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BMW E39 Driver Side Lower Dash Panel Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Driver Side Lower Dash Panel Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

***

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension

Applicable Models:

BMW E39 5-Series (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Knee bolster, fasteners, interior trim panels

Hot Tip:

You can also use this procedure to get at components mounted behind the lower dashboard such as the brake switch, EWS module and relay.

Performance Gain:

You can replace non-functioning components

Complementary Modification:

You can now replace damaged lower dash pad and or change the color.

In order to perform certain repairs you may need access to components mounted behind the lower dash panel. You may also simply want to replace a damage lower panel to improve the look of your car. This is also the first step in removing more dash mounted components such as the steering column and upper dash panel.

Although it is not necessary you may want to start by removing the carpeted panel mounted on the left side of the transmission tunnel.
Figure 1

Although it is not necessary you may want to start by removing the carpeted panel mounted on the left side of the transmission tunnel. There is one Phillips screw that holds the panel in place.

Once the single screw is removed slide the panel towards the back of the car.
Figure 2

Once the single screw is removed slide the panel towards the back of the car. While youÂ're doing this also pull the panel downward and pull it out of the way.

Under the driver side of the dashboard there is a black cover held on by three Phillip screws (green arrows) three trim panel clips (formally known as Dzus fasteners) (yellow arrows).
Figure 3

Under the driver side of the dashboard there is a black cover held on by three Phillip screws (green arrows) three trim panel clips (formally known as Dzus fasteners) (yellow arrows). Twist the Dzus fasteners 90 degrees and pull them out and remove the screws. The panel should drop down out of your way except for the Gong speaker.

Pull the trim panel down to expose the Gong speaker (green arrow).
Figure 4

Pull the trim panel down to expose the Gong speaker (green arrow).

On the Gong speaker squeeze the two tabs on each side of the white electrical connector and unplug it.
Figure 5

On the Gong speaker squeeze the two tabs on each side of the white electrical connector and unplug it. This connector will probably be tight and you have to work it off to get it unplugged.

Now you can squeeze the tabs on the second black connector and unplug this one as well.
Figure 6

Now you can squeeze the tabs on the second black connector and unplug this one as well. This connector will also be tight.

On the left side of the steering column you will have to lever off the wood trim panel with a plastic pry tool.
Figure 7

On the left side of the steering column you will have to lever off the wood trim panel with a plastic pry tool.

Also, carefully lever off the wood trim on the right side of the steering column.
Figure 8

Also, carefully lever off the wood trim on the right side of the steering column. Be careful you do not damage the wiring to the electrical switch.

Squeeze the electrical connector (green arrow) and pull straight out to unplug the cruise control switch.
Figure 9

Squeeze the electrical connector (green arrow) and pull straight out to unplug the cruise control switch.

To remove the lower panel we need to remove this one Phillips screw (green arrow) on the right side of the column.
Figure 10

To remove the lower panel we need to remove this one Phillips screw (green arrow) on the right side of the column.

There are two Phillips screws (green arrow) that need to be removed on the left side of the column as well.
Figure 11

There are two Phillips screws (green arrow) that need to be removed on the left side of the column as well.

On the side of the dash there is a single Phillips screw that must be removed.
Figure 12

On the side of the dash there is a single Phillips screw that must be removed. It should have a plastic cap that matches the color of the dash. You can remove the cap with a straight pic to access the screw.

In the lower right corner of the lower panel you will have to remove a Phillips screw (green arrow).
Figure 13

In the lower right corner of the lower panel you will have to remove a Phillips screw (green arrow). The screw will probably not come out as it is recessed in the lower dash pad.

With a plastic pry tool lever off the flexible cover under the column.
Figure 14

With a plastic pry tool lever off the flexible cover under the column. It is held on with five plastic rivets, one on each side and three on the bottom. You can now pull the lower dash panel out of your way. If this is all you need to do then reverse the removal procedure for installation. If you need to access deeper into the dash then continue with the following steps.

There is a protective knee bolster that may need to be removed.
Figure 15

There is a protective knee bolster that may need to be removed. Three 10mm bolts (green arrows) hold the knee bolster onto the dash frame.

These bolts are recessed in holes in the knee bolster so you are going to need an extension for your ratchet and socket to get to them.
Figure 16

These bolts are recessed in holes in the knee bolster so you are going to need an extension for your ratchet and socket to get to them.

You will need to remove the two Phillips screws (green arrows) that secure the OBD-II connector to the knee bolster.
Figure 17

You will need to remove the two Phillips screws (green arrows) that secure the OBD-II connector to the knee bolster. Installing is the reverse of the removal procedure. Be careful to route wiring as you found them so they to do not come in contact with metal panels or screws during installation. You may have to position the panel several times to align the screw holes with the brackets they thread into. Do not tighten any screw until you have all of the screws at least started in their mounting hole. This will make it easier to align the lower dash panel.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:05:16 AM