BMW E46 CSL Trunk Lid Installation Guide

This CSL Trunk lid installation guide was found on e46fanatics, read through it in it’s entirety before going through with the install, as some parts are /more/ difficult than others, so be sure to read it through and make sure you entirely understand the full install.

This is my first attempt at a DIY and my first trunk install so hopefully the solutions I present will help some of you in the same position.

Mart and Paul at Euro-Spec.net really came through with a quality product. As we all know aftermarket parts aren’t always going to fit 100% like OEM, with that in mind the guys at Euro-Spec are right around that 98% mark.

I recently installed my CSL Fiberglass trunk on my 2000 323i pre-facelift sedan. I was planning on just taking it to the shop and having them do the whole thing since they were painting my whole car anyway. I’ve always been an avid DIY’er so I decided to tackle this one myself. There were only a few fitment issues that I had come across, but nothing a trusty dremel couldn’t fix!!

To answer any of the obvious questions first.

1) No I don’t know if this will work the same for a coupe lid. (pretty sure though. just check your trunk with the pics in the DIY)

2) No I don’t know if this will work for facelift coupes or sedans. (pretty sure though. just check your trunk with the pics in the DIY)

3) Yes I am in the military and Yes that is a real gas mask. (you’ll see.)

Any other questions or comments please feel free to give feedback. If there is anything that I might have left out then please let me know. Again this is my first trunk install and DIY so don’t rip me to shreads too quick.

I am available in the San Diego area for any one on one help, and in the LA area on a special case by case basis.



Car used: 2000 323i – Sienna Red

Estimated time to complete: 1-2 hours depending on skills

You may need to do a few adjustments that can be done yourself, instead of having to pay a body shop to do it. The following is a DIY to get all of the little kinks and fitment issues out of the way before you bring it to the shop to get prep and paint. Most of the fitment issues for handles, lights, locks, and other parts are mostly due to the fact that Fiberglass is thicker than sheet metal.

Tools Needed:

1 Dremel (or other rotary cutting tool)
2 Drill bit or cutting bit
3 Cutting wheels (dremel)
4 Sanding wheels (dremel)
5 Straight grinding bit
6 Angle grinding bit
7 Sand paper (I used 60 grit)
8 Sanding Block (Lowes or Home Depot)
9 Respirator or face mask (FG is NOT good to breathe in)
10 Safety glasses or goggles

Tools Recommended:
11 Flex shaft for Dremel (makes things a little easier)
12 Rag to wipe away FG dust
13 Vacuum to suck as much dust as possible while cutting

I’m in the military so I happen to have my Gas Mask around and used that. The face mask doesn’t keep everything out.

Trunk Removal

This DIY’s main focus is adjusting your CSL trunk, so I will not go into detail with pictures on how to de-trim your trunk. Here are a few quick steps.

  1. Remove trunk tool box
  2. Remove trunk liner
  3. Unplug trunk light connectors
  4. Unplug trunk latch connector
  5. Unplug trunk handle connector
  6. Unplug trunk lock connector
  7. Remove trunk lid lights
  8. Remove trunk handle
  9. Remove trunk latch
  10. Remove trunk lock
  11. Remove rubber grommet for wires and feed wire bundle through hole (careful not to snag connectors)
  12. Remove BOTTOM Torx bolts
  13. Loosen TOP torx bolts
  14. Slid trunk lid up and off of mounts.

Install is the reverse.


**REMEMBER** make sure you have a way of opening your trunk either manually with key, access to latch rod or by electric trunk handle. Valet key does NOT work on trunk!! There is a step where you disconnect your battery so make sure you don’t lock your keys in the trunk if you don’t have fold down seats!! I don’t have a remote release switch to my trunk so to be safe I just left my right trunk lid light off during this whole process so I had access to the lock and latch rod.

1. Trunk Light Fitment: My trunk lights were not lining up straight with the edges of the trunk so I had to sand the sides down a little bit. The original trunk line were where the yellow lines are. I used the Sanding Block and the 60 grit paper. It’s trial and error. Sand, Fit, Sand, Fit, etc . . .

I don’t have pictures of before but as you can see the lights now line up really well with the lines of the trunk


2. Trunk Light Fitment 2. I also had to cut part of the trunk away to fit the left trunk light. I used the dremel cutting wheel. The yellow area is where the FG use to be. My trunk lights are Ebay lights so I’m not sure if you need to do this for the stock.

3. Trunk Lock. The FG is too thick where the trunk lock is installed at. I used a flat sanding wheel to thin out the FG where the lock installs at. I also had to enlarge the Lock opening on the outside using the straight grinding bit. I used the angle bit to make the rubber grommet fit better (more detail in step 9). I installed the sandpaper wheel upside down so the sand was facing the Dremel. I then put the wheel in the hole and used it to sand down the back side of the fiber glass all the way around the opening. I went through approx 10-15 sanding wheels. They are really crappy paper circles and “burn-out” quick. You might want to stack up 2 together to make them a little stiffer.

If the mounting holes on the lock don’t line up, then you have to cut away apart of this notch so that it will turn all the way.

4. Trunk Latch Rod. One thing I noticed was there was a FG wall where the plastic latch rod was supposed to pass through. Not a problem, a little bit of attention with the drill bit and straight grinder fixed that right up

5. Trunk Latch Mount. Two of the holes where the latch mounts up to, were off. The one on the left was fine. The right was just a little off so I just enlarged it. The bottom one was a little high so I had to drill a new hole.

Right Hole

Bottom Hole

6. Trunk Handle Mount The square holes in yellow had to be enlarged a little bit to accept the square plastic screw “anchors.” The hole in Red had to be enlarged using the straight grinding bit or drill bit. This is where a circle tab fit. I think it was to help in aligning the handle. For the square holes I used my cutting wheel bit (not the wheel but only the bit) wrapped in some sandpaper to fit inside the hole. It probably would have been best to use a small flat file, but I didn’t have one, so this worked fine.

I haven’t picked up my trunk roundel or my License Plate mounts but I’m pretty sure they might have to be enlarged also.

7. Rubber Trunk Bump Stops The rubber Bump Stops that are on the left and right sides of the trunk latch are just big rubber screws. On the CSL trunk the right hole for the bump stop was not large enough in the little “keyhole” slot. I just used the straight grinder bit to enlarge it.

8. Installing and aligning trunk: There are 8 bolts used when aligning the trunk. 4 torx on the lid and 4 hex on the trunk frame. Put torx bolts in the top mount holes but don’t thread them down all the way. Lift trunk and slide onto trunk mounts. Thread bottom torx bolts through mount holes and into trunk, and tighten down about 85%. Run the existing wire bundle from the trunk, in between the weather stripping and the back window to ensure that you don’t damage the wires when opening and closing.


Notice how I removed the left trunk shock. I removed it because the trunk is a lot lighter than the stock and with both shocks on it opens very fast. You have to use a LOT more force in closing with both shocks on. With one shock you have to use a little bit more force than the stock trunk when closing but not enough to notice. If your trunk sits high on one side also try removing one shock as this might help remedy that problem. To remove them use a flat tip screwdriver to pry up the clips on the tops and bottoms of the shocks and pull off.

Aligning the trunk can be done by the torx bolts on the lid and by the hex bolts on the frame.

Aligning the trunk is just trial and error. The bottom hex bolts allow you to move the trunk up and down vertically, tilt it back and forth and slide forward and back. The torx bolts allow only forward, backward, left and right alignment. It took me about 6 fitments to get everything right. Just close, check alignment, open, loosen bolts and adjust, tighten again, close, check alignment . . . . Once you have everything done we’ll be running the wire bundle back into the trunk and hooking everything back up.

9. Trunk Light Connectors and grommet. The next thing I had to do was enlarge the hole where the wires enter the trunk. I also had to remove the trunk light connectors to fit through the hole. The last thing I had to do was angle the cut of the FG so that the rubber grommet will fit snug.



Unclip white tabs on trunk light connector

Remove white cover of connector

Use a small screwdriver to push pins out

(Careful not to break them)



marking them with tape

Connector Disconnected

After your done removing the connectors tape all of the loose connectors to the wire bundle so nothing gets snagged. Feed the bundle through the hole and position connectors where they go. Don’t forget to re-assemble the trunk light connectors.

As for the rubber grommet that the wires pass through, you have to enlarge the hole and thin out the FG so the grommet will fit snug.


You can enlarge the hole and thin it out without the wires run through already. I found it easier to run the wires and grind around them, so I didn’t have to feed the wires through every time I would test fit it. The inset is a crosscut drawing of the hole. Notice what shape grinder I used and how the grommet fits better in the hole with the angle cut.

This is what the Rubber Grommet looks like

After completing this reconnect all of the connectors and battery. Check the operation of the trunk and all lights. Open and close trunk a few more times to make sure nothing comes loose. Slam the trunk down a few times just for that extra measure.

If all alignments are good and you are satisfied then send it off to prep and paint at your local body shop, unless you’re doing that yourself too. LOL

Source: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=451941

Note: For perfect OEM style fitment continue reading and be sure to check out the pictures, courtesy of BMW TIS.

Engine hood was fitted and bolted in an unfinished body shell.

Unpainted surfaces become visible after subsequent movement.

These surfaces must be touched up with paint in the body color.

The rear lid is adjusted to fit with built-in gas pressure dampers and a built-in rear lid seal.

If turning adjustment screws or subsequent machining of adjustment
screws exposes surfaces which do not match the car color, touch up
these surfaces in the appropriate color.

Protect bright surfaces against rust.

Adjusting trunk lid to fit
– Preliminary work:If necessary, press ejectors into detent buffers and turn slightly to left in this position with a Phillips screwdriver.This locks the ejectors in the detent buffers.
Unscrew detent buffers from left and right sides of trunk lid.
Check fulcrum pads on lower section of trunk lid lock for damage and replace if necessary.
Remove protective caps from trim panel at rear.
Loosen screws on lower section of trunk lid lock until it can just be moved, enabling it to center itself.The lower section of the trunk lid lock must not scrape against the upper section.
Check stop screw of rear lid:
– Stop screw with round plastic head:If a stop screw with a round plastic head is fitted, remove this plastic head (otherwise there may be grating noises).Cut or grind off round plastic head, taking care not to damage adjoining body parts.

If necessary, remove stop screw and then remove round plastic head.

It is not possible to fit a protective cap on a screw with a round head!

The stop screw thus has a flat head, enabling the protective cap to be fitted.Use the adjustment instructions for the stop screw with protective cap.
– Adjustment instructions for stop screw with protective cap:If a stop screw (2) with protective cap (1) is fitted, the following adjustment instructions apply:
Remove protective cap (1).
Stop screw with a flat head must be fitted.
Screw in stop screw (1) to measurement (A).Measurement (A) = 10 mm.
– Adjusting rear lid to fit at sides:Unfasten screws (1 and 2) on left and right sides until trunk lid is still just able to move.Note:

If the adjusting range is not sufficient, release rear lid hinge mounting bolts on body and adjust hinge on body.

Caution!Before closing the trunk lid and when closing the trunk lid, ensure that the body and/or trunk lid are not damaged.Close trunk lid.
Adjust gap dimensions and position of trunk lid relative to the other fittings on the body,refer to 41 00 …
Tighten left and right screws (1 and 2).
– Adjust lower section of trunk lid lock:(Screws of rear lid lock lower section released until adjustment is possible)Close trunk lid, holding down the lock button to prevent the trunk lid lock from engaging.

This enables lower section of trunk lid lock to adjust itself correctly.

Adjust gap measurements and position of rear lid (height) relative to other fittings on body,

refer to 41 00 …

Tighten screws on lower section of trunk lid lock.
Check adjustment of trunk lid and trunk lid lock, repeating adjustment if necessary.
Screw in detent buffer until left and right sides of trunk lid locate against detent buffers when closed.Caution!Trunk lid must not protrude above side panels otherwise height adjustment can be distorted!
Gently twist ejector in detent buffers to right with Phillips
screwdriver. This unlocks the detent buffers, enabling ejector to
– Adjustment of stop screw of rear lid hinge:Stop screw (1) set to measurement (A).Measurement (A) = 10 mm.
Place a strip of paper (normal writing paper) (1) between stop screw (2) and stop on rear lid hinge.
Close trunk lid.While doing so, make sure paper strip remains between stop screw and stop on rear lid hinge.The stop screw is correctly adjusted when the paper strip (1) can be pulled out “with suction”.
This adjustment is made by turning the stop screw.
If the paper strip can be pulled out “with suction”, screw in the stop screw (1) by measurement (B).Measurement (B) = 2.5 mm, corresponding to 2.5 turns.The material thickness of the protective cap is compensated for when the stop screw (1) is screwed in.
Fit protective cap (1) on stop screw.Check that rear lid is in correct position; correct setting if necessary.Excessive force should not be needed to close the rear lid.

One thought on “BMW E46 CSL Trunk Lid Installation Guide

  1. Reggie Taylor

    i just installed the csl style trunk on my 328i my question is why won’t the push button trunk latch work? is there something not hooked up right? any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.



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