BMW E46 Kidney Grill Clip Replacement

by murat, published

BMW E46 Kidney Grill Clip Replacement by murat Jun 30, 2013


Mounting clip replacement for the BMW E46 kidney grill.

The kidney grills are held in place in the bonnet through flexible lips, which become brittle with time and heat exposure. My car is 14 years old and the kidney grills had lost their grips a while ago and were about to fall over. The quick fix was to string them up from the inside, but hardly an elegant fix for a BMW!

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There are 6 lips to secure each kidney grill in the E46 models, but due to the difficulty in making the replacement clips flexible enough, it is very diffucult to replace all 6, as they wouldn flex enough to push in.

There are two different thicknesses for the replacement clips; you will need to print the following:

For each kdney grill:
- 1x 2mm clip
- 3x 2.5mm clip


1. Trim off all broken mounting lips down to 1mm above their base, leaving the 3 cavities under intact. The replacement clips have three prongs that fit inside these cavities. One of the sites require the thinner 2mm clip, all others take the 2.5mm clip. Do NOT glue them in place!
2. Only populate the top and bottom sites, don’t worry about the sides.
3. Position the top kidney grill in place at an angle with the top clips in place below the square bent metal lip from the bonnet.
4. Push slowly the kidney grill in place by making sure that the clips don’t fall off. Aid them in place with a fine screwdriver. You may have to flex the whole structure to push it in place.
5. Make sure that each metal lip sits on the flat edge of the wedge of their respective clip.

If you print with PLA, the clips may come loose under heat. I printed in PLA and will be checking them often.

Enjoy saving few hundred dollars of replacement kidney grills!