OBC Removal & backlight replacement, includes radio removal, e32, e34

3-22-2002
revised 8-09-2002


NOTE: It may be a good idea to disconnect the battery before starting this job, have radio code handy.

Remove the radio: pry the tiny flap doors open on each side. There is a brass 5-point Torx-type screw behind the flaps. If you don't have the BMW radio tool, a miniature Torx T-8 screwdriver will work, available at Sears either separately or in an assorted kit. Also, a small allen wrench filed or ground to fit, or a flat jewelers screwdriver the right size should work. Unscrew it until it stops, the screw won't come out but it retracts a latch behind the faceplate.

Slide the radio all the way out & let it hang by the wires.

Reference this TIS page for removing the OBC, e32's & e34's will be the same:

Here's another view of the OBC latch lever on the left:

If you read the fine print on the TIS instruction, it says the lever may break unless you push on the right side at the same time as pulling on the left. The lever is sort of a see-saw which pivots in the middle. Use a "slim-jim" (definition: slim-jim, a long slender piece of flat metal used to jimmy car door locks, not to be confused with a "slim-bin", Click here for more details).

I made a slim-jim by grinding the teeth off an old hacksaw blade & grinding a flat on the end. I bent a bow in it to slide down the right side of the OBC:

The wood trim will push to the right about 1/4" temporarily, to open a gap without having to remove the trim & slide the slim-jim down the top-right side & feel for it to stop on the lever & pull on the left lever & push on the right side of the lever at the same time:

The OBC should slide out easily once the plug-in socket in the back is unseated.

There are 3 bulbs: one on each side & one on the bottom, all near the front of the unit. They twist out 90 degrees counter clockwise with a pair of needle nose pliers.

The ETK lists the wrong part number for the bulbs. The correct number is: BMW part no. 62 11 1 368 299. They cost a wopping $0.70 each, get 3 of them.

The ETK lists them as 6.5 volt / .8 watt, but the markings on mine are "12/1,2" which leads me to believe they are really 12 volt, 1.2 watts. I've run across repairs on the web before where they say the 6 volt bulbs burn out quickly, so check your old bulbs & check with the parts counter to make sure you're getting the right ones. A good bulb will measure 14 ohms +/-, the filaments are fine & hard to see if they are broken.

I pryed the OBC out of mine without disconnecting the battery & when I re-installed it, it gave the "pppp" error momentarily, but it cleared the error by itself in a few seconds. All the settings were lost, but no big deal to re-enter them.

When re-inserting the OBC, make sure the lever on the left is all the way forward when inserting it, & push the OBC & the lever in at the same time.


gale, 92 735i

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