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Old 02-09-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 44
My Ride: 2002 BMW M3
DIY: cheap way to restore fading manual shifter trim

If you are tired of seeing your shifter trim all fading or paint stripping like I do.. Here is a great budget DIY that is super easy and quick to do. Now this will eliminate the color matching interior trim overlay but it will match the black center console color :parrot:

What you need:
800 grit sandpaper
200 grit sandpaper
philips screw driver
1 can of Plasti-dip
about 2 hours of your precious time

1. Ok first start off by pulling the shifter boots off, pull it up and let it rest

2. Unscrew the 2 philips screws on the bottom, a little wiggle then pull it up.. the panel should come right out

3. Unplug the window buttons, the driver side is a non press clip so just pull it right out. The passenger however has a little press on clip so be careful

4. Now the panel is ready to be removed from the car. Penetrate the shift boot through the square hole

5. The window buttons can be detached from the shifter trim by pressing on the clips while pushing it out with your thumb. Now you are ready for prep!


I used a rough 200 grit paint stripper but try to be very gentle because it might leave some deep scratches if you apply too much pressure. Rinse the paint off with water during the sanding process

7. Now finish the prep with a finer 800 grit sandpaper. Again rinse the paint off with water during the sanding process. Wipe the trim dry completely


Now you are ready to plasti-dip. I did 5 coats total just so I know it will be durable and can take some beating. Be careful not to overcoat the 1st layer of Plasti-dip, then gradually thicken the coats as you go. Let it dry completely before every coats!

9. After the 5th coat and completely dry. Its just a matter of putting everything back together. Be very careful pushing the shiftboot back in the trim. You don't want to scratch your freshly coated trim and start the process over again.

you are now done! now sit back and enjoy :hattip:

ian d.

Last edited by TopazID; 02-11-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Avon Park, Florida
Posts: 295
My Ride: 2002 BMW 325i
I just used straight acetone to remove coating from factory. Came off easy as hell. Just don't rub to hard because it will remove texture and have a shine. No sanding or scubing involved.
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m3, plasti-dip, repaint

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