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HOW TO: Changing BMW Z3 rear light clusters

This guide should give you an idea of what's required if you want to change your Z3's rear light units. I've split it into sections to make it easier to follow.

Buying/locating the clear indicator lenses:
I bought my red and clear units from eBay from a company called Intercare Trading - they're based in Germany and the shipping is pretty fast! :)

Fitting the rear light units:

The only tool you need for this is an 8mm socket set! :)

A quick before pic (nothing special just standard OEM rear light units with amber indicators):


STEP 1:
Open the boot and look at the back of the rear light cluster. You should be familiar with this if you've ever had to change a bulb:



STEP 2:
Twist the plastic locking bolt anti-clockwise - once unscrewed you can pull the assembly back (note that the plastic bolt does not come completely away from the unit) - you can lift up the rear carpet to allow you to lengthen the wiring room slightly if required:



STEP 3:
Now you have removed the rear panel - it would be a good time to change the indicator bulb - change this for an amber or silver (amber) unit:



STEP 4:
The rear light unit is only held in place with 2 x 8mm bolts - these are highlighted in the picture below and are easily removed:



STEP 5:
Complete STEP 2 - STEP 4 for the other side - you should now have both units removed from your car:



STEP 6:
Offer up the new/replacement unit to your car and feed the threaded bolt through the holes. I found it was easier to start at the top of the boot weather seal and work my way down, feeding the light unit in as I went. Once the unit is in place and flush with the rear bumper and rear wing then attach the 2 x 8mm bolts and tighten.

STEP 7:
Place the rear plastic cover back on and screw tight.

STEP 8:
Repeat STEP 6 and 7 for the other side.

JOB DONE!!! :)

 
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