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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
MikeyManBMW
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Opinions needed: which kidney grills?

The right kidney grill on my newly acquired '02 325xiT has some broken mounting clips -- so it rattles around whenever I drop the hood. Guess I should probably replace it before it's too late.

Looking around online it looks like this is not a big $$ item and install is a snap (no pun intended)... so...

Now the only questions are:

1) Replace them both, even though the left one is secure? Doubles the cost... but will the "newer" right one look weird next to it's older partner?

2) Keep the stock "chrome" look, or go matte or gloss black?

3) Buy from ECS Tuning and get "Genuine BMW" or save 30% and buy aftermarket ones from eBay?

I've got the grey green metallic paint job:

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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I replaced one of my kidney grilles. I can't remember which one, and I can't tell by looking at them. www.thebmwpartstore.com has pretty good pricing on them.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
MikeyManBMW
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Hey WildIrish -- thanks for the link, their pricing IS pretty good...
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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Your kidney grills will usually look best when they match other trim parts on the car. I keep mine chrome because my door/window moldings are the chrome (well, aluminum) ones.

If you have black trim, they'll look good black.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
MikeyManBMW
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Thanks SolidJake -- crimminy, another DIY link to add for *someday*...
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Getting all black grills will look sportier. When it's chrome or matches the car's color the grill looks much smaller and a lot less agressive.
Don't replace just one, in some cases you can only buy them in pairs. If you replace one you may notice the black on one grill is darker than the other (they fade some). If you get the chrome trim version and only replace one, one will be a lot shinier then the old one unless you do some restoration. Just buy 2.

I would just suggest black, matte or gloss (I have matte black). It makes the grill look deeper, sportier, larger, more aggressive.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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1) Replace them both, even though the left one is secure? Doubles the cost... but will the "newer" right one look weird next to it's older partner?
I would replace both

2) Keep the stock "chrome" look, or go matte or gloss black?
From picture of your car, I would keep stock chrome.

3) Buy from ECS Tuning and get "Genuine BMW" or save 30% and buy aftermarket ones from eBay?
For me, aftermarket is good enough for this.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #9
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Chrome stock. Need I say more?

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #10
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Thanks 58&10 -- I have the chrome surrounds on my windows/doors -- so I was thinking chrome grills too... but the black moldings around the bumper area got me thinking...
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Ha! Thanks Mango -- what a great pic!
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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Chrome stock. Need I say more?

Bleh. Jk that's what I chose as well. Had to replace my worn ones.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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MikeyManBMW, I have a gray green touring as well and I have been debating for a while whether or not switching all the silver trim on my car for black. I've left it stock for now, but we'll see!
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #14
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I have two facelift chrome grilles with non-broken clips if you'd like to buy them =)
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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Thanks hcollins -- I think I'm leaning towards keeping everything stock chrome for now a la Mango. Seems like deviating from OEM here and just buying aftermarket isn't a big sin and will keep $$ down and let me afford a matched pair.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:29 PM   #16
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Thanks hcollins -- I think I'm leaning towards keeping everything stock chrome for now a la Mango. Seems like deviating from OEM here and just buying aftermarket isn't a big sin and will keep $$ down and let me afford a matched pair.
Chrome is a great choice. It gives the car character as you can see its lines rather than being a big black hole. I used to have black grilles. they're nice for a little while but that's just cause they're different. they do get old . black grills work sometimes but really for more aggressive cars or if the rest of the trim is black.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:32 PM   #17
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Chrome stock. Need I say more?

What set up did you use to take this?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #18
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I think mango uses canon 5dmarkII.
Lens, maybe 50m 1.4? or 85mm 1.8? or even 85mm 1.2? dunno. lol
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #19
MikeyManBMW
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Hey -- Good news Zell... just so I understand (still a noob) -- my '02 (9/01 build date) car is a "facelift" car and the facelift grills will fit any body style '02+? If so, send my a PM and let's talk.

This is what I was going to buy -- $40 for two on eBay!
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #20
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What set up did you use to take this?
Yeah for that particular picture i used a 5D mk 1 and a 50 1.8. that picture is one of my favorites but its badly misfocused. but it's fine at the size i display it at.

that equipment is long gone now. (i miss the mark I--had it since 2006)
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