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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Vandals or something unknown destroyed my passenger side front window.

Is replacing a window a DIY job (i.e., order parts, take apart door, put window in, etc.)?

Or is this one of those jobs best left to professionals?

Should I only use BMW parts or does it not matter?

Any recommendations?
thanks,
Bluebee
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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25,199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Where is the E39 front side window (glazing?) replacement DIY?

Amazingly, I haven't found a good bimmerfest thread (yet) for just removing and replacing the E39 window glass (which also seems to be called 'glazing').

Plenty of E39 threads dealt with replacing the "regulator" but I'm not sure if the broken front side window replacement steps would be the same for the window than for the window regulator.

Here's a non-bimmerfest E39 regulator thread DIY, for example:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=15687585#post15687585

And here's a non-bimmerfest E39 door-panel replacement DIY:
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/door/panel.htm

But I'm amazed I didn't (yet) find any BMW E39 front side window "glazing" replacement DIYs ... do you know of a good one that I missed in my searches?

-- Bluebee
 

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Certified Public Assassin
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436 Posts
Bluebee,

I feel for you.. 2 years after having the same glass broken... i Still find the small pieces of glass in the seat rails of the front seats. It's a sad day. My glass was fixed under our zero deductible insurance in MA. I'm surprised this isn't covered under your insurance...

Good luck with the fix...
 

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5 Door'ing it!
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607 Posts
Remove panel and all the trimmings. Remove in side wether strip. Loosen clamps that hold old window or pieces :) and slide new one into place. Tighten clamps then assure all is aligned.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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6,378 Posts
Oooh, the bastards :(

I think this is probably a job best left to BMW***8230;the glass isn't particularly expensive according to what I've heard (i.e. only $20 more than regular stuff) but it's going to be heavy and fairly awkward to DIY. Might be worth a try if you feel like disassembling the driver's side to see how it fits together, or you have a TIS you can look it up there.

No hope for insurance? Might not be worth it :\
 

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Some say...
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1,514 Posts
Make sure you unhook the battery when you remove the side airbag. You can use a hairdryer to warm up the adhesive that's holding the moisture barrier on. Once you get to the window it's very obvious how to remove it.

I think the window clamp uses a T-20 or a T-25 torx bit.

Use thread-locker on the window clamp screw and the airbag bolts.

Check this thread about the vapor barrier adhesive.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1089505

This is helpful too, there is seven parts.

 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No wonder nobody has a DIY ...

I called around yesterday to try to find the bmw front side window glass.

Not a single BMW dealership had it in stock (P/N 51328159170). RealOEM has it listed at $122+tax+shipping but the dealers all had it listed in the $170 range, = 10% tax, + shipping.

None could get it to me in fewer than 3 days. I ended up getting it done locally for less than the price of the glass itself at the BMW dealership.

If you're in the local area, these guys did it in less than 30 minutes.
LE Auto Glass, 225 Prague Drive, San Jose, CA, 95119 408-360-0767

No wonder nobody has a DIY. Generally I like to do things myself, to learn, to buy the best parts, to fix other things along the way, and to help others by the DIYs that I write up afterward .... but this one was a no brainer, especially since I'm so busy lately, I can't even think.

Thanks everyone for the advice!
Bluebee
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does anyone actually buy parts from realoem (or do they just look up part numbers?)

I think that the RealOEM price is wholesale or something….
Interesting. I wonder if anyone actually BUYS from realoem?

Does anyone actually buy from RealOEM or do they (as I do) just look up part numbers and diagrams from realoem?
 

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Registered
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I see you got it done already but this is a very easy dyi. For starters you don't have to remove the air bag and you don't have to remove the vapor barrier except on the bottom to access the bolts that hold the window to the brackets. You only have to remove the outside lower window trim, door panel and interior lower window trim and again remove just the lower portion of the vapor barrier. Raise the window up several inches to access the brackets and viola! That's it. That's why it only took them 30 minutes because it is very easy.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
DIY steps for replacing broken window

This is good to know for the DIY writeup on how to replace a window glass (which is, I think, called "glazing" for some weird reason).

0. Determine if you have the expensive stuff (~ $2,000 vs ~$200) ...
1. Order the parts ("normal" glass part number 51328159170)
2. Remove outside lower window trim
3. Remove the door panel trim
4. Remove the interior lower window trim
5. Remove just the lower portion of the vapor barrier
6. Raise the window up several inches to access the brackets
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glazing ...

Glaze & glazing, to me, means more to pastries and shiny pumps than a hard window barrier ... but I do see an entry amongst the many others in your list that refers to glazing as a "transparent part of a wall" ...

So, I guess, my broken side window glass was "part of a wall" which is, in effect, the entire aerodynamic passenger-side "wall" of the BMW E39.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If we think "glass versus glazing" is an issue ... wait 'till you see today's discussion of "stupid versus styupid" ... :)

 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ran across this thread which is for the E39 door lock actuators but which also shows how to remove the interior panels of the door to access the glass and mechanisms inside the doors.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
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