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10.9.2014 US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!

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Forum BMW Models 5 Series (E12, E28, E34, E39, E60, E61) 1996 - 2003 (E39)
E39 Common Problems and DIY Fixes US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!

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Thread: US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!

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03-07-2011, 12:46 AM #1

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!


This post is a work in progress, and over the next
few days I plan to verify a few more things.

So, you like the look of the newer LED tail lights but
you've been told they don't work without the official
retrofit kit with ballasts. Well, whoever told you that
was very possibly WRONG!! If your car has a LCM II
(e39s before MY99 that didn't replace the LCM),
you would benefit from the retrofit kit as it's about
the same price as a new LCM (LCM IV). However, if
you have an E39 with an LCM III or newer, you can
simply code your LCM to be the ballast that
everyone charges a crap-ton for.

This swap requires:

- drilling new mounting holes in the car's light


buckets
- hammering a little bit for clearance of the new
light (different shape)
- inserting pre-crimped wire leads into a plug
- soldering some wires (please don't cheap out and
use some universal crimp connector)

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10.9.2014 US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!
- Light Control Module coding via GT1,
SSS/Progman, NCS expert,BMW Scanner v.1.40, or
Autologic (there may be others)

NOTE: if you don't have the coding tools the regional sub-
forums are tools of great value, and you can often find the
computer coding tools you need.

Chassis Bashing:

The blue line is where you'll need to bash (2


minutes with a hammer for me) and drill *note*, I
forgot the arrow pointing to the other lower
mounting hole I drilled):

Fit comparison (after bashing) - OEM US facelift


Celis lights:

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10.9.2014 US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!

vs. pre-facelift OEM hellas:

Electrons in motion (bench testing):

Not really sure why everyone asks the proper


voltage for these lights, it's only printed on
them.....(NOTE: LEDs are current driven devices, and to
get the driving current we use P=V*i, or 1.2W/12V =
~108mA):

Unfortunately, all my power supply could muster


was about 10.2V which was just enough to
illuminate the LED tails, albeit under driven as seen
below on the multimeter (only ~33 mA).

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Take some adderall or something so you don't


mix this up:

More wire prep, this time on the Celis plug (IIRC,


this is also the right):

Planning to solder my Celis wires for the right side,


and comparing WDS wire colors to actual - WDS
was right, I just wanted to be careful:

Feeling cramped:

In-car workstation (400W inverter hooked directly


to the battery to power the 40W soldering station):

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Left tail light just before shrink wrapping the solder


joints and re-looming the remaining wire:

Final testing - if you're wondering about the varied


tail light intensity, the tail lights are just sort of
propped up at different angles, i assure you they're
the same (the pre-facelift lights are not actually on,
that is just the camera's flash bouncing off the tail
light lens)

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They are installed now, my LCM IV is coded and


everything is A-OK.

I did confirm that the LCM acts as the ballast via


voltage measurements (I plan on corroborating that
by measuring current, too...when it's not dark
outside), 11.8-12.2V @ idle while the battery was
at 14.2V.

I'll post up wiring later, it's rather simple, you do


need to cap one of the original tail light wires as it's
not needed.

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03-07-2011, 01:58 AM #2

98 528i Join Date:


Location:
Jun 2004
Danbury, CT
Member Posts: 1,801
My Cars: E39 540/6
Items for Sale

Thanks for sharing, I have a set of Celis tails just sitting in my garage right now and a GT1 soon as
it gets warmer I'll follow in your lead.

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03-07-2011, 02:14 AM #3

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10.9.2014 US Facelift CELIS - NO BALLASTS!!!!

Kevin Da Clean1 Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2009
Campbell, CA,
Member United States
Posts: 1,676
My Cars: 2002 BMW M5

mattmartindrift,

You are the man dude. Many have "talked" about reporting their findings & promised to document
what they found out about these. But you on the other hand, actually took the time & snapped a
few picts to make a proper & informative DIY article on these. THANK YOU... !

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03-07-2011, 06:40 AM #4

xpcgamer Join Date:


Location:
Jan 2007
S.Florida
Heavy wheels SUCK! Posts: 2,282
My Cars: 99' 5Sp 528IT/10'
Maxima

I would like to see the procedure using Gt1 or any of the other programs. I am planning on getting
my own software. Would this work for Tourings as well? Wiring them up I mean?

1999 E39 Touring Sport and 3 pedals

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03-07-2011, 07:42 AM #5

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

Originally Posted by xpcgamer


I would like to see the procedure using Gt1 or any of the other programs. I am planning on getting
my own software. Would this work for Tourings as well? Wiring them up I mean?

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It should. You'll need to cross reference WDS for the wiring, and I'm not sure what wiring
connectors those celis lights use. I'll go to the gt1 screen, but I personally have to use
sss/progman due to my lcm being newer than gt1/dis v.44 (last version that allowed coding).

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03-07-2011, 01:55 PM #6

xpcgamer Join Date:


Location:
Jan 2007
S.Florida
Heavy wheels SUCK! Posts: 2,282
My Cars: 99' 5Sp 528IT/10'
Maxima

You lost me Matt. I was just wondering where you went in the system(Which ever you used) and
what you told it to do/ignore. My LCM is the newer one I think. Build date 03/99. I have a Dual
stage airbag and newer style connectors on my seats if that has anything to do with it

1999 E39 Touring Sport and 3 pedals

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03-08-2011, 08:38 AM #7

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

Originally Posted by xpcgamer


You lost me Matt. I was just wondering where you went in the system(Which ever you used) and
what you told it to do/ignore. My LCM is the newer one I think. Build date 03/99. I have a Dual
stage airbag and newer style connectors on my seats if that has anything to do with it

:/

I'll try and describe my thought process

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I knew that the Facelift (FL) Celis lights only had one +12V source for the tail-lamp section;
however, the pre-FL cars had two +12V sources - one for each bulb. So, after seeing that, I
basically, I just rooted around in WDS until I found wiring diagrams for the LCM for both pre-FL
and FL cars. Comparing the two LCM pinouts, I decided to "cap" or eliminate the +12V source that
did NOT show up on the FL wiring diagram.

WDS link: http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/release/en/index.htm

WDS Navigation:

- Body
- Lighting
- Light Check Module
- Tail Lights

I have attached screen shots of the touring wiring diagrams and a link to the diagram's
symbol/color key.

In your case, you would compare the pre-FL touring pinouts to the FL diagram. Notice that pins
2, 5 and 13, 17 are used for the pre-FL wiring. However, the FL car only uses pins 2 and
17. So, you would find, on the diagram the wire color and cap the wires associated with
pins 5, and 13 of the original lights.

The wire colors are on the diagram usually as XX/YY where XX is the abbreviation for the main
wire color and YY is the stripe that runs the length of the wire. here's a key to the colors (also in
WDS):

http://www.bmw-planet.com/diagrams/r...ld/symbols.htm

Hopefully that helps everyone. If it makes any difference, the wires you
cap are the same for the touring example I gave here, as they were for
my MY1998 sedan.

Attached Images
E39_Tour_LCM.JPG (114.8 KB, 162 views)
E39_Tour_FL_LCM.JPG (100.4 KB, 115 views)

Last edited by mattmartindrift; 03-08-2011 at 08:44 AM.

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03-08-2011, 11:59 AM #8

bmw7833 Join Date:


Location:
Oct 2007
Malaysia
Member Posts: 251
My Cars: Year 1997 E39
M52B25

Can u tell me where u bought the taillight from? Thanks.

Live the e39..!!

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03-08-2011, 12:05 PM #9

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

I think the PO set up mine like that, with no ballasts and the LCM taking care of the voltage. I've
never found them on mine.

Do you still have the strobing at ignition?

Resident Third World Country Advisor

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03-08-2011, 01:23 PM #10

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

Originally Posted by bmw7833


Can u tell me where u bought the taillight from? Thanks.

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I purchased them from a forum member over at www.m5board.com

Originally Posted by crdiscoverer


I think the PO set up mine like that, with no ballasts and the LCM taking care of the voltage. I've
never found them on mine.

Do you still have the strobing at ignition?

No, I coded them the way they're supposed to be coded which means no strobing and no check-
bulb errors. whomever coded yours did not do so correctly and/or at all.

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03-08-2011, 01:36 PM #11

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

Originally Posted by mattmartindrift


No, I coded them the way they're supposed to be coded which means no strobing and no check-
bulb errors. whomever coded yours did not do so correctly and/or at all.

Mine do not throw the bulb-out warnings, but they do strobe at ignition. It has always baffled me
how they were installed without ballasts.

I guess they used the same procedure as you, minus the bulb-check disabling.

Resident Third World Country Advisor

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03-08-2011, 02:35 PM #12

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mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

take a picture of the wiring.

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03-08-2011, 03:28 PM #13

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

Originally Posted by mattmartindrift


take a picture of the wiring.

I will. Probably tomorrow since I'm using the other car. I bought a Weber carb and I'm still
tuning/testing the hell out of it.

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03-08-2011, 07:44 PM #14

sjbdeebo2 Join Date:


Location:
Feb 2006
RI
Member Posts: 524
My Cars: 540

Awesome DIY.
Mods should pin this up!
I ended up snipping the top section you bashed in. Now I have to weld or rivet a piece of metal
back onto the body because one of my tails leaks. A metal adapter I made to hold the lower outer
nut does not hold very well...
Did you do any cutting to the plastic housing on the tails? I went to town on mine.

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03-08-2011, 10:01 PM #15

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

Awesome DIY.
Mods should pin this up!
I ended up snipping the top section you bashed in. Now I have to weld or rivet a piece of metal
back onto the body because one of my tails leaks. A metal adapter I made to hold the lower outer
nut does not hold very well...
Did you do any cutting to the plastic housing on the tails? I went to town on mine.

No cutting, however, I did consider filing away at the tail light housing. In the end I chose to keep
the lights un-modified in the case I choose to sell them.
Last edited by mattmartindrift; 03-10-2011 at 11:06 AM.

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03-10-2011, 11:05 AM #16

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

Part numbers for the un-pinned tail light connector and pre-crimped wiring leads:

Leads: 61130006626 ***qty: 12***


Unpinned connector: 61136984758 ***qty: 2***

Support your vendors like EAC!!!

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03-15-2011, 08:10 AM #17

mattmartindrift Join Date:


Location:
Nov 2008
Baltimore, MD
pompous a*s Posts: 8,412
My Cars: 98 540i6

had some rain issues. I tapped a little too hard on the passenger side tail light housing. So, all I
had to do, with the light still installed was look where water came through and tap the metal from
inside the trunk to be more flush with the foam tail light seal.

All is still good!

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03-15-2011, 08:37 PM #18

Kumaton Join Date:


Location:
Mar 2010
El Paso, Tx
Member Posts: 191
My Cars: 2001 525i

tHANK goodness mine came with these... will never buy an E39 without them. Nice job !

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03-16-2011, 02:44 PM #19

sjbdeebo2 Join Date:


Location:
Feb 2006
RI
Member Posts: 524
My Cars: 540

Are you thinking about doing the xenon reverse bulb mod? I'll have to do some googling to find a
link...

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03-16-2011, 02:58 PM #20

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

Hi Matt. I haven't forgotten about the picture. Actually I already have them in my camera but I
keep forgetting the camera cable at home. Stupid me.

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03-16-2011, 07:47 PM #21

Join Date: Nov 2008

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mattmartindrift Location:
Posts:
Baltimore, MD
8,412
pompous a*s My Cars: 98 540i6

Originally Posted by sjbdeebo2


Are you thinking about doing the xenon reverse bulb mod? I'll have to do some googling to find a
link...

nope, I don't drive in reverse often enough to justify the cost of that.

plus, the parking lots I frequent (work and home) are lit.

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03-16-2011, 10:36 PM #22

sjbdeebo2 Join Date:


Location:
Feb 2006
RI
Member Posts: 524
My Cars: 540

Originally Posted by mattmartindrift


nope, I don't drive in reverse often enough to justify the cost of that.

plus, the parking lots I frequent (work and home) are lit.

Lol I saw that mod a few years ago and questioned how the tails didn't melt.

Im all for the mod. Especially a switch for the drivers who love to drive with their high beams on.

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03-16-2011, 11:01 PM #23

Lavalamp Join Date:


Location:
Sep 2004
NorFlo
Member Posts: 2,362
My Cars: Prius

Originally Posted by sjbdeebo2


Lol I saw that mod a few years ago and questioned how the tails didn't melt.

Im all for the mod. Especially a switch for the drivers who love to drive with their high beams on.

Yes, I've been wanting HID reverse lights on a switch for the longest time...
Maybe I'll get around to doing it and have the HIDs solely on the witch and keep the regular
reverse lights, might help conserve the bulb life and limit accidental meltings...

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03-17-2011, 09:49 AM #24

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

My car's wiring (no hammer smashing was required apparently):

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Resident Third World Country Advisor

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03-22-2011, 07:28 PM #25

crdiscoverer Join Date:


Location:
Jul 2007
Costa Rica
Call me Eric :) Posts: 5,875
My Cars: 97 Euro 528i SC, 78
KE30

So Matt, is that similar to your setup?

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