Mini Cooper (R56 2007+) Grill Removal & Badge Install
By Rob Robinette
"Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges!" Well I did so I ordered a magnetic badge holder from www.outmotoring.com for $17.95. I got the badges from www.toddsmods.com for $4.50 each. The holder is just a piece of round metal secured to your grill that you stick the magnetic badges on. To install the holder on the non-S Mini Cooper, R56, 2007+, the grill must be removed and two holes drilled in the grill backing (not in the chrome).
The instructions for the badge holder say the 2007+ Cooper Hatchback needs 1.25 inch long 10-32 bolts, but you really need 1.5 inch bolts. They aren't provided so I went to Ace Hardware and they had them in stainless steel. The grill removal instructions weren't very detailed so I decided to put together this How-To.
The Finished Product
Start by opening the hood and removing the 4 tabs that hold the top of the grill in place.
Four Grill Top Tabs
Pop the center of the tab out and the body of the tab will come out easily. A thin blade screwdriver will work if you don't have a tab removal tool.
Pulling Center Plug From One of Four Upper Grill Tabs
Upper Grill Tab Open and Ready to Be Removed
Next, remove the lowest piece of the chrome grill by pushing down on the tab shown below while pulling outward on the grill piece. Repeat this on the other end of the grill.
Two Tabs to Remove Lowest Grill Piece
With the lowest grill piece off it's easy to squeeze the four tabs shown below to release the grill and pull it straight out.
Four Lower Tabs Now Exposed
Lowest Grill Piece and Grill Removed
Close-Up Of Two of Four Bottom Grill Squeeze Tabs
Place the grill face down on a towel and drill the two holes in the grill by using the badge holder's backing plate as a template. Be very careful to avoid scratching the chrome on the other side of the grill with the drill bit. You want to angle the holes upward because the bolts will have to angle upward to attach to the badge holder.
Grill Holes for Badge Holder
Leave a gap between the grill ridge and the backing plate so it will lie flush against the grill as shown below.
Backside of Grill with Badge Holder Installed
You will need to purchase two 10-32 1.5 inch long bolts (preferably stainless steel) to reach through the grill. The bolts provided are too short. Put the bolts through the provided washer, backing plate, grill, and thread into the badge holder. I recommend a little Lock-Tite on the threads to keep everything in place. Don't over tighten the bolts, you can easily crack the plastic grill.
Badge Holder Installed
Install the grill by snapping the four bottom grill squeeze tabs into place, then snap the lowest grill piece back on. Install the top tabs with the tab centers removed, then with the grill nice and flush install the tab centers. Close the hood and admire your work.
Put your favorite magnetic badge in place, go motoring and enjoy your Stinkin' Badges!