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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:04 PM   #1
Chris-TK
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DIY: How To Fix Your Falling Door Trim

Okay, so I've seen tons of people describing different methods to fix the infamous falling door trim that's an inherent flaw in our E46's. I tried using a few different types of adhesives with no luck. Most of the adhesives didn't adhere well enough to hold the trim for long. Nothing could hold the trim in place long enough to allow the adhesive to take.

The baseball bat wedged between the seat and the trim didn't work. Masking tape to hold the trim in place while the adhesive dried didn't work either. FINALLY I came up with a solution.

You'll need some Gorilla Glue Gel to apply to the back of the falling trim. No need to clean the surface before applying like the directions say. You'll also need 2 or 3 Irwin 4" 150 lb. Quick Grip vice grips that can be bought at any major hardware store to help hold the trim in place while the glue sets.

The trick is that it takes time to to finish the whole trim piece. Start slow by applying the glue to about 6 inches of trim at a time and place the vice grips on the trim and the outside window trim piece. Make sure you angle the grips well enough that the outside window trim fits in the notches so they won't move. Be sure not to apply too much glue because when the pressure is applied it can leak out through the sides and onto the headliner. Let the section sit for about 30 minutes and repeat this process section by section until you're done.

Gorilla Glue Gel and 2 or 3 Irwin 4" plastic 150lb. vice grips.


Glue section by section and make sure the notches on the yellow pieces of the grips fit on the outside of the window trim as pcitured:


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Old 10-08-2008, 11:03 AM   #2
wmarcel
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Thanks for the write-up. Do you happen to know where to purchase a new door trim? Mine is completely worn off. Might as well get a new one and apply your method.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by wmarcel View Post
Thanks for the write-up. Do you happen to know where to purchase a new door trim? Mine is completely worn off. Might as well get a new one and apply your method.
If you do my DIY you won't need to get a new one. The new ones run about $250 you can get one from Tischer at getbmwparts.com go to their E46Fanatics Specials. The thing is that the felt trim piece is attached to the rubber door seal as well, so it's all in one. The whole piece is kept in place by little clips. The trim falls when these two pieces separate, leaving the rubber attached, but the trim hanging.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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I see. Will try your method then. Thanks, man.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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I've found that it helps to use small (and thus flexible) wooded paint stirrers between the clamp and the weatherstripping / trim as this spreads the clamping force over a wider area (for better glue adhesion) and also helps keep the clamp from making an indent on the fabric trim. It also helps make the trim stick on all parts of a curved surface, not just where the clamp happens to be.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
2001BlackOnTan
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And the glue that's worked well for me on the weatherstripping is "Amazing Goop" contact adhesive and sealant.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Home Depot has "Perfect Glue" again by Liquid Nails. This with the clamp method works perfect.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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yeah...thats more or less what I did. It's held up for over three years.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
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Mine came down after about 6 glue attempts. Sometimes it lasted a couple of months, sometimes a day. I finally gave up and ripped it off. Doesnt look too bad either.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:27 AM   #10
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Mine came down after about 6 glue attempts. Sometimes it lasted a couple of months, sometimes a day. I finally gave up and ripped it off. Doesnt look too bad either.
Did you clamp it? What glue did you use?
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:46 AM   #11
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Did you clamp it? What glue did you use?
I used a bunch of diferrent glues, epoxys, super glue. I clamped once, the first time and it stayed for a couple of months. then after that I tried using a rope that i rigged up around the trim the trim and through the sunroof (Yeah i know ghetto... but i didnt have access to clamps). The previous owner also had a body shop do it.

From what Ive heard It just wont work. I have a friend in the book binding industry and he deals with these sorts of materials all the time. He told me it just wont hold forever. The rubber is not porous and both sides your gluing together are rubber it just wont stick. He said glue will stick to one side but never both. I took it to a body shop too and they said the same thing.

I'm sure the clamping really helps and I'm not knocking your DIY, its great, but in my experience gluing it isnt a permanent solution

edit: I was going to joke that the only way to get them to stay up would be to weld them. But that got me thinking... How about melting the trim and the weather stripping together, sort of in the way the door panels are held together with those plastic welds?

Last edited by Drew@Swift Motorworks; 10-10-2008 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Drewdown View Post
I used a bunch of diferrent glues, epoxys, super glue. I clamped once, the first time and it stayed for a couple of months. then after that I tried using a rope that i rigged up around the trim the trim and through the sunroof (Yeah i know ghetto... but i didnt have access to clamps). The previous owner also had a body shop do it.

From what Ive heard It just wont work. I have a friend in the book binding industry and he deals with these sorts of materials all the time. He told me it just wont hold forever. The rubber is not porous and both sides your gluing together are rubber it just wont stick. He said glue will stick to one side but never both. I took it to a body shop too and they said the same thing.

I'm sure the clamping really helps and I'm not knocking your DIY, its great, but in my experience gluing it isnt a permanent solution

edit: I was going to joke that the only way to get them to stay up would be to weld them. But that got me thinking... How about melting the trim and the weather stripping together, sort of in the way the door panels are held together with those plastic welds?
Seriously, try the gorilla glue and clamps. Mine's been rock solid for months.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:58 PM   #13
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Any sort of weather srtip adhesive will work excellent also
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:50 AM   #14
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Be careful with this stuff. My brother did this for me, but ended up using too much glue and it has been really difficult to get off the trim. In fact there is still a bit of yellowish discoloration, thankfully its not in a noticeable spot (back part of the trim).
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:37 PM   #15
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Be careful with this stuff. My brother did this for me, but ended up using too much glue and it has been really difficult to get off the trim. In fact there is still a bit of yellowish discoloration, thankfully its not in a noticeable spot (back part of the trim).
he used normal gorilla glue didnt he?

that stuff does expand a little bit so you have to apply it lightly (I used the original stuff too, since their clear super glue wasnt out at the time).
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:49 PM   #16
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my solution was to go to the dealership and complain about it until they replaced it... but good write up
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:51 PM   #17
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i got both my drivers and passenger side replaced at separate times, and I swear the one they replaced it with looked like it was a different material than the old one. maybe BMW owned up to their mistake and revised it for replacements?

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my solution was to go to the dealership and complain about it until they replaced it... but good write up
yea, I got my car back from Inspection II and the thing feel down right when I opened my window. I said that I know it's a common problem and not 100% their fault, but I just paid a couple hundred to them and I got my car back with this thing hanging down. It was obviously nicked at some point, so they were reasonable and replaced it.

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:08 PM   #18
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wow, that's EXACTLY what I did and it works !
now, how do you fix the rubber that cracks for the rear vent windows?!?!
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:20 AM   #19
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now, how do you fix the rubber that cracks for the rear vent windows?!?!
that you actually have to replace...fairly simple if I remember correctly. Theres a DIY somewhere around here.
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:24 AM   #20
Chris-TK
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he used normal gorilla glue didnt he?

that stuff does expand a little bit so you have to apply it lightly (I used the original stuff too, since their clear super glue wasnt out at the time).
That black original Gorilla Glue is super messy.

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my solution was to go to the dealership and complain about it until they replaced it... but good write up
Not all of us have the luxury of having warranties anymore. I did have my trim replaced a few times under warranty, but now the dealer wants $250 to replace it. F that, I'll use some glue and clamps.

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wow, that's EXACTLY what I did and it works !
now, how do you fix the rubber that cracks for the rear vent windows?!?!
You have to replace the entire rubber as already said. Next time use some 303 Aerospace Protectant to protect the rubber from harmful UV rays to prolong the life of the rubber.
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