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Front and Rear Wheel Well Arch Trim Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front and Rear Wheel Well Arch Trim Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

10mm socket, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Wheel well plastic rivets.

Hot Tip:

Tape body so you don't scratch it

Performance Gain:

Access to side marker light lenses

Complementary Modification:

Replace all four at once

MINI R56 models have a distinctive wheel well arch trim piece. The wheel well arch trim is a plastic trim piece that wraps around the wheel well. The front and rear side marker lenses are attached to the wheel well arch trim. They can be purchased with the arch trim or separately.

These trim pieces have to be removed for many repair procedures and replaced when worn or damaged from impacts. When removed, the trim clips break and are not reusable. Be sure to get those too. For example, you would have to remove them when replacing either the front or rear bumpers, the wheel well liners or the side marker lenses. Each front arch trim uses seven trim clips. Each rear arch trim uses five clips.

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.

Front trim: The wheel well arch trim (green arrow) is one piece, wrapping around the fender, connecting the bumper trim and the lower body trim.
Figure 1

Front trim: The wheel well arch trim (green arrow) is one piece, wrapping around the fender, connecting the bumper trim and the lower body trim.

Front trim: Starting at the front lower corner of the wheel well liner, peel it back to expose the side marker light electrical connector (red arrow) and the wheel well arch trim expanding rivet (green arrows).
Figure 2

Front trim: Starting at the front lower corner of the wheel well liner, peel it back to expose the side marker light electrical connector (red arrow) and the wheel well arch trim expanding rivet (green arrows). Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off. Then remove the center pin from the expanding rivet (inset) and remove the rivet from the trim.

Front trim: Next, pull the wheel well arch trim away from the fender and at the bottom and remove it.
Figure 3

Front trim: Next, pull the wheel well arch trim away from the fender and at the bottom and remove it. I start at the bottom and pull swiftly to detach the trim piece. If stuck, use a trim panel tool to lever the trim piece out of the clips. Lever at the location of the clip, detaching the trim piece and leaving the clips in the body. See the following photo for the location of the clips.

Front trim: This photo shows the locations of all seven of the wheel well arch trim clips (green arrows).
Figure 4

Front trim: This photo shows the locations of all seven of the wheel well arch trim clips (green arrows). The red arrow points to the side marker light for orientation.

Front trim: When removing, the clips (yellow arrows) will remain in the body (red arrows).
Figure 5

Front trim: When removing, the clips (yellow arrows) will remain in the body (red arrows). Use a trim panel tool to remove the clips from the fender (inset). The clips will break and have to be replaced. Each front wheel well arch trim uses seven clips.

Front trim: Once removed, you can remove the side marker lens.
Figure 6

Front trim: Once removed, you can remove the side marker lens. Remove the two 10mm nuts (red arrows). Then remove the lens from the trim. When installing, place the new clips into the wheel well arch trim. Align the clips with the holes in the fender and snap it into place. Then reconnect the side market light and install the expanding rivet.

Rear trim: The wheel well arch trim (yellow arrow) is one piece, wrapping around the fender, connecting the rear bumper trim and the lower body trim.
Figure 7

Rear trim: The wheel well arch trim (yellow arrow) is one piece, wrapping around the fender, connecting the rear bumper trim and the lower body trim.

Rear trim: Starting at the rear lower corner of the wheel well liner (yellow arrow), peel it back to expose the side marker light electrical connector (red arrow) and the wheel well arch trim expanding rivet (green arrow).
Figure 8

Rear trim: Starting at the rear lower corner of the wheel well liner (yellow arrow), peel it back to expose the side marker light electrical connector (red arrow) and the wheel well arch trim expanding rivet (green arrow). Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off. Then remove the center pin from the expanding rivet (inset) and remove the rivet from the trim.

Rear trim: Next, pull the wheel well arch trim away from the fender and at the bottom and remove it.
Figure 9

Rear trim: Next, pull the wheel well arch trim away from the fender and at the bottom and remove it. I start at the bottom and pull swiftly to detach the trim piece. If stuck, use a trim panel tool to lever the trim piece out of the clips (red arrows). Lever at the location of the clip, detaching the trim piece and leaving the clips in the body. See the following photo for the location of the clips.

Rear trim: This photo shows the locations of all five of the wheel well arch trim clips (green arrows).
Figure 10

Rear trim: This photo shows the locations of all five of the wheel well arch trim clips (green arrows). The red arrow points to the side marker light for orientation. When removing, the clips will remain in the body. Use a trim panel tool to remove the clips from the fender (inset). The clips will break and have to be replaced. Each rear wheel well arch trim uses five clips.

Rear trim: Once removed, you can remove the side marker lens.
Figure 11

Rear trim: Once removed, you can remove the side marker lens. Remove the 10mm nut (red arrow). Then remove the lens from the trim. When installing, place the new clips into the wheel well arch trim. Align the clips with the holes in the fender and snap it into place. Then reconnect the side market light and install the expanding rivet.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dave Comments: why don't you sell these clips? I can't find them anywhere in your catalog. Seems like they'd be a pretty popular item seeing how you have to break ~14 of them to get your car in to service mode?
October 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican does sell them.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eduardo Comments: Could I disconnect the clips from inside of the fender by pressing each plastic bolt to get them free from the holes and avoid break each clip? Then I can re use it since the wheel well arch trim will be out with the clips on it.
April 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. Unfortunately you can't. they need to be replaced every time they are removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
G Comments: I think the text next to the last three photos is wrong: it says "Front trim" where it should say "Rear trim".

Thanks!
March 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for catching that. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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