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-   -   DIY: How to remove the front grills WITHOUT removing the bumper (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=662717)

gwurst 12-07-2012 07:23 AM

DIY: How to remove the front grills WITHOUT removing the bumper
 
So I had a grill with some bubbly chrome I wanted to replace. Did some searching and the common response is to remove the bumper. Really didn't want to do that if I could avoid it, so I looked at the replacement grill and noticed it's held-on with 7 clips. If I reached in the grill I could feel and get to all 7 clips, but with your fingers there's no way to get into the center of the clip to depress it.

Then it hit me, the radiator hose removal tool!

http://i.imgur.com/9SU1W.jpg?1
http://i.imgur.com/nyx7d.jpg?1

I got mine at a Big Lots, but you can get them at most automotive stores or Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/OTC-4521-Hose-...sim_sbs_auto_1

With a flashlight you can look in the grill to see where the clips are. Starting on the bottom 3 clips insert the tool and get it under the center of the tab:

http://i.imgur.com/ssjML.jpg?1

Then, just angle the tool up and depress the center tab while gently pulling on the grill to remove that tab:

http://i.imgur.com/K97qn.jpg?1

Once the bottom clips are released move to the top. Start with the clip nearest the center of the bumper and continue until you have the grill removed:

http://i.imgur.com/2N5aC.jpg?1

Here you can see the old grill at the top and the new grill on the bottom. Old grill had the chrome starting to bubble at the top left:

http://i.imgur.com/5TotX.jpg?1

Now just push the new grill back-in and you're done!

http://i.imgur.com/9qC3I.jpg?1

Took all of about 10 minutes to replace. On a related note, if anyone needs a driver-side chrome grill with some slight bubbling let me know. :)

gwurst 12-07-2012 07:26 AM

7 Attachment(s)
Here's the IMGUR gallery in case you want to see larger pictures:

http://imgur.com/a/8sfjl#2ZOSS

I've also attached the pictures in case IMGUR deletes them eventually.

greco2000 12-07-2012 11:28 AM

WOW! Score! Thanks for writing this up!

Yorgi 12-07-2012 06:55 PM

Nice! Great job on figuring that out. I did the grill removal with a standard screwdriver and I can tell you I used every swear word in the book. :)

gwurst 12-07-2012 06:59 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I've already snagged several good write-ups from here so it's nice to be able to give something back.

bismarck 12-12-2012 02:39 PM

I had to wangle mine out with a table knife! Ha. This would've been handy

luvmybeemerbike 05-07-2014 02:24 PM

Very cool write up and trick! Now to find that tool.

luvmybeemerbike 05-07-2014 02:26 PM

Great write up and cool trick. We have an X1 and getting those grilles out are a real PITA!

tampamark 05-07-2014 03:11 PM

This is very cool, I had never seen this before. Good to store in the memory bank...

R2F06 05-28-2014 09:52 PM

Good idea. Thanks for the tip.

luvmybeemerbike 06-08-2014 01:00 PM

Well an hour and a sweaty half later, old grilles still in place. This is a real chore and honestly, a HUGE pain in the rear. I thought using the tool would be so easy but for whatever the reason the tool just isn't allowing the tabs to release. Some in the X1 forum have said I have to release the 4 screws at the top and the head light washer covers but honestly, I couldn't even begin to get my hand in from the top! What else can one do or try to get these freaking grilles out?

roseng 06-08-2014 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmybeemerbike (Post 8391221)
Well an hour and a sweaty half later, old grilles still in place. This is a real chore and honestly, a HUGE pain in the rear. I thought using the tool would be so easy but for whatever the reason the tool just isn't allowing the tabs to release. Some in the X1 forum have said I have to release the 4 screws at the top and the head light washer covers but honestly, I couldn't even begin to get my hand in from the top! What else can one do or try to get these freaking grilles out?

You can rmove the entire bumper. It's actually a fast to do but I have also been able to get the grills off with the tool. It does take some patientice. I don't think you cannot do it by lootening the screws

luvmybeemerbike 06-09-2014 03:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roseng (Post 8391903)
You can rmove the entire bumper. It's actually a fast to do but I have also been able to get the grills off with the tool. It does take some patientice. I don't think you cannot do it by lootening the screws

If I had no choice but to remove the bumper I would, but body shops and the like don't remove them, they couldnt, it would be to time consuming. True, I don't want to damage my bumper and I do have the time but I just can't see pulling the bumper cover and the headlight washers to do this job! It's frustrating to say the least.

Yorgi 06-09-2014 07:27 AM

The key for me was to pull out on the grill (towards the front of the car) keeping constant pressure while pressing the tabs. The tabs will then pop once you release them and stay released. I also found it easier to work on the top row first starting on the outside tab, not the bottom-row/middle tab as suggested in the DIY.

Removing the bumper takes about 20 minutes and is a two person job so if you are spending hours trying to get the grills out you should just bite the bullet and pull the bumper. If you have not already seen it, there is a good DIY here for the bumper removal.

guyver626 06-09-2014 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bismarck (Post 7245982)
I had to wangle mine out with a table knife! Ha. This would've been handy


Ha! I thought I was the only one that used a kitchen tool! Lol. I used a butter knife and I was cursing like crazy.

But in the end I got it done with no damage to the car or grills. Just scratched up hands and arm lol.




Sent from BimmerApp mobile app

guyver626 06-09-2014 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmybeemerbike (Post 8391221)
Well an hour and a sweaty half later, old grilles still in place. This is a real chore and honestly, a HUGE pain in the rear. I thought using the tool would be so easy but for whatever the reason the tool just isn't allowing the tabs to release. Some in the X1 forum have said I have to release the 4 screws at the top and the head light washer covers but honestly, I couldn't even begin to get my hand in from the top! What else can one do or try to get these freaking grilles out?


I'm sure you don't want to do this but I came close to almost breaking or cutting off one of the grill fins so I can get my hand in there. But they did bend enough where I was able to get my arm in and release the tabs. It did cut up my arm alittle but way better then removing the bumper. In the end I didn't break or damage anything.



Sent from BimmerApp mobile app

luvmybeemerbike 06-09-2014 10:49 AM

I almost cut the slats yesterday now that you mention this. But in the end, I want to keep the original grilles for just in case. Removing these grilles from my model (X1) seems to be more of a pain in the rear than most other models. I first tried removing the four torx bolts on top and I couldn't get my chubby little arms in and behind the grilles no way, no how. I'll keep trying once the weather breaks again. Thanks to everyone who has tried to help, I appreciate it!

gregb 06-09-2014 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmybeemerbike (Post 8392764)
I almost cut the slats yesterday now that you mention this. But in the end, I want to keep the original grilles for just in case. Removing these grilles from my model (X1) seems to be more of a pain in the rear than most other models. I first tried removing the four torx bolts on top and I couldn't get my chubby little arms in and behind the grilles no way, no how. I'll keep trying once the weather breaks again. Thanks to everyone who has tried to help, I appreciate it!

Not sure if there is a difference across grills for different model BMW's but thought I would point out that this is a DIY sub-forum for six-series BMW's (645, 650i, etc.). All of the advice on this thread pertains to the six-series, so not sure if is exactly applicable to your X1.

luvmybeemerbike 06-09-2014 12:15 PM

@ greb, yes I am aware of this being a 6 series forum, was kind if hoping that these grilles were a universal type of thing. Unfortunately, I'm thinking this isn't a universal thing.

gregb 06-09-2014 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmybeemerbike (Post 8392938)
@ greb, yes I am aware of this being a 6 series forum, was kind if hoping that these grilles were a universal type of thing. Unfortunately, I'm thinking this isn't a universal thing.

yep... leave it to the German engineers to come up with different systems to attach the same things while thumbing their noses at commonality... :)

luvmybeemerbike 06-09-2014 01:39 PM

Yep, nothing is ever so easy when it comes to something so recognizable such as the BMW kidney grilles!


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