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Top Windshield Trim DIY
"Cover Windshield Top" Removal
Published by J0hnny Ray
08-16-2011
Top Windshield Trim DIY

A lot of people have been running into a rapid deterioration of the black molding strip above the front windshield. Some of us E90 owners were able to get this issue fixed under warranty, but for those of us who are no longer under warranty, we run into the problem of getting charged in the upper $1

Tools:
Required
1. New “Cover Windshield Top” or “Reveal Molding” (name depends on where you buy it from) PN 51 31 7 061 967
2. Flathead screwdriver
3. Blade
4. Rubbing Alcohol
5. Compressed Air (you can use a can of PC dust off)
6. Dental Floss
Recommended:
7. Hair Dryer
8. Vacuum
9. Large Trash Bag (recommended)
10. Blue Painter’s Tape (optional)
11. Adhesive tape remover (if available)
12. Detailing cloth
13. Quick detailer or warm soap and water

The fix consists of three primary phases: Removal, Cleaning, and Installation

Preparation:
If your window molding is completely falling off as shown in the picture, I highly recommend getting a large trash bag and blue painter’s tape (this will save cleaning time exponentially). I did not do this step and it took me a long time cleaning up after I changed the strip as the old cracked pieces ended up all over the place.I would tape the large trash bag in front of the windshield, about halfway across the windshield around the middle section. This will act as a net that will catch all the falling pieces of molding.

Analyze the new strip. You will notice that the strip has an adhesive backing that attaches to the roof top and an aluminum spine that goes along the windshield.

Phase 1 – Removal:

Removing the old strip is quite intuitive. Make sure that you get every single chunk out. You will notice that the portion connected to the roof is connected by an adhesive while the portion connected to the windshield is held in place by a metal spine. The easiest way to remove the chunks is by placing a flathead screwdriver under the spine and prying it up. I used a hair dryer to heat up the strip so that the adhesive becomes much easier to work with. Start pulling chunks of the strip out. I slipped dental floss between the adhesive and the roof top whenever possible; carefully moving towards the center of the windshield. Start pulling the spine out while cutting away at the rubber chunks. You will notice that there’s still some adhesive stuck to the roof portion: this will get picked up at phase 2 of the installation.

Phase 2 – Cleaning:

If there are chunks stuck in the space between the windshield and the roof, start vacuuming and using compressed air. My old rubber strip was deteriorating into really small pieces so this can get pretty messy. Try to catch everything in the vacuum or a trash bag. Once the chunks are gone, it’s time to address the adhesive leftover. Some people like to skip this step but I wanted a really good stick onto the roof so I decided to clean it completely.

To make things a little easier, I used some adhesive tape remover and wiped it all over the old adhesive so that they came out easier. I then wrapped an alcohol pad around a box blade and starting scraping off the adhesive. After some hair drying, adhesive tape remover, and blade scraping action, your roof top should look quite clean.

At this point, I used a fresh pad of Adhesive tape remover and made sure that the roof top and windshield portion was nice and smooth. The adhesive tape remover gets the sections really oily so I used an alcohol pad to clean out all the oil. By the time the rubbing alcohol dries up, it should feel quite dry and less slick. I then used a quick detailer and a detailing cloth to clean the whole roof top. Once everything dries, it’s time to install the new rubber strip.

Phase 3 – Installation:

First of all, DO NOT remove the liner along the adhesive strip. This will be removed once the molding is put into place. To make installation easier, I coated the rubber frame and the gap with some water. We don’t want to soak the area, just use a damp cloth so that the portion you are working on is lubricated sufficiently. Once you get strip situated in its proper place, start on one edge and start pushing down on the rubber strip onto the roof top while peeling out the liner for the adhesive strip. Having a buddy will make this job a lot easier, but it CAN be done solo. Ensure that the adhesive sticks throughout the roof top and there are no gaps present.

After a few minutes your roof top will look brand new.
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  #1  
By Shazmonkee on 08-16-2011, 07:50 PM
very good. thank you
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  #2  
By Vesar on 08-18-2011, 12:14 PM
I have the same problem on my e92 but i dont know if i ll do it myself.. :/
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  #3  
By cgnahc on 01-03-2012, 01:13 AM
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I glad I found this...I need this done.
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  #4  
By j13jjs on 03-12-2012, 08:18 AM
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I did this over the weekend, I have a couple additional tips.

Removal, to pry up the metal spine part that wraps around the lip of the windshield start in the middle with a flathead screwdriver being VERY careful not to slip and hit the paint on your roof. It pry's up much easier from the middle than if you spend say 15 minutes trying to get it started from the side.


Installation. I spend at least 30 minutes and almost gave up trying to get the new piece to go in, it wouldn't fit. Then I tried starting from the drivers side and it popped right in and I was able to work it in as I went across the car. In my case it seems that the windshield is just slightly off kilt making the passenger side gap at the top a little tight.

This took me well over an hour, if I had to do it again I'm confident I could to the whole thing in 20 minutes now that I know what I know.
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  #5  
By Midnightfang on 03-19-2012, 12:10 AM
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Just did it tonight, thanks for the great DIY.
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  #6  
By Bear From Jax on 03-19-2012, 01:23 AM
WOW! Thank you for posting this. I need this bad on mine as well. Will being doing this VERY soon!
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  #7  
By bas2000 on 08-15-2012, 04:59 PM
anyone do this recently?

i'm trying to figure out what part # to order for 2007 E92 335i

it appears I have the top strip across the windshield and two shorter corner pieces.

thanks
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  #8  
By darkw1sh on 08-15-2012, 05:00 PM
I just did this on my E92 pre-lci i did nothing of this sort but it worked Great not a hard install just very time consuming.
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  #9  
By surewin on 11-13-2012, 02:42 AM
Mine is just cracking a little bit, but it's nice to know I have this thread as reference when it gets bad. Great DIY!
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  #10  
By nautilus5 on 11-14-2012, 10:28 PM
Thanks for posting this!! Didn't think I would actually find this DIY.
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  #11  
By jcamber on 11-15-2012, 09:09 AM
Is the part number the same for all 3 series? I have an '06 e90 and want to make sure I get the right part. Thanks!
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  #12  
By Razor2010 on 12-03-2012, 11:21 AM
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I may have to travel with this part on a plane, does anyone know if this part can be bent to fit in a carry on without damaging it?

Thank you for the help.
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  #13  
By dbcat1 on 12-07-2012, 01:57 PM
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This is really helpful...thanks! I have to do the top and sides on mine...guessing it's the same technique for the sides....
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  #14  
By pracklam on 12-13-2012, 02:08 AM
Razor: The trim piece cannot be bent. The rubber trim is adhered to a continous aluminum spine. I purchased from dealer for approx. $25. Online parts stores were slightly cheaper, but was worried it would get damaged in shipping.
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  #15  
By Gixxer335iCoupe on 12-17-2012, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the DIY!

Mine went from a few noticeable cracks to complete deterioration in what seemed like a few weeks. Figuring the fix was an expensive job that should be left for the professionals, I wasn't going to do anything - until it started flapping in the wind.

Luckily I found this DIY and got it done.

Removal took an hour: I kept breaking the aluminum spine with pliers. I learned that starting from the middle did not work for me - I started from one end (after ripping the corner piece off) and pulling out and away with a slight twisting motion helped the aluminum C to pull away from the windshield.

Clean up took another hour: I used goo-gone, let is soak and then just rubbed off the residue. Cleanup of the goo-gone mess was relatively easy - I just washed the car with Mr Clean carwash soap. A quick rinse & dry followed by a swipe of alcohol prepped the surface.

Install took maybe 15 minutes: Starting from one end, I smashed the C around the windshield and rolled it in along the seam, using no water or tools. Another swipe with alcohol to remove the fingerprints and I pulled the tab and smoothed it down.

Hoping it lasts at least as long as the first one!
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  #16  
By huchung on 12-19-2012, 12:42 PM
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For the people that has done this: where did you get the parts, and how much did it cost? Thanks!
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  #17  
By Bmr3sn on 12-23-2012, 06:05 PM
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You can get the part from just about anywhere, dealership parts counter, Amazon, eBay. It costs less than $25.
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  #18  
By JasonDCarton on 12-23-2012, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the write up, very helpful in doing mine
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  #19  
By Jody007 on 04-23-2013, 07:48 PM
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THANKS for the write-up, I'll be doing mine real soon. Nabbed the part at the local dealership for a round $25 and noticed all the E90's in for service had the same problem. I guess this will happen to everyone one eventually.

*** Just finished this task*** WD-40 in the channel and on the top of the roof sure made it easier.
Last edited by Jody007; 04-27-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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  #20  
By anthonyisdank on 08-22-2013, 04:09 PM
where did you buy your molding from ?
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  #21  
By derrick603 on 01-07-2014, 07:33 PM
I tried this over the weekend, but couldn't get the new trim piece to fit back in. Removal of the old trim and prepping the surface for the new one was fairly easy, but no matter what I did, the new piece would not go in properly, regardless of whether I used water or silicone lubricant, started on the driver or passenger side, etc. I managed to get some of it in by tapping it gently with a hammer, but the corners wouldn't go in properly, and I eventually gave up and had the dealer do it. I guess some cars have tighter gaps at the top of the windshield than others.
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