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Thread: Tail lights

  1. #76
    Z8Mania
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    I agree on the group order. I also agree that a concern is the potential deterioration over time. Perhaps there is a way to store the units that mitigates or eliminates this deterioration? Its worth finding out. How should we go about that? The Z8 Club seems like a good place to start- no?

    Josh, I agree LED is a superior technology but I would want to keep my lights stock and I also hate how you see the light segments- I think they can design the lights so they don't show this segmentation.

  2. #77
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    They say that the new generation of taillights is better than the first batch of neon lights so after upgrading the problems should be solved. I think that the Z8 club should try to convince BMW in Munich that it should be sold at cost price......as compensation for an unreliable product.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  3. #78
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z-acht View Post
    They say that the new generation of taillights is better than the first batch of neon lights so after upgrading the problems should be solved. I think that the Z8 club should try to convince BMW in Munich that it should be sold at cost price......as compensation for an unreliable product.
    I can almost guarantee that in ten years from now those who installed the new 'improved' tail lights will be going through the same process again. The first time round they said they last forever, and that was obviously not true whats to say they're right this time around.
    However unfortunately we have no other choice.
    2003 Z8 Silver/Black AH62031 (Sold)

  4. #79
    The Other Red ZAchterbahn's Avatar
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    I will visit Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, end of this month. The Z8 Club e.V. has a display there within the BMW Group exhibit. BMW Group Classic will also be there. I am sure the tail light issue will be a topic.

    How many visitors of this board currently experience issues with their Z8's tail lights? Please add your country of registration when responding.

    Christian.
    ZAchterbahn
    2001 Z8

  5. #80
    Z8Mania
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    All I can tell you all is I have not had any issues with my lights but I'm almost afraid to say this because I don't want to jinx myself!

  6. #81
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Right one replaced 2013 Netherlands AF78636
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  7. #82
    Right taillight replaced 10/08 USA

    Bill

  8. #83
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZAchterbahn View Post
    I will visit Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, end of this month. The Z8 Club e.V. has a display there within the BMW Group exhibit. BMW Group Classic will also be there. I am sure the tail light issue will be a topic.

    How many visitors of this board currently experience issues with their Z8's tail lights? Please add your country of registration when responding.

    Christian.
    Christian,

    I think that a survey on the forum of the Z8 club would be appropriate because during our latest trip to the Dolomites I have seen a lot blinking taillights
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  9. #84
    Both (both with failure) replaced on 10/09/2013. USA
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  10. #85
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDEZ8 View Post
    I can think of at least five Northern California black Z8 owners and one in New York who are attentive to their car's appearance . See picture below post wash, surface cleaning with Klasse AIO and wax with Chemical Guys 50/50.

    Attachment 8920
    Agree with Ed. You can add one in the Phoenix area to your count. Knowing the issues with black cars going in should just make you even more diligent in keeping them clean. You just have to be more meticulous about it and it doesn't get much dustier/dirty than living in Phoenix for a black car. It's easier to keep up with them than to try to play catch up.

  11. #86
    DSC Off bclaude's Avatar
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    I agree, over time NEON will fail, it is impossible to build a tube that is totally sealed. Atom by atom gas under pressure will inevitably escape and after 10, 15, 20 years enough has escaped that the unit no longer works. The electronics used to trigger the NEON also wear over time. I agree that a LED light bar is the only durable solution and it could be made to look ver similar to the NEON type. I believe that if we could get together and commit to a large bulk order we could get a bespoke unit built for at a price per unit much lower than the current €3,000 per tail light.

  12. #87
    Team Z8 JoshB's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of the back of my E class. The new light tube/ led technology certainly comes close in looks and it is cheap and reliable.
     
    2002 Silver Black/Red

    Dinan stage 4 software
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    19 inch 3 piece HRE mags/Toyo tires
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    ceramic brake pads
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    Dinan caster plates
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    Dinan pedal set

  13. #88
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Wow, looks pretty close. Coul be the future of our tail lights...

  14. #89
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    In house available already

    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  15. #90
    Z8Mania
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    yes BMW has had this for years and MB has gone to it also. Looks really good.

  16. #91
    What is it, an LED based system, or something else?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  17. #92
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    It is LED based. These would last virtually forever with no issues.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
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    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  18. #93
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    ....and we only need 2 tubes
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  19. #94
    DSC Off bclaude's Avatar
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    Is there any appetite out there to do a polling of our members to see if we could generate enough interest to place a bulk order and of what size. If we could come up with a large indicative order I would be happy to open up discussions with suppliers over here and see if we can get to something more acceptable than 3 grand for a tail light that will eventually fail. I am based in Switzerland which perhaps makes things a bit easier.

  20. #95
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    I like the idea ....but I am afraid that with a few hundred orders we cannot "make a fist" to a supplier. The Z8 club represents about 400 cars and this forum has a few hundred members too. On the grand total of 5700 cars it is not much. Maybe the Z8 club members could urge the Board to start negotiations with BMW classic to replace the neon with LED because the technology is in house and than the range becomes wider than a few hundred orders.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  21. #96
    Team Z8 JoshB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z-acht View Post
    I like the idea ....but I am afraid that with a few hundred orders we cannot "make a fist" to a supplier. The Z8 club represents about 400 cars and this forum has a few hundred members too. On the grand total of 5700 cars it is not much. Maybe the Z8 club members could urge the Board to start negotiations with BMW classic to replace the neon with LED because the technology is in house and than the range becomes wider than a few hundred orders.
    Good idea! I have one tube down and now waiting for the other shoe to drop
    2002 Silver Black/Red

    Dinan stage 4 software
    Dinan low restriction carbon fiber airboxes
    Dinan high flow air mass meters
    Hamann headers
    Supersprint exhaust
    performance package
    custom short shift linkage
    cdv modifacation
    Quaiffe differential/military grade gear polishing
    19 inch 3 piece HRE mags/Toyo tires
    Custom crossdrilled/slotted rotors
    ceramic brake pads
    stainless brake lines
    Dinan caster plates
    Dinan duel mass flywheel
    custom Sachs clutch /pressure plate
    Dinan pedal set

  22. #97
    I think this is something that Christian should take to the Club too.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  23. #98
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    A suggestion:
    ford GT community having a similiar problem with gauges failing (multiple and different ones and recurrent) also quite exspensive (tach is $1500). What was done; first a survey on failures, then multiple failed gauges sent to ford) problem currently being resolved with the gauge supplier hopefully to have solved the problem and have replacement gauges available at a discounted price be this summer. It took someone with "connections " at ford to get it done. Maybe at contact at BMW NA or contact in Germany to get the ball rolling. Ford GT and Z 8 production nos similiar and both "show cars"!

  24. #99
    Now I can't swear to this, but it is my understanding that the factory that made our taillights went bankrupt some years ago, and the dies for mouldings were offered to BMW AG. I believe that they took them, but then later thrashed them, so any taillights will have to be made up from scratch, which could explain the new costs, but honestly paying for the stupidity of discarding the gear required to make our lights because they decided they couldn't justify storing them is absurd.

    Equally, BMW are far more interested in making and selling new cars, so getting them on board for something special like our taillights only results in the $10,000 sets we now have available. These will net BMW AG $57,000,000 as all the lamps slowly fail in our cars. If we want reasonably priced replacements using better tech LED's than the ugly ones we've seen so far we are going to have to do them on our own. Hopefully this is where the Club will really come into it's own, fingers crossed!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  25. #100
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    The developer of the technology of the tail light is OSRAM in CA. The maker is the Italian SEIMA factory which is now Part of Magnett Marelli. So all the actors still exist .....but we pay the bill! I hope too that the club will look into this matter.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  26. #101
    As a possible alternative, there is a company on EBAY selling rebuilt Z8 taillights using LEDs. From the photos in his listing, it appears he uses a string of individual LEDs, which isn't original in appearance. However, if someone is currently in need of a replacement taillight, perhaps they could contact this guy and see if he has the capability of installing the "tube" style LED's as used in Josh's M-B taillights. His website is Rebuildmastertech.com.

    Bill

  27. #102
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    It seems like he should be able to make this if incented properly. He makes an X6 replacement with the LED tube lighting for teh X6 - another low production vehicle - and sells them for $1,099 for a set.

  28. #103
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danfitz View Post
    It seems like he should be able to make this if incented properly. He makes an X6 replacement with the LED tube lighting for teh X6 - another low production vehicle - and sells them for $1,099 for a set.

    Sounds like a good idea. My driver's side rear lamp is intermittent now so I may need one as well

  29. #104
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    Seems like this thread has almost died. Our other rear light just started to flicker very fast when we use the indicator so I thought maybe I should try revive it!

    Has anyone managed to get a light to a neon specialist or anything?

  30. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by jordanegan44 View Post
    Seems like this thread has almost died. Our other rear light just started to flicker very fast when we use the indicator so I thought maybe I should try revive it!

    Has anyone managed to get a light to a neon specialist or anything?
    Not that I'm aware of, unfortunately you may be the first to have a failed unit to send to a neon specialist.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  31. #106
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    I've had a fast flashing drivers turn indicator light for some month's now. Its the ballast I am sure. That is contained in the light unit itself (correct me if I am wrong). I emailed the neon light fellow on this thread - indicating that a linear solid light would be preferable to the segmented one that he produces. No reply. dave p

  32. #107
    Black/Black Sean's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried the LED versions until there is a better solution? I am tempted to buy a pair as I am moving my US Spec car to Canada from Dubai and I think I will need to have fully functioning tail lights in order to get it into the country.

    I thought I read another string where someone procured a discount through the BMW Club of NA. Does this ring a bell and is the deal still available?

    Cheers

    Sean
    2002 Black/Black

  33. #108
    I recall one owner in England used LED tail lights when there was a shortage of this system at BMW due to the influx of US cars into Europe. I also recall and just verified that there's a company in Florida on EBay that will convert neon tail lights to LED.

    On the BMWNA discount, for long term owners there has been some financial relief for this and other parts.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  34. #109
    Carter Carter Rise's Avatar
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    Right tail light on mine going out now. Quote today is $2,800 for one part.

  35. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Carter Rise View Post
    Right tail light on mine going out now. Quote today is $2,800 for one part.
    The 20% BMWCCA discount should be handy with that one.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
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  36. #111
    rgibson
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  37. #112
    Carter Carter Rise's Avatar
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    Well it's fixed now and I have passed state inspection. Only $3,100 later..

    How long until the left side goes?

  38. #113
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carter Rise View Post
    How long until the left side goes?
    You are driving with borrowed illumination.
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  39. #114
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    How long until the left side goes?
    Hope not to soon because BMW has delivery problems again!
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  40. #115
    Carter Carter Rise's Avatar
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    I took about 7 business days from order until it arrived. It may be wishful thinking, but most of the references I have seen appear to be the right taillight.

    I did insist on getting the old one back, in the hope that next time around someone has perfected a way to repair these.

  41. #116
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    I did insist on getting the old one back, in the hope that next time around someone has perfected a way to repair these.
    But the solution will be LED and not every owner wants anything else than neon.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  42. #117
    Team Z8
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    When that day comes I'll support LED's and be done with this nonsense.

  43. #118
    DSC Off bclaude's Avatar
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    I just got a quote from a BMW dealer in Europe, the new tail lights (not a tail light from the old batch) will be available from July 1st, 2015 at the price of 1,973.47€ before tax per unit. Since the $ is at close to parity with the EURO these days, that should give you a price of about $2k per tail light. This is still an insane price but at least it is better than what had been rumored. I guess I am not enough of a purist but I totally agree with the view they should have used a NEON look alike LED technology which is way more durable. Unfortunately it is my understanding that the Z8 club folks out in Germany insisted on NEON to keep the car in its original configuration so here we are...
    ------------------------
    Regards,
    Bruno

    2003 Stratus/Crema

  44. #119
    At least it isn't the $10k we'd been told it would be, and I'm happy to hear that BMW AG actually did it because from what I'd been hearing it sounded like there was a good chance they weren't going to make any more at all.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  45. #120
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    The quote of the german dealership is 1600 euro.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  46. #121
    Those sly Germans- they lead you to think it is going to be $10k, so when you find out it is "only" $2k you feel like you are getting a bargain........

    Bill

  47. #122
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    Well, that is indeed better than expected. Will they be available in North America by then as well, do you know?

  48. #123
    DSC Off bclaude's Avatar
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    The only reliable info I have is for Europe but I can only assume these things get done in one production batch and therefore logically they should be available in the US soon. That being said, BMW may want to unload all the old US taillights they have had aging on shelves for over 10 years before the release the new fresher ones but again it is pure speculation.

    Ton, which German dealership are you referring to?
    ------------------------
    Regards,
    Bruno

    2003 Stratus/Crema

  49. #124
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    Bruno, it was a message from a German Z8 club member whose taillight went broke and asked a quote from his local BMW dealer. It seems that a batch of 3000 right taillights become available in Mai and in June 3000 left taillights. I don't know if these are all EU.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  50. #125
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    Sorry to bring up an old thread.

    Last I heard, they were talking a Factory supported swap on tail lights and I guess that isn't true.

    My lights are still functioning, but I was thinking of getting a replacement set so that when the day comes, I have them. I assume the LED conversions still have not happened?

    Edit; I found the other thread. sorry.
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

  51. #126
    What is the latest update on the tail light issue? My turn signal s intermittent,Andrew I wonder if it is the connection issue you spoke of 3 years ago?
    Great to see you in Monterey

  52. #127
    I do remember Jürgen showing me the issue with the way the metal electrodes I'm the end of the glass neon tubes could come loose, and that was maybe four or five years ago. I think for some reason that was more of an issue with the EU cars that ours, though can't be 100% certain of that, its just what I have in my memory.

    From memory the biggest issue on the US cars has been the rectifier and ballast not the tubes themselves.

    BMW Classic are now officially the Z8 parts supplier, and they absolutely have a new run of our lights, so there is no longer any issue with getting them when you need them.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  53. #128
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    Hi,

    Nice to put a face to the names now! This is Patrick, by the way.

    So I have posted more to this thread on the club page, but note my experience with this, if it is useful:

    One of my lights was totally shot, the other was intermittently flaking out. I brought it to my BMW dealer and had to haggle a bit, but ultimately they consulted with BMW Canada (who is far less lenient than BMW US I understand), and they agreed to pay 70% of the full repair, including labor. Consequently, what would have been a close to $10k repair with parts was actually about $3.5K. Still crazy, but at least I now have two 'new' lights! Hopefully this precedent helps you get somewhat of a deal!

    Cheers, and great to meet you in Monterey!

  54. #129
    Two new lights for $3.5 not too bad but still ouch.

  55. #130
    Z8 Madness 2112's Avatar
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    As a point of reference, Headlight enclosures for the Ford GT (05'-06' version) are $3000 each side................when you can find them.

    Bulbs not included.
    2000 Red over black
    heavily modified for performance. Although, not to the level of GM's car

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