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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 05-28-2008, 04:18 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Yet another E39 BMW front cupholders replacement thread

One by one, I'm fixing the minor flaws in my (new to me) 2002 BMW E39 525i. Saving the least for last, it's time to fix the two broken front cupholders.

I'll try to post step-by-step photos, although I see a BMW cupholder R&R DIY already exists at
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/c...holder_fix.htm
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ight=cupholder

And, a total workaround to the cupholder frailty exists at
http://ultimatecupholders.com
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=55

However, I'm wired to start from the beginning; so, I may as well add to the wealth of knowledge for BMW E39 cupholder repairs, specifically with part numbers, and a step-by-step R&R procedure that I hope to post to this thread once I buy the parts.

I'm pretty sure the part is "Front Cup Holder" part no. 51168190205, and a quantity of 1 would get me both cupholders, right?


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Last edited by bluebee; 05-28-2008 at 04:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2008, 04:44 PM
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I like your detailed writeups and all, but really, wouldn't it be easier to call the dealer and ask them if a quantity of one of that PN equals both holders? Seems like you greatly overcomplicated this.
BTW, since you don't like SC BMW, try BMW of Fremont. I've only used them for parts (and that is all I will ever use the dealer for), but their parts dept is very helpful and courteous. I've only had great experiences with it. If you call in and ask that, they'll answer.

Or of course, another great resource I'm surprised you aren't familiar with is RealOEM.com. This shows exploded views of the parts, and their respective numbers. Searching there shows that it is one unit that contains both holders. You can also enter the part number into the site and it will show what cars it fits and where.

The rest of it seems pretty straightforward, but have fun. And, really, you should try some things sometimes without asking every tiny little detail. Just get an idea of what needs to be done, and then go from there. It should add a little more enjoyment to these mundane things if you're working on figuring it out rather than just going through a drab step by step someone else has given you. Just MHO.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2008, 06:55 PM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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Yes on part is two cup holders.
My replacement only lasted 10 months before it broke. I guess I should buy small instead of medium coffee.

(BTW: At Tim Hortins a US Small is a Canadian Medium... more super-sizing!!)
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:00 PM
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DENNESSY DENNESSY is offline
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Yeah those ****ty cup holders ill fix them once im done fixing everything else and once there fixed ill just leave them in place.....untill im drunk with some broad at my side who asks where the cups holders are and breaks it again!!!!!!
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:07 PM
Raymond919 Raymond919 is offline
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post

..............................................

The rest of it seems pretty straightforward, but have fun. And, really, you should try some things sometimes without asking every tiny little detail. Just get an idea of what needs to be done, and then go from there. It should add a little more enjoyment to these mundane things if you're working on figuring it out rather than just going through a drab step by step someone else has given you. Just MHO.
Like Phantom says, "...you should try some things sometimes without asking every tiny little detail. Just get an idea of what needs to be done, and then go from there."
The really experienced guys just blindfold themselves and do it all by touch.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2008, 07:12 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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They are NOT "cupholders." BMW refers to them specifically, and exclusively, as "can holders." They are designed to hold a can, and only a can, of, presumably, soda. No coffee, no Big Gulps, etc. Don't bother fixing them, just keep them closed, or replace them with the little tray strip thing. Useless too, but at least you won't try to put a cup there any more! Get a nice dual cupholder at www.bavauto.com
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2008, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveho View Post
Don't bother fixing them, just keep them closed, or replace them with the little tray strip thing. Useless too, but at least you won't try to put a cup there any more!
Useless maybe, but I find the strip to be an enormous aesthetic improvement over the cupholders, even closed. It's also about half the cost of the replacement cupholder mechanism.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2008, 10:23 PM
BuzzedHornet BuzzedHornet is offline
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Raymond919 View Post
The really experienced guys just blindfold themselves and do it all by touch.
Absolutely.

I'm doing my valve cover gaskets this summer. I refuse to do them without one hand behind my back, a full face blindfold, and in a wheelchair.

You know what my OP meant....



Waveho, they really call them "can holders"? Interesting. That is about all they're good for, I've noticed. I stock up on cans instead of 20oz bottles for road trips for this reason.....lol.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2008, 02:39 PM
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Does anyone have the technical service bulletins for BMW E39 cupholders?

Quote:
I refuse to do them without one hand behind my back, a full face blindfold
Oooooh. Kinky! I'm not that adventurous to break out the purple fur-lined handcuffs and the soft silky leather blindfold from my www.collarme.com toybag (given I'm so timid, you can probably guess what my nickname is) ... but I do know about realoem and I did go to them first (see below). Note they call the BMW E39 P/N 52.10.7.058.009 a "cupholder" (not a canholder).

I can get 'em for fifty bucks at http://www.ihkabuttons.com/accessories.html

The thing this family of owners is good for is enabling MORE information than the obvious (to a bound and blindfolded repairperson anyway). For example, I was hoping we'd get a look at AUF 0017969 and EBA 9789813.

Does anyone have the Einbauanleitung "Options Installation Manual" or the AUF TIS handy? I'd be interested in what's in them referenced in the realoem photo below ...


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  #11  
Old 06-02-2008, 02:45 PM
waapples waapples is offline
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I basically don't drink nor allow others to drink in my car; tried to be generous by offering the library rules in my car though, the liquid in bottle w/ cap only.

All my cup holders are still doing good.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2008, 03:43 PM
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I think the round thing in the pic is an ashtray insert for cigars, right?
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2008, 04:33 PM
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A new set of front cupholders is about $45 shipped and taxed

Quote:
I think the round thing in the pic is an ashtray insert for cigars
hmmm. Might be a cigar ashtray but I wouldn't know what one looks like. Maybe someone who has one can tell us what they use it for.

BTW, I returned to California after a trip to Munchen and ordered the parts which should arrive this week I hope. Here to benefit others is the inevitable pricing survey, shipped and taxed.

Fremont BMW 866-561-1968 51168190205 $56.68 + 8.25% tax
Bavauto BMW 800-535-2002 51168190205 $39.95 + $11.95 shipping
Pelican BMW 888-280-7799 51168190205 $45.75 + 8.25% tax
Circle BMW 732-440-1238 51168190205 $41.21 + $9.00 shipping
AllEuro BMW 866-286-2051 51168190205 $44.00 (no shipping, no tax)

Last edited by bluebee; 06-02-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2008, 09:17 AM
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Where do the E39 boys go to get the online EBA options information?

OK, in an attempt to improve our general knowledge about this issue, I found a decent BMW Einbauanleitung (i.e., a guide for retrofitting various options for bimmers) thread at
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...&highlight=eba

Unfortunately, trying to access the BMW Einbauanleitung using the WinXP Remote Desktop Connection failed me.
WinXP: Start->Run->mstsc (computer=client.bmwe38.org, login=bmw, password=, log-on-to=NTS)

But, digging a bit more in an attempt to advance our knowledge of even things so simple as a BMW E39 cupholder, I found this site was active
http://www.bmwe38.org/default.asp

So, guessing the computer/login/password gets me:

WinXP: Start->Run->mstsc (computer=www.bmwe38.org, login=bmw, password=, log-on-to=NTS)

But, unfortunately, this almost worked, but, apparently the password has changed.

Where do you boys get your online BMW E39 EBA options information anyway?

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  #15  
Old 06-03-2008, 06:08 PM
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$1.99 DIY FTW
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/7998471-1.html
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2008, 05:44 PM
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Two philips screws hold the front cupholders in place

Woo hoo! The BMW E39 broken cupholder replacements arrived ...

Hint: From the outside, you can only see where the two screws mount, one in each side, when you flip the arms out at 45 degrees!

Note: This is the only picture I know of on all of Bimmerfest which shows the holes clearly.

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  #17  
Old 06-05-2008, 05:56 PM
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BMW E39 front cupholder views (P/N 51168190205)

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  #18  
Old 06-05-2008, 06:07 PM
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The BMW E39 cupholder mount points and weak points are ...

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  #19  
Old 06-05-2008, 06:07 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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You're still nuts if you actually use these cupholders--any spillage goes directly into the climate control panel....
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  #20  
Old 06-05-2008, 06:24 PM
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BMW E39 Mango Holders

Quote:
You're still nuts if you actually use these cupholders
Understood! But, they hold a mango perfectly!

BTW. the reason for the multiple-view pics is that I read all the threads on cupholders and I found that to be the one detail lacking in almost all, if not all of them. They clearly stated, for example, where the screw holes were, but they never clearly showed where they were. Likewise with the weak points on the arms and the overall shape and mechanics of the cupholder. For example, I don't know of any threads which actually showed the screws! I plan on rectifying that when I get back from my trip to Sao Paulo this weekend!

Last edited by bluebee; 06-05-2008 at 06:33 PM.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2008, 08:07 PM
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I am a total klutz at DYI stuff but even I was able to replace my busted cupholder. Know that the old one will break when you remove it. Don't worry, the new one slides in slicker than owl poop. Once you have fixed it, close it and never use it again. Pick one of the many available aftermarket cupholders. I favor this one which will hold a big bottle of water easily. http://www.ultimatecupholders.com/
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2008, 09:39 PM
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Mmmmm... mangos.
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  #23  
Old 06-06-2008, 07:44 AM
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This morning, I've just inserted my driver license into the slot and pulled out the cup holder ... in three pieces.

Where do I get the alternative strip thing to cover the gap?
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  #24  
Old 06-06-2008, 11:49 AM
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Does anyone grease their cupholders periodically?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDE View Post
Mmmmm... mangos.
Yummy! My kitchen is where I work and it always has some kind of fresh fruit readily available to prop up components!

BTW, I noticed a dab of grease on each of the brand new cupholder mechanisms; is that something that we're supposed to grease periodically as part of normal cupholder maintenance?
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  #25  
Old 06-06-2008, 12:23 PM
Ben Carufel Ben Carufel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
BTW, I noticed a dab of grease on each of the brand new cupholder mechanisms; is that something that we're supposed to grease periodically as part of normal cupholder maintenance?
No ma'am. If you're using the front cupholders, they're going to break -- that grease could then be considered "lifetime", much like BMW transmission fluid. It lasts for the lifetime of the component, only because the component doesn't last long.

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