how to replace tail lights on a BMW E38 740iL


I bought these tail lights from Amazon for $95 for the pair which I thought was a deal I couldn’t pass. Yes they’re made in Taiwan but still… They are called Spyder Auto BMW E38 7-Series Red Clear Crystal Tail Lights. It came with two amber light bulbs in case your previous ones were clear bulbs.

Here is the new tail light waiting to be installed:

Replacing the tail lights on my 2001 BMW 740iL was a pretty easy task. To remove your existing tail light:

  • undo the clip for the wiring harness
  • remove the four bolts
  • pull out the tail light from the outside

This is what it will look like when you remove the old tail light:

Removing the right side tail light was a pretty easy task. The wiring harness was pretty stubborn on both sides though. Just keep pressing the tabs on each until your fingers hurt, and then press and pull some more. Eventually it will disconnect and come off.

Here is wiring harness finally disconnected:

Once you have the old tail light out:

  • put your new one and old one side by side
  • start transferring the bulbs from the old to the new
  • remove all the wiring from the new tail light
  • install the new tail light with the four bolts
  • start putting in the new bulbs starting with the one that is most difficult to reach
  • and finally reconnect the wiring harness

Installing the new tail light on the left side wasn’t really easy but only because of the difficulty to reach in there. My suggestion would be to get creative with the way you reach in there and no matter what you do DO NOT drop your tools or the bolts while working.

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    […] have a 2001 BMW 740iL. I already changed the tail light on it and wanted to put in new side markers as well. I was going to put up instructions with photos […]

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