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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 09-26-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 27
My Ride: 2003 330i Sport
Ashtray Frame Replacement DIY

I've seen bits and pieces of this in the DIY, but here's the complete procedure.

Is your ashtray door badly scratched or not staying closed like mine was? You'll need to replace the frame (BMW part # 51 16 8 268 892 for non-nav smoker package - about $55 with your CCA discount). It's not as scary as it looks but is tedious and time-consuming.

1. Put shift in Drive for auto (sounds funny but you'll need the room) or second for manual, set emergency brake and turn off ignition. Remove cigarette lighter fuse or disconnect negative battery terminal or be real careful with wiring later.
2. Gently pry black oval shift plate up from console - it just pops up - don't remove it.
3. Remove two screws from rear of window button console plate and lift plate up a bit - don't try to remove it.
4. Reach inside open sunglass holder (top compartment in frame), push down & pull out.
5. Remove four screws (two at top and two at rear) of frame.
6. Lift frame up (wires in rear prevent full removal at this step).
7. (If you have an ashtray DICE unit, remove it along with wire to glove box. A pain, I know, but it must be done.)
8. Remove wires from back of frame (two cigarette lighter spades, one ashtray light connection, one large multi-wire connector, and one small multi-wire connector. Note: the plastic spade on the lighter was difficult to remove and impossible to reconnect. I cut it off and changed it to a metal spade connector.)
9. Remove frame.
10. Remove lighter from frame - there are two little black plastic tabs holding it in. I had to break one - no big deal as you're tossing the old frame.
11. Unscrew two Torx screws on back of frame and remove button plate assembly.
12. Toss old frame.
13. Reverse this procedure to reinstall new frame.
14. You're good to go - grab a cold beer and think about how much money you just saved!
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 199
My Ride: '01 325Ci
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nice DIY write up! although i usually move step 14 to step 1.. unfortunately thats how i broke my autolevel on my left headlight

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
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My Ride: 2001 330ci
Appreciate this write-up, just what I needed
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 53
My Ride: e46 / e30 / F30
I'm guessing this DIY is replacing part #12 on the attached diagram. I need to replace part #1. Has anyone done this? How much of the dash will I need to remove? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Cory
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