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Z3 Center Console Option Removal Instructions

Removal of the Center Console Option in your Z3 is entirely based on the option in your car. Each Center Console Option has a different removal procedure. Begin by finding the correct Console Option you have from the options below. Once you have removed the Console Option from your Z3, you can install your new armrest. Installation instructions can be found on the Installation Instructions.


Empty Center Console

If the recessed portion of your center console has a small piece of carpet or padding, remove it.  It should be just resting in place.  If you have a black plastic storage bin, it must also be removed.  To do so, pull straight up and it will come out.  There should be a small bracket underneath the storage bin, and it must also be removed.  The bracket will be held in place with one Philips head screw.  After the center console is completely empty, you can begin to install the LeatherZ Armrest.



Cassette Holder

Begin by removing the cassette holder. Pull straight up. If you have a black plastic storage bin in front of the cassette holder, it must also be removed. To do so, pull straight up and it will come out. There should be two small brackets underneath the storage bin, and it must also be removed. The brackets will be held in place with one Philips head screw. Remove the screw and the bracket will come out.



Over-Engineered Cupholder

Begin by removing the Over-Engineered Cupholder. Open the two cupholders and you will see 2 Philips head screws, remove them. If you have a black plastic storage bin in front of the Cupholder, it must also be removed. To do so, pull straight up and it will come out. There should be a small bracket underneath the storage bin, and it must also be removed. The bracket will be held in place with one Philips head screw. There may be bracket(s) for the cupholder as well. Those must also be removed at this time.


Cupholder-Coinholder

Begin by removing the Cupholder-Coinholder. It is held in place with one Philips screw in the floor of the storage bin. The screw may or may not be covered under a piece of carpet on the floor of the storage section. Some cars have carpeting; some don't. Remove the screw.

Pull up at the rear of the unit, and then slide the unit back in the car. There is a plastic tab in the front of the Cupholder-Coinholder directly behind the hazard light button that mates to a slot in the center console. The tab must be clear of the slot before the unit can be removed. After the Cupholder-Coinholder is removed and the center console is completely empty, you can begin to install the LeatherZ armrest.


 

Cupholder-Armrest

BMW and/or your dealership used one of three methods to secure the Cupholder-Armrest to your center console. Your car could be secured in any one of three ways. These instructions will explain each of the possibilities.

Start by removing the rubber trim cap at the rear of your armrest:

Trim cap shown in place. Pry out with a small flat head screw driver or an awl.

Under the trim cap, you will see one of three things:

Torx Screw

Use the appropriate Torx wrench to remove the Torx screw. Now you can remove your Cupholder-Armrest. Pull up on the rear of the unit first, and then pull backwards towards the rear of the car. There are 2 tabs on the front of the armrest which mate to 2 slots in the center console. Once the tabs are clear of the slots, the armrest can be easily removed.

Screw

Use a Philips head screwdriver to remove the screw. Now you can remove your Cupholder-Armrest. Pull up on the rear of the unit first, and then pull backwards towards the rear of the car. There are 2 tabs on the front of the armrest which mate to 2 slots in the center console. Once the tabs are clear of the slots, the armrest can be easily removed.

Hex Bolt

Start by removing the parking brake boot:

There is a 7/16" nut underneath the armrest on the other side of the Hex Bolt. You need to put your combination wrench onto that nut to stop it from turning while you turn the Hex Bolt. The trick is, in the process you have to stop the nut from falling into your center console. If you drop it, it will rattle around for the next 10 years every time you go around a corner. In the event you do drop it, the best retrieval tool is a Sears magnetic telescoping pen. They sell for about $5 and are worth every penny. In order to keep the nut from falling, I put a piece of tape on one side of my combination wrench:

The nut is shown in the picture, but you get the idea. Once your wrench is ready with tape, insert the combination wrench into the hole in the center console for the parking brake.

You will have to move the wrench around until you get it onto the nut. It may help to feel with your fingers before trying to use the wrench, just so you get an idea of where the nut is exactly. Once you have the wrench on the nut, insert your 3/16" Allen/hex wrench into the hex bolt. Turn the bolt until the armrest is free to move.

Carefully withdrawal the combination wrench. Now you can remove your Cupholder-Armrest. Pull up on the rear of the unit first, and then pull backwards towards the rear of the car. There are 2 tabs on the front of the armrest which mate to 2 slots in the center console. Once the tabs are clear of the slots, the armrest can be easily removed.