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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 06-09-2015, 04:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 185
My Ride: 02 330Ci, 04 330iZHP
DIY Windshield Cowl - Hints/Tips

There are already plenty of videos on youtube and posts on the forum, but I thought I'd offer some advice from my experience.

Pop the black covers off the nuts holding wiper arms in place.

Remove the cabin filter housing.

Pull the weather stripping off the old cowl.

Undo the nuts from the wiper arms.

Using a 3 jaw puller, of which a set can be purchased for cheap at harbor freight, remove the wiper arms. I used the smallest one, which is the 3" puller I believe.
(like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/three-j...-pc-69105.html - This set is very useful, especially for FCAB's if you're doing those as well. The reviews are crappy for it, but it's served me well for the money I paid for it)

Pull off the old cowl. Look at all the nasty stuff underneath.


Put the new one on. HINT: Lay the old cowl (carefully) on your hood so it makes it easier to see where all the pins/clips are. Once you have them all lined up, use a deadblow or rubber mallet to tap the clips into place. It's much harder to get them to seat using just your hands.

Put the rubber seal from the old cowl onto the new one.

Put the wiper arms back on, noting that the tip of the driver's wiper should be 1.7" from the cowl and the passenger's wiper should be 1" from the cowl.

Press them into place, adjust, and tighten the nuts to 30N-m. Put the caps back on

Put your filter housing back in place.

Enjoy the results

Last edited by drummr8; 06-09-2015 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2003 325i
I did it without pulling the cabin filter housing or using a puller. Just wiggle/pull back and forth till it comes off. Nice pictures though
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 185
My Ride: 02 330Ci, 04 330iZHP
Originally Posted by Sil80m3 View Post
I did it without pulling the cabin filter housing or using a puller. Just wiggle/pull back and forth till it comes off. Nice pictures though
yeah, many people use the wiggle/pull method, but I don't like that, as it puts unnecessary strain on it. Also, mine was very very very stuck. And yes, the cabin filter housing isn't necessary to remove, just makes it a little bit easier to work, and takes all of 40 seconds.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:54 AM   #4
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Location: Union County, NC
Posts: 66
My Ride: 330CiC M-Sport
Thanks for posting with pics! One of the first things I did to my 330 when I bought it last year. Of course, I didn't see it when looking at and test driving but the first comment from my son when I brought it home was 'The cowling has some dry rot'.

When I did it, I put pieces of painters tape where the wipers were so I could position them properly when installing and also painted the wiper arms while they were out of the car.
You are only paranoid until you are correct....then you are a visionary
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