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Pelican Technical Article:

Tail Gate Trim Panels Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

0.5 hours

Tab:

$50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Trim panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, small pick

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (2007-10)

Parts Required:

Fasteners, airbag

Hot Tip:

Use floor mat from vehicle to kneel on

Performance Gain:

Access to components behind panels

Complementary Modification:

Replace pillar trim as well

BMW X3 models have plastic trim on the interior of the tail gate. This trim covers the metal body as well as the electrical and mechanical components of the tail gate. This panel may have to be removed to service items such as the tail lights, the rear wiper motor and the spoiler.

This panels are held in my fasteners of varying style, be sure to have the correct ones on hand in the case one breaks or is lost.

Remember 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

BMW X3 models have plastic trim on the interior of the tail gate.
Figure 1

BMW X3 models have plastic trim on the interior of the tail gate. This trim covers the metal body as well as the electrical and mechanical components of the tail gate. There is one main lower panel (red arrow) and three surrounding smaller trim panels (blue arrows).

Working at the side trim panels, pull the panel (red arrow) straight off.
Figure 2

Working at the side trim panels, pull the panel (red arrow) straight off. If needed, use a trim panel tool to lever the trim clips out. Right side shown, left is similar. Once detached, pull straight out and remove from smaller top panel.

Working at the top trim panel, pull the panel (red arrow) straight off.
Figure 3

Working at the top trim panel, pull the panel (red arrow) straight off. If needed, use a trim panel tool to lever the trim clips out. If the trim clips remain in the tail gate, squeeze and pull out to remove (blue arrow).

Next, use a small pick to push the center pin on the panel clips near the tail gate catch (red arrows).
Figure 4

Next, use a small pick to push the center pin on the panel clips near the tail gate catch (red arrows). Once the center pin is pushed through, use a trim panel tool to remove the anchor.

The tail gate has two recessed handles, remove the Phillips head screw from each (red arrow).
Figure 5

The tail gate has two recessed handles, remove the Phillips head screw from each (red arrow).

Then, lever out the top corners of the main trim panel using a trim panel tool.
Figure 6

Then, lever out the top corners of the main trim panel using a trim panel tool. Once one or two of the clips are free (blue arrow), pull the panel down and away from the tail gate (red arrow). Pull panel down slightly, then pull the tail gate light electrical connector straight out to remove.

This photo shows each trim clip you have to unclip on the main panel (red arrows).
Figure 7

This photo shows each trim clip you have to unclip on the main panel (red arrows). Replace any damaged clips when reinstalling. Reverse steps when installing.

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 03:07:47 AM