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Front Bumper Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Bumper Removal

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

floor jack & jack stands, 10mm wrench, socket set, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

R50 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
R53 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2002-06)
R55 MINI Cooper Clubman Wagon (2008-14)
R55 MINI Cooper JCW Clubman Wagon (2009-14)
R55 MINI Cooper S Clubman Wagon (2008-14)

Parts Required:

front bumper

Hot Tip:

Use quality jacks and jack stands

Performance Gain:

Allows easy access to radiator, alternator, supercharger and other engine components.

Complementary Modification:

Replace outside air temperature sensor
How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is due to be released in late 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.

In order to access certain components on the MINI, the front bumper and carrier must be removed. Now, this sounds a bit difficult, but actually is quite easy and only takes about 30 minutes to accomplish.

Begin by jacking up the front of the car and secure it with good jack stands. Now climb underneath the front of the engine. At the rear of the splash shield are two Phillips head locking screws. As you turn them, they eject from the subframe, releasing the rear of the shield (See Figure 1).

The front edge of the splash shield is secured with three 10mm bolts at the rear edge of the front bumper cover. On some cars, only the center 10mm bolt is visible from the outside. On our car, the bolts are somewhat hidden up above the lip of the bumper cover. Use a ratcheting 10mm wrench to access these two bolts. You will have just enough room to access them (See Figure 2).

Remove both front tires and remove the wheelhouse liners. These are the plastic shields that line the inside of the wheel wells and prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the engine compartment. For each side of the car, there are two Phillips screws along the top of the liner (See Figure 3) and 8 plastic expansion rivets placed at various points in the liner (See Figure 4). Remove the two screws at the top and then the expansion rivets by unscrewing the center portion. Here's where it gets a bit tricky. Sometimes, the outer part of the rivet will turn along with the center part. You will need to hold the out portion of the rivet stationary while you unscrew the center part. Once you get the center part about 10mm out, you simply pull the rivet out of the liner (See Figure 5). Don't forget the rivet on the bottom edge of the car at the rear of the fender.

Now if your car has fog lights, grab the bulb housing and turn it counter-clockwise to remove it from the housing and set them aside (See Figure 6). Now move up to the top of the bumper cover. There are small access holes on either side of the radiator. Inside, you will see the two electrical connections going to the front turn signal assemblies (See Figure 7). To disconnect these, grab the bulb housings for each connection and turn them counter-clockwise. This will release the housings.

Now look at the sides of the bumper cover near the side marker lights. At the top on each side, you will see two T30 Torx bolts. Remove the top bolts holding the bumper cover to the frame from underneath (See Figure 8). Now remove the two T30 Torx bolts on each side holding the front of the bumper cover to the front of the car (See Figure 9 NOTE: In the picture it shows two 10mm bolts, these were installed prior to us owning the car). At this point you will be able to carefully remove the bumper cover off the bumper carrier. Remove just the top edge until you have enough clearance to twist the bulb holders out of the side markers (See Figure 10). Carefully rotate the bumper cover forward until you can remove the outside air temperature sensor from the bracket on the inside of the bumper cover. It just slides out to the right (See Figure 11).

After all electrical connections have been disconnected, remove the bumper cover and set it aside. You may want to spread out a couple towels to protect the paint on the cover (See Figure 12). With the cover removed, you will see the large aluminum bumper carrier underneath. This piece both holds the bumper cover and is designed to absorb the energy of a frontward crash. The carrier is held on by eight 13mm nuts and two 13mm bolts (See Figure 13 and Figure 14). Remove these fasteners and remove the carrier (See Figure 15).

Now look at the bottom crush tubes and remove both the 10mm bolt securing them to the plastic radiator frame (See Figure 16). Also remove the two large 18mm bolts holding the crush tubes to the front of the subframe (See Figure 17). Now pull both crush tubes off the subframe. It will probably take little effort to get them off, but if you rock them with a side to side motion while pulling, they should begin to slide off (See Figure 18).

Begin by removing the two locking Phillips head screws on each side at the rear of the splash shield.
Figure 1

Begin by removing the two locking Phillips head screws on each side at the rear of the splash shield. As you turn them, they eject from the subframe, releasing the rear of the shield.

Now remove the wheels so you can access the wheelhouse liners.
Figure 3

Now remove the wheels so you can access the wheelhouse liners. Remove the two Philips head screws as shown here (green arrows).

Next, locate and remove the plastic expansion rivets securing the liner to the wheelhouse (green arrows).
Figure 4

Next, locate and remove the plastic expansion rivets securing the liner to the wheelhouse (green arrows). The river locations are the same for the other side of the car as well. .

Shown here is one of the plastic expansion rivets being removed.
Figure 5

Shown here is one of the plastic expansion rivets being removed. When the center screw part is pressed into the outer part, it drives the fingers outward, locking the rivet in place. Sometimes, the outer part will turn with the screw as you try to loosen it. If it does, hold the outer part stationary as you loosen the screw part.

If your car has fog lights, twist and remove the bulb holder from the housing on either side of the car.
Figure 6

If your car has fog lights, twist and remove the bulb holder from the housing on either side of the car.

On both sides of the car, reach inside the access ports behind the bumper carrier, then twist and remove the bulb holders for the turn signal lights (green arrows).
Figure 7

On both sides of the car, reach inside the access ports behind the bumper carrier, then twist and remove the bulb holders for the turn signal lights (green arrows).

Now loosen and remove both of the 10mm bolts securing the side of the bumper cover to the frame underneath (green arrow).
Figure 8

Now loosen and remove both of the 10mm bolts securing the side of the bumper cover to the frame underneath (green arrow).

Now remove the T30 Torx bolts on each side of the car securing the front edges of the bumper cover to the carrier (Note, in thePicture, it shows two 10mm bolts installed.
Figure 9

Now remove the T30 Torx bolts on each side of the car securing the front edges of the bumper cover to the carrier (Note, in the picture, it shows two 10mm bolts installed. At some point, these were changed).

Now carefully begin to remove the front bumper cover.
Figure 10

Now carefully begin to remove the front bumper cover. As you do, twist and remove the side marker bulb holders from both sides of the cover (green arrow).

As you remove the bumper cover, remove the outside air temperature sensor from it's holder inside the bumper cover (green arrow).
Figure 11

As you remove the bumper cover, remove the outside air temperature sensor from it's holder inside the bumper cover (green arrow).

Shown here is the front end of the car with the bumper cover removed.
Figure 12

Shown here is the front end of the car with the bumper cover removed.

Remove the four 13mm nuts (green arrows) and the 13mm bolt securing the passenger side of the bumper carrier to the front of the car.
Figure 13

Remove the four 13mm nuts (green arrows) and the 13mm bolt securing the passenger side of the bumper carrier to the front of the car. You will probably need to use a deep socket with an extension to reach some of the fasteners.

As above, remove the four 13mm nuts (green arrows) and the 13mm bolt securing the driver's side of the bumper carrier to the front of the car.
Figure 14

As above, remove the four 13mm nuts (green arrows) and the 13mm bolt securing the driver's side of the bumper carrier to the front of the car.

Now remove the aluminum bumper carrier from the front of the car.
Figure 15

Now remove the aluminum bumper carrier from the front of the car.

Remove the 10mm bolt securing each crush tube to the plastic retaining frame (green arrow).
Figure 16

Remove the 10mm bolt securing each crush tube to the plastic retaining frame (green arrow).

Remove the two bolts securing the crush tubes to the front of the subframe (green arrows).
Figure 17

Remove the two bolts securing the crush tubes to the front of the subframe (green arrows).

Now pull both crush tubes off the subframe (green arrows).
Figure 18

Now pull both crush tubes off the subframe (green arrows). It will probably take little effort to get them off, but if you rock them with a side to side motion while pulling, they should begin to slide off.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Vick Comments: Hi Denny,

I've the same need to adjust the front bumper gap on my Mini. Wonder did you have a chance to fix your, get any help from the Pelican staff, or buy any special tools? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Vick
November 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Vick, grab a Bentley manual, it is covered there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JT Comments: If you have removed the front bumper in order to lower the subframe, I would strongly suggest you verify the alignment of the holes on the bumper carrier during re-installation. Note the hole to the left of the top green arrow in Figure 13 right of same arrow in Figure 14. If you have removed the crush bars, keep them loose until all the holes on the carrier are in alignment.
November 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Denny Comments: I need to adjust the bumper gap from the bumper to the hood bonnet. The drivers side matches up very nicely with a small gap between the edge of the hood and the bumper. The passenger side, however, has a gap of about half an inch between the hood and the bumper. Can you help? I read the removal article but did not see anything about adjusting the gap between the bumper and hood edge if needed? Can you advise?

Thank you,
Denny
July 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Gap is covered in repair manuals. I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799, They will help you find what you nee - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Grumpy Comments: Do you need to replace the carrier if you damage the plastic bumper. Not much damage to the bumper, but was told it was a safety issue
September 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the car has been in a crash, then yes. I would replace it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mini Shoupr Comments: I love your articles they are very helpful. I am looking for a source that I can buy more of the plastic rivets shown in fig. 5 that hold the wheelwell inner fender skirts in place on a Mini. Thanks, Randy
September 9, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the rivets. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Abbo Comments: The best and most accurate guidance I have come across in 40 years.
February 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
banyan Comments: there are a few missing steps in the write up to complete putting the car is service mode.
September 8, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Would mind adding what you think is missing to this forum thread? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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