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Thread: Exterior B-Pillar Removal/Installation (Front & Rear Door)

  1. #1
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    Exterior B-Pillar Removal/Installation (Front & Rear Door)

    MODS: Feel Free to add it in the DIY forum/section.


    Here is the DIY for replacing the exterior B-Pillar. They come in two flavours one is stock matte black painted or high gloss
    M-Sport/M5. A lot of these matte black ones get paint chips and eventually bubble up from rust and look like poop. You can
    buy a set for 120 or so from various dealers or some have taken the route of putting b pillar stick ons that cover the b pillar
    with carbon fibre or chrome or any other kind usually bought from ebay. I prefer to keep the stock look and ordered them from
    tischer and decided to do a diy as there is little to no info on how to replace these. Surprisingly this was fairly easy and
    took me couple of hours to do all 4 doors.

    Tools Needed:

    - T20 Torx Screwdirver
    - #2 Phillips Screwdriver
    - Flathead Screwdriver
    - Interior Panel Removal Tool (OPTIONAL)
    - Pick Tool (OPTIONAL)
    - Flashlight (If not working outside in the sun)
    - Patience


    I only ordered the moldings for the doors... in retrospect I should have ordered the ones for the tiny window (rear window) as
    well as the old b pillars get greyed out over time from weather so I probably have some mismatch there but it's not as obvious.

    - MOLDING, COLUMN B FRONT LEFT - 51328159871
    - MOLDING, COLUMN B FRONT RIGHT - 51328159872
    - MOLDING, COLUMN B REAR LEFT - 51348159873
    - MOLDING, COLUMN B REAR RIGHT - 51348159874

    Overview:

    This was by far one of the most confusing things to research. I decided to order the parts and tackle it as I was reverse
    engineering it. I found you have to remove the inside window trim (thanks to many for the hint), to remove the trim you have
    to also remove the plastic cover that goes around the door, to remove that you have to remove the door panel.

    Note: You maybe able to skip all parts and start from step 16 for front door and from step 5 for rear door. For me the inner window
    trim was very hard to pull and i did not want to risk ripping it so i decided to take everything apart.


    Basically I started off by removing the door and going on from there. Hope this helps to all the diy'ers who have not replaced
    their b pillar and hopefully this will help them to replace it so they dont have to look at the rusty bits. I will post diy for
    two doors, front right and rear right. I will concentrate mostly on the b pillar removal and install if you have any questions
    about removing the door feel free to look for BSW's speaker install videos that show you how to remove the door panel.



    Front Right Door:
    1.

    To Remove the Door you have to remove two screws and a courtesy light circled in blue.




    2.
    First close the air vent and remove the Phillips Screw (Use #2 Screwdriver).




    3.
    The Screw when loosened won't come out unless you have a magnetic screwdriver so just reach in and pull it out.




    4.
    Very carefully use your nail or a pick to remove this cap, be careful not to scratch it.




    5.
    I am told this maybe a phillips head or a torx for me it was torx and T20 so go ahead and remove this.




    6.
    When the door handle pocket is loose do not pull it as it stays with the door and when you remove the door you are going to
    have to slide it out of the hole.




    7.
    Underneath the door and on the door skin is the courtesy light it is secured by just a tab.




    8.
    Use the panel removal tool or a flathead screw driver to pry it open, you can see the tab below.




    9.
    You will have to remove the cable for the courtesy light and be careful not to touch the bulb.




    10.
    You don't have to remove the door card completely off but it's easier to do so... please look at the BSW video on how to
    remove the door card to fully remove it. Below are circled all the tabs that go into the door, including the big plastic piece
    in the middle of the door.




    11.
    Below is shown the plastic piece that secures on the door, more than likely the piece is still stuck on the door so use needle
    nose pliers to depress the tabs above and below the metal and slide the plastic piece out... we will have to mount it back on the
    door before reinstalling the door card.




    12.
    This plastic trim piece needs to be removed, be careful not to break the tweeter grill and/or damage the tweeter itself.




    13.
    Use the trim removal tool or a flathead to remove this grommet/screw. (This is located just below the tweeter)




    14.
    Now we can start to pull this plastic piece off, be careful not to crack it as you will have to order a new one.




    15.
    The whole of the plastic trim removed, this is one piece and has a weird funky wire going to it, I suspect the wire is a audio
    sensor that determines the wind noise when the windows are open to adjust the volume accordingly.




    16.
    The plastic piece removed in step 15 enables us to remove the interior trim piece easily. (You can try removing this piece
    without removing the door panel and or plastic trim but I suspect it will be very hard to remove and possibly harder to
    reinstall). Pull the trim piece with your fingers outwards and it should come out fairly easily.




    17.
    After the trim has been removed you can see the 3 screws that secures the b pillar to the door, use the #2 phillips driver to
    remove these screws.




    18.
    You will have to maneuver the trim piece out. For me I wiggled it a bit and then I pushed it out (left in this case) and then
    pulled it up and it came out.




    19.
    Back of the piece to give you an idea how it is secured.




    20.
    Front of the piece.




    21. - Assembly
    Now you can wiggle it back in and make sure to align the screws and put in all three screws and keep them loose until you align
    the piece with one hand and tighten it. After that follow the steps backwards to install everything in order.








    Rear Right Door:
    1.

    The Rear door panel is a bit different to remove as it only has one screw which is behind the door handle, once again perhaps
    consult with the BSW speaker install video to see how the door panel is removed.




    2.
    With the rear doors again the door handle stays with the door, also note the plastic piece in the middle of the door, you can
    see the plastic piece stuck on it (which has to be removed and installed on the door).




    3.
    The plastic piece in step 2 has to be inserted here on the door panel/card.




    4.
    Once the door panel is removed, once again you have to remove the plastic trim piece, in this case you do not have to remove
    all of the trim only part of it as the B-Pillar is on the same side where you have to remove the plastic trim, remove it by
    wiggling it out (This maybe a bit time consuming as the trim piece is snugly fitted on the door - the end that was cause the
    difficulty is inserted in the door so you can pry it out from there - Also if you want to give yourself more room you can also
    remove the silver piece near the window).




    5.
    Once the trim is out you can remove the inside window trim easily.




    6.
    You can see the same 3 screws, they are again #2 phillips.




    7.
    Rear window also has a rubber weather stripping that goes around the B-Pillar, this was a bit tough to remove but use your
    fingers to massage it outwards.




    8.
    Remove it all the way to the top so the B-Pillar can be wiggled out. Use the experience from the front door to remove the
    B-Pillar.




    9.
    Here you can see the rear door with the B-Pillar removed.




    10. - Assembly
    Once again wiggle the panel back in and make sure to align the screws and put in all three screws and keep them loose until you
    align the piece with one hand and tighten it. After that follow the steps backwards to install everything in order.


    - All done have a beer or coke or whatever floats your boat and hope you don't get too many paint chips and the pillars don't
    rust again anytime soon.
    Last edited by porksoda; 06-30-2009 at 07:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    wow, amazing. excellent job.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziks View Post
    wow, amazing. excellent job.
    thanks. That rusty b pillar was very annoying this gives more of a clue on how to go about it for people who have been wanting to do this...

  4. #4
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    So did you paint your B-pillars?
    I plan on painting mine gloss black.

  5. #5
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    nice diy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    So did you paint your B-pillars?
    I plan on painting mine gloss black.
    Nope got brand new ones they come painted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackcat559 View Post
    nice diy
    thanks

  7. #7
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    Great DIY but you should've replaced ALL the trim pieces since you went to so much trouble to get to the 'B' Pillars. Now you have fresh looking 'B' Pillars and worn out looking trim...I know cause mine is in need of replacement too. Thanks for sharing...

    I'd also like to replace the sideview mirror's triangular backing piece as it looks dull and worn too...at this point, I'm considering the glossy M5 trim. I just met someone with the 2003 540i with the M-sport package and the glossy trim looks amazing in comparison to my matte black.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12CoolDude View Post
    Great DIY but you should've replaced ALL the trim pieces since you went to so much trouble to get to the 'B' Pillars. Now you have fresh looking 'B' Pillars and worn out looking trim...I know cause mine is in need of replacement too. Thanks for sharing...

    I'd also like to replace the sideview mirror's triangular backing piece as it looks dull and worn too...at this point, I'm considering the glossy M5 trim. I just met someone with the 2003 540i with the M-sport package and the glossy trim looks amazing in comparison to my matte black.
    my trim's not too bad when i get some time its going to be a full diy which usually takes about 12-14 hrs heh. Will treat the trim pieces with 303 and everythign.

    I went with stock as i am not sure how long ill have the car for but im very anal about maintenance and i didn't like the bit of rust bubbling at the driver side of all places...
    Last edited by porksoda; 07-01-2009 at 12:59 AM.

  9. #9
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    Replacing those pieces was a great idea, and it came out great! But I did mine (painted everything) a few weeks ago without removing the door panels. I just took it inside and spray painted it, It caame out really nice but I dont trust spray paint as much as factory pieces! Good job

  10. #10
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    great DIY! thanks i was wondering how to do this!
    2001 530i
    Premium Sport Package
    Jet Black on Tan
    116,000 miles

  11. #11
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    excellent writeup! I think mine are JUST starting to oxidize a little.

  12. #12
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    Man, you are really cranking them out! Another one needing a tow to DIY.

    Great job.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by porksoda View Post
    my trim's not too bad when i get some time its going to be a full diy which usually takes about 12-14 hrs heh. Will treat the trim pieces with 303 and everythign.

    I went with stock as i am not sure how long ill have the car for but im very anal about maintenance and i didn't like the bit of rust bubbling at the driver side of all places...

    Did you try removing the exterior window surround trim (the trim that wraps around the window)???

  14. #14
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    Why not just repaint them

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    Did you try removing the exterior window surround trim (the trim that wraps around the window)???
    The silver one or the inside the plastic piece?!


    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    Man, you are really cranking them out! Another one needing a tow to DIY.

    Great job.
    Heh my summer projects to fix whats around the car... i got some euro wing mirrors i didn't think that needed a diy hehe...

    I will take pics of any other thing/repair i do...

    Quote Originally Posted by Constructo003 View Post
    Why not just repaint them
    28 bucks a piece and my time is very limited i decided to just buy them all.. i only had one basically rusty and another one bubbling but i replaced all four

  16. #16
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    Great DIY, but what about the small strip between the window and the smaller piece of glass on the rear door?
    1999 528i - Titanium Silver over Black Leather, Sport
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport

  17. #17
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    Here is the how to on how to get to the smaller divider strip.

    Remove the cover strip on the interior:


    Beneath it you will see 3 screws... remove them:


    After removing the screws push the trim strip gently away from the car door, it may still be attached to the weatherstripping window guilde in the channel.:



    Separate it from the window guide then lift up and out:
    1999 528i - Titanium Silver over Black Leather, Sport
    2000 Z3 2.3 -Topaz Blue over Sand Beige, Sport
    2003 M5 - Imola Red over Imola Red/Black, Sport

  18. #18
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    nice!

    excellent amancuso

    I think now the rusty pitted b pillar covers on the whole of the car has easy diy and with a hundred or two bucks and some time anyone can do this...

  19. #19
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    Wish i can do that this weekend.
    Live the e39..!!


  20. #20
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    B-Pillar Trim Removal

    Why can't you just pull the weather stripping out, remove the three screws, remove trim and replace?

  21. #21
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    Great job on this write-up...

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