Improving sundry

This section deals with various minor improvements of your M3.

Quick links:  Rear Camera     Fire Extinguisher     

Rear Camera (reverse camera)

This section deals with installing a rear camera (reverse camera) in the trunk lid grip. The details of wiring the rear camera will be described under Head Unit.

In this case the rear camera was form Avin USA, but there are many alternatives with same shape and function.

Further in this case the trunk lid grip was brand new – which means it came in two major pieces, ie not assembled. If you plan to reuse the trunk lid grip, it must be taken apart in part A and part B.

Be aware that there are other versions of the trunk lid grip than this long one (part 61 13 7 170 967). Some grips are shorter. I think it changed 06-2003. Picture 01. See also Trunk Lid Versions

To take part A and B apart see below as it is the reverse
of assembling.

To be able to fit the rear camera wiring inside the lid grip,
part A needs to be taken apart. The parts A1 and A2 are
glued together and secured with two small screws and a
clip in each end. Start taking out the two screws.
Picture 02

Next step is to pry part A1 from part A2. Use a small
screwdriver or a similar pointy instrument and start in
the middle, not the ends since these are still kept in place
by the clips. The objective is to get out the silicone strip
that runs all the way round the edge. With some luck You
can pull out some of the strip as soon as you can get a
grip on it. It’s a bit trial and error. Picture 03

When you have so much of the silicone strip removed,
that you can move the ends of part A2 a little it’s time to
unlock the clips at each end. This is a bit tricky in order
not to break anything, but obvious how to be done.

Picture 04.

Be aware not to lose the 2 small O-rings that sit under
the 2 small screws. Picture 05.

Next is to loosen the incoming wire to part A2. Remove
the rubber and the locking plastic part. Picture 06

You can choose the left or the right side for your camera.
I chose the left since this has only 2 pcs grey and 2 pcs
brown wires (ground and plus). The yellow in the right
side is connected to the micro switch and I didn’t want to
mess with that. Now the left socket needs to get out.

Picture 07.

When the socket is gone it’s time to modify the rear
camera casing due to space and shape of part A1 and A2.
I can recommend to use a Dremmel in the way shown.

Picture 08 and 09

I my case the modified rear camera wouldn’t click
properly into place due to the thickness of the plastic in
part A1. It was needed to chamfer the edges a little.

Picture 10 and 11

Now is the time to do the wiring. Cut the 2 gray and the
2 brown close to the socket. If needed shorten the wires
from the rear camera license plate light. Solder together
as shown with crimp for protection. Picture 12.

Since especially the dedicated wire to the rear camera is
extra and rather thick it is needed to cut a little at various
places in part A1.
OBS: DO NOT CUT IN the 2 edges shown since this will
ruin the function of the micro switch action.

Picture 13 and 14.

Next is to find the final position for the wires. There are
probably other possibilities, but the one that I found best
was as showed in Picture 15.

Part A1 and A2 are now to be put together. It’s important
that part A2 is pressed all the way in part A1 and lies
flush. Clean out all old rubber/silicone. It a good idea to
“test” the assembly first to make sure that A2 lies flush
before using superglue and silicone.
I chose to only use super glue in the mid section since
more extended use would make any possible future
repair difficult.

I chose to hold the two parts together under curing as
follows: The 2 small screws (remember o rings) 2 pcs
5mm screws w/nuts in the two empty holes and a tight
wrap of string for the rest. Picture 16.

Picture 17 shows parts after curing.

Next step is to put part A and B together. This turned
out to be more difficult than expected. The procedure is
to insert the 6 pcs clips on part B into part A first and
then press the long lip on part B over part A. However I
my case the long lip (edge) on part should bend more
than I dared (fear of breaking/cracking the lip).

Picture 18.

In order to provide a “ramp” for this I filed a 45 deg
chamfer on part A (app 0.5 x 0.5 mm). That was not
enough. I decided to heat up part B by a hairdryer to
make it more flexible. Process had to be careful since
part B was brand new and painted Carbonblack.

Using an IR thermometer I tried 40 degC, then 50degC.
First at 65 degC it turned out to be enough – and the lip
slipped over part A. Picture 19 and 20.

Final work is to put on the self-adhesive gasket*, the 2
pcs clips (all the way to the edge) and install the
complete grip with the 4 pcs torx screws,

Picture 21 and 22.  

(*: The gasket has the part No 51 13 8 244 713 however
it's not listed in the spare parts list)

As mentioned in the beginning, the wiring is described under Head Unit, however here just a possible hint: To get the wire for the rear camera through the grommet between the lid and the car body can be tricky.
I succeded in taking the grommet off the lid and push a long plastic strip through to the inside of the car. Then I attached the wire to the strip and pulled it through. This is possible with a very slim connector on the wire. If the connector is bigger it may be easier to cut the wire and solder when through the grommet. See also

Trunk / boot lid replacement.

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Fire Extinguisher

If you want a fire extinguisher in the cabin you may find a kit ready-to-install. To me, however, the available kits are either too clumsy or too expensive – some are both.

One kit, from located in Houston, USA, seems good but is rather expensive. 
It is priced (231022) at USD 425,- plus shipping and, if you live in Europe, plus import duties. Considering that the extinguisher (original BMW part 72600000335) costs USD 100,- the brackets are really heavily priced.

You can buy the brackets separately priced at GBP 24,71 on-line in UK: Link.

The brackets can be easily fabricated as DIY, see drawing.

Measures in mm.

The width and thickness of the bracket are not so important,
however do not make it too flimsy since it will then vibrate
while driving. 4 mm aluminium or 2,5 mm steel will work.

The long leg of the bracket need not to be so long, but in my
view it positions the extinguisher better than when shorter.

The hard bit is to bolt it into the car. I did it without loosening
the seat, but I admit it would probably have been faster to
unbolt the seat and tilt it backwards.

To bolt the brackets on to the seat use either self-cutting screws
or cut a M6 thread in the existing holes under the seat and use
M6 screws. Use M6 screws with washer and nut to attach the
extinguish holder to the two brackets.    

Two of the pictures to the left are from the original BMW
installation instruction.

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