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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 08-02-2005, 09:53 PM   #1
LAFENGAS
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Exclamation DIY HOW TO: removing your window trim.

First to start off... the only tools you'll need are:

1.)Flat Blade screw driver
2.)Phillips Screw driver
3.)heat gun (or blowdrier)

aprox. time is 1-1.5hrs to remove.
2-3hrs to reinstall.


1.) Removing the long upper trim piece.

It's only a dozen or so phillips screws. In order to access them you must pull the rubber seals away from around your door jamb. You simply pull on it, it's only a friction fit. No need to remove the whole thing, just around the top where the window hits.





You'll be able to access the ones along the doors no problem, it's the back window that's a bit tricky, yet still simple. (on coupes)

start removing the back rubber seals in the same fashon as around the front door, just find a place and pull on it. This exposes the screws, but the window glass will prohibit you from accessing them, you'll need to partially remove the rear window (explained later, keep reading)

You should be able to get to this point in the removal process no problem.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:54 PM   #2
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2.) Removing the lower door sill trim:

Pull the seal back by removing the rubber from 2 anchor holes in the door, do this by gently pulling the rubber from the formed holes.

Shown here:


then use a screw driver and gently pry up to start lifting the trim. Be gentle to avoid kinking the trim. walk the screw driver downt the trim towards the mirror to do it as evenly as possible. shown here:




When you get to the side view mirror...you have to slide it out. The trim is tucked under the rearview and needs to be pulled out about a 1/4 inch. Shown below:




**note, when reinstalling the trim, make sure the grove matches up with the door

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Old 08-02-2005, 09:55 PM   #3
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3.) Removal of lower rear window trim

First remove the retaining plastic rivet. Just pry up with a screw driver.



You need to move the rear window out of the way a bit to give yourself some room. (this also allows you to access the bottom 2 screws at the corner of the upper window trim).

-Open your rear window all the way.
-Take a screw driver and pry the little plastic cone on the linear actuator away from the glass. This is exposes a ball and socket you just pop apart with your fingers.




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Old 08-02-2005, 09:55 PM   #4
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next use a heat gun and flat blade or something to pry between the paint and window trim. This is only on by 2 sided tape holding this piece on. Be careful so you don't crease/bend the trim. Be patient. it's... stuck on pretty good. You can even try prying it up far enough to cut the tape with a razor blade. Work from the back towards the front and try lifting it as evenly as possible.



Once this piece has been fully removed, repeat for the other side.

When you're finished, clean the old adhesive (goof off or some other adhesive remover)



just as a hint, use something like a towel to prop the window open while you work at removing the screws at the top of the upper trim.




when installing the lower rear trim... get some 2 sided tape to replace what you ripped off.



I also put a bit of tape to use as a marker when i went to put the trim back on. Once the tape sticks,...it sucks to try and take off again. By putting the masking tape on, it gave me a line to go by when reapplying.



reinstalling is pretty straight forward, just the reverse as shown. as a hint....when putting the rubber seal back in around the windows, start at a CORNER where the seal is bent at a 90. It's a good point of reference to start.


I'm tired of writing this, i probably have grammar errors and incoherent sentences. I don't feel like correcting it, I'm tired. any questions, feel free to post 'em.

good luck.
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:00 PM   #5
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here' the original post from the showroom showing the completed project of replacing the trim

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=1#post3065327
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:30 PM   #6
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Am I to understand that you only need the double-sided tape for the coupe rear window?

The sedan rear windows are prob just like the front, eh? I'll give it a look tomorrow.

Great write-up. Thanks for being the first.
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Old 08-03-2005, 01:57 AM   #7
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Nice. Im a bit confused on the long upper trim piece. Could you post a few pics please?

Thanks,
Greg.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:18 AM   #8
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Yeah, i'll take pics later. Basically it has about 15 screws, all are hidden behind the rubber seal. just pull the seal down to expose the screws.

again, i'll take pics later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio76109
Nice. Im a bit confused on the long upper trim piece. Could you post a few pics please?

Thanks,
Greg.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:19 PM   #9
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awsome write up i have been wanting to get rid of the chrome trim for a long time now, but the OEM black trim is too damn expensive!! now if i can find a powdercoater, i will do this.

thanks
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:05 AM   #10
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i got a better idea.... leave it parked outside in 100degree sun and come back in a few hours to the trim hanging off the roof.... happens to me 3times a week thats why i got superclue in the glovebox lol
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:43 PM   #11
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anything on the upper trim? plus where do you buy the two-sided tape?
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave12345
i got a better idea.... leave it parked outside in 100degree sun and come back in a few hours to the trim hanging off the roof.... happens to me 3times a week thats why i got superclue in the glovebox lol
Um, wtf are you talking about? Were talking about the exterior chrome trim..., not the interior.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:48 AM   #13
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EXCELLENT write up!

Here are some additional useful information:

e46 sedan (ie 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i) window trims are interchangable regardless of built year. I swap mine (2000 323i) with a friend's (2001 330i). Likewise, plenty of member on this board conducted the same swap.

I also heard that the same hold true for the e46 coupe. This statement is unconfirm because I thought all Coupes comes with chrome trim.

Once again, excellent write up!!!

Last edited by ADA; 08-07-2005 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADA
EXCELLENT write up!

Here are some additional useful information:

e46 sedan (ie 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i) window trims are interchangable regardless of built year. I swap mine (2000 323i) with a friend's (2001 330i). Likewise, plenty of member on this board conducted the same swap.

I also heard that the same hold true for the e46 coupe. This statement is unconfirm because I thought all Coupes comes with chrome trim.

Once again, excellent write up!!!
Is there any double-sided tape involved with the sedan diy?
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:20 AM   #15
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Is it possible to take off the chrome trim while maintaining it's shape? If so, why not take off the trim and then painting it yourself? Would save us some $$$
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noflash
Is there any double-sided tape involved with the sedan diy?

Nope. The trim swap takes less than 15 minutes per side. The trims are held by a bunch of tension clip.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamann330ci
Is it possible to take off the chrome trim while maintaining it's shape? If so, why not take off the trim and then painting it yourself? Would save us some $$$
you can do that.. that's kind of the point to this DIY. I have the ability to powdercoat...so that's the route i took instead.

If you're going to paint it yourself, scuff the chrome up with 500grit sandpaper and spray away. I don't reccommend rattle can paint, but it does work...for a little while.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio76109
Nice. Im a bit confused on the long upper trim piece. Could you post a few pics please?

Thanks,
Greg.

here's the pic i promised...forgot...and now remembered to take. Here shows the rubber seal pulled back. Right here only 3 screws are exposed, but removing the seal farther will expose nearly a dozen or more screws for removing the upper trim piece

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Old 08-28-2005, 12:45 AM   #19
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Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2005, 09:40 PM   #20
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thanks for the great write up LAFENGAS I Just did mine last week and it was an all day evolution. well worth the hard work.

if i may add, for those who prefer to have the rear windows removed to gain better access to the upper two screws of the trim, you can simply snap off the interior panel (seatbelt) which will expose the two 10mm nut that holds the windows. i had to remove mine cuz i didn't want to scratch my tint from the screw driver and plus it gave me a better work space when removing/replacing the seal and the bottom trim. here's the pix....



oh and the second nut is located at the bottom, sorry forgot to put the arrow...
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