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Thread: E46 Door leak DIY

                  
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member ///MARINE's Avatar
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    E46 Door leak DIY

    I am bringing the E46 sedan to this Saturday's DIY at Passport BMW to try to solve the notorious door leak issue. When I wash the car or during heavy rain storms the inside of the cabin gets wet. As you can imagine this is not fun. I cannot find any DIY info on how to repair this issue. I have attached some pictures.
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    Last edited by ///MARINE; 07-16-2009 at 05:42 PM.
    Brooklyn Taylor - Member # 354954
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    Garage: M3, M5, M6, 635CSi/5 & 850I/6

  2. #2
    Orlando-
    I am not sure looking at the photo, but it appears that the trim is pulling away from the body of the car. Did you call Passport to see if they know about the issue and have the trim in stock? If you need an extra set of hands, I'll be there Saturday. The e32 needs an oil service and probably front and maybe rear brakes. See you tomorrow.
    Ray

  3. #3
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    That trim certainly appears loose. I've read of the clips breaking free from the trim pieces upon trim removal, but don't know if that would allow water into the cabin. I've seen the common rubber seal death on many driver's doors.
    I've ordered the shadowline trim pieces for my wife's E46 (along with a few extra clips!) but have not yet received them, so don't know the procedure for R&Ring it.
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ///MARINE's Avatar
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    You are both correct; the trim IS pulling away from the car. This IS causing water to bypass the door seals and leak directly onto the seat. The door seals seem fine. Hopefully, I can fix this issue at the DIY. I will take you up on that offer Ray, the quicker I can get to the bottom of this quality flaw, the better. I'm still searching for answers. Thanks for the input and I will see you there.
    Last edited by ///MARINE; 07-18-2009 at 05:19 AM.
    Brooklyn Taylor - Member # 354954
    Chief Marketing Officer at NCCBMWCCA
    Garage: M3, M5, M6, 635CSi/5 & 850I/6

  5. #5
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    Orlando,
    Any luck today? I'm hoping I'll be able to pull off my bright aluminum trim without screwing up the paint in order to slap the black trim on.
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  6. #6
    Senior Member ///MARINE's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    The DIY went really well. The result is a whisper quiet cabin that is once again waterproof. Justin, a great BMW tech showed me how to remove the old moldings without scratching the car or breaking any clips that weren't already broken. There are 15 clips on each side (driver and passenger). I ended up replacing about 6 clips. We ended up reusing the driver side molding because only the passenger side molding was in stock at Passport that day. The most important tip is to slide the rear of the molding into it's c-pillar clips first, then work your way forward. It is not difficult, it just takes some finesse.
    Brooklyn Taylor - Member # 354954
    Chief Marketing Officer at NCCBMWCCA
    Garage: M3, M5, M6, 635CSi/5 & 850I/6

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Sorry for resurrecting this thread from the grave.

    Please can you point me to a more detailed DIY - I have the same exact problem.

    Do i need to replace the entire molding itself? or just the tabs that hold it in place?

    Thanks for the help in advance!

  8. #8
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    I'm interested in a DIY too. My E39 528it leaks during every rain and wash but ONLY the rear passenger side floor/carpeting gets soaked. The seats and remaining cabin areas are bone-dry.

    How is that possible??

  9. #9
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfrau View Post
    How is that possible??
    The vapor barriers behind the door panels are probably loose/detached at the bottom, allowing the water to run into the door, then across the sills to the carpet. It's amazing how much water can be beneath the carpet!
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    I have the trim off and ordered the clips - I can get some help with directions on how they snap together?


    Quote Originally Posted by ///MARINE View Post
    The DIY went really well. The result is a whisper quiet cabin that is once again waterproof. Justin, a great BMW tech showed me how to remove the old moldings without scratching the car or breaking any clips that weren't already broken. There are 15 clips on each side (driver and passenger). I ended up replacing about 6 clips. We ended up reusing the driver side molding because only the passenger side molding was in stock at Passport that day. The most important tip is to slide the rear of the molding into it's c-pillar clips first, then work your way forward. It is not difficult, it just takes some finesse.

  11. #11
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnovice View Post
    I have the trim off and ordered the clips - I can get some help with directions on how they snap together?
    I have new trim and spare clips, but live on the other side of the planet from Orlando in St Mary's County, MD. We three need to find a time/place to get together and fix the E46s!
    There will be an event down his way in October. http://forum.nccbmwcca.org/showthrea...mons-Island-MD
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  12. #12
    am in seattle... thats the reason i was asking if someone can PLEASE document this as a DIY !!

    thanks in advance.

  13. #13
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
    The vapor barriers behind the door panels are probably loose/detached at the bottom, allowing the water to run into the door, then across the sills to the carpet. It's amazing how much water can be beneath the carpet!
    Thanks John in VA. I'll get it checked out. Thanks for the advice!

  15. #15
    Senior Member ///MARINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnovice View Post
    I have the trim off and ordered the clips - I can get some help with directions on how they snap together?
    Hello Newnovice. I apologize for the delay. Defending democracy has been a particularly busy endeavor this year. I wish I could be of more assistance, but it has been years since I did this job. In hindsight, I should have taken photos when we took my wife's car apart to do this job. Perhaps when John and I get together to tackle his, we can document it more thoroughly. We will keep you posted.
    Brooklyn Taylor - Member # 354954
    Chief Marketing Officer at NCCBMWCCA
    Garage: M3, M5, M6, 635CSi/5 & 850I/6

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