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      05-28-2022, 03:30 PM   #1
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Drives: BMW 128i convertible
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Galveston, TX

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Making a tow hook cover without painting

Hi, I bought a junked out 128i convertible for really cheap, and one of the issues was that it didn't have a tow hook cover. Ugly.

I tried different methods of creating a cover, but nothing really looked very good. I wasn't going to pay for an expensive replacement, and that didn't even have paint.

I tried laminating a cut out piece of a paint swatch from Home Depot. I taped that on, but, eventually, it wore out, due to sun, wind, road grime, etc.

I decided to try another route. My plan was to buy a plastic bottle of something at the store that matched my paint color, cut the plastic to fit the opening, and e6000/Goop/ShoeGoo the piece into position.

First, don't try to guess the color by just looking. That's not going to work. Go to Home Depot, and get swatches from the paint department, and take them out to your car and actually hold them next to the paint EXACTLY NEXT TO WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO USE IT. Trust me, I know.

Take that swatch to Wal-Mart, and find a plastic bottle that's as close to the color of your swatch as you can get. I found a coolant bottle that was almost EXACTLY the color of the bumper paint on my car, Kaschmir silver metallic. See the attached picture.

When I got home, I took a piece of paper and pressed it against the empty tow hook opening, getting an impression that I was going to use as a template for cutting out the plastic bottle piece.

I cut out the paper template, and traced around it using a sharpie. I used the paper template to cut out the new cover, and went outside with the new piece and some scissors to trim the cover to fit perfectly.

I cleaned the potential gluing/mounting surfaces with acetone, and I put e6000/Goop/ShoeGoo globs onto the inside of the bumper, at the top to drip and roll down onto the back of the cover, and I put a glob on the bottom of the back of the tow hook cover to drip down onto the inside of the bumper.

I pressed it into place, and WOW, now it's not very noticeable. It is recessed into the hole, but there are places where it can be glued to that help support the position.

If you ever need to use the tow hook, you'll just have to pull the piece out, and perform the install procedure again, but if you're like me, you do all of the repairs on the side of the road, and you're rarely using the tow hook, if at all.

I hope that this helps someone that's experiencing the no tow hook cover blues

Your friend,

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      05-31-2023, 08:04 AM   #2
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Drives: 1964 700 Sport Cabriolet
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2013 BMW 128i  [10.00]
Buy the part. Go to your local body-shop paint supplier and they'll make you up a spray can of touch-up for that color. Spray on a couple of layers and you're good to go—without the innovative appeal your solution demonstrates!
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      10-23-2023, 09:16 PM   #3
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Drives: 2007 BMW 335xi
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Thatís creative, I bet it passes for OEM from a few feet away. Could probably trim with a dremel or something to get the round edges but itís not noticeable unless you really zoom in which no one does in real life lol. Me, Iíd just buy the part and paint it, considering the jug of coolant is like $20, the part is about that. Obviously youíd have to get the paint matched, which is pretty expensive too(like $28 a can last I checked $$$!). Next best thing would be try to find a used one same color on eBay or something. Anyway, I applaud the effort!
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