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Well it all started here:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/194524-getbmwparts-com-anyone-know-promo-code.html
with me looking for a promo code to getBMWparts.com for new door seals. The sound from all four doors was just unbearable anymore. There's some useful information in there I will link/refer to so it's worth a read. For example: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/56618-new-door-seals-released.html as well as: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/attachments/e60-m5-e61-m5-touring-discussion/46158d1187050422-door-seals-510205.pdf (this is for the E60 so ignore part #'s etc.)

Tools needed:
Small hammer.
Medium sized needle nose pliers.
Small flathead screwdriver.
Soap suds for lubrication.
Paper towels.
Windex or similar.

If your seals look anything like mine you definitely need to replace them.


Getbmwparts charges $50 each for them. $219 shipped to me in NJ from Maryland. Invoice has the part numbers.


2). Behold!


Let's start with the rear door. It's much easier than the front.

1). You start at the rear of the door. You basically just pull on the bottom of the seal and those two nipple plugs will pop out of the door. Take note in this photo the end of the seal has a 'hole' in it. This hole goes over the door bottom seal you see in the background. You'll need to remember this during the reinstall phase.


2). Then basically just peel the seal up and over towards the upper front corner of the rear door. Comes out quite easily. Notice the inner edge (right) actually 'hooks' on and the front edge (left) pops down into that channel like the zipper on a Ziploc bag. Again you'll need to know this for the reinstall phase.


3). Ok here's the 'tricky' part of the rear door. The upper front corner has a 'notch' in it. Part of your old seal is actually in that notch to keep it secure. You need to pull up to get the rubber tab out of this little notch. Here's a pic of it removed and a pic of the notch as well. Just remove it slowly so you can see how it's set. Not really a big deal.



4). Now pull the seal off the leading edge of the rear door. It attaches differently from everywhere else. It's just a rubber channel with a metal core that's pressure fit onto the leading edge of the rear door. It just peels off like the rest, but there's no 'hook and channel' configuration. This is a photo of the bottom end. The seal has already been pried off the door. If you look closely you'll see there's a 'tab' at the end with a groove in it. This groove pressure fits onto the painted part of the car.


So that's it for the rear door removal. To reinstall I thought it logical to start at the 'notch and tab' shown in step 3. I applied some soap suds to the door notch and seal tab and got that corner in first. It only takes a few seconds. From there you can go either direction first. The leading edge is pretty easy. You just 'pound' it on with your palm working top down to the 'tab and groove' in step 4. The top edge leading to the rear of the door has a method to it. You want to 'hook' the inner edge to the channel first and then push the front edge down and in. Step 7 of the front door reinstall shows a picture of this.
Do a few inches of inner edge...then the channel. Repeat until you get to the back. When you get the the back of the door you just put the new seal end over the existing door bottom seal in step one and then pop the two nipple plugs into the door. That's it. New rear seal installed!

Ok now it's time for a front door. You'll be glad you got 'warmed up' on a rear one first.

1). So the back end of the front door seal is a bit different than the rear. It has a plastic 'push plug' that you need to remove to start. It the little round thing in this photo. Pull it straight out with the pliers or pop it w/ a screwdriver. The new seals come with a new plug so you can discard this one.


2). Peel the seal up out of the channel towards the front as shown in step 2 of rear door.

3). Here's two photos of what it looks like when you get to the 'tricky' part of the front door. Unfortunately this tricky part is much trickier then the rear door. The seal is easy enough to remove here, but won't (imho) go back in without an additional step. I might stand corrected here by someone else, but this way worked for me. Take note of the metal 'clips' on top of the channel in pic #2 and the two nipple plugs in pic #1.



4). Ok so you can remove the front of the seal first without doing this or do this first to remove the old seal. The latter is easier and you'll be doing it anyway so that's what I suggest. Get your old seal pulled most of the way off as shown in pic #2 in step three above. Do you see those metal clips? That's what secures the 'hook and channel' glossy trim piece to the top of the door. The clips pressure fit onto an edge of the painted door (you can't see...yet) and have two 'wings' on the top. These wings go through a rectangular opening in the channel trim and then are bent over securing the trim to the door. What you want to do is use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the tabs towards each other. At the same time you lift up the trim and without too much effort the trim will detach from the wings. Start at the front and go towards the back of the car. I did the first 3 clips to make my life easier, but 2 might have worked. A little screwdriver to push the wings a bit for the final release will be quite handy.


5). When the leading edge of the seal comes off this is what the inside will look like. The 'squared' groove on the far left hooks to the painted leading edge of the door. That part is easy. The tricky part is the tab of rubber above it.


That tab needs to actually go behind the trim you just loosened and into a little slot that exists between the triangular base of your side mirror and the door pictured here.


6). I have no photos of my reinstall of this part of the front seal. A video is probably what's needed anyway. My hands were way too busy to hold a camera, but I'll describe it. It's not terrible, but you'll get annoyed on your first one. I used suds here for lubrication as well.
Basically what you want to do is start by hooking the very front of the new seal to the leading edge of the door. Easy enough. You want to hold this in position and bring the trim piece down into its curved groove which is just above the little rubber tab. As you bring the trim piece down the rubber tab won't know where to go. It's up to you to coerce it into its little slot while keeping the front of the seal hooked to the door and bringing the trim piece into its curved groove at the same time. The little screwdriver helps to get it in there. When you do it right the trim piece comes down onto the rubber fully entering its groove, the tab vanishes behind it into its slot, the leading edge of the seal stays hooked to the door, and the first set of wings you unhooked wind up trying to pop back into their rectangular hole. Once this first set of wings pops thru and you secure them the leading edge of the seal is now totally secured. Trust me it sounds harder than it really is.
From here use your little screwdriver (horizontally...under the trim) to push the wings towards the center of their holes while pushing down on the trim. Once they pop through hold the screwdriver on the wing at an angle and tap it with your small hammer to bend them back and secure the trim back onto the door. Don't forget about the two nipple plugs on the inside front edge of the seal.
That's it...the 'hard' part is over.

7). Now that the front corner is secure do the 'hook and channel' method to reinstall the seal. Here's a photo of how it looks. In the background the seal is properly hooked and channeled. See how low it is? In the foreground the seal has not yet been hooked or channeled. This visual applies to all four doors.


8). The end of the seal just hooks over the end of the door. There's a slot in the door for a little rubber tab. Get it in there. Then just push your new plastic pin in to secure it. That's it. New front door seal installed.

9). Clean up your mess!


Notes:
1). My photos are from both sides of the car. Don't let that throw you off. The sides of the car mirror each other completely.
2). I know there's a better product out there for this, but once I was done with the seals I scrubbed all the frame mating surfaces on the car with Windex and paper towels.
3). When you do the 'hook and channel' method during reinstallation the end of the seal might come up 'short' or go 'long' compared to where it needs to wind up. It's rubber so how you push on it while installing it will determine its overall 'length.' The quick fix is to just loosen the outer edge (Ziploc remember?) and now you can push or pull the seal over its entire length to stretch it...or compress it a little. Once you get the end secured you go back and redo the channeling part. Piece of cake! If you can change your own oil you can probably pull this DIY off.

Result: Total and complete silence. Well...except for the rear deck. ;)
 

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Great write up, thanks! I suspect mine are almost due. I'm going to see how much my indy will charge as I'm a bit busy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This is what makes the 'creaking' noise when going over speedbumps and such?
Exactly. BMW redesigned these seals back around 2005/2006. Allegedly if you replace them you eliminate the creaking permanently.
 

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Did these cars creak from new?
Nope. Completely silent...at least up until about 15k miles or so when my door seals would squeak when wet at times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
that squeaking is driving me nuts
I finally took her to work today. Man...you don't realize just how constant and horrible the sound is until it's gone. I can't believe I waited 3yrs/21k miles to do this. I guess I just didn't realize how 'inexpensive' the parts were and how relatively easy they were to replace. Probably because there was no DIY...just tidbits of information spread out over multiple old threads. That's why I made the DIY for the board. Now you all have no excuse to wait on this as long as I did.

Besides MAF's (or possibly front shocks) this is the best few hundred dollars I've spent on this car. Worth every cent!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And here's another thread that completely cured my rattle/squeak issue...
Yeah that thread velcro thread was linked in my original thread, but good to have in here too. Next time I'm in Wal-Mart I'll probably grab some and apply it anyway. Doesn't seem to hurt anything and who knows maybe it'll decrease the wear/tear on my new seals.
 

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BMW has been dealing with this problem for a while. They use a $300+ roll of wurth tape on the areas where the seal contacts the door frame. This is their solution for cars under warranty. I only know this because a good friend of mine is a senior master tech at a local dealership here in Socal. He says even with the tape the noise does not go away. Replacing the door seals is only a temporary fix as well.

He says the only real solution is to keep your door jams and seals clean and to wax the door jam. Take my information for what it's worth. Some people just enjoy replacing parts on their car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Some people just enjoy replacing parts on their car.
I don't. I just thought the 2005/2006 redesigned parts were a permanent solution. I'd love some of that Wurth tape. I think you should secure some from your friend and ship it to me. :)
 

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I don't. I just thought the 2005/2006 redesigned parts were a permanent solution. I'd love some of that Wurth tape. I think you should secure some from your friend and ship it to me. :)
You're a genius - I thought those creaks were just the car itself loosening up. Replacing the seals will be well worth it. I'm going to do this ASAP!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don't give me too much credit. The seals as the cause was known by this board back when I joined 08/2008. You can tell me how flippin' awesome the write-up is though. :cheers:
 
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