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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 09-14-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
kevin smith
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My Ride: bmw 330i convertible
Convertible Glove box handle

Hi all
I have had the problem with the glove box failing locked. I have managed to get it open but broke the handle when doing so. Can I replace the handle with one from a coupe or saloon. I do not want the electrical operation. just a handle that will open and shut the glove box without the other complications of a failing glove box lock and it having to be forced open again.
Any help would be great.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
cityjohn
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The coupe handle will fit, but as you mentioned you'll no longer be able to control your trunk lock.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:17 PM   #3
kevin smith
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Thanks for your reply.
The lock has failed open and in the position where I would have it normally. I can opened the trunk from the key fob and from the button on the trunk.

That was the only bit of luck I had. After finally getting back in to the glove box everything seems as normal.

Will this cause any other problems once the wires have been disconnected.

Last edited by kevin smith; 09-14-2013 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:09 PM   #4
cityjohn
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There are two wires going to the latch. Depending on whether you short them or leave them open, your license plate switchpad and trunk release button by your left foot will either work or be disabled. The keyhole in the trunk and the trunk button on your key will always work, however.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #5
kevin smith
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Hi Thanks for the advice.
I have today disconnected the push in connector to see if any problems are caused. The trunk opens as before and also with the key so I do not see any reason to mess with it.
I have ordered a used coupe glove box handle today off ebay for 8 so it might be a very cheap fix. I will not have a key for the glove box, but as I have never locked it in 5 years of owning the car I do not think this will be a problem.
I will let everyone know if it works when it arrives this week.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
kevin smith
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A BIG thank you to to cityjohn he was spot on with his advice. I swapped the glove box handle with a used one from a Coupe and it worked just as I wanted it to. No lock to put in to valet mode but the glove box opens and shuts as I wanted it to.
No more future problems with the glove box lock failing and been unable to open it.
A cheap fix.
I also believe that the glove box handle from the 5 series and 3 series saloon are the same and should do the trick if anyone else has this problem and does not mind not having the electric capability of valet mode.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
cityjohn
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Great to hear Kevin. I didn't know about other applications but after you said that I checked realoem and you're right -- E39, E60, E9X and all E46, even some X3 and X5 use this latch!
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #8
Fritzo2162
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BTW- the handle failure seems to happen all the time on the 'verts. I have fixed it in most cases I've seen with graphite to lube the mechanism and tightening the hell out of the 4 screws holding the lock mechanism in place. When those screws get loose, the pins in the lock mechanism don't want to retract correctly.

Last edited by Fritzo2162; 10-02-2013 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
Phoenix330ci
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Yeah, same as above. I have done this two or three times now. Currently mine is screwed up again. Only way for it to work is use the key in the glove box, as operating the handle does nothing. Also the new parts are freaking expensive.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
Nycscoobydan
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This happened to me today. The glove box did not unlock with the central lock or the key fob, and when I pulled on the handle I heard a "pop" and a small white nub fell out of the lock onto the floor. 2 questions, how can I get the box open? and which piece of the latch assembly will I need to order and replace? ECS Tuning sells 3 different parts, an inner latch, an outer latch, and a lock repair kit.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #11
johnrando
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This info goes to all vert glove box locks on the right side of the car.

If it's stuck, you need to have your key have sex with the glove box lock. By that I mean you have to insert the key in the lock every which way, hard, soft, barely in, all the way in, and turn it right, left, whatever every insertion. In/Out, In/Out. Try EVERY combination of inserting the key/turning it/pulling it open to see what works. Key doing it, until it pops. I think key turning toward the right is the key (no pun intended). I've had this happen a few times and you'd be amazed what you thought you tried earlier would work later.

Once open, as others have said, make sure the screws are tight on the inside. That's usually the fix.

Once it's fixed, I ALWAYS open and close the glove box VERY gently, and never slam or pull on the handle hard.

As for the parts, not sure what you need in your case. For mine, I ordered both the inner (which is the OUTSIDE of the glove box) and outer (which is the INSIDE of the glove box) (I know, it's counter intuitive) and switched my lock into the new pieces. Make sure everything is aligned properly, and I haven't had a problem since.

You don't necessarily have to get a new mechanism, but with that piece falling out, I'm not sure what the issue is with yours. GL!
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Last edited by johnrando; 10-11-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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