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Discussion Starter #1
Well following the post / mod done by a BMW5 forum member (Geeza) I decided that I too would like to have the interior illuminated door handles so I set to work tracking down a set. It was quite funny as some of the BMW breakers I tried said that had never seen a E38 with them ...........<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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Any way finally got a full set.<o:p></o:p>
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Now my 1st problem was that as my car is an M5 I have the titan colour handles,I wanted to maintain this but the E38 never had that finish. So the plan was to some how remove the pulls and swap them over.<o:p></o:p>
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Any way once my E38 handles turned up I soon saw that I had a 2nd problem in that as my car is a post face lift BMW had changed the handle altogether on the front so the swap was not going to work, thou the rear handles are still the same as they were on any E39 pre or post facelift.<o:p></o:p>
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This the E38 handle front with its chrome pull<o:p></o:p>
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This is the E38 handle from behind <o:p></o:p>
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Putting these onto a pre face lift E39 is easy as bar triming up the bit where it mounts to the door (its a bit longer on the E38) they are a straight swap.<o:p></o:p>
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However as you can see below on a face lift E39 they changed the handle altogether <o:p></o:p>
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And mines also the titan finish <o:p></o:p>
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As you can see from the above pictures the way they illuminate is via a small led bulb that plugs into a clear plastic track that sits in a hole on the top of the handle.<o:p></o:p>
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So with help of my dermal I removed the lugs which allowed me to remove the plastic track from the E38 handles I then measured up and began making holes in my handles (bit nerve racking as a new face lift M5 handle is £70).<o:p></o:p>
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1st I drilled two holes to give nice round ends<o:p></o:p>
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Then with a steady hand and a sharp knife I joined the holes up<o:p></o:p>
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I was then able to glue the plastic track to my original handles<o:p></o:p>
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Any gaps were filled with black sealer, once the handles are fitted you can’t see the tracks any way unless you open the door and get on your knees.<o:p></o:p>
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To wire them up all I did was link them in to the illumination on the window switches.<o:p></o:p>
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Once they light up you get a really subtle orange glow in the handle, sadly my camera is not great at these kinds of pictures, but you get the idea and they really do look good<o:p></o:p>
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Taken from under the handle so you can see how the track lights up<o:p></o:p>
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Oh btw if you do want to fit the E38 chrome handles to your face lift E39 you can change the Bowden cables on the front doors and rear are still a straight swap.<o:p></o:p>
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Finally got around to finishing up the rear interior handles, these are pretty much the same as the E38 ones however again mine were titan finish so again I cut the illuminating tracks into my own handles.<o:p></o:p>
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Again not great pictures of them lit up, but gives you an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, they may have done, but when I looked on real oem and such like the only handles I could find listed as illuminated were the E38 ones.

And they only came in chrome and were only the same fitment on the back as preface lift E39's.

Even then the back of the handle (where the fixing screw comes threw) was different to the E39.
 

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great.. thanks for sharing...

didn't some of the e39 M5s come with illuminated handles already?
The US cars didnt for sure. Pretty sure the Euro's didnt either.
 

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To the OP can you show/tell us specifically which wires for the window switches you tapped into please?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi there

Off the top of my head I can't remember, it was either Brown with a Red stripe or Grey with a Red stripe, and then brow for earth.

If you start on any door apart from the drivers there will only be a few wires going to the window switch. I'm sure its brown with red.
 

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Very nice mod to be done where did you source the handles Ebay ?
 
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