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      03-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #1
robrwalker
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half moon shaped front reflector removal - z4 3.0i

I am going to have my front reflectors body color painted at a local shop and I wanted to know if anyone knows the best way to remove them.

Not sure if I should pull the wheel well plastic guard off and go in behind or if there is a way through the front bumper or under the hood. BTW - in the well, do those little plastic grommets just pop off? Do they break?

I have seen directions for the M model ones that are round, but not the half moon shaped ones I have.
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      03-25-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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Although straightforward, it's trickier than you would think because it can be a tight fit for hands. You can access them by cranking your wheels all the way out. This will reveal a small access panel inside the front wheel arch (for replacing bulbs, I think). This will also give you access to the clips that hold on the front side markers. But they are very hard to remove. Taking the wheel off will allow a bit more leverage.

I actually have instructions for this somewhere from when I swapped my amber reflectors for Euro-style clear ones (available at http://www.leatherZ.com). If I can find them, I'll write it up.

Cheers.
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      03-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #3
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rolling stone - THANKS. I thought no one was going to answer this.

I will take a look tonight. And if you do have that write up that would be great.
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      03-26-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
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Robrwalker, here is the verbatim write up... it is even more basic than I recalled. It does include two grainy pics, but they don't show much. I'll try to describe them as my scanner isn't hooked up at the moment. Again, these are the only instructions that came with the reflectors.

Installation:
Removal of the front wheels is not necessary to install the Clear Reflectors. The images have the wheels removed for illustration purposes only. If you remove the front wheel(s), it may make the installation easier for you. If you do remove the wheels(s), be sure to use precautions when jacking up the front end of the car. You can also turn the steering wheel all the way to one side to access the wheel well and then doing the same in the other direction.

(Pic 1 shows the inside front wheel well. It points to the access panel and two [2] fasteners that hold it in place).

Inside the front wheel well is an access panel used to access the fog light bulbs. Additional information can be found in your owner's manual under bulb replacement.

Begin by unlocking the fasteners by turning them counterclockwise. The fasteners will need to be turned 189 degrees, then the access panel can be opened.

**Note: That was the easy part, not it gets trickier unless you have hand the size of a 5-year old.**

(Pic 2 shows the back side of the front fender, where the reflector is held in place by two nuts. This pic is misleading because the fender is shown removed).

With the panel opened,remove the two nuts on the back of the reflector and it will push out.

Installation of the clear reflectors is the opposite of removal.

(End of instructions).

So it sounds like a snap, but it takes patience and effort. I think jacking the car and removing the wheel is the best. Or you can remove the bumper. I have heard of people simply cutting off the bolts and reinstalling using 3M permanent foam tape. But that seems like a bad idea to me.

If you know of anyone with a Z4 or who works on their own cars, it might help to have a second pair of hands.

Best of luck.

Cheers.
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      03-27-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
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thank you for the write up , it helps a lot. going to attempt this over the weekend.

cheers
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      03-30-2009, 01:45 PM   #6
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rollingstone: calling this a "tricky" job is the understatement of the decade! I agree you really need to pull the wheel off and probably jack up the car, otherwise you need gumby arms to try to remove the sidemarkers.

I just ended up using tint film for now on the reflector. Looks pretty good.
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      05-26-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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I replaced the side markers this weekend. The first one took 2 hours the 2nd 15 minutes. The LeatherZ instructions fail to mention that the top nut is very difficult to access. There is a metal bracket covering it making it almost impossible to put a socket on. I also could not reach it with a wrench.

Words of wisdom...

1) Find an allen wrench that will fit a small 1/4" 10mm socket. This will allow you to get the socket on the nut. I put a small piece of tape on the end of the allen wrench so the socket would not slide down.
2) Get a small pocket mirror to help you guide the socket onto the nut. I didn't take the wheel off, just turned it all the way in.
3) Remove the bottom nut first.
4) When you loosen the top nut keep the socket and nut in place and then install the new side marker. It's much easier this way.

Hopefully this advice can bring the job down to 30 minutes rather than the 2.5 hours it took me. Sorry lord for taking your name in vain so many times...
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      04-16-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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sorry to bump this really old thread..

I received my clear corners and they really don't look like bolts would fit on them.. Looks like it only snaps in place?
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      04-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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I think the nuts are made from thin sheet metal formed to make a nut. they will cut threads into plastic shaft on the reflector. Cut the treads on the reflector shafts before mounting the reflectors, it will make it much easier to do off the car than on the car. I needed to remove one of the plastic rivets holding wheel well to the bumper. I just could not get one of the nuts off the reflector without doing this. I have huge hands and just could not work through that tiny access panel and I had the wheels off. Definitely use an inspection mirror to see the hidden nut. I can rebuild a transmission and this was more difficult for me due to the tight quarters and my large hands. Taking the bumper off would have been easier. But on my silver car the effort was well worth it, see for yourself.
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      05-06-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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looks great. So I tried to remove mine and no luck, I couldn't get a grip

this is so annoying...

isn't there a way to just swap the clear cover without removing the whole assembly?
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      05-06-2012, 11:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renesis View Post
looks great. So I tried to remove mine and no luck, I couldn't get a grip

this is so annoying...

isn't there a way to just swap the clear cover without removing the whole assembly?
I think I used a long 1/4" drive wobble extension, 10mm socket and 1/4" ratchet through the headlight bulb access panel. I may have used a wrench too, I don't remember, I did it 2 years ago and tried many methods before I finally got it. It would take way less time and effort to remove the bumper, just use a sharpie and make some alignment marks so you can get the bumper back where it was. Good luck!
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      07-30-2019, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renesis View Post
sorry to bump this really old thread..

I received my clear corners and they really don't look like bolts would fit on them.. Looks like it only snaps in place?
Where did you find these? I want some for my 2007 Z4 3.0i.

I cant even find a part number on RealOEM.com .

Thanks
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