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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > F30 DIYs and Coding Discussions > F30 328i/335i front bumper REFLECTORS removal / install DIY
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      06-17-2013, 05:11 PM   #45
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Just did this last night. This is a lot easier on the F30 then it was on the e90.

Also, while it could be due to there being more room in the wheel well on the F30, it seems to me the bumper and wheel well liner were much more pliable possibly due to the fact that my car is brand new. Point is, if you are considering this mod, might be easier to do right away rather than wait (like I did with my last e90).

Very helpful DIY OP.

Side note, I also plastidipped my rear reflectors to match the Msport diffuser color. I will be posting a DIY on the removal/replacement/dipping of those in the next day.
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      09-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #46
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Anybody interested in selling their old amber front reflectors?
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      12-28-2013, 09:19 PM   #47
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I just did this today and have a couple additional tips to offer.

If you heat up the old reflector from the inside using a hair dryer, they will come off much easier. I wouldn't use a heat gun because the may melt your bumper cover. A hair dryer is the right amount of hot.

I also have an AW car. After removing the reflectors, the inner edge of the bumper cover is black. After swapping the first reflector, the black from that edge kind of reflected off the new white reflector. Not bad, but I am anal about that stuff. For the other reflector, I painted that inner edge with touchup paint. Much better! For darker color car this may not be an issue. Tip: but the touchup paint online. I ran to the dealer for it at the last minute and it was $45 (after BMWCCA discount)!!! Online I'm sure it's under $30.
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      01-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #48
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Hello Everyone,

Can someone advise where I could find the amber side marker for a 328xi 2013 ?

Thank you !
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      04-26-2014, 09:03 PM   #49
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I just did this today with smoked reflectors. This guide is great.
I will say that I did not need to screw driver at all, but i absolutely needed a hair dryer. Trying to do it without heating everything first was just a nonstarter.

Thanks!!
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      06-03-2014, 06:32 PM   #50
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Just did this on my msport front bumper...couldn't fit my flathead in there, so had to use my fingertips to pry the reflectors off. Came off eventually, but damn do my fingers hurt today. Hairdryer or heat gun wouldn't have been a bad idea.
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      04-21-2016, 12:29 AM   #51
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I need help with something if someone would help me? Does a 2015+ model 428i front reflectors work with the 2014 model ones?
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      04-21-2016, 01:51 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3onDubs View Post
Just did this on my msport front bumper...couldn't fit my flathead in there, so had to use my fingertips to pry the reflectors off. Came off eventually, but damn do my fingers hurt today. Hairdryer or heat gun wouldn't have been a bad idea.
I had the same issue and used a hair dryer from the front and got them off in a few minutes. There is not much room for m sport bumpers to get in there with a screwdriver. So glad i did it though. looks a million times better. I also coded my corner lights off when the headlights are on as well. much better.
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      04-25-2016, 09:51 AM   #53
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Did this over the weekend. I was able to get the OEM markers off pretty easily using some Turtle Wax Adhesive Remover spray and a screwdriver from the back side of the reflector.

But now I'm having a very annoying issue. After cleaning off all the old molding tape and even lightly sanding down the inside of the bumper to get ALL the residue off, my reflectors are not sticking to the bumper all the way. on the m sport, the long edge closer to the wheel has pulled away from the reflector adhesive and won't stay no matter how long i hold it pressed together.

Anyone else have this issue? Thinking about redoing this whole thing and carefully using betalink or something to make the reflector stick all the way around.
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      04-25-2016, 10:50 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anshu View Post
Did this over the weekend. I was able to get the OEM markers off pretty easily using some Turtle Wax Adhesive Remover spray and a screwdriver from the back side of the reflector.

But now I'm having a very annoying issue. After cleaning off all the old molding tape and even lightly sanding down the inside of the bumper to get ALL the residue off, my reflectors are not sticking to the bumper all the way. on the m sport, the long edge closer to the wheel has pulled away from the reflector adhesive and won't stay no matter how long i hold it pressed together.

Anyone else have this issue? Thinking about redoing this whole thing and carefully using betalink or something to make the reflector stick all the way around.
Never had this issue and have done quite a few of these. What kind of double sided tape did you use? Is it possible the bumper got deformed a bit in prying the original reflector out?
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      04-25-2016, 12:36 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R12ax7 View Post
Never had this issue and have done quite a few of these. What kind of double sided tape did you use? Is it possible the bumper got deformed a bit in prying the original reflector out?
I used the tape that came with the reflector. Purchased from ebay seller named "ultimotors" but the manufacturer is HELIX which I've known to be pretty reliable in the past.

The adhesive had 3M logos all over it so I assumed it would be good to go.

I never turned the screwdriver and didn't use heat so I don't think the bumper lost any shape, but it seems like the reflector is completely ridgid and flat where as the bumper obviously has a bit of a natural curve to it.
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      04-25-2016, 12:40 PM   #56
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Just found another manufacturer named DEPO, are they supposed to be any better? The 3M tape looks slightly different. Not sure it would make much difference...
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      04-25-2016, 02:18 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anshu View Post
I used the tape that came with the reflector. Purchased from ebay seller named "ultimotors" but the manufacturer is HELIX which I've known to be pretty reliable in the past.

The adhesive had 3M logos all over it so I assumed it would be good to go.

I never turned the screwdriver and didn't use heat so I don't think the bumper lost any shape, but it seems like the reflector is completely ridgid and flat where as the bumper obviously has a bit of a natural curve to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anshu View Post
Just found another manufacturer named DEPO, are they supposed to be any better? The 3M tape looks slightly different. Not sure it would make much difference...
That's really interesting. Sounds like that is the correct 3M tape I have always used. Actually if its the same Helix I know, they are located near me in Philly and I can tell you first hand they are a reputable shop with a presence on the post. Might consider reaching out to them directly (this is their website, if its the same Helix: http://store.helix13.com/). That being said, I believe their focus is fabricating performance parts, particularly some nice higher capacity inter-coolers for BMW and Mini.

I've heard of DEPO (as i recall they used to make replica "blacklines" for e90s and other lighting products), but I think most people would consider the IND painted reflectors to be the benchmark - they are probably a bit pricier but worth it in my opinion. Also, I think you are right that there is a slight natural curve to the reflectors having just removed my painted ones and reinstalled the OEMs - both had that slight curve.

Maybe you can use some heat to bend these to a better shape? Obviously be careful not to mess up the paint though.
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      04-25-2016, 02:49 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R12ax7 View Post
That's really interesting. Sounds like that is the correct 3M tape I have always used. Actually if its the same Helix I know, they are located near me in Philly and I can tell you first hand they are a reputable shop with a presence on the post. Might consider reaching out to them directly (this is their website, if its the same Helix: http://store.helix13.com/). That being said, I believe their focus is fabricating performance parts, particularly some nice higher capacity inter-coolers for BMW and Mini.

I've heard of DEPO (as i recall they used to make replica "blacklines" for e90s and other lighting products), but I think most people would consider the IND painted reflectors to be the benchmark - they are probably a bit pricier but worth it in my opinion. Also, I think you are right that there is a slight natural curve to the reflectors having just removed my painted ones and reinstalled the OEMs - both had that slight curve.

Maybe you can use some heat to bend these to a better shape? Obviously be careful not to mess up the paint though.
Yeah Helix was also a solid brand for aftermarket exterior pieces in the VW community where I'm coming from.

I've reached out to the seller to see if maybe I just got some defective set or one that had been sitting on the shelf too long. I just ordered the DEPO ones now to see if they follow that natural curve. The reflector piece on the DEPO ones also seem to be a little bit smaller and in line with the OEM style.

I thought about heating them but kinda makes me nervous. I think at worst I will end up trying to apply some betalink very carefully.

I'm so OCD about this stuff lol. The IND color matched ones seemed like a good option but I didn't like the way the gap was "too" close as pointed out earlier in the thread.
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      04-25-2016, 04:07 PM   #59
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Nice, yeah sounds like its probably a different Helix than the VW one anyway. Good luck with the DEPOs (and/or the beta link)!
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      05-03-2016, 08:09 AM   #60
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Just an update for anyone else who finds themselves in the same predicament as I did...

If you don't go with color matched IND reflectors don't buy HELIX reflectors. They are flat and don't follow the curve of the bumper (like the blade of a hockey stick but not as drastic).

I haven't installed the DEPO ones yet, but I just took them out of the package and I could immediately tell it had an OEM like curve to it so I'm much more optimistic about these. Will report back with a fitment update tonight.

EDIT: Installed them during lunch. Depo ones fit great. Very very close to OEM and not a single area where there is a gap with the adhesive due to the shape like the Helix ones.

Last edited by anshu; 05-03-2016 at 01:13 PM.
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