Monday 26 May 2014

E60: Replacing headlight-washer caps / hinges!

Despite how it looks, you can't replace them with the bumper on. This is best done while the whole front bumper is off the car, but thesis the quick and dirty method, of course.

1. Lift each cap out of the bumper on the hinge and remove them by depressing the clips at the back and sliding the lugs out of the hinge.

2. Remove the screw holding each corner of the bumper to the wing using a 10mm wrench.

3. Pop the corner out of the wing and bend it out enough to reach behind the headlight-washer cap.

4. Remove the hinge / lever by bending one side out and unhooking it from the outer lugs, the other side should then come away easily.

5. Remove the spring by squeezing the coils towards each other and unhooking them from the inner lugs.

6. Fit the new spring as a reverse of removal.

7. Lift the spring up forwards and fit the new hinge / lever as a reverse of removal, then release the spring ensuring it is tight against the flat-bar on the hinge.

8. Refit each corner of the bumper.

9. Lift the hinges / levers out of the bumper and fit the caps.

Sunday 25 May 2014

New trim pieces for M-Sport bumper + painting!

As my bumper didn't come with the cover-caps or hinges, I had to source them separately. I got the headlight-washer hinges directly from BMW Parts [Williams, Liverpool] and they were only £2.70 each inc. VAT. BMW are good for clips and random bits, but trim pieces are a bit more expensive, especially if you have them painted in your colour-code.

I turned to eBay, but was surprised to find used pieces are thin on the ground and no silver ones coming up. New, the headlight-washer caps start at £16 each and go up, plus delivery, so a pair of genuine ones for £30 delivered actually seemed reasonable. These came from MM Autos [eBay ID: adrian5882745], the same place in Wrexham I got the bumper, but I checked and the silver caps from mine are long sold! The tow-hook caps start at £25 for a new one and again no used ones in silver, so I recommend buying from a seller on eBay Germany called bmdoubleyou24. A new genuine one in primer is £18 delivered and only took 5 days to arrive so was worth the saving.

£70 worth of plastic. Headlight-washer caps, hinges and tow-hook cap, only the essentials.

Finally, I bought a can of Titansilver (or Titanium Silver, same paint-code) spray from Halfords, along with a fresh can of clear-lacquer, £6.49 each. After giving the caps about six coats of both, I gave them a good rub with T-cut so they look OE, though I have a feeling they will look a lot shinier than the bumper. I will have to get polishing and sort those scratches...

M-Sport Bumper Total Cost:
Bumper - £200
Hinges - £5.40
Washer-caps - £30
Tow-hook Cap - £18.11
Paint/lacquer - £12.98
TOTAL - £266.49

Pre-primed ABS-plastic is a piece of cake to paint and was going great...
...until it rained and spotted the lacquer... needed a bit of flatting back...
...and repainting, followed by a quick blast with rubbing-compound.
New 'M-Paket' hinges do indeed need the corner of the bumper pulling out to fit, they can't be done from outside.

Saturday 24 May 2014

E60: Fitting M-Sport Front Bumper

1. Bumper Removal:

1.1 Remove the bolt holding either corner of the bumper, just inside the wheel-arch, using a 10mm wrench. The edges of the bumper inside the wing should be free to pull out of join.

1.2 Remove the screws holding the wheel-arch liner to the front bumper using an 8mm socket. *If you are replacing your arch-liners then remove them entirely.

1.3 Remove the two screws from the lower centre of the bumper, using a T25-Torx socket, located just under the lip below each corner of the licence-plate.

1.4 Remove the two screws from the lower centre of the bumper using a T25-Torx socket, located inside each spotlight-grille recess.

1.5 Remove the five screws holding the upper-centre of the bumper along the top edge of the grille/slam panel using a T30-Torx socket.

1.6 The bumper should be free to move, so wiggle it forward and gently rest the front-centre on the ground.

1.7 Unplug the wiring to the spotlights and four parking-sensors (PDC).

1.8 Unfasten the wiring from the hooks along the inside edge of the bumper.

2. Preparing M-Sport Bumper:

2.1 Swap over the spotlight bulb-holders. They are removed by rotating a quarter-turn anti-clockwise.

2.2 Swap over the four parking-sensors (PDC). Remove them by pulling them out from the back while gently pressing from the outer side. They should fit the lugs on all E60 bumpers, regardless of year.

2.3 Ensure the grilles, headlight-washer hinges and springs are fitted to the bumper as they cannot be fitted once it is on.

2.4 On the car, remove the wiring from the foam-polystyrene blocks and remove the blocks from the car.

2.5 Fit the 'M-Paket' foam-polystyrene blocks to the car and re-insert the wiring to them, or if you do not have compatible foam blocks and are leaving them off, find a suitable route for the wiring over the top of the grille / air-ducts.

2.6 If you do not have 'M-Paket' brake-air-ducts on your bumper, then swap the existing ones left to right and flip them upside down to clear the M-Sport grille-recesses. 

3. Fitting M-Sport Bumper:

3.1 Place the M-Sport bumper in front of the car and reinsert the PDC/spotlight wiring to the hooks along the inside edge of the bumper.

3.2 Reconnect the wiring-plugs to each parking-sensor (PDC) and spotlight.

3.3 Lift the bumper up to the car, so the front-undertray slides above the deeper M-Sport lip and put one screw loosely into the centre hole on the top of the grille.

3.4 Hook each corner of the bumper round into the slot in the wheel-arch and replace the 10mm screws, but not tighten fully.

3.5 Find a suitable placement for the bumper, where the shut lines at either side of the headlight are as equal as possible. Do this one side at a time and fully tighten the 10mm screws.

3.6 *If you have the adapter-brackets on your bumper then fasten these to the two centre screw-holes from step 1.3.

3.7 Loosely replace the remaining four screws along the top of the grille / slam-panel, find a suitable placement for the grille panel where it does not disturb the shut-lines at the headlight corners and fully tighten the top screws using a T30-Torx socket.

3.8 Fit the M-Paket wheel-arch liners and fasten them to the bumper using the 8mm screws, or if you are keeping the SE ones, measure where the outer edge of the liner fouls the M-Sport bumper and cut a sliver off. One of the 8mm screw holes should still line up and hold the cut liner in place.

3.9 Replace the weather-strip trim to the top grille-panel.

3.10 Check the headlight-washers are clearing their apertures and refit the cover-caps.

Sunday 18 May 2014

E60 M-Sport Bumper Retrofit: '08 LCI to '04 SE

I have mentioned hankering after an M-Sport or M5 style front-bumper for my 530d, but they are expensive. A new spurious one will cost about £230, the same price as a damaged genuine one and either of these require painting. A mint one already painted in Titansilver, complete with grilles, parking-sensors and trim will run £400. I've been looking for a few months and this week spotted an undamaged '08 front bumper for £250 with new spot-lamps and grilles, but no sensors or trim. Best of all it was in Wrexham, less than 30 miles away, so when I emailed the seller offering £200 cash on collection and he accepted, I realised that I was now bound to the idea. I got the bumper on in 2 hours, but a lot of bits had to be removed to do it and before I start modifying them to fit I'm sat on a fence between bothering at all, or just going back to stock - I can still get £200 for this M-bumper all day long.

Before you consider doing the retrofit to an SE, I must mention that even if the M-Sport bumper is fully-loaded with trim and bits, you will still need to buy a heap of extra parts to make it fit properly. If you don't, stock parts that get in the way will either have to be binned or modified to fit...

Things that DO fit:
  • Wing and top-grille mounting points.
  • Spot-lamp bulb-holders.
  • Parking-sensors (PDC).
  • Grille-top weather-strip.
Things that do NOT fit:
  • Headlight-washer caps.
  • Headlight-washer cap hinges.
  • Tow-eye cover cap.
  • All 4 lower-grille mounting points.
  • Left + right brake air-duct.
  • Under-tray left + right corners.
  • Front wheel-arch liners.
  • Bumper shock-absorbers (foam-polystyrene blocks).
Assuming your bumper comes bare, you will need these essentials:

H/Light Washer Hinge (Lever) Left [51117896601] (22 in below pic)
H/Light Washer Hinge (Lever) Right [51117896602]
H/Light Washer Cap Left [51117897211] (21 in below pic)
H/Light Washer Cap Right [51117897212]
Tow-eye Cover Cap [51117897210] (9 in below pic)

You can get away with leaving the bumper unbolted in the lower-centre, or easily fab-up some custom brackets, but if you want to buy them then you will need:

Holding Strap [51111973721] (10 in below pic)
2x Adapter Bracket [51117896611] (33 in below pic)

The foam-polystyrene bumper 'shock-absorbers' can be cut to fit or just left off, but if you want them they are:

Shock-absorber Left [51117896589]
Shock-absorber Right [51117896590]

The plastic wheel-arch liners only need a sliver cutting off to make them fit, but if you really want to replace them:

Front Wheel-arch Liner/Cover Left [51717896605]
Front Wheel-arch Liner/Cover Right [51717896606]

The diagram above with all parts can be seen on this page of