1997 E36 323i - Dash instrument bulb color change. Who's done it? - Page 2

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Thread: 1997 E36 323i - Dash instrument bulb color change. Who's done it?

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    #11
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    CharleyNokia's Car Details
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    Ic, yeah, I was wondering about the pictures with the orange back lense. I could get a mini grinder to the inside, take off the orange, very carefully, but have to see if there is an orange lense or orange light carrier.

    This's gna be fun.
     
     

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    #12
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    Ok, so I attempted to change the bulbs/LEDs in my climate control module and OBC today. Didn't go as planned tho.

    Also did the elec window switches, but one of the lighting circuits boards failed so no light for now, only up/down.

    Right, the OBC, now thats only half done. I took out the original bulbs and soldered in a blue LED with resistor in their place. I have 2 bulbs in mine. I also removed the orange filter screens and put together temporarily, and it was not good. The LEDs didn't disperse the light properly, so ended up with 2 blue spots in the clock and temp reading. So I had to desolder out the LEDS and resistors, and glass paint sprayed the original bulba, but because theres no filter screen there now, the blue bulbs are still giving a spot of light in the middle of the displays!!

    The climate control module was a total disaster. Each button has their own indiviual orange LED, which are INSIDE each spring loaded button!! You can't take the buttons apart without completely obliterating them. I even unsoldered one of the switches to see underneath it, see if there was solder holding the LED in place. NOPE. can't unsolder from behind. there are also surafce mount LEDs for the little marker light in the top left corners of each button, the one that shows what vent mode it is in.

    Behind the LCD display is the orange filter screen, which when removed(removed the metal LCD securing frame) reveals MORE surface mounted LEDs, 6 of I think, that light up the LCD display.

    Unfortunately, I snapped OFF the LCD glass display from the metal progns, so now have to get another one.

    I would like to know how the someone who DID change their climate module LEDs from orange to blue did theirs!!

    On a good note, the blue window switches look really cool now, just gotta get a replacement switch, and do the the sunroof switch also. Forgot about that one. Only the headight switch, headlight aim switch and the light dimmer to do then.
     
     

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    #13
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    ah, I see you've done most of it already. This was my thread I started when I thought I'd complete it. I just never got round to completing it as my work mate who was soldering changed jobs

    with regards replacing the orange filter, I think I found that paper is a good diffuser and I'm sure during testing I even cut up a fuzzy plastic bottle to use that instead

    I looked at everything that I wanted to switch to blue and took all switches/units to pieces and took high quality pics so I could do a write up. I got all the pics but never got that far with the write up as I only swapped 1 LED but that was what I thought would be the hardest. I'd spent hours taking everything apart and the worst to take apart was the heated seat switch as it's got a small ball bearing in and a nightmare to refit if you don't know which way it goes in to begin with! Maybe the broken down parts pics would be handy to people? I guess you can then see all the LED's that are involved so if I can I will upload them sometime soon (they are on an external drive I don't have to hand)

    I see you've listed most parts but have you also remembered the cigarette lighter? as that's one thing I didn't get round to getting a solution for but I don't think it's impossible as it's just an orange plastic ring

    if you aren't in a hurry I will be able to find out more stuff such as part I used and where I got them (I've got 40 odd left somewhere in this house!) and pics for you as I knew what to do, I just didn't have anyone to solder them. This was my original post just in case anyone is interested in how it looked when I swapped bulb. I've cropped the post to add the Youtube video and I've still got the unit that's in this video with just the one blue LED as that's as far as I got and now I've sold the car with original orange

    http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...ed-for-t32722/

    Quote Originally Posted by MackemX View Post

    this is where I've put the piece of newspaper over the LED. I couldn't believe the result as it brings it to a similar brightness and also makes it a darker shade of blue. Should be easy to find something to help get the correct shade/brightness for the car . I think most will agree that the brightness isn't as bad as some have said elsewhere on t'interweb saying it will be too bright and tiring on the eyes


    Last edited by MackemX; 08-09-2010 at 23:33.
     
     

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    well after looking for around 10 seconds I found the tactile LED's and my AC unit!!! it was on the TV shelf. Grabbed my phone and uploaded these pics for you as I know you will be eager like I was to get it done


    here's 3 pics of the LED itself. You can see it's got 6 legs as it's a different setup to the original switch but it's possible to solder it. The middle 2 legs are the LED and the top & bottom 2 are the switch (left side to right side).




    this is a pic of the 1 LED I got soldered on and you can see it's smaller in size to the original. We initially cut the 2 top legs off and soldered it on but that was obviously a little awkward. After using another LED the easiest way was to solder the top 2 legs (redundant anyway) and then cut them. This leaves 2 prongs that you then solder to the middle LED legs to and finally just solder the 2 bottom legs as normal. Quite simple in the end. It may look rough but you can see the great blue effect in the Youtube videos above



    here's 2 side views and you can see the white part of the switch isn't exactly level as we weren't too bothered for testing Saying that the button still worked fine when you put the front on. You do have to get the white part in the exact position so the back of the button hits it in a certain position. I suppose you could get them level quite easily by fitting a plastic spacer below and maybe using something like blue tac to get the button position firstly before soldering.







    as you see I've still got the LEDs and AC unit but I've also got a full set of switches/OBC etc as I was keeping a full original backup. My plan was when I sold my car I'd simply put the orange ones back in and then sell the full set of blue but as usual never bothered and I've since sold the car. I suppose these are just yet another of the many things I need to get rid of as I purposely bought way more LEDs. That was just in case after I did my guide and anyone wanted any as they were hard to find in the first place plus saving for them on delivery, this is what I've got left

    .

    I hope this info helps in some way
     
     

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    #15
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    I have just finished doing the last of the window switches, and also the sunroof switch, and have chopped away at one of the climate LED's.

    I have hacked off 1 side to expose the inside, see whats there etc. The little white cap is spring loaded from within, and is actually held in by the LED itself. I tried using a soldering iron on the points where the LED legs are soldered( I think are soldered) but to no avail. They are solid in there.

    I think I'll have to use a hobby drill and try grind off some of the copper contact, try get the LED off that way.
     
     

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    #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyNokia View Post
    I have just finished doing the last of the window switches, and also the sunroof switch, and have chopped away at one of the climate LED's.

    I have hacked off 1 side to expose the inside, see whats there etc. The little white cap is spring loaded from within, and is actually held in by the LED itself. I tried using a soldering iron on the points where the LED legs are soldered( I think are soldered) but to no avail. They are solid in there.

    I think I'll have to use a hobby drill and try grind off some of the copper contact, try get the LED off that way.
    sounds like your going through what I did as it's a very sealed unit isn't it as you can't desolder the LED easily! . Although it looks messy it still worked and gave great effect. If we'd taken our time I suppose you could get them positioned perfect using a spacer below the LED. I just didn't bother after my mate changed job as we both didn't have the time to do it. He lives an hour away so it would have been harder & costlier to check everything that had been soldered . I only got my AC unit back last month as he's had it in his garage for the last 6 months!

    are you buying another AC unit or can you source the bit you need somewhere? I've still got mine if you get stuck or don't want to buy a full replacement as I would eventually be listing them on ebay anway and as you can see I've got plenty of LED's. Looking in my spare room, I could probably build a BMW with the bits I've got, maybe I should do a BMW bedroom theme
     
     

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    #17
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    I think I've found the site your led switches are from, is it this one.....

    http://www.rapidonline.com/Electroni...ource=googleps
     
     

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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyNokia View Post
    I think I've found the site your led switches are from, is it this one.....

    http://www.rapidonline.com/Electroni...ource=googleps
    yeah that's the website instantly recognised the name. Reading my original post again I bought 50 to get them 12p cheaper but also ensure I had 'stock' as most places I'd found didn't have stock. When I'd been looking for them originally I'd even found the original ones in blue but they were costly but nobody seemed to have any in stock and I think minimum order was at least 2500 anyway.


    just did another quick search, here's one website that list the original ones. They also had blue ones last December when I found them but no stock and now they don't even list them.

    http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...&keywords=K6BL

    go to this website and do a search for K6BL but you will see no Blue listed and they just list to Digikey as a supplier

    http://www.ck-components.com/distrib...,52355,en.html

    the part number for the Blue one is K6BL BU 1.5 3N L328 or something along those lines as here's the documentation sheet

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...bsaNOCnBFANs9g

    some website have the red, green & yellow ones showing in stock (dome LED's though I think) but just no blue from what I've seen!


    I even emailed them last December but don't think I ever got a response. So that's why I got the ones I did plus they were way cheaper and I would simply sell the extra ones I got at cost plus obviously charged pennies for postage. So for example just over £5 for 8 which is less than half price than ordering. I just never got round to it and along with the AC unit they've sat collecting dust for 6 months in my mates garage!
     
     

  10.  
    #19
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    Did you get my pm earlier today? <<@ MackemX
     
     

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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyNokia View Post
    Did you get my pm earlier today? <<@ MackemX
    sorry posted late last night and overlooked it, will read it again
     
     

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