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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 09:57:10 AM   #1
Jmsimmons1
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Default DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Weather Stripping Replacement

This is a DIY guide on how to replace the weather seal for the rear corner panel windows of the E46 M3. These weather seals are prone to dry rotting along with the quarter panel glass trim (Mfg Part#: 5136819474 and 51368194742) that runs along the lower part of the side rear windows.



Unfortunately, while the quarter glass trim is replaceable as a stand-alone part, the weathers seal is NOT due to the fact that it is connected to another part called the Finisher Side Frame, which is the long black rail that runs front to back along the top portions of the side windows. Each Finisher Side Frame retails for over $260 each and you will probably need two of them. Needless to say, this is not a cost efficient solution to the problem, especially since they will only end up dry rotting again. I decided on a far cheaper solution ($20.00) that both looks OEM and takes about 90 mins to do per side.

Tools needed:
  1. Phillips screw driver, preferably with a magnetic head.
  2. Large Flathead Screw driver
  3. Box cutter blade or razor blade
  4. Double-sided or colored tape
  5. Possibly some interior trim adhesive

Skill Level:
If you think you could pass a high-school level Arts & Crafts class, you will be just fine. If you mess up, don't get frustrated or pissed. Even in the WORST case scenario, you will be out $20.00 for the cost of the weather stripping and the time it takes to re-do something. It is still a far cry cheaper than the $550+ you will spend on 2 Finisher Side Frames .

I would also like to apologize ahead of time about the quality of these pictures…to the point where I am actually embarrassed. My digital camera basically started to crap out on me during the install and I didn’t realize the pictures were this bad until hours after the install. I would ask that if anybody else does this install, that they please take better quality photos and send them to me. I will insert them into this DIY in place of mine. 11/29/15 - Silv3rsurf3r has also done an excellent video of the install, so if you don't feel like reading the detailed explanation on what to do, you can simply scroll down to the bottom an watch his video. A shout out to Silv3rsurf3r for doing this.


To begin, rather than re-explain the process on how to remove the trim, I will refer to another DIY that is currently available.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ht=window+trim

The very first picture of the aforementioned DIY shows the screws attaching the Finisher Side Frame (FSF) to the roof of the car. These screws run along the entire rail, from front to back.

You can get to the screws in the rear window by the following steps:
  1. Open the rear window
  2. Unlatch the ball joint on the window (see above DIY). You will need the extra room for both head and hand room. There is also particularly difficult screw that is between the front and rear window divider.
  3. Remove the inside window gasket. Pull the upper portion of the gasket straight down from around the window frame. Try to leave the lower half in place as to keep a screw from falling down into the door/side frame of the car.

The last 4 screws in the back are different from the other screws, so please make sure that when you re-install them, you have them in back. The two very last screws are probably more easily accessible from outside the car.

Note - Do not be surprised if the inside upholstered trim on the rubber door seals around the door comes off. Over time, the adhesive becomes brittle and it pretty much peels off. Mine did this and I simply got some upholstery glue to put it back together. (I hear that Gorilla Glue works as well, but that requires you to hold the pieces together whereas the adhesives for cars do not require such. You can find this type of adhesive in auto parts stores, probably by the paint section)

Once you remove the screws from the FSF, you should be able to simply lift it off from the top. It is possible that the rear portion might be a little stuck due to some type of tacky tape in that location, but it is not difficult.

When the FSF is off, you will notice the rubber weather seal is attached by double-sided tape.



Mark the location of where the rubber weathers starts on the FSF. This is important. You will need to know where to cut the new weather seal so it be flush and won’t collide with weather seal on the door. I used a piece of double-sided tape.



Once marked, you can now easily pull the old weather seal right off.



Note the double-sided tape underneath. Rather than trying to slowely peel this tape off, grab a simple box cutter and neatly slice the tape right off. It cuts very easily and comes off pretty clean.



This is the old seal removed.

Next, time to install the new weather seal. You can purchase this weather stripping from Autozone. It is a common part as I have found it at two different brick and mortar locations, however here is the online link.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=267100_0_0_






It is made my Metro Moulded Parts Inc.

Other members have stated success using the 3M product as state that it is superior to the Metro. Here is the link for it.

http://secure.terrys.net/viewProduct...ductID=3M.8650

You probably won't go wrong with either product, but make SURE that you get the 7/8-3/4 diameter. There is a smaller diameter that will give you some fitment problems.

Here comes the tricky part. The new weather stripping has some self adhesive along a ridge or spine on the bottom. Do NOT remove the protective backing! If you do, it will be extremely difficult to do the next step. Just past the elbow joint of the FSF, there is track that the old weather seal was wedged in. You are going to “pull” your new weather stripping through that track using the ridge or spine as the rail or anchor. It might take a little force to do so, but please be careful because the weather stripping WILL rip if forced too much. Another method is to take a large flat head screw driver and push the spine into the track.



See the extra weather stripping I have at the end? I would suggest you do the same so it can be trimmed during the re-installed. Better too long than too short.



Run the weather stripping down the length of the rail and cut it beyond the mark you made earlier…again, better too long than too short. (the red part is the backing on the double-sided tape. The green and white square is the doublesided tape I used to mark the end of the original weather seal).

Next, remove the tape backing down to where you wedged the weather stripping into the track. You do not have to bother tryijng to remove the backing down in the track. The weather stripping should be in there very tightly and will not need any form of adhesive. Tape the weather stripping spine parallel to the screw holes on the FSF.



The 3-4 screw holes near the end of the weather stripping (towards middle of FSF, not near the elbow joint) will probably be covered by part a small part of the weather stripping’s spine. To avoid great difficulty trying to re-install the FSF, take a box cutter or a razor blade and cut out a small wedge to expose the holes. I found the best method to be to take the corner of the blade and push part of the spine through the screw hole. A small cut or incision will be in the spine which you can then gently pull away with your fingers. Once the weather stripping is securely taped to the FSF, you can trim down the new weather stripping towards the center of the FSF.

From here, you ready to re-install the FSF back onto the car. This is pretty much a common-sense process at this point, but the best process I found is as follows:
  1. If you are also installing the quarter planel glass trim along the bottom of the window, DO THIS BEFORE RE-INSTALLNG THE FSF! You will thank me for this later. Once this is done (or if you are not doing this install)…
  2. Set the FSF in place to see if the new weather stripping is the correct length relative to the front window trim. If not, remove, cut/adjust, then try again.
  3. When satisfied, screw in a few of the screws (1 or 2) underneath the front windows
  4. Screw in the rest of the screws moving to towards the front of the car
  5. Adjust the trim underneath the rear window. Take care in getting the seal underneath the rear window. You can gently tuck into place by using a large flathead screw driver.



Finally, you need to trim the end piece past the elbow joint. This part is a little tricky to explain and my camera was so jacked up at this point, it did not focus on what I wanted while the FSF was on the car. I tried again using a small end piece of weather stripping and my iphone. Hopefully you will get the jest of how you need to do this last cut.
  1. Trim the tube portion of the weather striping to the appropriate length you need.
  2. Cut the spine off the end tip. You will be able to see how far back you can cut it, but at this point, the spine of the weather stripping is not necessary and will impare the fitment of the end a bit.
  3. Cut away the lower half of the weather stripping tube facing the car. This will allow the weather stripping to fit nice and flush.







Screw in the final screws towards the rear of the windows and the final result should look pretty good.



I hope that this has been helpful. If there are any questions, please feel free to PM me or post your question.

Here is Silv3rsurf3r's video


Last edited by Jmsimmons1; Mon, Nov-30-2015 at 01:09:50 AM.
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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 02:34:51 PM   #2
mrnile
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

great thread...sticky!!
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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 02:53:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

great job and write up. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 03:23:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Nice write up. I need to take a look at my seals now
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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 03:24:34 PM   #5
hockey930
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

awesome, I am going to do this. Thank you for taking the time to do this write up!

Just ordered mine!

Last edited by hockey930; Wed, Jul-20-2011 at 03:31:18 PM.
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Old Wed, Jul-20-2011, 04:52:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Perfect, I'll add this in my bookmarks and todo list! However, I also need to take care about the weatherstrip at lower rear trim too - it is also in bad shape.
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Old Thu, Jul-21-2011, 01:33:03 AM   #7
mpower22
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Subscribed. This looks great. Have you given it the hose test yet?
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Old Thu, Jul-21-2011, 01:41:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Thanks for the DIY

I'm going to do this.
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Old Thu, Jul-21-2011, 03:45:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Great stuff! Thanks!
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Old Thu, Jul-21-2011, 05:44:56 AM   #10
Jmsimmons1
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Default Re: DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower22 View Post
Subscribed. This looks great. Have you given it the hose test yet?
Thank you.

Yes, I have given it the hose test and the major lightning storm test. No leaks. The seal is large enough to press up against the rear window firmly. I have also not heard any whistling while the car is at speed or anything.

If there is a situation where it is NOT pressing up close enough for your comfort, you can simply take the leftover window stripping along with 3M double-double sided foam tape and wedge it in between the new seal and your interior window gasket. That will push the stripping closer to the window and the "shim" will be invisible from both the inside and outside.

That said, I would add two disclaimers to this.

1) Don't throw away your old seals. Keep them just in case.
2) I have no clue how long the new weather stripping will last. While it is the standard stuff for automobiles and is regularly exposed to extreme heat inside engine bay, etc., we are blazing a new trail here. That said, if you go to the weather stripping company's website, they guarantee their product with a 15-year warranty.

Hell, if I am able to get 2-3 years out of this make-shift solution, I am more than willing to re-do it.

Finally, I have thought about trying to get somebody to fabricate the OEM seals by sending them one to create a die. I am not sure about the cost, but I would need to have an OEM seal that is not damaged to send to them...which I don't. If this is able to be done for a reasonable cost ($50.00 or less), it could wind up being a better solution.

I dunno.
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Discussing DIY: Cheap Rear Quarter Panel Window Stripping Replacement in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)