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BMW E30 3-Series Glove Compartment Design Difference
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Last Updated: 09/04/2016
Parts Group: Glove compartment
This article discusses the glove compartment (a.k.a. glove box), for the BMW E30 3-Series with the main focus being on an important design change between the earlier models and the later models.
Later models got an upgraded fuel injection system, which uses a thicker cable, and to make room for the cable as it runs right past the glove compartment, BMW cut a notch into the back corner of the glove compartment. However, I couldn't see this in any of their tech literature, and the "with notch" and "without notch" seem to have the same BMW part number.
Even so, there is a difference. In the above picture, one corner has a notch, in the part on the right. This provides some additional room for the wiring harness that leads to the fuel injection computer.
In more geeky detail:
1984-1986 (plus some of the early 1987) 325 and 325e models use Motronic 1.0 which has a 35-pin fuel injection computer. 1987 325i whereas later models use Motronic 1.1 or 1.3 which has a 55-pin fuel injection computer, hence more wires run to it. This is why the later models have a thicker wiring harness, and as such need more space, hence the notch in the glove compartment so as to provide this additional space.
The BMW part number for the BOTH bins are cast into the plastic mold, and is 51 16-18884243. The notch is simply cut out.
The later-design bin, with the notch, will work on earlier cars. The earlier-design bin, without the notch, should probably not be used on later cars or the fuel injection wiring harness might chafe.