The European compliant rear tail lamps are different from the US tail lamps for the following reasons:
- Turn signal lamps have to be orange and distinct from the other lamps
- The rear fog lamps have to be distinct from the other lamps. This includes a minimal distance from the other lamps.
- The brake, or stop, lamps have to be distinct from all other lights.
As it is the case for the front lamps, the Euro rear lamps connectors are different from the US rear lamps. This requires purchasing a specific harness or modifying the existing harness.
Step 1: Removing seat and upholstery
In principle the harness that needs to be changed is only in the trunk of the car. Depending on the model and year of the car it may be necessary to change the harness that goes from the BCM.
The BCM is located in the passenger footwell, changing the harness from there requires removal of passenger seat (careful when disconnecting the seat airbag).
In my case, it was necessary to do a little thinking because my seats are power seats. It is mandatory to disconnect the battery before removing the seat due to the presence of the airbag. I only realised this when it was a bit late in the process
There are four bolts holding the seat down, the rear bolts are in plain sight, however the front bolts are hidden by a plastic cache. This plastic cache needs to be taken off.
It is held by a pin just like the interior wheel liners, as you can see on the photo hereafter:
Once the pin is removed, slide the cache towards the front of the car, do not pull it up.
Once the seat has been removed, you will have to remove the carpet. For this you have unfasten the emergency door release and remove the door sill (black plastic thing)
With the carpet removed, the passenger area should be nice and clean. With a clear view of the BCM that is located in the passenger foot well:
A little work around the BCM is required to install the electronics related the rear fog lamp (unless you go the Die Hard route and replace the US stalk with the Euro stalk). This is a little bit technical and at this point, I'm not to sure if it's of interest to the audience.
The Euro stalk is distinct from the US stalk because in Europe the rear fog lamps are commanded indepently of the front fog lamps.
Here is a picture of the Euro stalk:
I did not install the Euro stalk because it requires purchasing the Euro harness from the IPC to the BCM and that costs 2k$.
It is not mandatory to have the front and rear fog lamps being independant of one another; so I connected the rear fog lamps to the front fog lamp command.
Step 2: Removing the rear panel
In order to correctly install the rear Euro harness it is imperatif to remove the carpet in the trunk and the rear panel.
Removal of the rear panel is similar to the removal of the front bumper in the sens that the wheel liner has to be taken out.
The reason for this is that the rear bumper is bolted to the side panels - in addition to being screwed on the top:
Here is a picture of the rear panel, once it has been removed:
Step 3: Replacing the harness
Once the car seat, carpets and the rear panel have been removed, replacing the US harness with the Euro harness is very simple and straight forward.
The rear harness for the Euro tail lamps (T94 RPO) is located at the rear trunk wall. This harness comes from the passenger side of the car, behind the right rear speaker and over the wheel well.
The other part of the T94 harness is attached to the rear panel shown in a previous picture. Replacing this harness is child's play compared to the rest of the things that have been undertaken to this point.
Step 4: Slap everything back together
And go for a ride in the snow
In the above photo, the side reflectors are the US red reflectors and not the Euro orange reflectors because the car was still been driven in the US at the time of the photo
Actually once everything is put back together, the BCM needs to be reprogrammed so as to take into consideration the changes that have been performed.
From a technical perspective all you need is a Tech2 and the related software. Given the price of the Tech2, I assume that those who have it know how to perform the task.