Tech Article Title Author Date
Installing a lip spoiler Don Pavlik 2001

If you're an auto enthusiast you probably know about the BMW E46 M3. BMW has a very nice lip spoiler for the M3 deck lid that, although not a perfect fit contour-wise, when properly installed is a very nice addition to an A4 or S4. Unlike most spoilers the BMW piece is very discreet and mounts near the rear of the deck lid. Does it provide additional downforce? Probably not but it does look sweet. No drilling is required to install it as it mounts with a special adhesive strip. You will need to get it painted to match your car. The paint code for your car is on a white label in the spare tire well on the passenger side. The paint shop will need this information to match your paint.

This is really a 2 person job so scrounge up a friend to help you.

Thanks to NickS--his car is featured in this article.

For pricing information on the parts check with a BMW dealer in your area.

The parts

  • Spoiler, BMW part number: 51-71-7-893-671
  • Adhesive tape, BMW part number: 51-71-7-901-759
  • Wax or adhesive cleaner/remover
  • Masking tape
click to enlarge
Spoiler part number has been superceded by the number listed above
Adhesive tape
The contour of the spoiler does not exactly match the contour of the deck lid in it's natural state but with careful installation you can bow it slightly to match.
Here's a better example of the contour. As you can see it's not quite the same radius.
First, clean off all the wax you've lovingly applied to your glistening paint. 3M makes an excellent product called General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner that will ensure a clean and wax-free surface. Most auto parts stores carry it. Also be sure to clean the mating surface on the spoiler
To get everything lined up correctly, center the spoiler on deck lid near where the lid curves downward. The ends of the spoiler will be too far back. Hold it securely in the center and have the second person gently bow the spoiler so that it matches the contour of the deck lid. Apply masking tape near the front edge of the spoiler in several places to mark it's location and make pencil marks to indicate side to side placement. Also, mark the center of the spoiler and deck lid for initial placement. The tape and marks will ensure it's where you want for final placement. The adhesive strip is extremely sticky... you'll only get one shot at placement. Measure carefully.
Once you've got everything marked, peel off the paper side of the adhesive strip and apply it to the spoiler. Align it slowly and carefully--you only get one chance! You'll need to trim the tape with a razor blade as it's longer than the spoiler.

I strongly recommend you use the factory tape. It's very thin, extremely sticky (almost gooey putty) and invisible once installed. Other tapes may be too thick and not allow the spoiler to sit flush on the deck lid.

Next comes the scary part. For placement, we removed an 8" section of the adhesive backing at the center of the spoiler, aligned it with our center tape edge and pencil mark and then pressed it into place. Make sure you have the ends of the remaining adhesive backing pulled off enough so you can pull it off the rest of the way before putting the center down. Don't remove all the backing until you have the center placed correctly or the ends may touch somewhere and make a mess of the whole works. Now, while your pal holds the center securely, slowly pull of the remaining backing off, align the spoiler with the rest of your tape marks and press it into place. Stand back and admire your handiwork.

Rear shot
Note that after bowed it fits the contour of the deck lid perfectly.

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