replace windshield molding on a BMW 740iL

If you own a pretty old BMW like mine (2001 740iL) then your windshield mount may look like this. Dry, brittle, breaking into a million pieces. At first I thought this was the seal for the windshield and didn’t think something I could install myself. After some research and it turns out this is just a molding and is pretty easy to fix. The part number is 51 31 8 125 887 and it is also known as upper window trim or gasket.

I was going to order this online for about $38 but then called my local BMW dealership and they had it in stock for about $45. Decided to pick it up the next day.

First thing you have to do is to pull off the side trim out near the top because it covers the bottom parts of this cracking molding. Be gentle but don’t be afraid to apply some steady force. As you can see below you don’t have to take the whole thing off.

And now the fun part: Pull out the old windshield molding. As I was taking it off it broke into another million pieces and little plastic pieces was everywhere.

Now you to have make sure the groove is super clean because the new one has to fit perfectly. After I made sure every little piece was out of there I cleaned with some soap and water. This is what it looked like:

And then I applied some hand lotion to the new piece as lubricant and started on the driver’s side. It was easier than I thought to make it fit nice and flush. Went all the way across and finished on passenger side. And then I pushed the side trim back in. You have make sure the side trim is back in securely. Even though I had only removed the top of it, the mid section of the side trim was also loose. Pushed it back in with some good force and I was done. Here’s what it looked like after I cleaned everything off.

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7 Responses to replace windshield molding on a BMW 740iL

  1. irie111 December 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Thank you, this made my already sweet garage kept 96 look even closer to new… Mine wasn’t all cracked up, but was showing its age… It amazes me how small details like this make such huge difference in appearance… I never would have tried this myself if it wasn’t for your well written guide… Thanks again… 🙂

  2. JD April 10, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    Thank you so much for your detailed instruction.
    Have you replace the back window (L/R) molding?
    Can you show me how. Thank you.

  3. Randall Knight October 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Can’t get the molding in any help would be appreciated.

  4. Al January 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Its interesting I just went to NJ Park ave BMW dealer and they tell me they have to remove the entire windshield to put this in!!. this is how dealers trick people into pay a lot of labor cost behind the door. they are bunch of crooks . they lie.!! thanks for posting this

  5. Al January 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Its interesting I just went to NJ Park ave BMW dealer and they tell me they have to remove the entire windshield to put this in!!. this is how dealers trick people into pay a lot of labor cost behind the door. they are bunch of crooks . they lie.!! thanks for posting this

  6. FRANK December 3, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    THANK YOU for this…ordering it now, mine looks exactly if not worse than yours and it looks really sad. Thought I had to have the whole glass replaced and was quoted $500 for this in San Diego, CA. Again, thank you for this get write-up!

  7. Paul March 26, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    Hello there. I am trying to replace the driver side bottom of the door rubber molding. For some reason I just can’t get it to fit on right. Can you help? If you can please call Paul at
    941 473 6375. Thank you.

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