Sunday, 19 February 2017

F10: Rear Parcel-Shelf Swap / Replacement

The original parcel-shelf was in a sorry state, with several rectangular slots cut in it where Police lights had been fitted. The two in the below picture were glaring at me every time I looked in the rear-view mirror and third, twice the size and facing the rear, could be seen clearly from outside. Despite not being one of the first things to get replaced, it became my biggest concern with the interior and has ended up being the piece that has made the most difference to the car's appearance.

A mint and very clean  replacement was £60 from eBay and came with the speakers, grilles and all trim pieces, handy as mine was missing some.


1. Remove the rear-seat squab by pulling the front edge up sharply at either side and sliding it forward.

2. Remove the 3 bolts holding the bottom-end of the rear seat-belts to the body using a T45 Torx-socket.
3. Remove the rear-seat back-rest by undoing the 2 bolts holding the bottom brackets in place using a T45 Torx-socket and lifting it vertically up off the upper brackets.
4. Remove the 5 plastic-clips holding the leading-edge of the parcel-shelf by prising the centre-pin out with a flat-screwdriver [or ideally a trim-tool] and then prying the clip out.

5. Loosen both of the C-pillar trims. They are only clipped on and should pop off easily enough at the bottom. They do not need to be completely removed, just loose enough to allow the lip at either side of the parcel-shelf to slide in and out.

6. Slide the parcel-shelf forward partially, pop the seat-belts through the apertures and disconnect both speaker wires. The parcel-shelf can now be fully removed.
7. Swap trims/speakers over to new parcel-shelf.
8. Reverse steps 1 - 6 to refit.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

F10: Centre-console / Arm-rest / iDrive-panel Replacement

The centre ash-tray had been replaced with an aluminium plate for the Police-light switches and stuff, so that needed replacing. The centre-console itself, apart from being black vinyl, which would never do, had holes drilled both sides to mount the Police radio / scanner. There was also blobs of glue all down one side, so after a brief attempt at titivating the damage, I decided a whole new one would be necessary and gave a welcome change up to a leather arm-rest!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

F10 530d: Correct front seats acquired!

Managed to find the right pre-2013 front seats on eBay. They were for sale on their own, the owner having swapped his front seats for M-sports and was willing to let the old ones go for just £140. They were from a 2011 car with 80k miles and in very good nick, only snag was they were in Northampton, so I removed the passenger / rear seats and did the 6 hour round-trip to collect them. They bolt straight in and bring up no air-bag warnings, so that's problem solved  all round.

The post-2013 front seats I was selling on eBay had attracted quite a bit of attention and a few offers, but eventually someone paid the asking price of £180. This was mainly to convince me to leave them with someone to meet a private-courier organised by the buyer, which was a bit of an inconvenience, but they sold regardless. This leaves me £40 in profit after all thanks to the error, save the fuel money travelling to Northampton.

Monday, 4 July 2016

BMW Response Vehicle Owner's Manual

I can't imagine many people have this in their book-pack. BMW supply cars directly to UK Police constabularies, so this is their in-house user manual for controlling the lights and sirens no less. It shows even the switch-gear being factory fitted with buttons to match the BMW fascia, though I am not sure what level of spec mine had. I guess this is another easter-egg gift that comes with owning an ex-Police car, along with tons of extra wiring and air-con that stinks of sweat...

Saturday, 7 May 2016

F10 530d: Black leather rear-seats and door cards WIN - front-seats FAIL!

Lovely front seats do not fit.
 Thought I would treat the F10 to a nice leather interior, replacing the tired and fluffy cloth front seats and scratched / dirty door cards, after spotting a complete set from a 2014 car on eBay. I managed to get £100 knocked off the price and drove down to Stourbridge to grab them with a distinct feeling that it was too good to be true. I had to climb nearly 20 feet up a ladder to retrieve them, but they were seriously mint - honestly, not even a mark on any bit of leather - so I parted with the measly £300 and brought them home.

My gut feeling turned out to be right. While the rear seats and door-cards are a perfect fit, the front seats are not. From mid-2013 onwards the F10 floor-pan was updated, along with the mounting-points for the front seats and this means that the runners on my new seats are a couple of inches narrower than on my original 2010-13 seats, which are clearly wider at the base. There is no way to swap the runners, the seats are just too different in design and I will write a more detailed guide on this soon. Annoyingly, the electric plug fits and the motors operate, though they throw up too airbag warnings.

Door cards are straight swap.
Modifying the seats or floorpan to fit is just too much work and will not look very nice, so the only way to go is wait until a pair of front seats for a 2010-13 car come up and try to part-ex mine or at least sell them later. Either way, this could end up costing me more. Regular SE seats are quite thin on the ground for the earlier cars and M-Sports are upwards of £400.

Rear seats fit great.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

BMW Part weights + other handy info -

Thought it was worth mentioning that that gives the weight of every BMW part. It has all the same parts diagrams as, but lists other useful information too, including the weights which is handy to know if you are comparing weights to spurious parts, trying to make parts lighter or, like me, sending a part in the post.

I sold an M57N crankshaft and had no way to weigh something this heavy, so was able to estimate courier costs before hand - nice.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Bought an F10 530d!!

Guess there's only so much one can do to the E60, so I splurged on a 12-plate F10. Loving it. Still got the E60 though for now...

Look at them kidney grilles.
Got the 17" 10-spokes, all with brand new run-flats. The ride is sublime, but may throw on the 18" 7-spokes from the E60, or may even go for 19' Ms... time will tell.
Love the super-bright rear lights and the tail-pipe. If that blasted DPF has one silver lining, it's them pipes.