Battery Storage Compartment

NOTE: Perform these steps at your own risk. All P/N’s listed are a “best guess”, so please double-check with your local dealer. These mods and repairs were performed on my US-spec 1997 540iA (11/96 prod date, M62 engine) but there is no guarantee they will work on other E39′s. These instructions are provided for entertainment purposes only!

Drawback to this mod: If you are a golfer, you can see by the last pic that it’ll be difficult or impossible to fit 3 golf bags in the trunk after performing this mod.

Required Parts:

  • P/N 51 47 8 159 478 Rear right trunk trim (~$24 from Pacific BMW)
  • P/N 51 47 8 159 479 Plastic storage tray (~$5 from Pacific BMW)

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Required Tools:

  • Thin flat-head screwdriver(s) or door panel puller (preferred)

1. Fold back the spare tire cover and use the screwdriver(s) or door panel puller to remove the 3 expanding rivets. The expanding rivet consists of two separate plastic pieces. The top flat piece has an attached center pin and can be completely removed from the bottom expanding portion of the rivet if necessary. This will reduce tension on the rivet and allow removal. Twisting the head of a screwdriver or screwdrivers might be enough to wedge the two pieces of the rivet apart. Once the rivets are removed, the battery cover should come right out.

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2. Install the plastic storage tray into the trunk trim. Be sure all (5) tabs are seated properly. Remove the white vinyl fuse description sticker from your old cover and transfer it to the new cover. If you prefer, a BMW dealer parts counter should be able to sell you a new label for a nominal charge.

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3. Reinstall the expanding rivets and enjoy the results.

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