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The Fix (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E34) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Kimo on October 20, 2001 at 07:36:20:

In Reply to: Do you have a rattle in the rear parcel shelf? posted by Kimo on October 19, 2001 at 19:57:50:

All right guys. Here's the fix. It'll seem a bit . . . umm . . . inelegant but hey . . . it's cheap, it's quick, and it works.
The rattle in my wife's car was coming from the rear passenger's side under the parcel shelf. I could tap in this area with my fingers and hear the culprit (whatever it was). Problem is . . . I couldn't get access to it because you can't get to the area from the trunk (solid steel) and I was NOT going to disassemble the shelf to attack it from the top.
I removed the rear passenger side speaker grille cover (flat blade screw driver under long side that faces inward and pry up) and stuck my hand in under the shelf, but found that there was not enough room to get my hand far enough in to feel around. There seems to some type of rubber matting sandwiched between the shelf itself and the metal underneath. So I looked around the garage for something to stick in there to feel around, and found a scrap piece of wood lattice (about one inch wide by a quarter inch thick, sold by the lineal foot at Lowe's, HomeDepot, etc.). I swung the rear passenger side door open and put one end of about a four foot piece of the wood lattice through the speaker cavity and shoved it at a 45 degree angle back towards the rear brake light. There is a bit of resistance but by finessing it I was able to get it all the way back to the rear window just next to the brake light. I could actually see the brake light assembly lift about a quarter inch on the side where the wood shim had been inserted. Though I originally intended that the wood would be only an exploratory probe, I noticed that when I now tapped in the area where the rattle was most pronounced, it was completely GONE! The wood shim had tightened things up enough to quell the offensive rattle. Of course the problem was now that I still had about a foot of lattice protruding from the speaker hole into the rear passenger area. So I got a small handheld saw and CAREFULLY cut the shim at a forty five degree angle along the edge of the speaker grille cavity so that it would not interfere with replacement of the speaker grille cover. Popped the speaker cover back in and went for a test drive. Hallelulah! No more rattle! Luckily, the drive was as night, so I noticed that I could now see the brake light shining from a gap in the parcel shelf. It seemed that by raising the passenger side by a quarter inch, the parcel was no longer 'level' enough to seal the brake light from shining back through ITS cavity. Back to the garage, and I repeated the exact procedure on the driver's side parcel shelf with another shim to return things to 'square'. Bingo! Rattle's gone. Shelf is level. Brake light is sealed.
So, for those of you who don't mind jamming two wood shims into your fine German autos, give it a try. You might like it!

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