Modifying the utterly useless lump of coal E46 rear seat fold down armrest for $9.00! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Modifying the utterly useless lump of coal E46 rear seat fold down armrest for $9.00!

I'm not sure why BMW decided it was evolution to remove the secret fold down/pull out cupholder compartment armrest we enjoyed on our E36 BMWs and replace it with a useless lump of cushion armrest found in the E46!

As a driver it may not be important to many of us, but I'm tired of my passengers back there trying to balance drinks and coffee on the seat and then spilling it all over the place everytime I accelerate from stop. I have a DIY modification idea.

The E36 Rear Armrest:





The lump of coal armrest in our E46:






And just to get this luxury that came free on the older E36 the dealership wants $570!



I was wondering what would happen if I bought a console parts piece from another car say a Lexus and affix it into the BMW E46 Armrest;






So it would look like this;






Does that seem right? Those pieces sell for as little as $9 and the DIY would be no more that cutting a hole in the E46 armrest and inserting the console unit into it.

I'm seriously thinking of this DIY and I may get fancy and see if I can engineer alittle more that holding cups

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Im sure theres more to it than just cutting a hole. If an e36 arm rest fits, why not get a used one?
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Dude. I always assumed I had cupholders in the rear seat armrest of my E46.... that sucks. Good luck with the DIY.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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del how about a netbook built into the armrest?
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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4/4/09 UPDATE

Penetrating the fold down cushion and securing a firm anchor for the cupholder unit has proved dire.

During the interim I found an alternative spot for inserting a DIN style cup holder/storage tray unit. As seen in this 2001 740il sport sedan rear seat;




The spring out holder is inserted into the lower cushion itself and ejects horizontally outwards over the lower chasis spine hump.

I'm in the process of procuring this idea using this item from eBay

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