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DIY: How to Easily Disassemble your E46 Console Armrest to replace just the parts you need.

Last Autumn I noticed my armrest's lid hinge had somehow cracked and I set out to replace it. Little did I know that you don't necessarily have to buy an entire armrest anchor to replace just the parts you want to replace. I quickly found out how it all easily comes apart and back together again. So that you can save money and time just replacing the parts you need to.

Another big point of this DIY is to also show that you DO NOT need to remove the entire armrest from the car to remove the leather lid part and hinge plastic.
So that is why this is super easy and super quick.

Only tools needed are basic pliers like the ones you get at Ikea and a flat head screw driver or sturdy/clean/dull butter knife which will be used for prying. You may also need a star-point screw driver for removing the rear ashtray and back cover to access the hinge if the armrest will be worked on in the car.



PART ONE: Taking it apart

PART TWO: Putting it back together


Last Autumn I realize that my armrest outer hinge was cracked and sticking out. This was tough for me because the armrest did not lift all the way up unless you squeeze in the part that was cracked and sticking out. Also when the outer hing cracks you usually need to replace the entire lid that the leather skin sits on which is directly attached to the broken hinge.





On eBay I found this armrest. The range in prices from 99 cents starting bid to $125 buy it now. I got this one for $75 which was in decent shape.






Then I quickly disassembled it to extract the parts that I needed. Which was only the leather lid/hinge part.









That is all. It was really a lot easier than I expected going into this DIY
 

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Thank you Delmarco for sharing your expertise. You made an otherwise nearly impossible task very easy with your DIY thread and YouTube video. I replaced the worn and cracked armrest cover with a custom fit one I found on eBay. The quality of my replacement's black vinyl made not be quite as good as the original leatherette but it is now comfortable and looks better than the cracked original to me. Thanks again.

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I can't blame you for that but as far as cosmetics, it's pretty bad considering that the rest of the leather shown in the pic looks pristine. I would've spent the money for a quality replacement, I mean c'mon, it's a BMW, not some Honda, Toyota or other cheap line out there. Give quality the quality it deserves.
 
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