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Window trim removal   Author: Jordan Sarette


1. Flathead screwdriver (6-8in or so)
2. Phillips head screwdriver (6-8in or so)
3. Needle nose pliers
4. Socket set, various


This entire process is pretty simple overall. If you exercise care and restraint you will be able to remove the trim without damaging it. If you are forceful, and try to just tear it off you will bend it beyond repair. The trim is a very soft aluminum. It bends and cracks easily. This write-up is focused on 2 door e30's (both pop-out and fixed rear side windows) and offers no direct information on 4 door e30's although most of it can be applied with some common sense.

Trim diagram: (click to enlarge)

1.) First thing you are going to want to do is make sure the car is clean and dry. Go ahead and take care of that before you start.

Removed both side mirrors from the car. Inside the car on the other side of the mirrors you will either have blank sill plates, or tweeter pods. Both pry off. Be careful not to damage the plastic tabs that hold them in.

Disconnect the mirror from the door harness. Its a small 4 pin black connector. Should be in plain sight once the sail panel/tweeter pod is removed.

Loosen and remove both 8mm bolts that hold the mirror to the vehicle. Hold the mirror while you do this so it doesn't fall to the ground and damage the paint. Feed the connector through the hole and set the mirror aside. Repeat for the other side of the vehicle.

2.) Now focus on the b-pillar area inside the car (the G area) At the top of the b-pillar is a small coat hook. This sucker is completely useless, and a bitch to remove. Loosen and remove the Phillips screw. Grab a hold of the hood and pull it out. Rest assured it does remove in this manner, its just stubborn.

Remove the cover on the seat belt pivot to reveal the 17mm bolt. Loosen and remove the 17mm bolt. Lay the seat belt down on the floor.

Remove the small quarter sized plug on the b-pillar. Look inside and you will see a 8mm nut. If you look inside the coat hanger hole you will see the same 8mm nut. Loosen and remove them both. Be careful not to drop them. At this point it is helpful to have an assistant outside the car to hold the window so it does not fall onto the ground. While nice, it is not entirely necessary if your car is parked on level ground. Gravity should work to keep it in place.

If you have pop-out rear side glass remove the black cover of the pivot latch on the c-pillar. Loosen and remove the 2 Phillips screws. The window is now free to remove.

if you have fixed rear side glass use a small flathead to slowly work the inner gasket free of the body. This is hard to describe, but you should understand if you look/poke at it.

3.) Now its time to start removing the actual trim.

Start by sliding B towards the front of the car, until it is all the way onto A.

Pry up A down by where the side mirror would be. Us a flathead and cloth if your fingers aren't working for you. Pry it all the way up the a-pillar and lift it off the rain gutter on the roof.

Trim C is actually attached to the painted vent cover on the c-pillar. They must be removed as one. Pull on the painted cover and rock it back and forth. You WILL destroy the clips that hold the cover to the body. Be prepared to replace them.

The part number for these clips is: 51 13 1 870 459 (you will need 6 total)
Estimated cost each is: $0.95 USD

Now separate C from the painted part it is attached to. It is held on by several black clips. Its VERY hard to remove them without destroying them. Remove the foam on the back side to reveal the clip base. Drill or cut out the base of each clip until they release. I *think* 5 will be required per side. Make your own observation on this and order accordingly.

The part number for these clips is: 51 13 1 884 467
Estimated cost each is: $0.55 USD

Trim E is one of the easiest to remove. Use a flathead and a cloth to pry it straight up off the door. Once it is off remove any clips that stayed on the door and place them back on part E. Remove the rubber window seal from trim E.

Trim D is a bit less intuitive. The clips are hidden. Roll the window down and remove the fuzzy inner window gasket (the channel the window slides in) Look inside the void created where the fuzzy inner gasket was. You will see many small clips. Each one with have a rectangular tab sticking out. Push the tab away from the trim with a flathead and it will release the trim. Repeat as many times as needed until the trim comes off.

You are bound to break several of these clips. I know I did. I stole some spares off a junkyard car, but if you want to order new ones...

The part number for these clips is: 51 32 1 874 017
Estimated cost each is: ?

Trim F is held on with the same clips as trim D. They are also located in the void where the fuzzy inner gasket was. Use the same technique to remove them.

Repeat all the above for the opposite side. One would assume you are taking it off to paint them. So go find a write-up for that ;)