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Hawksbe

E39 Armrest replaced by E38 Armrest ? ( FITTED )

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Excellent result.Didnt realise it was so difficult

Hi

Depends how good you are on the automotive DIY side of things, if you can say its easy or hard

I suppose if on a scale of 1 - 10

1 being changing a air filter

10 being a engine transplant

The armrest will be an 6 I recon

If that makes any sense?!

Paul

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I was wondering if it was possible to do the full sliding and opening arm rest conversion, I'm glad to see that it is!   8)   I've been slowly collecting the parts to do this, I nearly have them all now, I'm aiming for an extra level of complexity though! My aim is for

- E38 arm rest with side opening compartments
- Latest Phone Eject Box with cut out sides for iPhones etc.
- Sliding
- Opening with cubby hole under

To achieve this, not only do I have to retrofit the E38 arm rest to a sliding/opening base, I also have to relocate and modify the wires that go to the Eject Box so that you can still get the cubby hole under the arm rest. When you have a phone in the arm rest the area under it is normally occupied with several large connectors, these will have to be replaced with smaller ones or re-located. I plan to take my time, an hour here, and hour there, I'll try and take pictures along the way and post them up as I go.

Edited by RichardP

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Yes definately possible with tilt/slide as you can see. Good job Hawksbe.

 

I managed to find this detailed how-to that I'd seen ages ago...

http://www.auto-treff.com/bmw/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=90254

 

Unfortunately it's in German so you'll have to chuck it in Google Translate. Also it's slightly confusing as he is doing two different versions - one with the E38 slide/non-tilt base and one with the E39 slide/tilt base. Crazy guy even makes a wooden spacer for the slight gap you end up with when using the E39 tilt/slide base AND manages to get some real wood veneer on it!!! How Hawksbe has done it looks good enough to me.

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My aim is for

- E38 arm rest with side opening compartments

- Latest Phone Eject Box with cut out sides for iPhones etc.

- Sliding

- Opening with cubby hole under

I'll try and take pictures along the way and post them up as I go.

 

I'd be interested to see this Richard, i've done the iPhone 4 snap-in adapter conversion and i was wondering if it was possible to do the armrest conversion and keep the Bluetooth setup.

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I'm sure you could do it with a non opening arm rest (just the two side parts), the tricky part will be to re-route the wires and rather bulky connectors which occupy the cubby hole when you have a phone.

 

Basically, remove/relocate this lot

 

post-30340-0-11423300-1368191855_thumb.j

 

The plug used has 18 pins, but only 4 are used.  I plan to use an in line 4 pin plug, similar to the CD Changer 3 pin connector to replace this. 

 

There are also 2 large coaxial connectors, one of which is unused (I think they are looped back with some of the fixed phones).  It should be possible to re-locate the unused one so it's tucked away inside the console and re-route the other so the connector is under the console, then route the wires up near the hinge and into the folding arm rest.  This will make removing the arm rest a little more difficult, but it's not something you do every day!

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Whilst completing this I found the e38 brackets had to be cut off completly and modified ones made up.

There was considerable cutting off of the e39 sliding/runner at the back to allow clearance for the hinge side of the armrest. Also the phone holder fixings did not line up with the insert fixings of the e39.

If you're prepared to spend some time on the mod it does provide a great addition.

 

Unfortunatly I've had problems loading pics.

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With my mod I was able to keep the Iphone holder/charger and install the sliding armrest with the two cut out cubby holes.

No problems keeping bluetooth.

I can't see how you would be able to fit the lower opening pocket and keep the phone holder though?

How would you run the wires to the phone holder?

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Indeed, this will be a challenge!  The combination of sliding and lifting may be too much!

 

I suspect that I'll have to allow a loop of wire, probably enclosed in the netting type sleeve you can see in the picture above, loose in the lower storage bin, but we'll see!  With just 4 wires and the coax it may be possible to conceal it.

 

I did an iPod install in the armrest of an E46, with that I ran the wire through the middle of the hinge, it worked very well, but the hinge was very large and the arm rest did not slide!

 

post-30340-0-09742900-1368208108_thumb.j

 

post-30340-0-36715600-1368208147_thumb.j

Edited by RichardP

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duplicate : There is something up with the forum, it usually says there is a time out when you've make a post even though the post is made.

Edited by RichardP

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I'll be interested to see how you get on.

Nylon mesh sleeving is great to avoid chafing and abrasion of cables but I think you'll need to extend those wires and coax quite a bit to allow for the sliding movement.

Lots of luck with it.

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I'll see how it goes, the arm rest I have already slides, so there should be enough cable, but I agree it may need extending.  A possible option would be not to wire up the external antenna, I find it's actually not that great and in some conditions give worse reception that when it's not connected (I usually leave the phone so it's only half in the cradle, charging but without the antenna connected).

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Thought I'd update a very old thread that some people might not have seen........I recently fitted E38 armrests in the front and back of the car:

 

1859775764_2018-12-2715_45_31.thumb.jpg.e84db9cadd1d5f1a4d8080bf49bf6c01.jpg

 

This one slides as well as having storage under the armrest and the larger cubby hole underneath, it doesn't really provide much storage but can slide further forward and is a nicer place to rest your arm :) :

1192430657_2018-12-2715_46_25.thumb.jpg.fc8d2372b96ebdb2c8cb54457291f139.jpg

 

I also fitted one in the back:

963967960_2018-12-2313_04_51.jpg.b7340787088f539cc794fd5513aa106b.jpg

 

I can't take any credit for working out how they fit as I just followed Ger's guide here (BTW - Ger's thread is worth reading from the beginning but the armrest stuff is around September 2014): 

 

 

Rear armrest is easy to do, front armrest is a real challenge and you need a friend with a  milling machine!

 

 

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It's an interesting way around it, when I did it, I followed a different guide in which the guy modified the E38 armrest to fit onto the E39 frame. This meant that there was no rise in height and functioned as a normal E39 armrest would.

All that I needed was a Dremel, it took one evening and a few adjustments after, but I was happy with the outcome.

The only issue that with a manual, the dual compartment armrests are not the best because your elbow will always be in the centre tray. 

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1 hour ago, Qasim said:

It's an interesting way around it, when I did it, I followed a different guide in which the guy modified the E38 armrest to fit onto the E39 frame. This meant that there was no rise in height and functioned as a normal E39 armrest would. 

 

Fair point but I particularly like how this method keeps the E38 lever and adjustment so you can stop the armrest at any point in its travel, quite a lot of effort for a relatively minor improvement but very satisfying in the end.  

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