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.
Last edited by shogun; 10-09-2016 at 07:19 AM. Reason: pics unfortunately NLA
Rob - 2000 BMW Z3 M Roadster | 1986 Porsche 944 5.3L LM4
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!
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...
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.
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.
Actually kenneth_woo is from Malaysia. $22.00 + $10 s/h for all 4. Alot better than $26 per handle!Originally Posted by jengah
Thanks for the tip, I was about to order them from the dealer next week.
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. It’s hopeless shining an ordinary torch into the gasket and trying to find it. You can’t 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 don’t 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. It’s difficult to explain and even more difficult to photograph (even though I tried).
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). It’s 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.
here...... http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...4&postcount=12Originally Posted by Casebrius
and here... http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...4&postcount=13
...its correct, i just replaced mine yesterday.
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).
I just replaced my door handles on my ti.Originally Posted by spsinha
'95 330ti Club Sport w/sun roof delete, S50USB30, Schricks, 24# inj, BBTB, Conforti SW, Euro HFM, Samco Silicone Intake Boot, Euro oil cooler, JTD Cold Air Intake Duct, RE DMS exhaust, RE Tranny mounts, CF Valve Cover, LTW flywheel/Kevlar sprung hub clutch, RE SSK, 3.46 Finned LSD (M6) , M3 tranny, Brembos, RE Wheel Studs, SS brake/clutch lines, CF interior, Tilt Steering retrofit, 13.5 lb DynaBatt in rear, LED interior/footwell lights, 4500K ZKW HID, Headlight Aim Control, Rear fog light w/cluster indicator, BMW Traffic Pro/Alpine MP3-CD Changer, Staggered LTW wheels, '95 M3 steering rack, VIS CF Hood, M3 LTW Strut Bar, Aluminum M3 Coilover Front/M Coupe Rear suspension, Red LTW Motorsport Seatbelts, OEM Fire Extinguisher, Z8 Starter button, Auto dim rear view mirror w/Homelink, PDC, Rear Sun Shade, Euro Gauge Cluster w/oil temp/shift light , Headlight Washers, BMW MS Door Handles, CF Grills, French ZKW Fogs, Bimmer Mag 8/2007
Fantastic! I noticed mine were cracking pretty bad, so this will be a welcome (and fairly cheap) improvement.
I just replaced the door handle trim on my 1994 325is coupe. It went pretty much as Mmineham posted above.
At least for the coupe, I don't know that I would bother with replacing just the rubber gasket with the piece from Ebay. A new door handle piece with the seal from the dealer is $16.01 (with CCA discount). You will most likely break at least one door handle due to age and figuring out the latch mechanism.
For future reference, the part numbers are:
51 21 8 122 441 left side
51 21 8 122 442 right side
1994 325is Spec3
Marty thanks a lot on your effort of picturing the slider removal, the E36 quick installation slider step by step info was quite helful too. The only problem I faced was that my sliders are black instead of the gold/yellow appearance but your pictures explained it well and I fixed it in a matter of minutes.. thanks again Marty
Ok this shit is out of control with the door sael handles for the E 36.I got the old one off(breaking the clips of course) and realized the fucker just does not pop back in.I have not found the slider yet .If someone has more pic please post them. Much thanks.
I also have a '94 325is and can't seem to find the "slider". I found the access port, and see something metal when I look in it, but it does not move except when I lift the door handle, which makes me think it's not the slider at all. I spent over an hour in the Phoenix heat trying to put this trim on with no luck. I'm thinking of just paying a mechanic to do it. I have to go there tomorrow anyways and it's only one door, so it can't be much, particularly since I alreaddy have the part. I really wanted to do this one myself but it looks like I'll have to pay up instead =(
the plastic grommmet soooooooo hard to take out..did every1 use a flat head screw driver because it wont come out! the plastic is like bending=\
nvm..i got it lol
Last edited by mikeyle05; 06-10-2006 at 10:27 PM.
Anyone have any tips? Im WAILING away on the 'slider' with a piece of 1/4" ratchet extension and a hammer, and it's not budging. Im about to let the dealership do it, Im tired of this POS.
Mercruiser 350/Bravo III
OK - one more than I asked for, very grateful.
Mike - Please DO NOT pull out your window.
Here is what you do (coupe)
Windows on these cars are a PITA to remove, so, FDS. With the door panel off, you will find that the window slides on this yellowish, orangish thingie (yes I'm kinda coming down from major drinking right now, bear with me) and what you need to do is remove that. I know your issue is the door handle trim slider, I'll get to that soon. OK - There are 6 bolts/nuts that you need to remove here. The guide that is farthest to the rear of the car needs to come out. The guide is held on by two allen bolts at the bottom of the door, two bolts at the top near the door handle, and two nuts that connect the window to the slider. Whatever you do, do not loosen a bolt that goes through glass. The last two nuts I mention hold the glass holder thingie to the slider (you will know what I'm talking avout when you're in there).
OK, now pop the window off the plastic slider clip thingies that attach to the window regulater arms. These plastic clips should be replace anyways since they are a failure item anyways, so just kill em. The clips I am talking about are white plastic, slide a bunch, are covered with grease, and have a metal clip on them. Pull the metal clips with a screwdriver and get the window off of them.
You will need to mess with the window a bunch to get this far (up, down, etc), so, what you wana end up with is a window that is loose, that you can pull away from the door handle so that it can be brought in and out no prob. With all of this stuff out of the way (the window still in the car btw), you are able to move the window enough to change out the door handle, and not go through the hassle of removing the window entirely which is WAY too much work for such a simple job (granted I have done it 3 times now, but trust me, this is much easier).
OK, so now the window is far enough out of the way to do the door handle job, and you have saved a buncha time. Great. The slider. It's a PITA I know. I just helped knightryder whatever his username is do BOTH his door handles the other dai I know wtf im talkig abou.t.
OK -- te slider, if you cannot get it through the tiny hole which IS possible rust me, get a hook tool and you can slide it inside the door. You gotta somehow grab it, and pull it towards the front of the car. On the passenge r side i was able to get it through the hole, but for some reason the frivers side was much easier inside the door. There is this metal plate thingie that gets in the way and you gotta deal with this thing when putting the new door ahndle in there . You gotta kinda tucj k the new door handle in there under this metal plate in order to have enoug threads around the lock sylinder to get the nut on there.
ANyways, that slider is a beeeeyotch, and I highly suggest going to sears and getting a tool that has a hook on the end (will post a pic of mine when im coherent enough to do so).
Hey man, if this didnt help PM me your cellie and ill give u arin g and talk u through it.
I just replaced all four, using a coat hanger. It was fairly easy to do. One thing I figured out the hard way is that the rubber grommets actually pull apart in two pieces. First you pull out the inside part, and then the outside part comes out easily. Trying to pry the whole damn thing off in one try will not work.
BTW, best $15 I have spent on this car.
FWIW - I have a coupe and I could NOT get the slider moved.. apparently the tab everybody tells you to push on is not the tab - its actually a piece of metal blocking the tab.
I went right to the doorhandle where you pull and took a screwdriver and pushed it over from the outside.. YES THAT WORKED!
I was able to pull it back - blindly. Got lucky! Not sure if its 100% on but its very stable and fits perfectly
Yeah, well there are a few pictures on the site misleading all kinds of people telling them to hammer on that metal tab. Well that just results in a broken door handle + more work.
I will PM the guy with misleading pictures and ask for a re-edit....
Eric R PM'ed me about this. He broke his door handle and asked me to look at the post again. Now that I look at the post and the pics I can see where the confusion may lie. The slider or hook is BEHIND the grey metal door lever thingy that you see closest to the hole. I use the term "L" to descirbe the shape of the slider. The problem is....now that I look at the pics I posted I noticed the letter "L" stapped on the door lever thingy. So the bit in the pics with the letter "L" that you can see IS NOT the thing you are trying to move. The thing you are trying to slide is shaped like an L behind the lever.
Hope this helps. Marty.
I replaced my door trims this past weekend. The coupe's design is the same as the sedan, but work will need to be done almost blindly because there is a piece of metal that blocks the view of the slider from the access hole. While the slider is in the forward (open) position, it is possible to see a glimpse of the hook end of the slider, but it is not visible while the slider is closed. Using a tool shaped like a larger allen wrench is ideal. Taking apart the door is not that much of a help because the area is blocked by the bottom part of the window (even with the window rolled all the way up), and you will probably find that you will need to fix your door panel because the adhesives have broken down. All you need is the wrench, a flashlight, some patience, and a third hand.