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Thread: DIY: Replacing Door Handle Trim

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Athens, GA
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    2K M Roady, '86 944T

    DIY: Replacing Door Handle Trim

    Recently I have noticed that a lot of people are asking how to remove the old nasty door handles either to replace them with new ones, replace the cracked rubbers, or to just repaint them to make them look nicer. Anyway, after finding out myself, I decided to create this DIY. It was hard to take pictures of the inside of the door, so bare with my on the pictures.

    What you need:
    - Flat head screw driver
    - Some type of hooking device, coat hanger whatnot

    First things first, open the door of choice, and you will notice a little grommet. (Yes, e36 door panels blow )



    Remove the grommet with the screw driver to be able to access the "Slider".



    Here are a few more pictures of the "Slider".





    To help people understand the purpose of the slider, I drew the slider's location based on looking at the door. For instructions, push the slider towards the front of the car to release the old door handle piece. To install the new one, place your hook in the proper position to pull back on the slider and hold in the new piece up against the car (you could also grab a friend to hold it in for you). Pull towards yourself (or towards the back of the car) to lock the slider and hold the new piece in place.





    I hope all this helps.

    Rob - 2000 BMW Z3 M Roadster | 1986 Porsche 944 5.3L LM4

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    United Kingdom
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    320i SE
    Great write up!

    My recent post asks how to do this on an e36 coupe. The slider doesnt seem to be accesible through the hole, without taking the darn window out and taking the door apart. Anyone any ideas?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    E36 Bmw
    you kick ass..

    thanks..
    when i wanted mine painted..
    i read how to take em off in the chilton manual.. and it was super shit..

    i ended up just slowly prying each one off..
    And breaking every fukin clip..

    mine are held on by tape.. gosh..

    -nathan

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    bmw 325is 94
    haha nathan thats getho. at least you didnt buy new covers for the rear doors on a 4 door, have them painted, and then realize that they dont fit!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Brilliantrot 1992 325isA
    Items for Sale
    Quote Originally Posted by stoo
    Great write up!

    My recent post asks how to do this on an e36 coupe. The slider doesnt seem to be accesible through the hole, without taking the darn window out and taking the door apart. Anyone any ideas?
    Bump for the coupe.

  6. #6
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    '07 FJ
    Quote Originally Posted by ziggysux
    Bump for the coupe.
    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    St Pete, FL
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    1998 328iC, 1987 M6

    Luck with a 'vert (coupe too?)

    I finally got lucky finding the "slider" on my 'vert. There is a "gasket" hidden behind the rubber trim on the door, but it's pointless to bother with b/c there's a piece of sheet metal that blocks access to the slider anyway.

    After screwing with the gasket access I finally gave up and took the trim and soundproofing off the door from the inside. I tried looking with flashlights and mirrors and couldn't find the hooked end of the slider, but could easily locate the other end (towards front of car).

    I was able to cram my hand into the hole and felt above and aft of the lock mechanism. You can just feel the hooked end of the slider and with some effort, push it forward. After that the hardest part was holding the trim on with one hand outside the door while working the slider from inside.

    For some reason the driver's side was harder to do - not sure if the parts are different (why would they be) as I'd already reassembled my passenger door. Luckily a buddy came over and helped by holding the trim in while I futzed with the slider. I ended up using a screwdriver to pry it into place from the "front" (non-curved) end as that area is easier to see.

    It was a minor pain but much better than taking the door apart...
    BigBilly
    Hellrot 1998 328iC
    Deletes: CDV, Wood Trim, E36ME's ASC-ectomy, Mudflaps | Undeletes: Fan (after one rebuilt head, can you blame me?)
    Adds: aFe CAI | BMW: Brake Upgrade (e46/330) - Hardtop - MTech Front Spoiler - MTech Euro 3-spoke Steering Wheel - MTech Mirrors - M50 Manifold - S52 Cams | BSW ib108 Subwoofer | Diffsonline 3.46 LSD | Eurosport: M50 Manifold Kit - S52 Cam/M50 Manifold Software | UUC: Big Boy v2.0 - Black TME - DSSR - ERK - EvoII SSK - RSC36 Exhaust - Sachs Stage 3 Suspension - SS Brake and Clutch Lines - Strutbarbarian - SwayBarbarians - Underdrive Pulleys | ZKW Euro Ellipsoids w DDE
    Waiting to install: CF Trunk Lip Spoiler


    Attention convertible owners: Please post all e36 convertible-related questions in the "Convertible Questions" e36 Subforum.

  8. #8
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    thnx man, nice to know...too bad i already returned the parts

  9. #9
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    E36, E39&E34 Touring,E39 540
    Nice write up

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    SLO, CA
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    '98 M3 Sedan

    Door Handle Replacement Rubber Available on eBay

    FYI - there is a guy in the far East (somewhere like Budapest) that is selling the door handle rubbber on eBay for about $25. It fits pretty well and makes your door handles look like new. No more cracked, ghetto-looking door handles on a $50,000 vehichle.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    M3/4
    Quote Originally Posted by jengah
    FYI - there is a guy in the far East (somewhere like Budapest) that is selling the door handle rubbber on eBay for about $25. It fits pretty well and makes your door handles look like new. No more cracked, ghetto-looking door handles on a $50,000 vehichle.

    Good luck.
    Actually kenneth_woo is from Malaysia. $22.00 + $10 s/h for all 4. Alot better than $26 per handle!

    Thanks for the tip, I was about to order them from the dealer next week.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Zealand
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    44
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    328i E36

    E36 Coupe Rubber Door Handle Trim Replacement

    I own a 328i coupe and recently changed the rubber trim. What a mission. There is a slider behind a gasket, but it is very difficult to find and move. If you lift the rubber seal on the top edge of the door (where the window meets the sill just above the latch) you will find a very small gasket (see picture). If you look inside this gasket you will see a lever that moves down when you lift the door handle (a curved grey dull colour).

    The slider is directly behind this (a few millimetres towards the front) against the outside panel. The slider itself has gold/yellow appearance and is in the shape of an "L" with the bottom of the "L" sticking out from the panel. You can just see the tip of slider. Use a flexible LED torch that you can poke it into the gasket and light up the area. Its hopeless shining an ordinary torch into the gasket and trying to find it. You cant look in and shine the torch at the same time.

    The best way to slide it forward (towards the front of the car) is to use an Allen key. The Allen key allows you to get in behind the handle lever. If you can imagine the slider being an L shape and the Allen key being an L shape, then the idea is to push the bottom of the Allen key (tip of the L) against the tip of the L of the slider. Be careful as the locking mechanism is in very close proximity to the slider and you dont want to damage it.

    I my case the slider was difficult to move. But a few taps on the Allen key with the handle of a rubber grip screwdriver did the trick.

    Once you get the trim off and replace the rubber use the Allen key as a hook to pull the slider back.

    The best thing you can do is to find/make and LED flexible torch that will poke through the gasket. Once you do this and get a glimpse of the slider you will see how it all works.

    There is no need to pull the door apart.

    I got my rubber trim from EBay (kenneth_woo, $25 plus $5 shipping for a set of 4).

    I hope this helps you guys. Its difficult to explain and even more difficult to photograph (even though I tried).

    Cheers, Marty.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Apr 2005
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    328i E36
    OK, I just took another look and tried to take some better pictures.

    I made a mistake in the previous post. The Slider tip is just in front of the door handle lever (see the pic for details). Its between a small piece of painted sheet metal on the inside of the outer panel (just visible through the gasket) and the door handle lever.

    Hope these pictures explain things a bit better.

    Marty.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the great write up and pics....I plan on doing my vert in a week or two.
    Hi, I am Bill Janklow. I killed a motorcyclist and got away with it...
    <img src="http://news.mpr.org/features/200109/27_hetlandc_forestfires-m/images/janklow.jpg"border="0" alt="">

  15. #15
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    So where is a link to replacement rubbers for a Coupe?
    Dakar 95 M3 (4/95 manufacture)
    Techno Violet 97 M3 (12/96 manufacture)
    ___________________________________
    "I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -- A. Senna
    Illegitimus Non Tatum Carborundum

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    WNC, USA
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    Boston Green 1995 325is
    Quote Originally Posted by Casebrius
    So where is a link to replacement rubbers for a Coupe?
    here...... http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...4&postcount=12

    and here... http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...4&postcount=13

    ...its correct, i just replaced mine yesterday.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    What rubber seals are you all replacing? I've looked at my door handles and I don't see any.... nothing looks old, dried out or cracked...

    -Al.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Venezuela
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    325I coupe 1994
    the *&%/()& is not visible on coupe, and you can spend hours changing it!!! good luck or at least more than i had!!!

    325I 1994.
    Venezuela .

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    328i E36
    Like most DIY projects, it takes time to work out what people are writing about. But once you do it once you can do it a 100 times with ease. It's tricky but not impossible on the coupe.

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    BMW E36 coupe
    Did you have to remove the interior door trim in order to do this?

    Starting to think I should of went for the saloon now LOL

  21. #21
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    Hello all. Just wanted to let you know that I just did mine and it makes a HUGE visual improvement over the disentegrated old ones.

    Huge thanks for the DIY write up as it was a bit tricky to figure out. I used a wire hanger to do it. I straightned out the part of the hanger that hangs on the rack and then put a 90 degree bend about a 1/4" from the tip. I used this to push and pull the slide.

    So now I have a set of rear door trims as mine is a coupe. If anyone needs a set for their rear doors shoot me an email.
    Last edited by LmtdSlip; 10-22-2005 at 01:59 PM.
    Hi, I am Bill Janklow. I killed a motorcyclist and got away with it...
    <img src="http://news.mpr.org/features/200109/27_hetlandc_forestfires-m/images/janklow.jpg"border="0" alt="">

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    98 M Roadster
    I just swapped those gaskets out on my MZ3, and it was a breeze. Though, beware if you buy those gaskets from that eBay dealer that someone mentioned earlier. I ordered a set, and they don't fit quite right. The outside edge wasnt rounded in the right places, so it didn't sit right on the door. It may fit different on a 3-series, but it was supposed to fit the Z3's as well. I ended up just buying another set from the dealer, which fit perfectly. If you go to the dealer, they give you the whole surround along with the rubber gasket, and it ended up being the same price ($16 per side).

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Chicago, IL
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    2005 X5 4.8is
    Does anyone know how to remove the exterior door handle and lock cylinder? Bastards broke in and smashed it all to pieces? If you have a used drivers side door handle, please let me know.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    RSM, CA
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    318i
    OK i'm trying to push the slider back (towards the front of the car) to remove the door trim.

    Anyone have any problems pushing it forward (towards the front of the car)?

    I used an allen and hammered it forward toward the front and it won't budge.

    I"m so close..yet so far away.

    Help!

  25. #25
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    Good explanation of the slider.

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