I purchased same upgrade e46 grills off ebay. I cant figure how to get the old ones out. I removed the plastic housing and thats as far as i got. I dont want to damage my ride. Can u help me? How did u do it ?
Okay...I remember this:
When I removed my old grill....
Open hood of car. Remove cowl trim above radiator (use a hex wrench to remove screws).
Now it gets hard because you need to squeeze your hand behind the grill area and find the clips around the grill. To understand how the grill clips into the nose panel study your new ebay grills and look at where those clips are the old ones on your car should be the same way. I used a butter knife and a flat nose philips to pry the clips open. I pryed and pulled, pryed and pulled for about 10-20 minutes before the clips on my old grill either flexed open all the way or broke off (at least 1 or 2 will). Make sure that only the plastic clips break and not anything else. In fact, they will break if you do it this way but you will NOT damage your nose panel. Now the tough clips are on the sides (one each) of each grill and these will either break or bend all the way open for the grill to come off. The are three on top and three on the bottom that also holds the old grill in place and these are very easier to pry open. The top and bottom clips flex open easily but its the clips on the side that are tough and that will eventually break. These are only plastic clips so the will not damage your car if you pry them hard. Just use the knife and the philips and you'll get them.
DO NOT attempt to pry off your old grills by wedging the butter knife or phillips between the outer chrome frame and the exterior of the nose panel in the front or you would scratch your paint and dent your panel. You are prying the clips open in the back whiles pull the grill out in the front from the black vertical sections (not the chrome frame).
When you get one side out put in the new grill to see if it fits and how it compares (just to be sure). If you're pleased then do the otherside.
Now you're done and if you didn't damage your old grills that much you can sell them on Ebay.
Once done. Step back. Take a picture. Now post pictures on United Bimmer so we could see