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Old 10-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
imoutheredetroit
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Cool 318ti Electrical Problems (Lights) Please Help.

So recently i acquired a 1998 BMW 318ti with a California top. Ive always been a VW guy and have owned nothing but volkswagens and volvo, Ive always loved BMW styling, but remember how much my Uncle struggled with there electrical system. Hah, I remember he had a 740i catch fire once while driving! Anyways, i was recently in a situation where someone had to move out of state and sell there car.. They were leaving in 6 hours, and i couldnt pass up this deal on a beamer. New paint, new bilstein suspension, new tires, lights, exhaust, etc... I got the car @ midnight, in the dark (never a good time to buy a vehicle) from a strange gentleman that was in a hurry to get out of town.. I bought the car, after making sure VIN#s matched and it wasnt stolen. The car runs and drives great, Its an automatic but im actually impressed. What a great transmission! After flying home on the highway and discovering why they call these cars "the ultimate driving machine", I got it back to take a look at my purchase. I got the car for so cheap, I was ready to handle some bad news. After looking at the car thoroughly, I realized it was in pretty good shape. I am however, having some very, very frusterating electrical issues. - The car has a very poorly wired Halo light system, which i know nothing about. The speedometer lights shut off, because i blow fuse #7. (not sure this is even the right speedo fuse, but #7 blows) i replace the fuse with a 20amp and everything works great. I shut down my car, and now my rear pass. side brake light, as well as my front pass. side parking light stay on. I turn the car on, and then fuse blows again. I am a very good DIY'er and realize somethings crossed and running hot. I am curious, Does anyone know how these kids wire these HALOS up? i realize they tap into the running lights from the blinkers to power the LEDs but other than that, are they wired to a fuse? Do they have there own capacitor or are they just tapped in? I have taken the led's out and attempted to wire the blinkers back to original, but am thinking that the lights arnt my cause for #7 blowing out. I dont know where this things crossed, but was wondering if anyone had any ideas.. could it be a bad ground? Theres seems to be a constant source of power coming from somewhere... Ive fallen in love with the car and really want to figure this out. Hopefully i dont need a new wiring harness... Other than that, - I need a new motor for the sunroof -Cooling Fan doesnt kick on -Cabin Heat/AC is intermittent -Rear hatch wont open Other than that, the car is in fantastic shape! 129,000 miles Thanks for all your help, -Matt

Last edited by imoutheredetroit; 10-23-2012 at 11:03 AM. Reason: wrong model
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
anthony318ti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoutheredetroit View Post
So recently i acquired a 1998 BMW 318ti with a California top. Ive always been a VW guy and have owned nothing but volkswagens and volvo, Ive always loved BMW styling, but remember how much my Uncle struggled with there electrical system. Hah, I remember he had a 740i catch fire once while driving! Anyways, i was recently in a situation where someone had to move out of state and sell there car.. They were leaving in 6 hours, and i couldnt pass up this deal on a beamer. New paint, new bilstein suspension, new tires, lights, exhaust, etc... I got the car @ midnight, in the dark (never a good time to buy a vehicle) from a strange gentleman that was in a hurry to get out of town.. I bought the car, after making sure VIN#s matched and it wasnt stolen. The car runs and drives great, Its an automatic but im actually impressed. What a great transmission! After flying home on the highway and discovering why they call these cars "the ultimate driving machine", I got it back to take a look at my purchase. I got the car for so cheap, I was ready to handle some bad news. After looking at the car thoroughly, I realized it was in pretty good shape. I am however, having some very, very frusterating electrical issues. - The car has a very poorly wired Halo light system, which i know nothing about. The speedometer lights shut off, because i blow fuse #7. (not sure this is even the right speedo fuse, but #7 blows) i replace the fuse with a 20amp and everything works great. I shut down my car, and now my rear pass. side brake light, as well as my front pass. side parking light stay on. I turn the car on, and then fuse blows again. I am a very good DIY'er and realize somethings crossed and running hot. I am curious, Does anyone know how these kids wire these HALOS up? i realize they tap into the running lights from the blinkers to power the LEDs but other than that, are they wired to a fuse? Do they have there own capacitor or are they just tapped in? I have taken the led's out and attempted to wire the blinkers back to original, but am thinking that the lights arnt my cause for #7 blowing out. I dont know where this things crossed, but was wondering if anyone had any ideas.. could it be a bad ground? Theres seems to be a constant source of power coming from somewhere... Ive fallen in love with the car and really want to figure this out. Hopefully i dont need a new wiring harness... Other than that, - I need a new motor for the sunroof -Cooling Fan doesnt kick on -Cabin Heat/AC is intermittent -Rear hatch wont open Other than that, the car is in fantastic shape! 129,000 miles Thanks for all your help, -Matt
My Halo Rings run on its own relay that is fused ans supplies current directly from the battery. There should be some write up's somewhere but if you cant find any i would be happy to make a small one to help you with the Halo lights. as for the fuse that's a little strange is there any possible way to pull codes? If its blowing a fuse then something is shorting somewhere, i would not attempt to put a bigger fuse simply because it may start a fire through the higher resistance level on the cables etc etc generating heat and so on...
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Also i have motors for doors and sunroof sadly i'm in Fiji and it will cost more then the product itself to mail it to you
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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You definitely don't want to substitute a larger fuse as it is there to protect the wiring. There is thin, 0.35 mm^2 wiring on that circuit, which the original 5A fuse could protect, thin wiring that will melt through before a 20A fuse does. Finding and fixing the remains is no fun.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:24 AM   #5
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Hey, thanks for everyones help. Hours of sitting in a mess of wires and blown fuses, i decided to rewire the lights individually but tap into the drivers side tail light and blinker and wiring over to the passenger side. Its kind of a shortcut, but is wired clean, wrapped, and covered with conduit. At least it gives me more time to find the hot wire. While wiring, i found a live wire in the engine bay (possibly for LEDs), and a short in the pass. tail light. This explains the lights not working on that side of the car. However, my instrument cluster lights are still shorting out somewhere... fuse #7 is still having problems.... @anthony318ti - I would love to here more info on the california roof, and a good spot to purchase a motor... thanks, - Matt (i will post photos soon!)
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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Well, I will totally remove fuse#7 and go for a continuity test in that circuit to be able to identify where it is grounded.

Seems from the wiring diagram I have that fuse #7 belongs to anywhere but your lights, it is mainly connected to door lock switches from the fuel door to the passenger, driver and trunk motor including the switches!

Fuse #22 is for the headlights, Fuse #23 is for the Fog lights.

And it seems it is a little more complicated as they are connected to combination and light switches!

If I were you, I would remove every after market wire you can see there and check.. If everything ran good then I would add those extra as halo lights with new terminals and connections!
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoutheredetroit View Post
@anthony318ti - I would love to here more info on the california roof, and a good spot to purchase a motor... thanks, - Matt (i will post photos soon!)

eeeek i think we had a misunderstanding. i have the motor and controls for the sun/flip roof not the California one. I believe that the one you are referring to is the one with material?

I got my spares from a take apart in NZ as there are none in my country.

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Old 10-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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Might want to check here... http://www.318ti.org/files/browsecategory.php?c=1
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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Darn i wrote a massive write up and the session timmed out on me

Anyways to sum it up.

I had a read though the 3 series compact electrical schematics and came across something which would be worth while checking.

here is the read up - http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/19...g%20Manual.pdf

1. Check pin 2 on the instrument cluster to see if its supplying any power at all when the park light is switched on.

Questions:
1. When you engage the park light does the interior lights dim? Does the window switch light up? Does the Clock Dim?
2. Dimmer... Are you able to adjust the brightness of the light via the dimmer?

I wouldn't think it to be a grounding issue because if it was it would cause problems with the gauges as well as they are commonly grounded or most of it at least.

Page 154 Instrument cluster read up starts
Page 155 cluster pin assignment

Thought id save you some time searching.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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I noticed im writing alot my apologies if im hogging the thread.
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