Friday, October 12, 2012

BMW 320i, 323i e21 front Hartge Spoiler



Hartge E21 Front Spoiler Part Number H51 11 0311 

I’ve owned several BMW 323i e21 models and have always enjoyed the simple styling and ease of working on this car myself. This is the ultimate D.I.Y.er’s vehicle. This was the first 4 cylinder car, other than the 2002tii, that was fuel injected. This is the first BMW that featured many of the creature comforts that we require in a modern automobile: a car that idles when cold, has a cold start system, functioning A/C with idle compensation for a/c compressor load, and a decent defrost and heating system.

With each of the 320i’s I’ve owned the first body upgrade was always the addition of a front spoiler. The preferred spoiler at the time was the BBS or Hartge style; unfortunately BBS and Hartge have both discontinued their front spoilers for the e21 many years ago.  BMP offers a quality replica of the original Hartge fiberglass unit.  Fitment is excellent and mounting is not difficult. The spoiler was originally designed to fit the European slim line bumpers, but will also fit the U.S. vehicles with the larger aluminum retractable bumpers. You will need to remove the factory bumper for fitment to the body. The instructions below will help you with your install.

There are 4 mounting points that secure your front bumper to the body. If your 320i has under bumper mounted fog lights you will also need to disconnect the 2 wires that supply power. The mounting points include left and right bumper shock, and left and right bumper end caps.

Disconnect fog light wires:  Here I recommend cutting the wire about 6-8 inches from the light, and using a male-female spade connector on the reassembly.

To remove the bumper shocks: You will need to open the hood and locate the two large round impact shock absorbers that secure your aluminum front bumper to the frame rails of your BMW 320i e21. There is one on each side down at the frame rail. These shocks are secured by a 10mm hex bolt at the rear, and an 8mm hex bolt at the middle of the shock at the bottom. The drivers side my require removal of the air filter housing.

To remove the bumper end caps: Locate the one 6mm nut, on each side, behind the black accordion end caps which attaches the aluminum bumper to the fender. You will need to reach inside the fender well. Note: I expect these will be rusted. Use plenty of WD40 so you do not break the rusted stud in the bumper end cap.

Removing the bumper: Slip the end cap studs out of the fender.  Allow the end cap to hang on the bumper. Firmly pull on the front bumper and slide it out of the body.  Keep sliding it evenly from side to side as to not get the bumper into a bind.

Mounting the spoiler: On U.S. bumper vehicles, you will need to enlarge the bumper bracket slots to accommodate the larger, round U.S. bumper shocks due to the tapered design of the front of the BMW e21 body. Fit check the spoiler and slide it up on the body until it fits the corners on the fenders correctly. If you attempt to mount it too low, the spoiler will seem to be too large for the vehicle. However, as you raise the spoiler up on the body, the spoiler and fenders will meet properly.

Securing the spoiler to the body: Drill several holes through the designated spots on the spoiler and into the sheet metal valance of the car body.  Secure the spoiler with number 8 sheet metal screws.  

Modifying the bumper end caps: The factory bumper end caps are designed to contour to the E21 lower body valance. To get a smooth contoured fit to the spoiler you will need to trim a small portion of the underside of the bumper end cap. This can be accomplished by using a common shop bench grinder. To get the correct contour, mount the spoiler to the body. Using the single bumper end cap mount hole as a guide, hold the end cap in the approximate mounting position. Trace the contour of the spoiler onto the edge of the bumper end cap. Use the bench grinder to remove this rubber under material from the end cap. Work the contour slowly until it fits correctly.

Paint and prep work:  The product you have purchased is made of polyester fiberglass. To paint this item you will need to sand the item, smooth out any joint mold flashing. Block sand to remove any high spots. Spray with a high fill epoxy primer then block sand until desired finish. Apply final primer coat and prep for paint.

If you are interested in purchasing this bumper or have any questions, please call us at 800-648-7278

-Al Hafner

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