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BMW DIY Video – How to Replace Windshield Perimeter Trim (Gasket)

June 27, 2016

BMW started using urethane adhesives to install their windshields in the late ’80s to early ’90s (depending on specific models).  With these models, the outer trim that covers the area between the windshield edge and the body, is just that …. a trim.  Many people refer to this as a gasket, but there really is no gasket in these applications, unless you consider that the trim is keeping water and debris from running into the channel (or gap) between the window edge and the body panels.

Starting with the E36 3-series, E39 5-series and the E38 7-series and continuing on into the later 3, 5, 6, 7, X and Z models), the windshield trims are a plastic/rubber type that clips onto the edge of the glass and into the gap between the glass and the body panels.  These trim pieces do not age all that well and start to deteriorate and come apart.  This not only looks ugly, but can create wind noise as well.

We commonly hear of BMW owners who have been told that the windshield must be removed in order to replace these windshield trim moldings.  And, of course, a healthy bill or quote is presented.  We have found that it is not necessary to remove the windshield.  The trim moldings can easily be replaced at home, with our non-marring pry tool sets and a bit of time and patience.

Follow along as we replace the trim on a later model BMW.  Note that the various BMW models will have some differences in how the moldings specifically install, but the basics are shown here and this should allow you to determine if you’d like to replace your own windshield trim moldings.  When you are ready to tackle the job, you can order the tools and the moldings at www.bavauto.com or call our Advisors at 800-535-2002.

PARTS:

*  Applicable windshield trim for BMW model being repaired

Click below for Windshield Trim for E39 5-series:

TOOLS:

*  Non-Marring Pry Tool set

Click below for Non-Marring Pry Tools:



*  Single edge razor blades or “X-Acto” knife blades

 

PROCEDURE:

1)  Start at one of the upper corners and use one of the tapered pry-tools to work the corner up and out of the channel.

2)  Use the wide pry-tool to loosen and push the trim back from the edge of the windshield, along the “A” pillar.

3)  Pull the trim up and out of the “A” pillar channel.    Do both sides before removing the top section.

4)  Use the wide pry-tool to loosen and push the trim away from the glass, along the upper roof edge.

5)  Use the tapered pry-tool to work the upper corner away from the glass and out of the channel.

6)  Pull the trim up and out of the upper channel.

7)  Clean the perimeter of the glass with a razor blade or “X-Acto” knife blade.  Also clean out the channel between the glass and the body panels, using one of the smaller non-marring pry-tools.

8)  Position the new trim over the windshield.  Carefully center the trim (measuring and marking the center of the upper trim and the middle of the windshield, is a good idea).

9)  Use the various non-marring pry-tools to push the trim down into the channel and around the edge of the glass.  Start at one of the corners and work across the top, then work on the sides.  Finish by using the wide tool to push the trim snugly against the edge of the glass, by pushing the trim toward the glass from under the outer lip of the trim.


BAVauto®
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www.BAVauto.com
Bavarian Autosport

14 Comments
  1. Mundock68 permalink

    Thank you for a an informative article. Would someone also clarify the lower portion of the windscreen between the windscreen and the black plastic on which wipers are bolted into. In case of a gap here, how should one replace this.

    Many thanks

  2. Ted permalink

    Thanks, are there any video repairs in regard to a headliner that his coming undone?

    • No, we do not have any headliner repair videos. A search of YouTube will return quite a few. In our experience, using 3M Super-77 spray adhesive, works well. Be sure to apply it rather heavily to the headliner panel and moderately to the underside of the liner material (do it in stages on the liner, as you do not want it to soak through if it is applied too wet). You then stick the liner back to the panel. Sounds easier than it is … to result in a good looking job. Also, if you apply the adhesive to lightly, it will not stay “stuck”, over time.

  3. Jacob Pepin permalink

    Hello! Just curious if this applies to my e90 3 series. Thank you in advance!

    • The E90 has metal trim on the sides, which typically would not need replacement. The upper piece is replaced similar to what you see in the video. One exception is that the edge of the rubber that contacts the roof, has an adhesive under the lip, that sticks to the roof.

  4. GTMAN permalink

    Do you have a DIY for the rear windshield or will it be the same procedure?

  5. Look so easy is . Is that the same process as my 2001 x5 3.0. ?

  6. Kevin D permalink

    How applicable is this guide to replacing the seal around the rear window of an E36 M3 4 door? Any differences?

    • Think it is practically the same, but we’ll take a look and get back to you.

  7. Stab permalink

    Would you be able to prove instructions to replace rear window trim on a e60?

    • We have not done the E60 rear yet, but we will take a look and provide some feedback.

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