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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:36 AM
BhamDave BhamDave is offline
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Location: Birmingham Alabama
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 2001 530
Question C Pillar Interior Trim Madness

The A and C pillar interior trim on my 2001 530 sedan was looking rather tattered so, spurred by an ad from ECS tuning, I ordered a new set. The A trim fit perfectly; not so the C pillar trim.

The part number for the C pillar trim they sent me, and what is shown in RealOEM, is 5143-7-046-410 (Sandbeige, right side trim piece). The part that's in my car is 5143-8-260-026 for the right side.

The part that's in my car can be easily identified by the attachment screws that it has in the courtesy light opening that the new part does not have. The distance between the attachment tabs is ~9-1/4" for the old part and ~8-1/2" for the new part. The thickness of the two parts is also considerable differnent with the old part being much thicker. Photos, I hope, are included somewhere in this post (First time to post photos).

I've web searched for the old part numbers with only a few old eBay postings located. ECS talked to BMW with no luck. Anybody have a clue on this? I've really got my car looking good and replaced everyting that shows signs of age (windshield and back window trims, trim at base of windshield, many others) and it would be great it I could get my C pillar trim replaced.

Any and all help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2012, 01:22 PM
atakordie atakordie is offline
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Location: Columbia, SC
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6; 2001 750iL
I ordered a new left side C-pillar in sandbeige 2 years ago from an online dealer, and discovered the same problem you have found. I ended up selling the new one somewhere and finding a nice used set on eBay from a part out. I don't know what happened, but it seems BMW changed the part to something that is rather unusable without the proper mounting points/thickness as you described.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:17 PM
BhamDave BhamDave is offline
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Location: Birmingham Alabama
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 2001 530
I may reorder the new parts and see if I can fabricate new mounting tabs to the correct distances and space the trim piece out to line up properly with the headliner.

Pain in the butt!

How could BMW screw this up?
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:08 PM
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sainda210 sainda210 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 540I 6spd
I think the problem you ran into is a mixed year part number..when I was replacing my trim peices, I realized that the trim differed from 97-2000 and also 2001-2003. The new C-pillar you have might be for the 97-2000 year builds.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:13 AM
atakordie atakordie is offline
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Location: Columbia, SC
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6; 2001 750iL
There are C-pillar part numbers for those with rear airbag and those without. If I recall correctly, the part numbers were the exact same for both the one I took off my car and the new one ordered. I was dumbfounded, because all the numbers matched, but the parts weren't the same.
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