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BMW E39 Center Console Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Center Console Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

T10 Torx driver, Phillips head screw driver, plastic pry tool, door panel clip removal tool, 7mm socket or driver.

Applicable Models:

BMW E39 5-Series (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Shifter trim cover, power door lock switch, hazard switch,

Hot Tip:

You don't have to remove the dash to take out the center console.

Performance Gain:

Repair a broken parking brake lever.

Complementary Modification:

Clean spilled beverages from shift mechanism

There are many reasons you may need to remove your center console. You may want to run wiring for a custom radio installation. You may also need to service your parking brake cable. In this tech article we are going to go over all of the steps necessary to remove the center console. Remember, other mechanics may have worked on the car you are working on before and may have substituted lost fasteners with something else with a different drive on it so be prepared for anything.

Here we are at the shifter at the front of the center console.
Figure 1

Here we are at the shifter at the front of the center console. Pull straight up on the shifter knob in the direction of the blue arrow with a lot of strength. The handle with pop off and place it out of the way.

Reach in under the shifter indicator panel and lift upwards to unseat the panel.
Figure 2

Reach in under the shifter indicator panel and lift upwards to unseat the panel. Then flip the panel over.

With the indicator panel flipped over, unplug the black electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the connector and pulling is away from the panel.
Figure 3

With the indicator panel flipped over, unplug the black electrical connector (green arrow) by squeezing the connector and pulling is away from the panel.

Remove the two T10 Torx fasteners (green arrows) that mount the neutral safety switch to the shifter.
Figure 4

Remove the two T10 Torx fasteners (green arrows) that mount the neutral safety switch to the shifter. There is a switch element inside so make sure it does not move when you pull up on the switch, otherwise it will be difficult to line up when you install it.

In the shifter area at the front of the center console reach in the back of the opening and push up on the hazard switch (green arrow) until you pop it out of place.
Figure 5

In the shifter area at the front of the center console reach in the back of the opening and push up on the hazard switch (green arrow) until you pop it out of place.

In the same shifter area towards the front of the console to the right of the hazard switch push up on the central power locks switch (green arrow) until it pops out of place.
Figure 6

In the same shifter area towards the front of the console to the right of the hazard switch push up on the central power locks switch (green arrow) until it pops out of place.

Flip the hazard switch over to expose the electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 7

Flip the hazard switch over to expose the electrical connector (green arrow). Squeeze the connector and move it in the direction of the blue arrow to unplug it.

Flip over the central door lock switch and squeeze the electrical connector and pull it away from the switch in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 8

Flip over the central door lock switch and squeeze the electrical connector and pull it away from the switch in the direction of the blue arrow.

Remove the Phillips head fastener (green arrow) in the hazard switch opening of the shifter trim panel cover
Figure 9

Remove the Phillips head fastener (green arrow) in the hazard switch opening of the shifter trim panel cover.

Remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) at the front of the center console inside the shifter opening that secure the shifter trim panel to the center console.
Figure 10

Remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) at the front of the center console inside the shifter opening that secure the shifter trim panel to the center console.

Moving to the back of the center console in between the driver and passenger seats use a plastic pry tool to lever out the lower cup holder and remove it completely.
Figure 11

Moving to the back of the center console in between the driver and passenger seats use a plastic pry tool to lever out the lower cup holder and remove it completely.

Here we are at the rear of the center console.
Figure 12

Here we are at the rear of the center console. Slide the rear air ducts downward towards the floor an inch or so and pull it towards the rear of the car to remove it. The duct under the center console holds it in so pull with a little bit it of force to get it out.

Remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that mount the sliding arm rest to the top rear of the center console.
Figure 13

Remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that mount the sliding arm rest to the top rear of the center console.

At the rear of the center console lift up the back of the sliding arm rest.
Figure 14

At the rear of the center console lift up the back of the sliding arm rest. As you lift up the rear two pins will unseat from the front of the unit. Look at the two holes the pins go into so you know where to position the arm rest during installation.

Remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) that mount the rear shifter trim panel at the back of the center console.
Figure 15

Remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) that mount the rear shifter trim panel at the back of the center console.

Reach inside the shifter opening at the front if the center console and pull up on the right side of it.
Figure 16

Reach inside the shifter opening at the front if the center console and pull up on the right side of it. This will unseat two clips that hold the shifter trim panel in place. The panel should be loose but will not come out yet.

At the front of the center console, inside the left side of the opening twist the cigar lighter harness connector counter clockwise (in the direction of the blue arrows) and pull the connector towards the shifter itself.
Figure 17

At the front of the center console, inside the left side of the opening twist the cigar lighter harness connector counter clockwise (in the direction of the blue arrows) and pull the connector towards the shifter itself. This will unseat the connector from the shifter trim cover.

Unplug the connector you just removed from the front of the center console, inside the left side of the opening by squeezing the two locking tabs on each side of the connector and pulling them apart.
Figure 18

Unplug the connector you just removed from the front of the center console, inside the left side of the opening by squeezing the two locking tabs on each side of the connector and pulling them apart.

Lift up on the front of the shifter trim panel at the front of the center console and unseat it.
Figure 19

Lift up on the front of the shifter trim panel at the front of the center console and unseat it. Lay it down sideways because it is still held on with an ashtray illumination harness that needs to be unplugged.

Squeeze the two connectors for the ashtray illumination at the middle of the center console on the right side of the parking brake and pull the connectors straight apart.
Figure 20

Squeeze the two connectors for the ashtray illumination at the middle of the center console on the right side of the parking brake and pull the connectors straight apart. Now you can move the shifter trim panel out of the way.

Just behind the shifter assembly at the middle of the shifter remove the Phillips head fastener that mounts the center console frame to the body.
Figure 21

Just behind the shifter assembly at the middle of the shifter remove the Phillips head fastener that mounts the center console frame to the body.

Remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) that mount the rear of the center console to the body of the car.
Figure 22

Remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) that mount the rear of the center console to the body of the car.

On the driver side of the center console remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that mount the parking brake lever cover.
Figure 23

On the driver side of the center console remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) that mount the parking brake lever cover. You will probably have to move the seat all the way to the back and all the way down to access these fasteners. You will probably also have to push down on the padding to get your screwdriver into the screw heads. To perform the next few steps you are going to need to remove the IHKA control unit mounted at the front of the center console. Follow the procedures in the tech article for removing the MID and IHKA control unit.

In the opening of the IHKA control unit remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) and pull the bezel out.
Figure 24

In the opening of the IHKA control unit remove the two Phillips head fasteners (green arrows) and pull the bezel out. It will still be attached by electrical connectors.

At the back of the IHKA bezel you just removed are electrical connectors.
Figure 25

At the back of the IHKA bezel you just removed are electrical connectors. The number of connectors will depend on the number of options the car came with, such as heated seats, ASR, etc. Squeeze the two locking tabs on each side of the possible connectors and pull the connector away from the switch.

With the IHKA bezel out of the way remove the two screws (green arrows) that hold on the front console cover.
Figure 26

With the IHKA bezel out of the way remove the two screws (green arrows) that hold on the front console cover.

Lift the cover at the front of the center console below the IHKA bezel out of the way.
Figure 27

Lift the cover at the front of the center console below the IHKA bezel out of the way. You will need to move some wiring harnesses out of the way at this point.

At the bottom of the cover you have just removed is a metal tang (green arrow) that holds the cigar lighter wiring harness.
Figure 28

At the bottom of the cover you have just removed is a metal tang (green arrow) that holds the cigar lighter wiring harness. Lever the tang out of the way and remove the harness so you can move the cover out of the way.

Use a plastic prying tool to lever off the parking brake lever shroud and pull it up over the lever.
Figure 29

Use a plastic prying tool to lever off the parking brake lever shroud and pull it up over the lever.

At the bottom of the parking brake lever opening loosen the Phillips head fastener a few turns.
Figure 30

At the bottom of the parking brake lever opening loosen the Phillips head fastener a few turns. It does not have to come out all of the way.

At the top of the parking brake opening pull the side cover away from the parking brake lever to unseat a clip (green arrow) and pull the cover out of the way.
Figure 31

At the top of the parking brake opening pull the side cover away from the parking brake lever to unseat a clip (green arrow) and pull the cover out of the way.

Move both passenger and driver front seats as far forward as they will go.
Figure 32

Move both passenger and driver front seats as far forward as they will go. Use a door panel clip removal tool to pry of fastener covers on both the driver and passenger side of the center console.Pictured here is the driver side cover being removed. The passenger side is in approximately the same spot on the other side of the console.

Remove the Phillips head fastener recessed inside the opening of the cover you just removed on the side of the center console.
Figure 33

Remove the Phillips head fastener recessed inside the opening of the cover you just removed on the side of the center console. In order to perform the next few steps you need to remove a carpeted panel from the front side of the center console, Follow the procedure outlined in the tech article for removing the glove box and the driver side lower panel. You only need to follow the steps for removing the side carpet panel not the whole procedure.

With both carpeted panels out of the way remove the two 7mm fasteners (green arrow) in the side of the center console towards the front.
Figure 34

With both carpeted panels out of the way remove the two 7mm fasteners (green arrow) in the side of the center console towards the front.

Under the dash board, where the base of the dash meets the center console remove another pair of 7mm fasteners (green arrow).
Figure 35

Under the dash board, where the base of the dash meets the center console remove another pair of 7mm fasteners (green arrow).

Lift out the entire center console out from the rear first.
Figure 36

Lift out the entire center console out from the rear first. Lift it up until the front of the console clears the shift lever. You can make your life a little easier by applying the parking brake, turning on the ignition key, stepping on the brake and moving the shifter to another gear. You need to remember you have removed the neutral safety switch and need to position the shifter in the same position as when you took it off to install the switch. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. There are a lot of parts and fasteners that need to be installed properly so review all the steps outlined here in reverse to make sure you donÂ't forget anything. Carefully position panels and install all mounting screws first before tightening them down. Remember how wiring harnesses were routed so you can install them in the same position.

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Comments and Suggestions:
bob Comments: While I have the center console open, how do I test my neutral safety switch to see if it is working properly. Can it block my power to the starter solenoid if it is bad?
October 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It will not allow the vehicle to crank, if not in Park on Neutral. An easy way to test it to view the gear indicator in the instrument cluster, if correct, it's usually ok. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:05:11 AM