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Window Trim Swap/Replacement DIY
Published by bavarian19
11-23-2005
Window Trim Swap/Replacement DIY

Ok. I have been getting a few PM's about how I did the chrome trim swap, and here is the DIY. Sorry no pictures... I did it all without taking the time out to snap pics...

Much thanks to James from Bimmerworld who not only showed me how this was done, but also bought new window sill trim pieces after the old ones were not reusable (read below to find out why)...

Total Time about 1.5 hrs

Front Kidney Grill - Really easy. Follow the DIY from e90post. Just pull, and it pops out. Snap the new grill into place. If you have serious troubles with this, go pay someone (preferrably me) to do the rest of your trim swap...


Upper Window Trim - This trim is rather easy to swap out. Open the two doors on that side. Starting in the middle, put your fingers in the small gap on the upper side of the trim, and pull back. This trim is held into place by clips, and should be rather easy to pull back. Once you have the middle started, work your way from the middle to the back, and when thats all finished, work up to the front. The upper trim should not take you long to do.

To snap in the new trim, you might need to take some clips off of the old trim being as they might have popped off with the trim. Put them back in the respective holes they came in.

Now you should be ready to pop the new trim into place. Start by pushing the trim into place in the middle again. Once the trim is clipped in place, make sure the trim will line up with the curvatures of the window lines. Once it all lines up, work your way to the rear of the car snapping it into place. Then finish up with the front part of the trim.



Lower Window Sill Trim - This is the complicated part. Word from the wise... If you are trying to do a trim swap with a 330 owner (taking their chrome trim), you can not reuse this trim. In the process of taking this trim off, it will bend (it is made of metal). When you straighten it out, it will have small bubbles in it, and it wont look good. It will look like someone took a ballpine (sp) hammer and had a few swings at your trim. If you are going to chrome trim, you will have to buy these parts in some way or form. When I did my trim swap with James from bimmerworld, we did not know this, and James was curteous enough to buy me the trim. The black trim from the 325 can be reusable if it is taken off properly. Its made of plastic.

So how do we do this? Here we go... Back windows... Open your back door and roll down your windows. On the edge of the trim closest to the back of the car, you will notice that the trim conforms to a small groove inside the door. You will need to take a small regular headed screwdriver, and pry upwards popping that part of the trim out. Once that edge is up, pull from both sides of the trim (inside edge of the trim from inside the window and the outside edge) working your way to the front of the car. There are two pieces to each of these window sill trim pieces. The plastic trim (or metal if its a 330) and a rubber sheathing that is used to attach the trim to the window sill)...

So that is how to get the rears out. To get the fronts out is much more complicated. For this process, you need to remove your side mirrors. To remove the mirrors you have to do three things.

1 - You need to remove the door panel. Starting from the vertical part of the door trim, pull hard on the door panel. You will need a good amount of force to pull this off. Pull it back so you can access the black plastic lining that runs around the inside upper part of the door. You do not need to completely remove this panel, but it needs to come about halfway off for you to get what you need.

2 - Remove the inside plastic trim that runs on the upper part of the door. This is simple to remove if you have removed the door panel correctlty. Just pull it off of the door. It will still hang in place due to some wiring of the side speaker. This will give you access to the 3 torx screws that hold the mirror in place.

3 - Remove the mirror. Using a torx screwdriver, remove the three screws holding the mirror in place. Make sure you are holding the mirror when you unscrew the last one. Dont want your mirror to fall and scratch your car. You will need a second person to hold this while you are doing the trim swap.

Once these three steps are complete, you can remove the trim smiliarly to the rear window trim.





Putting the new trim in. If you notice, the rubber part of the trim has a single channel that needs to match up with the 'wall' inside the door. There is also a small plastic clip that sits on the rear side of the trim. You need to start in the rear with installing the trim. Slide the rear plastic clip over the edge of the door (you will need to be pushing down on the trim a little bit to get it into place). Slowly push the trim down into place. The rest of it should slide right in if you have lined everything up in the rear. This goes for all 4 window sill trim pieces.


Putting your front doors back together. Backtrace your steps to remove your mirrors. Put your mirror back on. WHen you put the black plastic piece back in place, make sure it covers the weather stripping when your putting it back on... This is challenging (somewhat). Snap your door panel back in place.


Last step. Enjoy your new trim. If you have followed my directions, crack open a beer and celebrate the fact that you made sense of this long DIY.


Thats it...
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  #1  
By bavarian19 on 11-24-2005, 10:34 AM
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Here is a pic to help describe what Im talking about... sorry about the cheesy ad ons...
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  #2  
By Jason on 11-24-2005, 02:09 PM
Great directions, thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
By MonacoBimm on 10-03-2006, 11:34 PM
The black trim, had glued parts in some areas of the trim. I have identified some of these parts, so if youre looking to put in a black 325 trim, non chrome, you will have to add some glue to some clips which are attached there, the glue will be milded in to the rubber attaching the trim. Here in yellow are some of the one I identified.
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  #4  
By 850CSi on 12-17-2006, 03:08 AM
How much is the trim/ Where's the best place to buy it?

I'm kind of wondering how it would look with the upper trim chrome and keeping the lower trim black.
Last edited by 850CSi; 12-17-2006 at 03:33 AM.
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  #5  
By bavarian19 on 12-17-2006, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 850CSi
How much is the trim/ Where's the best place to buy it?

I'm kind of wondering how it would look with the upper trim chrome and keeping the lower trim black.

It looks pretty bad if its not all chrome. When I did the swap, I needed the lower window trim, so I placed the black gutters in place while I waited. Didnt look all that good...
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  #6  
By Chesmu on 12-17-2006, 12:10 PM
and i want to blackout all my chrome...
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  #7  
By 850CSi on 12-17-2006, 02:46 PM
Any place to buy this trim? I can't seem to find it.

How much $ am I looking at?
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  #8  
By Chesmu on 12-17-2006, 02:56 PM
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  #9  
By 850CSi on 12-28-2006, 02:24 AM
Anyone in Chicago/IN who wants to do a swap?
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  #10  
By 850CSi on 12-28-2006, 02:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesmu

Ouch... nearly $200 for ea. side!


Is there another solution? Maybe chroming the trim itself? Think this could work?: http://www.misterart.com/g341/Krylon...C&WT.mc_id=341

or this

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...1&s=automotive

I guess it wouldn't be that great a risk to try it; if I dont like the result I can always paint the trim black again.

The window sill trim could probably be taken care of with chrome tape strips, like some people have been doing to their front grilles, but I think paint would be better.
Last edited by 850CSi; 12-28-2006 at 03:13 AM.
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  #11  
By 850CSi on 12-29-2006, 04:43 AM
Ignore anything I said about spray paint. I think I was being delusional.
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  #12  
By Chesmu on 12-29-2006, 04:57 PM
i painted by chrome black. Looks fine.
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  #13  
By cbad335 on 02-21-2008, 01:24 AM
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Out w/ the chrome, in w/ the black

Thanks for the DYI. I was able to get it done in a couple of hours. I used new 328i black trim to replace the stock chrome on my 335i. Those front door panels *are* tough to get off far enough to remove the rear view mirrors. BTW, I was able to save the chrome at the base of the windows. I just pulled it up from the rubber base strip, then removed the rubber base strip afterward. Chrome did not buckle, bubble, or striate.
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  #14  
By 2007_E93 on 03-02-2008, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbad335 View Post
Thanks for the DYI. I was able to get it done in a couple of hours. I used new 328i black trim to replace the stock chrome on my 335i. Those front door panels *are* tough to get off far enough to remove the rear view mirrors. BTW, I was able to save the chrome at the base of the windows. I just pulled it up from the rubber base strip, then removed the rubber base strip afterward. Chrome did not buckle, bubble, or striate.
Do you have sedan or coupe?
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  #15  
By NoSole on 07-07-2008, 02:52 PM
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Alright, so this last weekend I decided to tackle this mod with my buddy and swap out my chrome for his black trim. Thot I'd share a few things I learned.

Extra hands:
This project would have been a bitch if there weren't two of us. Most of it can be a one-man operation, but there are a few times when the extra set of hands made it a lot easier, one of which is holding the mirrors. If you don't have an extra set of hands, I reccommend disconnecting the mirror wiring to give easier access. Once you unscrew the 3 torx screws, you'll see the plug.

Passenger Side:
One thing the OP didn't mention is that the passenger side door panel is harder to pull back because of the handle, which you don't find on the driver's side. To disconnect the handle you have to remove a single T20 torx screw. To gain access to that screw you have to do two things first.

1.) Pop out the horizontal accent piece (mine was brushed aluminum, yours may be wood), which is held in with clips. Start at the front of the door, and pry back the end of the piece. If you have wood accents, be very careful to apply even pressure so you don't break it by accident. Work your way to the rear of the door.


2.) Pop off the vinyl covered handle piece. It's easiest to just start at the bottom. This won't break as easily as the accent piece, so you can safely pull harder.


3.) Once off, you'll see the screw at the top of the handle. With the screw removed, you'll be able pull the door panel back enough to access the mirror screws.

Chrome:
It's very easy to remove the lower chrome pieces without warping or bending them, but not the rubber channels underneath.

1.) To get just the chrome strips out without messing them up, open your door and move to the back. DO NOT pry up as the OP says (that only works for the black 325/328 trim pieces)! Prying up is what damages the chrome. All you have to do is pull straight back with a long, slow, even pressure and the chrome piece will slide right out. Just be careful with the black plastic on the end... if you pull to hard in the wrong place, you can snap it off. If you do, don't worry. It's an easy fix with a little super glue. I suggest using a small flathead screw driver that fits in the under side of the plastic piece at its strongest point. This will help you pull the chrome strip out a couple inches... far enough to then just use your hands.

2.) Once the chrome is off, you should be left with the rubber channel seal underneath. You have to pull this part out too, but unfortunately I was not able to pull this out without bending it. Even after 4 tries (each window) being increasingly careful each time, I couldn't figure out how to get out without bending it. The problem is that there is a metal strip inside the rubber that warps and makes it very difficult re-place into the window channel as it originally sat. Result? I'm splitting the cost of buying new OEM parts with my buddy to solve this. Still worth it if you ask me.

Black Trim:
The black trim is all one piece. Unlike, the trim from the 330/335, which consists of 2 parts (the chrome piece and rubber window channel seal), the black trim from the 325/328 is all one piece. For removal, follow the OP's directions. Reinstallation is also super easy.
Last edited by NoSole; 07-07-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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  #16  
By dyb2858 on 03-24-2009, 08:18 PM
who say that lower door chrome trims can not be reused? That is wrong. I just swap trims. Everything is ok. 110% no problem if people have good skill to do it, because I went to good auto body shop to do for my car.

120% no problem. That's all.
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  #17  
By zoltan_tms on 05-14-2009, 08:10 AM
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I have the shadowline trims on my car,unfortunately they were destroyed at the carwasher, because they used a corrosive active foam, and they do mot shine any more.
I pulled out one trim from the rear door,with the intention to paint them in glossy black.After this I tried to put it back to see how dificult it is,but with no sucess.I also used some lubrification,applied a lot o force pushing it down to the rubber sealant but it did not worked.My question is if I need also to pull out that rubber sealant that holds the trim or not.
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  #18  
By denvaa on 08-28-2009, 11:45 AM
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I would like to get rid of the ugly chrome and get black windows trim

Anyone want to trade my chrome trim for the black?
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  #19  
By kurtdaniel on 10-01-2009, 06:49 AM
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its very well done..i love the finished product..now trim up my old jeep parts,,tnx to this thread..
Last edited by kurtdaniel; 10-05-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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  #20  
By laihon on 05-01-2010, 01:49 AM
do you want to trade your chrome for my black?
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  #21  
By bcfurste on 07-19-2010, 07:04 PM
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Trade

I am looking for chrome window trim and have black window trim, will trade!!!!! 1998 328is
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