E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-27-2009, 06:37 AM   #1
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Lightbulb Modifying our utterly useless BMW E46 Rear Seat Fold Down Armrest Console for $9.00!

I'm not sure why BMW decided it was evolution to remove the secret fold down/pull out cupholder compartment armrest we enjoyed on our E36 BMWs and replace it with a useless lump of cushion armrest found in the E46!

As a driver it may not be important to many of us, but I'm tired of my passengers back there trying to balance drinks and coffee on the seat and then spilling it all over the place everytime I accelerate from stop. I have a DIY modification idea.

The E36 Rear Armrest:





The lump of coal armrest in our E46:






And just to get this luxury that came free on the older E36 the dealership wants $570!



I was wondering what would happen if I bought a console parts piece from another car say a Lexus and affix it into the BMW E46 Armrest;






So it would look like this;






Does that seem right? Those pieces sell for as little as $9 and the DIY would be no more that cutting a hole in the E46 armrest and inserting the console unit into it.

I'm seriously thinking of this DIY and I may get fancy and see if I can engineer alittle more that holding cups

__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 01-27-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
kaput
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 748
My Ride: 2002 M3 SMG
Send a message via AIM to kaput
I am down for making this work...

Now I gotta figure out what other electronics to install. Probably a 7" screen somewhere, and an input and power for a PS3.... A radio and headphones would be cool....

Now you got my brain working.
__________________

2002 M3
kaput is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 08:59 AM   #3
Lemonsqr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,133
My Ride: 2001 TiAg 330i
DO IT, and post a DIY Yeah, our POS arm rests in the back are like an afterthought. Everyone that sits back there is says, "where are the cup holders?"
__________________
Lemonsqr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
Little Dragon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 244
My Ride: E46s
sub'd!
Little Dragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
aggieE46
Keep it clean
 
aggieE46's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Royse City
Posts: 8,038
My Ride: 03 Evo, 07 Passat
Send a message via AIM to aggieE46
You guys fit people in the back of your cars?
__________________
aggieE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsqr View Post
DO IT, and post a DIY Yeah, our POS arm rests in the back are like an afterthought. Everyone that sits back there is says, "where are the cup holders?"
Lemonsqr or anyone else for that matter,
I know you done some cool mods. Lemme ask you about this idea. After buying the piece do you think whatever the foam cushion is inside the armrest it will support the weight of the console insert?
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 10:24 AM   #7
Arsevader
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,829
My Ride: '90 325i, '02 325it
Again, Touring FTW.

Rear armrest with cupholders built in.

__________________

- James

'85 E30 325e
'90 E30 325i
'02 E46 325it
'03 E46 320i

'96 Volvo 850R


Arsevader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 10:27 AM   #8
rover220
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 221
My Ride: Golf MK VI GT
WTF? I realize I have a sedan, but I have cupholders in my rear armrest?

Maybe itīs because my car is not US spec? That would be even weirder as you americans are the ones that want/need cupholders everywhere... Odd.
rover220 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
iowna330xi
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chi-town, IL.
Posts: 130
My Ride: is fast.
Some center arm rest comes with cup holders. Here's a link and note #7.
iowna330xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #10
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spood View Post
Nifty idea...but is there any kind of rigid frame inside the E46 armrest? I'm thinking it will be hard to get the cupholders to sit nicely and not wiggle around if you don't have something to bolt that assembly to. Unless I'm underestimating the firmness of the cushion...
I'm fortunate to work for a firm that allows us to take car service home if we work late nights and I've studied the rear fold down arm rest in many of Lincoln Town Cars and it seems like the cupholders are only inserted into the foam flesh of the armrest.

What they do is cut the hole smaller than the holders and fold back the leather and squeeze the holders in thru the small opening into the foam below. I'm not 100% sure of the "firmess" of the foam on those cars compared to ours, but I don't think there is a metal or hard plastic support inside the cushion.

My girlfriend's accord also have the similar set up and there is no metal or hard support inside, just the foam.

I think Honda uses glue or some sort of firm clip in anchor because I couldn't pop out the holders with a knife. This is different than the Lincoln Town cars where the holders can be easily pulled out, but still stay in firm.

My gfriend's Accord pictures below;







__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 11:16 AM   #11
Lemonsqr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,133
My Ride: 2001 TiAg 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by iowna330xi View Post
Some center arm rest comes with cup holders. Here's a link and note #7.
Good info, but $400-500??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Lemonsqr or anyone else for that matter,
I know you done some cool mods. Lemme ask you about this idea. After buying the piece do you think whatever the foam cushion is inside the armrest it will support the weight of the console insert?
I would be more concerned with how you are going to reupholster the armrest.
__________________
Lemonsqr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 11:20 AM   #12
2000_328CI
DK Jack Sparrow
 
2000_328CI's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Isla de Muerta | DC/VA
Posts: 29,024
My Ride: 328Ci | Range Rover
Send a message via AIM to 2000_328CI Send a message via MSN to 2000_328CI
I think it would be a great move but I imagine, to get it to look right, would cost more than the 9 dollars for the cupholder. Getting the cupholder to sit in the armrest and look clean would require far more skill than I have

If you can do stuff like that though, I say go for it. Would be a nice little mod
__________________

Everything you need to know on muffler deletes : http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=745244
Wrapping an E46 in Vinyl : http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=bronze
2000_328CI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #13
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsqr View Post
Good info, but $400-500??!!


I would be more concerned with how you are going to reupholster the armrest.
Uhm...I wouldn't have to. I would cut an H slit in leather, peel back the flaps and cut out a respective chunk of foam that would leave a hole slightly smaller than the holder and then squeeze the holder into to the hole with the edges of the leather flaps folded back inside so it looks seamless.

My concern then would be how to get the holder to stay down and not come out. Maybe glue or some sort of anchoring. That said my only forseeable problem is if BMW decided to go really cheapo and stuffed the armrest with confetti rags or packing-peanuts instead of one solid piece of foam.

Yeah paying BMW $570 for something I got free on my older E36 is not in my plans.

These holders sell on eBay for as little as $9.00

See; 1997 Honda Accord/Infiniti Q45/Lexus and Toyota Avalon for the best matching holders.
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917

Last edited by delmarco; 01-27-2009 at 11:38 AM.
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 11:39 AM   #14
Snik
OEM ///Member
 
Snik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Around SJ AFB, NC
Posts: 20,696
My Ride: IR M3 Vert.
how much do you charger to do this?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohde88 View Post
^^^ do you spend all your free time on two wheels?
______________________________________
The Snikster posted sexy wiminz here
Do you ride a sportbike?
Do you have a question about Jamaica? Ask?
Snik is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:08 PM   #15
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by snikwad View Post
how much do you charger to do this?
I don't.

It's a DIY not a Hot Dog stand.
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #16
BimmerBoy323
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Waxhaw, NC
Posts: 171
My Ride: 2002 330i sport pkg.
Well since we are talking about armrests, in my car the piece of metal that keeps the armrest from being squished backwards into the trunk is gone! isn't that piece of metal welded in? I guess the PO busted it out for some reason. Maybe for a stereo? My car doesn't have a ski bag or anything like that, its just an open hole going to the trunk. Nobody can sit in the middle now because the armrest will fall backwards into the trunk. Is there anything else that i can put back there to replace it?
BimmerBoy323 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:15 PM   #17
Snik
OEM ///Member
 
Snik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Around SJ AFB, NC
Posts: 20,696
My Ride: IR M3 Vert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
I don't.

It's a DIY not a Hot Dog stand.
i want YOU to do it for me.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohde88 View Post
^^^ do you spend all your free time on two wheels?
______________________________________
The Snikster posted sexy wiminz here
Do you ride a sportbike?
Do you have a question about Jamaica? Ask?
Snik is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:20 PM   #18
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBoy323 View Post
Well since we are talking about armrests, in my car the piece of metal that keeps the armrest from being squished backwards into the trunk is gone! isn't that piece of metal welded in? I guess the PO busted it out for some reason. Maybe for a stereo? My car doesn't have a ski bag or anything like that, its just an open hole going to the trunk. Nobody can sit in the middle now because the armrest will fall backwards into the trunk. Is there anything else that i can put back there to replace it?
in car fridge from a 2007 760li

__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:34 PM   #19
217Bimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: IL
Posts: 146
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330i
cup holders in the armrest sound like a great idea. to hold them in there you might try expanding urethane foam. it will expand and fill the armrest cavity around the cup holders and basically glue them into the armrest. great stuff makes many kinds of expanding foam. probably want a minimally expanding one. i look forward to your diy. good luck.
217Bimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2009, 12:35 PM   #20
canaryM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 676
My Ride: is strong like bull
I just don't allow people to eat or drink in my E46.
Btw, the 850 did come with a cooler in the back console. Cool!
__________________

///Sport Package | Nav | Park Distance Control | LED tails
///M3 Lip spoiler | Adaptive Xenons | 62 LED Angel Eyes
canaryM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use