How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

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Buzz
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How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Buzz » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:54 am

Hi everyone, I have a 2004 2.5 that I bought last year. The overall condition is really pretty good except for the cowl. That rubber/plastic trim piece at the base of the windshield is cracking and flaking away. It looks like a simple job but I have been told I will need a puller to remove the wiper spindles. When I pull the covers, I see nuts that should not be hard! Anyone done this job? Any tips?
Thanks for your time. - Buzz

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markeg
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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by markeg » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:11 am

There's a whole how-to on fixing problematic wipers, which includes removing the front panel here

BTW - welcome to the forum, any pics of the car you'd like to share? :thumbsup:
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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by WLH » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:32 pm

Buzz, welcome to the forum... :thumbsup:
Yes, you need a puller to remove the wipers.
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Toe-side
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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Toe-side » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:15 pm

You don't always need a puller.
Loosen the nut on the wiper arm. Back it off a little and then gently but firmly waggle the arm using the leverage of the arm to ease it off the splines the nut acts as a stop to help the action on the base of the arm. Try a little release fluid also for a tight one.
This method usually works give it a shot :thumbsup:
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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Buzz » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:42 am

Hey Guys,
Thanks for the responses. These are very helpful and I'm looking forward to the repair. I will get some pics up as soon as I can but right now she's pretty much stock and all black with the original wheels. FYI, I have owned a 1974 Steyr Puch Pinzgauer 710M for a decade or so. As such, I'm comfortable turning wrenches on an army truck designed to be fixed in the mud by teenagers. The Z is my first experience with something that seems, well, delicate! - Buzz

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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by sk93 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:58 am

Toe-side wrote:You don't always need a puller.
Loosen the nut on the wiper arm. Back it off a little and then gently but firmly waggle the arm using the leverage of the arm to ease it off the splines the nut acts as a stop to help the action on the base of the arm. Try a little release fluid also for a tight one.
This method usually works give it a shot :thumbsup:
This. The puller really isn't needed, as there's enough play between the arm splines and the stud splines to make rocking the arm safe to do without causing damage.
If they've never been off in the history of the car, you might find them a bit tough to move at first, but as Toe-Side says, penetrating fluid (WD40) for five minutes before wiggling will resolve this :thumbsup:

The other thing worth mentioning here is that the four or five plastic clips that hold the scuttle cover (the cowel) to the bulkhead are properly cheap (read s**t) clips and you're quite likely to break or ruin at least one whilst removing them.
Luckily they're about 17 pence each direct from your local BMW dealer :thumbsup:


Finally, whilst you're 80% of the way there, it may be worth you following through my entire guide on fixing the window wipers linked by Markeg above.
Whilst you may not be having this problem yet, it's quite likely you will, and a little preventative cleaning now can save you having to remove everything again later on :)
:zzzz:

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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Buzz » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:42 am

Hey folks,
I finally got the part yesterday and installed it tonight. I did end up using a puller on the wiper arms. Otherwise the job was super simple and the result is a big improvement. I appreciate you taking the time to offer help. It was nice to have the back up.

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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Russ59 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:26 am

Did you buy the cowl new, If so how much are they?
Mine looks warped and could possibly do with replacing, or it might not have enough clips holding it on.
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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by Buzz » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:36 pm

I bought my part at GetBMWParts for about $180 plus a few bucks for shipping. Note, while I ordered 8 of the plastic snap/pins, in case I broke the old ones coming out, the part came with all 8 pins already installed. As mentioned in the reference article, 4 of the old ones did break removing the old piece. It was easy to pull the remnants out with a small screw driver and a pair of needle nose pliers. Then the new part snapped easily into place. I will keep the spare pins in case I need them in the future. FWIW, the job was well worth the effort. The old shroud was cracked and flaking. I used a shop vac to pull a substantial quantity of leaves and debris out of the well where the wiper motor sits. Now the car hides its 11 years of age even better than before.

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Re: How to replace the cowl at the base of the windshield?

Post by RickRob » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:54 pm

We will be the judges of how good your Zed looks, if you let us see some pics!!
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