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      09-06-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
slisson
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E85 Z4 Twin Reverse Lights + Rear Fog

I've been considering what to do with my E85 tail lights ever since I bought the car. No aftermarket LED lights are available, and changing to the facelift lights means also changing the rear bumper. Not ideal!

I actually like the round lights, but I think what "erks" most people is the single reverse light and rear fog light. It is non-symmetrical, and human nature like symmetry!

Hence I took it upon myself to balance it out. I purchased new tail lights with white indicators (hated the amber!) and kept the left side (passenger side here in Australia with the white reverse light) but purchased a right side (driver side in Australia) from the US. The reason for this is the US has the reverse light on the opposite side, therefore I ended up with two tails lights, both with white reverse lights.

I then proceeded to rewire the reverse and fog lights. This was easier than anticipated due to the fact that BMW runs wires for both lights along the right side of the car, so all the connections could be made at the right (Aus drivers side) tail light.

Basically cut the wires running to the reverse and fog lights, and connect both "reverse" lights to the single wire originally supplying power to the reverse light. You then have an unconnected fog light - which I then connected to the half tail light that is not used in braking.

You will note that the tail/stop lamp only has a single filament globe and one wire controlling both. This is because the electronics only send 6V when in tail light mode, and then a full 12V when the brake is applied. I used the same principle for the other half of the tail light to have both tail and fog light. Not knowing if sending 12V (when fog light is on) to the wire that normally just sends 6V would cause any problems, I put a diode in line to prevent voltage going the wrong way. Not sure if it's needed, but did it anyway.

See pics attached of the lights in normal tail light operation, and then with brakes applied (where you see half the tail lights are used for braking).

Third pic is with the new rear half tail light fog. This is on the right side in Australia as this is the drivers side. This does not interfere with the brake lights as they light up the other half.

Final pic is the car in Reverse Gear where you can see both reverse lights on.

Car now looks "normal" during the day with symmetric tail lights, while improved lighting in reverse certainly helps at night.
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      09-07-2009, 11:30 AM   #2
WhoU4
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Slisson,

I'm guessing that your car is a 2003-2004 model year, due to your mention about the amber lens. I have a 2005 and love the round tail lights and have also thought about changing the brake lights to operate in full all the time, haven't got to it yet. But what you call the "fog" light, 3rd center brake light?

Personally I would not even consider disabling it, with all of the tailgaters in the US I want everything possible to let the person talking on the phone, texting, eating, or doing their makeup to know I'm slowing down. If I could manage mounting a flare system on the back to get their attention when driving in heavy traffic I would.

Anyway I'm surprised to hear about the single backup light, my 2005 has 2. I'm guessing the difference is due to your model being an international version. Glad it all worked out for you.
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Last edited by WhoU4; 09-07-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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      09-14-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
slisson
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Centre brake light is untouched. Tailgaters are just as much a problem in Australia like in the US, so I completely agree!

As you can see in the last photo, I now have two white reverse lights instead of one.
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299320
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      11-12-2009, 04:11 AM   #4
BU Z4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slisson View Post
As you can see in the last photo, I now have two white reverse lights instead of one.
In US every car comes with 2 reverse lights (L & R)!

but I think you're talking about the Left half of your right taillight.
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      11-12-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
E86M.au
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another Aussie on the board... cool
where did u source the US spec light cluster?
I wanted to do this for mine too!
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      01-17-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
slisson
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I ordered the single US spec tail light from http://www.roveractive.biz/
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