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Radiator Grille Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Grille Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Radiator grille

Hot Tip:

Work carefully to not damage grille retaining clips

Performance Gain:

Nice looking exterior trim

Complementary Modification:

Paint grilles black

The front radiator, or kidney grilles on a BMW have been a signature feature for what seems like forever. Let's be honest here. The most prominent trademark of the BMW brand is the kidney shaped grille. The shape or location slightly evolves with each model, yet still retaining that classic look. The grilles are usually coated in chrome and made of plastic. This leaves them susceptible to damage. In my area, the chrome flakes off or the grilles themselves become loose. Once loose, they will rattle and sometimes scratch the finish on the hood. If you have a faulty or worn grille, you can quickly freshen up the look of your BMW Z4 by replacing them. You can paint the chrome black, or install aftermarket versions of the grilles as well.

If your kidneys are looking bad, you've got to do something about it. In this article, I will go over the easy steps of removing the grilles for replacement or radical improvement.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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 grilles consist of two grilles (red arrows) mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover.
Figure 1

The radiator grilles consist of two grilles (red arrows) mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover. The plastic clips break on the grille, and the chrome can wear off. If this happens you can replace the grilles quite easily and freshen up the look of your Z4. In the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs. BMW is now making the grilles available separately and in one piece. You no longer have to be concerned about prying the two chrome and black pieces apart when replacing. With that said, the aftermarket community may come up with a solution to repair one piece of the grille, so keep your eyes peeled. Once the grille is removed, I will go over how to separate the two halves, in case you need to. You can paint the chrome black, or install aftermarket versions of the grilles as well.

Working at the grille, reach into the fins and give it a swift pullout, from one side (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the grille, reach into the fins and give it a swift pullout, from one side (red arrow). Then detach the opposite side.

This photo shows the upper retaining clips (red arrows).
Figure 3

This photo shows the upper retaining clips (red arrows). There are a total of six clips that have to be detached to remove the grille. If these break, you can't reinstall a used grille.

This photo shows the mounting spots in the bumper (red arrows).
Figure 4

This photo shows the mounting spots in the bumper (red arrows). If you have a loose grille, be sure to inspect these to see if they are damaged. If damaged, you will have to remove the bumper to replace the plastic bracket. See the front bumper-replacing article for more information. When installing the grille, align the tabs with the holes in the bumper cover. Once aligned, push the grille into the bumper cover until it snaps into place.

As mentioned earlier, in the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs.
Figure 5

As mentioned earlier, in the past, the grilles could be separated to be serviced and were sold in pairs. BMW is now making the grilles available separately and in one piece. You no longer have to be concerned about prying the two chrome and black pieces apart when replacing. With that said, the aftermarket community may come up with a solution to repair one piece of the grille. If you're re-using the chrome grille trim, release the retaining clips (red arrows) and separate the chrome grille from the inner grille (green arrow).

Once detached, separate the grille pieces.
Figure 6

Once detached, separate the grille pieces. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:58:41 AM