12-13-2012, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
My Ride: '08 328xi / '01 530i
| So I replaced the mesh!
For ease of assembly take the two halves of the windscreen apart. It will make it much easier to handle while reinstalling the new mesh later on. If you can't figure this part out, skip this project all together Next, starting at one corner of the windscreen, pry out the rubber stripping carefully with a small screwdriver. It's a bit difficult to grab it with your fingers at first, but once you have it started it pulls right out!
The fabric......I spent countless hours searching for fabric. The choices are endless once you have an idea of the keywords to look for. If you want to choose your own, you can get a sample pack here: http://www.seattlefabrics.com/mesh.html. Unfortunately it will cost you $20, $15 in shipping for $4 worth of fabric samples. Whatever you choose, make sure the mesh is not stretchable and UV resistant.
What I ended up using was a much smaller mesh. It cost me $8.81 from Amazon and is enough to do both top and bottom of the windscreen. It's No-See-Um netting by Equinox. The mesh has a slight sheen and is not flat in color like the factory one. I actually like it better.
If you ever replaced a window screen at your house, this works the exact same way. You really can't screw this up. The only thing that can go wrong is ending up with wrinkles in your windscreen which can be fixed be redoing what you've just done as described below.....
With the help of a partner, lay the mesh over the windscreen. Don't worry about the wrinkles in the fabric, you will be able to pull it tight so they won't be noticed.
Start in one corner, directly across from you and your partner at the shortest sides of the windscreen. Have you partner hold the fabric tight over one end of the windscreen while you hold it tight on the opposite side. Work slowly, stretch and pull the fabric as you go to avoid creases and wrinkles, while beginning to push the rubber stripping back in little by little. These is definitely a 4 hand operation to make life easy, hence the inability to snap any pics!
Once the mesh is back in, take a sharp Exacto, and I mean sharp Exacto, and carefully trim the excess off. You will find it easier to trim if you provide tension on the excess fabric as the point of the Exacto is slicing through the fabric. I actually kept the very tip on the Exacto sliding on the windscreen frame just under the rubber stripping. Just be patient in the final step here, as one slip of the blade and you are starting all over!
I ended up just doing the top of the windscreen as described and was ecstatic with the end result!
From start to finish, I would say this is a good 1 hour project. A bit tedious but it is not hard. If I was to charge to do this, I would say it's a $100 bill per side for my time. I only throw that out there if someone really can't tackle this. It's something I'd rather not be doing but I'd be happy to help someone out
I will post some pics later today of the actual fabric as you can't see the the difference on the windscreen at a distance.
Here's a pic of the end result. The top piece has been replaced. It only looks lighter/clearer as it is not against the carpet like the bottom. I would say there is increased visibility with no reduction of windscreening. The holes on the no-see-um mesh are super small and it's very tough fabric, so tough you need a sharp Exacto to cut it....
Last edited by fmzip; 12-13-2012 at 03:08 PM.