United Bimmer Do-It-Yourself Disclaimer:
The following tutorial is meant as a guide and is not
guaranteed to be complete or 100% accurate. By following this DIY, you
understand any work done on your car is at your own risk and we hold no
responsibility if you break something. If you feel uneasy with this
risk, we recommend you take your car to a professional mechanic to have the
work done. Otherwise, enjoy yourself and good luck!
Okay. You can't afford tinting right now and want rear
shades or you just want rear shades. If this is you then you have 2 options.
1. You can get these shades at your local BMW Dealership. $125 for the
manual shade or $350 for auto install (only E46 and E39/E38-but this can
work on E36 and E36 with extensive fitting not discussed here).
see BMW parts-explosion image
2. Your Second option is buying them for only $25 on Ebay. Yes they will be
OEM quality and much easier and cheaper to install. If this sounds good read
go to EBAY MOTORS and search "BMW E36 rear shade" or "rear sun shade BMW".
You may see several sellers. Find the one for your car E36/E34/E39 and E46
all take the same size. Don't pay more than $30.00 (shipping shouldn't be
more than $12)
Step two: When you get the shades, installation instructions will be on the
box. What I'm offering here is tips since the instructions are very generic
and not specific to your BMW. I have a 1995 318i E36 Sedan. So my picture
and tips are based on my experiences with this car.
First: Center, and mark where the base will sit. Usually behind the speakers
on the E36/E39/ E46 and I think E34s share the same speaker arrangements on
the rear deck.
TIP: I found that the opening slits where the shade if extended from was
better facing to the back of the car. This creates a snappy tension when
raising and lower the shades. So not just anyone (say a child) can reach and
pull on it for fun. For an adult it will be easy.
TIP: For the E36 the rear deck angles up on a slight slope after the rear
speakers (see pics). I found that that was a better point to anchor the
shade tube base since the shade rises at an angle and not straight up.
(again see pics and you'll get an understanding of this)
Second: Hold your breath as you void you dealership's long expired warranty
for that rear deck by screwing in the anchor points. When done screwing;
raise shade and let it snap down to make sure that it is anchored well.
Okay. Raise shade again and mark where the 2 loops o the top of shade meet
the headliner. Over extend the shade if you have to. Remember to make sure
the shade covers all of the top of the rear windshield or an annoying slit
of slight will creep thru the top. For my car I found that anchoring 2
inches or so into the headliner was sufficient for full coverage of the rear
windshield. Don't worry about the sides. The glass will be exposed but light
will not get in from the side due to the way the rear windshield glass
curves around the car.
Third: This is the trickiest part of the DIY. IMPORTANT: When you decided on
where you want to anchor on the headline make sure you test the points
BEFORE SCREWING for soft spots. A soft spot will not hold the ceiling
anchors for long. To explain what a soft spot is you have to feel the
difference on your own headliner...yes they are random soft spots and hard
spots across the headliner for reasons unknown to me. It will be tempting
but DO NOT USE GLUE! Also if you have a lot of trouble finding a good hard
anchor point on your headliner...go to autozone and buy the male screws and
female washer screw rings (where the screw screws into the ring-don't know
the technical name for this). Remove or pull down headliner and anchor the
points in with the male screws below screwing up into the female rings on
the other side (the topside or dark side that's hidden) of the headliner.
This will secure the points. Now reattach your headliner. I found nice hard
spots on my headliner and did not have to do that. Just to let you know.
Now test everything...
This DIY takes about 1 hour done right! I may seem easy but don't rush
yourself or you can easily damage your interior.