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Old 03-16-2009, 10:31 PM
mrbmwx5's Avatar
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DIY: lighted door handle led mod

been wanting to do this seen the first day when i picked up my E70 X5 back in 2007.

so here we go....

I will skip some common steps that I assume you guys know how to do or will be able to do, so I didn't document it.
Cost about $10.00 and two hours of work.
Materials needed:
4 Leds from Super Bright LEDs - LEDs
the ones i bought are the RL5-W15120

4 Resistors, you need 220-Ohm and it worked for me.
Solder gun/solder
Dremel and/or drill
24 gauge wire: i could not find this in any shop, so what i did was went to pepboys and into their lights section, there they had those tacky leds that you can buy to hook up inside. I bought one that had a decent length of wiring on it and just ripped it apart to use its wires (you will see later how thin the wires are in pics)

electrical tape, wire taps (not necessary but makes things easier)
crazy glue, slicon sealant and heat shink.

1: Start in the drivers side, roll down windows, take door panels off.
If you don't know how to do this refer to this DIY: http://www.xoutpost.com/articles/x5/e...nt-bmw-x5.html Towards the bottom it tells you how to remove your door panels.

2: Using the flat head scew driver and pop out this cover.

Using 5mm drill bit to drill out the hole.

3: time to put the LED into the cover.

4:So basics is done. Now you need to prepare your LED. The LED has 2 diodes on it, positive and negative. They are about 1inch long, the positive being slighly longer than the negative. I clipped off most of the diodes, leaving about only 3/8s of an inch of diode left and i kept the positive slightly longer then the negative for my own convenience
Take the led and solder your wires to it
(the positive line on LED is the piece that is longer, you will know when you have the led on hand).

now heat shrink one wire first as you can see it in RED.

Shrink the second wire together so it be come one wire. as you can see it in BLUE.

Checking make sure it work.

5:Now prepare to put the led into the door handle cover. Bend the led diodes at about a 90degree angle. Spread the diodes apart so that they dont touch.
take some silicon sealant and spread it inside the door handle cover around the led, this will prevent water from leaking in and touching the diodes. I let this dry for about 1 hour ,
Your final outcome will look like the pics below

The hardest parts are done, now you know what you need to do, where the leds go and how they go into place.
The rest is fishing the wires through the hole into your door panel.

So make sure when you are routing the wires in the door, they are under and away from the window. Do a test of the window when you run the wires so that you know you are clear
You will have to peel off the sound proofing on the door to help you route the wires. Don't worry, the sound proofing sticks back to the glue very well

Do that to all 4 doors.
View from inside the door.

6:Okay now all the wire are done fishing thru time to hardwire them.
connecting the RED wire from the LED to the Blue/Red wire from the underneath door panel light
and the BLACK wire from the LED to the BROWN wire from the underneath door panel light
So the LED work/lit up with the the Key remote.

solder the resistor to the positive wire

The type of resistor you need is 220-Ohm.

YouTube - Lighted Door Handles

Thanks to technology and my imagination now we have outside doors handles
lighted on our E53 X5

Last edited by mrbmwx5; 03-30-2009 at 11:11 AM.
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