BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > DIY Guides and Instructions > HOW TO: Remove Front grills on F20
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      07-03-2013, 06:52 AM   #1
SN1P3R
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Lightbulb HOW TO: Remove Front grills on F20

Hi all...

So after 8 long hours of research looking for a way to remove the grill on my F20 so I could have it painted, I turned up with nothing but a how-to on getting to the top clips.

So I decided last week to spend 4 hours exploring different methods to get them off, and then share it with you guys and other forums to help enlighten other F20 owners who would have spent R1800/or whatever your countries equivalent is for getting BMW to do it for them.

Step 1: Remove Rubber lining from the top of the Bumper.


Step 2: Remove the 6 bolts that you find under the rubber.


Step 3: Pull a section of the bumper above one grill using a light you should see the first 3 clips, use a long thin flat head screwdriver to depress the clips forward.


ONCE THIS STEP HAS BEEN DONE YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND PUT THE BOLTS AND THE RUBBER BACK ON THE BUMPER.

Step 4: Once the top 3 clips are out there are 2 clips, one on either side of the grill in the center, these you can depress with your fingers if you get your hand between the gaps and curl them you should be able to feel them.

Step 5: Now comes the tricky part, once the all the other clips are out you are going to struggle to get the last 3 out so what i recommend is using a small light placed behind the grill shining towards you and a small mirror or a facetime camera on a phone so that you can see the clips from inside the bumper. Once you can see what you're doing you can make a tool using a spoon or a strong, thin piece of metal, bend it into a hook-like tool and shape the end to match the shape of the clip. then using the mirror and the light you can unclip the last part of the grill. (check the bottom of the post for an example)




I WOULD RECOMMEND ONLY DOING ONE SIDE FIRST AS THE PROCESS OF REMOVING THE SECOND ONE WILL BE EASIER.



Now if you have bought replacement grills you can simply clip them in, if not and you wish to further separate the chrome from the grill follow the last step:

Step 6:There are 8 clips in total that hold the grill together.



Now that the grills are apart you can DIY paint them, send them to be wrapped or have them hydrograph dipped.

I personally sprayed mine matte black.


One final note to put the grill back together just reverse step 6.



Hope this will be helpful to you guys who want to do this

Here are the pics of the tool I made for this job (Thanks to @Bradbury for the tip to make this tool)



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      07-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Thank you for sharing!!
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      07-31-2013, 06:40 AM   #3
Maxib37
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Finally someone who knows what there doing lol
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      08-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
EdenH
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Thanks for the guide! Sprayed mine up black too, turned out great

Before


After
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      09-11-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
Bruce GT3
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Just removed my grilles prior to inserting some MP ones - thanks for the guide, it was invaluable!!
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      02-16-2014, 07:17 AM   #6
as7920
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Just fitted my m performance today with the help of this thread.

Getting/making the right tool for the job was the difference between success and failure and I was about to give up until I found this.

A modified tent peg was he answer in a shape similar to your spoon!
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      02-19-2014, 02:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the useful info
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      03-01-2014, 01:26 AM   #8
BWT
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Hi all

Can the tool be used to pick the top and bottom clips (ie skip steps 1-3 of SN1P3R's post)?

Thanks
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      03-02-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
as7920
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWT View Post
Hi all

Can the tool be used to pick the top and bottom clips (ie skip steps 1-3 of SN1P3R's post)?

Thanks
I thought about that afterwards and I'd guess it's entirely possible though it will be harder to get the first three initially.

Give it a go that way first.
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      03-14-2014, 10:57 AM   #10
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I am going try this on a m235i.
I've heard people say you can just rip the old ones out, but you will damage the clips.
I plan to throw out the original grills and replace m performance grills.

will the damage be to the original grill only or the car? I don't really care if I damage the original grill.
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      04-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guynamedsean View Post
I am going try this on a m235i.
I've heard people say you can just rip the old ones out, but you will damage the clips.
I plan to throw out the original grills and replace m performance grills.

will the damage be to the original grill only or the car? I don't really care if I damage the original grill.
As per my PM to you.If you don't intend keeping the old ones. Just cut the upright bars of one side then you can get behind both grills
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      04-15-2014, 04:55 AM   #12
///Chase
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I did this yesterday, following the guide. I actually got all of the clips out from behind with just my hands (without breaking any clips), no tools required. Its not hard just requires a bit of determination.

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      04-24-2014, 11:05 AM   #13
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What colour are the grills before hand?
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      04-24-2014, 03:15 PM   #14
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Just did mine following this guide, so thanks for the help. If I had to do another, I think the the modified tea spoon could be used for the top clips avoiding the removal of the bumper bolts.
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      08-21-2014, 10:18 AM   #15
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For the people who sprayed the grill what did you use please? And also how does it do against chips?

Great guid!
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      10-16-2014, 07:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Chase View Post
I did this yesterday, following the guide. I actually got all of the clips out from behind with just my hands (without breaking any clips), no tools required. Its not hard just requires a bit of determination.
I did mine yesterday the same way.

Put my hand/arm through the gap and got the clips out without tools.
My arm was not too happy about it, but it worked (and took me about 15min).
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      10-21-2014, 05:38 AM   #17
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One of my grilles was removed using a riding boot pull, thanks to Karen on Babybmw for her help. No need to even lift the bonnet. 5-10mins and grill popped out. Top 3 1st working from each side before doing the centre clip, then the vertical clips [one per side]. Finally, repeat the same sequence on the bottom 3 clips. Helps to have an extra hand to [gently] pull on the grille whilst manipulating the boot pull between grille slats.

Definitely helps having a extra grill to view as reference to check where the position of the clips are.
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      02-15-2017, 02:18 PM   #18
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Excellent write up ! Did mine today, it's awesome !
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