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BMW E39 Pillar Covers and Door Trim Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Pillar Covers and Door Trim Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic Pry Tool, Door Panel Clip Remover

Applicable Models:

BMW E39 5-Series (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Door Sill Clips, Plastic Clips

Hot Tip:

By removing these panels you can detail your interior and run wiring for custom jobs

Performance Gain:

Change and/or update appearance of interior

Complementary Modification:

Reduce weight

If you plan on upgrading your ride with a custom installed radio, amp and speaker system you are going to need to run wiring for each of these components. Speak wires, power and ground supplies for components and the components themselves can be fit into the interior panels of these cars. There are some components that are mounted under these panels and you may need to remove them to access these components, such as opera lights and antenna amplifier. In this tech article we are going to review removing the door rocker panels (door sill trim) and the interior covers for the A-pillar, B-Pillar and C-Pillar.

A-Pillar Cover Removal:
Use a plastic pry tool to lever off the top of the A-Pillar cover.
Figure 1

Use a plastic pry tool to lever off the top of the A-Pillar cover. If the vehicle has curtain (aka side airbags) there will be a plastic cover indicating there is an airbag. Pop off the cover and remove the Phillips head fastener behind it. Then you can lever off the top of the cover.

Here we are at the base if the right side A pillar.
Figure 2

Here we are at the base if the right side A pillar. Grab the cover and lift straight up towards the top of the roof. The bottom of the cover will come loose from the top of the dashboard cover. Remember to line up and properly position the front A pillar cover in the dash panel first and push downward before installing the upper clip mount. Installing is reverse of removal. Remember to position the bottom of the A pillar cover in the dash first then align the top clip and install that second.

 B-Pillar Cover and Door Sill Removal:
Grab the door sill cover with your hand and pull hard straight upward.
Figure 3

Grab the door sill cover with your hand and pull hard straight upward. You are going to have to use quite a bit of force to lift up on the plastic cover. You may feel a pop and only have the front of the panel loose. Pulling in the same direction gradually work your way back until the entire cover is off.

What you are doing that you canÂ't see is releasing these white plastic clips (green arrow) from holes in the car rocker panel.
Figure 4

What you are doing that you canÂ't see is releasing these white plastic clips (green arrow) from holes in the car rocker panel. Look at Picture #5 to see where the clips are located.

There are three clips that hold the front door sill cover to the body of the car.
Figure 5

There are three clips that hold the front door sill cover to the body of the car. You have to pop off all three to remove the panel.

Here we are at the front clip of the right side door sill cover.
Figure 6

Here we are at the front clip of the right side door sill cover. The plastic clips may stay in the body of the car and pop off of the doorsill cover. Use a door panel pry tool to pop out the clips that stayed in the body of the car.

When preparing to reinstall the door sill cover you need to slide the white clips in the grove on the bottom side of the cover in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 7

When preparing to reinstall the door sill cover you need to slide the white clips in the grove on the bottom side of the cover in the direction of the blue arrow. You need to line up the three clips with the three holes in the body of the car. As you push down on the cover the clips will snap in place.

Here we are at the right side rear door sill.
Figure 8

Here we are at the right side rear door sill. Reach under the inner edge of the rear door sill cover and pull straight up just as you did on the front sill cover. Here there are only two clips that hold the cover down but under the seat there is a 10mm bolt that holds on the rear of the rear door sill cover. If the clips stay in the body use the door panel clip removal tool to pop them out. See our Front & Rear Seat Removal tech article and follow the procedure for removing the rear seat to expose the 10mm bolt.

Use a plastic pry tool to lever out the clips that hold on the bottom of the B-Pillar cover.
Figure 9

Use a plastic pry tool to lever out the clips that hold on the bottom of the B-Pillar cover. The bottom of the cover will be loose but not the top.

Pull the B-Pillar cover away from the B-Pillar an inch or so and then downward to dismount the upper part of the cover.
Figure 10

Pull the B-Pillar cover away from the B-Pillar an inch or so and then downward to dismount the upper part of the cover. Look at the two slides at the top of the bottom cover that fit into the upper cover so you know how to align them when you reinstall the lower cover. Now that the cover is loose you can move it out of your way.

To remove the upper B-pillar, pull the bottom of the upper B-pillar trim panel away from the body to detach the retaining clips (green arrows).
Figure 11

To remove the upper B-pillar, pull the bottom of the upper B-pillar trim panel away from the body to detach the retaining clips (green arrows). The panel will not come off yet. There is an upper clip that you will take off in the next step.

At the top of the panel is a single securing clip (green arrow) that fits into a plastic receptacle (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

At the top of the panel is a single securing clip (green arrow) that fits into a plastic receptacle (yellow arrow). You can use a plastic pry tool to lever this off or you can simply grab the panel and pull it away from the pillar. Keep in mind the seat belt passes through this cover and the cover will hang from the seat belt unless you remove the seat belt from the seat. If you are going to replace the panel you will need to remove the seat belt from the seat. Refer to the tech article on removing seats and follow the instructions on removing the front seat belt. Once the seat belt is loose pass it through the opening in the cover and remove the cover. Installation is the reverse of removal. If you have a light colored interior you may want to make sure your hands are clean so you do not stain the panels. Line up all plastic clips with their respective receptacles before pushing the panel in place. If you are running wiring make sure it does not come in contact with the retaining clips as the wiring may get damaged when you put the panels back in place.

C-Pillar Cover Removal:
Using a plastic pry tool lever out the opera light from the C-Pillar cover.
Figure 13

Using a plastic pry tool lever out the opera light from the C-Pillar cover. Unplug the electrical connection for the light by squeezing the connector and pulling it straight out of the lamp assembly.

With a plastic pry tool lever out the top of the C-Pillar cover.
Figure 14

With a plastic pry tool lever out the top of the C-Pillar cover.

Here we are looking at the left side C pillar cover.
Figure 15

Here we are looking at the left side C pillar cover. Grab the C-Pillar cover and lift it upwards towards the direction of the blue arrow to unseat the bottom of the panel from the parcel shelf. Installation is the reverse of removal. If you have a light colored interior you may want to make sure your hands are clean so you do not stain the panels. Line up all plastic clips with their respective receptacles before pushing the panel in place. If you are running wiring make sure it does not come in contact with the retaining clips as the wiring may get damaged when you put the panels back in place.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:05:25 AM