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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 06-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
fmzip
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Drug Bin Cover DIY

I finally decided to take it upon myself to cover up that ugly empty hole on the passenger side of the engine compartment.

My concept was simple, I would make a template out of cardboard. First I removed all the rubber moulding to make it easier to get an outline of the opening. I actually used the curved piece of moulding and traced it's pattern onto the cardboard first. Then I cut that outline out and put the cardboard upt to the opening. After a good 45 minutes and a couple of pieces of cardboard, I had a good design.

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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As you can see, the cardboard template is bigger than the hole. My first template was just as big as the opening but then I decided if I made it bigger to extend to the firewall, I would actually be able to wedge the cover between the cowl trim piece and the top of the firewall. If you peek in an up inside your drug bin area, you will see what I mean.

So off to Lowes I go. I decide that I would make it out of sheetmetal, prime it, paint it, mount some brackets, got a cabinet knob and I checked out.

When I got back to the house, I took my cardboard template and a shaprie and traced the outline onto the sheetmetal. Took my tin snips and cut it out perfectly. Then the moment of truth.......put the sheetmetal piece over the hole and........it was TOO small. Realized then that I used my first template, not my last version. Back to Lowes I go for another piece of sheetmetal.

As I walk into Lowes, I see this:

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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As you can see, it's shiny, that's no good. But since I have flat black flexible bumper back at home, I figured I'd give it a shot.

When I get back to the house, I look inside the Kingsford Pail and to my delight, it's not shiny!
I then took my cardboard template and put it on the pail. I traced it out so the non-finished side (inside pail) would be orientated correctly as my drug bin cover when I was done.

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #5
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Eugene did this a while back...
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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After a little more marking with the sharpie and trimming with my jigsaw, it fits perfect! It looks factory to me and I am EXTREMELY anal. It matches the plastic pieces under the hood perfectly. There is no hardware necessary as the back of the cover slides in as mentioned and since the plastic piece is just slightly larger then the hole, it wedges itself against the moulding.

When I bought my strut brace, the BMW instructions actually had me reverse the Battery post and switch as you can see in the picture. The + side battery post resides in my drug bin area. The cover actually rests right on it. This made installation for me a breeze as I could make one solid piece instead of having to cut out a hole for that switch.

I couldn't be happier.

Price of wasted piece of sheetmetal: $4.95
Price of the Kingsford Pail: $11.95
Not looking at that ugly hole ever again:

PRICELESS



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Old 06-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #7
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Eugene did this a while back...
Almost bought one for $179! Fitment looks a bit shabby for that amount of money.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Did I miss the picture of the final product?
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #9
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Did I miss the picture of the final product?
post #6
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:09 PM   #10
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Did I miss the picture of the final product?

Was editing as you posted...you are not losing your mind!
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

When I bought my strut brace, the BMW instructions actually had me reverse the Battery post and switch as you can see in the picture. The + side battery post resides in my drug bin area. The cover actually rests right on it. This made installation for me a breeze as I could make one solid piece instead of having to cut out a hole for that switch.

PRICELESS



Hmmm, I wonder if thats why I could never get a Dinan strut bar to fit right in my car.

Nice job on a cover that's quick to make, cheap, and looks good.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:41 PM   #12
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I wish I still had the instructions that came with the strut bar. It was pretty simple to reverse the switch and battery terminal from what I remember. I can snap some pics tomorrow if anyone is interested
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:53 PM   #13
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Great job, for that cost how can you go wrong?
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:57 PM   #14
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Great job, for that cost how can you go wrong?
Going into this project, I thought I wouldn't be pleased as my expectation for perfection always prevail. Finding the Kingsford pail was the holy grail, it really looks factory, I can't get over it!

My next mod is to replace my white washer reservoir with a newer black topped one......that should balance out and complete the engine compartment.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for the DIY. Awesome looking and inexpensive. What more can you ask?
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:42 PM   #16
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I like yours, kind of blends in with the rest of the engine bay.

Fiberdesign's $50 ripoff..



I just made my own out of ABS and some blue CF vinyl.

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Old 06-11-2009, 09:27 AM   #17
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Can you please show a pic of the final piece on its own outside of the car? Does it fit snugly enough that it has no up or down movement? Its flush against the rubber trim?
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:40 AM   #18
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Can you please show a pic of the final piece on its own outside of the car? Does it fit snugly enough that it has no up or down movement? Its flush against the rubber trim?
It fits snugly enough that it will not be rattling around. Since it's thin plastic, it will bow if you press on it. I was thinking of gluing on some bracing on the underside but figured if it doesn't move while driving, it would be a waste.

It sits against the rubber molding on the sides and slides in between the plastic windshield cowl piece and the metal of the firewall. I will snap more pictures tonight.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:49 AM   #19
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Looks good. Do you have enough trash can left to make another one? I'm sure someone on here would buy it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:52 AM   #20
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Looks good. Do you have enough trash can left to make another one? I'm sure someone on here would buy it.
I actually am going to do that but I have someone already in mind to give it to.

I wouldn't mind making a few for people if the price is enough to cover time and effort of going to Lowes and the post office to ship them out. Now that I have a good template the hard part is done.
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