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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
avonside's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Stratford Upon Avon ,UK
Posts: 283
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Adding rear fog lights to a 2005 X5

Contributed by: avonside

Unfortunately this mod will NOT work on any X5 built before 11/01 and I would suggest that if you have a 12/01 that you should try the initial work up front before going any further,if you do not get the yellow warning light on the dash it will NOT work.

The total cost of this project will vary considerably because if you have the Trailer Hitch fitted allready you save the most expensive part which is the Trailer Control Module ( TCM ).

Call Vaheh @ Crevier for the best prices.

Here is the list of parts and numbers needed for this project.

63-21-6-943-036 bulb holder 2

63-21-6-926-920 21w bulbs 2

61-13-0-006-663 contact pin 2

61-13-0-006-626 contact pin 2

61-13-1-376-202 contact for TCM connector 1

71-60-0-009-698 Trailer Hitch electric kit 1 (The TCM is part of this kit)

61-31-6-909-775 Light Control Switch-this was for a pre face lift car so I have lost the little green LED that is now on the new switches.Just ask for the euro switch with dual fog buttons for a new car ( the part # will be different I presume ) if you need one to match your new model, both work fine I guess.

You will need about 15 feet of 18 g wire choose any colour you like !!!.

The total time is about 5 hours, this was not rushing around but removing trim carefully and taking mental notes along the way takes time.It can easily be done in 2 stages because the front and rear work are not connected so the whole car does not need to be in peices all at once

First thing is to remove the light switch unit , to do this remove the vent just above it using 2 small flat head screwdrivers to lift the little tabs and then pull out the vent, the light switch is held in with 2 tabs ( see picture ) if you put your fingers behind the switch you can feel the left tab, ease it out and then wiggle the switch and the second tab will come loose.

Disconnect the connector and remove its housing,(the car will beep and the 'lights on' warning comes on the dash ,dont panic this is normal ) you need to insert a contact pin into position # 8 ( luckily all the BMW contacts come with about 10" of wire attached which makes life a lot easier,it is the smaller contact that you need from the list above ).

You need to route your wire over to the other side of the dash to connect to the LCM (light control module ) which is located just behind the kick panel trim below the right hand side A pillar.

You need to remove the lower panel below the sterring wheel and the black bottom panels on both sides they are held in with screws and a few hand turn fixings, I did not need to remove the glove box to get the wire across, I phished the wire through the centre consule and behind the glove box down to the lower kick panel area.

The kick panel trim is a bit of a fight but it will come away if you pull and flex it , I did not break it or the 2 plastic connectors that hold it in place.Pull the carpet back and you will see the LCM.The connector you need is the one in the middle, slide over the white locking gate and the connector will come out.Remove the 3 connector blocks, they all come out as one.you need to put the 2nd contact pin in location #45, with all the contact pins make sure they go in the right way up, just look carefully and the pins next to them.Once you have soldered/crimped your wires together re-place the LCM connector and then the light switch connector back together.

At this point you can check to see if the project is going to be sucessfull because if you do not get the yellow warning light on the cluster when you operate the switch it means that the LCM will not activate the TCM to energise the pin you need to power the lamps.

Turn on your ignition and turn on your main lights, press the rear fog button and the yellow warning light will illuminate ( hopefully ) .See picture.

Put back together the lower dash and black under panels, you are now finished up front.The great thing about this system is that you dont have to run any wires from front to back, nice !!!.

Remove spare wheel and carrier and take off the cover that gives access to the lower area where the TCM needs to be fitted (if you dont have a trailer hitch allready).The large connector with the slide peice is where the TCM plugs in, the connector is a 15 pin female plug,Pin # 3 is empty, this is where you connect your wires from the rear fog lamps using the larger contact pin.

Remove all the trim from the rear lower tailgate , take off the top edge peice first, there are 4 screws hidden under the red reflectors and 2 more under the little tabs that have to be carefully prisse out with a little flat screwdriver,The centre black groved peice just pops out and then remove lots of screws.It helps to wedge back the sprung loaded part , which does not need to come off.Remove the silver plate that is held in place by the little torx screws but you only need to remove 3 I think of the screws if you look at the way it is mounted it is quite obvious which ones remove the plate and which ones are the screws that hold the opening mechanism to the plate.Tilt the plate up out of the way.

Disconnect the wire connector and then remove the lamp units , there are 3 regular bolts, once you have the light units in your hand it is easy to see the rear fog bulb holder location that you need to cut out. Using a exacto knife gently cut around the opening and break out the hole plug.If you make a nice clean hole the bulb holder will twist in nicely with little effort.Install bulb and holder.Replace into tailgate.

Using the other 2 contact pins add the pins to the connectors, to open the connector gently lift the white peice off and insert the pin into the spare hole, note which way up the contact goes in,replace white peice and then run wires through the cable tidies .Using a stiff peice of wire you need to run your 2 wires through to the lower trunk area. This is a bit tough because the

rubber gromet is quite tight but with a bit of determination you will eventually get the wires through, this was the toughest part I think !!!!.

Run your 2 wires nice and tidy around the trunk area and down into pin # 3 ( the only pin not connected to anything ).

I soldered mine together and then soldered to the contact pin because crimping 2 wires in there is a bit much, but off course it is your choice if you have a nice proper crimping tool.Using long nose pliers push the contact pin down into the spare hole untill it clicks,( it is further down than you think ) you will know it is seated correctly when it turns freely in the hole.

Connect or re-connect the TCM and put all the trim back together.

One tip I can offer is that for peice of mind before stripping the tailgate to peices plug in the TCM , activate the switch up front and check with a volt meter that the blank pin # 3 has been energised to 12v .Then you are guarenteed to be on a winner.

If all goes well you will have one of the very few X5's in the USA with rear fogs.They are a great safety feature and not to be used as a fashion item, the lights are very bright from behind and in fog you will be seen very clearly.

Good luck .

Once again I would like to thank 'Withdl' and Jeff for all the research they did in working out this great mod.


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