Low Cost Shift Light for BMW E30

John Avis by | August 26, 2012 | Technical Tips E30

A shift light is one or more lights that warn you that you are approaching, or have reached, the maximum engine speed.
A shift light is one or more lights that warn you that you are approaching, or have reached, the maximum engine speed.

I wanted to fit one to my car and decided to build my own using a electronics kit from Jaycar Electronics (Australia). There are shift lights available off the shelf but I wanted to choose how and where it was installed, and I thought I could build one myself for much less.

First I purchased Jaycar kit KC5265 which is called Rev Limiter / Gear Shift Indicator Kit for Cars. It has three lights, two green and one red, and all the components can be mounted in one box (not included in the kit) if you like. It's front panel contains a power switch, the three lights, and four potentiometers for adjusting when the lights come on.

I chose to fit the lights in a small custom made display mounted at the top of the instrument cluster. The rest of the components are mounted in a box installed out of sight above the engine computer.

The kit can also connect to an optional rev limiter kit but that is not needed on a 318is because the engine computer already does that, of course.

The kit requires power (12V DC), ground and an engine speed signal.

I connected power to the cigar lighter, and for engine speed I connected to the tachometer input of the instrument cluster. Unfortunately when it was connected the tachometer stopped working so some components in the kit had to be changed to make both work.

Parts Required:

• Jaycar Kit, part number KC5265.
• Box, if required, for mounting circuit board, switch, etc (use Jaycar HB-5970).
• 5.6K 1/4 watt resistor.
• You may also want an additional box and wire for fitting the lights remotely, as I have done.

Instructions:

• Construct the kit according to the instructions and assemble for the low voltage input option, but do not install the 1k resistor on the low voltage input or the 10k resistor closest to the ignition coil/points/hall effect input.
• Fit a 5.6k resistor in place of the above mentioned 1k resistor.
• Connect the 12V and ground (0V) where you like (the cigar lighter is a fairly simple choice).
• Connect the engine speed input to pin 7 of C1, the connector on the back of the instrument cluster closest to the tachometer.
• Calibrate it according to the instructions and your personal taste, for example, first light on at 5750, second on at 6000, third at 6250.

Jaycar kit KC5265
Low cost shift lights for E30

Related Posts

Technical Tips

Recommended oils for BMW M44 engine

by John Avis | August 2, 2017

The following is a list of oils taken from Australian oil distributors that they recommend for the BMW M44 as fitted to the BMW E36 318is and 318ti.


E36 Technical Tips

BMW E36 window stuck in open position

by John Avis | December 21, 2016

My passenger side window on my 1998 318is coupe has been stuck in the closed position for some time. I can usually get it going by removing the door trim and then hitting the window motor with a mallet. As it is summer and hot and my air conditioning also stopped working some time ago, I thought I would try and get the window working.


E36 Technical Tips

How to fix BMW E36 squeaking and grinding steering wheel

by John Avis | June 17, 2016

If you hear a squeaking noise coming from behind your 1991 to 1998 BMW 3 series steering wheel, or possibly the steering doesn't feel so smooth and maybe binds every now and then, then there's something you can do fairly easily to try and fix it.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to leave a comment!

Leave a Comment
Tags
E30 E36 E46 Magazine Articles My 1990 318is My 1991 325i My 1994 318is My 1995 M3 My 1997 318is My 1998 318is My second 1990 318is Technical Tips

About me

I am a bit of a 3 series fanatic, having owned a couple of E30s and a few E36s, plus a few parts cars. I like the combination of the compact size, good performance and handling, and that they are more sports sedan than an impractical and extrovert sports car. This blog is a place to share my experience and knowledge.

Subscribe

Get the latest posts delivered to your inbox.