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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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My Ride: '02 330i/5 slicktop
DIY: Trunklid Wiring "Elephant Trunk" Grommet Replacement

Does your trunklikd "elephant trunk" wiring grommet look like this?

So a lot of folks have just glued these back together; the part is cheap and I had an open afternoon, so I figured why not try replacing it?

The catch, of course, is that to do so, all the wiring inside the trunk must be disconnected AND the wires unclipped from their connectors and fished individually through the new grommet. Fortunately, while a little painstaking and time-consuming, it's a pretty straightforward DIY.

In addition to basic tools (screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, etc), you'll need:

From left to right:

- Aerospace 303 to condition the grommet after install
- Dielectric grease to insulate connections
- A roll of electrical tape to bind up the wires after fishing them through the grommet
- A computer repair / jeweler's screwdriver set
- Assorted trim tools
- Flower basket wire (or other stiff yet bendable wire)

Here's the part number in the bag: 61-13-8-366-627. Not sure how much it was from Pelican but it didn't break the bank.

Fresh grommet. As you can see, it actually extends down into the body of the car (the part on the bottom).

Step 1: Unclip trunk lining.

It's held on by a number of these plastic rivets. Use your trim tools to pull out the center to release.

Step 2: Take off the emergency interior trunk release handle. Depress the plastic tongue and pop out the metal cylinder on the end of the cable.

Step 3: Open the tool tray and turn the retaining strap 90 in its slot to remove.

Step 4: Find and remove the two hidden screws that hold on the tool tray hinges. Remove tool tray and trunk lining.

You now have access to the inside of the trunklid.

Step 5: Unclip and remove this cover plate from the center of the trunklid.

Step 6: Pop this electrical connector out of its retaining clip (that's the emergency trunklid interior release cable end floating above).

Step 7: Pull out the grommet flange from the trunklid hole. Unclip all connectors and carefully feed everything down and out through the hole in the trunklid.

Step 8: Undo enough of the trunk carpeting to access the inside grommet flange. Work it out of its hole.

Step 9: Push the exterior body flange of the trunk grommet into the hole shown, and feed everything through---old grommet, wires and connectors.

CAREFULLY cut the old grommet off the wiring harness. VERY easy to damage wires here.

Unwrap all wiring harness tape.

So this is the basic setup for fishing the wires through the new grommet. Push the stiff wire through and bend the tip to create a hook on the end.

Step 10: Using a *very* small flathead screwdriver, CAREFULLY depress the metal tabs that hold the wire ends in the connectors. You will have to remove a little white "protective cover" for the taillight connectors, and with some you'll have to press the metal tab down twice as you pull it out of the connector.

MAKE SURE you take a picture or record somewhere the locations of the wires in the connectors so you can put them back in the right places.

Step 11: For each wire, hook the stiff wire end over it...

...and wrap with electrical tape before you pull it through. The tape will become especially important later on when the grommet is full of all the wires and there's very little room.

It's a good idea to immediately reinsert each wire end into the proper location in its connector as you fish them through.

Step 12: Once you're done fishing all the wires through and reconnecting them in their correct locations on the connectors, rewrap the harness with electrical tape, and feed the harness up through the interior hole and out the exterior hole, and up into the trunklid.

I had to use the stiff wire again to get the harness up through the trunklid into position. Reconnect everything (with a dab of dielectric grease on each of the connectors---I use this the first time I reconnect ANY electrical connector anywhere on the car) and reattach the tool tray and trunklid lining.

Step 13: Work the grommet flanges into the holes as shown and hit the grommet with some 303 for good measure.

Step 14: BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE TRUNKLID, verify that your trunklid release works by pressing the button above the license plate and listen for the click. If you don't hear it, DO NOT CLOSE YOUR TRUNKLID but figure out where you crossed up your wires on the trunklid release connector.

Also verify that your trunklid lights are working properly.

Step 15: Crack open beer, enjoy.

Again, not difficult with the right tools, but a little time-consuming. Took me a few hours, but it was relaxing somehow. YMMV. Let me know if you have questions.

Current: '02 330i/5 '10 Mazda5 '72 240Z
Past BMWs: '95 540i/6 '95 525i/5 '86 635CSi/5
Past Other: '85 GSL-SE '88 JZA70 '86 4K quattro '85 RX-7 S '85 RX-7 GSL

Last edited by Spannerhead; 07-12-2019 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Houston, TX (Was KC, MO)
Posts: 22
My Ride: 2003 330Xi, 2011 Z4
Thanks for posting this! It is on my list of things to eventually get around to doing.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:11 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 4,121
My Ride: '02 330i/5 slicktop
You're welcome! I hope it helps someone. FWIW the grommet had been kicking around in my "to install" parts bin for about year before I got around to doing it...

Current: '02 330i/5 '10 Mazda5 '72 240Z
Past BMWs: '95 540i/6 '95 525i/5 '86 635CSi/5
Past Other: '85 GSL-SE '88 JZA70 '86 4K quattro '85 RX-7 S '85 RX-7 GSL
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