Facelifting the Clubman Diesel

After we picked up our Clubman Diesel on Thursday night, the following Sunday was a perfect day to get to work on something that was well prepared before the car arrived.
When ordering the car I was thinking about getting the driving lamps and a black Cooper S grill – instead of the all chrome grill that the Clubman Diesel came with from the factory. And so the lamps and grill were ordered as accessories along with the car.
Then something happened that wasn’t planned. I eyed a full Cooper S front apron on eBay and was lucky enough to win the bidding war for little more than just €50. The best was that the apron was already dark silver metallic, the color of our Clubman. I wouldn’t have got it if it wasn’t that cheap or another color with the need for a paint job.

So on Sunday I put on the scrubs and got ready to facelift the Clubman.

Here is how Earl Grey looked like before the surgery.

Standard Cooper Diesel Front

The first thing that had to go was the chrome grill. It’s just clipped in and easily removed.
What followed then was more serious. To remove the front apron I needed to get to the bolts on the sides of the apron which are underneath the wheel arches. So I carefully unfastened the wheel housing to get to those bolts – and then nearly broke my hand when trying to get to them. After a good 45 minutes I had one side done. Not that it takes that long when you know what to do. But I didn’t. And so it was an exploration.
The other side was done in about 10 minutes. Eventually it all worked out and the bolts on both sides were soon gone. There were three more bolts on the bottom of the front apron plus some dowel-like plugs. The last bolts I removed where those in plain sight where the front grill once was.
Now I was careful to not rip out any of the cables that connect to the fog lights and to the temperature sensor that is also at home on the inside of the apron. The plugs were easily disconnected and the apron completely pulled off the car.

With the grill and front apron removed, the Clubman presented an ugly grin.

Open Heart Surgery

Then I removed the fog lights from their housing inside the apron and clipped of the temperature sensor. These then got mounted again into the Cooper S front apron. Fixing the Cooper S front apron to the car was easy. All the bolts and clips go into the same place as before. I nearly broke my hand a second time, but other than that all went well.

The grin wasn’t that ugly any more. Actually I think you can see a happy smile now.

Cooper S Front Fitted

Now the driving lamps needed to be fixed. The wiring harness was pre-installed by the dealer before I picked up the car. All I had to do was to run the cables for the driving lamps around the radiator out to the front. Then I attached the lamps’ mounts. The black Cooper S grill was simply clipped in place afterwards. Then the lamps were fixed to the mounts and the cables plugged into each other.


Cooper Diesel with Cooper S Front and Driving Lamps

Needless to say the patient came out from anesthesia without any post-surgery aftereffects and we are all happy with the result.

But what do you think? Let me know in the comments.


One response to “Facelifting the Clubman Diesel

  1. Quite a change! Looks great! Congratulations on your first successful mod 🙂

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