M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

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Gaffer
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M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by Gaffer » 24 Mar 2017, 18:56

So beginning of March (just over a month since I bought the car), I noticed this :shock::

Image

I then looked at the piccies of the car when I bought it and saw them on that too, so I think the previous owner hit a stone or something (on the m'way?) and knackered that spar. It's so badly cracked that at 2 points even a few mm wider and the spar would've broken in half.
Yes, it's subtle (took me some time to spot it) but it's one of those instances where once you notice it, it keeps bugging the hell out of you.

So what about a replacement grill? Feasible because looking at YouTube, they seem very easy to replace. Problem is the OEM ones cost £110 :o and 3rd party ones £50.
I thought as a temporary solution I'd add those M-Sport stripes/covers to the grill (can't use a sticker 'cos the spar itself is damaged and not even) like this:

Image

Problem is, they look OK on estoril blue or bright coloured cars (white, red etc) but I think they look garish and pretty sh**e on obsidian black cars :thumbdown:.

So I modified them slightly to enable me to add them but not let them stand out too much:

Rain
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Overcast
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Bright Sunlight
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Whaddyareckon? Crap or OK?

From a distance of 50 yards or so they're completely unnoticeable and you only double take to see the difference from a few feet away. I like them because, being covers, they're protecting the underlying broken spar a bit whilst covering up the damage.
I bought the standard brightly coloured ones from eBay (£5) and then used lens darkening spray paint (the stuff chavs use to tint their rear lights ;) ) to darken them to make them blend in a bit more.
Unfortunately they only fit on certain spars (red on 2nd one in, Violet 3rd one, and Light Blue 4th one in - over the broken spar) and I had to reverse order because it's the driver's side grill that's damaged not the passenger side.

Should I chuck them and just spend more on new grills or leave like this?
'15 F30 330d xDrive MSport+ in Black Sapphire ......... HmKd Audio + Focal IFBMW-SUB.V2 ......... Gafferlicious.com

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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by RayB » 24 Mar 2017, 19:11

The honest answer is.......no. The M colours should only be put the right way around so anyone that knows about BMW M colours will spot it from further than 50 yards.

Personally I'd fill and sand then spray it

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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by M60NJP » 24 Mar 2017, 19:35

Obsidian black?? Are you sure? PRetty sure that's a black that a lesser German brand uses!!

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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by Gaffer » 24 Mar 2017, 20:42

M60NJP: oh yes, sorry :oops: I was thinking of my previous car. The point is, I don't like the bright stripes on a black (sapphire metallic?) car. I think they look OK on brighter ones though.

RayB: I want them to be subtle :). Do you mean sand all three and paint in the correct order (lt blue, dk blue, red: Left to right) and then darken them? The thought did occur to me, problem being finding the exact colour matches (Light Blue 279C #6b96c9, Dark Blue 654C #1b3360, Red 186C #d1002a).
If B&Q do colour matching in spray paints (not just wall paints) it makes it much easier to get the right colours from the off......I'm sure I've got 180 grit sandpaper lying around somewhere...
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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by RayB » 24 Mar 2017, 21:18

My thought was to fill and paint it black. For some reason the M stripes are always placed on the right grille as you look at the car. No idea where this came from as BMW have never done it on a new car.

If you still want to go for it fill and sand then bet the vinyl stripes

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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by Gaffer » 30 Mar 2017, 21:51

OK, so taking everyones advice, I will paint the 'slat covers' gloss black to match the other spars, and then add these:
Image
(the 'gel stripe' versions, just ordered from eBay)

At least this way, the colour order will be correct.
Will post up piccies when they arrive :)
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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by Gaffer » 04 Apr 2017, 11:52

OK, so they arrived today and I went about applying them.

Painting the covers gloss black:
Image

Applying the stickers - note how they're not as "thick" as the covers in the centre and are only slightly domed but that looks good imo:
Image

Trimmed and complete. I used a hair dryer to heat up the vinyl to let it apply more easily and adhere better when cooling (apparently this works). The excess are all different sizes because the spars are:
Image

...and here they are on the car:
Image
Image

I like the fact they're on the "correct" side for the UK. Legend has it that offset stripes in motorsport originated to assist rescue workers in quickly locating the DRIVER'S side of the car (especially with multiple nationalities competing). As a result, in the UK, offset stripes should be on the RIGHT hand side of the car and German/US offsets should be on the LEFT hand side of the car. The reason you only find these covers for the Left is because those are the biggest retail markets (US, rest of Europe, most of the World) and the manufacturers are simply too lazy to make reverse order ones for RHD markets. In reality the stripes should be on the driver's side of the car which is the steering wheel side (R of car for the UK as these are).

I also like the fact that the colours are pretty much spot on for the official M-Sport colours. I have read various articles claiming the colours to be Sky Blue, Purple and "Texaco" Red. I don't believe this is correct. Here is the official colour scheme supplied to giugiaro:
Image
...and here are multiple real world examples showing that the correct scheme is "Bavarian Flag" Blue, Dark Blue and "Red reflecting BMWs Motorsport Heritage" (not an american fuel company Red):
Image
So as 99.9% of "real world" examples match the actual stripes, I'm happy leaving them as is and not darkening them.

The issue with the garishness of the covers I mentioned in the OP is that the covers themselves are the wrong colours too with the light blue plastic being too bright and ditto the middle blue plastic which is more of a royal blue than dark blue in colour. The new adhesive stripes are a better colour match to how they should be officially and they're "thinner lines" than the actual covers themselves.

I can also easily reverse back to stock by simply unclipping them if I need too in the future :thumbup:.
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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by Gaffer » 21 Jul 2017, 18:15

UPDATE:

I thought i'd update this as i'm less happy with the end result than before (not that i'm unhappy with the stripes par se, more that I still stare at the grill wondering if I should keep 'em on).
The fact that I'm still undecided is the thing (usually after fiddling, I'm happy and leave it at that, not giving it another thought).
The other issue is that I want the car to be as "q-car" as possible, which means unobtrusive......i.e. I think the stripes aren't subtle enough.

So seeing as the grill remains broken, it's off to fleabay I went.....
...and decided to do what I should've done in the first place :roll: and get black grills. They just arrived (rather than post a new thread, i'll post the piccie here).

Image

Isn't washed so doesn't look it's best but just put it on (a few minutes ago).

1st - take your time, if you remove the Torx bolts to give yourself room, you'll be able to take the first grill off in about 5min with perserverance (squeezing hand in there). The second grill is easier as you'll have more access through the hole next door.
When reassembling, pay great attention to realigning the front bumper before screwing on. Mine had a big gap on the passenger side and flush on the right, so I loosened it all again and realigned, checked by gently closing the bonnet, tightened 2 screws, checked again, tightened 2 more, checked again, tightened the rest, checked again , THEN reinstalled the rubber piping on top.
Just take your time and you'll end up with no marks or damage anywhere (and remember, some of the front bumper goes under a headlight tab on the extreme L & R - don't break these off ;)

£50 from eBay btw and looks MUCH better than the m-sport stripes imo :d
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Re: M-Sport Tricolor Grill Stripes

Post by M60NJP » 21 Jul 2017, 18:42

Yup - looks good!

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