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      05-14-2015, 01:46 AM   #1
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DIY - F30 M-Performance Aero Front Lip/Splitter Install

This information has been scattered piece-meal in various postings and threads throughout the F30 forum. My apologies for that. I decided to just finally consolidate the information into one place for convenience to make it easier to reference moving forward. For those who don't need a lengthy explanation of every step of this procedure, here is the short version of the install procedure that covers the essential parts of the install.

I just also wanted to acknowledge Dippydo for providing a lot of the useful tips and techniques used in this install that made mine go smooth and error-free. He is the man

---

This is a DIY for installing a BMW F30 M-Performance Aero Front Lip/Splitter to an M-Sport front bumper. This Lip/Splitter can be purchased as an OEM part (part # 51192291364) or as a replica from any number of after-market vendors widely available on Ebay or other sources.

Disclaimers
  1. Not all after-market vendors are the same - some will be closer to OEM fitment than others. If you go with an after-market replica kit, generally, the kits from Taiwan will have better fitment than the ones from China, but YMMV. If you choose an after-market vendor, do your research. Ask questions. Consult with forum members. Do your due diligence.
    .
  2. Everything you do here is not my responsibility - I am in no way responsible for anything that can go wrong with your install. I am writing about how I installed my lip. What you do with this information is your responsibility! However, if you find a better way to do things, let me know and I can update this DIY for everyone’s benefit.
Front Lip Kit / Parts
A. Front Lip/Splitter – main part you are installing on your F30 M-Sport bumper.
B. Adapter – fits inside the Lip to reinforce its shape – attaches to Lip with the 10 mounting screws/C-clips.
Mounting Hardware (may vary from vendor to vendor – some may not include anything!)
C. C-Clip Mounting Screws – used to secure Lip to Adapter (along with C-Clips). If your Front Lip does not come with mounting hardware, you can find an equivalent replacement using #10 x ” mounting screws in this Harbor Freight u-clip/screw assortment kit. This generic #10 x ” screw from Lowes also works great!
D. C-Clips – used to secure Lip to Adapter (along with C-Clip Mounting Screws). The official BMW part is #07146951655. I found that a generic #6 U-Clip found in a Harbor Freight u-clip/screw assortment kit works just as well for a good price.
E. Torx Screws – used to attach middle of Lip/Adapter assembly to bumper. The official BMW OEM part is #9112637. But I found that a generic ” x ” plastic mounting screw in this Harbor Freight u-clip/screw assortment kit works just as well if not better, and for a good price. Its the largest screw in the kit.
F. Expanding Rivets – used to attach Lip/Adapter assembly to bumper. The official BMW install guide recommends part #7002953 (Blind Rivet) to attach the Lip to the bumper, but I found that this part is harder to both insert (will need a rivet tool) and remove (needs to be drilled out). The expanding rivet I recommend (#51118174185) will hold just as well, and can be inserted with your fingers and removed with just a pair of needle nose pliers. Your choice.

.
Tools
Prep Work
  • Screwdriver (Torx/Phillips/Flathead - depending on screws used) – to attach mounting screws to C-Clips
  • Goo Gone / 70% IPA – to clean the bumper and Lip of loose dirt and debris
  • Double-sided Tape – applied to inner part of Lip apron covers to secure the Lip apron covers to the bumper. I used this 3M Scotch doubled sided tape from Lowes that holds 1lb per inch (up to 20lbs). Tboooe found a 3M 5952 VHB (Very High Bond) tape that supposedly has 4x the holding strength of the one i used. Either way, you have some good choices.
  • Sand Paper – to prep the Lip surface for the double-sided tape. It doesn't really matter what grit you use, just so as long as it leaves a somewhat rough surface for the tape to adhere to. I used #320, but anything from #80 to #1000 should work.
  • 3M Adhesive Promoter – to prep the Lip surface for the double-sided tape. NOT FOR THE BUMPER - just the LIP
Jacking Up the Car
  • Floor Jack – get the car up from the front
  • Ramp (maybe) – to give you enough clearance to start jacking up the car if you are lowered. If you are riding at stock height, you probably won't need this.
  • Jack Stands (optional, but recommended) – puts the car in a stable/safe position while up in the air, but you won’t need to get under the car for this install.
Installing Lip on M-Sport bumper
  • 6mm Drill Bit / Electric Drill (maybe) – if pre-drilled holes are not present in your M-Sport bumper, you'll need to do some drilling. Most of the holes should already be pre-drilled. YMMV
  • Needle-Nose Pliers – to make insertion/removal of expanding rivets easier
  • Dremel tool – to debur expanding rivet for edge holes in Lip
Prep-Work
Before you jack up the car, there is some pre-work that needs to be done to prep your lip for install. This will actually take the majority of the install time.
  1. Attaching Adapter to Lip (~30 minutes)
    Align and slide the 10 C-Clips onto the 10 pre-drilled holes in the Adapter. If your Adapter came with some double-sided tape applied to the Adapter, remove the protective film on that now. Next, insert the Adapter into the Lip and make sure the holes in the C-Clips/Adapter line up with the holes in the Lip before pressing the Lip into the Adapter to insure the double-sided tape has good adhesion between the two pieces. Finally, screw the 10 mounting screws through the Lip and through the C-Clips to secure the Adapter to the Lip.

    .
  2. Cleaning / Prepping Bumper and Lip (~30-60 minutes)
    .
    • If you had a previous lip attached by a dealer, most likely, they will have used beta-link to attach the Lip to the bumper. Its nasty stuff, that’s almost impossible to take off. Use a plastic trim tool to carefully remove the old glue, being careful not to scratch the bumper, but try to take off as much as possible. You’ll want a clean, smooth bumper to allow the double-sided tape to adhere properly to the surface of the bumper’s apron. Use of Goo Gone and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol is also useful to clean area of old glue, tape residue, and any/all other debris that could interfere with the double-sided tape you will be applying here.
      .
      If your bumper is already free and clear, consider yourself lucky. All you'll need to do is to wipe it down with some 70% IPA until the bumper surface is smooth and free of artifacts, and you're good to go! A smooth, clean, contaminant-free bumper is already an ideal surface for double-sided tape. NO ADHESIVE PROMOTER NEEDED ON THE BUMPER. If you have dirt, road tar, bird/insect poop, pollen, or other larger contaminants on the bumper, a clay bar might be necessary. Use Goo Gone in the worst situations.


      .
    • On the inside of the Lip’s apron cover (NOT THE BUMPER ITSELF!!), use sand-paper to prep/roughen the surface in the area where the double-sided tape is going to go. I don't know what the best "roughness" is. I started with a #80 grit sandpaper and fine sanded it down using a #320 grit sandpaper. After sanding it down, go over with some IPA to clean the area of dust/debris from the sanding.
      .
    • The gases released from polypropylene material is said to interfere with most adhesives applied to the surface. To compensate for this, you’ll need to prep the freshly sanded/cleaned area with 3M Adhesive Promoter spray where the double-side tape will be applied. You can find this at almost any automotive store or your favorite Home Improvement store.
      .
    • I discovered that the double-sided tape over time will lose its adhesiveness and come loose first on the inner part of the plastic Lip apron cover, so you don’t want to skimp on these last two steps (i.e. sanding and 3M adhesive promoter)
    .

    .
  3. Applying Double-Sided Tape to inside of Lip Apron Cover
    Once the bumper clean, smooth, and free of debris/glue, apply a strong double-sided tape to the areas shown above in the red-highlighted areas on the inside of the Lip apron cover. But leave the protective film on the exposed side of the tape ON for now. The area where the yellow highlighted is drawn above is where the vendor has supplied double-sided tape. Once this step is done, set aside the Lip/Adapter assembly. You are now ready to jack up the car.

Jacking up your F30
You might be able to skip this entire section completely, if you are riding at stock height. If you find that you have enough clearance to slip the Lip/Adapter assembly right underneath the bumper, you just saved yourself about 15-30 minutes. If so, the most you might need is a mirror to see where the holes are in the bumper to align them to the holes in the Lip. However, if you find you need to jack up the car, then read on ...

Jacking up your F30 is actually more difficult than it sounds as I am convinced that BMW designed the car in such a way to discourage the average joe from getting their F30 off the ground. This is because there are only 3 jack points on the front of an F30 that can be used, and two of them (sides) require a special adapter. And if you have a car that’s lowered, you have additional challenges.

If this is the case, and need to jack up your car, you still might be able to skip step #1 of this section, if your car is not lowered to the point where you still have enough clearance for you to slip a floor jack under the front of your car, and you have enough vertical room to pump the jack’s lever up/down to get the car up, you are lucky. Just make sure that you are on a flat surface before you attempt to jack your car up. Jacking your car up on an incline is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs as this can cause severe injury and/or death should your car fall/roll off the jacks.
  1. Ramp for your F30 (optional) – if your F30 is lowered to the point where you can not even slip a floor jack under the front of the car and/or you don’t have enough vertical clearance to pump the jack lever to start getting the car up, you may need a ramp to get your car high enough to start jacking it up. This may be as simple as just putting a single 2x4 on the ground and driving over it, or possibly buying one of the commercially available ramps – e.g. Rhino. In my case (where the car is lowered to within a couple of inches to the ground), building a very gradual 4-step ramp to get your car up was necessary. You can skip this step if this is not your situation.

    .
    Building a ramp yourself is way better than buying a commercial one, because you can build it to your exact specifications, and its not that hard to do. All you need is for each side is $20 for a single piece of 2x12x12 lumber, a saw, measuring tape, a hammer, and some nails.
    .

    .
  2. Jacking up the car from the front
    Once you are able to slip your floor jack under your F30, you will want to position it directly down the middle of the front of the car to a point where your floor jack’s contact point is in direct contact with the front jack location for the F30.
    .

    .
    The front jack position on the F30 is just forward of the flap where the oil drain plug is located. It will be visually hard to locate if you are peeking under the car, but the area has a slight indentation in the liner and is rectangular/square in shape. If you can visualize some cross-hairs formed by a line going down the center of the car and a line going through the center of the front wheels, the front jacking spot is in those cross-hairs.
    .

    .
    Note1: when you start jacking up the car, listen carefully as the car goes up. There should be only a light/faint creaking of the chassis as the car goes up. This is normal. However, if you start hearing loud tearing, cracking, or other sudden sounds, this is indication that your jack point is not centered properly. Release the jack immediately, and re-position, then try again.
    .
    Note2: the liner that covers the bottom of the car is made of soft material and you may want to protect it from the contact surface of your floor jack using some old clothing or a baseball glove. Over time, this area will get pretty beat up from repeated use of your floor jack’s rough metal contact point. I use an old Chenille wash mitt as a buffer.
    .
  3. Jacking up the car from the sides - (optional but highly recommended)Never attempt to work under the car without having the car resting on two mechanical jack stands. However, since this Lip installation does not require you to crawl under the car to do this work, this step is optional (although still highly recommended). Doing this is safer and more stable, as your car will be resting on two mechanical jack stands instead of one hydraulic floor jack (higher potential for failure), and it will give you a better view of the holes that will be used to attach your lip to the bumper.
    .

    .
    BMW has two jack points at the front sides of the car (see red rectangles in picture above) that requires the use of special jack pad adapters in order to use them. Trying to use the standard “V”-claw type jack stands is not only unsafe, but will also insure you will tear up the sides of your car. In order to do it right, you really need to use either the official BMW jack pad adapters or you can purchase some after-market ones from ECS Tuning, Ebay, Amazon, or even make them yourselves using hockey pucks, aluminum billet blocks, wood, or any other material that will allow you to fit the adapter inside the jack pads on your F30. I’ve even seen the “V”-claw type jack stands modified/cut to fit inside the jack pads.
    .

    In addition to the adapters, you’ll probably also need to purchase special jack stands that will allow the jack pad adapter to lay flat/secure on the jack stand while the car is resting on them. Jack stands like the ESCO ones above will cost you more, but will insure that your car will rest safely up in the air.

    In any case, once you have the front/center of the car jacked up high enough with the floor jack, you can slip two mechanical jack stands on either side of the front of the car where the two special jack stand adapters are located, and lower the car safely onto the jack stands. You are ready to install your Lip!

Lip Install
To be honest, once you get to this point, its all downhill from here. The rest of this will take you tops 15 mins max (if you don't need to do any drilling!!). You’ve done the hard work already, the rest is cake.

Here is what the Lip/Adapter assembly looks like once you have them fastened together. There are 4 holes on each side that will be used to secure it to the bumper. You will need to make sure that there are corresponding holes in the M-Sport bumper to do the attachment.


  1. Drilling holes in the bumper (not likely)
    In all likelyhood, your M-Sport bumper should have all the holes needed to install your Lip/Splitter already pre-drilled. However, depending on where you purchased your bumper, there may be an outside chance that not all the holes are there, and that you will need to do some additional drilling.

    If all 4 holes (on each side, so 8 total) are not pre-drilled in the bumper, just take the Lip/Adapter assembly, hold it up against the bumper (should fit like a glove), get a Sharpie pen, and mark the center of each of the 4 holes on each side of the Lip (so 8 total) through the Lip onto the bumper. You may need the help of another person to hold the Lip on the car while you do this. Once you have the center's marked, take your 6mm drill bit, attach it to your drill, and drill all the necessary holes in your bumper for the install.
    .
  2. Attaching Lip/Adapter assembly to bumper
    .
    This is where the expanding rivets (BMW Part #51118174185) come into play. You'll need 8 of these things (4 for each side). Btw.. if you purchased an after-market kit, these rivets, which are the most important piece that attaches your Lip/Adapter assembly: are NOT in the kit. They will come with the kit if you ordered the BMW OEM Aero Front Lip/Splitter kit, but typically will NOT in after-market kits. YMMV. In any case, if you don't have them, you'll need to order these from your local BMW dealership or online. I found that they are about the same price whether you get them from the dealership or online, so i just stockpiled a bunch from my local dealership
    .

    .
    There are 4 holes on each side of the Lip/Adapter assembly used to fasten it to the bumper as seen in this picture below:
    .


    And there are 4 corresponding holes on the bumper. Here is the view of those holes on the driver's side of the bumper, looking up from underneath the car upwards.
    .

    .

    .
    Here's another view of the same side (driver's side) of the bumper, but looking from the front center of the bumper.
    .


    Take the Lip/Adapter assembly and first remove all the protective film on the double-sided tape film from the inside of the Lip's apron covers. Next, take the inner top edge of the Lip's apron covers and place it at the top of the bumper's apron so that its wedged in as far as it will go, coming in downwards at an angle. Make sure the Lip's apron cover's edge goes in a far as it will go so that the apron cover covers the entire bumper apron and that there is no "gap" on the bumper that is exposed.

    Next, swing the lip downwards like a hinge so that that double-sided tape will adhere to the bumper's apron as it comes down, insuring that there is no "gap" between the edge of the Lip where the color from the bumper's apron is exposed.

    Once you have insured a tight and gapless fit, line up the Lip/Adapter assembly against the bumper (it should fit like a glove) until all the holes line up. Then take 4 of the expanding rivets and push them into holes #1, #2, #3, and #4 with your fingers. If the space is a little too cramped/tight, you might find using needle-nose pliers easier to work with. But it will be as easy as 1-2-3:
    .
    1. Push the rivet through the Lip/Adapter assembly hole into the corresponding bumper hole
    2. Push the pin into the rivet (pin expands the rivet inside the hole, anchoring it into the inside of the bumper)
    3. Done!
    .
    Do 4 on each side for a total of 8.

    Note: the 2 holes on the extreme outer edges of the Lip have smaller holes than the other 6, and you may need to use a Dremel tool to shave down the edges of the expanding rivet flange so that it fits inside the hole. YMMV.

  3. Attaching middle mount point to bumper – as a final step to secure the lip to the bumper, you can use the two supplied Torx/plastic screws in your mounting hardware kit, or two generic ” x ” plastic screws to attach the center part of the Lip to the bumper using a screwdriver. If you don't have holes pre-drilled into the center of your bumper for this step, you probably don't even need them. The mounting hardware I got with my kit had 2 plastic screws, which are designed to just go through soft plastic bumper material. You'll need put some muscle to it, but you should be able to just drive these two screws through the center piece of the lip that has the two holes and go through your bumper. If this proves too difficult, you may need some pilot holes, but use a drill bit smaller than your plastic screws if thats the case.
    .

    .
Making it Extra Secure (Optional)
There are always people who will want to go the extra mile to insure that whatever they are installing is extra secure. For those in that category, there's good news for you There are actually 4 additional holes (on each side so 8 total) on the inner adapter that gives you additional security to insure your lip is extra secured to the bumper. The four holes are circled in red in the picture below:

The bad news is that once you insert the Adapter into the Lip (done in the pre-work stage), you can't access these holes to make use of them. In addition, it seems like these holes are seldom used by anyone - the factory, and dealerships alike, so it will require drilling 8 additional 6mm holes in order to use them. It will be very rare that these holes will already come pre-drilled in your M-Sport bumper.

So... if you want to utilize these extra holes, you'll need to do some drilling and you'll need to change the order in which you do the install. Its not too big of a change, but enough that makes it less convenient, you will will have to install the Adapter first, then the Lip separately, later. So the new order of install would be:

1) Take the Adapter by itself and hold it up to the bumper, and mark the center of these 8 extra holes using a Sharpie. Set the Adapter aside.
2) Drill these extra 4 bracket holes in the bumper on each side (so 8 total) using the 6mm drill bit (or a 1/4" drill bit). It goes through the bumper like butter

3) Insert rivets into these extra bracket holes FIRST to pre-secure bracket-only to bumper
4) THEN attach the 10 c-clips/screws to secure the Lip to the already installed Adapter. So you would have to do these 10 c-clips/screws upside down under the car instead of in your living room as pre-work. That makes the install a little more difficult, and little less convenient.
5) Attach rivets to #1, #2, #3, #4 (for both sides, so 8 total) as usual to attach Lip/Adapter assembly to bumper
6) Screw 2 center screws through the Lip/Adapter assembly center to bumper
.
Finished Work
.
Go grab a beer and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
.

.

Last edited by squidlyboy; 06-04-2015 at 01:10 AM.
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      05-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #2
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Bro, you are the man! Thanks for all the help, the comments, posts/threads and pictures you have posted are excellent even a novice can do this install after reading this thread, I know I will. Thanks again! If you are ever in NYC I owe you a beer! or 2 or 3.... lol
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      05-26-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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dude... i LOVE New York and LOVE BEER even MORE - don't tempt me because i will make YOU PAY
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      05-27-2015, 12:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlyboy View Post
dude... i LOVE New York and LOVE BEER even MORE - don't tempt me because i will make YOU PAY
If ya like Guiness we have the best Guiness on tap!... My offer stands whenever you are up in NYC hit me up. The least I can do for all the knowledge you shared!
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      05-27-2015, 02:27 AM   #5
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Thank god my car came with this lip....but dayam...you sir are the $h!t! This DIY was almost as badass as that DIY ramp.

Thank you for sharing this! I'm sure it will be helpful for MANY people!! This type of thread is what these forums are all about!
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      07-31-2015, 10:41 AM   #6
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Wow that's one DIY...I always wondered where the main jack point was for the front center.
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      08-01-2015, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippydo View Post
Wow that's one DIY...I always wondered where the main jack point was for the front center.
Since you brought it up, i should probably give everyone a heads up that you need to be pretty spot on on hitting the cross bar where the jack point is or risk damaging the oil pan (very thin fins) on the one side or tearing the fragile plastic lining on the other. Don't ask me how i know It pays not to be arrogant/lazy and think you'll hit the right place without even looking ... even though you've done it a million times

Its a little daunting when you first look under there, because you'll only see the underbody shield. However, if you look close enough, there will be some indentations on the shield that will mark where you need to hit.

Here are some pics of the underbody shield removed so that you can see what's underneath...

The yellow highlighted square is the service panel for the oil drain plug, but you DONT want to hit there... trust me. You need to hit the jack point between the two yellow lines. This is the area where the chassis cross bar runs across the front of the car and its directly in the center of the two front wheels.
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Last edited by squidlyboy; 08-01-2015 at 06:42 PM.
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      08-13-2015, 04:28 PM   #8
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squidlyboy,
Just got done installing mine on my F31 following your write up.
Oustanding work.....thanks so much for your hard work and making a great contribution!!!!
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Last edited by scostu; 08-14-2015 at 06:25 AM.
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      12-03-2015, 02:43 AM   #9
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I'll install mine tomorrow, already built the ramp.
Thanks a lot for the info!
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      12-08-2015, 04:03 PM   #10
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Thanks For Your Tips!!!!!!!


Best help for my new lip on mineral grey.
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      12-08-2015, 11:55 PM   #11
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The black lip blends that mineral grey very naturally ... thats a pretty wicked look right there bro. I don't ever get tired of looking at this m-perf aero lip. nice work!
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      12-16-2015, 06:48 PM   #12
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Boliegray,

I have a 335i m sport with the same front splitter and live in Los Angeles. Is your car lowered? If so, how bad do you scrape when leaving parking lots? I really want to put adjustable coilovers on my car to get the right stance but can't fully commit based on potential clearance issues. I already scrape sometimes with the stock ride height. Thanks for the input. Comments from other members are also welcome.
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      12-17-2015, 12:24 AM   #13
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Thanks for your help.
I did mine following your instructions and I didn't have to pay. Name:  IMG_20151205_174204.jpg
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      12-17-2015, 01:16 AM   #14
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Alpine White - my favorite color

Super clean look brutha! Love the painted lip and how your car blends with the sunset sky - great composition!
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      01-10-2016, 11:34 PM   #15
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Squidlyboy-

Thank you for posting this DIY... You Saved me a lot of frustration.

The recommend additional VHB tape + adhesive promoter and surface prep is absolutely necessary. I have a plastic pop rivet gun so I used this instead of the BMW rivets in a few spots. They seem to fit tighter than the the BMW ones.

I Now understand why Squidlyboy stressed getting it Jacked up is the most difficult part. I have a set of Rhino Ramps and they were Effectively Useless for this project. The front of my car just barely cleared the rhino ramps without the front splitter and with the new splitter, forget it. I knew if I had used them it would have torn off the splitter backing it off the ramps. My rolling floor jack also doesn't fit under the car never mind hitting the jack point.

I ended up using some 2x8 scraps I had lying around to get it 1.5" off the floor. Definitely not ideal but it was just enough so I could get under it to work. I will definitely be fabricating some more permanent ramps with the steps in the near future.

I left it Black and it blends well with the rest of the car.

Melbourne Red with black accents. Pictures to follow.
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2014 328i M Sport Melbourne Red
2013 Cooper Clubman
2008 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
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