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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 06-26-2008, 04:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Advice on replacing bad BMW E39 windshield rubber gasket

While cleaning my E39 this weekend, I noticed the windshield rubber gasket is falling apart in my hands.

Two questions:
1. Is this normal for a 2002 BMW E39 windshield gasket to fail catastrophically?

2. What is the recommended fix (obviously replace it but how)?


Is replacing a BMW E39 windshield gasket a DIY job?
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-26-2008 at 04:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:14 PM
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POof540i POof540i is offline
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This should be the link. Scroll down and you'll find useful info. I plan to do this to my car next weekend.


http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=147492&page=4 post #86-90.
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Last edited by POof540i; 06-26-2008 at 04:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:20 PM
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Yeah, very normal. My dad's E38 is the same way, it's terrible! My previous E36 and my E39 are doing the same thing, but to the lower section, not the upper one (yet).

I've read that they use a very cheap recycled material for many of the rubber gaskets on the vehicle, because there is a standard that says a certain percentage of the vehicle has to be recycled, so they try to make up as much of that percentage with things like that. I DON'T know that it's true, but it's what I've been told. I do know that it happens with regularity.

There are some DIY's floating around here (but knowing you they won't be nearly detailed enough ).
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:27 PM
stylsh1 stylsh1 is offline
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I ordered a replacement windshield trim from my local BMW dealership and had a local glass company install it. The cost of installation was relatively cheap. I think i may have paid fifty or sixty.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:32 PM
Bertil Bertil is offline
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I did this myself over the weekend. The hardest part was getting the top side off.
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:41 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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BMW dealers will tell you that they MUST remove the glass in order to replace this covering, and will tell you that there is a good chance that they will break the glass and require you to purchase a new one, because this is what the BMW powers that be have told them. This is also what glass replacement companies have told me as well when I asked. But of course, it is not true. I believe this is simply greed--BMW makes a TON of money replacing these things where the warranty has run out. I showed the BMW tech what I did and how I did it, and he told me he never would have thought it possible. I asked him how many windshield replacements they do because of this at the dealership--he told me he didn't know exactly, but he personally does HUNDREDS each year! Multiply that by about $500 and you get the picture....
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:53 PM
captruff captruff is offline
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Can I replace both the front and rear window trim?

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:55 PM
Raymond919 Raymond919 is offline
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I understand that the part is around $35 to $40 and includes the top horizontal piece as well as the two strips which run up the 'A' column. I think that they are called 'cover strips'.

They do not seal against water, they are merely decorative trim pieces. The top piece, at least supposedly has a wire running through it so if you carefully pick up the end of it, you can lift the entire strip out. It is definitely a DIY but care must be taken to carefully pick the piece out of the groove that it's in and clean out the groove before pressing the new one into place.

Be careful with whatever instrument you use to remove the strip so as not to chip or scratch the edge of the glass. That would create a weak point and lead to glass failure later. I plan to do mine in the very near future. Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2008, 05:04 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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Check out the thread identified in post #2 above; lots of very good information and experiences with both the front and rear cover replacement. I have not had the need to do the rear, but my understanding is that it may be a little tighter in the rear (ummmm, no pun intended here!) as compared to the front. But yes, the front and rear windows are glued on, so the coverings are just that--covers. But they do some nice things like dampen wind noise and decrease wind resistance, so they have importance. But if you are getting water inside the car around the front or rear windows, then you have a bigger problem that merely replacing the covers will not solve....
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2008, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveho View Post
Check out the thread identified in post #2 above; lots of very good information and experiences with both the front and rear cover replacement. I have not had the need to do the rear, but my understanding is that it may be a little tighter in the rear (ummmm, no pun intended here!) as compared to the front. But yes, the front and rear windows are glued on, so the coverings are just that--covers. But they do some nice things like dampen wind noise and decrease wind resistance, so they have importance. But if you are getting water inside the car around the front or rear windows, then you have a bigger problem that merely replacing the covers will not solve....

Thanks!

Parts on order today. I will be doing both front and rear

Jeff
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2008, 02:55 PM
SoCaLE39 SoCaLE39 is offline
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Yep, this repair is extremely easy and should only require one tool, a flat head screwdriver!
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2008, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaLE39 View Post
Yep, this repair is extremely easy and should only require one tool, a flat head screwdriver!
Maybe, but needle nose pliers, shop vac, and goo gone are highly recommended!
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:54 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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$35 and 45 mins later as a DIY and it'll be as good as new. That's what it cost me.
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2008, 03:34 PM
acearace acearace is offline
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E-39 advice, contacts

Hello all I am a bit of a Bimmerfest Virgin here but what a cool site. Your amount of B M'mer knowledge is amazing. Anyway I am a Cali native that had to make a move to Miami for work. I own a 540i and just bought a 97 528i. Anyway since moving from Huntington Beach (mon lieu de naissance) "my birthplace" my 540'ies windshield plastic has shredded. Miami is such a harsh climate compared to California which I never had any problems. I also took the spare out of the 528i and am having problems remounting the it. I checked both the owners manual and the service manual and know where could find any diagram of how the spare and its components should be put back. I took the car apart upgraded the stereo and Dyna-mated it. Anyway any info would be most appreciated and any parts contacts would be great. I can use my California contacts but shipping is crazy. Anywhere on the east coast is far cheaper of what the California shipping is. Anyway merci, et paix E
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2008, 05:25 PM
pcroft51 pcroft51 is offline
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My 2001 has the same problem; a completely disintegrated rubber trim around the front windsheild. BMW has, without a doubt, supplied low grade, cheap materials in this application.

Thanks for the info on how to make DIY repairs.
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  #16  
Old 07-03-2008, 07:19 PM
dbruce dbruce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcroft51 View Post
My 2001 has the same problem; a completely disintegrated rubber trim around the front windsheild. BMW has, without a doubt, supplied low grade, cheap materials in this application.

Thanks for the info on how to make DIY repairs.
There was a FAQ related to this.....which has since been removed. In any case, any moron ca remove the dissolving windshield surround and put a new one in. Takes 30 minutes at the most (been there and done that).
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2008, 08:39 AM
Cal jacks Cal jacks is offline
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How about the lower piece? It looks like a much harder job and I noticed no one talks about it. Mine is cracked and needs replacing. Any help here?
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2008, 05:56 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal jacks View Post
How about the lower piece? It looks like a much harder job and I noticed no one talks about it. Mine is cracked and needs replacing. Any help here?
I posted a DIY on this piece, as well as the "cowl" part, which is in the engine compartment and located beneath the lower windshield gasket here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=225722

Good luck!
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