Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-18-2008, 09:36 AM
cdkon cdkon is offline
Registered User
Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 330Ci
Door Handle Fix - Outside No open only

Hi everyone, thought I would give back as I am new around here but have found some good info. After having my passenger door become unopenable from THE OUTSIDE only, I found quite a bit of conflicting info and confusion regarding this issue on various forums. It seems that there are a few different things that can happen that people are mixing up the causes and solutions for. These are:
-Door becomes HARD to open: This requires an adjustment on the outside of the door
-Door won't open period: Not sure what the solution here is
-Door won't open from outside handle only and feels like there is no resistance, i.e. something broke. This is the one I am giving cheap and easy fix to here. You will not require any new parts other than a 50 lb./11 inch zip tie. This problem occurs when someone pulls too hard on the handle, particularly if the door is still locked.

In this instance the clip has broken that holds the cable tight to the carrier assembly. It didnt appear to me like the clip was replacable because the plastic piece I found had broken completely off, plus even if you did replace it, it appears to be a weak link that break again anyway. It takes a little work but eventually you can get the cable guide lined up with a screwdriver and squeeze a finger back there to push it into the guide (if it has come all the way out, if not, even easier for you). Second, use a long zip tie and guide it behind the carrier as shown. Once the cable is pulled tight to the carrier, it won't be able to swing out away from the carrier and give you that loose, broken feeling. Snip the left over zip tie, put everything back together and you are good as new. If you were to buy a new carrier assembly, you will see that they now factory install a zip tie in the exact same way, because they expect for the clip to break.


Chris
2001 330Ci
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0161.jpg
Views:	18160
Size:	137.0 KB
ID:	135896   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0162.jpg
Views:	18758
Size:	89.3 KB
ID:	135897  
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 02-18-2008, 06:12 PM
spazmataz's Avatar
spazmataz spazmataz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kampala, Uganda
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 814
Mein Auto: 2002 318i m-sport 5 spd!
unbeleivable... i was looking for this today. I'm having the same issue with my car. I guess i'll give it a go this weekend. Today woyuld have been perfect cuz it was 60 degrees. thanks anyway.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-01-2008, 11:16 PM
latino1ny latino1ny is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323Ci
Do you have a DIY for the first one you mentioned? Door becomes HARD to open. Sometimes (and I can't figure out when) it will seem like I need to rip my door off the hinges just to open it. Then other times, it opens just fine. I thought it might be due to cold weather because it was doing it when the weather was ~40 out, but then the other day it did it around 65 and before that it didn't do it around 40. So I haven't narrowed it down to exactly WHEN it happens, but it's onlt sometimes and it's aggravating. Anyone know a DIY to fix this?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-16-2008, 10:45 AM
spazmataz's Avatar
spazmataz spazmataz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kampala, Uganda
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 814
Mein Auto: 2002 318i m-sport 5 spd!
i just tried to repair the door lock problem this morning but the black wire that goes off track is still on track so i didnt need to zip tie anything. I brought it to a dealer at the end of last month and they said i needed a new door latch and carrier. Total with labor was going to be a bit over $900. Now I know this should probably cost a lot less so anyone with any ideas please help me out. thank you
__________________

Last edited by spazmataz; 03-16-2008 at 11:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-16-2008, 12:03 PM
spazmataz's Avatar
spazmataz spazmataz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kampala, Uganda
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 814
Mein Auto: 2002 318i m-sport 5 spd!
ok so update... i just went over to e46fanatics and looked up the problem. seems like this is the problem but I neither tried hard enough nor gave it the time it deserved so am gonna try this again on another day cuz its threatening to snow here and i have no garage!!!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-21-2008, 12:10 PM
sneed52 sneed52 is offline
Registered User
Location: NOVA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 61
Mein Auto: 08 335I
Chris,
This just happened to me this morning so I appreciate you info above. I was wondering if you could expand on how you took the door cover off and what tools you used. Thanks in advance.

Des
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2008, 05:45 AM
Ricey Ricey is offline
Registered User
Location: Ireland
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 320ci
Thank you for the post it was a great help

I had this same problem and fixed it yesterday
To strip the door I used the Haynes Manual, once the door was stripped it was quite hard to get at the back of the outer door handle, my problem was that the cable had unclipped itself so I clipped it back in and put some glue on the clip. I found it near impossible to get a cable tie in so I left that out.

To take the door panel off, first you need to pull out the electric wing mirror controler, unplug the wires, then take out the screw behind the inner door handle, then the screw behind the AIRBAG sign (use a flat head to take out the airbag sign and the little screw cover behind the door handle), then there is 3 TORX screws under the arm rest.

Once all the screws have been removed the inner door is held in by clips you need to pull out the inner door from the clips using a lever method, start from the back side of the door working under the door (I used a piece or plastic and a flat head screw driver) , then lift the door out over the locking pin

You then need to disconnect the locking cable from the inner door handle by lifting it back

I didn't disconnect the battery or the speakers
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2008, 06:41 PM
buehler buehler is offline
Registered User
Location: Washington, DC
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2001 235ci
Glad I found this post today. I plan to try the fix tomorrow. The thought of spending hundreds of dollars to fix something that probably shouldn't break makes me want to puke. Hopefully I can get it done on my own and save....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-20-2008, 11:46 AM
mstarkie mstarkie is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 330Ci cabriolet 2001
Door handle fix - success!

Your post was very helpful and I managed to fix the same problem with a cable tie today. I had some difficulty with the job as my hands and wrists just wouldn't go far enough into the door cavity, but having explained the job to a friend with smaller hands we managed to get it done just as you described.

One piece of advice for anyone else attempting the job - it's so much easier to see what you're doing if you are in a garage (out of daylight) and using a good inspection lamp to light up the job. That way we could clearly see the end of the cable and the guide that needed relocation. Trying it outside on the driveway the daylight was more of a hindrance than a help!

Saved a lot of money for sure. I'm curious why it should have been the passenger door, i.e. the one that is hardly ever used.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-09-2008, 09:55 PM
jmatabe jmatabe is offline
E46-M54-330CI-2002
Location: Waukesha, WI
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10
Send a message via ICQ to jmatabe Send a message via Yahoo to jmatabe Send a message via Skype™ to jmatabe
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 330CI
Exclamation Could not fit my hand behind the door. Please Help _ My Window class fell up

Need help Fast!! Getting desperate.

I have an E46 330CI 2002 (Coupe)
I fixed my driver side door which was not opening from the outside handle.
Due to these big hands, I had to detach window glass from regulator to get to the door handle. Now I can't put the glass back together. I am not sure how to re-bolt the clamp assembly that holds the window in place. The clamp has the nut going through the glass. Does anyone have any procedures on this? The assembly comes in three pieces and upon unscrewing the class loose, the clamp mechanism fell in the door behind the glass and came apart so I am not sure how it goes together. Please help!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-13-2008, 02:57 PM
cdkon cdkon is offline
Registered User
Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 330Ci
The reason you will find that it happens on the passenger side very frequently is because of the extra stress put on the clip when passengers try to open the handle quick and hard before you have managed to unlock the passenger door with a second press of the button.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-20-2009, 03:35 PM
RickR535i RickR535i is offline
Registered User
Location: Tennessee
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 49
Mein Auto: 1990 535i/ 2002 530i
Thumbs up

THANKS FOR THE DYI. JOB DONE!

FYI; Door handles were changed a little in 2001. My 04/2001 M3 handles are a little different allowing the wire ties to go closer to the rear part of the cable.

It was easier for me (big clumsy hands) to remove the door panel completely (the Bose Stereo tweeter connector has a small tab that must be pushed down) and air bag.

I fought with cable for a couple hours before I realized in order to get the cable back in place I had to lower the window about 4" to get the cable around a regulator bolt. I used 3 wire ties, I do not want to do this job again

I am "Gun Shy" around Air Bags so I disconnected the battery.
__________________
535i 1990 290k
530i 2002
M3 2001
Ducati SS900

Last edited by RickR535i; 02-21-2009 at 05:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-20-2009, 03:44 PM
DaShoker's Avatar
DaShoker DaShoker is offline
Fitness Freak {}=={}
Location: NorCal
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,184
Mein Auto: Lexus SC turbo
Good info
__________________
Vadim


^ Highway Beast ^
SC300
2JZGE NA-T
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-27-2009, 07:13 PM
mps mps is offline
Registered User
Location: Atlanta, GA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2002 325ci
Thank you all.. I did it today on my 2002 325ci and fixed the issue.. A few comments/lessons learnt:

Preparation
1. Dont forget to unhook the battery
2. The airbag sign is just a plug
3. Roll the windows up all the way
4. The door cover uses a total of 5 screws.. Behind airbag, Behind manual lock inside and 3 below the armrest. You wont miss them
5. Get a small stoll to rest the door case once you pull it out.. You will need to pull a few cables out.. The white for the inside door knob will open if you pull it towards the outside of the car..
6. Go slow when removing the foam from the door.. Slow and steady to ensure you don't remove

During installation
1. Use longer zipties. That way getting access to them will be much easier.. I used 75 pound ziptie from Lowes..
2. Once ziptie was in, I made a small hook with a thin-wire coat-hanger to pull the tie end towards me.
3. Make sure the door cable is inside the ziptie loop
4. The door cable plug that gives it leverage was totally out of its retaining carrier (This is where the clip is broken on the picture on the first post). The best way to push it in is pull the cable towards you, slide yourself under the car and push it in.. You need to do it before tightening the ziptie..

Lessons Learnt:
1. I broke the carrier, but used zipties to fix it back in place.
2. My door lock/unlock button came off during installation, but was easy
3. Use realoem.com to see detailed charts, just to see how things fit back..
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0114.jpg
Views:	5452
Size:	92.4 KB
ID:	202982  
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-13-2010, 11:59 AM
kikiluv74 kikiluv74 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2004 X5 4.4
Does anyone think the zip tie fix will work on a 04 X5? I don't feel like being ripped off for a fairly common handle carriage problem
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-29-2010, 12:31 PM
shinbo shinbo is offline
Registered User
Location: Philly
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 03 M3
Anybody have more detailed instruction on how to get this done? Like from the beginning on how to get the door off and stuff. This just happened to me today on my passenger side, and I really don't want to have to pay an arm and a leg when a zip tie does the trick.

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-30-2010, 08:48 AM
spazmataz's Avatar
spazmataz spazmataz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kampala, Uganda
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 814
Mein Auto: 2002 318i m-sport 5 spd!
There is a video around somewhere by bavarian sound works replacing the speakers in the door. The first part is getting the door panel off. The rest you're going o do by feel and combined with the OP's pics....
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-30-2010, 09:52 AM
shinbo shinbo is offline
Registered User
Location: Philly
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 03 M3
Thanks for that info. I think i found the video. For anyone else having this trouble in the future.

!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-02-2010, 06:04 PM
shinbo shinbo is offline
Registered User
Location: Philly
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 03 M3
Can somebody better explain where exactly the wire has to go on the "guide" I got to that step and couldn't exactly pinpoint/see the exact location the cable needed to go for the door to work.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-02-2010, 06:21 PM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
Supporter of Bimmer Lore
Location: Mexico
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,192
Mein Auto: 2006 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinbo View Post
Thanks for that info. I think i found the video. For anyone else having this trouble in the future.

!
Cool. Easy enough to even persuade me to take my driver's side panel off and take care of the squeaks and groans the armrest makes.
__________________

2006 325Ci
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:01 AM
shawshank shawshank is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles/Sherman Oaks
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1999 328i
this has completely made my MONTH/YEAR, you NAME it! I have been dealing with this problem for about a year because I'm THAT stubborn about paying through the nose for something that I know is not worth that much to repair. When I try to get this done with my dad next week, I'll post an update about our success/failures and hopefully some pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-23-2010, 03:59 PM
orangeaggie orangeaggie is offline
Registered User
Location: Edmond, OK
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: '99 328i
I have a '99 328i that's having the same problem (door will open from inside, but not outside). I tried following the instructions on here, but things look quite a bit different on my model. Should this tutorial work on the '99 and '00 models?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-04-2011, 04:07 PM
PTPMotorsports PTPMotorsports is offline
Registered User
Location: Mexico
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 330Ci 2001
Great information!!!

It's not easy but it's not that hard either... The complicated part is to fit the hands into the tinny space available, but with a little patience is possible.

Thanks for the info
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:33 PM
Focal E46 Focal E46 is offline
Registered User
Location: Norfolk, Va
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW
I just wanted to put some additional information in this thread. If your door is experiencing the symptoms listed in the first post, it could be more than the broken clip. The clip is actually part of the exterior door handle carrier. The cable that links the exterior handle to the locking mechanism is a bowden cable. This is the cable that separates from the clip creating slack that will cause the door not to open. Be warned, this bowden cable and the carrier are THE SAME PART NUMBER and labeled as the "carrier" not "cable." There is a second bowden cable that connects the inner door handle to the locking mechanism and has a different part number. The exterior door handle carrier and bowden cable must be purchased together. My part numbers for my 04 coupe were 51217048281 and 51217048282, drivers/pass. This part is roughly $50-$70 and will fix the problem listed in post #1 when reassembled. Unlike post #1, my cable clip did not break and the cable actually snapped resulting in the same symptoms in post #1. To replace this entire assembly appears to be equal to pulling your own teeth. I will update when my new part arrives.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-26-2012, 08:55 AM
good2go good2go is offline
Registered User
Location: WI
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: X5
Hi..

Thanks for posting this helpful information. I wonder if anyone can help me, I'm trying to get this done today as quickly as possible (Wisconsin winter, no garage)...so any help would be really appreciated.
I'm not sure if what I'm doing is 100% right, never did anything like this before. My problem is the white part as shown in the picture is out of it's position, I can't get it back in it's spot, very little room to work with. I have tried for ages but can't get at it.
Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms