E36 - Install OEM "Moodlights" on center console (under) arm-rest (all e36 models)
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    ...is still Alive ;-)
    BFI Hero
    wanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,732
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1996
    Model
    E36
    Engine
    TurboCharged 1.8 M43 ;-)
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    1,802
    Thanked 1,156 Times in 820 Posts


    Donate Please click the
    image to support
    BMWForums.info
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    E36 - Install OEM "Moodlights" on center console (under) arm-rest (all e36 models)

    Background:
    So as my "oem-moodlight" projects continue, I came up with a new idea (but a useful one!). This idea was to install bmw's moodlights under the center console "arm-rest"....
    The idea is to glow the area underneath the arm-rest, without distracting the driver , especially in the night.
    Now that the lights are there, you can easily locate your sat-nav/phone/wallet or whatever you keep under the arm-rest...
    Or the passenger can find stuff, without needing to switch on dome-lights (which could distract you if driving)

    Because I've never witnessed any of this been done on car (let alone a bmw), this idea is all new (but cool!)


    Keeping it OEM:
    - The idea of this retrofit was to keep everything as OEM as possible. We'll be using only "one" aftermarket part (but a necessary one)



    Notes:
    This project took about an hour or so, so take it easy. & I can't be responsible if something goes out of plan...


    What you need:
    - MoodLights from E39/E46/E38 dome-map unit (I used e39 because it was cheaper to acquire)
    - Power drill and some small incremental drill bits (2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm until LED fits nice & tight)
    - Cutters/hand-Cutting tool (to break a piece of plastic, which i'll explain further down)
    - Marker pen (to mark holes , where you will drill)
    - LED sleeves (these hold led's in place) (Most LED's from BMW's are 3mm in size)
    - Heatshrink (to protect a resistor)
    - Black tape (self-explanatory)
    - Cable splicers




    Let's begin:

    - Grab hold of the doner dome unit & remove the LED MoodLights (This comes as ONE piece)

    /
    /

    - You should have this by now, and next step is to "carefully" remove the LED's and the resistor (DO NOT BREAK THE WIRES!!!!!)

    /
    /

    - This is what you should end up with ..... And don't forget to insulate the resisitor with heatshrink

    /
    /

    - Leave the light alone for a moment, return to your car & locate the arm-rest & lift it up...
    - Follow instructions on the image below...

    /
    /

    - Next step is to remove the bottom cover too,

    /
    /

    - At this point, the bottom base of the arm-rest, should now come off.....

    /
    /

    - Find a suitable spot to work on a power drill (I chose to work on a useless DIY table, outdoors)
    - As you can see on the arrows, you must mark those areas "EXACTLY" as shown (In other words, the 2 holes must be EQUAL distance of the LED's too)
    - When you finished marking, then you can drill the holes using a 2mm drill-bit...

    /
    /

    - Locate your LED sleeves and fit them on the holes of the arm-rest base...

    /
    /
    FYI :: If the sleeves don't fit, drill through the SAME holes using a 3mm or 4mm drill-bit untill the sleeves fit nice & tight ....
    /
    /

    - This is the result you should end up with, Sleeves fitted on to the drilled holes...

    /
    /

    - Locate the LED's .... Seal the whole resistor wire with insulation tape (black-tape)
    - Don't forget to also connect 2 wires to the LED's (one wire PER side) (as shown below)

    /
    /

    - After connecting 2 wires, insulate them as shown below...

    /
    /

    - Once done, fit both LED's inside the sleeves....

    /
    /

    - That's how it will look from public view, nice & subtle

    /
    /

    - Return to you car -----------> Open the bonnet --------> Locate the battery -------> & test the LED's to make sure they are working....


    /
    /
    FYI: LED's light-up ONE way ------> so if your lights don't come on ----> Switch wires around -----> Don't forget to mark polarities! -----> (Brown = Negative(-) , White = Positive (+) )
    /
    /

    - Now ---> while inside the car -----> fit the cover back on -----> & don't forget to guide the wire properly & allow some movement (to prevent wires breaking up)

    /
    /

    - I noticed my wires where short, so i found 2 more cables from my DIY box & made a join up (If your wires are long enough IGNORE this step)

    /
    /

    - Continue to guide the wires all the way to the to front of the cockpit....


    /
    /
    - Sorry, I forgot to take a picture on this step, i'll write up instead....
    - Remove your OBC (if you don't have OBC, remove the clock/coin cubby box)
    - Find your radio harness (bunch of wires going to the radio)
    - Using your cable splicers do the following:
    - Join Up ---> LED's GROUND wire (-) && Radio Harness GROUND (-) (COLOR: COMPLETE BROWN)
    - Join Up ---> LED's POSITIVE wire (+) && Radio Harness IGNITION (12+v) (COLOR: VOILET + WHITE)
    /
    /
    That's it! Here's the pictures daytime & night-time shots
    /
    /





    This is another favourite interior mod of mine, I hope you found the guide useful too.. Thanks for reading & comments are always welcome!

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to wanda For This Useful Post:

    Devil (09-08-2012),gunner1 (09-08-2012),johnny-c2 (10-08-2012),mykez (09-08-2012),Plumb (08-08-2012),stickle (09-08-2012)

  3. #2
    ECU Frier
    BFI Stalwart
    stickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northants, UK
    Posts
    631
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1997
    Model
    E36
    Engine
    328
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    90
    Thanked 352 Times in 224 Posts


    very nice guide, thank you

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to stickle For This Useful Post:

    wanda (09-08-2012)

  5. #3
    BFI Hero
    Dansinclair11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Partridge green
    Posts
    1,484
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1998
    Model
    E36 318is Coupe
    Engine
    1.8
    Fuel
    V power
    Thanks
    924
    Thanked 729 Times in 554 Posts


    got a few days off coming up, will be taking some inspiration from this...

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Dansinclair11 For This Useful Post:

    wanda (09-08-2012)

  7. #4
    But you can call me cat-snake.
    Site Admin
    Ferret's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Posts
    7,642
    Car Specs:
    Year
    2001
    Model
    E46
    Engine
    330
    Fuel
    Momentum
    Thanks
    4,286
    Thanked 5,095 Times in 3,168 Posts


    Another great guide Wanda

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Ferret For This Useful Post:

    wanda (09-08-2012)

  9. #5
    ...is still Alive ;-)
    BFI Hero
    wanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,732
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1996
    Model
    E36
    Engine
    TurboCharged 1.8 M43 ;-)
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    1,802
    Thanked 1,156 Times in 820 Posts


    Thanks Ferret

  10. #6
    BFI Noob
    DaveE46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Grimsby
    Posts
    17
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1999
    Model
    E469
    Engine
    323i
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


    Great guide......
    Love this idea pal

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to DaveE46 For This Useful Post:

    wanda (09-08-2012)

  12. #7
    Don't take photo's, create them.
    BFI Hero
    mykez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Derby
    Posts
    1,947
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1996
    Model
    E36 Convertible
    Engine
    328i
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    1,190
    Thanked 1,102 Times in 608 Posts


    This is def! going to do this to mine.

    Did you do the maplight moodlight mod too?

    Are you using the wires that are spossed to light the ashtray up?


    Please click like on my photography page, just to help me out www.mikesmithmedia.co.uk

  13. #8
    ...is still Alive ;-)
    BFI Hero
    wanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,732
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1996
    Model
    E36
    Engine
    TurboCharged 1.8 M43 ;-)
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    1,802
    Thanked 1,156 Times in 820 Posts


    Quote Originally Posted by mykez View Post
    This is def! going to do this to mine.

    Did you do the maplight moodlight mod too?

    Are you using the wires that are spossed to light the ashtray up?
    Sounds good! Take pictures if you do, i'd love to see that.

    Yes the map-light mod is here too http://www.bmwforums.info/3-series-g...r-e39-e38.html

    It's up to you to use "ash-tray" wires (there is only one disadvantage :: the lights would only turn-on, if you switched on your headlights)

    (hence this guide suggested the radio harness instead)

  14. #9
    Don't take photo's, create them.
    BFI Hero
    mykez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Derby
    Posts
    1,947
    Car Specs:
    Year
    1996
    Model
    E36 Convertible
    Engine
    328i
    Fuel
    Petrol
    Thanks
    1,190
    Thanked 1,102 Times in 608 Posts


    I can live with them only coming on when headlights are on.

    I usually role with my halo side light shining bright durin the day anyway lol


    Sent from my iPhone that's better than Android using Tapatalk.


    Please click like on my photography page, just to help me out www.mikesmithmedia.co.uk

User Tag List

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •