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Thread: LED Exterior door handle

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    01 740il - 06 X5 4.4

    Thumbs up LED Exterior door handle

    I decided to install some exterior door handle lighting like I have on my 7 after reading a post by another member who had just installed his.

    I figured I'd snap some Pics and do a DIY for everyone.

    Tools needed:

    13mm Wrench
    10mm Socket
    Ratchet
    Panel remover tool
    Phillips screwdriver
    Small standard screwdriver
    Duct tape

    And of course you will need some of these


    I ordered a few set's.... You will just need one. I got them from hyperledz.com they sell these on Ebay. for 10 + 10 Shipping
    They are 4 - 3" LED strips
    They don't have the 3" LED strips on their site but you can email them.

    Step 1. DISCONNECT BATTERY AND DISCHARGE RESIDUAL POWER
    This is in CAPS because it's very important we will be working with airbags here and they are dangerous. And if you disconnected them while there is power in the system you will create a fault in the SRS system and the light will come on and have to be reset.

    Get your 13MM wrench out of your tool kit and disconnect both the positive and negative battery cables and touch them together for 10-15 Sec. to eliminate any residual power in the car. If they won't reach just connect them with a wire. Now put something over the cables to make sure they won't accidentally free up and make contact with the battery accidentally. I put a some old gloves over my cables.

    Step 2. REMOVE DOOR PANEL

    First remove the screw cover inside the door handle.


    Now remove the phillips screw "Some cars have a torx screw"


    Now pop off the light from the bottom of the door


    This is the wire we will tap for our LEDs


    Remove the lens and put it aside.

    Next we remove a phillips screw from inside the airvent.


    "Only the front doors have the vent screw"
    *I started on the rear doors first because there are no airbags or additional things to remove to get the panel off. I recommend this.
    On the drivers door you will have to disconnect the seat memory buttons and pop out the window button bezel. These pics are from my front Pass. install.

    Now free up the handle mech. and get it ready to pass it thru the door panel.
    This will stay attached to the car.


    Now we snap the door panel free, start at the top by the tweeter,




    Try to use you fingers, but if you need to, use a panel remover tool like this


    Theres about 3 clips on the hinge side of the door panel.


    When you get to the bottom area under the door pockets make sure to pull from as high as you can because the pocket is just glued to the panel interior and you don't want to rip it off.
    Heres a pic. make sure you have that wavy unfinished part in your hand and pull from there. If you grab that lower edge under where the clips on the pocket are and pull or pry from there you will rip the door pocket off.


    Make sure you have all the panel clips around the edge free and pull and twist the door from the interior handle. There is a clip behind the handle that can be a pain to free up. Once the panel is free disconnect the tweeter wires. Green wire - black connector


    Now I just propped the panel up and out of my way so I could work on the door. If you want to you can pop out the window switch and place the panel out of your way. I just moved mine on all 4 doors and it worked for me.


    Heres a full pic of the interior of the door panel so you can see all the door clips.



    Step 3. interior door work.

    First we unmount the side airbag with a 10mm socket


    Next we secure the airbag out of our way. "I didn't want to disconnect it because I didn't need to. If you chose to, so be it. But I figure
    if I don't have to, I don't want to.


    Now that the airbag is out of the way lets get to it.


    peel the vapor barrier off on the latch edge.



    Now its time to move to the outside of the door and make a path for the LED's wiring.
    Heres what the standard door handle looks like


    We want to expand that edge on the right where the handle moves thru the door.
    So it looks like this.


    I used a dremel with a grout removal tip. It ate right thru that metal.


    Of course take your time and remember you have a very destructive tool next to your beloved BMW.

    Now, from the exterior, fish the wire for the LEDs thur the hole you just made into the interior of the door.
    *You might get hung up on a foam boot/flap that protects the inside of the handle mechanism. Just put your hand on the back side of the door mech. and move the foam cover. Here's a pic. you can see the rounded edge of it to the left of the black and white LED power wire.


    Carefully feed the wire thru to the inside of the door, making sure not to nick or cut the wiring for the LEDs .


    Now peel off the plastic from the adhesive backing on the LED and stick it on the inside of the door handle. here. vvvvvvv


    The adhesive seems very strong and if it ever comes off you can just use another strip of 3M VHB adhesive. If the brand your using dosen't have adhesive I recommend the 3M stuff you can get it at most autoparts stores.

    Ok, now lets hook these LEDs into our door light harness so they fade in and out with the interior lights Via. the Keyfob.

    Make a small hole in the vapor barrier with a screwdriver near the harness for the door light.


    Now reach around and push the wire thru the vapor barrier from the back making sure it dosent hang up on the door release cable or handle mech.



    Now attach the LED wiring into the door light harness. I used wire taps


    They work great. you can use whatever you want...Solder/heatshrink,butt connectors...splice and tape. It's up to you.

    My cars wiring was Brown - Negative and Red w/ blue stripe - Positive

    BMW used random wiring colors on various cars so yours might be different.
    If your unsure, pop the lights out before you start the project and disconnect the battery and use a multimeter to test it first.

    Once you have connected your LEDs into the door light harness,
    Mount your airbag, reconnect your tweeter, switches ect.
    Fish the door light harness back thru the bottom of the door panel.
    Push the interior handle mech. back thru the panel and snap the panel clips around the door back in. Screw the vent screw and handle screw back in.
    refit screw cap. reconnect the door light lens.

    Reconnect battery.......Reset clock and seat settings.

    And there you have it L.E.D. exterior door handle lights.

    20.00 and a couple hours with your car well spent.





    Enjoy.
    Last edited by Lexicon740il; 02-01-2008 at 04:22 PM.

    01-740il Biarritz Blue - 20" Alpina Softlines - Michelin Pilot Sports - Bilstein H.D.'s - Eibach Pro-Kit Springs - S.S. Quad Tip Magnaflow Exhaust - Strong Strut Brace - Predator Chromium Angel Eyes - Prolumen 6K HID Fogs - L.E.D. Lic. Plate lights - 16:9 Widescreen/MK3 Retrofit - NavTool Video on Nav. interface - Mediagate MG-25 Mediaplayer - Backup Camera - BSW Subwoofer System - Crystal Corners - Stealth Bulbs - Euro one piece armrest - Remote powerfolding mirrors - Cross Drilled Rotors - Ceramic Pads - More to come....


  2. #2
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    ur da man
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  3. #3
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    Great job!

    Thanks for the excellent write up. I'm a wiring guy, and this is top notch!

  4. #4
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    Pull n Release
    Superb writeup! See if you can upload pics of the handle area itself. Thanks for contributing. Cheers!

    Another FP5241 Creation
    Parting out M54 Engine. Intake and all. Cats avail as well. PM ME!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    ur da man
    I'm flattered
    Quote Originally Posted by lunker325 View Post
    Great job!

    Thanks for the excellent write up. I'm a wiring guy, and this is top notch!
    Thanks, I appreciate it. I probably could have installed a set in the time it took me to upload pics and write the DIY. But you guys are worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gumbi4u View Post
    Superb writeup! See if you can upload pics of the handle area itself. Thanks for contributing. Cheers!
    Happy to contribute, I spend most of my time on the 7'er page...so I thought it was time to KICK IN shall we say .

    What pics would you like? I posted a couple of close up pics of the handle area. and one of it lighted.

    01-740il Biarritz Blue - 20" Alpina Softlines - Michelin Pilot Sports - Bilstein H.D.'s - Eibach Pro-Kit Springs - S.S. Quad Tip Magnaflow Exhaust - Strong Strut Brace - Predator Chromium Angel Eyes - Prolumen 6K HID Fogs - L.E.D. Lic. Plate lights - 16:9 Widescreen/MK3 Retrofit - NavTool Video on Nav. interface - Mediagate MG-25 Mediaplayer - Backup Camera - BSW Subwoofer System - Crystal Corners - Stealth Bulbs - Euro one piece armrest - Remote powerfolding mirrors - Cross Drilled Rotors - Ceramic Pads - More to come....


  6. #6
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    good wirte up, it should be put in the DIY section. Could you post some more pics of the car at night.
    "Lieber Nurburgring als Ehering"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon740il View Post
    I'm flattered


    Thanks, I appreciate it. I probably could have installed a set in the time it took me to upload pics and write the DIY. But you guys are worth it.



    Happy to contribute, I spend most of my time on the 7'er page...so I thought it was time to KICK IN shall we say .

    What pics would you like? I posted a couple of close up pics of the handle area. and one of it lighted.

    Take pics of under handle and if you already took some pics, post some pics of the backside of the handle where the wire enters it.

    Another FP5241 Creation
    Parting out M54 Engine. Intake and all. Cats avail as well. PM ME!

  8. #8
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    Not my taste, but excellent writeup and congrats on a job well done!
    FOR SALE '00 540i 6-speed 101k mi - 260 RWHP & 311 RWTQ - OEM '00 M5 tails, OEM '03 M-tech rear bumper, Magnaflow, 6000k fogs, CDV delete, M5 rear swaybar, Akebono ceramic pads, Brembo rotors, AMSOIL, etc.

  9. #9
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    WOW. Amazing man. Very nice work and very nice outcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Heres some more pics.














    01-740il Biarritz Blue - 20" Alpina Softlines - Michelin Pilot Sports - Bilstein H.D.'s - Eibach Pro-Kit Springs - S.S. Quad Tip Magnaflow Exhaust - Strong Strut Brace - Predator Chromium Angel Eyes - Prolumen 6K HID Fogs - L.E.D. Lic. Plate lights - 16:9 Widescreen/MK3 Retrofit - NavTool Video on Nav. interface - Mediagate MG-25 Mediaplayer - Backup Camera - BSW Subwoofer System - Crystal Corners - Stealth Bulbs - Euro one piece armrest - Remote powerfolding mirrors - Cross Drilled Rotors - Ceramic Pads - More to come....


  11. #11
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    Looks good!

  12. #12
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    Nice write-up. This thread just made the DIY hall of fame.

  13. #13
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    Sweet....
    I appreciate it.
    I'm happy to contribute

    01-740il Biarritz Blue - 20" Alpina Softlines - Michelin Pilot Sports - Bilstein H.D.'s - Eibach Pro-Kit Springs - S.S. Quad Tip Magnaflow Exhaust - Strong Strut Brace - Predator Chromium Angel Eyes - Prolumen 6K HID Fogs - L.E.D. Lic. Plate lights - 16:9 Widescreen/MK3 Retrofit - NavTool Video on Nav. interface - Mediagate MG-25 Mediaplayer - Backup Camera - BSW Subwoofer System - Crystal Corners - Stealth Bulbs - Euro one piece armrest - Remote powerfolding mirrors - Cross Drilled Rotors - Ceramic Pads - More to come....


  14. #14
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    potato
    sick dude - I need to do this in the interior of my car. Without fail anyone that's never been in my ride searches for the inner door handle for a few seconds when it's dark. Pics of how they look when they light up and such?

    I don't see in your replies whether they light up/darken in gradients like the cabin lights or if it's instant on and off?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by supark View Post
    sick dude - I need to do this in the interior of my car. Without fail anyone that's never been in my ride searches for the inner door handle for a few seconds when it's dark. Pics of how they look when they light up and such?

    I don't see in your replies whether they light up/darken in gradients like the cabin lights or if it's instant on and off?
    I have been considering doing the interior of the handles also.
    I have this on my E38 and love it. I actually bought a extra set in orange for this or a possible footwell light retrofit.

    The LED's fade in and fade out just like the interiors. No on off , just an nice smooth fade on and fade out.

    01-740il Biarritz Blue - 20" Alpina Softlines - Michelin Pilot Sports - Bilstein H.D.'s - Eibach Pro-Kit Springs - S.S. Quad Tip Magnaflow Exhaust - Strong Strut Brace - Predator Chromium Angel Eyes - Prolumen 6K HID Fogs - L.E.D. Lic. Plate lights - 16:9 Widescreen/MK3 Retrofit - NavTool Video on Nav. interface - Mediagate MG-25 Mediaplayer - Backup Camera - BSW Subwoofer System - Crystal Corners - Stealth Bulbs - Euro one piece armrest - Remote powerfolding mirrors - Cross Drilled Rotors - Ceramic Pads - More to come....


  16. #16
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    Nice



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  17. #17
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    Very nice, I'm about to purchase the LED's right now. You're writeup makes it look very easy for anyone who has any experience with removing door panels and wiring.

    One question though. Now that you've had them for a couple months now, have you had any problems with the wiring getting hung up on the edges of the handle where you made your cuts? Would you recommend adding some sort of wire protection on the cut edge of the door to prevent cutting into the wires from consistent use of the handle?

    OR... Is it still as perfect as the day you installed it with none of the above concerns?

    Like i said, i'm doing it. I just want to make sure that there wasn't anything that you would do differently now that you've done it.

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    I am actually in the process of doing this mod.... This writeup answered my question about how to get the wire from the outside into the car.... Thanx for the wonderful write-up...... Very ez to follow.


    Update... I did it, i took a total of 2 hours to do all 4 doors. I will post pics of the finished product soon if anyone cares.... I used the exact same LED setup as OP.... Now I want to do the interior handles.... Which is a plug and play mod for 96-00 (I think those are the years)...... Thanx again for the wonderful write-up Lex...
    Last edited by SHWELL; 03-17-2008 at 08:19 PM.
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  19. #19
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    beautiful. everyone should write diys like this!

  20. #20
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    oh and a little polishing compound and then wax will take all those little scratches right out of ur door handles. the perfect touch for those new LEDs

  21. #21
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    That is awesome!!

  22. #22
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    Alex my friend,
    great write up,Thanks alot for it and for all ur help and tips
    mine is done and looks great thanks to you
    just one little tip was missing in the write up : carefull with the windows!! if the led's wire interfear with it,it can cut it in a second,move it away from the windows track...
    i had to repeat all the work because of this little mistake!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  23. #23
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    Long shipping time??

    I ordered mine from hyperledz.com on January 3, 2010. I live in Hollywood, CA and I still haven't received my package...Does it usually take this long??

  24. #24
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    Hey I was wondering if it is possible to do this with with non-LED lighting, to match the color of the interior lights? I was also wondering if someone could more thoroughly detail the process of attaching the LED wiring into the door light harness. What exactly are wire taps?
    Last edited by jsun09; 03-02-2010 at 03:15 AM.

  25. #25
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    ganesht is offline (oOO)\(lll)(lll)/(OOo) BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsun09 View Post
    Hey I was wondering if it is possible to do this with with non-LED lighting, to match the color of the interior lights? I was also wondering if someone could more thoroughly detail the process of attaching the LED wiring into the door light harness. What exactly are wire taps?
    you could use any light source you want just need to find a way to get it stuck to the inside of the handle.


    all you have to do to attach the wiring, is to confirm the positive wire and then use the wire taps to steal power for the leds..


    this is a wire tap:


    it allows you to connect a new wire to an existing wire without stripping it.
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