Glove Box Flashlight Update to Modern Version

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OK, so when I bought this car, it was missing the standard issue white glove box flashlight. So something was missing in my life.

I always hated those white older flashlights and wanted to replace it with the newer more modern black versions that comes with the newer cars. The old white one doesn’t have nearly the battery longevity or brightness as the black one does. Only problem just replacing the flashlight is that the white flashlight has female slots that plug into the car’s male pins in the glove box and the newer black flashlights are just the opposite.

I had some spare time while waiting for the new custom leather interior to be sewn together so I got to work converting the CSi’s flashlight to a newer jobbie.

If you want to do this, first of all get yourself one of these, the socket for the black OEM flashlights. They are readily available on eBay for about twenty bucks and you can of course also find plenty of the black flashlights on the Bay as well.

Comparing the two modules, I noted the newer one is a bit larger than the one that comes in the Eight. Not a problem. Have file, will customize…

After removing your glove box from the car, just file the opening a little bit at a time until it’s the right size for the new module. Be careful not to open up the hole too large because the tabs on the module will be needed to keep from pushing the module through the hole. This is a different latching mechanizm than the OEM older flashlight receptical uses to mount itself to the car.

Pretty soon you’ll get it just the right size, a nice and snug fit. Then just slide it in,
















hook up the electrical connections (be sure you get your polarization correct!),




















and finally admire your work! And don’t worry; even though the black flashlights are longer, so long as you use the OEM plug-in module and push it flush with the back of the glove box, the flashlight will not hit against the glove box door when closed. I believe it’s time for a beer.






















There you go! A nice, simple modern update to the older OEM white flashlight. And it’s all BMW too! I’m also working on updating the 850 climate controller with a digital variant that’s just a little bit newer so stay tuned!


About the Author:

I am an 8 Series nut. In 2009 I restored a '92 850i to peak condition and subsequently sold it - which left me depressed. So I embarked on catching my White Whale: this '95 850CSi Chassis #CD00166. I’m opinionated and swear constantly, but I have friends in spite of myself. I am funnier than my wife realizes. Please tell her. Cheers!


  1. MParallel  August 22, 2012

    I know the black version is physically longer. With the correct base used, does the black one sit deeper?

    In other words: how much of the flashlight sticks out? On the E36 the black one will foul the glovebox door, but I don’t know if that is the case when using the correct socket. Maybe it will stick out just as much.

    It could be the 8 series has more room between the white version and the glovebox door to begin with.

    • Taylor  August 22, 2012

      If done the way I describe in the post, the new black flashlight does not foul the glove box door at all. There is enough clearance and it looks perfectly OEM!


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