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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 01-25-2014, 03:07 AM   #1
CSL323
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Smile DIY: Facelift Kidney Grill Plastidip

Hi everybody! Today I decided to try my hand at "Plastidip", a word that is thrown around the car scene quite a lot. Anyhow, a fellow fanatic recently sprayed his with an exceptional result, so I felt compelled to give it a go myself.

Before:


First things first!

What you'll need!
-Something blunt to pry off the metal clips holding the grill to the hood. (I used a sturdy, unbendable butter knife)
-Something thin to pry the surrounding from the inner fins. (I used a flathead screwdriver)
-One can of black Plastidip!
-A large piece of cardboard to protect the ground from overspray.

Unfortunately for us Aussies, Plastidip is an import and costs a bit more than it does for you guys in the states... But hey, I bought my can from my local Autobarn and it was well worth the $30 I put in for it.

How to remove the grills from the hood!
I used this video:



I can't stress to you enough how important it is to be careful at this stage!! Breaking a clip on a grill can make the entire appearance of the grill terrible, and nobody wants to glue clips back together, right?





Separating the surround from the inner fins!
This isn't a requirement, I did it to be thorough though. You will see numerous silver clips with a black bridge above them along the sides of the grill. Get your thin tool (I used a screwdriver) and lift the bridge just enough to move the clips under. After that, you should be able to easily remove the surround from the inner fins.



Cleaning the grills!

Before applying anything to anything, I think it's important to remove any grime and dirt from it. I used methylated spirits and a disposable cloth to clean the grills inside and out. After the once over with the metho, dry the grills with a clean cloth. You'd be surprised what comes off them. They're now ready for Plastidip!

Plasti-time!

Ensure that you put a large bit of cardboard beneath the grills to prevent overspray on your surface below. I overkilled it a bit and put blue cloth around the cardboard as well, but if you do this, ensure you put some weight on the corners to prevent them flying up and pressing on the plastidip.

Shake vigorously for about a minute and start spraying! I sprayed it like I was using a spray can. Eg. Spray right, stop, spray left, stop. This makes the coat as even as possible. Keep spraying until the surface looks evenly wet and make sure that you spray the sides of the grill, the insides and of course the face of the grill. My grills were left to dry out in direct sunlight, and I waited about 15 minutes between coats. Just judge it I suppose. When it's about dry, the plastidip will appear completely matte. When ready for coat 2, repeat the steps and wait. I did 4 coats on the grill and it looks amazing!





Wait 1 hour at least after the final coat has been applied and you're convinced that the grills are dry enough to put on the vehicle. If you are not convinced, don't put them on as you might put a finger print in the plastic!!

Replacing the grill!

Time to put the grills back on the car! I used those cloths to do this to avoid getting any oil on the grills (I was playing in my engine bay while they were drying and my hands are dirty). I recommend doing it even if you have clean hands. Anyways, simply click the grills together the same way as you removed them and reinstall them on the car. Remember, the grills go in from the outside!!

Once they're flush against the hood, you're done! I've left my car in the sun to continue drying, and won't wash the car for a few days. Apparently plastidip gets very tough after two or so days of curing.



Yes I know it's dirty!!





Enjoy!
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
ELCID86
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I'm sure you will catch grief from the anti-dip crowd. I like they way they look and it will be easy to go back to chrome if you choose.


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Old 01-25-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELCID86 View Post
I'm sure you will catch grief from the anti-dip crowd. I like they way they look and it will be easy to go back to chrome if you choose.


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Thanks, I'm sure I will too! But hey, I like it and at least it's not tasteless!
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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Was auto barnClick image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1396746763.972965.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	64.9 KB
ID:	552819 the cheapest place you could fine here in australia?


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Old 04-06-2014, 08:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyUrsino View Post
Was auto barnAttachment 552819 the cheapest place you could fine here in australia?


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I was being a bit impatient and it's the only place I really looked.
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