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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-05-2016, 11:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
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My Ride: e46 325i
My M-Tech Dupli-Color TiAg DIY experience!!!

This post shows my experience with purchasing an Mtech 2 front bumper and painting it myself with duplicolor spraypaint purchased at a local autoparts store (O'Reillys). If you are looking to undergo a task like this, TAKE CAUTION, it requires some skill and dedication. If you have never painted anything it may be beneficial to pay a little extra and get it done professionally. But if you know what you're doing and youre looking to save a couple bucks then this route may be for you. Also this is my first post so bear with me if i've made any errors

After months of wanting a more aggressive look for my 325i, I finally decided to suck it up and buy an M-Tech 2 front bumper from Khoalty. To start, the bumper was great quality, and had a near perfect fitment on the car. The plastic on the bumper was pretty high quality much like OEM.

I started with a light buffing then sprayed a couple coats of adhesion promoter down on the bumper. the brand i used was called bulldog. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. I ran into problems later on in the painting process where the paint would start to spider and crack. It required extra work that was unnecessary, buy a different brand. Afterwards i read online that people also had the same problem with bulldog adhesion promotor.

Afterwards I primed the bumper using white automotive primer. I chose white over grey because working with silver, I worried that it may come out too dark which is harder to un-do if it came out too light. After priming, I used 600 grit sandpaper (dry) and cut most of the primer down quite a bit until it was smooth.

Then came for the base coat. The paint i used was called Dupli-color Perfect Match Radiant Silver Metallic. there are a lot of variants of "silver metallic" just make sure it is RADIANT silver metallic, The color matches almost perfectly. The paint lays really thin and after about 1/6th of the paint is left, the can loses pressure so not all the paint is used in each can. After applying the base the paint looked pretty close to matching the color of the car already. I used about 5 cans to lay three coats which was required to fully cover the white primer.

Next came with some wetsanding of the base coat with 2000 grit sandpaper and a wetsanding sponge. This step is imperative that many people tend to skip. In the end, it makes the difference between a "professional" looking paint job and a "garage" paint job.

After wetsanding came the clearcoat. I absolutely did not want to rattle-can this part. Clearcoat is incredibly important to not only give a great finish to the paint but to protect it as well. Since I was on a budget and did not want to fork over the $100+ for PPG or other name brand automotive clear coat, I went with Nason clearcoat, which you can purchase at O'Reilly's as well. Nason is basically an off-brand Dupont paint. It sprayed pretty well through the gun but not as well as PPG would have. However, it ended up laying a lot nicer than I expected for budget professional clear. It took 3 coats of clear but could easily have only been 2 (I wanted a little extra protection from rock chips)

The clearcoat cured enough to buff after about 24 hours (this clear was mixed with a catalyst). I used a heavy cut polishing compound in order to smooth the clearcoat and remove some of the intense gloss of the fresh clearcoat. the paint on my car is over 10 years old and isn't as glossy as it used to be so a brand new shiny bumper would stick out like a sore thumb.

The Final Product:

The paint came out nearly perfect. The bumper fit great and in all it turned out great. At first I was worried about how it would match during the day vs. during the night but this paint was PERFECT. I did some quotes of painting for my bumper before undergoing this task and the LOWEST cost i could find was around $250 just for paint. Here is the breakdown of my overall cost:

E46 Mtech 2 Bumper from Khoalty: $240 SHIPPED
Bulldog Adhesion Promotor: $9
White Automotive Primer: 3 x $5: $15
Duplicolor Radiant Silver Metallic: 5 x $8: $40
Nason mid-temp Clear Coat with catalyst: $40

Overall cost of paint job: $104
Cost with bumper: $344

I sold my old sedan bumper on craigslist for $100 so it basically payed for my paint job too!

Once again I do not suggest that you undergo this task unless you are willing to take full responsibility if you accidentally ruin your bumper. It is very easy to mess up a paint job like this, but if your'e looking for a nice project and you have some experience with paint and access to a paint gun then this may be the route to take to give yourself a budget professional looking bumper.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:48 AM   #2
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If youre looking for a little more match, Id throw a few more layers of clear on. But looks pretty good! Congrats on DIY painting
Modification Thread
Original Car: Silver Grey on Grey, A/T (1 of 186)
As it sits: Silver Grey on Black, M/T (1 of 51)
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Old 01-06-2016, 01:45 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Great first post!

It's posts like this that make a "Like" button really needed.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:53 AM   #4
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Great job! This reinforces the importance of prep work.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:16 PM   #5
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Not bad...Not bad at all! Nice work.
- 04 325Xi with sport package
- 15 Chevy SS Sedan
- 15 Audi A3 Prestige (APR Stage II)
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Old 01-06-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
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Spray can painting outside is always a gamble but well worth it if you get it right. I have done a few paint jobs like this myself and its really fun. Came out awesome, great job!
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:33 PM   #7
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kudos to you!

A friend of mine attempted to do this on my car, there were two major differences between what you did and what he did though:

1) My Mtech II bumper was OE BMW, but was Imola Red, used and had a decent amount of rock chipping. My car is Steel Grey Metallic.
2) He did not sand it down nearly enough to get the imperfections out, which I was fine with, and also didn't wet-sand it before the clear.

In the end, it did come out fantastic, but it is hardly long lasting. I put it on this past spring 2015, and still have it on now, and it's beat badly. Looks like a speckled red and steel-grey dalmation in most places. Still looks grey for the majority from 15-20 feet away, but the closer you get, you can see the damage caused by 100mph jaunts on occasion. I bought my items from automotivetouchup.com and he used the legit clear with the catalyst.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:25 PM   #8
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Does the khoalty bumper come with all the required brackets as well? I think to make the mtech 2 bumpers look perfect we need to get the brake ducts as well, correct me if I'm wrong. I' looking to do this as well that's why I'm asking. Great diy tho, thank you!
Originally Posted by cole3636 View Post
If you get a 325i up to 400hp you should buy a ****ing lottery ticket
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:28 PM   #9
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Yes, the khoalty bumper comes with the required pre-facelift brackets that will have to be swapped if you have a facelift model. It does NOT come with the mtech brake ducts. My car currently does not have them installed and I think it looks fine. However, if you're looking for a fully professional mtech bumper I would suggest you buy them separately.
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