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HOW TO: Replace Hood Cowl
HOW TO: Replace Hood Cowl
Published by MacUser
10-18-2009
Default HOW TO: Replace Hood Cowl


See the black plastic cap at the end of the wiper arm? To avoid unsightly marring, carefully pry it off. You'll need to do this on both the driver's side and the passenger's side wipers.


I used a small slotted screwdriver to pry the cap loose.


When the cap is removed, a small nut is visible.


Remove the nut from the wiper spindle assembly with a 13mm socket and racket handle.


13mm!


Before I removed the wiper arm, I used blue painter's tape to mark the location of the wiper blades for future reference.
Tutorial Tools

  #1  
By MacUser on 10-18-2009, 01:28 AM
Default


Next, I wiggled and jiggled the wiper arm until it finally came off its spindle. I've placed the new part near the base of the windshield for comparison.


See the plastic grating covering the air plenum, just below the cowl? That needs to come off.


I just gave the grating a swift jerk and it popped off. It's now temporarily resting on the radiator housing.


Remove the old driver's side cowl piece. See the clips on the back? I removed them and put them on the new driver's side cowl piece. I couldn't figure out how to get the black clip out of its holder, so I had to pry it free. You might want to purchase new clips, but I didn't. Luckily, none of the clips broke.


Since I didn't have a fine-tipped slotted screwdriver handy, I used a butter knife to remove the plastic screw caps that hold the passenger's side cowl piece in place. Once they were removed, it came right off.


Because of the way the cowl pieces overlap, you should install the passenger's side piece first. Replace those two screw caps.
Last edited by MacUser; 10-18-2009 at 01:34 AM.. Reason: clarification
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  #2  
By MacUser on 10-18-2009, 01:29 AM
Default


Just position the driver's side piece and pop the clips into place.


Replace the air plenum cover. Don't forget to reinstall the wiper arms ... you'll need them later!
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  #3  
By MacUser on 10-18-2009, 01:30 AM
Default

I know ... this one was simple ... too simple. Oh well, I thought someone might be interested in seeing what's involved!
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  #4  
By 1996 328ti on 10-18-2009, 02:50 AM
Default

Thanks.
The only thing I would add is to test fit both sides first before fastening.
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  #5  
By MacUser on 10-18-2009, 04:15 AM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996 328ti View Post
Thanks.
The only thing I would add is to test fit both sides first before fastening.
Test-fitting is for wimps! If I had test-fitted the parts, I would have discovered the passenger side had to go on first BEFORE I fastened down the driver side and where would the fun in THAT be? I'll always remember the passenger side goes on first because I have the remove and refit the drivers side!

OK, seriously, once I had the two pieces installed, I adjusted the pieces because there was a big gap in the center and one piece was higher than the other. There was enough play in the fasteners/clips that the final alignment could be done while the pieces are still attached.


Greg
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  #6  
By 1996 328ti on 10-18-2009, 04:22 AM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacUser View Post
Test-fitting is for wimps! If I had test-fitted the parts, I would have discovered the passenger side had to go on first BEFORE I fastened down the driver side and where would the fun in THAT be? I'll always remember the passenger side goes on first because I have the remove and refit the drivers side!

OK, seriously, once I had the two pieces installed, I adjusted the pieces because there was a big gap in the center and one piece was higher than the other. There was enough play in the fasteners/clips that the final alignment could be done while the pieces are still attached.


Greg
EXACTLY what happened to me except I fastened one side and had to loosen it to bridge the gap.
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  #7  
By Will'sBimmer on 10-18-2009, 06:14 PM
Default

Cool write-up man. My cowl has started to fall apart where it meets the windshield. I have been thinking of replacing them. Thanks for the write-up I think I will go buy a new set now and install them later this week.
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  #8  
By dguzzardo22 on 10-19-2009, 02:47 AM
Default

were can i buy a new cowl?
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  #9  
By cooljess76 on 10-19-2009, 02:51 AM
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dguzzardo22 View Post
were can i buy a new cowl?
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showpost....49&postcount=3
Last edited by cooljess76; 10-19-2009 at 02:54 AM..
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  #10  
By Shellback on 02-01-2010, 03:42 AM
Default

The blue tape was a great tip. Wish I had done it. I just eyeballed the wipers back on and discovered later on they were resting too low. Every time I opened the hood, it would scrape the wiper arm. Great write up.
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  #11  
By MacUser on 02-01-2010, 05:58 AM
Default

Thanks!
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  #12  
By roadrash on 03-23-2010, 05:06 PM
Default

Did you reuse the 2 plastic screw caps on the passenger side? I can't find them listed on the diagram at realoem.com but I would expect them to not match the new black cowl parts.

Also, 7 clips/clamps are called for, but are the grommets needed also?

BTW, these are the part numbers....
51711960843 - Covering left (1)
51711960844 - Covering right (1)
51718108613 - Clamp (7)
51138124389 - Grommet (7)
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  #13  
By MacUser on 03-23-2010, 05:10 PM
Default

I reused everything I could. Surprisingly, I found the screw caps were not particularly faded, but YMMV!
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  #14  
By roadrash on 03-23-2010, 05:15 PM
Default

So, the screw caps didn't come with the cowl and you re-used the old ones?

If they don't match closely enough, I'm sure I can find some way to darken the caps enough to "match." I'm thinking I might order just a couple of grommets ($1.07 ea.), but go ahead and get all 7 clips ($.25 ea.).
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