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Instructions for removing door inner panel from 2004 BMW 330?


Driver’s door window in the wifemobile ('04 330) seems to go ajar while opening. When fully open, there is still a quarter inch of glass showing at the rear of the door, unless I roll it up a couple of inches and then back down again. Then it all disappears into the door.

I have had the door panels out of my e36 BMWs several times fixing lock, window, and speaker problems. However, the e46 door panel is very different, and it is not obvious how it comes apart. I can find only one screw. These doors have three speakers and an air bag in them.

Instructions I found on the web are for e46 body style, but his door panels were completely different from mine.

Has anyone seen this problem before? Is it the nylon clips that slide in the channel, or is the glass coming loose from its channel?


It has been 2002 since I did one but they are easy but I could make a mistake I say 3 screws two in arm rest both are not the same lenght and the 3rd screw is towards the front of the door.The airbag and the speakers don’t complicate things that much.

The tricky part is with the latch release sort of a plastic lever that you have to cam over center to get it to hook. Isn’t there a trim bezel in the inside release handle cut-out.

These regulators failed all the time. Total time to do the job was about 1.2hrs (BMW uses a term called FRU for flat rate unit so most BMW mechanics dont speak in minutes).

I even went and looked on my AARC data base and no body pictures,sorry

Thanks for the reply. The screws and bezel you describe sound much like the e36 door. This 2004 330 is much more of a puzzle.

This really bugs me I can’t remenber exactly how to do a job I was a expert at just 7 years ago.

I just replaced 3 of the window regulators in my E46 so this is still fresh in my memory.

Remove the wood trim by prying on the back edge and working your way towards the front.
Remove the two torx screws underneath the trim.
Pry out the side mirror joystick and remove the torx screw underneath.
Under the armrest, remove the two plastic caps by prying out the top edge and pushing down.
Remove the two torx screws underneath these caps.
Get a wood or plastic shim and pry out the bottom edge of the door panel working it loose from the clips. Work up the sides until only the top edge remains attached.
Carefully pull the top edge straight out. When it’s fully release, lift it up to clear the lock stem. Then disconnect the speak, release cable, etc. from the back edge of the panel.

Pretty straight forward. It should come off in a matter of minutes.
The airbag is bolted to the door frame and is easy to remove. Safety first when removing and installing it!
The real PITA with this job is the vapor barrier. Working the glue loose without tearing the plastic takes patience and time.
Re-apply the vapor barrier with “butyl tape” from the dealer or “3M Windo Weld” from a local store (I got mine from NAPA).

Good luck!

Thank you so much! I have not done it yet but I read your directions and looked at it again, and it looks do-able now.

I mis-spoke earlier, there are indeed two screws under the handle.

With your help, the door panel came off without incident.

Now I am puzzling over the window regulator. The window tends to bind a bit moving both up and down. If I grab the rear of the window when it is half closed, I can pull it up and down a couple of inches.

Inside at the rear of the window, it looks like there is a slug on a cable that is supposed to be attached to a piece of plastic that moves the window up and down with the cable. The plastic appears to be broken and I found a piece of plastic in the bottom of the door.

The broken plastic does not look repairable, and the image of the window regulator in the on-line parts books is so poor that I am not certain that if I drop the $120 on a new regulator, I will get the part that is broken.

Is this the way that regulators fail?
How do I go about getting the regulator out?

Thank you for your help!

I just found detailed instructions on a Bimmer Forum. I should be all set. Thanks again.