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Radiator Grille Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Grille Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

Radiator grille and lower trim piece

Hot Tip:

Work carefully to not damage grille retaining clips

Performance Gain:

Nice looking exterior trim

Complementary Modification:

Paint grilles to match vehicle color

The front radiator grille on a MINI has been a signature feature for what seems like forever. Let's be honest here. The most prominent trademark of the MINI brand is the large center grille and round headlights. The shape slightly evolves with each model, yet still retains that classic look. The grilles are usually coated in chrome or painted black 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 MINI by replacing it.

If your grille is looking bad, you've got to do something about it. In this article, I will go over the easy steps of removing the grille 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 grille (red arrow) is mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover.
Figure 1

The radiator grille (red arrow) is mounted in the radiator support above the front bumper cover.

Working at the radiator support, remove the four plastic rivets.
Figure 2

Working at the radiator support, remove the four plastic rivets. Lever out the center pin using a trim panel tool (inset). Then remove the rivet.

Next, remove the lower grille trim (red arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove the lower grille trim (red arrow). Start at the left and right ends and press the retaining clips to unlock it. Then using a plastic prying tool, lever along the center, detaching it as you work your way across the trim.

If you have the optional driving lights, you will have to remove them to get the grille off.
Figure 4

If you have the optional driving lights, you will have to remove them to get the grille off. Remove the 5mm Allen screws (red arrow) at the side of each light. Each light has two fasteners. When you remove the final screw for each light, be sure to support it. Don't let it hang by the wiring. Tape it in place if necessary. A little later you will unplug and remove the lights.

Next, release the grille retaining tabs (red arrows).
Figure 5

Next, release the grille retaining tabs (red arrows). Press the right side tabs toward the left side of the vehicle to release and the left side tabs toward the right side of the vehicle to release (green arrows).

Slide the grille straight off the radiator support to remove (red arrow) it.
Figure 6

Slide the grille straight off the radiator support to remove (red arrow) it. Reverse these steps to install the new grille.

If you have fog lights, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 7

If you have fog lights, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow). Then feed the driving light wiring through the hole in the grille (red arrow) to remove it.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Kent J. Comments: What part number is the smooth-top rivet-which does not have a Phillips head top, like those in the wheel well-that holds the grill to the radiator support?
October 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.


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
 

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