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From digest.v7.n796 Fri Dec 19 00:47:29 1997
From: Jim Cash <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 23:42:24 -0500
Subject: <E36> Strange String in Trunk

Paul writes:

> There is a cord connected to the trunk lining on the passenger side of
> my '95 325i which I apparently tugged a little too hard when I was
> installing my CD Changer earlier today. After closer evaluation it I
> determined that the cord is connected to the actuator mechanism for the
> gas door lock. Now, when I lock my doors, the gas door does not lock!
> My question: has anyone else performed the same bone-head manuever that
> I did ... and is it possible to fix without a dealer visit? I looks
> pretty easy to remove. If I remove it, will there be anything that I,
> being a totally non-technical person, can repair with relative ease?

Yes Paul - I did it on my E39.

While it may be slightly different, I will relate how I fixed it - yo may be able to take it from there, and it will also help any other E39's from doing the same as we did.

Mine was not a string, but a short plastic pull line. I pulled too hard, and it snapped at the solenoid. So I pulled the whole thing out and just tied the plastic end back onto the solenoid wire. That was the easy part.

The tricky part is getting the lock cylinder back through the hole into the fuel compartment. It took a while till I realised that the little plastic fitting at the hole twists a quarter turn and then comes out. That makes it easy to slip a metal rod (close hanger) back to the trunk so you an tape the lock cylinder to it and them pull it back through the hole, into the fuel compartment.
Fasten the solenoid in place and then refit the rubber and plastic fitting in the fuel compartment.

Dat's it. Except you might want to put a label/tag on that pull string saying what it is, and "Caution - pull lightly"

Hope that helps.


Jim Cash
London, Ontario, Canada
BMW CCA 102929
E39 97 540iA

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