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I have always loved the "sink drain" look and wanted to do it on my beast. I thought about doing it with actual sink drains but never pulled the trigger. I was on Ebay yesterday and ran across the Brake ducts for sale. Its the lower grill kit with the brake ducts. How hard is it to insall?
Do I really need to take the front bumper off? I am sort of handy but I always get nervous when I take apart things with my car.
Any advice for a novice would be great.
thank you.
 

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Is it the one from bimmerbumco?

I ordered it 3 weeks ago and am still waiting for it.

It does require painting, so I had my car at the body shop to get some other things done but since I haven't got the grill yet I missed out on that one.

But, this is what I learned from seeing the front end of the car apart.

You will need to take hte front off, it looks to be a pain to get on and off.

There are little pushnut things that will probably break when you take them off of the old grill.

If you don't buy new front fender liners, you will need to cut a parrallelogram shaped hole in each one.

I'll keep you posted if I ever do actually get my grill.

Bob
 

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the front bumper is very easy to remove and reinstall. try running a search on brake ducts, or bumper removal as there is more than one guide on the site that shows how to take it off.
 

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Just noticed these today. Cheaper than the ebay ones and look better:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1013149

As for installation, remove bumper, cut clips securing old grill, place new grill, install new clips, install bumper.....done. Total time to install shouldn't be more than an hour if you are somewhat mechanically inclined..
 

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I simply purchased the OEM ducts, drilled 1/2" holes in the covered plastic diamonds, and cut out the rectangle in each of the plastic fender liners. They fit in there just fine w/o any screws or tie wraps. Click on "View my M5" link to see how nice it looks. Just like a Euro car...
 

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Here are a few pics that might help in your quest. They're from a post I made on the other forum. I'm sure most of this has been posted before, but it can't hurt to see it again I suppose. I've got more pics I can send that show the details of the back of the bumper cover itself if you'd like. I'm right in the middle of completing some mods to my car, so it was a good time to take pics.

as REKIII said, yes, you will have to take off the front bumper, but that's nothing compared to getting the original lower mesh out of the bumper! You have to pry open those little push nuts off the fragile plastic pins and it's hard to do without breaking them. But it can be done. Once it's off, you can modify it with your own ports, replace it with a pre-made one, or even use the 540 "T-Bar" grill if you really wanted to make the ducting correct and firm. Of course, the trend really isn't toward making your Beast look like a 540 now, is it? Quite the opposite... :3:

Here's a frontal shot of my '03 540i with full M-Technic trim package. For all practical purposes, this is exactly what you'll see if you pull the bumper cover off the M5. Of course, if you pull the metal bumper itself, things get different.

You can see the two metal brake ducts that feed air through the hole in the wheel liners (shown to the left and right) to cool/dry the brakes on the 540i M Tech. The M5 DOES have these metal ducts, but I'm not sure whether some or all M5's have the cutouts in the wheel liners. I believe they do not, and when people port their lower mesh grills to vent the brakes, this part must be modified or replaced with the 540 part.





Here are a couple of close ups of the brake ducts. NOTE the clips on the bottom of the angular brackets on the bottom of each duct. These clips retain the fasteners that hold the belly pan to the bottom of the car. As best I can determine, the only purpose these ducts provide on the M5 is a mount for the belly pan.






Here's a top view of the stock 540i M Technic "T-Bar" lower mesh grill, with the painted T-Bar removed. Note the plastic funnels that are attached to the left and right of the rear of the mesh. The back ends of these fit right into the front opening of the two metal brake ducts shown above. You'll need to get these in there somehow to allow the air that feeds through the ported grill and directly into the metal ducts, through the hole in the wheel covers, to the brakes. The problem with the M5 mesh in this regard is explained a little further below.



Here's a close up of the plastic funnel attached to the 540 M-Tech grill.



Here's a shot of the integrated clips on the M-Tech grill. They are there to firmly hold the plastic funnels to the grill.





Here are the two parts separated from each other...






Here's another front shot of the 540 with the stock M-Tech T-Bar mesh (without painted T-Bar) in place, where it would be with the bumper cover on. Notice that the grill stays in place, because the plastic funnels are fixed to the stock M-Tech grill.







So let's talk about the M5 grill. Here's a rear view of an OE BMW M5 lower mesh that I modified by adding ports. On the stock m5 grill, there are NO clips to hold the plastic funnel in place.




Close up...





Just for grins, here are a couple more shots of the first grille I fabbed up. The ports are stainless steel and have a little nicer look IMO than sink drains, and I added the detail of the plastic trim outside the port lip for a more finished look. This was the prototype and the first one I did, so the ports are a bit smaller than on the subsequent version. The final one (and some I'm doing for friends) will have larger ports for more air, although stainless steel and plastic trim front and back.






So, I guess the point of all this is that in order to prevent loose parts and rattles (who wants floating ducts??), if you use the stock M5 grill, you have to find a way to keep the black plastic funnels in place on the mesh grill or in the metal brake ducts. Since I won't be using my old "t-bar" grill, I'm going to cut the lips with the bracket clips off the old one and glue them to the back of the M5 mesh grill to replicate the original 540 design.

I'd bet you could find a load of used "t-bar" mesh grills out there to cut the brackets off of for glueing. Of course, you could find some way to cobble the black funnels onto the grill or into the metal ducts, but the BMW OCD side of me won't permit it. :haha:

Best,
Ti
 

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Ti,

That was really informative, thanks for the post.
It helps understanding the exact different between M5 and M Technic lower gril+brake duct lay out.

Here is another links that I got from this board:

procedure 1: Adding the brake duct (bumper removal)
procedure 2: Adding the brake duct (without bumper removal)



Regardz,

J Irwan
 

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Ti,

That was really informative, thanks for the post.
It helps understanding the exact different between M5 and M Technic lower gril+brake duct lay out.

Here is another links that I got from this board:

procedure 1: Adding the brake duct (bumper removal)
procedure 2: Adding the brake duct (without bumper removal)



Regardz,

J Irwan

Above are the two best options. I went with option 2 and did not have to remove the front bumper. It was real easy. Another poster mentioned "floating" and making noise, this setup does neither as it is attached with zip ties. You do not see them and it is not a big deal. It was a cheap mod that works well. Having to take off the front bumper seems like more work that is needed for this mod. They will both do the same thing.
 

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Glad you guys found the post helpful. I'd seen those other post which are very informative on the concept. Personally, I prefer a more OE design/high end custom finish look on my mods, as if I'd sent it back to the BMW "custom shop" to have it done. For example, I put the plastic trim surround ring around the stainless steel port because I felt it was a design detail that gave a slicker look compared to most designs that just have the metal on the grill. While taking a paddle bit to a BMW will create a perfectly functioning vent, it's not my choice on how to modify my car.

Mounting the plastic ducts in the metal ones will do the job to some extent, but I like to take my cues from the BMW designers and get them to mount on the grill in as close a manner as possible. That's why I'm fabricating my own "hybrid" grill using parts from both types. I'll post finished pics.
 

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AA-CAI install pics

These are some pics from my install of the AA-CAI system. You can notice how different the brake ducts are between the 2 systems.

Bumper removal was a breeze. Reinstall was MUCH easier once I added some soapy water to the rubber seals that seemed to want to roll up everytime I tried to push the bumper back into place.

I hope the pics work?
 

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No pics, but I assume you're showing the AA system and how they use two modified OE metal ducts/supports. They're system taps into the side of the metal duct to supply air up to the stock airboxes.
 

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I did my CAI and brake ducts over Memorial Day. Helpfull hints: Bumper removal made easier by losening the top two head light retaining bolts!! Use black zip ties (long and thin) to attach the ducts to the grille. Be carefull to pull the ties tight at the same time to pull the duct flush with the grille. The star washers that hold the grille to the bumper cover are hard to deal with, but you really should not need to remove them. In fact you are probably missing some. Drill holes from the front to the back in the diamonds, high speed drill!! No need to attach plastic ducts to metal ducts let them float with the chassis flex. Cut a small hole in the splash guard and use a dremel to enlarge until you get in perfect. I then sealed the splash guard edges with metal duct tape to maintain water seal. Looks bad if you bother to look behind my wheel.
 

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Well, I installed my new grill with the bar on it (like the one pictured above.

Removing the bumper assembly was a snap. No problems there.

Getting the old grill off was OK, the star retainer things are a pain and I was terrified of breaking the little plastic pins off, plus only 5 of 10 of mine were on anyways.

But....getting the new grill on....Sucked! You really need to remove the aluminum core from the cover. I was able to remove 3 of the 4 clips (I needed to get this back together so I had to do it without breaking them). Then I was able to wrestle the new grill on, it took awhile. Getting the star retainers back on was a pain, again terrified of breaking the pins.

Another difficult point was snapping the grill bar (the painted part) onto the grill. VERY tight fit. I stabbed the meat of my hand with my screwdrive once trying to get the clips to set.

Then I snapped the ducts to the grill and fed the whole thing back together.

Because of a time crunch I didn't get to take any process pics, but I'll try to get finished pics up in a day or two.

Bob
 

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here are some pic of my car with the aa cai with the brake duct mod however i am going to paint them gloss black along with the kidney girlls
 

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