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    Thread: DIY: front bumper removal and blackout grille install

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    1. Member
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      01-13-2008 02:13 PM #1
      For your convenience, I've documented my steps in removing the front bumper to swap out the OEM chrome/grey S-Line grille for the OEM blackout grille and plate holder.

      This is how I did it, although I'm sure there are many different ways.

      If you're wondering if it's necessary to remove the front bumper to swap the grilles, YES, it is necessary, you'll see why.

      Tools used:
      Torx-25
      Torx-30
      ratchet and 10mm socket
      jack and two stands
      flat head screwdriver
      philips head (a.k.a. "+" head) screwdriver

      Time used:
      A little over 3 hours at a fairly leisurely pace, giving myself time to wipe down some dirty crevaces and stumble through the initial bumper removal, as I didn't know exactly which screws needed to be removed (i.e. a bit of trial and error)

      Note:
      steps 4) to 11) are explained for one side of the car only, the other side is simply a mirror image. I always did both sides before moving to the next step.

      Process:
      1)Put down something soft under the front of your car, both for your own comfort and to keep the bumper from being scratched when you remove it.
      2) Jack up the front of the car high enough so you can easily manoeuvre under there.
      3) Pop the hood and get to work! Remove the THREE screws just at the mouth of the engine bay.

      4) Slide under the car and remove the FOUR torx screws (all torx screws are size 25 from here on) that follow the line connecting two plastic under body pieces.

      5) Remove the torx screws closer to the front bottom of the bumper. THREE screws in total.
      Note: green "C" is in the middle of bumper, so no mirror image for this one screw.

      6) The front underbody piece should now be loose. Pull it out of there.

      7) With that piece removed, you can now see green "D". Remove it.

      8) Now to the wheel well. Remove these FIVE screws pictured.

      9) These next TWO screws don't need to be removed, but I did just so that I could get easier access to some screws in the upcoming steps. This one is the infamous "rubbing" screw that many of you have experience with, hehe. It's at the arch of the wheel well.

      And this one below is near the arch of the inner wheel well.

      10) The bumper is almost off! Pull back the wheel well liner to get access to these TWO bad boys, blue "A" and "B". You have to access them from below what's labeled.

      After you remove these two, the red arrow in the picture above is pointing to the 10mm screw, so break out the ratchet and 10mm socket to get at this screw. You may or may not need a socket extension piece to reach it. I used one to make things easier.

      11) That should do it, IIRC. Look at the picture below, grab hold around the red dot area and carefully pull in the direction of the arrow. Make sure there's something soft on the ground beneath the bumper.

      A different angle of blue "A" and "B" after removal of the bumper.

      12) Pull out fog light connectors so that you're not constrained when trying to pop out/in the grilles.

      13) There are a couple philips head screws holding the grille to the bumper, remove those. Take your flat head screwdriver to help you push against the many tabs to separate the grille from the bumper. Let me warn you, this was a b!tch, you have to use force, but you also don't want to break anything. Just be patient. This step alone took me about half an hour!

      14) Go get one, you deserve it!

      15) Out with the old, in with the new!

      Pop in the blackout grille. This is a million times easier than the removal! Make sure all your tabs pop into place. Screw in the philips head screws onto the blackout grille where they were removed from the original grille.

      16) Once you've double checked everything, mount the bumper back onto the car. It should be able to sit in place on its own (with no screws) if properly set.

      17) go through steps 12) to 5) in decending order to get all those damn screws back into place and to re-mount your bumper.

      18) Test the bumper to make sure it's secure and check that there are no loose torx screws left lying around.

      19) Put the car back on the ground and enjoy!


      Comments and questions are welcome. Good luck


      Modified by kwanja_a3 at 11:20 AM 1-13-2008


    2. Member monkeydoc's Avatar
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      01-13-2008 02:54 PM #2
      stunning DIY!!

      grille looks great!

      /////////Eurofine
      NEK ...philly rep

    3. 01-13-2008 03:09 PM #3
      thx ... good info!

    4. 01-13-2008 03:43 PM #4
      Thanks,

      I was looking to do this. Great write up and pictures


    5. Member elevine17's Avatar
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      01-13-2008 03:45 PM #5
      You can leave everything on the car to replace the front license plate bracket with the front license plate delete right?

    6. 01-13-2008 04:53 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by elevine17 »
      You can leave everything on the car to replace the front license plate bracket with the front license plate delete right?

      Yes. Just need a Philips screwdriver and 2 min of time.


    7. 01-13-2008 05:35 PM #7
      hey ..is ur license plate cover..a "HARD" plastic...or is it kinda "soft-ish" ....i was looking for one @ pacific mall....but i can only find the HARD ones

    8. Member krazyboi's Avatar
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      01-13-2008 06:31 PM #8
      excellent DIY! very detailed.
      722 pages, 25255 posts, and 1,015,739 views later... R.I.P. LoL Bump thread 03/27/2008 ~ 02/16/2011.
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    9. Member
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      01-13-2008 07:27 PM #9
      Thanks for the comments guys! This seems like a pretty popular mod, hopefully this will give people more confidence to roll up their sleeves and tackle this installation themselves.

      Sifutghost: it's a hard plastic cover. Smoke colour. I've had it on for close to half a year and so far no cracks from rocks/pebbles. I got it from FMP, but they should be the same as the ones at pacific mall.


    10. 01-13-2008 07:45 PM #10
      sweet set up how much was the grill and how long did it take you to do it

    11. Member
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      01-13-2008 09:24 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by Audifollow »
      sweet set up how much was the grill and how long did it take you to do it

      Thanks! The grille plus licence plate holder came out to a little over $250 from ECS. Took a little over 3 hours for everything.


    12. 01-13-2008 10:46 PM #12
      Thanks ...btw nice job in getting the black grill in...it looks perfect...

      i think i gonna get it sometimes this week...

      is the shipping expensive??


    13. Member
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      01-14-2008 02:16 AM #13
      yes, shipping cost hurt pretty bad, $87.85 CDN, but at least no other hidden brokerage or duty costs. In the end, it's still cheaper than purchasing locally.

      If you're interested, I would go visit a few GTA dealers and ask them how much it would cost to order from them. If it's under $300.00 for everything, then that's a better deal by about 30 something bucks.


    14. 01-13-2008 07:59 PM #14
      nice write up

    15. Member Ultimatetaba's Avatar
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      01-13-2008 11:14 PM #15
      i like your mesh fog grilles. very nice. could you explain how you did that?

      great write-up as well. i'm sure it'll benefit tons of people looking to do this mod.

      Offsets: et69F et-23R

      IG: @ultimatetaba

    16. Member
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      01-14-2008 02:26 AM #16
      Thanks a lot Ultima!

      I will explain through pictures

      The fog light housing was actually my most enjoyable DIY mod, since it's so custom




      one tip, make sure you trim the mesh VERY close to the edge of the fog light housing, or else it will stick out and you won't be able put your fog light housing back in completely. What I did was I glued it on, then after the glue dried, I did the fine trimming. This was perfect glue for the job, btw. Marine goop. I used a toothpick to neatly get the glue where I wanted.

      Now that I think of it, the fog mesh mod and the blackout grille are great mods to do at the same time since you can easily access to the inside of the bumper to see exactly where you need to further trim the mesh to allow all the fog housing tabs snap back into place properly


      Modified by kwanja_a3 at 11:31 PM 1-13-2008


    17. Junior Member
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      01-08-2013 06:00 PM #17
      hey i was wondering where you got that mesh from fog the fog grills

    18. Member Ultimatetaba's Avatar
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      01-14-2008 04:40 AM #18
      so do you cut the back of the fog grilles out? i don't exactly understand how you secured the mesh to the grilles. . thanks for the reply though.
      Offsets: et69F et-23R

      IG: @ultimatetaba

    19. Member
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      01-14-2008 07:13 AM #19
      Ahhh, let me calrify. The back of the fogs are actually a separate piece of plastic, so they pop right off. Once the back is wide open, I did some measuring and cut the mesh slightly larger than the opening size, then used the marine goop to glue the mesh to the opening, then let it dry, then I trimmed the excess mesh that went past the edge of the opening.

    20. 01-14-2008 08:54 AM #20
      Anyone have a picture of a brilliant red a3 with the blackout grille?

    21. Member
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      01-14-2008 10:06 AM #21
      Quote, originally posted by rpimtnbiker »
      Anyone have a picture of a brilliant red a3 with the blackout grille?

      Ibis and brilliant red are my favourite combos with the blackout grille, check these out:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3027403
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3619846

      Quote, originally posted by OettingerGTI »
      Mind if I ask where you got the mesh from? Is it black plastic?

      Don't mind at all, I got the mesh from customcargrills.com, mine is the Diamond XXL Grill Mesh, powdercoated gloss black. It's made of aluminum and the powdercoating is flawless, so far no indication of any chipping whatsoever.

      This is the ideal mesh that I wanted for my purposes and I didn't mind spending a little more on it, but there are lower cost alternatives, both from customcargrills.com, but also from your local hardware store or tuner shop for both plastic and metal applications.


    22. 01-14-2008 10:44 AM #22
      sweet. That answered my question. I want the blackout grille but wasn't sure whether I could keep the chrome lip around the outside.

    23. Member
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      01-14-2008 11:24 AM #23
      Quote, originally posted by rpimtnbiker »
      sweet. That answered my question. I want the blackout grille but wasn't sure whether I could keep the chrome lip around the outside.

      You can. The chrome surrounding can be removed from the grille, it's just a bunch of tabs that holds it to the grille. Same for the blackout grille, so you could definitely mix-and-match the grilles with black/chrome surrounding. I would be very careful though, the surroundings appear to be pretty thin/breakable


    24. 01-14-2008 11:59 AM #24
      Is the blackout grille just a painted version of the stock grille? If that's the case I may end up doing something else. Also, would you happen to have a picture of the plastic piece that you removed from behind your fogs? The reason I ask is because I have access to an abasive waterjet cutter and might just make my own grille and fog light backing.

    25. Member OettingerGTI's Avatar
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      01-14-2008 09:05 AM #25
      Mind if I ask where you got the mesh from? Is it black plastic?

    26. 01-14-2008 12:51 PM #26
      THANK YOU VERY MUCH for that well detailed DIY writeup!

      Will help me tremendously when it's time for me to tackle my own
      bumper- to install SLine grill and projection headlamps!!!


    27. 01-14-2008 06:55 PM #27
      nice writeup! i've been stuck on the part taking out the grille. will give it a try again sometimes.
      The tinted license plate is awesome, i had it on for almost a year (without being pulled over). few of my friends got pulled over n ticketed for tinted license plate hehe.

    28. 08-31-2008 10:38 AM #28
      im sent

    29. 09-02-2008 03:50 AM #29
      This thread was golden when I put my blackout grille in. The only problem I had was removing the old grille from the bumper, which took forever and left me with a couple of flesh wounds from impaling myself with the screwdriver. Instead of buying the blackout plate holder I took some Krylon Satin black to mine and it doesn't look to shabby


    30. 09-02-2008 12:14 PM #30
      man....I tried to do this yesterday. I tell you, it was the hardest thing i have ever "tried" to do. I got as far as taking the bumper off but when it came to taking the grille off the bumper...i was lost, i just couldnt get it off. If i hadn't seen the pictures of you doing it, i would be sure it was impossible. The about, 12 tabs or so, just wouldnt come off. I was grinding away at the plastic and i was worried i wouldn't be able to get the grille on because the tabs were so torn up. The sun was going down, and i had spent about 1 hour trying to get the grille off. So i just gave up, and put on the bumper before the sun came fully down so i could drive back to school.
      really bummed me out.

    31. Member krazyboi's Avatar
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      09-02-2008 12:17 PM #31
      ^^^ that sucks dude. the way i found it worked best...work from bottom first, then go up along the sides and finish w/ the top. it helps to have a friend, dog, tree, garden gnome to hold the bumper in place while you pull the grill out

      you did remember to remove the screws holding it in place right?

      722 pages, 25255 posts, and 1,015,739 views later... R.I.P. LoL Bump thread 03/27/2008 ~ 02/16/2011.
      Link to my build: Audi A3 3.2 VR6 BT
      VMR l Wheels - V721

    32. Member terje_77's Avatar
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      09-02-2008 12:22 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by krazyboi »
      ^^^ that sucks dude. the way i found it worked best...work from bottom first, then go up along the sides and finish w/ the top. it helps to have a friend, dog, tree, garden gnome to hold the bumper in place while you pull the grill out

      you did remember to remove the screws holding it in place right?

      I recommend the garden gnome


    33. Junior Member
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      01-08-2013 05:58 PM #33
      hey i was wondering for the fogs where did you get that mesh material from?

    34. n00b
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      02-02-2013 05:55 PM #34
      Finally got mine done. Great guide, the grill removal from bumper is definitely most of the work.


    35. Junior Member LA-Fanatic's Avatar
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      02-14-2013 12:43 AM #35
      Are the ebay grills good? If not, where can I get a black grill?

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