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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Fri, Sep-14-2018, 03:51:42 PM   #1
bmwstephen
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Default Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

Hey guys- planning on doing an interior change in my coupe and have ran into some conflicting information hoping some of you gurus can help out with.


Door cards:


I understand that between 97-99 the door cards in the coupes were pretty much the same.

What were the differences between 95 and 96? does anyone have any pics detailing the difference? I heard there was stitching difference

on that same logic, any differences in the rear door cards

Rear Seats

is there a difference in foam and material quality between the years like there were with the vaders (i.e. 95 vs post 96+)
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Old Fri, Sep-14-2018, 04:12:19 PM   #2
westopher
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

There was no difference in the foam IIRC.
The reason the early Vaders have the bowing issue on the bolsters, is because there is a different design to the frame of the seat. Early seats have no frame on the upper bolsters and all the pressure is supported by the foam bolsters. They end up with varying degrees of issues, but you can certainly tell when an early Vader had a larger owner.
There is less foam on the early Vader headrest (which I actually think looks a lot better, and is the only advantage aesthetically to the early seats,) and less stitching on them.
My early rear seats feel the same weight, hardware and plushness wise as my later seats, but neither ever get used really so I'm only speculating.
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Old Fri, Sep-14-2018, 08:49:20 PM   #3
Braymond141
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

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Originally Posted by bmwstephen View Post
Hey guys- planning on doing an interior change in my coupe and have ran into some conflicting information hoping some of you gurus can help out with.


Door cards:


I understand that between 97-99 the door cards in the coupes were pretty much the same.

What were the differences between 95 and 96? does anyone have any pics detailing the difference? I heard there was stitching difference

on that same logic, any differences in the rear door cards

Rear Seats

is there a difference in foam and material quality between the years like there were with the vaders (i.e. 95 vs post 96+)
Your information is wrong. 1996 is not some magical cutoff date... if anything, more changes occurred early 1997. (sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine. Too many people group the 96 incorrectly).

95 M3 use vinyl inserts (US) and have no airbags. Plastic weather barriers were used.
96-97 use leather inserts and have no airbags. Plastic weather barriers were used.
98-99 use leather inserts and have side airbags. 4/97+ used foam weather barrier.
Use the foam weather barrier, airbag or non airbag (doesn't matter), if you have the plastic style. 51488236695 51488236696

98-99 added rear headrests to the parcel shelf (US).

Rear door cards are all the same structurally. The insert change follows the fronts (US).

The front seat foam/structure changed in late 1995 model year production, not 96.

4/97+ front seat belt receptacles were changed from mechanical crash retraction to pyrotechnic.

The rear seats are roughly the same but the side bolsters mount differently (metal retention on early, plastic clip retention on later) and the center seat belts fit loose if you're retrofitting late model seat backs into an early car. The belts are easily fixed by turning the bottom bolted in belt mount to remove the slack (or possibly repositioning the plastic stopper nub).

I've done this swap in 06 putting a 99 interior into my 96. The rear side bolster mounting was the only thing I never resolved. They are just sitting in place (no issues). I have no desire to add the plastic clips either as they always break.

Last edited by Braymond141; Fri, Sep-14-2018 at 09:09:00 PM.
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Old Fri, Sep-14-2018, 08:53:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

Thanks Brett- so did the rear door cards ever have leather inserts in any year given they were updated from the vinyl design?

Also regarding the rear seat belts, would another option also be to swap the seat belts between the different years?
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Old Fri, Sep-14-2018, 09:06:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

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Originally Posted by bmwstephen View Post
Thanks Brett- so did the rear door cards ever have leather inserts in any year given they were updated from the vinyl design?

Also regarding the rear seat belts, would another option also be to swap the seat belts between the different years?
The rear door panel material change follows the front. BMW isn't going to give you front leather inserts and vinyl inserts in the rear. Again, we're talking the center removable section. All years used vinyl on the main part of the door panel.

It has been so long, I can't recall what exactly made the rear belts different. I just know that the swapped in set and the recent motorsport belt swap both require the bottom mount to be turned some. The repositioning of the stopper nub was something I just thought of when writing that reply. I'd honestly prefer to try that.
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Old Sat, Sep-15-2018, 07:57:25 PM   #6
M_Parallel
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

BMW has major update dates at March and September.
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Old Sat, Sep-15-2018, 07:58:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

so the door cards with side airbag provision... once the airbag has deployed for example, is the door panel repairable?

might have found a good set but the car has been in an accident
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Old Sat, Sep-15-2018, 09:16:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

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Originally Posted by bmwstephen View Post
so the door cards with side airbag provision... once the airbag has deployed for example, is the door panel repairable?

might have found a good set but the car has been in an accident
You can source new center inserts if they are damaged. Airbag front panels are much easier to remove these inserts from than panels without the airbag.
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Old Sat, Sep-15-2018, 10:28:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

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You can source new center inserts if they are damaged. Airbag front panels are much easier to remove these inserts from than panels without the airbag.
How is that? As far as I have seen they are still glued on.
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Old Sat, Sep-15-2018, 11:13:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences

Less surface area of glue, a lot less. Mine came apart quite easily.

Errr edit. Now that I think about it. Airbag panels use the plastic pins. I don’t think there was any glue or it was very little as I first thought.

Last edited by Braymond141; Sat, Sep-15-2018 at 11:16:38 PM.
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Discussing Interior Door Cards and Rear Seat differences in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)