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Silver Bulbs

Warning: If you are not competent or do not feel comfortable doing any of these modifications or procedures, then please do not do so. I will not be held responsible for any damages caused by a result of your actions. Now on to the fun stuff!

Since you have to have amber colored light coming from the turn signal indicators but I really don't like the "egg yolk" effect that comes from running amber bulbs in clear indicators, I decided to try painting them with a little silver paint.

Materials Needed:
1 can of silver spray paint
2 amber 12V 5W wedge bulbs (Part Number 07 11 9 970 373)
2 amber 12V 5/21W turn signal bulbs (Part Number 07 11 9 978 384)
Masking Tape


Here are the four bulbs that we'll be painting.

To be able to control the bulbs and hold on to them while painting, I secured the wedge bulbs in a packing peanut with a little tape.
The larger bulbs were first wrapped with painters masking tape around the base. I then made a loop to hang them with out of a small piece of duct tape.

After one light coat of silver paint and overnight drying, here is the final product.

Final: Note, the larger bulbs are not the correct size for the front of the e36.

I found that the amount of silver paint that I used despite two light coats of paint was too much. It did not allow enough light to shine through. After checking the bulbs after a minute or so of operation, they were very hot and the paint was softening.

I decided to remove the paint from them. You get that fried egg look, but I'm going to see if I can't put some LED's in there to get a nice bright signal without the amber colored bulb showing through.

I've talked with a few people on bimmer forums and the like about the LED's. It sounds like a lot of work to get them in there, plus you'd have to drill quite a few holes in the indicators to get enough LED's in there and get enough light out of them to fill the entire indicator.

So, back to painting I guess. I'm going to try a VERY light application with some engine paint this time.

Second Time Around:
Here we go again.....

This time around I just did a very light "dusting" of paint over the bulbs. In addition to that I also painted the bulb bases so that you wouldn't see the green bases through the clear lenses and spoil everything.

Materials Needed (just listed the different ones):
Silver High Temp Paint

1.) Tape off all of the area that you don't want painted.

2.) Clean the bulbs with some thinner or wax and grease remover.
3.) VERY lightly dust the bulbs with paint. If you have a layer of paint on there, you've got too much. You just need little specs of paint on there.
4.) Hang them up and start on the bases.

5.) Clean the bases well with some thinner or wax and grease remover.
6.) You'll want to cover the exposed area inside of the bulb and from the sealing gasket down. I covered a little too much on the first shot.

7.) Spray a coat of paint on the top and a little on the sides of the bases.

Final Product:
These turned out much better than the first set. They're hidden once in place, but still illuminate amber.

Here they are installed.

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