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      06-14-2020, 05:08 PM   #155
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Yes, that was a disastrous day :-/ My shop did an amazing job tho, they really went the extra mile to put it back together. Luckily he clipped the bumper only or it would have likely been totaled.

I've never kept front license plates on any of my bmw's since 1999. I've lived in Houston all this time. Since then I've been pulled over twice by DPS traveling down I10 and in SA, neither times speeding or anything else, just the plate. You want to have the front license plate somewhere in the car b/c they'll ask you for it. I was given a warning both times.

I also took the plate off my wife's Pilot. Locally, a lot of sporty cars go without so we're not alone. Also I only drive 7 miles to/from work, so I don't get a lot of exposure. I expect to get pulled over some day, pay the fine, and take one for the team. I think if I were speeding around all the time I'd get a lot more attention...but I believe they have bigger fish to fry.

I actually have carbon leather trim, not aluminum trim. If you look at your door panel, there is an aluminum colored strip beneath your wood trim...THAT is what I wrapped in gloss black.
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      06-24-2020, 02:34 PM   #156
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Cable routing from monitor to armrest

[UPDATED PIX WITH FINAL CONFIG] I posted these in the X6M forum and thought I'd capture the cable routing of the Aux Cable and USB from the Android Monitor to the center armrest. For the cable access holes in the media panel, I started with a triangle cross section file, then finished with a round cross section file. Very easy with these tools. Just choose the locations prudently b/c there is some thin overlapping plastic behind the media panel that may also interfere. This is the case with the bottom right cutout, but I was able to melt the area with a solder iron to clear the interference.

Plenty of room to pass from under the shifter to the armrest console:
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Easy routing; same on passenger side:
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Plenty of room under the shifter to store excess cable
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Depending on your Aux Cable thickness you may need to max out the slot depth as shown here:
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One for Aux cable and the other for USB:
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My Aux Cable was too thick so I needed to modify the armrest console as well:
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Pretty rough, but hard to get to, you also want to file down some of the armrest console for the USB pass through:
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All done.
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See post #210 for final configuration with DAC installed.
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      06-26-2020, 09:44 AM   #157
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Android Monitor MIC vs OEM MIC

FWIW - As I mentioned earlier we've been posting some Android Monitor details in the X6 forum. IF you have interest in understanding how the Android is using the OEM MIC versus the Android MIC, visit the link below starting with Post #85. jvirgi has been doing some testing and the results are interesting and helpful. I'm going to recreate the testing procedure he provided to confirm the results...

https://www.xbimmers.com/forums/show....php?t=1715727
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      06-27-2020, 05:50 PM   #158
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P3 Gauges - Vent Gauge - V2

Found this on eBay for a really reasonable price and decided to get. Installation is very easy, but figuring out the dimmer took some time.

QUICK VERSION INSTALL NOTES: Remove driver side lower panel. Using nylon pry tool remove aluminum plastic trim piece from under vent. Remove single phillips head screw. Pull the external vent out and up from the bottom. Feed the P3 OBD2 connector end of the harness to the right of the dash vent tube (air supply tube that runs back into dash) and down. Run to OBD2 port and connect. I wrapped the rectangle shaped module up with something that would keep it from moving freely (left over heat shield from previous post). There is plenty of room on the right side of the dash vent tube for the module and harness. I used a 0.75" sq zip tie mount on the left side of the exterior vent...in order for the flap in the vent to work easily, you want the ribbon (flat) cable coming out of the vent (from the gauge) to be up against the inside vent wall and not interfere with the vent flap as it moves (controlled by wheel on outside of vent). I positioned the ribbon cable flat against the vent inside wall, did a U to the vent outside wall, and ran it down that left side (of the external vent) to the zip tie mount and tied it. Don't crush the ribbon cable with the zip tie. After the zip tie mount, bend the ribbon cable so that it runs under the external vent toward the right side. Upon assembly of the external vent, make sure none of the cables are impeding the vent from plugging into the dash vent tube. With the ribbon cable tied off, it should not be an issue, except a bit more force than normal to insert. Assembly of the remainder is reverse of disassembly. NOTES: Take care to make sure the external vent clips are properly attached prior to re-assembly. Also, before inserting phillips head screw, take a flashlight and shine in the hole to make sure the ribbon cable is not caught behind the screw hole so you don't drill into the ribbon cable upon installation.

IF YOU WANT THE DIMMER FUNCTION...
The P3 gauge display is pretty bright, at least for me (subjective). For the P3 Gauge to dim, you need to plug the green wire that comes with the P3 harness into an OEM wire that, when the light switch is turned on, runs 5V. Then code the gauge per mfg instructions. This was a headache, I mention the following dead ends so you can avoid. Scouring schematics on newtis I first measured voltage running to the unused (b/c I now have an android monitor) OEM Nav Display harness, it has a dimming wire. With vehicle on, this wire is always ON at 4V with light switch on and off. I then found that the Car Information Computer (Radio) has a dimmer. The big square OEM connector on the back is X13812 (search that on newtis for details). There are 40 pins and pin14 is the dimmer (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...cic/1VnXZ2ezKX). According to the schematic, the wire color is red/grey, however mine was a solid brown (more orange than the ground wire 'brown') (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...r-cic/H2MeJql6). Unfortunately, with the engine on (0V) and the lights are turned on it only carries 4V.

SO, I went back to the light switch. [NOTE, you probably want to do this with the external vent uninstalled, not necessary, but makes it easier to tuck excess green P3 dimmer wire after this part.] I started here, but because of the connector type, I couldn't easily measure voltages with my voltmeter. The light switch connector is X10164 and has 12 pins (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...h-unit/cLvFXx2). The way this works, as I understand, the footwell module effectively sends the dimmer switch 5V, we adjust the dimmer switch, and the output voltage based on the switch position is sent back to the footwell module and on to all the other lighting controlled by the dimmer (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...8-x908/oqbIjlR). In the diagram below the dimmer switch has two wires, so which is variable and which constant? After trial and error, the Grey/Black Pin8 wire is a variable load (up to 5V) whose voltage is dependent on the dimmer switch (wheel setting). The Green Pin5 wire is a constant 5V. I conceded further investigation because the display is pretty bright, and having the dimmer constantly on wouldn't be a bad thing. I used a T-Tap (20-22awg) into the oem green wire coming from pin5 and connected the matching spade connector that came with the P3 Gauge harness. The OEM cable in this lighting connector appears to be 20ga. I tucked the excess of P3 green wire in the available harness channel behind the light switch. Per the P3 instructions I coded the gauge to use the dimmer. DONE.

Please let us know if you find a better wire to use. TIA

Last picture not completely assembled...vent trim piece still out and wires beneath not tucked yet. ALSO, the digital display is more orange than in the pic below.


Name:  BMW E70 X5_S8 Light Switch Dimmer.PNG
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External vent shown pulled out and rotated 180deg towards camera:
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With fan at high, door open, and humid hot day my vent picked up some major condensation. I wasn't too surprised, as you can see from the pics in this post the oem foam around the vent duct was compromised. Upon removal of the vent I could see about 1" of oem foam was peeled up and separated from the vent body...leaking a lot of air. I bought some Foam/Neoprene Tape 1/2" Wide x 1/8" Thick (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCK65QM..._OwQ-Eb8589A84). Fit perfectly snug. You can see the zip tie mount pretty clearly on the flat part of the outside wall.

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Last edited by argento; 12-12-2021 at 10:07 AM..
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      06-28-2020, 04:20 PM   #159
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I remember having one of those, they are great if you actually use them! After few month I found myself rarely looking at it and decided to sell it.
I thought If I'll get one in the center console vent it would be much more useful but never did, remember they cost a fortune back in the day.
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      06-28-2020, 04:28 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boneca View Post
I remember having one of those, they are great if you actually use them! After few month I found myself rarely looking at it and decided to sell it.
I thought If I'll get one in the center console vent it would be much more useful but never did, remember they cost a fortune back in the day.
Hey! Miss your thread/posts. I've been sucking down my battery with audio testing on the android monitor, I really wanted the battery voltage... 'high performance functionality', lol.

Thanks for posting.
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      06-28-2020, 04:33 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
Hey! Miss your thread/posts. I've been sucking down my battery with audio testing on the android monitor, I really wanted the battery voltage... 'high performance functionality', lol.

Thanks for posting.
I appreciate it! I miss u guys too!

I do come here from time to time to see what's happening and share some of my knowledge...

I find myself over at G05 forum these days, not that I'm buying anything just yet

as for battery voltage, it def should help!
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      06-29-2020, 06:07 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
Found this on eBay for a really reasonable price and decided to get. Installation is very easy, but figuring out the dimmer took some time.

QUICK VERSION INSTALL NOTES: Remove driver side lower panel. Using nylon pry tool remove aluminum plastic trim piece from under vent. Remove single phillips head screw. Pull the external vent out and up from the bottom. Feed the P3 OBD2 connector end of the harness to the right of the dash vent tube (air supply tube that runs back into dash) and down. Run to OBD2 port and connect. I wrapped the rectangle shaped module up with something that would keep it from moving freely (left over heat shield from previous post). There is plenty of room on the right side of the dash vent tube for the module and harness. I used a 0.75" sq zip tie mount on the left side of the exterior vent...in order for the flap in the vent to work easily, you want the ribbon (flat) cable coming out of the vent (from the gauge) to be up against the inside vent wall and not interfere with the vent flap as it moves (controlled by wheel on outside of vent). I positioned the ribbon cable flat against the vent inside wall, did a U to the vent outside wall, and ran it down that left side (of the external vent) to the zip tie mount and tied it. Don't crush the ribbon cable with the zip tie. After the zip tie mount, bend the ribbon cable so that it runs under the external vent toward the right side. Upon assembly of the external vent, make sure none of the cables are impeding the vent from plugging into the dash vent tube. With the ribbon cable tied off, it should not be an issue, except a bit more force than normal to insert. Assembly of the remainder is reverse of disassembly. NOTES: Take care to make sure the external vent clips are properly attached prior to re-assembly. Also, before inserting phillips head screw, take a flashlight and shine in the hole to make sure the ribbon cable is not caught behind the screw hole so you don't drill into the ribbon cable upon installation.

IF YOU WANT THE DIMMER FUNCTION...
The P3 gauge display is pretty bright, at least for me (subjective). For the P3 Gauge to dim, you need to plug the green wire that comes with the P3 harness into an OEM wire that, when the light switch is turned on, runs 5V. Then code the gauge per mfg instructions. This was a headache, I mention the following dead ends so you can avoid. Scouring schematics on newtis I first measured voltage running to the unused (b/c I now have an android monitor) OEM Nav Display harness, it has a dimming wire. With vehicle on, this wire is always ON at 4V with light switch on and off. I then found that the Car Information Computer (Radio) has a dimmer. The big square OEM connector on the back is X13812 (search that on newtis for details). There are 40 pins and pin14 is the dimmer (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...cic/1VnXZ2ezKX). According to the schematic, the wire color is red/grey, however mine was a solid brown (more orange than the ground wire 'brown') (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...r-cic/H2MeJql6). Unfortunately, with the engine on (0V) and the lights are turned on it only carries 4V.

SO, I went back to the light switch. [NOTE, you probably want to do this with the external vent uninstalled, not necessary, but makes it easier to tuck excess green P3 dimmer wire after this part.] I started here, but because of the connector type, I couldn't easily measure voltages with my voltmeter. The light switch connector is X10164 and has 12 pins (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...h-unit/cLvFXx2). The way this works, as I understand, the footwell module effectively sends the dimmer switch 5V, we adjust the dimmer switch, and the output voltage based on the switch position is sent back to the footwell module and on to all the other lighting controlled by the dimmer (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...8-x908/oqbIjlR). In the diagram below the dimmer switch has two wires, so which is variable and which constant? After trial and error, the Grey/Black Pin8 wire is a variable load (up to 5V) whose voltage is dependent on the dimmer switch (wheel setting). The Green Pin5 wire is a constant 5V. I conceded further investigation because the display is pretty bright, and having the dimmer constantly on wouldn't be a bad thing. I used a T-Tap (20-22awg) into the oem green wire coming from pin5 and connected the matching spade connector that came with the P3 Gauge harness. The OEM cable in this lighting connector appears to be 20ga. I tucked the excess of P3 green wire in the available harness channel behind the light switch. Per the P3 instructions I coded the gauge to use the dimmer. DONE.

Please let us know if you find a better wire to use. TIA

Last picture not completely assembled...vent trim piece still out and wires beneath not tucked yet. ALSO, the digital display is more orange than in the pic below.


Attachment 2349642

External vent shown pulled out and rotated 180deg towards camera:
Attachment 2350158

Attachment 2349644
Looks good.
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      07-12-2020, 04:18 PM   #163
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Gloss Black Interior Wrap

I started this a while ago (March), learned about wrapping along the way, and it took a long time to figure out when I wanted to stop wrapping interior parts. Notice the return of the red start button...with all the black trim I knew the red button was needed.

Here's what I wrapped:
-I have OEM Carbon Leather trim, but all the pieces beneath this trim come in aluminum, no matter which trim you choose. I covered all these pieces with 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I removed all 4 door panels and all trim pieces (vents, start) except glovebox trim. Luckily the glovebox trim is easier to wrap in place than it looks. I had originally wrapped them all in a 3M Aluminum Matte (like the shifter console trim), but it was too bright your eyes never saw the carbon leather trim.
-With the center console trim piece removed to install the new Android Monitor, I decided to also wrap it in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I was going to use a satin here, but started with the gloss just to see and it looked good enough.
-The Gear Selector Cover is also wrapped in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I started with a carbon gloss off brand and I couldn't get it to stick on the edges. I probably wrapped this piece a dozen times before getting to this final wrap.
-The EDC Button Trim is normally aluminum, but as you can see I wrapped it in 3M 2080 Matte Deep Black. I arrived at this color configuration looking at F10 and F85 shifter trim configurations.
-Like newer bmw's I wrapped the thin strip on the emergency brake module in 3M 1080 Satin White Aluminum. I must have wrapped that piece two dozen times and I still don't think it's 100%.
-The shifter console trim surround was also wrapped it 3M 1080 Satin White Aluminum.
-The iDrive module has two pieces wrapped in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. The top aluminum ring and the lower aluminum piece. The lower aluminum piece has four notches to align with the illuminated arrows on the very top of the iDrive. I cut the wrap to maintain those notches and the reflectiveness when looking down at the iDrive.
-On the back of the armrest console I again used 3M 2080 Gloss Black to wrap the top trim piece and the lower charge port trim piece. I installed two inexpensive, but useful, Aukey CC-Y11 for USB-A/USB-C for charging. With the front center console wrapped, I felt the back needed something.
-Not shown, but I also wrapped the lower black trim piece of the exterior mirror in 3M Gloss Black. I had planned to do the entire mirror and pulled it apart. But the parts were complicated, so I decided to only do the lower trim. I probably have the cleanest exterior mirror internals around.

NOTE: The 3M 2080 Gloss Black has a slight orange peel to it. From a foot away you can see it well. As you can see the Deep Matte Black does not.

UPDATE: Wanted to update the orange peel comment...the oem plastic black trim definitely shows the orange peel more...the aluminum pieces came out much smoother mainly b/c they are a smoother material to begin with. After you install the gloss wrap, heat it up to relax and throw some polymer wax to compliment.

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Last edited by argento; 07-14-2020 at 02:09 PM..
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      07-14-2020, 06:50 AM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
I started this a while ago (March), learned about wrapping along the way, and it took a long time to figure out when I wanted to stop wrapping interior parts. Notice the return of the red start button...with all the black trim I knew the red button was needed.

Here's what I wrapped:
-I have OEM Carbon Leather trim, but all the pieces beneath this trim come in aluminum, no matter which trim you choose. I covered all these pieces with 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I removed all 4 door panels and all trim pieces (vents, start) except glovebox trim. Luckily the glovebox trim is easier to wrap in place than it looks. I had originally wrapped them all in a 3M Aluminum Matte (like the shifter console trim), but it was too bright your eyes never saw the carbon leather trim.
-With the center console trim piece removed to install the new Android Monitor, I decided to also wrap it in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I was going to use a satin here, but started with the gloss just to see and it looked good enough.
-The Gear Selector Cover is also wrapped in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. I started with a carbon gloss off brand and I couldn't get it to stick on the edges. I probably wrapped this piece a dozen times before getting to this final wrap.
-The EDC Button Trim is normally aluminum, but as you can see I wrapped it in 3M 2080 Matte Deep Black. I arrived at this color configuration looking at F10 and F85 shifter trim configurations.
-Like newer bmw's I wrapped the thin strip on the emergency brake module in 3M 1080 Satin White Aluminum. I must have wrapped that piece two dozen times and I still don't think it's 100%.
-The shifter console trim surround was also wrapped it 3M 1080 Satin White Aluminum.
-The iDrive module has two pieces wrapped in 3M 2080 Gloss Black. The top aluminum ring and the lower aluminum piece. The lower aluminum piece has four notches to align with the illuminated arrows on the very top of the iDrive. I cut the wrap to maintain those notches and the reflectiveness when looking down at the iDrive.
-On the back of the armrest console I again used 3M 2080 Gloss Black to wrap the top trim piece and the lower charge port trim piece. I installed two inexpensive, but useful, Aukey CC-Y11 for USB-A/USB-C for charging. With the front center console wrapped, I felt the back needed something.
-Not shown, but I also wrapped the lower black trim piece of the exterior mirror in 3M Gloss Black. I had planned to do the entire mirror and pulled it apart. But the parts were complicated, so I decided to only do the lower trim. I probably have the cleanest exterior mirror internals around.

NOTE: The 3M 2080 Gloss Black has a slight orange peel to it. From a foot away you can see it well. As you can see the Deep Matte Black does not.


Attachment 2362016

Attachment 2362017

Attachment 2362655

Attachment 2362018
awesome job, looks great!
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      07-14-2020, 03:21 PM   #165
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Very nicely done
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      08-03-2020, 11:33 AM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
Here are the tips I'm planning to install soon. I originally purchased DiMisa tips in black powdercoat. The powdercoat turned out to be polyester based, which is what I think they use on outdoor furniture. Tips appear to be great quality. I decided to coat them in a thermal ceramic coating for longevity. At this point I had already spent more than one should on tips, but made it worse to get them coated. Took them to Houston Cerakoters and they were extremely helpful and fair. Tips looked amazing. They want to get into more auto part coating and asked to photoshoot the //M after install...I left that place and 3 minutes later had the accident :-|

Attachment 1979731

Attachment 1979732

Attachment 1979733

A little about cerakote: 9H pencil hardness; low coef friction results in 5000 wear cycles for each thousandth of thickness; tested in salt solution for rust resistance; 160 in-lb of impact force with no cracking/flaking.
Do you have a link to these tips...can't track it down....
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      08-03-2020, 11:42 AM   #167
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This is the website: http://www.dimisatips.com/

I assume he's still going. I have his personal email if needed.

FWIW, I have the tips up for sale: https://www.xbimmers.com/forums/show....php?t=1679785
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      08-09-2020, 02:31 PM   #168
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Looks great!!
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      08-11-2020, 11:52 AM   #169
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Tinting Headlights and Taillights

I saw a forum member tint his taillights and really liked the cherry color in the images. I had also been wanting to tint my headlights to give the vehicle a darker look.

Long story short, I ended up trying LaminX (taillights), Rvinyl (taillights), and VVivid (tail and headlights). After trial and error, I went with VVivid for the tailights. I decided against tinting the headlights all together. As always with film, until I become some sort of expert (yeah, right), my installations resulted in some minor imperfections.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT touch the adhesive side of the film, your fingerprint will remain. Using gloves also leaves residue...and that was after using dawn dish soap to clean the gloves while wearing them. ALSO I read you do not want to install in a cold environment because the Vvivid film can become significantly less malleable which hampers installation.

The following picture shows all three over each other...LaminX at the top, Vvivid is the lightest, and a couple Rvinyl pieces at the back (darkest).

Name:  IMG_0931_All Three.jpg
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Lamin-X - This product (B237) is available only as pre-cut for the X5 and was relatively easy to install per the mfgís video. I chose the TINT color because it was the lightest tint, but the product also came in Gunsmoke, Smoked, Charcoal, and Red. This was medium darkness (relative to the other two), glossiest of the bunch, had the most orange-peel look, and the thickest film. The instructions require you to lubricate the surface before install which I did with the provided spray bottle and my own deionized water. It goes one easily and I didnít have to peel and re-install very many times. However the edges seemed to give me the most challenge b/c the edges would lift/delaminate. Multiple iterations of extra heat and firm pressure eventually fixed this, but didnít really start to work until at least a day had passed, likely to allow the lubrication I sprayed to evaporate. Note, the squeegee they provided was nice (slightly softer than others Iíd received), but I should have sprayed the exterior of the film to reduce heat and friction as I pressed the film in place. Without lubrication the pressing action made some minor scratches in the film that would mostly dissipate with heat but with a close eye I could still see some of them. I will say, heat seemed to fix a lot and this was as close as Iíve seen to self-healing. The box knife they provided made it easy to trim the excess film, but be very careful not to scratch the paint behind the light. For the rear light in the trunk lid, I removed the light and installed. In hindsight, I think I would install the film with the light in place. I only installed this one piece and eyed it for at least a week, but the orange peel kept bothering me and I wondered if there was better out there. I took the picture below as I was removing to highlight the orange-peel.


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Rvinyl - This product (TT-BMW-X5-11) is available pre-cut for the X5 and I ordered the Smoke color b/c it was the lightest looking tint. They have a rainbow of colors and darker smoke. Iíve ordered several films from Rvinyl since April and each time shipping takes forever compared to other mfgs. The item arrived damaged (cylinder roll smashed during shipping resulting in sharp pinpointed fold/creases), but I thought I could work out the damage with the heat gun. It helped, but remained damaged, so I had to eat this one. Instead of re-ordering, I decided to try another brand that I had been researching while waiting for this product to arrive. When I took the image below I had already installed Vvivid on the right side and I basically just placed this film in place for color comparison. The film was definitely thinner than the Lamin-X and install appeared to be similar style to the Vvivid film. However, I believe thinner pre-cut film really limits installation b/c there is little excess to grab with your fingers making this more difficult to avoid leaving your fingerprints or stretching, IMO. To be honest I didnít spend much time on installing, so I truly canít give a complete picture. BTW, you can see the tailgate light which is also covered in Vvivid for comparison.

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Vvivid Ė This product is not available pre-cut and I ordered the VVivid+ Light Smoke Air Tint Headlight Tint Premium Series (https://vvividshop.com/collections/a...headlight-tint). Light Smoke was the lightest color and based on my research this same tint was also used on the rear lights. Ordering this allowed me the option to install tint on rear and front lights. I was intrigued with the version of this tint that had an integrated hex pattern, but ultimately went with the base film. What sold me were the detailed videos by CK WrapÖthey were spot on. These are must watch if you plan to install, donít just go by my tips that follow. I ordered 2ft x 5ft (10sqft) and it was exactly enough to do all four corners once (the dims I provide below total to 9.2sqft for one application on all four corners). The body taillight itself takes 13" x 17" each side, with the excess needed to grab and stretch as needed. For the tailgate lights expect to use 10"x13" of film for each. In fact, I recommend ordering more than 10sq ft to allow for some error should you mess up a section. If you are only doing the rear or only the front, then the 10sqft should suffice. This stuff is extremely resilient and I had to peel, heat, and re-install numerous times. This installation requires an immense amount of patience. I spent about 40m to an hour per large light. I didnít do them all on the same day, which prevents you from getting too hasty. Stretching is your friend with this material, you normally donít just place and squeegee. If you mess up, you can lift, heat and reapply with very good results. I did so many times in various areas with no ill effects to the film. If youíve done a great job in an area and then you find you missed a bubble, do not worry, they can be addressed after installation. However, removing them involves a fine point needle and it may leave a tiny pin prick visible...as such you donít want to leave behind lots of bubbles or youíll have lot of pin pricks on the surface. Some pin pricks will self-heal with enough heat, others wonít. You will redo areas many times, this is normal. If you see a tiny thin wrinkle, just bite the bullet and start that area over. As mentioned above the bubbles can be addressed, wrinkles are permanent and very visible. You are trying to get the entire inside portion of the light as good as you can. The outer 1/2Ē perimeter can be done at the end. Once the internal surface area of the light is covered, start on the outer edges. Heat and use the squeegee to press the film into the crevice between the light edge and the vehicle surface. As you do so, it will pull the film taught on the light side and make it smooth. Do so all around the perimeter of the light. Since itís the edge, if you have to redo the area, you only need to pull back a little bit, heat, and reapply. Once this has been done, cutting with a very sharp box cutter is made easy. You only need to insert the tip of the razor 1/16 of an inch or lessÖjust enough to cut the film. It will take almost no effort as you move around the perimeter. If, as you lightly cut, it stops or takes any effort whatsoever, stop and make sure youíre not pressing on the painted surface of the vehicle or have not bitten into the edge of the light. These tips apply to rear or front install. Below is an image of the final taillights covered, cleaned, and sprayed with Zaino Z8 Grand Finale Spray. There are a few spots on the outer most edges that have tiny lifting, but Iím still working them. Not bad enough for me to want to rewrap the entire light. The good news is that this entire endeavor is reversible.

UPDATE: I want to recommend not cutting this product at the edge of the lens. The film is too thin and while I only had a couple spots recoil in tension, the final product will look much cleaner if you get to the point shown in the image below and then pop out the taillight just enough to wrap the film around the entirety of the lens, then cut the excess off behind the lens. For the Lamin-X, this is not an issue because the product is VERY thick and trimming the excess off the lens edge doesn't produce recoil.

Film application complete and shown with part of the excess film trimmed. Up close you can see some orange peel, more like dot matrix upon really close inspection. Also you can see one diagnal fine line where I peeled back, heated and stretched it back over. I can't figure out why that happened, but it did. Not sure if I overheated or what. I mostly used light heat, a few passes, you can feel the film get limp. Do not overheat or heat while simultaneously pulling b/c you'll get quick exponential stretching...
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Lights off; Image with 3 of 4 lights wrapped; a good view of the vvivid shade color which is pretty light compared to the other options. Everyone's taste on shade is subjective, but I really like the lighter shade of the vvivid.
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Lights on; Not as glossy as the oem lens alone, but a good compromise;
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Vvivid (contíd) Ė Headlights. I was really excited to try the film on the headlights and luckily the LED headlight surface is not complex. You need a very minimum of 13" x 24" placed diagonally...this is what I used and I had to stretch one corner about 1/4 inch to make it cover the whole headlight. I would have cut more, but one roll of 2' x 5' isn't a lot for all four corners. It went on easily compared to the complex surface of the taillights. I eyed it for at least a week while in my garage and it looked great. I finally took the car out and snapped some pix, excellent. With the tint on one lens you realize how crisp, clear, and bright the oem lenses areÖitís a nice look as well. THEN I turned on the headlights. The tinted side immediately looked aged and foggy. Sure enough, the LED beam makes two patches on the film thus negating the clean look from before. I truly did not like what I saw and it was an easy decision to remove it. The pix below capture the issue.

UPDATE 7Sept2021: Months later I ran into a ckwraps video on this vvivid exact film. He explained it takes a few weeks for the fog to burn off. I haven't confirmed, but will try again soon. FWIW.

Lights Off; DRL On:
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Lights On; Left Tinted, Right OEM non-tinted:
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      08-14-2020, 06:40 PM   #170
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Looks great!
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      08-18-2020, 11:10 AM   #171
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Looks great.

Ive watched a ton of CK Wraps videos and Vvivid is my vinyl choice as well. One thing to make the tail lights easier and avoid the vinyl pulling back is to mask off the paint all around the light with painters tape. Vinyl will not stick to that. That allows you to really get the vinyl down into the gap with 0 tension and cut along the light. Since there is 0 tension in the film, the vinyl will not pull back.

I plan on adding a light smoke to my tails soon. Ive replaced the bulbs with LEDs to make sure light output isnt effected. I will use knifeless tape to cutout the reverse light strip since those lights already perform poorly.
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      08-18-2020, 11:23 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansbmw View Post
Looks great.

Ive watched a ton of CK Wraps videos and Vvivid is my vinyl choice as well. One thing to make the tail lights easier and avoid the vinyl pulling back is to mask off the paint all around the light with painters tape. Vinyl will not stick to that. That allows you to really get the vinyl down into the gap with 0 tension and cut along the light. Since there is 0 tension in the film, the vinyl will not pull back.

I plan on adding a light smoke to my tails soon. Ive replaced the bulbs with LEDs to make sure light output isnt effected. I will use knifeless tape to cutout the reverse light strip since those lights already perform poorly.
GREAT feedback, that's exactly the problem RE: tension. The film is very sticky and I was careful to lift the film off the paint before pressing into the gap, but I likely missed some areas. I will take care to watch this as I plan to re-wrap to get it 100%.

Tension bubble:
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I'm running LED reverse lights that are pretty bright, and the film is pretty light. I'm looking forward to seeing your updates...

Thanks for your help.
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      08-18-2020, 05:05 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argento View Post
GREAT feedback, that's exactly the problem RE: tension. The film is very sticky and I was careful to lift the film off the paint before pressing into the gap, but I likely missed some areas. I will take care to watch this as I plan to re-wrap to get it 100%.

I'm running LED reverse lights that are pretty bright, and the film is pretty light. I'm looking forward to seeing your updates...

Thanks for your help.
Tension sucks. When I wrapped my roof rails, I used the tape to help get the vinyl deep into the crevice. Otherwise it was always getting stuck and leaving air bubbles.

Not a fan of the tint design but this shows the process pretty well


Thanks for the tips on reverse LEDs. Thatís the one bulb I didnít replace. I had heard the poor design of the housing is the limiting factor so maybe Iíll try that instead of cutting out the reverse light in the film.
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      08-18-2020, 06:32 PM   #174
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I removed the film on the right rear light so I can rewrap. I snapped a pic in reverse to show off the reverse LEDs...6000k Crystal White from PrecisionLED, #BMWX5LEDRVE70

Hmm, I may need to wrap the third brake light, lol.

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      08-19-2020, 12:36 PM   #175
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Everytime I see that E70 X5M Rear, I really want to buy one But I just can't bring myself to doing it. Looking good argento
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      08-19-2020, 08:54 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by JDNY516 View Post
Everytime I see that E70 X5M Rear, I really want to buy one But I just can't bring myself to doing it. Looking good argento
Thanks man. Your jewel is way too clean and maintained to swap! That rear is only a bumper trim and exhaust away...
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