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      12-14-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
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The infernal reflectors: best replacement choice?

I've searched and stumbled upon various threads on this topic, but most seem to be either several years old (and vendors/suppliers change) or not very comprehensive. So I'm asking here, in hopes some of you may have some solid recommendations.

My Jerez Black M3 has the stock orange reflectors, and I'm thinking of replacing them.
  1. Clear or painted?
  2. Best suppliers?
  3. Any good how-to post where I can gauge the difficulty and tools required to do this?

Many thanks!
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      12-14-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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We have your color in stock and the install takes 5 mins max. We use BMW OEM reflectors and paint them here in house.

Thanks to Greg-
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...&postcount=178
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      12-14-2010, 01:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I've searched and stumbled upon various threads on this topic, but most seem to be either several years old (and vendors/suppliers change) or not very comprehensive. So I'm asking here, in hopes some of you may have some solid recommendations.

My Jerez Black M3 has the stock orange reflectors, and I'm thinking of replacing them.
  1. Clear or painted?
  2. Best suppliers?
  3. Any good how-to post where I can gauge the difficulty and tools required to do this?

Many thanks!
1) Personal preference. There's also smoked to make it harder for you. IMO no clear on a black car. Go with smoked or painted.
2) IND, RennSpec or EAS. I believe all 3 are the same source? Not 100% sure. But these suppliers use OEM reflectors painted over, so best quality. For smoked/clear, JLeviSW.
3) I had a DIY on this already....somewhere....ask people who I've done it for, it takes me 10 seconds each side. Tools required are painters tape, that's it.

Edit: Quoted from another thread of mine, do not make fun of my jammies, mmk?

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Originally Posted by iBeJayKaying View Post
Excuse my tardiness with the photos, I just got back home. Also excuse my being in my pajamas, as I am getting ready for bed.

Note: In the photos, I am not using painters tape like I advised. This is because I am very experienced with doing this for other people (for free), and didn't have any painters tape available at home. PLEASE USE PAINTERS TAPE AS INSTRUCTED IN MY FIRST POST, TO PREVENT THE REFLECTOR DROPPING INTO YOUR BUMPER IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME!!!!!

Also, if you want to prevent any and all possibility of you scratching your bumper, then coat the bumper underneath the bottom of the reflector in painters tape as well. It's a "just in case" kind of thing.

Thumbs under reflectors around here, banish your fears, and just push in!


Now that it's loose, push up and pull out.



See how the bottom has little tabs, and the top is spring loaded? Just so you get the idea on why you push in then push up and pull out.


Installation is just reverse order. Push upwards to load the springs, then pop reflector in. Done!
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      12-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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Wow, thank you for the great pics how-to! That does look pretty easy.

And I did not know about smoked reflectors. That sounds interesting. Painted seems to be an odd approach, but I agree, clear white dimples on a black car would probably not add to the look.
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      12-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
Wow, thank you for the great pics how-to! That does look pretty easy.

And I did not know about smoked reflectors. That sounds interesting. Painted seems to be an odd approach, but I agree, clear white dimples on a black car would probably not add to the look.
Keep in mind the smoked set is aftermarket molds of the OEM reflectors.
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      12-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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IND IND IND IND IND all the way
EAS and rennspec get theirs from IND
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      12-14-2010, 02:59 PM   #7
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It only takes 10 minutes right up until you drop the old reflector into the hole and it falls behind the bumper. Then it takes you another 30 min to get it out with duct tape, a long screw driver and a telescoping magnet.
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      12-15-2010, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
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It only takes 10 minutes right up until you drop the old reflector into the hole and it falls behind the bumper. Then it takes you another 30 min to get it out with duct tape, a long screw driver and a telescoping magnet.
lol, that's why I recommend using painters tape to reduce the chances of that happening. And no way I'm making fun of you: I did the same thing as you, and ended up developing that idea as a future countermeasure.
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      12-15-2010, 01:58 AM   #9
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I'm getting a Mineral White car, clear reflectors are my preference. I think I would go with clear reflectors regardless of the exterior colour. On E9x M cars the reflectors are not flush like on E92 335i for example (my current car). Coloured reflectors just look out of place imo.
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      12-15-2010, 04:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
My Jerez Black M3 has the stock orange reflectors, and I'm thinking of replacing them.
  1. Clear or painted?
  2. Best suppliers?
  3. Any good how-to post where I can gauge the difficulty and tools required to do this?

Many thanks!
Hey llis, since you have a black car I'd go with the smoked or painted reflectors. Don't go clear.... I've seen it on black and it's an eyesore. I bought mine from JLevi for $40 + tax and shipping. You don't need any tools, just your thumbs and painter's tape if you don't want to risk dropping them :P


Quote:
Originally Posted by 808MGuy View Post
It only takes 10 minutes right up until you drop the old reflector into the hole and it falls behind the bumper. Then it takes you another 30 min to get it out with duct tape, a long screw driver and a telescoping magnet.
Haha that's what I did! Definitely use painter's tape if it's your first time. The clear reflectors were harder for me to snap in than the oem orange ones.
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      12-15-2010, 12:33 PM   #11
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The painted reflectors look like patches. I'd at least want the reflector to look like a reflector, since the dang thing is there in the first place. I'd love a dark one that nonetheless reflected light. Do the smoked ones reflect much of anything?
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      12-16-2010, 12:37 AM   #12
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Anyone have pictures of either clear or smoked reflectors on Space Gray? Thanks.
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      12-16-2010, 02:50 AM   #13
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^^ OC Dealman has a couple pics he took with his bberry but he said it doesn't look as washed out in person. http://m3post.com/forums/album.php?albumid=3243.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
The painted reflectors look like patches. I'd at least want the reflector to look like a reflector, since the dang thing is there in the first place. I'd love a dark one that nonetheless reflected light. Do the smoked ones reflect much of anything?
I agree with you on the painted reflectors. The smoked ones look nice and seems like they would reflect but I haven't seen them in person.
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      12-16-2010, 08:15 AM   #14
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I think the clears look great. What I don't like about them is the different reflective texture behind the lens. It looks too course compared to the OEM reflectors.
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      01-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #15
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Following up, I went with smoked (and matte black grilles, too). Received them this week. Installing them today … in a few minutes!
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      01-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #16
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Talking

The reflectors were easy, although after removing the first one safely (using the tape trick), I brilliantly thought I'd take a picture of it loose as part of documenting the process, and that's when I dropped the reflector into the bumper! I did the double-chopsticks-with-wad-of-tape trick Bunny mentioned to fetch it out, took only 3 or 4 tries to finesse it out. The second reflector was tighter, harder to get out, harder to get the new one in.

Once that was done, I moved on to the matte black grilles, using a clear photo-laden post found elsewhere (titled "Edition Front Grills DIY"), and replaced the OEM grilles in about 30 minutes of work. (Tip: You can do it with your hands, but some tabs are easier to reach with one hand, others with the other, and it's still awkward. I'm lucky I didn't break a (not very long) nail.)

"After" photos:
Attached Images
  
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      01-15-2011, 04:49 PM   #17
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I cant understand why so many folks get so bent over those reflectors. Clear or smoked is one thing, but those painted ones look worse than the reflector because it's obvious that something is supposed to go there.
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      01-15-2011, 05:11 PM   #18
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I agree, painted seems odd to me. The smoked looks quite good with the black, I think, and would probably look great on the blues as well. For lighter cars, maybe the clear would be sharper?
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      01-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #19
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Painted all the way... From IND.
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      01-15-2011, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate@IND View Post
We have your color in stock and the install takes 5 mins max. We use BMW OEM reflectors and paint them here in house.

Thanks to Greg-
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...&postcount=178
+1
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      01-21-2011, 05:35 PM   #21
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I'm looking for a set of clear reflectors. Who sells them?
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      01-22-2011, 10:18 AM   #22
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disagree with some previous posters, painted reflectors only way to go. sure, it looks like something is supposed to be there, but the painted reflectors are just nicer looking than any "real" reflector
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