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Old 03-25-2019, 10:51 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Posts: 2
E36 Led tails

Hello everyone. Did not find appropriate forum for lights and upgrades related, so I will start my DIY topic here.

Recently we finished tails upgrade project for E36 Coupe and I want share with community results and ask for feedback. Hope you will like it, enjoy )

So, everything started few months ago after Sedan tails was complete. We already done some upgrades for other cars, but nothing for beloved E36 coupe chassis. And we decide to fix this.

First of all let me say some words of hate to german lighting engineers. It was real pain to cut open tails, because assembly welded together not only on contact boundary, but inside tails itself too. And PMMA glass plastic is very fragile. Little bit more force - and you will receive scratch instantly. Keep this in mind nd use only hot knife of dremel without any force to open them.

We ended up with 2 full donor kits for 1 tails kit. We strip plastic ABS enclosure chunk by chunk from one kit, and done same with glass from another. And after drove the parts together.

(I have 10 images post limit, so I will continue in next answer)
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:56 PM   #2
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Posts: 2

After preparing kit we made paper pattern of it internals, moved that pattern to 3D editor and arranged led chips on future board. Exactly at this time we decided to go with acrylic diffusers and decide to make turn light to fit whole length of tail.

With led map complete we created PCB's for our controllers and ordered it fabrication. In 2 weeks we received our modules and begin assembly. It was pretty hard to put everything inside assembly - E36 tail has very low space inside and we try several times to fit everything. But finally this was done and we ended up with fully enclosed set with integrated ballast load, active cooling and led module.

Well, this is it, we fond test vehicle and get some really great shots, you can see them )

Little bit techy stuff related:

Every tail have 632 Led chips on board, chips grouped in strips by 6-8 leds in each, board itself have 6 PWM-enabled serial CC led drivers, which give up 96 fully programmable light channels, everything is ruled by STM32F042 mcu.
Total current not more than 2.4A, working voltage - 16V, regulated by SEPIC voltage converter on top of TI PWM controller.

P.S. Sorry for my english )
P.S.S. Don't forget to check video!

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