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Old 02-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #41
hi its me alec
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Well if you need any help, feel free to ask me some questions. I can take out the dash in 2 hours, 1 with help. I have a thread with a step-by-step also.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:42 PM   #42
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OK, thanks. My dash is already out. So I know how to put it back together as well as taking it out again. It's a pity I didn't find your DIY. Apart from the one I mentioned in my start post I didn't find anything else. Now people can have my take on the DIY as well.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
OK, thanks. My dash is already out. So I know how to put it back together as well as taking it out again. It's a pity I didn't find your DIY. Apart from the one I mentioned in my start post I didn't find anything else. Now people can have my take on the DIY as well.
Yep, props for taking all the necessary pictures.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:40 PM   #44
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Because the air ducting in the dash were all part of the dash itself, the passenger airbag had to come off or it would block the dash from coming out. So the airbag was disconnected at the indicated socket and removed.



Two nylock nuts were released on the driver side, green circles.



Two nylock nuts were released on the passenger side. The screw in the middle also needed to come off.



One nylock nut (circle) was released inside the gear stick console. Two screws (squares) were released on the sides to allow a metal piece underneath to come out. The metal piece must be released or it would prevent the trim from being flexed to get past the seats and hand brake. It might also cut and damage the seats.



One expanding rivet was released from the central side wall of the driver foot-well.



An expanding 'nut' on the underside of the dash trim next to the door was pulled out. There was one on each side of the car, locking the dash trim to it's skeleton.



Seats down and reclined to make room for the exiting dash. The hand brake proved to be an obstacle.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:00 PM   #45
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There was nothing interesting while pulling out the dash. So no pictures were taken since I was busy pulling, pushing, shoving, kicking, binging, banging ... bonging. Once I had the dash out through the door, the only thing that came to mind was how light it was.

Dash was out. This was what I found on the driver side.



The middle ...



... and the passenger side.



There did not appear to be much to rattle in the dash. I got suspicious and thought BMW must be hiding the rattles from me under that gray-brown sound proofing. So I took off my VIN strip from the front to see what was under there. I managed to break one of its pins. The correct way to take it out was to ensure the pins came out perfectly vertical all the way until they were completely out.



With the sound proofing peeled back, all that there was, was the car's body metal. If there was rattle on the other side, it would be in the engine compartment. But the noise I had was definitely inside.



I looked around for possible places and found this box behind the fuses. The box was mounted on top of a plastic cover for a junction box underneath. The cover would bang against the bolts and nuts in the junction box if there was enough up and down shaking.



The right side of the flimsy cover would need some padding and/or fixing with fastener, may be duct tape.



The second place was behind the air box for distributing air to the passenger foot well and to the rear passenger area. It was just plastic of the air box next to bare metal of the pipes (top arrow). If there was enough side to side movement, the plastic and the metal just banged. Padding would be needed between these.
Third place was the ducting going to the rear (bottom arrow). If the ducting was moved side to side, I had the plastic click click kind of sound. If I padded the hole around the ducting, that would reduce movement and possibly remove the clicks.


None of these places accounted for the noise I was looking for. Although these might have contributed to the noise I heard. So I carried on looking. Then a very nasty thought occurred to me because I remember reading about it. So I tested what I thought. Yep, it made this plasticky shifting/moving kind of noise. When I bounced it, it was making a ridiculous amount of racket. It was the dried out fuse chart inside the fuse box. B*TCH !!!
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Last edited by GoingNuts; 02-08-2009 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:38 PM   #46
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Awesome write up, but OMG you must have felt like a prat when you found out what it was!
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:02 PM   #47
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EPIC, absolutely EPIC!!!!!
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:38 AM   #48
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My rattle was the locking ring for the ball-n-cage joint for the rearview mirror.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:55 AM   #49
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Using duct tape and laminate floor underlay foam, I reconfigured the car with basic essentials for rattle hunting mode. I will run the car like that until I am satisfied there are no more rattle from the dash. First good news was that I still had the rattle with the dash out and fuse chart in. That meant the dash trim wasn't responsible.

I had temperature control.



I had window control.



I had speed control.



I had light control, and that covered everything I needed run the car with.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 AM   #50
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What about airbags?
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #51
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Yes, those were put back along with the steering wheel. I didn't want the airbag light start showing.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:24 PM   #52
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this is legendary...wow.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:09 PM   #53
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Might be a good idea to replace the a/c condenser / heater core too?
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #54
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I am from the school of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So I am doing nothing but dealing with the rattles. If I ever need to take the dash off again in the future for whatever the reason, it will be easy as the path has been beaten down. I have brand new looking pipes in there, there's no reason why other related parts are not in the same condition.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:02 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
I am from the school of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So I am doing nothing but dealing with the rattles. If I ever need to take the dash off again in the future for whatever the reason, it will be easy as the path has been beaten down. I have brand new looking pipes in there, there's no reason why other related parts are not in the same condition.
I had rattles behind my dash too... We ripped out everything and put it back in... No longer rattles. =)

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:04 PM   #56
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Certainly the most comprehensive DIY I have seen. Cannot wait for the conclusion, perhaps then I can take corners without the sound of some small plastic thing rattling way.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:55 PM   #57
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I had rattles behind my dash too... We ripped out everything and put it back in... No longer rattles. =)
Well, you have done a more complete disassembly than I did. Did you find out what caused the rattle ?

My rattle has improved. As expected that unmasked other noises. My passenger chair has became the dominant noise maker now. I still have something going on either inside the passenger door or inside the side trim panel forward of the door. May be I need to rip out the fender to see what's behind it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:07 AM   #58
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OMFG you sure go all the way I see what an amazing DIY this is, I'm sure many guys will benefit from it and hopefully you will lose your rattle soon wherever it is
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:44 AM   #59
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Great write-up, just a correction for you:

To avoid breaking clips and grommets when removing the trim from the dash you should start at the edges and work inwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
Paint striping blade sandwiched by a couple of creditcards


Got an opening to allow pulling off of trim by hand


Trim was off. One of plastic grommets refused to let go of the metal stud. So It's ripped off.
===========================

Quote:
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Now the driver side trim


Not much room to work with and the blade was too flexible. A stiff screw driver shaft was needed.




It's off but the left grommet ripped.
Start at the doors and pull the strips off, working inwards towards the centre to avoid ripping out or breaking clips.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:56 AM   #60
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The flimsy control unit housing behind the fuse box turned out to be a rattle central. Everything mounted in it and on it were loose. So the electrical relays were dismounted and their mounting surfaces thickened up using duct tape. This took out the looseness. The control unit itself was then padded at its back with foam sheet and the whole unit wrapped up with duct tape so that it could sit snugly in its cage. An unfortunate consequence of doing all of this was that I had the control unit disconnected for a couple of hours, which caused all the adaptive data in the DME and possibly other control units to be lost. Subsequently the engine ran very roughly and a check engine light showed up. Based on experiences of others, this problem would likely to persist for 60 miles of driving until the DME relearn the adaptive data. I would not recommend disconnecting this control unit (I had no idea what this unit was, and it wasn't the DME) for more than 20-30 minutes.



This basically concluded my hunt for rattles inside the dash. I still had an occasional cable whipping body panel kind of noise that I estimated to be in the engine compartment around the electronics box, or inside the door. Once that was tracked down and eliminated, my goal of this DIY would be complete.
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