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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 09-05-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
Honk_Few
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lawrence
Posts: 53
My Ride: 323iT
DIY Roller Blind Repair on E46 Touring

I've noticed recently that my roller blind in the rear of my 2000 323 Touring was starting to malfunction. It went limp, and -- ahem -- the rod was pulling away from the blind itself, exposing metal. Also, a gap had developed between the blind and the gate trim, enough of a gap that hoodlums (or street toughs) could see what's stored in there. So I figured I would repair it myself, hence this DIY.

Tools you'll need:
*Philips head screw driver
*Sheet of masonite (1/8 inch for original, but I upgraded to 1/4)
*Tools to cut the masonite -- a fine-toothed saw capable of making a swooping curve
*Sharpie

Here are the symptoms:

Material pulling away from handle.



Exposed metal rod.



Notice that gap. Hoodlums could spy my expensive collection of Star Wars collector plates.



Use a philips head screw driver to remove the handle of the roller blind. Screws are located on the underside of the handle.



You'll then see that the handle clamps over the rod. Two protruding plastic teats on the handle jam into the two larger holes in the rod. (Oh, man, this is getting NSFW.) That's all that holds it to the handle, which is kind of wimpy.



Also inside is a piece of 1/8 inch masonite. Mine had broken into two pieces.



Remove both the rod and the masonite. The rod comes out quite easily, but the masonite is a little more difficult. But with the rod removed, there is just enough room to get the masonite out.

Here's the masonite removed.



On a new sheet of masonite, trace around the old with a sharpie.



The 1/8 inch masonite is rather flimsy, and it takes quite a bit of stress if you use your shade frequently, so I chose to upgrade to 1/4 inch.



Using a fine-toothed saw with a thin blade, cut out the new piece. Get as close as you can to the original with the saw, and then just sand or file it the rest of the way. Make sure to round any corners so you don't damage the shade during the reinstall.



Here's the finished product.



Now simply shove the new masonite piece into the roller blind and put the rod back in. Lining up the holes in the handle with the rod is a bit tricky. It's best to get them lined up and clamp it together with one hand; then flip it over and install the top. Finally, you must flip it back over to put in the screws. Remember, during all of this, the shade is vainly attempting to pull itself back into its carrier. (Clamping the handle back together with the thicker masionite required a precise fit, so be forewarned.)

Now you're done! You've fixed your roller blind, and saved yourself some money too.

The handle fits much better now.



The gap is much smaller now. Take that street toughs!



Total cost: around five dollars.
Value: none can say.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #2
devilsbox
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2002 325i wagon
This is great. Thanks for posting this!
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
Mizar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 231
My Ride: 325it ESS TX-2
I agree, nice DIY. Thanks for posting!

But how did you slide the new piece back in? Isnt' the cover sealed all around? Did you have to slice the vinyl open on one side?

I need to do the exact same thing. Mine does not show the gaps yet, but the masonite (was wondering all the time what might be in there...) is ripped in the exact same spot. Happend when my w..., well, someone shoved a box with groceries in and against the rear seat back rest, with the roller retracted. But as you touring drivers know, the cover does not retract fully, the rigid part with the handle in it hangs out and down and in the way of stuff you want to push forward in the cargo area. Stupid design, actually. I am surprised it took us so many years to finally break it.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
Honk_Few
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lawrence
Posts: 53
My Ride: 323iT
Thanks everyone.

Basically, the black cloth-like cover seems to be heat-fused together at the seams. Mine was coming apart at the two ends---because the metal rod had been putting stress on each end----so I just slid the old masonite out, and there wasn't much separation around the bend. I imagine that if your cover isn't yet separating, you could find a small object---screwdriver, file, etc.---and slip it in and separate it. Then you can slide out the old, and then slide in the new one in the same fashion.

Then you can use a good glue to put the cover back together.

One note on the upgraded masonite size: 1/8 to 1/4. It works great, but the handle won't exactly snap fully together. It's not noticeable in normal use, but there is a slight gap. So if that's something that bothers you, use 1/8.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
Arsevader
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,829
My Ride: '90 325i, '02 325it
Good work. Nice to see DIYs on touring specific issues.

Now if only someone could figure out how to access the Rear Shock Mounts in less than 150 steps....
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