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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 10-27-2013, 08:42 AM
joelselman joelselman is offline
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Location: lake havasu city, az
 
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Mein Auto: 05 Z4 3.0, 01 530
Rear parcel shelf removal

Feel like an idiot, but I'm having trouble removing the rear parcel shelf.

First problem is removal of the rear vent grilles. TIS manual says to use a feeler gauge but I can't seem to get them released.

TIS manual also says to remove C-pillar covers. Not sure it's necessary by looking at the shelf but I can't see a way to remove the interior light assembly.

HELP!
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2013, 08:49 AM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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Location: Lincoln, NE
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 540i
Rear parcel shelf removal

The C pillars do need to come out. They have metal spring clips ob the top iirc. You should just be able to pry them out and unplug. I think some cars have a screw holding the pillar on, but mine does not. I just pull and it comes.

I assume you have the rear seat out. There are 4 iirc black rivets on the front that need to be popped out.

Not sure what vent you speak of. The ones in the shelf dont need to come out. They are for the speakers. If its the one in the center consol, pop out the cupholder or cubby beneath it and then the vent should pop out


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  #3  
Old 10-27-2013, 09:03 AM
joelselman joelselman is offline
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Location: lake havasu city, az
 
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So you're saying just pry on the TOP of the c-pillar lights and they come out?

The vents or grilles I refer to are at the extreme rear of the parcel shelf (not radio speaker grilles toward front of shelf) almost at the rear window.
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2013, 10:01 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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You have to push the grilles towards the rear as you pry them up at the front to clear the clips, then they pull out towards the front.

The lights in the c pillar trim are pressure fit. The cover itself may have a 10mm bolt behind the light, or may not.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2013, 01:28 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i/5-spd M52TU
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelselman View Post
Feel like an idiot, but I'm having trouble removing the rear parcel shelf.

First problem is removal of the rear vent grilles. TIS manual says to use a feeler gauge but I can't seem to get them released.

TIS manual also says to remove C-pillar covers. Not sure it's necessary by looking at the shelf but I can't see a way to remove the interior light assembly.

HELP!
I'm not sure why the vent grilles need to be removed at the outset. You can remove them much more easily from "underneath" once you've got the parcel shelf out entirely.

These cars come with several setups back there depending on car options etc, but on my '99, the C pillar covers are held on by the plastic rivets similar to those used with the door interior panels.

I have read that some of these cars came with a metal screw in one of the rivet locations, but get that light assembly off first and you'll be able to see in there and check.

In my situation (looking for rattle sources....), I didn't need to remove the parcel shelf from the car. I just slid it forward and down where the seat backs would be (dropped forward as I have a through-loading version), yet with the seat belt assemblies still attached.

First time I did this, when re-installing the shelf I failed to get those four tabs along the rear edge to slip back into their respective slots below the back glass. Had to do it over but got it right the second time and my cabin is practically noise-free (door seals still squeak a bit).
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2013, 07:14 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 530i 2003
Bavarian Soundwerks has a video for a speaker upgrade installation which includes removal of the rear shelf

http://www.bavsound.com/product/380/...9-5-Series-M5/
Scroll down to the 3rd of 4 of the videos.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:50 AM
joelselman joelselman is offline
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Location: lake havasu city, az
 
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Thanks, everybody...got it.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2013, 11:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
See also:
- How to remove the rear shelf, also known as the rear package shelf or rear parcel shelf in order to replace broken coil springs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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