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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could someone who has swapped out their interior trim give me some idea of the feasiblilty and the cost involved? It this a really big deal to do yourself assuming you were mechanically inclined? I am looking at buying used 330 coupe with wood trim that I would like to swap with black or metal. Would I have to order the parts from distant German lands?
I did a search in the 3 series section of this forum but did not find a clear answer other than some people have done it.

Thanks!

John
 

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Ubergeek
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It can be rather expensive ($500 for all pieces new), but it's very easy to do. Most of the pieces are held in with friction.. you can use a butterknife wrapped in electrical tape (to keep it from scratching) to pull the pieces off.

If you can find the pieces used... that's the way to go. Perhaps you can even find someone who prefers the wood trim that would trade..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply, Kris. I just finished reading your informative comparison between the e90 and e46. The 330 coupe I am looking at is a '04 with a 6 speed manual, and it is priced pretty close to a new e90 325 sedan. I was thinking I am a little crazy, and that I should buy a brand new e90, but I kinda prefer the e46. Actually what I really, really want is a 1 series sport wagon, but I digress.

John
 

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Yes, there are often trim kits available, esp. over at e46fanatics.com in the classifieds (a set of titanium shadow just sold for about $250-$300. If you're patient and not in a hurry, eventually someone will sell a set of the trim that you're looking for.

Some folks have also used a 3M vinyl to just overlay, or even taken their trim and had it painted.

Just a few other options if you don't way to spend
 

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bobomoto said:
Could someone who has swapped out their interior trim give me some idea of the feasiblilty and the cost involved? It this a really big deal to do yourself assuming you were mechanically inclined? I am looking at buying used 330 coupe with wood trim that I would like to swap with black or metal. Would I have to order the parts from distant German lands?
I did a search in the 3 series section of this forum but did not find a clear answer other than some people have done it.
I've done this job several times and I think I disagree with KrisL that it's an easy job. Let me give you the basic steps for a coupe:

-- Pry 3 pieces off the dash, push 3 new pieces on. (easy)

-- Lift up shift boot, remove screws hold the piece around the shifter, remove power window switches from old trim and install in new trim. Install new piece. (easy)

-- Disconnect battery before working around side airbags (note that the side airbag stays in the door while you are working so you don't have to worry about it too much.)
-- Remove door panels (remove screws, pry off edges, disconnect speaker wires, etc.)
-- Remove armrests from door panels (Torx screws)
-- Pry soft upholstered pads off top of armrests (this is a little challenging; they're on very tight and don't scratch the delicate trim!)
-- Put the upholstered pads onto the new armrests, attach the new armrests to the door panel and reattach the door panels to the doors.

-- Remove rear seat cushion.
-- Remove rear side panels which are held on with a couple of screws through the armrests and clips. Disconnect rear speaker wire. (If your car has rear side airbags, use appropriate care.)
-- Remove armrest from side panel, pry out soft pad and swap it over to new armrest, attach new armrest to side panel, reinstall side panel. I found this to be the most troublesome part....you're in a small space (the rear seat) and there are lots of little lips and edges to get right as you clip the side panel back in. It would help to be a six-armed Hindu or Bhuddist deity at this point. :D
-- Reinstall rear seat bottom cushion and reconnect battery.
 

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bobomoto said:
I am looking at buying used 330 coupe with wood trim that I would like to swap with black or metal. Would I have to order the parts from distant German lands?
It is not hard to sell the wood trim after the swap -- eBay or here or wherever.

Most of the "black or metal" trims are plastic with a painted/metallic finish.

And don't worry about getting parts from Germany; I've done it many times:
"Hey, parts guy....I need a XXXX part for an '05 M3."
"Uh, oh....none in stock anywhere in the USA. It looks like we'll have to get one from Germany.
"Does that mean I pay for shipping or have to wait for months?"
"Naw...I would have it next Thursday, but it will take an extra week to come from Germany and there's no extra charge."
 
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