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Thread: DEPO Clear tail light retrofit

  1. #1
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    DEPO Clear tail light retrofit

    I purchased a set of DEPO clear tail lights to replace my OE Hellas. (Ignore the clear side markers and reflectors)




    DEPO Clear tail light retrofit

    Difficulty - easy

    This DIY will vary depending on the brand and type of lights you have purchased.

    1. Open the trunk (boot) and pop out the compartment cover of the side you are going to replace first.


    2. Looking at the center of the back of the light assembly (bulb carrier), you will see a thumb screw. Unscrew and remove the carrier.


    Here is the bulb carrier after removal.


    3. Next, you may need to unplug the wiring harness depending on the installation. (The DEPO non-LED installation does not require this step)
    Note:The harness may be difficult to unplug but will come apart with some wiggling).


    4. Using a 8mm socket wrench, remove the four hexnuts. Be careful to support the tail light housing from the exterior or the entire housing may fall out! Also take care not to drop the hexnuts because they will be difficult to recover from that area.


    5. Remove the OE tail lights.



    Here are pictures of the empty tail light socket. (This would be an excellent time to clean the area of dirt and debris.)



    Installation is reverse of removal. Before fully tightening the hexnuts, check the alignment to be sure the lights line up properly with the body. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN HEXNUTS!

    Here's a comparison photo.


    The finished product.


    Enjoy
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-15-2008 at 02:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Finished product + high wattage bulbs in them =


    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    Finished product + high wattage bulbs in them =


    Nice.
    Why do the lines in the middle parking light portion look wavey like that? Maybe the high wattage bulbs are melting the lens. Notice how the distortion is happening where the bulbs are?
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-14-2008 at 11:41 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    Nice. Why do the lines in the middle parking light portion look wavey like that. Mine are not like that.
    r u serious? wow, u got ripped off ...who did u buy it from???
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    r u serious? wow, u got ripped off ...who did u buy it from???


    I got mine from Umnitza.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    k, just for the new people - we're kidding. His tails are correct, I melted mine by putting high-wattage bulbs in there (sounds like I did it on purpose - I DIDN'T lol)
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  7. #7
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    I'm trying to locate some bulb replacements. I'd like to put in silver bulbs that blink amber when illuminated.
    My stock bulb numbers are as follows.

    Rear Tail Light turn signals = 7506

    Side Marker = 194

    I'm having difficulty finding the replacement bulbs using these numbers.

    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-15-2008 at 03:59 PM.

  8. #8
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    '00 540i 6-speed Sport /// '94 Z28 Camaro 'vert
    Check your other post, mookish linked a good site for them. $30 each pair tho
    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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    Yeah. I read that. Thanks.

    Tail light turn signals replacement...

    http://www.stealthauto.com/Products/...SBCA-7506.aspx

    ...and the side markers...

    http://www.stealthauto.com/Products/...SBCA-0194.aspx

    Here is a more affordable alternative...

    http://www.bimmian.com/SOL/39
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-15-2008 at 04:04 PM.

  10. #10
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    I can recommend the Philips Silvervision bulbs. Don't get those cheap bulbs from Ebay..they are crap. The amber light does not shine through when lit.
    Member Of



    M52B28: 2793 cc / 193hk @ 5300 rpm / 280Nm @ 3950 rpm / 7,3s - 236km/t

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_S View Post
    I can recommend the Philips Silvervision bulbs. Don't get those cheap bulbs from Ebay..they are crap. The amber light does not shine through when lit.
    I don't have a problem with those, but some members have given them a thumbs down because they have a bluish tint when not lit.
    I actually put regular ambers in because they are not so expensive.

  12. #12
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    64-BUICK; 95-E34; 00-E39
    i cant ignore the reflectors!
    i see em on lots of tail light posts/auctions on eBay, whatever-so-have-you

    what are they intended for?

    • 2000 BMW 540i/6 (Anthrazit Metallic 397)
    • 2001 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Bronzemist Metallic)
    • 1964 Buick Wildcat (Sunburst Yellow / Arctic White)

    Fan Blades Can Explode.. Read My Thread

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fragzem View Post
    i cant ignore the reflectors!
    i see em on lots of tail light posts/auctions on eBay, whatever-so-have-you

    what are they intended for?
    I still haven't figure it out yet. Some of the three series have the reflectors on the bumper around where the backup detection sensors are mounted. Maybe that is where they belong. Double sided tape was included. Anyone have any ideas. Umnitza???

  14. #14
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    Technically, all US Spec cars have to have passive reflectors on the back of them. That way if you're parked in the dark people can see you easier.

    Depo's DO NOT have ANY reflectors in them. Personally, I'd feel a bit unsafe without them, but I can't imagine anywhere I'd be willing to tack on reflectors, either. I guess I'd go w/o, but my replacement tails have Hella-style reflectors along the bottom edge.
    Chad

    Not all quotes you see on the internet are genuine. -Abraham Lincoln

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
    Technically, all US Spec cars have to have passive reflectors on the back of them. That way if you're parked in the dark people can see you easier.

    Depo's DO NOT have ANY reflectors in them. Personally, I'd feel a bit unsafe without them, but I can't imagine anywhere I'd be willing to tack on reflectors, either. I guess I'd go w/o, but my replacement tails have Hella-style reflectors along the bottom edge.
    maybe you can fit them into the rear fog-light somehow someway....
    maybe they just include them for legality.

    • 2000 BMW 540i/6 (Anthrazit Metallic 397)
    • 2001 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Bronzemist Metallic)
    • 1964 Buick Wildcat (Sunburst Yellow / Arctic White)

    Fan Blades Can Explode.. Read My Thread

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fragzem View Post
    maybe you can fit them into the rear fog-light somehow someway....
    maybe they just include them for legality.
    I don't know, but if I find a place for them that doesn't look horrible, I will post pics.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 05-10-2009 at 11:40 PM.

  17. #17
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    some more depo shots for anyone considering...






  18. #18
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    so 2000 m5 tails will plug right in to older ones?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by braydenryder View Post
    so 2000 m5 tails will plug right in to older ones?
    I'm not sure what you mean. Can you be a little more specific? What do you mean by, "ones"?

  20. #20
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    I think by the word ones, he means 1999- E39's.


    Can you take some pictures of the tails lit up at night? I'd really like to see them all lit up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by s car View Post
    I think by the word ones, he means 1999- E39's.


    Can you take some pictures of the tails lit up at night? I'd really like to see them all lit up.
    Sorry it took so long.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 07-14-2009 at 02:09 AM.

  22. #22
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    Very nice. Testing 123 Testing 123 Testing!!!! Post a picture when the lines in the middle portion become wavey. Testing OK ???

  23. #23
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    Reply from Matt at Umnitza on DEPO E39 tail lights

    DEPO P/N 444-1917PXUE

    1) On internal lens structure melting/sagging: This is simply not true unless you place a bulb that is over the standard 10W into the housing – which if you use the stock housing bulbs will not be an issue

    2) On "ignore reflectors" included in DEPO shipping box: The reflectors are actually part of the light, while you do get 2, they are never used because the lights have a reflector already in them.

    Matt (info@umnitza.com) has been most helpful answering 528i modification/updating questions and helping me learn. Matt also cautioned me to be aware that DEPO E39 tail lights are now being knocked off and sold on eBay and elsewhere. The actual DEPO brand lights were a "ground up" engineered tail light to mimic the newer 2001+ BMW LED tail lights without the hassle of reflashing, re-wiring, adding costly ballasts, etc. Just plug in your old bulbs and go with no error messages and no body sheet metal cutting! I was also told that it may be problematic to ever get the turn signals working properly with some (or all) of the replacement LED tails (even Hella) that come complete as a kit with the BMW ballasts. Likewise, be careful to note that many of these so-called "LED" tail lights ONLY have LED parking lights in them!!!

    Hope this is helpful info. Don Ladanyi

  24. #24
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    The waveyness had me wondering too!
    Last edited by BORGERDING; 06-12-2010 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Dunno... What I had posted before didn't make sense.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by goIROC View Post
    DEPO P/N 444-1917PXUE

    1) On internal lens structure melting/sagging: This is simply not true unless you place a bulb that is over the standard 10W into the housing – which if you use the stock housing bulbs will not be an issue

    2) On "ignore reflectors" included in DEPO shipping box: The reflectors are actually part of the light, while you do get 2, they are never used because the lights have a reflector already in them.

    Matt (info@umnitza.com) has been most helpful answering 528i modification/updating questions and helping me learn. Matt also cautioned me to be aware that DEPO E39 tail lights are now being knocked off and sold on eBay and elsewhere. The actual DEPO brand lights were a "ground up" engineered tail light to mimic the newer 2001+ BMW LED tail lights without the hassle of reflashing, re-wiring, adding costly ballasts, etc. Just plug in your old bulbs and go with no error messages and no body sheet metal cutting! I was also told that it may be problematic to ever get the turn signals working properly with some (or all) of the replacement LED tails (even Hella) that come complete as a kit with the BMW ballasts. Likewise, be careful to note that many of these so-called "LED" tail lights ONLY have LED parking lights in them!!!

    Hope this is helpful info. Don Ladanyi
    1- True. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...49&postcount=2

    2- Not true from my experience. The reflectors are not part of the lights.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding you on this.

    2a- My DEPOs do NOT have built in reflectors hence the inclusion of the stand alone reflectors.

    Quote Originally Posted by goIROC View Post
    Just plug in your old bulbs and go with no error messages and no body sheet metal cutting!
    Fyi: The OE bulb carrier is reused with the DEPO retrofit, so you do not have to plug in your old bulbs individually (I think that is what you meant).
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 08-16-2009 at 09:53 PM.

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