BMW E36 Arm Rest Removal

BMW E36 Arm Rest Removal

This is an involved and tricky process if you don't know what you are doing. First start by pulling the shift boot up until it pops out and then reach under the shift console and push up on the bottom of the hazard button until it pops out. You will see a screw that holds the center console down. Remove this. Pull the boot of the ebrake until it comes loose and push it out of the way. Pull the rear ashtray up and remove it. Remove the center cup holder unit. If it is the fully molded piece then it should lift up. If it is the new style, then take the parts off the top by squeezing the textured sides and then pull up. You will see how the cupholder snaps into place in a hole in the bottom of the center console with plastic legs. Remove this unit.

Now it is time to remove the armrest. This is tough unless done correctly. Step 1 is to remove the covers around the armrest.

You have to first remove the back cover. Push in at the back by the ashtray opening to release the catch and then slide it up off the front piece.

You can see how they slide apart here

The back piece has a fin that sticks out and slides into a groove in the front piece.

Here is the groove in the front piece

Here they are together

Here it is with just the front piece on

you can see that this hole

Goes over this pin

And the front tabs rest on the top of the console

This piece is easily removed but does not need to be. It has metal spring clips on the backside

that attach to these ridge on the armrest

And here is a picture farther away

Remove the front cover piece by popping it off the two posts on the side of the armrest support and slide it out. now rotate the armrest to the vertical position. You will see small holes on either side:

Insert a screw driver or other device into the hole to create pressure to release the side pins.

Now just slide out the side pin

When you press down with a screw driver you are releasing this plastic catch on the pin:

On the other side of the pin is a ridge

This ridge fits into a guide on the inside of the arm rest:

This lines the pin up to position the catch over the hole that you inserted the screw driver into:

Once you have released these pins from both sides you will be able to lift the armrest up and off:

The next step is to remove the last screw holding the armrest console into place:

After you have lifted this console up out of the way, feeding the ebrake boot through the opening sideways, you will see the support piece still mounted to the drive tunnel. Lift the carpet out of the way to reveal the two front bolts and remove them:

The second one is on the pasenger side:

The last one is under the arm rest support in the back. you don't have to remove it but simply loosen it. Then you can slide the console forward and lift up.

When it is gone it will look like this:

If you wish to remove or fix the ebrake wire that sends the signal to the dash to show the brake light, this is what it looks like when installed correctly:

hese are all the assorted parts and pieces when removed

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