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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me again, the car I'm looking to acquire has the title and all previous maintenance records in the glove box...and the damn latch is broken! Any ideas how I can get this glove box open?? I know I will need to get a new latch which im alright with but how in the [email protected] do I get this thing open?

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Run your hand straight back from the latch up and behind the glove box. There is a cable, with may or may not have a spongy sheath on it. Pull it towards the front of the car and the glove box will open.
 

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Under the box where the floor light is?

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The Mayor is trying to lead you to find the bowden cable (#3 in diagram below) that runs to the glove box handle.

If you do a google search using "BMW e38 glove box cable"...or do a search on www.e38.org...you may find some DIYs that have pics etc on how to fix the glove box handle and/or tighten this bowden cable...which will help you find/fix your problem.

Good luck. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Mayor is trying to lead you to find the bowden cable (#3 in diagram below) that runs to the glove box handle.

If you do a google search using "BMW e38 glove box cable"...or do a search on www.e38.org...you may find some DIYs that have pics etc on how to fix the glove box handle and/or tighten this bowden cable...which will help you find/fix your problem.

Good luck. :)

Time to roll my sleeves up and DIY the f$ck out of this. Thanks for all the help guys

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My solution to the problem was to open the passenger's door, slightly pry the right side of the glove box door down, locate the latching device (item 16 in the diagram), and with a small diameter screwdriver move the latch toward the rear of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My solution to the problem was to open the passenger's door, slightly pry the right side of the glove box door down, locate the latching device (item 16 in the diagram), and with a small diameter screwdriver move the latch toward the rear of the car.
Will try this soon, thank you for the suggestion

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It's just not that difficult. Reach behind the glove box where the cable comes in and pull down or forward on it. There is probably a foam sheath on it. It's the only cable that comes out of the back of the glove box.
 

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If this comes out, it shows a top view of the cable. The sheath I am talking about is the foam piece there. If you look up behind the glove box, the sheath is what you will see.
 

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Since this is still being discussed...thought I throw another log on this fire. :)

From past discussions of this issue over the last decade or more...sometimes the glovebox handle isn't broken (yet) if the owner discovered that the handle wasn't working and didn't continue to yank/pull on it until the plastic pieces inside the handle broke.

If the glovebox handle has NOT been broken...some have been able to fix the issue by tightening the end of the bowden cable (I believe its near the back). Again, just a simple google search or page search at e38.org may turn up the old DIYs from the past 10-15 years that showed and discussed several handle repairs and bowden cable tightening.

For example, I found this thread from last year where I replied to a similar thread as this one by typing "tighten glovebox cable bmw e38" into a google search box...it was the 3rd result down from the top: You can see in Frankie's DIY (see pic from his DIY below) exactly where the bowden cable is located, where to tighten the cable...and the gray foam sheathing the Mayor refers to that obfuscates the bowden cable :)

Hi! and thank you for this information. I recently purchased my first BMW and could not get the glove box open. Upon reading several threads on this site, I was able to locate the cable and pull until the box opened. I unhooked the cable and took the latch out for inspection. Nothing appears to be broken so, I am guessing that the cable is just stretched out. Can you give more detailed instructions on how to adjust? Or, when you know it's time to replace the cable? The handle and all other mechanisms seem fine.

Thanks!!
Qsilver7 said:
If the handle hasn't broken yet...you may only need to adjust the cable.

You can see the location of the adjustment screw in this image below posted by Frankie (from BimForums):

Frankie's Glovebox DIY: http://www.frankies-bmw.com/7series/diy/glovebox/bmw_7series_glovebox.php

(img taken from his DIY write-up)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since this is still being discussed...thought I throw another log on this fire. :)

From past discussions of this issue over the last decade or more...sometimes the glovebox handle isn't broken (yet) if the owner discovered that the handle wasn't working and didn't continue to yank/pull on it until the plastic pieces inside the handle broke.

If the glovebox handle has NOT been broken...some have been able to fix the issue by tightening the end of the bowden cable (I believe its near the back). Again, just a simple google search or page search at e38.org may turn up the old DIYs from the past 10-15 years that showed and discussed several handle repairs and bowden cable tightening.

For example, I found this thread from last year where I replied to a similar thread as this one by typing "tighten glovebox cable bmw e38" into a google search box...it was the 3rd result down from the top: You can see in Frankie's DIY (see pic from his DIY below) exactly where the bowden cable is located, where to tighten the cable...and the gray foam sheathing the Mayor refers to that obfuscates the bowden cable :)



I don't believe the owner has used brute force yet. If the glove box is stuck in the closed position, Will I still be able to tighten it?

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I don't believe the owner has used brute force yet. If the glove box is stuck in the closed position, Will I still be able to tighten it?

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Yes, if the glove box handle isn't broken...but just stuck closed. Follow the suggestion to reach around/under etc and pull gently but firmly on the cable to attempt to open the glove box.

Once the box is open...you can see how pulling on the cable actuates the lock in the handle. Then tighten the adjustment screw (give a few turns at a time) to see if that fixes the issue. At each tightening attempt...actuate the glove box handle to see if things move. If things aren't working well...then go ahead and undo the screws so that you can see the innards of the handle to see if the issue is visible (or fixable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, if the glove box handle isn't broken...but just stuck closed. Follow the suggestion to reach around/under etc and pull gently but firmly on the cable to attempt to open the glove box.

Once the box is open...you can see how pulling on the cable actuates the lock in the handle. Then tighten the adjustment screw (give a few turns at a time) to see if that fixes the issue. At each tightening attempt...actuate the glove box handle to see if things move. If things aren't working well...then go ahead and undo the screws so that you can see the innards of the handle to see if the issue is visible (or fixable).
Coolio, thanks a lot friends. Will repost with results

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glovebox still stuck

This is a follow up to my previous thread on how to get the stuck glove box open. I tried pulling the Bowden cable in the back but to no avail...the latch is not broken because when pulling on the cable I can feel the latch tightening but the box still will not open...only the side closest to the latch will slightly drop down but the latch closest to the passenger door is still latched. Send help!

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Threads merged...Please keep this single issue to a single thread.

Here's a stupid question...is the glovebox locked?
 

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Threads merged...Please keep this single issue to a single thread.

Here's a stupid question...is the glovebox locked?
:D That's a good question. The e38's glovebox has a hidden feature that many owners are unaware of...where it doesn't require the key to LOCK the glove box. There's a little lever behind the handle...if you flick it to one side...it will lock the glove box without the key.

A passenger or a small child could unknowingly/unwittingly/unintentionally lock the glove box if they flicked the lever behind the handle: (see the 3rd bullet in info below)

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
:D That's a good question. The e38's glovebox has a hidden feature that many owners are unaware of...where it doesn't require the key to LOCK the glove box. There's a little lever behind the handle...if you flick it to one side...it will lock the glove box without the key.

A passenger or a small child could unknowingly/unwittingly/unintentionally lock the glove box if they flicked the lever behind the handle: (see the 3rd bullet in info below)

Hmmm, so how is it do I unlock this? I've already tried putting the key in and turning.

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Hmmm, so how is it do I unlock this? I've already tried putting the key in and turning.

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If you lock the glovebox with the hidden lever behind the handle...you simply use any key you have for the car (except the valet key) and it will UNLOCK the glove box by turning the lock cylinder to the vertical position ( | ).
 
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