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Kidney Grill Fitment - 1976 2002


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Hello all!


Newbie member here, just picked up a great project and wanted to get a new grill for inspiration and to make the car look a bit happier. Bought from E-bay and was shipped from Germany and looks to be the correct late model kidney grill but the fitment is... not great. Little is known of the history of this car but a vin check does confirm it is a 1976. Could this be a front panel swap? Let me know your thoughts!


Front grill was flipped and checked for fitment both ways, both look wrong.










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Your upper nose is dented.


And that doesn’t look like a square tail center grill to me (seems too bulbous and rounded, not slimmer with defined creases).


The top edge of center grille sits flush on the sheet metal, and the metal should also be flush to the side grilles all along that upper edge. And it should be completely flat on both sides of the center crease.


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Definitely not a squarelight center grille...it's chromed plastic, and at least the outer perimeter frame of a squarelight center grille is aluminum.  And that's besides it doesn't fit!  It's a little short to be E30, so possibly an early 5...


I don't think the nose on Rafael's car is dented; it's the incorrect contours of the grill that doesn't fit properly against the nose panel.


I'm curious in that it was bought in Germany but is a US spec car (bulge parking lights, holes where the 5 mph bumpers went) and most likely a VIN beginning with 237XXXX or 274XXXX.   Wonder how it got to Germany...left by a GI many years ago?


Anyway, welcome to the 02 fraternity/sorority.  



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Thank you all for your input! Currently seeing if the seller will accept a return but he stands that this is a 2002 grill and should fit perfectly and has sold quite a few that have had no issues. Is there a gasket that I am missing? Any other possible reason this is not fitting? Here is the car without the grill from reference, just trying to solve this mystery in the most cordial way possible with the seller as he says the front nose is dented and is the reason the part will not fit.


Pardon the condition of the car I am working on it :)






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And @Tommy is correct, the grill was purchased from Germany, car was purchased in Illinois but was originally a California/Arizona car @Mike Self. Interesting interior combination and was a respray from its original Granatrot metallic. 


Original photos from listing and a small post first start video!





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Attached are additional pics of a 76er grille (a slightly damaged one).


Note particularly the creases in the metal that yours doesn’t have. How the top edge is cut down and how it’s trimmed with that curve to the sides. (unlike the bottom which has an additional 1/2” extension and a notch-cut on the sides).


You have the wrong part..


pic 1: rear of top of grille

pic2: face of top of grille

pic3: face of bottom of grille




Edited by visionaut
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