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Radiator Grill Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Grill Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Radiator grills

Hot Tip:

Work carefully to not damage grill retaining clips

Performance Gain:

Nice looking exterior trim

Complementary Modification:

Paint grills black, replace Roundel
When working on body or trim parts, avoid marring the trim or paint by working with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The radiator grills consist of two separate grills mounted in the engine hood.
Figure 1

The radiator grills consist of two separate grills mounted in the engine hood. The plastic clips break on the inner grill and the chrome can wear off the grill. If this happens you can replace the grills quite easily and freshen up the look of your Z3.

Open the engine hood.
Figure 2

Open the engine hood. This photo shows the grills as viewed from the inside of the hood. There are six plastic retaining tabs that have to be disconnected to remove each grill. If you plane to reuse the grill, it can be tricky not to break these clips. If you are replacing the grills, some of these are likely broken, and breaking more doesn't matter.

Wrap the end of a flathead screwdriver with tape (green arrow), this will help to protect the finish of the hood.
Figure 3

Wrap the end of a flathead screwdriver with tape (green arrow), this will help to protect the finish of the hood.

There are a few ways to disconnect the tabs, one is to reach inside inner part of grill to detach retaining tab by pressing in while pushing grill out of hood.
Figure 4

There are a few ways to disconnect the tabs, one is to reach inside inner part of grill to detach retaining tab by pressing in while pushing grill out of hood. I find this way to be difficult and hard on the fingers. I prefer to lever the retaining tabs using a flat head screwdriver while levering grill out of hood using a plastic prying tool. Once one side is detached, the rest of the grill cab be snapped out, work slowly as to not damage the vehicle finish or grill if you place to reuse it.

This photo shows how the tabs (green arrows) remaining intact when removing.
Figure 5

This photo shows how the tabs (green arrows) remaining intact when removing. You can also see how each of them attach at two points. Keep that in mind when lever them out.

This photo shows the retaining tab in more detail (green arrow).
Figure 6

This photo shows the retaining tab in more detail (green arrow).

To install, push grill into hood until it snaps into place.
Figure 7

To install, push grill into hood until it snaps into place.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:07:50 AM