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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:34 AM
fun2drive's Avatar
fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,847
Mein Auto: 335 vert/14JGC/ 17Outback
E93 Battery Replacement: Some Suggestions for Installation

There are plenty of pictures on how to replace a battery on a sedan or coupe but not much on the convertible. It is considerably harder because of all the panels that need removed and the limited space that is available.
After 6 1/2 years with my 2007 I decided to change the battery even though it was fine. Lets face it likely to last a while longer but better to replace it while all is well than when forced to.

Here is what I did. First I keep my battery tender plugged in to the front jump posts. I have mine hard wired. I lost nothing but the clock time doing this. Everything else was fine.

There is a black plastic covering that covers the top hardware on each side of the trunk area. The black plastic covering is held in place by a black 90 degree black plastic fastener and some spring snaps that hold the panel tight. On the bottom of the panel on the side closest to the middle of the car is a black plastic post which goes down into a slot. To remove turn the black plastic fastener 90 degrees and don't remove this fastener, it will stay in place. Look at the top of the black panel and just inside you can see a spring snap connector. Grab the panel and give it a quick tug toward the front of the car just to override the spring snaps. Be careful to not tug too hard and break the black plastic post. Once free set it aside.

The next panel is behind the passenger rear light bucket. It has one black plastic 90 degree quick turn fastener. Turn that and wiggle it out. Why? Because behind the panel is the fasterner female holder which has a tendency to pop out and drop down into the underside of the car making it very hard to locate it.

That panel is a rubbery covered panel and the best way to remove it is to pop it loose at the fastener location and move the panel toward the center of the car. Why? The panel has two tabs that are along the opposite side the panel and you need to get those clear of the panel it is held to allowing removal. The tabs sit behind that panel.

The next panel to remove is the one the light bucket panel was attached to. It has two obvious black plastic 90 degree fasteners about mid panel. Remove both those fasteners by turning 90 degrees and wiggling them out. At this point open the gray plastic door at the bottom of the panel. Just turn the black plastic knob 90 degrees and open the door. If you keep opening the door you can see where it pivots on two insert tabs. Raise it and wiggle that out. There you will see multiple gray plastic fasteners which you can take them all out now or just the ones needed to remove the most difficult panel in this process. The fastener located at the rear corner of the panel toward the middle of the car must be removed as do two other fasteners located on the passenger side at the bottom of the gray cover with the door off. These are both 90 degree fasteners and remove them completely. This panel is held into the storage cover area by 3 tabs, two that are close to the two fasteners you removed and one right by the other fastener you removed. They fit vertically into the storage cover. Best procedure I found is to pull up on the that large curved panel to get the tabs cleared. Then the fun begins. Best way I have found is to contunue to move the curved part of the cover into the area the protecting the light bucket while moving the rest of the panel up as well. Now the best way I have found is to bend the panel around the stucture and remove. This isn't as easy as it sounds and care must be taken to not break the panel. Not something I would do on a cold day. It works just fine doing this and I have done this multiple times on E93's with no ill effects.
Once this panel is out the last part of the puzzle is the gray storage cover. It is held in place with 4 gray plastic fasteners that are also 90 turns. Two are horizonal by the two that are vertical and sit where the front of the door is located. Once this panel is removed the battery is revealed.

The first battery connector I removed was the negative connector which the IBS is attached to. It takes a 10 mm socket to loosen the compression clamp enough to slide off. On this cable I used a bunge to move it out of the way of battery removal but not enough tension to cause damage. I next removed the black zip tie that holds a cable hold down to the cables. That allows that cable holder to be removed and set aside. The cable holder fits into a black plastic holder that goes across the width of the battery and fits into a groove that runs along the length of the battery on both sides. This holder can now be removed. There are two hold down bolts that hold the battery to the battery tray. The hold down bolts are long around 10" each and are on the left side of the battery when facing it from the rear. Use a 10 mm socket to loosen the bolts and remove them. You might have one bolt staying in the holder that clamps to the bottom of the battery. If so just remove that with the bolt. Now you have a couple of connectors to remove. One is blue bodied the other gray bodied. If you look at the red plastic covering sitting on the battery you will see the color coded blue and gray colors corresponding to where they get inserted. Thus if you forget which goes where no issues. At this point I loosened the stainless steel strap clamps on each side that are holding the red cover down. I used a body panel tool for all connector manipulations because it is plastic and no chance of making contact with the body and positive source to short things out. The stainless clamp has a tab a couple inches down the side of the battery. Use a screw driver or any stiff flat tool to pop the clamp loose. The other side comes loose once you get the first one done. At this point before removing the blue and gray connectors I removed the 13 mm nut that hold the red holder to positive connector. Pop open the door and you can see the nut. Remove the nut and this should allow the red holder to be free. I disconnected the blue and gray connectors at this point and removed them out of the way. They have to be removed to gain clearance for battery removal. On the red holder there sits a black connector holder with two black connectors attached. I removed the smaller of the two so that I could move the red connector holder out of the way of battery removal. The red holder is free at this point from the battery and the larger connector stays attached to the red holder. If you wish to remove it feel free to do so. I moved the red holder out of the way toward the center of the car and tied it off with string to hold it out of the way. You still have the vent tube to remove and I just popped it out and moved it out of the way. This leaves the positive battery post to remove. Pop the red cover open and use a 10 mm socket to loosen the nut on the compression clamp allowing removal. Move it out of the way. Now you should have nothing holding the battery in place.
This battery which is (for my E93 anyway) a 900 AGM and weighs 60 pounds. The way I removed and installed the battery was to pick the front end of the battery up using one of the two handles. I rotated the battery almost vertical and removed the battery. The rear negative cable causes interference and you can remove it completely is you want but reversing the process meaning lowering the aft part of the battery in first with the front of the battery nose up allows you to clear that cable and set the battery in place.

I reinstalled all the components in the reverse order and zip tied the cable holder like the factory did. All in all this is a time consuming but not hard job. If you are careful you can install this battery yourself. You can register it with an OBDII cable and software that an E90 forum member named "Smooth" provides free. If you have to recode because you used something other than the same AH then you need a good indy or dealer. I used an Advanced Auto 900AH AGM battery which is form, fit, and function the same as the factory battery which I can no longer get.

I will post some pictures and I apologize for the poor quality.

The n
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:45 AM
fun2drive's Avatar
fun2drive fun2drive is offline
BMWCCA 149159
Location: Panhandle of Florida
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,847
Mein Auto: 335 vert/14JGC/ 17Outback
Panel Pictures of E93 Battery R&R

Attached are some of the panel pics. Again I apolize about the poor quality. Hopefully the pictures of the panels will help you remove them without damage.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:20 AM
Stevarino's Avatar
Stevarino Stevarino is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Annapolis, MD
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 763
Mein Auto: 2008 335 / 2014 X-3
E93 Battery Replacement: Some Suggestions for Installation

I am going to print this for next time. I chickened out this spring and had the dealer do it which cost me around $450.

Thanks for posting. The only info I could find this spring was replacing the battery on the E-90.

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Current Vehicles:

2017 440i Cv ED Sept 1, 2016 (ED #6)(PCD Oct 24)
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:34 AM
beermeisterkink beermeisterkink is offline
Registered User
Location: usa
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: e93 m3
I just took a crack at opening up the battery panel on my 2013 e93 m3 and sheesh! My first thought was 'what the' and my second thought was 'BMW hates its customers and doesn't want us to do anything ourselves.' It defeated me! So I came back to the internet to find specific convertible instructions because, as fun2drive said 4 years ago (!), there's not much out there on how to access and replace the battery on convertibles.

Glad to see I'm not merely a ham-fisted idiot because I couldn't access the battery before giving up. (My third thought was 'I thought I only had to remove one or two panels but this looks like I have to take out this side panel as well, and maybe I ought to check the 'net again before I start trying to take out every last plastic screw thingy in front of me').

Oh well, back to it again, I'm certainly against paying >$400 just to have someone swap out a battery when I like to do such things myself.
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