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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2002, 12:08 PM
Dadofour Dadofour is offline
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How do you remove Spring Nuts from Bumper cover?<b> Back in October, Ed”scuba” and I

Back in October, Ed”scuba” and I joined Al Corey and Bob Margolis in CT for a great spin through the Connecticut countryside. On the way home we ran into a substantial hunk of retread that destroyed the lining of Ed’s wheel well and the black protective grill in the air intake of my front air dam.

I got an after market replacement grill, but am confused on how to remove the spring nuts that are pressed on the plastic pins that are a part of the bumper cover. Because they are made as part of the bumper cover they are not very sturdy.

Does anyone know how to correctly remove these little b_astards! If the correct method is a special tool, is there an incorrect method that works without destroying the pins?

Help. I am on vacation with time to kill and I can’t do this project that has waited two months.

Thanks

Than


Close-up of pin and spring nut
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2002, 01:05 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Those spring nuts are a "one time use only" piece of hardware.
Best bet is to destroy the spring nut while leaving the fragile post intact.

If it was me...
I'd use a very sharp (as in new, professional quality) pair of small to medium sized pair of diagonal (wire) cutters, and cut through the outside diameter of the spring nut.
That will relieve the tension on the post and it can then be removed.
If you don't already have a pair of "dikes", a trip to the local electrical supply house is in order (or wherever Klien tools are sold).

Normally, you wouldn't use a tool made to cut copper on a piece of steel, but considering the mess you'll be in if you lose too many of those posts...

If I was close enough, I'd come over and do it for you!
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2002, 01:57 PM
Dadofour Dadofour is offline
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Thanks Randy

I tried to cut one off, but had no luck. I will try a better pair of cutters and let you know how it goes. I hope yours and Sue's holidays are happy!

Than
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2002, 02:05 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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The tool shown is part of a four scribe set from Griots. Set part number 57705 $9.95. 1-800-345-5789.
The scribes feature forged tips.
The angled point lets you get up under the spring nut and release the tabs. Once you get it started, it comes right off.
I've done several cars many times. No broken posts yet.
I use a 1/4 inch drive 8 mm socket to install them.
Now the spring nut holding the mirrors together is another matter.

Last edited by Ron Stygar; 12-23-2002 at 03:08 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2002, 02:40 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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I like Ron's method better.
Have to remember that...
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2002, 02:46 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Forbes
I like Ron's method better.
Have to remember that...
Looks like the fastener facts is still available. After three calls, I'm getting closer. People I need to talk to left for the day. Will try again Thursday.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2002, 03:08 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Stygar
Looks like the fastener facts is still available. After three calls, I'm getting closer. People I need to talk to left for the day. Will try again Thursday.
That's great!
The one I have was revised in 1985, not 1979 like I said the other day. Still old though.
A lot of useful information when you have no other place to turn.
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2002, 05:10 PM
Dadofour Dadofour is offline
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Thanks Randy

I tried to cut one off, but had no luck. I will try a better pair of cutters and let you know how it goes. I hope yours and Sue's holidays are happy!

Than
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2002, 01:12 PM
Dadofour Dadofour is offline
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All spring nuts remove - Grill in place - Thanks!

I tried just about every suggestion and a couple other ideas to get the spring nuts off. The dueling screwdriver idea seemed to work the best on the pins that were solid. The problem was that hitting the tread loosened a few of the pins. I sheared two off with the screwdrivers and called it quits.

I then looked into getting the pick set from Griott’s as per Ron, but was too impatient to wait for them to be shipped, so I went to Sears and got them for $6.49. I could not get the pick in to pop out any of the little teeth, but the worked great for getting under the tight nuts to give me room for the screwdrivers.

Pick set from Sears


I went to Lowes and got a diamond cutting wheel, and that worked like a charm, when there was enough room. In the end, my wife Kathy and I used the cutting wheel and dual screwdrivers to get the remaining nuts off.

The next challenge was getting the steel grill into the space. It required the grill being bent into a pretty odd shape. Now I know why the dealers all say the entire bumper cover has to come off.

I tried coming in from underneath, but there is a large plastic cladding that gets in the way. While under the car I discovered that cladding had been badly damaged by the tire tread as well.

Once we got the grill in place, it lined up pretty nicely. The pins that had sheared off were still usable because the thickness of the steel is a fraction of the plastic OEM grill. I was able to get the new Spring nuts over the nubs.

Thanks to all for the feedback. Ron, Randy, Shawn and Mike your suggestions all played a part in getting the old grill out and the new one in.



Final Product
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