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  #1  
Old 09-19-2016, 07:26 AM
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Pre/Post facelift rear light confusion

Hi everyone. I have an E53 X5 question regarding tail-light upgrades...

I'm a little confused about the difference between pre- and post-facelift rear light compatibility. I'm sick of getting the all-too-familiar Check Brake Lights warnings, which are now constant due to a bad case of corrosion on the contacts, so I'm looking to upgrade to LED.
I'm shopping around, and am seeing lots of options for pre-facelift E53's....but not many for my 2005 post-facelift. They look like identical shapes externally - are they? And if so, are there other incompatibility issues regarding the wiring/connections inside?

Apologies - I know there are lots of threads about the wider LED upgrade topic already, but I'm struggling to find a clear answer to this specific question. I just need to be sure I buy the right thing before splashing the cash.

Thanks
Andy
2005 X5d 3.0 Sport

Last edited by wadjssd; 09-19-2016 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Added model details to the start of post.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2016, 09:21 AM
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I'm pretty sure you just need to swap two pins in each harness and add a capacitor to both lights.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshdub View Post
I'm pretty sure you just need to swap two pins in each harness and add a capacitor to both lights.
I thought you had to code off adaptive braking or something like that as well? My memory seems to be getting worse with every passing year.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:05 PM
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You don't have to if you do the capacitors. I haven't coded off my adaptive braking and mine don't flicker.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2016, 09:24 PM
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^this. Pins need to be swapped and capacitors for 03-06 models

And code off cold monitoring if you don't want the strobing startup if you are picky like most of us are.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:19 PM
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the adaptive braking is the harder you push on the pedal the brighter the lights get right? Hence why there's no actual brake light switch. I was under the impression that started in 03 sometime, is that not correct?
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:46 AM
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Thanks all for the replies so far. As a relative noob, I'd need some 'how to' help on the capacitors and coding. I'm pretty handy in general, so the physical swapping out of the light units is no problem at all....but I have no idea what I'm looking for or what to do when it comes to those other points.
Frustrating....there is a wealth of lovely LED units for pre-facelift cars over here in the UK, plus a much bigger range of facelift units available in the states via online (seen some lovely Spyder ones). I'm just a bit reluctant to have to cough up the extra 100+ postage to get them sent over (yes, 100!!!!)
Andy
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowblock View Post
the adaptive braking is the harder you push on the pedal the brighter the lights get right? Hence why there's no actual brake light switch. I was under the impression that started in 03 sometime, is that not correct?
Something like that - but I have an 03 and still have a brake light switch (it went bad and I had to replace it a little over a year ago)
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2016, 10:26 AM
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I don't have it either on my '03
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2016, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadjssd View Post
Hi everyone. I have an E53 X5 question regarding tail-light upgrades...

I'm a little confused about the difference between pre- and post-facelift rear light compatibility. I'm sick of getting the all-too-familiar Check Brake Lights warnings, which are now constant due to a bad case of corrosion on the contacts, so I'm looking to upgrade to LED.
I'm shopping around, and am seeing lots of options for pre-facelift E53's....but not many for my 2005 post-facelift. They look like identical shapes externally - are they? And if so, are there other incompatibility issues regarding the wiring/connections inside?

Apologies - I know there are lots of threads about the wider LED upgrade topic already, but I'm struggling to find a clear answer to this specific question. I just need to be sure I buy the right thing before splashing the cash.

Thanks
Andy
2005 X5d 3.0 Sport
10 cents of solder will solve your problem. After replacing three tail light assemblies. I found the solder fix, applied it to a problematic tail light assembly. Problem solved. Put a dab of solder on the tail light housing where the bulb housing rests. The problem isn't corrosion it's poor contact which causes shorting that damages the connection. The solder provides a better, solid connection. Problem solved. Ten cents.
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