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beejum

Removing Front Cowling

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Had to do the other headlight yesterday and the only way these big mitts can get at it is to loosen the cowling. But how do I remove the grille, which seems to be the only thing holding the cowling in place once both sides and the bottom clips are detached?

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Please see the following link.LINK

Thank you, sir! I note the warning about clips possibly snapping in the cold.. Now - can you suggest anything else I should look for while the front end is all naked and exposed?

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Pay close attention to the clips that hold the cover on the side of the car, they are hidden and you have to slide it aft and out (I think) to release them without breaking them.....While you have the front end cover off:-lube up all the wiper linkage and shafts that the arms connect to.-check all the fluids that are hard to reach normally-replace the tiny light bulbs in the headlights that are usually burned out (parking lights)

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Good tips. But "usually burned out"? Mine are at 55,000 Km. I don't think I've heard of anyone with a burned side (city) light.

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Good tips. But "usually burned out"? Mine are at 55,000 Km. I don't think I've heard of anyone with a burned side (city) light.

Ok, maybe not a good description, the ones I mean are in the headlight assy and are tiny little bulbs. I think they are on with the lights in park mode? Mine are both dead and I heard they are normally that way. I have yet to bother with them.

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I've replaced one parking light in 143,000 km. And about 6 headlights.

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I put anti seize on all of the various bolts as well as the antenna base threads. Replacing bulbs in pairs is good since the removal of the front end is a fairly big job and is even less fun when the weather gets cold. Everyone's experience with frequency of replacements is different. How much did you enjoy the job? Doing the minimum will almost certainly give you lots of practice.Ian

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How much did you enjoy the job? Doing the minimum will almost certainly give you lots of practice.

Ian

LOL! Too true -- with any car.

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I don't understand how some of us find that taking off the smart's blouse is such a difficult and time consuming thing. I have only done it 4 times but I bet it doesn't even take 15 minutes to get it off and that's by myself with the TV on in the garage (no wise cracks please). What is it; a dozen screws, 4 lighting plugs and an antenna? Some people see washing their car as therapeutic and others find it a chore and hence pay someone else to do it. That's why there will always be plumbers getting rich too. :poop::)

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I don't understand how some of us find that taking off the smart's blouse is such a difficult and time consuming thing.

In that case I shall assume you are an expert and happy to answer my questions :lol: I spent...much longer than 15 minutes on my 450. I got as far as "Pull the bottom of the wheel arch and the whole side should move to one side." One side came off as clean as you please, but the other side.......didn't. Best I can tell is that one of the doors is closer to the front of the car and does not leave enough space to remove the front panel. I was thinking of taking the door panel off and trying to figure out if it was somehow mounted incorrectly but I ran out of time.

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Which side are you having problems with? Have you done all the other steps? Did you maybe forget 1 screw? (I have before). I think some of the screws have small bushings that need to come off too. My best suggestion (since the link's directions are basically so good) is that you should snap the easy side back on and then try to remove the tighter side first. Let me know how it goes...Gord

Edited by gordo.bernard

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I am always pulling the front panel off for whatever reason. After you do it a couple of times, it gets pretty quick and easy. It takes me less than 5 mins to get it off now. I would much rather pull off the front panel to change a light than try and cram my arm through the vents and get them all scraped up.

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