To get the center console out pry the blackpanel with the lighter in off. I did this from the bottom. If you are afraid you'll break it you can first remove the blind plugs next to the lighter and pull it out through the holes. After the panel is off remove all the wiring to the lighter.
Remove the two screws at the rear of the console:
To get to the screw under the handbrake cover pull out the handbrake cover from the rear.
Now you can see the last two mounting points. Also remove the handbrake cover by cliping the tiewrap. If you don't you won't be able to take out the rear center console part.
Early models still have a cable running the the vent in the middle. Be sure to remove it !
Let's get to the front part.
The front part is connected at three points. Undo them.
Push out the window and hazardlight switches.
To remove the gear surround panel remove the selector by undoing the allen screw,
pry out the S-E-M switch with a small screwdriver.
and pull the panel up through the hole.
The easy way to remove the heater panel in this case is to push it out of the console as shown. The "proper" bmw way to remove the cover on the rearwindow defrosterswitch and tinker the clip that holds the panel lose through a tiny hole. But when removing the entire dash why bother ? It would just take too much time :)
Before pulling the console out of the car you still have to undo the lamp and the connector to the cigarete lighter in the ashtray.
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If you would like to add any comments, remarks and/or corrections to this procedure, feel free to email Mike Oswald and we'll put it on our site. Share your experiences with us so others may benefit from it.