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      11-12-2006, 02:41 PM   #20
Boondoggler's Avatar

Drives: '16 F30 340i xDrive M-Sport
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Lawrenceville, NJ

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While I think I may be the only one who cares about it, it was really buggin me, so here is DIY on how I dealt with the gaps on the pillars (note: I jump back and forth between the left and right pillars in the pictures as I picked the photos that were least blurry):

Here is the before pic of the wide gap at the top of the pillar that I didn't like. IMO when you were standing in front of the car, looking down at the front bumper, these gaps gave the lip a bit of a cheap, aftermarket, "slapped on" look:

I went to Pep Boys and bought some bumper repair epoxy from Bondo for about $5.00. Like all epoxy products, it comes with two tubes that you have to mix together, and then it starts to cure and harden. I thought this would be a good product as it was both flexible when it was dry, and could be painted. It is also black, and I have a dark monaco blue car, so I thought that would help. I tested several solvents to see what would work to clean the epoxy off the lip/bumper, and found that Acetone worked well:

To apply the bumper epoxy, I used toothpicks and some popsicle sticks trimmed to a point:

To avoid making a mess all over the bumper/lip I used painters tape.

As you apply the bumper epoxy, be liberal with it. While it is still liquid, it will seep down into the gap, so keep applying it until it no longer seeps down, then you can use the sticks to smooth it out and remove as much excess as possible. You have to work quickly, as it gets pretty stiff in about 5 minutes. As it starts to stiffen, about 2-3 minutes from the time you apply it, you'll want to remove the painters tape. I was afraid if it was left on after the epoxy had totally set up, it would pull the epoxy out once it was removed. Prior to removing the painters tape, lightly soak an area of a cloth towel (not a paper towel or cotton ball as they will leave paper/cotton residue stuck to the curing epoxy) with acetone and smooth out the epoxy removing additional excess epoxy. Remove the tape and continue to clean up the area with the acetone soaked cloth. Be careful not to overdo it with the acetone as it can cloud your clearcoat and require you to go back later and buff the clearcoat.

Here is how it came out:

My original plan was to paint the bumper epoxy with several layers of touch-up paint and a couple layers of clear coat. But at this point, it looks so good, that I think I have a better chance of making it look worse with touch-up than better. Having a very dark car, and the fact that the bumper epoxy is black, makes me think I should just leave it as it is.

If you have either a black or monaco blue car, and have installed the Hartge lip and have the gap issue I had, this is a great way to improve the look. I'm very pleased with how it came out.
2016 340i xDrive M-Sport SA8T
My Garage | Estoril Blue | Saddle Brown | Ash Trim | Cold Weather | Track | Technology | Driver Assistance + | Lighting | 19" 442M Orbit Grey

Last edited by Boondoggler; 11-12-2006 at 06:12 PM.