Do it Yourself Repair: Replacing BMW Loading Sill Cover
for BMW X5 (E70)
The Loading Sill Cover is made up of two hinged-together pieces that fail when heavy weight is placed on the Sill Cover, particular directly over the hinged joint. The plastic eyelets that connect the two pieces break, causing the assembly to separate into two pieces (see Figures 1 and 2). Here are the steps to replace the Loading Sill Cover on a 2011 BMW X5. The process should be the same for any Model E70.
Purchase of Replacement Part
Referencing the diagram here, you’ll see that you need Part #14, which is the entire two-piece assembly. When you place the order, be sure to identify the specific part number for the interior color of your vehicle. If you order it directly from your local BMW dealer Parts Department, it will be shipped free to the dealer for your pickup. You should be able to reuse all attachment hardware removed during disassembly, but it may be a good idea to also order a couple of extra part #17 Fixing Plugs. These are plastic items that could be damaged in the removal process.
Replacement, which requires no special tools, should take 3 to 4 hours for someone with average mechanical skills. Here are the repair steps, including tricks I learned along the way.
- Step 1: Remove Side Covers. See Figure 3.
- Step 2: Remove Battery Cover/Floor Tray in lower storage compartment. There are five Phillips head screws securing this cover. See Figure 4.
- Step 3: Remove the two Side Trays. These trays are held in place with plastic Fixing Plugs. In case you are not familiar with this design, it’s a two-piece part. Use a thin blade screw driver to pry up the center pin which enables the outer plug to collapse and to be pulled out. See Figures 5 and 6.
- Step 4: Remove the two Access Covers. Use a thin blade screw driver to pry the cover loose and then slide off. See Figure 7 and 8.
- Step 5: Remove the two side D-Column Covers. There are two Phillips head screws securing this cover and a hidden snap connector in back of this cover. Use a flat blade screw driver to pry the snap connector loose while applying a steady pulling force to the cover. See Figure 7 and 8.
- Step 6: Slide the D-Column Covers up above the ends of the Loading Sill Cover. See Figure 9.
- Step 7: Remove the old Loading Sill Cover. There are four Phillips head screws securing it to the floor of the lower cargo area. Remove the screws and slide the base of the cover toward the front of the vehicle until it is free.
- Step 8: Remove the one Metal Grommet from the old Loading Sill Cover and install it on the new cover at the same hole location. See Figure 10.
- Step 9: The underside of the Loading Sill Cover has plastic clips that secure it to the floor of the cargo area. Figure 11 shows the Loading Sill Cover turned upside down and located next to the slots in the cargo area.
- Step 10: Reinstall the new Loading Sill Cover assembly. Reposition the new cover assembly and slide it backwards making sure the plastic clips under the assembly properly engage the slots in the lower cargo area. It will not fully side into the final position until the rubber weather-stripping is lifted over the leading edge of the cover. The technique I used to complete the installation was to first push it as far as possible and start the Phillips head screws. Next partially tighten the screws to put pressure on the cover, and then work the weather-stripping over the leading edge, repeating this process until it moved into final position. See Figures 12 and 13.
- Step 11: Remove the small Cover Plates from both ends of the old Loading Sill Cover and install in the new assembly. These covers pop out with a thin blade screw driver. See Figure 14.
- Step 12: Reinstall all other parts removed in reverse order. See Figure 15.