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I found the thread on BMWTips.com (Link Here) and I was wondering if anyone has done this here? Do you think it is worth the money and time? The install seems pretty simple. Also, is the sliding one worth it b/c I've seen the non-sliding storage one like $150 cheaper. Thanks for ya help.

I have a 1999 528i w/ Sport Package (Black/Sand). :thumbup:
 

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Lots of folks have done all sorts of stuff to their armrests. I happen to be the author of the page in your link. The time to install is practically irrelevant as it is quick. The money is something you need to discern for yourself. The storage isn't great but it helps in E39s who are challenged for small storage areas.
 

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Ågent99 said:
Lots of folks have done all sorts of stuff to their armrests. I happen to be the author of the page in your link. The time to install is practically irrelevant as it is quick. The money is something you need to discern for yourself. The storage isn't great but it helps in E39s who are challenged for small storage areas.
which package did you get? i'm thinking about getting tihs since i hate to drive with my wallet in my pants; hurts my_ass much.
 

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Package deal #1 is what I bought 3 years ago. I agree with your wallet issue...I hate having my wallet in my rear pocket....
 

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I opted for the sliding because it allows those like my wife with shorter arms to enjoy the armrest from the passenger side.,
The price difference was shown on Agent99's excellent howto.
(See also the recent 5-series photo discussion titled "BMW E39 front console armrest upgrade").
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91525

My reason for opting for the upgrade was that I definately wanted rid of that ridiculous BMW center tray because it hurt my right elbow (I never knew I had sensitive elbows until I bought a BMW).

BTW, I'm learning to love unexpected features of this BMW (quiet, smooth, handling, lights on when car shuts down, door unlock with two handle presses, mirrors rotate downward for backing up, etc.) ... but I still can't fathom what the Germans were thinking when they designed the front console center arm rest
.
 

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franzdom said:
The sliding feature is more worthwhile if you have a manual transmission.
Is it because sliding back gives you more room to shift or is it because you're more likely to have your right arm on the shift lever?

- In my case, with two drivers of different sizes, I figured the short arms of my wife would fit better if the armrest were slid forward.
- Tilting, of course, is useful so that the storage tray is accessable.
- Montana (embossed) leather is, in this case, a luxury (as the original appears to be pure genuine vinyl). Napa (smooth) leather would probably do just as well as the vinyl (IMHO).
 

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Agreed! One of Best Mods Period.

I bought the Package #2 (think?). It is the vinyl, tilting with storage. It does not slide. I cannot live without it.

Rob
 

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Wolfeman said:
Do you think it is worth the money and time?
I have a new perspective on this now, after a few months.

If you have the gray interior, it's probably NOT worth your time or money.
In my case, I paid the 400 dollars months ago to Pacific who shipped within a few weeks the backordered gray armrest as the wrong color (it was creamy white instead of darker gray).

After I shipped it back to Pacific, I waited about a month or so and finally called. Gabriel (if I remember correctly the name) called back and said they were still looking. A month (or so) later, he called again and said they were still looking for the right match.

Now, way way way long later, I STILL don't have the part so I am seriously contemplating calling Pacific and cancelling the order as I can get it somewhere else in less time than it seems to take here at Pacific (who has been otherwise fine).

Lastly, I stuffed the bimmerfest recommended sock into the hard plastic tray and actually it's pretty darn comfortable. If only we had a simple gel-filled dish of the same shape as the tray and color matched to the interior, we could just slip that gel "sock" into the tray and be done with this after all.

Does Pacific normally have problems like this or is this an anomoly (I've only had a bimmer for a few months myself so I have little experience but no othre dealer I've delt with in my decades of driving has taken this long for such a simple part requirement). Sigh.
 

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Agent99's mod is the greatest. I vote for sliding. I did it about 2 days after I got my car, which is now about 3.5 years ago. Anytime I drive someone else's, I can't fathom how they can tolerate having their right elbow falling in that phone trough. . . .

It takes about 5 minutes, btw.

Gary
 

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gbsb99 said:
I can't fathom how they can tolerate having their right elbow falling in that phone trough
Me neither.

The thing that gets me is that the very first German test driver of the very first German prototype car would have made the same complaint within the first hour of sitting in the bimmer. Unless these first German human testers were superhumans, they couldn't possibly have not felt the pain in their elbows as they sat in the front passenger seat for any length of time. It's incomprehensible to me that comfort wasn't apparently a test criteria for the front seating position for either seat. Since the bimmer is otherwise reasonably well engineered, there must be a good reason for such bad engineering on the seating situation.

If anyone has any insight into what went so very wrong at BMW engineering in Germany, I'd be interested in such insight as to how this faux pas occurred in the first place.

Nonetheless, since it takes months to obtain the right part, below is a photo of how good 'ole American ingenuity can solve all problems, even those created across the pond.
 

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