
garyinwestoz
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:05 pm
Location: perth, australia
Contact:

Re: rear light cluster R+ R

Post by garyinwestoz »

I installed these overhauled tail lights into my 80 528i on Saturday

all light works - except indicators

played around with hazard light switch as it wasnt working - what I did is removed the spare parts car hazard switch which had a good red light cover, then removed the broken car bits and replaced that with the good red cover - so that now works, but still no indicators - damn shit : :( .

So I then and pulled apart some sort of relay at the end of indicator stalk cabling- which ended up being the flasher relay - good found it. I must have disturbed something, as the flasher relay then started to work, but flashing very fast. I also noticed the Left hand front indicator not working despite good globe, so plugged in a spare housing - and works okay. - bugger housing stuffed.

So now I have to remove the front bumper to remove the indicator housing - so I can replace it with a good one.

Also that left front indicator lens - on my spare cars are broken/smashed - luckily I have a good spare lens in my small parts box. so now I have a good whole unit to install. next time!!

photo of my flasher relay
Image
77 528i -4 speed manual getting rusty
76 525 - 4 speed, LPG and holley carb- restoring
81 528i - auto - to be relicensed with a 3.5 (83 735i)
80 528i auto - ready to relicense
79 SA ? 528i auto
79 528i auto parts car
86 525e 5 speed manual- dd
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