The leather on the armrest or center console on my 2003 M45 aka Y34 was ripped. Originally I tired to just rip it off without taking the damn thing apart. I then tried to wrap it in the same carbon fiber vinyl that I redid my wood in. That came out like shit. The shape of the armrest is just to weird to get it right and it was just too much. For my second attempt i decided to take the damn thing apart and do it in suede.
It frankly took me a while to figure out how to take the armrest off. When you flip up the armrest (both compartments) you will see a black panel at the base of the armrest. flip it up and it will give you access to the hinge and the 3 screws holding it on.
The is a pain to move and get a screwdriver in but you can dot it. Remove those 3 screws and the unit comes off in one piece. Once you have the armrest off you now need to separate the padded upper section.
When you are looking at the inside of the armrest you will see 4 obvious screws and two screws hidden under a little panel. The panel is a pain in the ass to remove. You have to open the top section enough to leave clearance to push the panel out to the back.
In the picture you see the panel moving out. There are two clips holding it in at the back. The panel is a pain to manipulate and get the back clips off while removing it. Mess with it you will eventually get it. Once that panel is off you have access to the last two screws. Once you have them removed you will be able to pull the tray out.
The last thing you need to do is to remove the button. To do that you just push in on the two pressure clips and push the assembly out from the inside. Now you should have the parts in the picture below.
All that is left now is to wrap the padded section in “suede”. Wrap it like you would anything else. Make sure to use strong glue. I started from the back and worked my way forward.
The shape is really difficult to wrap without it being multiple pieces. To make mine I put a fold at the front curves where a stitched seem would go. It came out pretty nice.
Now just reverse the process to put the armrest together. Take special care when you put the button back in. Make sure that flap is pressed into the button assembly and it moves when the button is pressed.
The very last step for me was to repaint the silver button. Mine was all scratched up. A little tape and silver paint and it looked perfect again. Overall I am much happier with this armrest than the one I did with the Carbon Fiber Vinyl. The only way I think I could have done it better was to learn how to sew and make it just like the OEM one was.