TIMM'S BMW E38
KIDNEY GRILLE REMOVAL AND REPAIR
The E38 grilles can be awkward to get off unless you know how they are held on. They also quite often come loose and rattle. Here is a side picture of the standard E38 chrome grille:
As you can see it consists of two parts, the lower part (as shown above) is chromed plastic, the upper part is matt black plastic. The two parts are clipped together with various fixings that are part of each moulding. In the picture above the chrome fixings can be seen behind the delta-shaped clasps. These fixings are very brittle, especially on older models, and this allows the two halves to partially separate and rattle.
Removal is quite simple, open the bonnet and work from underneath. The grille is fitted to the bonnet with these delta-shaped clasps, one of which I am pointing at:
Apply upwards pressure to the grille by pushing on the black moulding, at the same time push the delta-shaped clasps inwards towards the moulding one at a time. What you will find is that the grille will move upwards and out a little for each clasp that is pushed. Keep the pressure on the grille as it can pop back in again. It is possible you may have to go around each of the clasps more than once but the grille will soon be out.
In the picture above you can see some of the matt-black clips that hold the two halves together. It is possible to get the two halves of the grille apart but more often than not half the clips will snap. If the two halves are loose they can be glued together. Because super-glue can cloud the chrome it is best to use clear silicone sealant. Clean both halves in the sink with a reasonable amount of detergent, allow them to dry and then apply a thin bead to the chrome half. Keep the two halves pressed together for an hour and they will be firmly joined.
To replace the grilles just push them back in the bonnet, applying pressure over each of the delta-shaped clasps. The clasps have serrated edges that grip the bonnet exceptionally firmly.