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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 10-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
paraklas
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DIY: A / B / C Pillar Covers Replacement

After 11 years of constant usage, the 6 in total headliner pillar covers on my E46 gave up. Sunlight, worn fabric peeling, dirt were enough to make me replace all of them. I preferred this method over wrapping because I didn't want to experiment with glues and fabrics and I also wanted an OEM look anyway. All 6 pillars (3 per side) took around 2 hours, mainly because I took my time to do everything and was extra careful when installing the new ones not to get them dirty.

Tools needed:

Flathead screwdriver (to remove C-Pillar lights)
T25 and T50 Torx
Lots of headliner clips from dealership
Soap - wash hands before new cover installation

In this DIY I am showing photos from one side only, no need for the other side as the process is the same.

C-Pillar, start from the easy

C-Pillar peeling & dirty






Remove the reading light by prying upwards with the screwdriver. Gently pull and disconnect the plug. Set aside


Remove the T25 screw




Get lots of these as they tend to break when removing covering parts. These have a foam like washer on them probably for less rattling.


Pull cover until it unclips from 2 points and remove.


Install the clips on the new cover, reverse the procedure and plug it/screw it back in place. Connect the reading lights and snap back in place.


Other side done:
http://www.argyrides.eu/bmw/mods/abc_pillars/images/DSCF1586.JPG[/img]

Moving on to middle (B) pillar cover.


Pop the rear seat by pulling upwards as the red arrows indicate. Set aside


Remove the 2xT25 torx screws that hold the rear cover in place to allow some flexibility of the cover to access the b-pillar securing rivets.


Once you pull the cover a bit you will notice 2 push/lock pins. Pry them out and remove


Pop the cover of the lower seat belt bar as seen below and use a T50 bit to remove the bolt. This will allow the bar to rotate and release the belt.

Once this is done, push the cover downwards to release it from the guide on the roof, then pull from the top to remove it by sliding it out from the bottom part (where the 2 push/lock clips located)


Reverse install for the new cover! The seatbelt rail behind must be aligned with the seat belt adjustor on the cover in order to be installed properly.


The top section of the cover, slides on 2 metal plates to secure itself on the roof, no clips. Therefore the step before was to slide it downwards to remove it.


A-Pillars.
Easy but before proceeding, disconnect battery as there are airbags located behind these 2 covers.




Pry the airbag strip away to reveal 3xT25 screws. Use an angled bit or whatever suitable screwdriver/power tool to remove them




Cover removed:




Reverse installation for the brand new cover:


What should I do with these now?
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
Sansho
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Nicely done. See if you can sell the old pieces to someone who wants to cover them in carbon fiber vinyl.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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thanks for this!
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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beast ass thread..

subd
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
TR4G-
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Wow. I really want to do this. Where did you pick them up? I feel like all six pieces total to around 500 dollars though. I want to do a complete interior facelift so badly. New pillars in addition to new everything in the center console area. Most of the (center console) pieces are around 50 bucks but I can see myself throwing in 1k easy to get the interior back up to snuff
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:37 AM   #6
paraklas
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got them from bmwpartssource.com, not the best of customer service, but at least I got them for a reasonable price
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
Quenotte
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Hi Paris,

Very nice diy as usual!

However, you should have ordered the updated B pillar that were available after 2001/12:

Part number in gray are 51 43 7 065 361 and 51 43 7 065 362:



The new design limits the seat-belt friction wear.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #8
paraklas
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Had no idea there was an updated part. I'll be sure to order that when the current ones wear out. I didn't order from ECS due to their very high shipping costs overseas
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:28 AM   #9
Quenotte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post

Had no idea there was an updated part. I'll be sure to order that when the current ones wear out. I didn't order from ECS due to their very high shipping costs overseas
In fact, in the ETK, updated parts are only for post 2001/12 cars.

But they can be retrofitted easily since the fix points are the same.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
madunix
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do you have the part numbers for these pillars? i have an 01 325ci..
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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also, how much did you pay for all of them?
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:21 PM   #12
Sansho
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Quote:
do you have the part numbers for these pillars? i have an 01 325ci..
realoem.com ... look it up under vehicle trim, covering inner, trim panels a-b-c column
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
got them from bmwpartssource.com, not the best of customer service, but at least I got them for a reasonable price
How much are they? Im finding their site extremely difficult to navigate on an iPhone. Could you possibly provide a link? When searching "a pillar" I get about 25 pages of results.... And the a pillar isn't on the first 6 pages or so.... Maybe I should try a part number
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
Sansho
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Look at sponsors ebmwparts.com or thebmwpartstore.com. If you look up the part numbers first on realoem.com, you can key them in to get the prices.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:57 AM   #15
paraklas
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For HELLGRAU color / E46 / Coupe / MY2001:

Part numbers are:
51 43 8 222 623 (quantity = 1)
51 43 8 222 624 (quantity = 1)
51 43 8 228 691 (quantity = 2)
51 43 7 069 159 (quantity = 1)
51 43 7 069 160 (quantity = 1)
51 43 8 222 627 (quantity = 1)
51 43 8 222 628 (quantity = 1)

realoem.com to crosscheck/verify
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #16
atinybug
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What's the difference between the updated B-pillar and the old one? I can't tell from the pictures.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:37 AM   #17
drawz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sansho View Post
Nicely done. See if you can sell the old pieces to someone who wants to cover them in carbon fiber vinyl.
Duude! You just gave me an idea!

The fabric on my pillars are worn out and dirty. So I think I'll just peel that off and wrap it in caronfibre vinyl.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:47 PM   #18
MCM97
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anyone know the pn to this clip?

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #19
Quenotte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quenotte View Post
Hi Paris,

Very nice diy as usual!

However, you should have ordered the updated B pillar that were available after 2001/12:

Part number in gray are 51 43 7 065 361 and 51 43 7 065 362:



The new design limits the seat-belt friction wear.
An update on that!

I try to update my old style B pillar with newer style ones...

Be very careful! Retrofitting new B pillar will require updated seat belt retrofit to have a proper fit!

There is more clearance on the articulation of the seat belt on the new one so that it may require to either change the seat belts or build a little black panel to hide the hole....

I will retrofit new seat belts (mine are curved and quite annoying)

Date of change is 2001/11 or 2001/12.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:16 AM   #20
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCM97 View Post
anyone know the pn to this clip?
51 41 8 224 768 Clip with sealing ring

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/51_41_8_224_768/
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