As mentioned in my previous post, the front bumper on my M Coupe needed some love.  The holes from the license plate mount had to go, there were several curb scrapes along the bottom, and I wanted to shave the corner lights as I had done in the Spyder.  Might as well knock it all out at once.  I had to remove the bumper to work on the air intake setup anyways, so while it was off I took it down to a local body shop, the same guys that painted my Titan bumper.  The install is pretty straight forward and quick, the time consuming part is adjusting the panel gaps, which were terrible when I bought the car.  On to the photos.

These photos show how the corner lights were shaved.  A couple pieces from a donor plastic bumper were cut to fit the holes left by the lights, melted and epoxied into place.  Of course the clean side was filled, primed, feathered, sprayed, and cleared.

Back side of bumper, lights shaved. Corner lights plugged.

Since the corner lights were gone, I needed to do something about the leads and plugs that would have led to the bulbs.  I didn’t want to hack the harness, but still needed to protect against water intrusion.  Solution: silicone sealer over the end of the plug, nice and easy.  After it dried the wire was bundled up and zip tied to the larger harness, hidden underneath the core support.Silicone side marker plug

Now with the bumper mounted, the real work begins; adjusting the panel fit.  As I mentioned earlier, it was terrible from the factory.  Fortunately BMW does provide several means to adjust the bumper and headlights.  I based all my adjustments off the hood, which I wasn’t planning to adjust, though that can be done as well.  The bumper cover is fixed firmly to the aluminum crash bar with a handful of plastic rivets and two slots in front of the tires (hidden behind the fender liners.  So remove the screws holding in the fender liners, though you don’t need to completely remove them, just at the front.

In the photos below you can see two of the adjustments.  The bumper height adjustment is contained within the impact absorbers, using a 14mm Allen head bit to raise or lower.  The photo on the left shows it with the bumper removed, but there is an access hole in the bottom of the bumper cover that allows you to make adjustments with it installed.  There is another adjustment by way of the size of the holes in relation to the size of the two bolts holding on the crash bar.  There is space designed in to allow the bumper to be shifted slightly back and forth with the bolts loosened.  The final adjustment is inside the wheel well and is held on with three 10mm nuts, which you simply loosen to allow you to move the bumper cover up/down/left/right and align it with the corners of the bumper.

Bumper height adjuster Bumper corner adjustment

Adjusting takes lowering and checking the fit with the hood, making slight adjustments, rinse and repeat until it’s just right.  You’ll probably have to make a slight compromise between an exact fit and it being functional, the hood still needs to close without touching after all.

Front right gap adjusted

Now onto the headlights.  Each headlight is mounted to the body with four adjustable plastic mounts.  You can screw in or out these mounts from the body to raise, lower, bring forward or aft each light.  Once everything is set, you affix the light to the mount with a hex-head screw.  The adjusters will tend to turn with the screw, so I used a wrench to hold them in place.

Adjusting upper headlight mount Fitted headlight and finder

And just to show you what a difference this has made,  see the before and after photos.  Pay attention to the, now, missing amber corner lights and the gap near the lights.

Original hood gap Bumper fitted and installed


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