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      05-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
stactum
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How to remove kidney grille on F25 for painting

Hi guys,

So after about two weeks with my 2013 X3 I wasn't fully satisfied with black grille they changed for 2013 figured that to buy 2 would cost me about $210 (in US) so I decided to paint it. There are few good guides on how to remove kidney grille, but none for X3 F25 so while I used other guides to remove it I decided to create one.

This is what it looks in black:


Some other guides:
X1 Guide
X3 short overview
Another informative guide

Tools I used:
Angle tool
Multiple small screwdrivers
Torx T30

Paint:
Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Dark Steel (picked from 4 different colors)

Note: I don't have jetwashers so in case you do, please refer to a guide above for X1, but explains what to do with jetwashers.

1. Start by removing rubber that covers screw heads - you just pull it towards the engine and it comes out. It's not glued or anything.
Then use T30 torx to remove 6 screws from the top of the bumper.




2. To remove the grille you have carefully pull the bumper towards you and use long screwdriver to unlock the clips that holding grille. I did it in the order shown on the picture. After you unlocked 1-5 use right angle tool to unlock 6-8. It can be somewhat tricky and it's the hardest part of the whole process, but it took me about 10 minutes to remove both grilles.



3. After you popped them out it's time to take black inserts from the frame. There are few steps I took in order to do that.


Since there are quite a few locks it's been very heplful for me to use small screwdrivers and some tools to keep them unlocked.



After I did that it was easy to unlock it from the bottom and remove black inserts.



4. I tried multiple paints on some ground anchors just to see which one will look better on the grille.



I picked Rust Oleum Universal Metallic Dark Steel



And painted both grilles. I added probably 5 layers or so. I figured, it's easier to add multiple thin layers than one thick. Also, have some Goo Gone and paper towel handy in case you have some places with thicker paint. Just softly remove it from the grille, make sure not to rub too hard, otherwise you'll see imperfections later.



I let it dry for a few hours and after I could touch it I got inserts in the frame (easy, just pop them inside) and insert grilles inside the bumper (just like you saw in Megafactories).

So here are some final results:







Thanks for reading, I hope it was helpful!

Last edited by stactum; 05-02-2012 at 10:22 PM.
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      05-02-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Very cool, looks sweet. I much prefer that look over the black.

Just one thing to note - I hate imageshack, it has popups (I just got one to "f***sexygirls.com" or something similar.
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      05-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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Man, those look great, thanks for sharing!!

I didn't realize the 2013 models got black grills. Funny. Ours look almost exactly like yours after painting. I have been wanting to switch ours over to black. Haven't gotten around to it yet.

We could have just traded!! ;-)
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      05-03-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n55x3
Man, those look great, thanks for sharing!!

I didn't realize the 2013 models got black grills. Funny. Ours look almost exactly like yours after painting. I have been wanting to switch ours over to black. Haven't gotten around to it yet.

We could have just traded!! ;-)
4 cyl get black grilles, 6 cyl get the silver. With the 28i move from 6 to a T4 the grille is now black...
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      05-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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That is an amazing job. I prefer the silver/titanium as well.
That being said, many people actually pay to make it black, so it would be nice if dealerships facilitated an exchange.
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      05-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
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That is an amazing job. I prefer the silver/titanium as well.
That being said, many people actually pay to make it black, so it would be nice if dealerships facilitated an exchange.
Sad, but true. Paid to go with "BMW Performance" grilles on my 1M...i.e. all black. Would probably trade my titanium grilles on the X3 for the new 4 cylinder setup..I waffle back and forth on that one.
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      08-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stactum View Post
Hi guys,

So after about two weeks with my 2013 X3 I wasn't fully satisfied with black grille they changed for 2013 figured that to buy 2 would cost me about $210 (in US) so I decided to paint it. There are few good guides on how to remove kidney grille, but none for X3 F25 so while I used other guides to remove it I decided to create one.

This is what it looks in black:


Some other guides:
X1 Guide
X3 short overview
Another informative guide

Tools I used:
Angle tool
Multiple small screwdrivers
Torx T30

Paint:
Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Dark Steel (picked from 4 different colors)

Note: I don't have jetwashers so in case you do, please refer to a guide above for X1, but explains what to do with jetwashers.

1. Start by removing rubber that covers screw heads - you just pull it towards the engine and it comes out. It's not glued or anything.
Then use T30 torx to remove 6 screws from the top of the bumper.




2. To remove the grille you have carefully pull the bumper towards you and use long screwdriver to unlock the clips that holding grille. I did it in the order shown on the picture. After you unlocked 1-5 use right angle tool to unlock 6-8. It can be somewhat tricky and it's the hardest part of the whole process, but it took me about 10 minutes to remove both grilles.



3. After you popped them out it's time to take black inserts from the frame. There are few steps I took in order to do that.


Since there are quite a few locks it's been very heplful for me to use small screwdrivers and some tools to keep them unlocked.



After I did that it was easy to unlock it from the bottom and remove black inserts.



4. I tried multiple paints on some ground anchors just to see which one will look better on the grille.



I picked Rust Oleum Universal Metallic Dark Steel



And painted both grilles. I added probably 5 layers or so. I figured, it's easier to add multiple thin layers than one thick. Also, have some Goo Gone and paper towel handy in case you have some places with thicker paint. Just softly remove it from the grille, make sure not to rub too hard, otherwise you'll see imperfections later.



I let it dry for a few hours and after I could touch it I got inserts in the frame (easy, just pop them inside) and insert grilles inside the bumper (just like you saw in Megafactories).

So here are some final results:







Thanks for reading, I hope it was helpful!
Thanks for the photos and instructions. I ordered a set of black grilles for my 2012 X328i from getbmwparts.com for $52 each plus shipping and handling. I removed the OEM chrome grilles and replaced them with the black grilles this morning - took a total of 15 minutes. Some more installation advice: I used a right angle tool - I bought a set from Harbor Freight for a couple of bucks - which is absolutely necessary to depress the latches on the bottom of the grilles for removal.
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      10-01-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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Hey guys, what is the angle tool you used? any chance you could post a photo of it please?
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      10-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris111 View Post
Hey guys, what is the angle tool you used? any chance you could post a photo of it please?
I never ended up using an"angle tool" because I had no idea what it was! I used a flat head screw driver and positioned my hand so I could unhook all the tabs.
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      10-01-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Ok thanks!
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      10-01-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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I used an allen key that had a right angle to get the 2 I couldn't get to with my finger
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      10-02-2012, 03:43 AM   #12
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Empirevalley.

Wow thanks for the heads up on the grill painting. looks realllly good.
Well done.
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      10-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #13
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I just picked my 2013 X3 28i from the factory last week (9/24/12) and it came with Silver grills not black!
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      10-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #14
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Hi guys
I'm trying to change my black grilles for silver ones. I can get the top and side clips undone but am really struggling with the 3 bottom clips. I just can't see how to reach the tangs with either a screw driver or an allen key. I can't get my hand in from above and I can't reach through the mesh grille lower down. Can anyone help please?
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      10-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #15
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Panic over - it was the bottom tangs that were difficult to release, but a bit of brute force and determination - and a bruised wrist - sorted it out. Now got my silver grilles in and I'm really pleased with the appearance. I'm off to put ointment on my wrist now!
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      10-22-2012, 10:28 AM   #16
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Excellent removal guide!
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      11-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #17
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How far to bend bumper back?

Hi guys

I tried removing my kidney grill and I was scared of bending it back too much so that it will snap.

How far can I bend it back in order for me to get my hand to unclip the bottom clippings?

Feedback is appreciated.
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