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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter #1
I just got in from removing my front license plate. It was a little tricky removing those little plastic fastener tabs from the bumper, but after that the assembly popped right out. The new strip popped in pretty easily, but I'm surprised at something. It almost looks as if the black strip isn't wide enough. There are rather large gaps between the new strip, and the black trim on either side of it. Do you all have that - or is there somethign wrong with my strip? Also the strip on the left, looks slightly bent out at the bottom. This is weird because I didn't touch that side with any tools - what would cause that bend - and can it be cleared up - look at the pics and you'll see what I mean.
 

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kludge it!
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628 Posts
No cheap joke, but would it actually have to do with the fact that that is a Performance Package front bumper?

I replaced the strip on my '01 Sport Pack. bumper and at first it did have a little gap that I thought was because I had a bad part number for the strip, but by the time I was going to take it to the dealer a couple of days later, the gap was gone! :dunno:

Either it will accomodate itself into place later or there is a special supper dupper strip for perf. pack. ;)
 

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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter #3
OK so upon further review, it looks like oyu have to slide the two side pieces of trim into/over the new strip. Then they kind of snap together. Well the problem is, the right side trim snaps in perfectly - there's now a nice smooth line on the right side. The left side (the one that looks raised in the pictre) just won't quite snap into place and I can't figure out why. Ugggh - so close to perfection. Shizat, LDV - where are you!
 

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When will then be now?
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icemanjs4 said:
OK so upon further review, it looks like oyu have to slide the two side pieces of trim into/over the new strip. Then they kind of snap together. Well the problem is, the right side trim snaps in perfectly - there's now a nice smooth line on the right side. The left side (the one that looks raised in the pictre) just won't quite snap into place and I can't figure out why. Ugggh - so close to perfection. Shizat, LDV - where are you!
On mine, there was a small plastic tab on the inside of one of the side pieces that prevented the center and side from joining together properly. IIRC, I simply bent the tab out of the way and everything lined up nicely after that.
 

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Thanks for the informative step by step. Took allof 5 minutes to change.

Nick
 

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The King of Common Sense
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It's been 4.5 years now, you have to shift the left and right pieces towards the center piece you installed. There is nothing wrong. The 51 118 195 304 piece is not too short.
 

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2015 335 M-Sport Mineral Gray
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icemanjs4 said:
OK so upon further review, it looks like oyu have to slide the two side pieces of trim into/over the new strip. Then they kind of snap together. Well the problem is, the right side trim snaps in perfectly - there's now a nice smooth line on the right side. The left side (the one that looks raised in the pictre) just won't quite snap into place and I can't figure out why. Ugggh - so close to perfection. Shizat, LDV - where are you!
At 1 AM
Me = in bed asleep
You = obsessing over your car :D

Did you push the outer trim back, the leading edges (on the side) should slide behind the bumper. After you set your middle trim strip in place you should be able to push the side trim back in place and get a gap of approximately 1/8".

Edit: There is a lot of pushing and tugging of the side pieces involved.

It looks like when you pull out the old trim you may have popped out the bottom of the side trim. My suggestion would be remove the new center trim. Make sure that the side trim pieces are in their track, push the side trim away from the center area of bumper. reinstall the center portion, and then push everything back to its correct location.
 

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I wish I could help more, but when I ordered the car I bargained to have the dealer take care of that. :thumbup:
 

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I want to do this too....noticed you're in TX also...Is it legal? Can we drive without a front license plate?
 

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MediK9
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icemanjs4 said:
OK so upon further review, it looks like oyu have to slide the two side pieces of trim into/over the new strip. Then they kind of snap together. Well the problem is, the right side trim snaps in perfectly - there's now a nice smooth line on the right side. The left side (the one that looks raised in the pictre) just won't quite snap into place and I can't figure out why. Ugggh - so close to perfection. Shizat, LDV - where are you!
I have the same problem inthe spring when I put my european front plate and trim back on. There is always that ugly gap on both sides. I realize that the trim is supposed to be slid over to close that gap, but I just can't iget it to close.

Guess I need someone with a bit more muscle.....?
 

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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter #11
I'm a night owl :-D And I love my car.
So yes I ended up pushing the outer trim back, and then sliding them together to hit the middle piece. It seems that the left trim piece is slightly off track, but only the bottom right hand corner of it. If I pull on the equivalent part for the right most trim (ie the lower left corner), it seems attached to the track. However on the left trim, the corner actually is popped out a little. No matter what I do though I don't seem to be able to foce that corner back on the track.

I can push the sides together enough that there's no seams at all between the side trims and the middle. The right side locks into place - GREAT. The left side- because of that loose corner just wont snap tight. Grrr :mad:

Yes it's illegal to remove your front plate in Texas. However I have heard that it is loosely enforced. My previous car was a lease that I bought in Florida and thus never had a front plate. I got pulled over once - by an [email protected]#$#@hole of a cop, who ticketed me for multiple things. But front plates wasn't one of them.

LDV330i said:
At 1 AM
Me = in bed asleep
You = obsessing over your car :D

Did you push the outer trim back, the leading edges (on the side) should slide behind the bumper. After you set your middle trim strip in place you should be able to push the side trim back in place and get a gap of approximately 1/8".

Edit: There is a lot of pushing and tugging of the side pieces involved.

It looks like when you pull out the old trim you may have popped out the bottom of the side trim. My suggestion would be remove the new center trim. Make sure that the side trim pieces are in their track, push the side trim away from the center area of bumper. reinstall the center portion, and then push everything back to its correct location.
:mad:
 

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icemanjs4 said:
Yes it's illegal to remove your front plate in Texas. However I have heard that it is loosely enforced. My previous car was a lease that I bought in Florida and thus never had a front plate. I got pulled over once - by an [email protected]#$#@hole of a cop, who ticketed me for multiple things. But front plates wasn't one of them.

:mad:
In the nearly 6 years i have been here in TX I have never been stopped for lack of front plate. I have been ticketed for speeding but the lack of front plate was not mentioned.

Having said that, another Houstonian BF'er, TLudwig, got ticketed for no front license plate by a rookie Houston cop last year. I need to ask him if he was able to fight that ticket. Though I know he did not put a front plate after that incident. :thumbup:

Edit: I just noticed that you said you previously lived in FL, so did I (Tampa Bay area) :D
 

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Family Man User
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Just removed my front plate and replaced with the plain bumper strip. Easiest mod I ever did done. Nice and clean looking front end now - :thumbup:

iceman, you ever get your thing looking right? If not, you might have to try taking the strip off and put it back on, and make sure all the tabs are lined up correctly. The side trim pieces should slide back and forth pretty easily so that you can entirely cover the side tabs of the center trim piece.

BTW, changed tires back to summers. Feels much better! :D
 

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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter #14
swchang said:
iceman, you ever get your thing looking right? If not, you might have to try taking the strip off and put it back on, and make sure all the tabs are lined up correctly. The side trim pieces should slide back and forth pretty easily so that you can entirely cover the side tabs of the center trim piece.
Hey Schwang, I ended up taking it to the dealership (I had to go to get my keys programmed anyway). They looked at it, and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't line up perfectly. Then we looked at a bout 5 other cars and noticed they all had a little gap between the side and middle panels. So we simply slid the middle panel over to the right a little to divide the gap evenly on both sides. Now you don't really notice anything - it looks perfect.
 

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Yes, I had this problem, too, but figured it out after a few minutes of trying the plain strip and the license plate strip. Apparently, the license plat strip is a little longer.

There are actualy three separate pices of black trim that make up the front end. The pieces on the right and left, slide into a slot in the bumper on each outside edge.

You need to gently tug them towards the middle about a 1/2" and the middle strip will fit fine. I noticed that under the bumper there is a black grill that also has slots where the pieces fit in. I used those for reference for my right and left trim, so everything would line up.

Then, with the left and right trim pieces hanging a little loose (not pressed in), I centered the middle strip and pressed it in, top edge first and then the bottom edge. As you go to push in one of the side pieces, there is a little nub that fits into a notch on the center piece. Line this up and press it into place. Then do this for the other side.

You may have to pound gently with your fist to get everything to pop in place, but then you should have a nice clean looking trim that matches up with the lower grill. There is a slight gap that will still be there (about an 1/8" or less). I believe that is normal. After you finish ou step back and wonder what all the fuss is about :D

edit
P.S. Iceman, I noticed that your lower grill is different than mine (an '05). Mine has 3 horizontal with vertical supports. So my reference to the slots on the lower grill will not apply for your situation. You'll just have to eyeball it to make it even.
 

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Ice, I dunno, I was able to slide the side pieces so that the tabs are completely covered. There is like no space at all between each trim piece. Anyway, not a big deal, as I actually ended up putting a little bit of space between them. I thought it looked a little better, for some reason.

So, y'all know how the first step in removing the license plate trim piece is to take those fasteners out that hold the license plate piece into the underside of the bumper? Did anyone replace the fasteners afterwards to plug up the holes? I'm wondering if I should do that, or if the fasteners would even stay without the license plate...
 
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