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      12-07-2009, 03:02 AM   #51
Boxster
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Drives: 2007 BMW 335i Sedan w/SportPck
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Canada

Posts: 20
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Aagh! Driver's rear was a nightmare!

WHAT A NIGHTMARE OF AN INSTALL!!!


2007 BMW 335i Sedan w Sports Package (but not 'M Sports package', and not with 'M aerodynamic kit').
Ordered Mud Flaps 82160395944 (front), and 82160395945 (rear).

Thanks goes out to this OP for his guide and the PDF file posted by 'jimk' in Post#50, as this install certainly needed instructions!

I did the fronts first and both were done with relative ease, though not entirely problem free. At the front, the only issues I had were:
- 1) on the driver's side (first one I did), getting the center pins on the replacement fasteners to go 'in'. It was quite a challenge.
- 2) getting the large replacement plastic fastener('D' on Page4 of the PDF) up into the vertical hole underneath the car. The thing wouldn't go up into the hole properly! Like pretty much everyone else, I just re-fastened with the original torx-headed screw.

Concerning #1- at first I pushed with my thumb, that hurt and wasn't getting me anywhere so I then tried pushing them in with the end of a hammer. That didn't work, so then I used the head of a rubber hammer, as pictured in the PDF. That just bent the pins. Then I tried using a socket-set extension bar as a 'punch' (hammered), and finally some progress! However it took some fairly hard whacks to get them in. The last one was 1/2 way in and then the end I was hammering flattened out and would now of course go no further in. I had to use a dremel to cut off the protruding part.

Over to the front passenger side - the pins went in easily, like night and day to the other side. Done the whole thing in <10 minutes including jacking it up and swapping over to a winter wheel. Ditto for the passenger side rear. Straightforward and easy. But then came the dreaded driver's side rear..



The first thing I did after unscrewing the screws indicated in the PDF and cleaning the bodywork was to do a 'test fit' of the mud flap. I instantly realized that a protruding molded black plastic piece located towards the exhaust (overlaps with the heat-shield, I think it was) protruded slightly into the area where the flap's furthest fastener eyelet needed to be if it was going to be positioned properly. I tried forcing it into place but that popped the body of the mudflap off the bodywork. I came back inside and checked the photo in Post#2 - and aha!..it's not exactly like mine!

I figured that if I could get the bracket installed or at least into it's proper position, it might give me a clue as to what I was doing wrong. Using the photo as a guide (as perspective is difficult to ascertain in the PDF) I pulled the fuzzy liner stuff back and positioned the bracket with the 'stepped' part where the 2 holes in the mudflap should be, and looked for the screw at the top that I was meant to be attaching it to (Page#6, Box#3 in the PDF). Found it, but could NOT get my hands to it. The PDF image suggest the entire 'floor' should be removed so you have full access to the area from below. And that's not something you're going to do if the car isn't up on a hoist.

I ended up removing the large nut that is higher up the fuzzy liner inside the wheel well (directly opposite me) so I could pull more of the liner out of the way in order to get better access, then the screw that attached the annoying black plastic thingie to the heatshield, and 2 or three others underneath the rear part of the wheel arch. Better, but I STILL could not reach that damn screw easily! I finally contorted one hand up inside the largest free space available and could just barely touch it with the tip of my index finger. No nut!! (as there should be according to the BMW PDF!). So, slipping the end of the bracket onto it, it was flopping all over the place - no good at all!

A trip back inside to check the internet suggested that I might need "BMW Part BODY NUT 072000-07129901656" (not supplied, and which I did not have), so I went through a jar of miscellaneous nuts I have and spent the next 20 or 30 minutes agonizingly contorting my hand trying to get a nut to fit onto the screw thread. I only went through about 5 or 6 different nuts, but as I only had finger-tip control of them, I kept dropping them and they'd land somewhere inside the black plastic thingie that was now *really* pissing me off! Went back inside and found my extendable magnet, and that made nut retrieval far easier and less damaging to the hands - and I also used it to magnetize the nuts and to then poke them into position through the narrow gap that I could not get my hand through. But even then it still took a lot of effort getting the nut (and the washer that is needed, which also was not supplied) up onto the screw with the bracket between them.

Anway, with the top of the bracket finally in place (not fully tightened yet though) and the unknown black plastic thingie still partially loosened, I was finally able to test-fit the mudflap. Now the holes in the mudflap more or less aligned with the holes in the bracket, but the next problem identified was that the bracket was swiveled around a bit due interference from a protruding piece of plastic about 1/2way between the bend and the top screw with the nut on it. Why they would design a bracket with bends in it at the wrong place, I don't know. It's close, but not ideal. Anyway I forced the supplied washered-bolts through the flap and into its threaded holes, ripped back the red tape, pressed on the mudflap firmly and drove the screws in not giving a damn any more!

Even that was a pain-in-the-you-know-what.
- the supplied screws have heads that are too small - they need a washer under them or else just as you think everything's nice & secure, the fuzzy liner will pull away.
- same as above - a secured screw tore through one of the plastic holes in the lower part of the mud flap! Fortunately, I found some a couple of random black plastic washers on my nuts & bolts shelf and used them
- With the mudflap in place, the liner does not sit completely flush against it and had to be forced 'flat' so the final bolt (not screw, WTF.. maybe it's *not meant to go through the liner, after all) could be driven through it in the right place, which itself is an extremely difficult task when the mudflap and the mounting hole behind it aren't in perfect alignment. I should probably have cut a slit in the liner to ease its wanting to 'bunch', but I was so frustrated by this point, after driving a 'blind' hole through it and finding I'd missed the mark ever-so-slightly, I just said "screw it"(that is, to hell with the task), pulled the liner back up and out of the way, and drove the bolt through the mudflap only (into the mount). Put the liner back into position, secured all other screws, thought to myself "It's not perfect but it's going to have to do", sat back and then swore a final couple of times at the immense stupidity of this install. If they supplied parts and fasteners that actually fit, this would have been far more simple. As it was, it took me about 4 hours in all.

Mud flaps look ok though!

Last edited by Boxster; 12-07-2009 at 03:46 AM.
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