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      05-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
pablobaq
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DIY: Black Kidney Grills

Hi all,

As you might know the black M-performance grills are not available for all the BMW models, so I decided to mod mine.

This is an easy way to convert your chrome grills to glossy black. Using 3M vinyl.

Total Cost: $15 (1 linear foot X 60" of 3M glossy vinyl)
Time to accomplish: 1 - 1.5 hours
Tools Needed: Heat gun, Exacto knife, Flat-head screwdriver, rubbing alcohol

NOTE: Dont save $ on the vinyl. this will make your life much easier and the outcome MUCH better.

Before:



After:





Steps:

1) Remove the grills from the car. - Use this great post for details:
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=701830

2) Once you remove the grills from the car, separate the outer chrome trim from the grill part by prying on the tabs:



A regular flat head screwdriver makes it easy.



3) Clean chrome frame thoroughly with soap water, and then clean it with rubbing alcohol. this will ensure a good bond between the part and the vinyl. Unroll the vinyl and cut a piece at least 4" bigger in all directions.



3) Peel off the backing from the vinyl and lay it flat on a table.
put chrome frame centered in the middle of the vinyl. apply pressure to get it to stick to the frame. Start stretching the vinyl in the widest part of the trim.

4) Continue stretching the material along the perimeter, an inch at a time. take your time and pull back the vinyl if you get big bubbles trapped.

5) Now the inside part. Make an "H" shape cut on the vinyl with the x-acto knife to release material tension:



Use the heatgun to make the vinyl more malleable and stretchable. but be careful not to focus the heat on one spot, or you will burn the vinyl.

6) Use your hands to stretch the material and apply some pressure to glue it to the inner ring. Do this one inch at time around all the interior perimeter and always pull back if its wrinkling or bubbled.

7) Once you are done, cut all the excess material off the piece and the assembly tabs and re-attach the two parts together. once your are done, re assemble it back on your car




Check out this 6 minute video in youtube. It shows someone doing a part that has similar surfaces as the chrome trim. It really helped to do this effortlessly and with great results:



Post here or PM me if you have any questions

Cheers and happy DYIing!

Last edited by pablobaq; 05-16-2014 at 07:48 PM. Reason: wrong link
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      05-16-2014, 08:17 PM   #2
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Thanks for the DIY! Looks great
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      05-16-2014, 11:56 PM   #3
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Great job!
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      05-17-2014, 03:47 AM   #4
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Great job!
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      05-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, its really easy to do. not to mention a great mod if you are leasing, or want to go back to chrome in the future... its fully reversible.
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      05-17-2014, 01:30 PM   #6
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Great DIY, added to the ultimate DIY guide !
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      05-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2blu View Post
Great DIY, added to the ultimate DIY guide !
Great Thanks 2blu! Its always nice to give back and add to the great DIYs in this forum.
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      05-21-2014, 11:40 PM   #8
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I'm going to try this!
Someone told me before it couldn't be done!

Thanks for sharing!
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      02-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #9
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Excellent work! Personally I would want the slats to be wrapped gloss black aswell but thats just me.

Your F34 black gloss black grill is now available from Germany for only around $350!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NIEREN-GRILL...item5d52bc6228
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      06-05-2015, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithf32 View Post
Excellent work! Personally I would want the slats to be wrapped gloss black aswell but thats just me.

Your F34 black gloss black grill is now available from Germany for only around $350!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NIEREN-GRILL...item5d52bc6228
Thanks man!
The slats are already gloss black
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      07-29-2015, 01:04 PM   #11
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I am looking on ECS Tuning to buy some gloss black vinyl. They have options for sizes like 5' x 1' or 5' x 2'. Which one would I need for the grills. I want to make sure I have enough. Maybe even some left over for other things. Thank you.
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      07-31-2015, 01:24 AM   #12
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Great job! Looks great and awesome share!
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      08-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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Will try this DIY! Thank you for the details!
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      08-19-2015, 06:08 PM   #14
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I preferred a matte finish so I just sprayed mine with Plasti Dip
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      08-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #15
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Awesome post, you just saved me a bunch of money!
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      08-22-2015, 02:23 AM   #16
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$15 heat gun! Sweet!
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      01-11-2016, 11:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnsguypat View Post
I am looking on ECS Tuning to buy some gloss black vinyl. They have options for sizes like 5' x 1' or 5' x 2'. Which one would I need for the grills. I want to make sure I have enough. Maybe even some left over for other things. Thank you.
5' X1' is more than enough with alot left over...
Good luck!
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      01-11-2016, 11:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacrX View Post
Awesome post, you just saved me a bunch of money!
You are welcome man! did you do it already? show us some pics!
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      02-09-2016, 09:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoxaero View Post
I preferred a matte finish so I just sprayed mine with Plasti Dip
Where did you get your matte plasti dip spray from?
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      06-14-2016, 06:10 PM   #20
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A1 Job
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      03-28-2017, 04:14 PM   #21
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Thanks for putting the time into the tutorial. I struggled with the inside corners, they ripped and took a few redos to get it right but still had to patch a little bit. I might of used a little too much heat, but seemed to always have too much tension. i would get it perfect and then while working on some other spots would look back and would tear a little.

I think the patches will be fine, quite small and barely noticeable as it is in the back. If it fails over time, might just buy the black grills new, took me a couple hours and probably shouldnt of redone it again but ran out of material.
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      03-28-2017, 04:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablobaq View Post
Hi all,

As you might know the black M-performance grills are not available for all the BMW models, so I decided to mod mine.

This is an easy way to convert your chrome grills to glossy black. Using 3M vinyl.

Total Cost: $15 (1 linear foot X 60" of 3M glossy vinyl)
Time to accomplish: 1 - 1.5 hours
Tools Needed: Heat gun, Exacto knife, Flat-head screwdriver, rubbing alcohol

NOTE: Dont save $ on the vinyl. this will make your life much easier and the outcome MUCH better.

Before:



After:





Steps:

1) Remove the grills from the car. - Use this great post for details:
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=701830

2) Once you remove the grills from the car, separate the outer chrome trim from the grill part by prying on the tabs:



A regular flat head screwdriver makes it easy.



3) Clean chrome frame thoroughly with soap water, and then clean it with rubbing alcohol. this will ensure a good bond between the part and the vinyl. Unroll the vinyl and cut a piece at least 4" bigger in all directions.



3) Peel off the backing from the vinyl and lay it flat on a table.
put chrome frame centered in the middle of the vinyl. apply pressure to get it to stick to the frame. Start stretching the vinyl in the widest part of the trim.

4) Continue stretching the material along the perimeter, an inch at a time. take your time and pull back the vinyl if you get big bubbles trapped.

5) Now the inside part. Make an "H" shape cut on the vinyl with the x-acto knife to release material tension:



Use the heatgun to make the vinyl more malleable and stretchable. but be careful not to focus the heat on one spot, or you will burn the vinyl.

6) Use your hands to stretch the material and apply some pressure to glue it to the inner ring. Do this one inch at time around all the interior perimeter and always pull back if its wrinkling or bubbled.

7) Once you are done, cut all the excess material off the piece and the assembly tabs and re-attach the two parts together. once your are done, re assemble it back on your car




Check out this 6 minute video in youtube. It shows someone doing a part that has similar surfaces as the chrome trim. It really helped to do this effortlessly and with great results:



Post here or PM me if you have any questions

Cheers and happy DYIing!
Amazing what a little bit of gloss black paint can do from a spray can. Though this technique looks more involved than that. Looks like you need to have some additional equipment in addition to the $15 of materials.
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