DIY For BMW Cup Holder & Console LED Lights (Pictures)
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12-08-2008, 07:50 PM
The Way A Man Should Be
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Pictorial DIY BMW Rear Armrest & Cup Holder Console LED Lights (Part 3)
This will be the final part of my 3 part BMW Cup holder Console LED Lights DIY project. In this section we will continue by adding a LED chip to the rear fold down armrest/cup holder. The effect of this DIY is really clean and impressive;
This DIY will only be accessible for those with BMW 3 series that have the fold down armrest in the rear seat. If you don't have this feature and really want this DIY then I suggest checking out eBay or a local yard for the rear seat. At this day and age they are not too expensive and should run you between $50 and $100. Plus if you have a leather cushion seat all you would need is the back cushion in which the armrest is embedded.
If you find yourself lost in this DIY you can easily refer back to the earlier parts where I describe the tools and wiring needed as well as what power sources under your dash and console to tap into. Also the LED Chip used is an Aluminum-Based Board 1206 SMD LED Cluster White 201 and was purchased from the same Hong Kong Company Sure Electronics via eBay. They sell thousands of these LED Chipsets varying in color, intensity and Chip size. I got one with 8 LEDs at a cost of 99 cents plus $3.99 to ship. I will post the detailed specs of the LED chipset at the bottom of the DIY. That said, the pictures should be easy to read and follow if you don't like reading words.
Begin by removing the rear armrest from car. It is anchored in two metal socket slots at the point where it pivots. Tuck your hands under as you pivot the armrest down and lift the entire thing up and out the sockets. Once out, take the armrest inside to begin modifying it.
Remove the black plastic back cover. It is anchored by 8 clips that pry off. They are not super firmly anchored but if prying off with a hard or sharp object go slow so as to not tear or damage the leather skin of the armrest. Pry all around the edges repeatedly until it pops off. Underneath you will see a metal bar that connects the pivot joints and another plastic covering aka the back wall.
Drill two holes in the back wall. One hole will be for a power wire and the second for a ground wire. The reason for drilling two tiny holes instead of one big one should be apparent as you will need to pull each wire thru its hole. I also ran out of black (ground color) and red (power color) 20 gauge wire so I ended up using the green color that was left over from my other DIYs for both power and ground leads. Because of the high chance of error in mixing the wires two holes are better than one.
Inside the storage space of the console you will see a small rectangular/ square-ish hole at the top of the back wall. Make a note of it as you get yourself a wire coat hanger or long piece of skinny wire that will fit thru the holes you just drilled. Extend out the wire coat hanger so that is is one long rod and begin pushing one end thru one of the holes. The console storage space should be open and you should have a finger at the rectangular hole feeling for the end of the hanger. When it come thru pull it out so you can see it. Attach the end of one of your lead wires to the rod (I used heat shrink and some crazy glue for this) and pull it out back thru the rectangular/square hole and the hole you drilled. Then repeat for the second lead wire.
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