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Wheel Well Liner Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Wheel Well Liner Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

10mm, 8mm sockets, Flathead screwdriver, small pick, floor jack, two jack stands, wheel chocks, lug wrench, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

Wheel well plastic rivets

Hot Tip:

Tape body so you don't scratch it

Performance Gain:

Access to front lights, horn and washer reservoir

Complementary Modification:

Replace all plastic rivets

The wheel wells (inner fenders) on your BMW E60 are fitted with plastic liners. These liners help to keep water and debris from entering body panels, electrical components and the engine compartment. The wheel well liners also help to reduce road noise and offer another level or weight reduction by reducing the amount of metal used in the fenders and surrounding components.

The front wheel well liner protects the front fender from water and helps to dampen road noise. You will need to remove it to replace a front fender. Also the windshield washer reservoir is located behind the driver side front wheel well liner. Wheel well liners are frequently damaged from impacts with parking blocks or curbs, sometimes leaving the liner hanging or dragging on the wheel. When replacing, I suggest having one large plastic rivet for the front splash shield connection and three small plastic rivets for the rear connection to the fender on hand. These items frequently break when removing, and there is nothing worse than not having all the parts you need to complete a repair.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and 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 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.

Raise and support the front of vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the front wheel and the engine splash shields. See our tech article on engine splash shield removal.

Front liner: 
Front liner: The wheel well liner (green arrows) is one piece, wrapping around the inner fender and behind the strut.
Figure 1

Front liner: The wheel well liner (green arrows) is one piece, wrapping around the inner fender and behind the strut. There are several separate panels that can be removed and replaced, I will show you how to remove each of these, then the large section of liner. This photo shows only the main liner, with the small panels removed.

Front liner: Starting at the rear panel of the liner, remove the six 8mm fasteners (green arrow).
Figure 2

Front liner: Starting at the rear panel of the liner, remove the six 8mm fasteners (green arrow). The red arrow points to the seventh 8mm fastener on the rear section. You can remove this now as well or leave it until after the panel is removed.

Front liner: Remove the rear panel by sliding it down and away from the body.
Figure 3

Front liner: Remove the rear panel by sliding it down and away from the body. If you haven't removed that 8mm fastener from the last step, remove it now (green arrow).

Front liner: Next, the panel (green arrow) over the steering rack and control arm has to be removed.
Figure 4

Front liner: Next, the panel (green arrow) over the steering rack and control arm has to be removed.

Front liner: Working at the rear of the panel, remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow).
Figure 5

Front liner: Working at the rear of the panel, remove the 8mm fastener (green arrow).

Front liner: Working at the front of panel, remove the two remaining 8mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 6

Front liner: Working at the front of panel, remove the two remaining 8mm fasteners (green arrows). The rearmost fastener in this photo has already been removed. The empty bore is shown.

Front liner: Pull the panel down and away from the body of the vehicle.
Figure 7

Front liner: Pull the panel down and away from the body of the vehicle. Spread the section (green arrow) that wraps around the steering rack when removing.

Front liner: Next, you have to remove three plastic rivets from the rear of the wheel well liner (green arrows).
Figure 8

Front liner: Next, you have to remove three plastic rivets from the rear of the wheel well liner (green arrows). Use a small punch or pick (inset) and drive the center of the plastic rivet through the rivet. Then pull the plastic rivet out of the fender using a small flathead screwdriver. The plastic rivets usually break and are not usually reusable. Have new ones on hand before beginning.

Front liner: Working at the rear top of wheel well liner, remove two 8mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 9

Front liner: Working at the rear top of wheel well liner, remove two 8mm fasteners (green arrows).

Front liner: Then, working at the center top of the liner, remove the plastic rivet (green arrow).
Figure 10

Front liner: Then, working at the center top of the liner, remove the plastic rivet (green arrow). Use a trim panel tool to remove the center pin (inset), then lever out the rivet using the same tool.

Front liner: Working at the lower corner of the front bumper, remove the two splash shield 8mm fasteners and two brake duct 8mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 11

Front liner: Working at the lower corner of the front bumper, remove the two splash shield 8mm fasteners and two brake duct 8mm fasteners (green arrows). Then, remove the plastic rivet (yellow arrow). To remove the plastic rivet, use a small pick to push the center pin into the rivet. Then lever the rivet out using a trim panel tool.

Front liner: Remove the corner splash shield from the bumper by pulling it down toward the rear of the vehicle.
Figure 12

Front liner: Remove the corner splash shield from the bumper by pulling it down toward the rear of the vehicle.

Front liner: Back to the inner front wheel well, remove two more 8mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 13

Front liner: Back to the inner front wheel well, remove two more 8mm fasteners (green arrows).

Front liner: Up a little further in the inner front wheel well, remove one 8mm fastener (green arrow) and one 10mm fastener (yellow arrow).
Figure 14

Front liner: Up a little further in the inner front wheel well, remove one 8mm fastener (green arrow) and one 10mm fastener (yellow arrow).

Front liner: Working at the rear bottom of the wheel well liner (yellow arrow), detach the wheel well liner from the body.
Figure 15

Front liner: Working at the rear bottom of the wheel well liner (yellow arrow), detach the wheel well liner from the body. Pull it out of the body and down while you pull the liner out of the fender (green arrow). Guide the liner out of the fender. Then move to the front of the liner (red arrow). Pull it out of the front bumper and down. Once the liner is detached from the bumper, fender and body push the front and rear section toward each other. Then pull the liner up from behind the brake line and front strut. This is the tough part as it is a tight fit out from behind the brake hose. As you lift, wiggle the liner back and forth to get it out.

Front liner: Install the wheel well liner in the reverse order of removal.
Figure 16

Front liner: Install the wheel well liner in the reverse order of removal. Remember to replace plastic rivets and any damaged fasteners. When installing, start by holding the front and rear sections toward each other, almost folded, then feed the liner into the wheel well and behind the brake hose. Wiggle it back and forth to get it in. Then be sure it is behind the brake hose. Once in, feed the liner lip (green arrow) into the fender. Then pop the front of the liner behind the bumper, on the outer edge. Then the rear section, the lower part (green arrow) goes behind the body and the upper part stays outside the fender (yellow arrow). Finally, install the fasteners, splash shields and wheel.

Rear liner:
Rear liner: Working at the front of the right rear wheel well liner, remove the four 8mm fasteners.
Figure 17

Rear liner: Working at the front of the right rear wheel well liner, remove the four 8mm fasteners. The green arrows point to two. The inset and blue arrows point to the remaining two. Then remove the 10mm plastic nut (yellow arrow).

Rear liner: Working at the rear of the right rear wheel well liner, remove the seven 8mm fasteners (yellow arrows).
Figure 18

Rear liner: Working at the rear of the right rear wheel well liner, remove the seven 8mm fasteners (yellow arrows). Next, remove the plastic rivet (blue arrow) by removing the center rivet, then pulling it from the liner. Then remove the 10mm plastic nut (green arrow).

Rear liner: With all the fasteners removed, pull the center of the liner (near strut) away from the body.
Figure 19

Rear liner: With all the fasteners removed, pull the center of the liner (near strut) away from the body. The detaching points are where the plastic nuts attach. Once free, pull the center of the liner away from the body while feeding the top sides (yellow arrow) down and out of the fender. Remove the liner from the body.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:39:17 AM