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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2005, 10:09 AM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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How to remove the, um, "pimp package" from my 325i?

Hi all,

Just bought a '92 325i yesterday, in nice condition except for one detail -- the original owner apparently had the dealer gold plate the badges, trunk lock and grilles, AND installed this god-awful red & yellow reflector kit that takes up the entire area between the two tail lights. I know I can pick up new stock badges and grilles for not much money at bavauto.com (haven't checked into the trunk lock yet), but I don't know what to do about the reflector kit. This monstrosity actually seems to have been a bmw option, as the plastic is embossed with the logo. It also appeard to be peeling off where it has warped at the corners, and I can see some black epoxy. Has anybody else on here had experience removing one of these things? Ideally, I'd like to avoid doing any body work or painting, just maybe some detailing to get glue residue off, etc... Any suggestions greatly appreciated -- I've always found the elegant slant of the 325i trunk to be one of its nicest features, and this thing is ruining it (aside from being ugly itself)!
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2005, 04:20 PM
someguy someguy is offline
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can you get a pic??? I'm having trouble visualizing....
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2005, 04:33 PM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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My digital camera is at the office -- I'll try to remember to bring it home tomorrow and take a pic. Have had no luck finding a pic of one of these things on the web...
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2005, 04:37 PM
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BeRzErKaS BeRzErKaS is offline
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Yah, we're gonna need pics. I have never seen/heard of anything quite like what you are describing. ...a bmw with a gold trim kit? reflective tape between the tail lights?

I'm not sure where to start.

Why did you buy this car if you weren't feelin' the pimp package??
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2005, 07:36 PM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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Well, other than the pimp package , the car is in great shape! Despite his poor taste, the original owner maintained it well and kept all the records (in all fairness, he was not a pimp). I knew I could easily replace the gold stuff, so that wasn't a deterrent. And, at first, I assumed that the gaudy reflector kit would be attached in some harmless way. On further inspection, I can see that it was cleverly designed to be held on by the licence plate screws, but apparently that wasn't enough for the dealer, oh no -- he went ahead and glued it on as well!

It's really not too hard to visualize -- it's basically a solid sheet of plastic reflector (in alternatging orange and red lines), taking up the whole area around the license plate and between the taillights -- it is clearly molded to fit the car -- not generic. The overall effect is to make the car look like a mid-90s Mitsubishi -- a sort of fake "high tech" look. I will definitely try to post a pic tomorrow.

I'm starting to think that I can slowly and carefully peel this thing off -- my only concern is that I might tear out some of the glue with the paint underneath it. If I can accomplish the removal without doing that, does anybody have suggestions for the best way to get rubbery black glue (probably a silicone compound) off of the paint??
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2005, 07:46 PM
Remmizo Remmizo is offline
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My wife had that awful reflector thing on an old 320. Took it in to BMW who simply peeled it off. No damage to the paintwork at all. And you're right, it was an option that BMW provided.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2005, 09:39 PM
someguy someguy is offline
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I feel retarded, but I'm kind of excited to see this....lol
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2005, 12:09 AM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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OK, I couldn't find an accurate picture of it on the web (my guess is that most owners of cars so equipped have long ago removed this thing and will speak of it no more, or are proud of it but simply are not web-savvy, being 60 year old pimps). So here's a much milder example that I culled by searching the web. It's for a 5 Series, which has a much lower trunk lid profile. Imagine this thing, at least twice as tall, with alternating red and orange horizontal reflector stripes. Now imagine it on the trunk of your beloved 325!

I'm just glad to hear the Remmizzo's wife was able to have this thing excised without damage to the paint...
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2005, 06:26 AM
my_e36 my_e36 is offline
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Maybe a replacement trunk lid from a junk yard??

I'd say that reflector thing should just be a peel off, it was a BMW Individual option. That black stuff you saw should be some heavy duty double sided tape.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2005, 11:20 AM
Brian_autoX Brian_autoX is offline
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachgeo
does anybody have suggestions for the best way to get rubbery black glue (probably a silicone compound) off of the paint??
Hey, as a mechanic, and a bimmer-owner who shares his garage with a longtime bodyshop bud... I strongly suggest two things to remedy it.

#1. Use heat to help loosen the adhesive. NOT like Mapp gas or something crazy, a wife/girlfriend/mom's hair dryer will do the trick. Keep the dryer away from the trunk, but I'd aim it at the plastic reflective piece itself. Now once you SLOWLY peel off the piece don't worry about the adhesive on the trunk.

#2. First go get 3M brand Adhesive remover (may be called Adhesive Reducer). You can find this at any automotive body/paint shop. Either way it is a great product that should help you EASILY remove the adhesive, you can drench painted/clearcoated surfaces with this w/o damage to them. So you should have ZERO concerns about pulling off paint, or the chemical leaving any type of marks. Be careful with what you use to rub into the adhesive and get it to come off.

#2 [ALTERNATIVE] At any body/paint supply store, they have an item called a Body Eraser (i believe that is the name) It can be put into any electric or air drill and it has a soft (eraser like) material that is typically used to remove pinstriping, and other adhesives from a vehicle. Great little tool if you are patient, don't want to use chemicals, and have a pretty decent use of power tools.
Seen Here »

Also Possible a Decal Eraser

Should be same/similar compound, but with groves in it, almost lookin like a gear, also will leave no marks that cannot be washed/waxed/buffed out!

Any other questions/ideas feel free to post them or run them by me. I will keep watchin' this thread.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2005, 08:50 PM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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Thanks much! The adhesive remover sounds like a great way to go, as I don't have much by way of power tools -- and it's definitely a black glue back there, not double tape. As an apartment dweller, I may get some strange looks as I blow dry the back of my car in the communal garage, but they already all think I'm pretty odd (this is the most normal vehicle I've owned in the 10 years I've lived here). Also, from the looks of it, I may have to go through the same process to remove and replace the gold-plated "325i" emblem -- looks like those emblems are glued rather than bolted, as far as I can tell -- is this the same procedure you'd use to get emblems off? Any suggestions on restoring the emblem to chrome without having to remove/replace?
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2005, 01:48 AM
my_e36 my_e36 is offline
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Probably easier to buy a chrome one to replace the gold one.

Dental fross works a treat to take those numbers off. Warm that up a bit with hair dryer then use the dental fross to see-sew the emblem out.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2005, 07:55 PM
ImperialDuckM3 ImperialDuckM3 is offline
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Dude, keep the "pimp" edition. You should add some Dove's with spinner. Then you're be rollin ghetto-fabulous style
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2005, 08:03 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImperialDuckM3
Dude, keep the "pimp" edition. You should add some Dove's with spinner. Then you're be rollin ghetto-fabulous style
That would be a 325GP...Ghetto Package!
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2005, 10:01 PM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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Thanks all -- chrome replacement emblems are ordered and on their way, I've booked my girlfriend's hair dryer for the weekend (at the cost of a trip to the wine country in the "new" bimmer, after the offending bits are removed), and I have two cans of 3M adhesive remover and a pack of dental floss at the ready! To those who think I should keep the package: I still have a '76 Eldorado in my stable, and some spinners would look great on that!
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2005, 06:17 AM
Brian_autoX Brian_autoX is offline
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Zach -

Glad we could all pitch in and help..


Remember when it comes to ghetto things...
"Only You Can Help Stamp Out This Mindless Mindlessness!"

I mean I am the anti-chrome, I've done the grills, and I would love some graphite colored wheels, or maybe even black, Not sure what would work on the silver 328is. Anyway, If you need any other help/suggestions let us know. And be sure to post Before & After pics, or at least After pics!! Thanks
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2005, 02:42 PM
andy325 andy325 is offline
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[QUOTE=zachgeo]OK, I couldn't find an accurate picture of it on the web (my guess is that most owners of cars so equipped have long ago removed this thing and will speak of it no more, or are proud of it but simply are not web-savvy, being 60 year old pimps).

Ha,ha,..... man, thats funny
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2005, 03:28 PM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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Progress!

OK, the "package" is almost entirely removed! The girlfriend suddenly developed misgivings when I went over to borrow the hairdryer (I think she figured I'd get it all full of solvents and greasy fingerprints -- she's probably right), so I decided to see what I could do about the glue removal without heat. It was a sort of nice day out, so I parked the car outside a while in the sun, removed the license plate (which also serves to hold in the big reflector thing), then proceeded to carefully peel at the big reflector plate from one of it's warped edges, where I could see some black rubbery glue. Much to my surprise, the damned thing came off without any fuss! Tons of glue and double-sided tape left on the trunk, though. I think the thing was originally held in place by the license plate screws and four pieces of thick double tape (the kind with some foam in the middle). Over the years, as the corners warped, the previous owner or some other dunderhead started squeezing black silicone rubbery glue into the warped areas in a misguided attempt to keep this stupid thing! So I found myself dealing with lots of dried out black glue where the four corners of thing were, and some double sided foam tape. The adhesive remover has taken away all of the tape, and about 98% of the glue. This took repeated applications of remover, letting it soak into the sticky stuff, the then gently wiping at it, over and over and over.... At any rate, the amount of glue that's left is really hardened on there, so it doesn't seem to absorb the solvent. I may try some tar & sap remover to see if I can get it off.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was not much of a color difference under the reflector -- the original Laguna Green paint has held up pretty well to the ravages of time...

Unfortunately, the new chrome "325" and "i" emblems are on backorder from bavauto.com, so I did not bother with the removal of the gold plated emblems yet. I did, however, receive my new front grilles from bavauto, and proceeded to remove the old gold plated ones and pop the new ones in. I was sort of impressed with the simplicity of the job, but disappointed in the quality of the grilles, which seem to be chromed plastic.

While dealing with the glue matter, I noticed that the rear BMW emblem also had some gold plating around the edge, most of which is gone -- so I've gone ahead and ordered a new roundelle, which I'll replacw when I receive the rest of the badges. Fortunately, the front emblem has either been replaced with a standard chrome one, or it was never gold plated (I can't imagine how they missed it, though!).

So... the next challenge is getting the new "325 i" emblems on in the exact right place, and straight, after I remove the gold ones. I guess I'll try to leave a trace of glue from the old ones in order to have a reference point....

Sorry, no pics of the horrid reflector yet -- I keep forgetting to bring the camera home. Thanks, again, everybody for your advice!

Z
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  #19  
Old 10-02-2005, 03:22 AM
my_e36 my_e36 is offline
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Hope this picture and measurements will help you.
Extracted from factory service manual.
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  #20  
Old 10-02-2005, 09:58 AM
zachgeo zachgeo is offline
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The pics are very helpful -- thanks much!
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