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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:28 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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How to remove the two kidney grills (mirror trick?) when the hood just won't open?

Based on this information from Michel, I open this thread to ask how to remove and replace the kidney grills when the hood can't be opened, especially if you have pictures of the reputed "mirror trick":
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Hood won't open
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Thanks bluebee. I've gone to all of those links already--nothing. What is needed (for others in the future) is a less destructive way of removing the kidney grill (like I had to do).

I wouldn't share the technique as no one wants to literally rip theirs out like I did, but it was the only way.

Also, I just tried the mirror trick, but without knowing what I'm looking for (no pics), it's hard
to stick a home made contraption/pick in there without knowing what I'm aiming for. I did see what I think is the two cable connecting together (one shiny, other rusty), but no plastic housing around it. if it is literally the tiny connection between the cables, it won't budge. Shoved a screwdriver in there too. but again, not sure what I'm even poking at. Most posts just talk about shoving a hand / thumb and feeling around--which I've done.

I'm able to duplicate popping open the passenger side of the hood no problem just by yanking on the cable 1/2" from the driver's side kidney grill opening. However, no movement on the driver's side. So if nothing else, yanking on the cable does yield some result (opens one side). I do think this is an easily repeatable step for others too. What is more difficult for me, and soujnds like others, is an easily repeatable task to open the driver's side. :-)
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-15-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:30 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here's what I wrote in the referenced hood-release thread, before I started this DIY thread, so that we'll have a spot in the bestlinks for the NEXT person who asks the same question.

What we need is more information about the mirror trick and how to remove the grills when the hood won't open ... without destroying them in the situation Michel experienced today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
What is needed ...is a less destructive way of removing the kidney grill
I typed /kidney and /grill into the bestlinks and that came up blank.

An advanced E39-only title-only search for the same keywords came up with these, but I don't know if they have the information you want for us and others:
I scrolled through each of those threads, most of which were lackluster discussions all about looks (and not much of substance) - but one referenced this DIY of sorts:

- M5 grill installation photos



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Last edited by bluebee; 02-15-2013 at 10:33 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:43 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Thanks Bluebee. I tried several of those already and a few that I hadn't seen, I tried now too. The first one goes to someone asking a question, the others just cover install more than anything. But overall, they assume you already have access to an open hood. :-) I ended up using brute force, but there has to be an easy way for those without access to an open hood. :-) I could do easily if the hood was open.

I'm guessing it would be a 5 second job to remove grills if the hood was open. :-)

For me, I'm passed that point now and just need to get driver's side of hood open. I saw your pic you just posted and #23 (to left of it, is about as best I can figure out that I am seeing from within the grill, with the mirror. and there is no room to see, even with a mirror, passed that point. I mangled an attempt at the paint roller pick, but do not think I'll get it anywhere but will try.
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Last edited by mjbennett9; 02-15-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:52 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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after another look, I think the closest photo is from spoila (attached). it didn't make sense to me at first, because I thought this was taken from the top of the car, but after looking closer, it was taking from under the car and in through the driver's kidney grill. Also, adding to the confusion for me, was that both my holes are full because my cables are still there.

Break must be somewhere else. So I don't think the pick will work because there's nothing to stick the pick into. I'll try shoving it in and moving things around, but after reading all the descriptions of where they join, I think using and adjective of "housing" is not a fair assessment of what we are looking for/at. the attached pic is probably best one I've seen so far. I just need to figure out how to move it with both holes filled wiht cables.
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2013, 10:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
it would be a 5 second job to remove grills if the hood was open
I just realized, rather embarrassingly, that that was the fundamental problem, and, that, for some reason, all the bowden-cable-release tricks in the bestlinks didn't work for you.
- How to maintain (1) and repair your hood release bowden cable (1) (2) (3) & how to replace the hood cable the easy way (1) & how to open the hood when the hood cable snaps (1) (2) & how to open the hood manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) [or trunk (1) (2)].

So, I just now belatedly updated the title to indicate the problem is how to remove the kidney grills when the hood won't open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
For me, I'm passed that point now and just need to get driver's side of hood open. I saw your pic you just posted and #23 (to left of it, is about as best I can figure out that I am seeing from within the grill, with the mirror. and there is no room to see, even with a mirror, passed that point. .
For reference, since these are essentially public conversations, here is the pic (I think it's from cn90's DIY) that he's referencing for part #23:


Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
after another look, I think the closest photo is from spoila.
Do you need one of us to snap a specific picture of a specific area under the hood for you to visualize the mechanism?
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need, in seconds!

Last edited by bluebee; 02-15-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:25 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I just noticed this hood release tool from this thread:
- > E39 (1997 - 2003) > E39 Hood Release Broken, how do I release?
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