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      02-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #28
BMW Cool Aide!
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Drives: 2011 128i Convertible
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Alexandria, VA

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Originally Posted by goldiee36 View Post

I've just finished with this fix, it took me a while to figure out how to disassemble the armrest.
The official BMW advice is a good start but there are some missing step: removing the plastic pivots (cylinder stuff, number 6 on this picture:
In order to remove these you have to pop up the spring cover (#5) and remove the springs (#17). Then you can fold up the armrest and remove the upper and lower part of the armrest compartment (the armrest itself which can be opened).

Sorry about the lack of pictures

I want to share the steps while I remember:
1 - remove the rear cover, 5 clips are holding it. Start at the top of the cover, you want to pull it rearwards. Need some force and abusing to remove..
2 - press/pull the lower edge of the hinge covers outward from the bottom to release the lower part of the cover - this is just above the two screws which you have to remove: remove the fasteners for the retaining springs (these are not the spiral spring but two piece of bent metal plate) and then remove the springs (the metal plates).
2 - now you have to do the extra steps: pop up the two spring cover (#5) at the sides of the pivot stuff (#6 on the pic), start with the inner ear of the cover what you can see if you open the armrest
3 - remove the spiral springs (#17) with some pliers, remember the position, it is not that bad as it looks. Open the armrest first to decrease the tension of the springs.
4 - take the pliers and pinch those plastic retaining tabs on the inner side of the pivots (#6) - push it out towards the sides of the car in the same time - easier then it looks
5 - now you can remove the upper and the lower part of the armrest by folding up and playing it out towards the rear of the car
6 - by now you should see the stops which is on the lower side of the armrest, around the rotating part. I glued some pieces of felt on the vertical stops in the armrest side of the stops. (Top and bottom, both sides) I had to clean it before.
7 - put some grease where you can see wear caused by the moving parts. (Except on the felt stuff.) I used silicone grease.
8 - reassemble everything

When you popping back the lower edge of hinge covers be careful as very easy to break the two plastic tabs, look under the hinge covers and check.

And the armrest is finally quiet!
Thank you for this. Do you think it would be possible to add some spacers to increase the armrest height? I'm thinking about 1/4" would increase the height about 1" or more at the front. This would allow taller cups, and bring the armrest to a more comfortable height for me.