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Old 12-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
Chrisbish2000
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EDIT: WARNING! - this will only work on models where the cowling plastic has not warped. The seal relies on a straight cowling to sit properly against the windshield. If the cowling plastic is warped then you are better off buying a whole new cowling.


GUIDE


The windshield wiper cowling on our cars is prone to deteriorating. The rubberised/flexi portion of the cowling cracks with age, becomes brittle and just breaks off.

The fix is usually having to replace the whole cowling as they are one piece but these aren't a cheap piece of plastic. This DIY is a great alternative to try for just a bit of your effort and minimal cost.

You will need:

15mm socket
Flathead screwdriver
Epoxy or silicone Sealant
Replacement rubber seal

The seal can be found on eBay for £/$ 5. Just search for windshield seals, there are different types, you can get ones that slot on or ones that have adhesive, you can try whichever you like. The rubber is actually good quality and will last a bit longer than the thin one BMW uses. The issue with BMW's is that it's designed as part of the cowling instead of a replaceable seal on its own so you have to buy the whole thing.

If you're painting your old cowling then you need materials obviously. I painted my old cowling as it was a bit faded but the plastic itself was in perfect condition. Very easy to do.

I'm not the first to try this but here is a rough guide if you want to give it a go. By all means a new cowling is the better option but this works as a cheap fix if done correctly.


Part 1: To remove the cowling you need to remove the wipers. You need to remove the round plastic bolt covers and remove the two 15mm nuts. 1 per wiper.

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I've seen many people telling you that you either need to pull the wipers up very hard, hit them with a hammer or use a puller on them to get them off. This is all incorrect. There is a very easy method to remove the arms, you just push on the wipers pivot point. This part is designed to flex towards the windshield so just keep pushing this down a few times until they pop up. They come away very easily using this method and no pullers required, just your hands.

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Part 2: Removing the cowling- This is held on with 7 push pins along the length of the cowling. Remove the cabin filter cover and just pull the cowling up with your hands. Now you need to check what's broken haha. Get new pins if needed as some may not be reusable, they aren't expensive. Everyone will be different here but the pins could break or their holder can be pulled off. Inspect the parts below. All my pins were fine but 2 carriers had come off.

What you want to see. The whole pin removed still in the carrier. They can be left in the hole or snap.

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If you're slightly unlucky like me you will find a broken pin carrier tab, this isn't an issue just an inconvenience.

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These are plastic welded from the factory so either plastic weld them back or use some epoxy like I did. I had 2 which snapped on removal, the other 5 were fine.

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The pins slide into the carriers like so, it's important that you have all 7 as you need even pressure along the cowling to ensure a water-tight seal when re-installing. I bought new ones to get a better seal.

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The blue arrow shows some foam that's on the rear. Check the condition of this.

Part 3- remove the old worn rubber section. This is very easy, just use a sharp razor blade and follow the line. You can't go wrong doing this as the hard plastic acts as a guide for you when cutting the soft brittle part. Try and keep this cut even across the cowling as it helps later.

As below: follow the yellow line from one end of the cowling to the other.

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This is what you want to be left with. Take care at the ends:

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OPTIONAL:

when you're happy with your cut line you can paint the old cowling. Mine was faded so I gave it a quick sand with a green scotch brite then 2-3 coats of tough black satin paint.

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Now you can install the new rubber. Depending on the condition of your cowel try different orientations of the rubber to see if one way works better. It just slots over the old cowling. I added some epoxy along the length to hold it in place one I had test fitted it. The ends will need some kind of anchor point) Make sure it's seated correctly and evenly.

The new rubber

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Sliding it on
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Now admire your like-new better than OEM wiper cowling. ***x1f642;

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Fitting is the opposite of removal.

Last edited by Chrisbish2000; 01-17-2020 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:06 PM   #2
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Nice write up!


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Old 12-18-2019, 07:03 PM   #3
Chrisbish2000
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Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
Nice write up!


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Thanks. Hopefully this answers some questions and helps save people some money. In my opinion this is better than the OEM seal.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chrisbish2000 View Post



I've seen many people telling you that you either need to pull the wipers up very hard, hit them with a hammer or use a puller on them to get them off. This is all incorrect. There is a very easy method to remove the arms, you just push on the wipers pivot point. This part is designed to flex towards the windshield so just keep pushing this down a few times until they pop up. They come away very easily using this method and no pullers required, just your hands.

Attachment 790283

The wiper arm has a spring to bend the "knee" up and pushing down the blade on the glass. The bending knee force applies a side force to the wiper arm rotating shaft and makes it harder to pull the arm off. Of course if the wipers were lifted off the glass then no more side force on the rotating shaft and easier to take it off. Or just push down on the Knee as he said.

Thanks for the DIY. I patched up my broken rubber with black silicone and it looks so unprofessional. Well, maybe this keeps the bad guys from stealing the car.

Last edited by Sapote; 12-18-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:49 PM   #5
Chrisbish2000
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Originally Posted by Sapote View Post
The wiper arm has a spring to bend the "knee" up and pushing down the blade on the glass. The bending knee force applies a side force to the wiper arm rotating shaft and makes it harder to pull the arm off. Of course if the wipers were lifted off the glass then no more side force on the rotating shaft and easier to take it off. Or just push down on the Knee as he said.

Thanks for the DIY. I patched up my broken rubber with black silicone and it looks so unprofessional. Well, maybe this keeps the bad guys from stealing the car.
Hah! Give this a try. Mine was in very bad shape with huge gaps. Iím very happy with how it turned out.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:36 AM   #6
Chrisbish2000
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A helpful video for reference

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Old 12-20-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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where can I get one of the rubber seal for my windshield. I tried to search it on E-Bay, but nothing like it came up. Do you have a part number?
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:56 PM   #8
Chrisbish2000
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where can I get one of the rubber seal for my windshield. I tried to search it on E-Bay, but nothing like it came up. Do you have a part number?
Item number:

US EBAY: 223745240546

I've found them on US eBay and UK eBay only: United States listings unfortunately only ship from China that I could find with a 10-14 day wait. Mine came in 10 days.

I found some for United Kingdom users where they have them for you in the country.

UK EBAY: 233294465469

Last edited by Chrisbish2000; 12-20-2019 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:32 PM   #9
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Hah! Give this a try. Mine was in very bad shape with huge gaps. Iím very happy with how it turned out.
Where do the water go after it got through the huge gaps? I hope it didn't get inside the cabin.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisbish2000 View Post
Hah! Give this a try. Mine was in very bad shape with huge gaps. I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Where do the water go after it got through the huge gaps? I hope it didn't get inside the cabin.
I don't know to be honest, I didn't really look but I don't think it goes anywhere too detrimental. It's quite dry where I live and the car is garaged over night. I checked the interior carpet a few times and they were dry. It's been off the road for ages.

Mine was in very bad shape.

Last edited by Chrisbish2000; 12-21-2019 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:38 PM   #11
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$4.25 with free shipping from ebay!!! I bought 2. Looks like this rubber seal strip is available from Carr McMaster also.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:49 PM   #12
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$4.25 with free shipping from ebay!!! I bought 2. Looks like this rubber seal strip is available from Carr McMaster also.
Yeah it's a great cheap alternative to buying a whole new cowling. I was super happy with how mine came out.

Nobody I could see on here had really attempted it before but I found the above video so thought I would try it. I sort of went at it not really knowing if the end result would be good or not but it's great. The rubber is good quality and it looks like a new part.

The cowling itself is always fine it's just the rubber part which goes bad but this rubber seal is better quality rubber than that OEM rubber. It's a bit of work but worth it IMO.

My best advice is make sure you have new clips and make sure its properly seated evenly across before you epoxy it.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for the part #. Just bought 2 for my E46s. Was going to buy the whole assembly but saw this thread. I am more than willing to try this for less than $10 (than $200 for both cowlings). Will report once I get them in about a month.
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Old 12-21-2019, 04:35 AM   #14
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Thanks for the part #. Just bought 2 for my E46s. Was going to buy the whole assembly but saw this thread. I am more than willing to try this for less than $10 (than $200 for both cowlings). Will report once I get them in about a month.
Shouldn't take that long. Mine wasn't too bad.

Last edited by Chrisbish2000; 12-24-2019 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:57 PM   #15
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Got mine yesterday and installed it today. Installation was very easy. My only concern is that the rubber strip is not completely flush with the windshield. Will it "settle" and be flushed against the windshield later on?

It looks good but water will go under the windshield in some area as it is not flush. Not a big deal to me as the car is garaged and doesn't rain often here.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:37 PM   #16
Chrisbish2000
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Got mine yesterday and installed it today. Installation was very easy. My only concern is that the rubber strip is not completely flush with the windshield. Will it "settle" and be flushed against the windshield later on?

It looks good but water will go under the windshield in some area as it is not flush. Not a big deal to me as the car is garaged and doesn't rain often here.
Mine sits perfectly flush. It depends how much time you put into prep, I did the cut across then test fitted a few times etc to get it right. When cutting the old one off keep it even and as close to the old plastic as you can. High or low spots may give a gap.

Did you replace the clips aswell? I tried reusing the old ones but they didn't hold very well, a new clip gives a tighter hold.

I thought I may have gaps before doing this so I bought some black silicone sealant just incase but I didn't need it in the end. Try using a bead along the back, it can be easily removed down the line and will help.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:19 PM   #17
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Instead of using black silicone sealant, I decided to buy another rubber seal to seal the gap between the windshield and the newly replaced rubber seal.

I used the extra rubber seal from the original installation (about 4 inches) to test it if it will be flush and whether it looks good or not. After putting that extra 4" seal on top of the newly installed seal, it does look good and and does make it flush with the windshield.

In conclusion, if you are having gaps with this DIY, you might want to buy another one to run along the rubber seal to make it flush with the windshield and correctly direct the water to the sides of the car.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nylpug View Post
Instead of using black silicone sealant, I decided to buy another rubber seal to seal the gap between the windshield and the newly replaced rubber seal.

I used the extra rubber seal from the original installation (about 4 inches) to test it if it will be flush and whether it looks good or not. After putting that extra 4" seal on top of the newly installed seal, it does look good and and does make it flush with the windshield.

In conclusion, if you are having gaps with this DIY, you might want to buy another one to run along the rubber seal to make it flush with the windshield and correctly direct the water to the sides of the car.
I tried and had the same problem as you. The rubber doesn't make contact with the glass at all. When you doubled up on the seal did you just chain it like in the 3rd attached pic?


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Old 01-09-2020, 09:55 PM   #19
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yes. That is exactly what I did with the extra left over. I am now waiting for the second one that I bought to come.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:00 AM   #20
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Hmm. Mine was just fine. Are you guys pulling the cowling tight? There is some adjustment that can be made as it can slide left to right on the pins and can be pulled tighter. I duno why you're having different results, maybe it's an angle issue with the strip.

Did you not test for it first to get the seating correct?

Last edited by Chrisbish2000; 01-10-2020 at 01:16 AM.
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