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Interior Pillar Panel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Interior Pillar Panel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Trim panel clip tool, flathead, T20, T50 Torx

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Pillar panels, trim clips

Hot Tip:

Always lever off gently

Performance Gain:

Freshen up interior appearance

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The interior pillar panels cover the interior body pillars of the vehicle. The A-pillar is located at the front windshield. The B-pillar is located between the front and rear doors. The C-pillar is located behind the rear door. These trim panels are exposed to harsh sunlight and receive physical contact from time to time. Due to these conditions the finish on the panels may wear. The panels may dry out and crack.

In the procedure for the B-pillar trim, the doorsill trim is covered within it. Replace any broken trim panel clips and work with care so as not to damage the trim panel finish.

E60 models are equipped with curtain airbags above the doors. Do not use sharp metal tools when prying an interior pillar panel away from the roof liner. The A-pillar panels don't require too much effort to remove. Just keep the airbags in mind when working in this area.

Front seat belts are routed through B-pillar trim covers. When removing B-pillar trim, you will first remove the front seat side plastic trim to gain access to the seat belt fastener, as described below.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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 you're 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

A-pillar trim:
A-pillar trim: Using a small flathead screwdriver, gently lever out the fastener trim cover (red arrow).
Figure 1

A-pillar trim: Using a small flathead screwdriver, gently lever out the fastener trim cover (red arrow).

A-pillar trim: Next, remove the T20 Torx fastener from the A-pillar trim panel (red arrow).
Figure 2

A-pillar trim: Next, remove the T20 Torx fastener from the A-pillar trim panel (red arrow).

A-pillar trim: Pull the A-pillar trim panel away from the A-pillar while detaching it from the door seal.
Figure 3

A-pillar trim: Pull the A-pillar trim panel away from the A-pillar while detaching it from the door seal. When installing, it's the reverse order of the removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged trim panel clips. Use a plastic prying tool to adjust the door seal position on the A-pillar trim when done. The red arrow points to the trim panel clip, while the blue arrow points to the front airbag, for reference of the position of the trim panel clip.

B-pillar trim:
B-pillar trim: Working at the side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the rear (red arrow).
Figure 4

B-pillar trim: Working at the side of the seat, pull the trim panel off starting at the rear (red arrow). Then work forward detaching the clips as you go (green arrows).

B-pillar trim: This photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (green arrows).
Figure 5

B-pillar trim: This photo shows the clips you have to detach to remove the trim piece (green arrows).

B-pillar trim: Next, remove the T50 Torx seat belt fastener (green arrow).
Figure 6

B-pillar trim: Next, remove the T50 Torx seat belt fastener (green arrow). Move the seat belt out of your way.

B-pillar trim: Using a trim panel tool, lever out the bottom of the lower B-pillar trim panel.
Figure 7

B-pillar trim: Using a trim panel tool, lever out the bottom of the lower B-pillar trim panel. Detach the clips in the areas indicated by the red arrows.

B-pillar trim: Once the bottom of the lower B-pillar trim is detached at the bottom, detach the middle clips (red arrows).
Figure 8

B-pillar trim: Once the bottom of the lower B-pillar trim is detached at the bottom, detach the middle clips (red arrows). Then slide it out of the top trim piece and remove it.

B-pillar trim: This photo shows all four of the trim clips you have to detach (red arrows).
Figure 9

B-pillar trim: This photo shows all four of the trim clips you have to detach (red arrows).

B-pillar trim: Using a trim panel tool, detach the upper B-pillar trim panel clips (red arrow).
Figure 10

B-pillar trim: Using a trim panel tool, detach the upper B-pillar trim panel clips (red arrow).

B-pillar trim: Slide the upper B-pillar trim panel down and remove it from the body.
Figure 11

B-pillar trim: Slide the upper B-pillar trim panel down and remove it from the body. Feed the seat belt through the opening to separate the two. When installing, reverse the order of the removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged trim panel clips.

B-pillar trim: When installing, be sure the upper mounting tabs (red arrows) are properly aligned with the trim panel holes.
Figure 12

B-pillar trim: When installing, be sure the upper mounting tabs (red arrows) are properly aligned with the trim panel holes. Then use a trim panel tool to adjust the door seals to properly overlap the trim panel.

C-pillar trim:
C-pillar trim: Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the fastener trim cover (red arrow).
Figure 13

C-pillar trim: Using a plastic prying tool, gently lever out the fastener trim cover (red arrow). Be careful not to break the cover. Lever it straight out.

C-pillar trim: Next, remove the T20 Torx fasteners from the C-pillar trim panel (red arrow).
Figure 14

C-pillar trim: Next, remove the T20 Torx fasteners from the C-pillar trim panel (red arrow).

C-pillar trim: Pull the C-pillar trim panel up and away from the C-pillar while in the direction of the red arrow to remove it.
Figure 15

C-pillar trim: Pull the C-pillar trim panel up and away from the C-pillar while in the direction of the red arrow to remove it. When installing, reverse the order of the removal instructions. Be sure to replace any damaged trim panel clips.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Okii Comments: Removing the C-Pillar trim did not expose the drain pipe from the rear sunroof drain. Will removing the other trim piece expose the drain pipe? If so, how do you remove the trim piece that the red arrow is on in Figure 15? Thanks
February 1, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the rear seats, then remove the deck lid trim, then the final c-pillar trim piece. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Okii Comments: Hello-

I'm mainly concerned with the C Pillars at this time. Thanks
January 20, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is an abbreviation for a restraint system part. See this image for a photo of the airbag behind the pillar:

http://cdn4.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/112-BODY-Interior_Pillar_Panel_Replacement/images_small/pic03.jpg - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Okii Comments: Hello-

What do the three letters HPS on the Torx fastener cover stand for? Is there a possibility of airbags in any of these pillars?
January 20, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is an abbreviation for a restraint system part. See this image for a photo of the airbag behind the pillar:

http://cdn4.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/112-BODY-Interior_Pillar_Panel_Replacement/images_small/pic03.jpg

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sun 6/25/2017 02:44:07 AM