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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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Old 09-29-2008, 05:19 PM
paintrmann paintrmann is offline
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Location: Frederick Maryland
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i
Remove rear door panels

Anyone have experience removing he rear door panels. I have a water leak and can see where it is coming in but am having trouble getting the rear door panels off. BMW wants 299.00 and I know they won't fix it well enough to suit me.

any help is appreciated
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:31 PM
wing46man wing46man is offline
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details details details, what part of it is giving you trouble, the top the bottom? the top you have to pull upwards to get it off the hooks, the rest you just pull straight out. your water leak is more than likely just one of the rubber gaskets that is around the door to seal it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:05 AM
Mikes00528i Mikes00528i is offline
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This one helped me figure it out.....
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:29 AM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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M5 doors are different. This link will help you out:

Also do a search for e39 door panel removal on for some instructional videos.

'07 335xi 6-spd 4dr, Montego blue
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:19 AM
Mikes00528i Mikes00528i is offline
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Originally Posted by Waveho View Post
M5 doors are different. This link will help you out:

Also do a search for e39 door panel removal on for some instructional videos.
Actually the M5 doors were very similar to my 00 528, only difference is that the M5 has a torx screw behind the door handle (mine was Philips), and that M5 has rear air bags which mine didn't. Even still the procedure is identical & lots of pictures. It helped looking at the Bav Sound install page, figuring out how to pop off the small sunshade cover between the main and small rear side windows. I managed to break the tensioner at the bottom of one shade, but was able to fix it by twisting to regain tension & JB weld back in to place, fun.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:37 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Yes post #3 is very informative. There are lots of members who asked about the vapor barrier picture. Now we have it
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:53 PM
three28i three28i is offline
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Location: Canada
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Mein Auto: 2003 540i M Sport
I just wanted to post to say that I also had this problem, but now have just fixed it.

With the help of that link from Waveho and this youtube video:

I was able to remove the door panel and fix the seal between the foam divider and the metal door.

Also, I learned that the proper supplies for this fix is "butyl tape"

Haven't tested it with water yet - but it doesn't matter. I've not been able to fix this for 3 years just because I didn't know the full extent of the problem and solution. However, now that I do - if it leaks again I know exactly what to do in order to fix it. I've got the tape and I've now got the knowledge so that saves 95% of the time required, compared with when you have neither.

BTW, it's true that if you pry up to pup out the plastic holds on the door panel, and you pry 1/2 way between the fastners, then you will hear the panel rip a little bit. It is really important to pry right where the faster is. The video especially will show you exactly where they are located.

I hope everyone else can get past this issue with relative ease!

Drive safe,

Last edited by three28i; 07-25-2011 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:44 PM
avu3 avu3 is offline
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My car has the 1/4 window shades, and what caught me out was that you HAVE to remove the shade and unscrew the phillips screw in the bracket behind the bottom of the shade.

None of the tutorials I read mentioned that step.

I'm not as good as a video, but
I popped the light out of the bottom and unplugged it.
I popped the window switch out and unplugged it.
I removed the shade and undid the screw (phillips).
I removed the cover and removed the screw in the door handle cup (torx)/
I popped the push pins out of the door using a trim panel remover (could also use a screw driver).

I pushed UP on the panel, there were two clips under the quarter window and one at the front.
I then pulled away and fished the door handle through the opening and unplugged the tweeter.

The hardest part of reassembly was getting the clips under the 1/4 window back in and fishing the handle back through.


Last edited by avu3; 07-25-2011 at 05:45 PM. Reason: change door to panel to improve clarity
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:37 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
From a quick /vapor barrier search in the bestlinks ...

- How the vapor barrier works (1) & the problem with front & rear door vapor barrier adhesives which allow rain water to wet the carpet (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & what adhesives to buy (1) & what sizes for the adhesive beads (1)
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