E39 Universal Garage Door Opener
(UGDO) Illumination

Prepared by VietSB
Modified 02.15.03
(Thanks to Jim Cash for wiring advice)

NOTE: Perform these steps at your own risk. All P/N's listed are a "best guess", so please double-check with your local dealer. These mods and repairs were performed on my US-spec 1997 540iA (11/96 prod date, M62 engine) but there is no guarantee they will work on other E39's. These instructions are provided for entertainment purposes only!

BACKGROUND: I purchased and installed the UGDO retro-fit kit as per the included instructions. Following installation it worked fine, but I later noticed my friend's factory-installed UGDO had illuminated keypad numbers which mine did not have. Some investigation showed that my vehicle's pre-wiring for the UGDO only used 2 wires and was missing the 3rd illumination wire. I'm not sure when BMW began including proper pre-wiring, but I assume it's only on the earlier model years.
Required Parts:

Required Tools:

1. Carefully remove the center light and UGDO trim panel as per the original install instructions. Unplug all connectors on the trim panel.
2. Notice the UGDO connector is missing the middle wire (left pic)? Use the screwdriver to carefully pry where necessary to side the white connector cover off. Insert the new wire with pre-crimped female connecter till it snaps in place (right pic). It's keyed to insert in only one direction. Reinstall the white cover.

3. On the center lighting wiring harness, locate the grey(slate)/red wire. Probe the pin or wire to be sure it provides ~+8V when the parking or headlights are switched on, but off otherwise. Trace that wire back in the wiring harness to the sunroof motor area and use the splice connector to tap the new line into the grey/red wire (right pic).

4. Check for a good, safe connection and proper clearance before reassembling the panel. Here's the results:

5. If you're having transmitter range issues, click here to view the DIY instructions on a possible fix.

Questions? Comments? E-mail me: .

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