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  #1  
Old 02-12-2004, 04:00 AM
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swchang swchang is online now
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E46 Alarm FAQ

This is a FAQ for those who might have alarm questions. I'll update it as I get updates from others.

Updated 11/21/04.

---

Q: Does my car come with an alarm?
A: The car's central computer is the alarm, what are missing in all E46 cars delivered from the factory are all the sensors to trigger the alarm. An OEM kit is available from the dealership that includes the motion detector, tilt sensor and siren.

Q: Where can I purchase a cheap OEM alarm?
A: Circle BMW (www.circlebmw.com) for $225 or Pacific BMW (www.pacificbmw.com) for $234

Q: What does it include?
A: Siren, tilt sensor, interior motion sensor, and necessary screws

Q: Do you recommend an aftermarket system instead?
A: Some people have gone this route, but most people find the OEM alarm to be sufficient for their needs.

Q: Is it worth it? Don't thieves know how to quickly disable them anyway?
A: It's worth it if you want a pretty decent alarm. YMMV as with all alarms and depending on your area and your (bad) luck.

Q: Can't I just activate the clown nose without the alarm?
A: Yes, you can get your clown nose to blink when the car is locked and you can have your headlights and side lights flash upon "arming" and "disarming." You don't get the cool siren beeps, though. Just ask your dealer to program it. All cars up to at least MY04 have this capability.

Q: Where can I find a DIY?
A: Here are three. The top two are particularly useful, as they include pictures (one with a cleavage shot, too).
http://www.my330i.com/mod8.php
http://www.bmw330ci.com/DIY_Alarm.htm
http://www.circlebmw.com/service/access/01219416538.htm

Q: I know nothing about cars. I don't know how to fill my own fuel. Can I still install the alarm myself?
A: Yes, it's actually pretty simple. The most difficult part is installing the siren, and the only hard part about that is just wiggling all the different cowlings out without destroying anything. All you need for the install is the alarm kit itself, a #30 Torx driver (available from Home Depot for up to $20 for a set of Torx drivers), and a 6mm nut driver (I actually had to use an 11mm driver to fit over the 6mm nuts).

Q: Any tips on the actual installation?
A: Interior motion sensor is really, really simple. Tilt sensor is a tiny bit more difficult. The only hard part is removing the trunk liner, and to do that you must make sure to take the plastic tray out first. You can do this by lifting the trunk mat to get to the two screws holding it in place. Finally, for the siren, make sure you take all the screws out. The DIYs claim that a number of the screws and springs are "captive," whereas only the first three springs and the final two screws are. Make sure you take all the rest out fully before attempting to remove the cowlings, or you will lose them.

Q: Is it possible to install a shock sensor?
A: Yes, see http://members.roadfly.com/black_man...k%20Sensor.pdf for one possible solution.

Q: What is the extra fuse for?
A: It's a spare for the fuse box in case you fry something while installing the alarm.

Q: Now that I've installed the alarm, is it active?
A: No, you should bring it into a dealer to have the sensors activated. Even if your siren sounds upon arming/disarming, the sensors cannot be active yet since they must be installed first.

Q: How can I test to see if the alarm works?
A: Arm the alarm and wait for about 30 seconds to a minute. Jack up the car (tilt sensor) or sit in the car with the doors locked and move around (interior motion sensor).

Q: Anything I should be aware of when I bring my car in to get the alarm activated?
A: Some dealers will do it for free, but most will charge anywhere between $50-$100. Also, make sure certain features are not disabled when they do the alarm programming. Many people had their "automatic door locking after driving" feature disabled.

Q: Any other extra alarm programming options you'd advise?
A: Those in NY & NJ should be aware of the epidemic lock popping that has been going on. Basically what happens is the thief will smash in your lock cylinder, which then deactivates the alarm. If you ask the dealer to change your alarm setting from "arm/disarm by means of locks and remote control" (the default setting) to "arm/disarm by means of remote control." This way, the alarm will sound if the door is not opened with the unlock button on the remote. You can also purchase a body colored keyhole cover from www.bimmian.com to replace the keyhole.

Q: Is there a form that lists the different programming options?
A: Glad you asked. Yes.
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Last edited by swchang; 11-20-2004 at 09:26 PM. Reason: update
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2004, 06:28 AM
man02195 man02195 is offline
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How about something on the DEI shock sensor?

http://members.roadfly.com/black_man...k%20Sensor.pdf

I'm installing it this weekend, will let you know how it goes.

Other items:

On the install, pay attention to the DIY, most of the machine screws are captive, so just loosen until you hear them click.

The 1/4 turn fastener on the firewall ISN'T captive, loosen it and take it out so you don't lose it.

Putting it all back together takes some jiggling, if you wet or lubricate the weather stripping with gummifledge, it will slide together easier.
  #3  
Old 02-12-2004, 10:38 PM
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FenPhen FenPhen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
Q: Where can I find a DIY?
A: Here are three. The top two are particularly useful, as they include pictures (one with a cleavage shot, too).
http://www.my330i.com/mod8.php
http://www.bmw330ci.com/DIY_Alarm.htm
http://www.circlebmw.com/service/access/01219416538.htm
Hooray for boobies.

I've read the DIYs before, but how hard is it really? I'm completely lacking car mechanic skills except for real basic stuff like changing a wheel, checking typical fluids and air, replacing battery. I know how to use your two common kinds of screwdrivers. I have a minor in EE, but forgot most of the basic laws. Is there hope?

What's a torx driver and how much does one cost?
  #4  
Old 02-12-2004, 10:58 PM
mozaic mozaic is offline
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Clown Nose Blink?

You indicate you can have the clown nose blink without installing the alarm...how?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
This is a FAQ for those who might have alarm questions. Hopefully this isn't a reinvention of the wheel, but I didn't find one floating around already. I'll update it if people find it valuable and give me stuff with which to update.

---

Q: Where can I purchase a cheap OEM alarm?
A: Circle BMW (www.circlebmw.com) for $225 or Pacific BMW (www.pacificbmw.com) for $234

Q: What does it include?
A: Siren, tilt sensor, interior motion sensor

Q: Is it worth it? Don't thieves know how to quickly disable them anyway?
A: It's worth it if you want a pretty decent alarm. YMMV as with all alarms and depending on your area and your (bad) luck.

Q: Can't I just activate the clown nose without the alarm?
A: Yes, you can get your clown nose to blink when the car is locked and you can have your headlights and side lights flash upon "arming" and "disarming." You don't get the cool siren beeps, though.

Q: Where can I find a DIY?
A: Here are three. The top two are particularly useful, as they include pictures (one with a cleavage shot, too).
http://www.my330i.com/mod8.php
http://www.bmw330ci.com/DIY_Alarm.htm
http://www.circlebmw.com/service/access/01219416538.htm

Q: What is the extra fuse for?
A: It's a spare for the fuse box in case you fry something while installing the alarm.

Q: Now that I've installed the alarm, is it active?
A: No, you should bring it into a dealer to have the sensors activated. Even if your siren sounds upon arming/disarming, the sensors cannot be active yet since they must be installed first.

Q: How can I test to see if the alarm works?
A: Jack up the car (tilt sensor) or sit in the car with the doors locked and move around (interior motion sensor).

Q: Anything I should be aware of when I bring my car in to get the alarm activated?
A: Some dealers will do it for free, but most will charge anywhere between $50-$100. Also, make sure certain features are not disabled when they do the alarm programming. Many people had their "automatic door locking after driving" feature disabled.
  #5  
Old 02-12-2004, 11:47 PM
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milski milski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mozaic
You indicate you can have the clown nose blink without installing the alarm...how?
Have your friendly dealer program it for you. It's not on the oficial sheet but most of them would not mind doing it.
  #6  
Old 02-12-2004, 11:51 PM
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Raffi Raffi is offline
Hi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenPhen
Hooray for boobies.

I've read the DIYs before, but how hard is it really? I'm completely lacking car mechanic skills except for real basic stuff like changing a wheel, checking typical fluids and air, replacing battery. I know how to use your two common kinds of screwdrivers. I have a minor in EE, but forgot most of the basic laws. Is there hope?

What's a torx driver and how much does one cost?
It's not hard at all, don't be afraid.

Torx drivers are for screws/bolts with star-shaped heads, they can be had cheap at your local hardware store if you're not looking for the highest quality tools for everyday use.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2004, 10:51 AM
tashi tashi is offline
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I am trying to balance my options of getting it installed at a dealer or do it myself. The dealer (or stealer, as someone calls them) wants to charge $460 for alarm + installation, and this is the best price I found in San Diego county. So if I manage to install it myself, it will be $225 and change for shipping from Circle + the cost of tools + the cost of getting it activated at a dealer and thats where these So Cal stealers may even charge $100+ for activation.

So in reality I am saving +/- $100 by doing it myself. May not be a great deal considering the time and effort and the error factor by me. I always think I will drop some nut in the middle of the engine and wont be able to pick it up...
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2004, 07:27 PM
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Spectre Spectre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tashi
I always think I will drop some nut in the middle of the engine and wont be able to pick it up...
Tie dental floss around the item you're worried about dropping. Then you can fish it out. Mostly you'll drop the fasteners for the siren, but it turns out you can retrieve them from where they drop with a bit of groping around in the siren compartment.

I didn't think I could do this DIY, having never worked on my own car, but I managed to pull it off. As swchang notes, the hardest part is removing or replacing some of the parts without mangling them. You'll feel like the parts that cover the siren area just weren't meant to be removed, but they'll come out with some patient tugging.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2004, 07:45 PM
flashinthepan flashinthepan is offline
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Just have the dealer put an OEM alarm on, you'll be fine.

You dont want to carry around a big old key-Fob anyways.
  #10  
Old 02-14-2004, 10:18 AM
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AndDown AndDown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre
Tie dental floss around the item you're worried about dropping. Then you can fish it out. Mostly you'll drop the fasteners for the siren, but it turns out you can retrieve them from where they drop with a bit of groping around in the siren compartment.

I didn't think I could do this DIY, having never worked on my own car, but I managed to pull it off. As swchang notes, the hardest part is removing or replacing some of the parts without mangling them. You'll feel like the parts that cover the siren area just weren't meant to be removed, but they'll come out with some patient tugging.
The nut that needs to have some floss tied to it is the one used to attach the siren to the firewall. I dropped mine into the fresh air intake and was never able to retrieve it - ended up with a bunch of scrapes on the hand attempting to locate the nut The nice thing about floss is it's thin enough so it won't interfere with threading the nut.

I agree the parts around the siren require some coaxing to remove, but gentle wiggling will do it. When replacing the parts, make sure the rubber gaskets are seated correctly.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2004, 11:50 PM
mystic_blue mystic_blue is offline
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Talking about motion sensor....

talking about motion sensor .... i've heard that it's very sensitive

and so, i opened all the windows, armed the car ... to test how effective it is...

... but for some reasons... i was able to move my hands freely, took a bottle of water in and out, etc, the alarm still didn't go off.

i then tired the passenger seat in the back, and the alarm got a bit more sensitive and finally goes off... so very strange...

if I am a auto thief, i'd be a happy one for sure
  #12  
Old 02-19-2004, 03:08 AM
man02195 man02195 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic_blue
talking about motion sensor .... i was able to move my hands freely, i then tired the passenger seat in the back, and the alarm got a bit more sensitive
On my car, it takes over 2 minutes for the motion sensor to arm after you close everything up and lock the car.

Last edited by man02195; 02-19-2004 at 03:12 AM.
  #13  
Old 02-19-2004, 06:47 PM
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RKT BMR RKT BMR is offline
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For those of you with convertibles, you'll want to check out this thread. US spec cab alarms do not have motion sensors. However, the car is designed and wired for two SDR units, one installed under the center console trim just behind the shift lever, the second in a trim extension added on to the back of the center console trim on the driveshaft hump.

There are a variety of ways to get your hands on the SDR units and the rear trimpiece to add motion sensing to US cabrio alarms. IF you don't have the US kit already, you can order the entire Euro alarm complete with motion sensors. Part numbers are in the thread. Getting to know your parts guy at your local BMW dealer usually does the trick in ordering the parts.

Have fun!
  #14  
Old 11-19-2004, 09:00 PM
Leon Leon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milski
Have your friendly dealer program it for you. It's not on the oficial sheet but most of them would not mind doing it.
My friendly dealer says that starting with the 2004 3-series, the OEM alarm is REQUIRED in order to make the lights flash on lock/unlock and have the clown nose blink. Anyone know if this is really true? They gladly made this programming change on my previous car (2002 325i) but say it can't be done with this one.
  #15  
Old 11-19-2004, 11:03 PM
BMWer BMWer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon
My friendly dealer says that starting with the 2004 3-series, the OEM alarm is REQUIRED in order to make the lights flash on lock/unlock and have the clown nose blink. Anyone know if this is really true? They gladly made this programming change on my previous car (2002 325i) but say it can't be done with this one.

I got mine to blink without alarm.
  #16  
Old 11-20-2004, 04:24 AM
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santiago santiago is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
This is a FAQ for those who might have alarm questions. Hopefully this isn't a reinvention of the wheel, but I didn't find one floating around already. I'll update it if people find it valuable and give me stuff with which to update.

---

Q: Where can I purchase a cheap OEM alarm?
A: Circle BMW (www.circlebmw.com) for $225 or Pacific BMW (www.pacificbmw.com) for $234

Q: What does it include?
A: Siren, tilt sensor, interior motion sensor, and necessary screws

Q: Do you recommend an aftermarket system instead?
A: Some people have gone this route, but most people find the OEM alarm to be sufficient for their needs.

Q: Is it worth it? Don't thieves know how to quickly disable them anyway?
A: It's worth it if you want a pretty decent alarm. YMMV as with all alarms and depending on your area and your (bad) luck.

Q: Can't I just activate the clown nose without the alarm?
A: Yes, you can get your clown nose to blink when the car is locked and you can have your headlights and side lights flash upon "arming" and "disarming." You don't get the cool siren beeps, though. Just ask your dealer to program it.

Q: Where can I find a DIY?
A: Here are three. The top two are particularly useful, as they include pictures (one with a cleavage shot, too).
http://www.my330i.com/mod8.php
http://www.bmw330ci.com/DIY_Alarm.htm
http://www.circlebmw.com/service/access/01219416538.htm

Q: I know nothing about cars. I don't know how to fill my own fuel. Can I still install the alarm myself?
A: Yes, it's actually pretty simple. The most difficult part is installing the siren, and the only hard part about that is just wiggling all the different cowlings out without destroying anything. All you need for the install is the alarm kit itself, a #30 Torx driver (available from Home Depot for up to $20 for a set of Torx drivers), and a 6mm nut driver (I actually had to use an 11mm driver to fit over the 6mm nuts).

Q: Any tips on the actual installation?
A: Interior motion sensor is really, really simple. Tilt sensor is a tiny bit more difficult. The only hard part is removing the trunk liner, and to do that you must make sure to take the plastic tray out first. You can do this by lifting the trunk mat to get to the two screws holding it in place. Finally, for the siren, make sure you take all the screws out. The DIYs claim that a number of the screws and springs are "captive," whereas only the first three springs and the final two screws are. Make sure you take all the rest out fully before attempting to remove the cowlings, or you will lose them.

Q: Is it possible to install a shock sensor?
A: Yes, see http://members.roadfly.com/black_man...k%20Sensor.pdf for one possible solution.

Q: What is the extra fuse for?
A: It's a spare for the fuse box in case you fry something while installing the alarm.

Q: Now that I've installed the alarm, is it active?
A: No, you should bring it into a dealer to have the sensors activated. Even if your siren sounds upon arming/disarming, the sensors cannot be active yet since they must be installed first.

Q: How can I test to see if the alarm works?
A: Arm the alarm and wait for about 30 seconds to a minute. Jack up the car (tilt sensor) or sit in the car with the doors locked and move around (interior motion sensor).

Q: Anything I should be aware of when I bring my car in to get the alarm activated?
A: Some dealers will do it for free, but most will charge anywhere between $50-$100. Also, make sure certain features are not disabled when they do the alarm programming. Many people had their "automatic door locking after driving" feature disabled.

Great FAQ. You forgot one question, the one that seems to come up even before the others.

Q: Does my car come with an alarm?
A: The car's central computer is the alarm, what are missing in all E46 cars delivered from the factory are all the sensors to trigger the alarm. An OEM kit is available from the dealership that includes the motion detector, tilt sensor and siren. After this kit is installed, activation by the dealership will be required.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2004, 10:26 AM
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swchang swchang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santiago
Great FAQ. You forgot one question, the one that seems to come up even before the others.

Q: Does my car come with an alarm?
A: The car's central computer is the alarm, what are missing in all E46 cars delivered from the factory are all the sensors to trigger the alarm. An OEM kit is available from the dealership that includes the motion detector, tilt sensor and siren. After this kit is installed, activation by the dealership will be required.
Thanks, added that.

Leon, my MY04 was able to be programmed for clown nose only blink. I added the alarm later, though.
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2004, 12:28 PM
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shizat63 shizat63 is offline
takes the long way home..
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Good post I got sick of answering all the alarm Qs.

You might want to add this- Those in NY & NJ should be aware of the epidemic lock popping that has been going on. You should have your dealer program the computer to sound the alarm if the door is not opened with the unlock button on the remote.

Had my lock pulled twice until I put in the Euro passengers door handle cover.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:43 PM
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santiago santiago is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
Good post I got sick of answering all the alarm Qs.

You might want to add this- Those in NY & NJ should be aware of the epidemic lock popping that has been going on. You should have your dealer program the computer to sound the alarm if the door is not opened with the unlock button on the remote.

Had my lock pulled twice until I put in the Euro passengers door handle cover.
Door handle cover and the blank or just the cover? Been tempted to do just the cover.
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:52 PM
atlau atlau is offline
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Forgive my ignorance, but where is this said "clown" nose?

Are we supposed to get a clown nose with our cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by milski
Have your friendly dealer program it for you. It's not on the oficial sheet but most of them would not mind doing it.
  #21  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:58 PM
shizat63's Avatar
shizat63 shizat63 is offline
takes the long way home..
Location: NJ
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santiago
Door handle cover and the blank or just the cover? Been tempted to do just the cover.
You could do either. They could just break the plastic and get through, but the idea is to get them to move to an easier target.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2004, 04:12 PM
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NetEngWiz NetEngWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santiago
Door handle cover and the blank or just the cover? Been tempted to do just the cover.
I removed the entire door lock cylinder and installed the cover. Despite that, the door still can be opened. If you look inside after the cylinder is removed, you will see why.
  #23  
Old 11-20-2004, 09:27 PM
swchang's Avatar
swchang swchang is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
You could do either. They could just break the plastic and get through, but the idea is to get them to move to an easier target.
Thanks, added your info. BTW, what is this blank you're talking about? I know the keyhole cover is at bimmian.com...
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2004, 09:42 PM
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NetEngWiz NetEngWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
Thanks, added your info. BTW, what is this blank you're talking about? I know the keyhole cover is at bimmian.com...
Bimmerfreak.com also has them pre-painted. I ordered mine a while back and got it in less than a week.
http://www.bimmerfreak.com/e46products_exterior.htm

I think the "blank" he's referring to is the metal part which has the plastic cover snapped (with clips) on to it. That's the piece that replaces the lock cylinder and you screw it securely with the double treaded screw.
  #25  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:11 AM
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shizat63 shizat63 is offline
takes the long way home..
Location: NJ
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetEngWiz
Bimmerfreak.com also has them pre-painted. I ordered mine a while back and got it in less than a week.
http://www.bimmerfreak.com/e46products_exterior.htm

I think the "blank" he's referring to is the metal part which has the plastic cover snapped (with clips) on to it. That's the piece that replaces the lock cylinder and you screw it securely with the double treaded screw.
Correctemundo
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