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Center Console Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Center Console Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

***

Tools:

T27 Torx driver, flathead & Phillips head screwdriver, trim panel tool, diagonal cutters

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Center console or parts you are removing to replace it

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before working with electrical components

Performance Gain:

Improved appearance and access to components behind console

Complementary Modification:

Replace center console switches

Interior trim pieces in BMW Z3 cars are often made of preformed hard plastic. Plastic clips or metal screws are used to hold them in place. To avoid marring the trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

A number of electrical components are installed in the center console. Before removing the console, disconnect the battery negative cable and insulate the cable end to prevent accidental reconnection. 

The center console runs from the dashboard along the transmission tunnel to the rear seats. You may have to remove it to work on your stereo system or to replace the BMW iDrive switch. You may also have to remove the center console to replace your parking brake cables. Having them out makes the procedure easier. Be careful when levering off wood trim panels. If you twist or lever too hard the wood can crack. If running new wiring under the center console for an iPod or other aftermarket equipment, run it through a protective loom and be sure it is well out of the way of the parking brake cable.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws.
Figure 1

Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws. Us a small flat head screwdriver and lever the caps off. Then remove three Phillips head screws (green arrows).

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel.
Figure 2

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel. Remove the plastic caps as you did previously if they are present. I find these caps missing quite often. There should also be Phillips head screws (yellow arrow) that run along the bottom edge of the knee bolster trim panel, remove these as well.

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.
Figure 3

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.

Next you will have to remove the knee support.
Figure 4

Next you will have to remove the knee support. Remove all six 10mm bolts (green arrows) from the support. When you get to the final bolt, hold the support in place or it will fall down.

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.

Working at the center console, remove two plastic trim caps (green arrow) using a small flathead screwdriver.
Figure 6

Working at the center console, remove two plastic trim caps (green arrow) using a small flathead screwdriver. Then remove the Phillips head screws (yellow arrows) beneath the caps.

Next you have to remove the fasteners at the rear of the center console.
Figure 7

Next you have to remove the fasteners at the rear of the center console. Move both seats all the way forward. Then remove both Phillips head screws (green arrow). Photo shows left side, right side is the same.

Working in the parking brake lever, pull the rear of the parking brake handle trim cover off.
Figure 8

Working in the parking brake lever, pull the rear of the parking brake handle trim cover off. Then pull it up and away from center console to expose the parking brake lever.

My vehicle had the BMW storage tray option, so I have to remove a few extra pieces.
Figure 9

My vehicle had the BMW storage tray option, so I have to remove a few extra pieces. If you have this follow along. If you don't remove your cup holder, then the screws beneath it. Working at the rear of the storage compartment (behind the parking brake lever), remove the rubber plug.

Next, remove the T27 Torx screw from the storage tray.
Figure 10

Next, remove the T27 Torx screw from the storage tray. If the screw spins and does not come out, you may have to grab the nut using needle nose pliers. See the next step.

Using needle nose pliers, counter-hold the nut while loosening the Torx screw.
Figure 11

Using needle nose pliers, counter-hold the nut while loosening the Torx screw. Be careful not to drop the nut once loose. I prefer to use needle nose pliers with jaws bent at a 45 degree angle. With the screw removed, lift the storage tray up and out of center console to remove.

Next, remove the Phillips head center console mounting screw (green arrow).
Figure 12

Next, remove the Phillips head center console mounting screw (green arrow).

Remove shift knob by pulling straight up (green arrow) and off shift lever.
Figure 13

Remove shift knob by pulling straight up (green arrow) and off shift lever. The knob can be on quite tight and may need a lot of force to remove it. I found if you slightly twist the knob back and forth while pulling up, it will come off easier. With that said, be careful because the plastic rod can break when knob is removed. Pull it up using a well-controlled force.

Grab the shift indicator bezel and pull it up to remove.
Figure 14

Grab the shift indicator bezel and pull it up to remove. If there has been a drink spill (ex. coffee spilled) the bezel may stick to the center console. You can clean the surrounding area before removing using a tooth pick. This will remove most of the debris and allow bezel to be pulled out easily. While you pull bezel up to remove, remove plastic trim tube from shift rod (green arrow).

Next, lift shift indicator bezel up and disconnect electrical connectors by pulling them straight off (green arrows).
Figure 15

Next, lift shift indicator bezel up and disconnect electrical connectors by pulling them straight off (green arrows). When you pull connectors off, be sure to pull straight away as to not damage opposite side of connector. Then remove bezel from center console.

Working at the front of the center console, above the IHKA control panel, remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows).
Figure 16

Working at the front of the center console, above the IHKA control panel, remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows).

Once you remove the screws, I like to detach the corners of the center console.
Figure 17

Once you remove the screws, I like to detach the corners of the center console. Grab the side of the center console and pull it down and away from the dashboard. It should pull away and move free when detached.

Working at IHKA panel, pull all three control knobs (green arrows) straight off to remove.
Figure 18

Working at IHKA panel, pull all three control knobs (green arrows) straight off to remove.

Then, reach into radio opening and detach control panel from center console.
Figure 19

Then, reach into radio opening and detach control panel from center console. The control panel will release as you pull it straight off toward the firewall. You are detaching clips (green arrows) that surround the control panel.

Now it is time to prepare the center console for removal.
Figure 20

Now it is time to prepare the center console for removal. You will have to disconnect electrical connectors, the chime and the OBD II connector. Start by lifting the center console up enough to gain access to the 12 volt socket and switches. Pull each electrical connector straight off to remove, there is a total of ten electrical connectors to disconnect.

Working back at the parking brake lever, cut the tie strap (green arrow) off the trim boot.
Figure 21

Working back at the parking brake lever, cut the tie strap (green arrow) off the trim boot. Then remove the trim boot from the parking brake lever.

Working at the right side of the center console, open the ODB II plug door.
Figure 22

Working at the right side of the center console, open the ODB II plug door. Then remove the two Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the OBD II plug. Detach the plug from the mounting bracket and lay it aside.

Lift the rear of the center console up and begin to remove it.
Figure 23

Lift the rear of the center console up and begin to remove it. Unplug or detach the warning chime, it is located on the left side of the center console, at front. Place the vehicle in a low gear, then lift center console up and remove from vehicle. To install, reverse removal steps. Remember to route wiring and plugs as they were before to avoid future problems.

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Comments and Suggestions:
wooden Shoe Biker Comments: Thanks, this was more informative than the 3 or 4 videos I watched on You Tube. Good photos are very helpful. Thanks.
May 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:07:47 AM