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      03-02-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Front Reflector Delete

Over the next couple weeks while my car is on the boat, I will be researching options for a clean solution to the U.S. front amber reflector problem. As most of us are aware, the reflector is secured through a hole in the bumper. After the vehicle arrives, I'll have the actual OD measured to finalize the solution...

Here were my first thoughts:

get touch up paint and apply to a plug that will fit nicely...


blank plug link

similar to:

bumperplugs.com

I also thought about retrofitting a PDC sensor to cover it.

Quote:
RandyB: There is a hole in the fascia the size and shape of the reflector so it might be difficult to fill. Euro bumper cover will be the best option for anyone wanting to do away with it completely. Painting the reflectors body color is probably the cheapest way to go, plus you get to keep your factory painted fascia. It doesn't really bother me much any more and I intend to leave mine as is. I'm getting AW so it just adds a little color to the front fascia. I don't like 'clears' but maybe that will be an option later for those who do.
^Has it been verified without question that the entire footprint of the reflector has been gouged into the stock bumper? I was under the impression it was a just a hole behind the reflector.
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      03-02-2008, 02:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC kid View Post
^Has it been verified without question that the entire footprint of the reflector has been gouged into the stock bumper? I was under the impression it was a just a hole behind the reflector.
Yes, unfortunately. Look closely at this image posted by member mkoesel, I believe:

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      03-02-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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NOooooooo!

Thanks for posting Randy, that changes everything.

...funny I remember seeing that pic before, but I didn't remember seeing the void area as I do now.

I imagine the immediate solution is now down to two options:

body shop for fill & paint
paint the reflector & replace
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Last edited by OC ///M; 03-02-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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      03-02-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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I will order spray paint/clearcoat from BMW and just paint them. Wonder how difficult removal is.
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      03-02-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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Painting the reflector then seems to be the only reasonable solution - body shop fill and paint won't be practical for anyone wanting to do a clear bra.

Would poking a hole in the clear bra when I put it back on be a problem? Otherwise would need need a prepainted reflector or get it painted and wait a couple days before clear bra.
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      03-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nechronics View Post
Would poking a hole in the clear bra when I put it back on be a problem? Otherwise would need need a prepainted reflector or get it painted and wait a couple days before clear bra.
nechron: If you're talking about the vinyl version of clear bra, just have them cut out around the reflector when they apply it, so it's a non-issue. I usually go for the spay-on method, it doesn't yellow and you won't have any lines on the hood.
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      03-02-2008, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC kid View Post
...funny I remember seeing that pic before, but I didn't remember see the void area as I do now.
Actually there was another image from the same poster of the same car I think, but the hole was not apparent in that one. You may have seen that image because I found it when I was looking for this one.

At any rate, I think the best option is removing the reflector and spraying it with base coat and clear, and then reinstalling it. I think it pops out pretty easily. Thank US DOT for the reflectors, the product of a multi-million dollar study I'm sure.
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      03-02-2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC kid View Post
paint the reflector & replace
This is the option that makes the most sense. It can't be that hard to pull one out. They must be snap-fit parts.

However, if you send me a $750 check, I will send you CF replacements that will look cool and make your car go much faster than you can imagine.
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      03-02-2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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Sweet !!!
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      03-02-2008, 06:51 PM   #10
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Bimmian used to sell a painted reflector for the E46 M3... I've sent them an email to see if/when they will have these available...
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      03-02-2008, 07:58 PM   #11
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These are just like the reflectors on the 08 M5. They're double sided, meaning they're two separate pieces connected to each other (front and back). Be VERY CAREFUL removing them, as I snapped the M5's reflectors while trying to gently remove them. I'm going to have them removed, painted, then snapped back on. It'll look perfect that way.

And Mark, the hole holding the reflector is the same size and shape as the reflector. No plugs will fill that thing.
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      03-02-2008, 10:20 PM   #12
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Many different options. I'll wait for others to do their own then choose whats best for me by the results of others. Painting them seem to be the best option thus far.
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      03-03-2008, 01:00 AM   #13
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Sounds like not too many E46 M3 owners on this thread? This was a pretty big annoyance on the e46, and the top solutions are simply clean body work (expensive), order euro bumper (expensive), paint (cheap), or clear reflectors(no thanks).

Bumper plugs will not work. Same as on the e46, they are not circular holes, rather stamped outlines of the reflectors.

Anyhow, painted reflectors are fine, it just comes down to getting this done by yourself or buying from somewhere Bimmian, that simply paints the OEM reflectors. I'll call tomorrow and report back what they have to say. I'm sure they will produce these soon enough, i just hope the lag is not too long.
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      03-03-2008, 02:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ9 View Post
Sounds like not too many E46 M3 owners on this thread? This was a pretty big annoyance on the e46, and the top solutions are simply clean body work (expensive), order euro bumper (expensive), paint (cheap), or clear reflectors(no thanks).

Bumper plugs will not work. Same as on the e46, they are not circular holes, rather stamped outlines of the reflectors.

Anyhow, painted reflectors are fine, it just comes down to getting this done by yourself or buying from somewhere Bimmian, that simply paints the OEM reflectors. I'll call tomorrow and report back what they have to say. I'm sure they will produce these soon enough, i just hope the lag is not too long.
No DJ9, just me. But if I was, I probably wouldn't have made the OP, right?

...and thanks for the recap. Everything you posted has already been discussed more than once and starting like 10 posts back.

I guess now I have to go back and edit my OP so we don't get any more "Hey idiot, bumperplugs won't work" posts...

/thread
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      03-03-2008, 02:52 PM   #15
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Chill out bud, just trying to help out. Never said you were an idiot, simply commenting on something you posted.

What I posted was intended, as it was meant to reiterate the previous comments as some seemed to lack experience over this subject.

Sorry you felt that I was implying your idea was retarded; no need to be defensive, this is in fact a messege board
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Last edited by DJ9; 03-03-2008 at 04:30 PM.
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      03-03-2008, 03:35 PM   #16
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I purchased the Bimmian painted reflectors for my Carbon black E46 M3. Prefect match. Very happy with them. Hope they produce them for the new E92 M3.
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      03-03-2008, 05:39 PM   #17
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I asked my CA if the dealer could paint them for me before I pick up the car and she said they probably could....should I do this?
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      03-03-2008, 06:14 PM   #18
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Painted reflectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by nechronics View Post
I asked my CA if the dealer could paint them for me before I pick up the car and she said they probably could....should I do this?
I'd just get some from someone who specializes in this. For the E46 two were Bimmian and Evosport. However, may be a little while until they are available.
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      03-03-2008, 09:47 PM   #19
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DJ9: My apologies. Sounds like I took it the wrong way. I believe I may have been posting while intoxicated last night.

I wonder how soon the dealership's parts depts. would stock the spare reflectors...
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      03-03-2008, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nechronics View Post
I asked my CA if the dealer could paint them for me before I pick up the car and she said they probably could....should I do this?
I'd say go for it. I've heard stories of some dealerships claiming they will not mess with dot regulated items. Many of them even make you sign something when you keep them from drilling the bumper for the front plate.

So if they'll do it, I'd say yeah.
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      03-03-2008, 10:06 PM   #21
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ahh, i actually asked about that too - they said they NEVER drill the front license plate holder so it wasn't even an issue - not sure how common this is.
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      03-08-2008, 05:05 AM   #22
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what about putting vinyl??
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