I saw a lot of trunks on the forums and from various vendors, but there is always a part of me that is concerned about buying parts without having a US vendor I can speak with. Recently I saw that ModBargains had a CSL trunk that seemed to have superior fitment and a very clean look. I knew ModBargains had a good reputation on the forums, so I felt it was worth contacting them. I had a conversation with Alan from ModBargains about their CSL trunk and he felt very confident it the fit and finish of the part. I thought about it for a few days and decided to pull the trigger.
This review will focus:
- Initial Communications with ModBargains
- ModBargains Customer Service
- Shipping Quality
- Fit/Quality/Finish of the Trunk
- Any DIY Information Necessary
Experience with ModBargains / Shipping
When I first called ModBargains, I spoke with Alan and continued to chat with him through the entire process. Alan is available by phone or on many other instant messengers. Alan was very knowledgeable about the parts he carries and very friendly through the entire process. Alan was able to answer all specific questions I had regarding the trunk from quality, to fitment, to availability. He was supremely confident that fitment of this trunk would be 95% or better and referred to it as "spot-on". Alan even mentioned that ModBargains is clear coating their CSL trunks when they receive them to protect against the infamous yellowing that can occur on the clear of carbon fiber items. Alan spent a number of days answering all my long winded questions, and then proceeded to take my order. Within an hour, I had a completed invoice and about 24 hours later I had shipping/tracking information. The shipping was painless and easy. I was able to track the trunk to my local shipping company, and then they called me to setup up a delivery time.
When the trunk arrived, it was packaged nicely in a very large box.
The packaging and bubble wrap was very, very thorough. I have ordered large parts before and the shipping companies tend to murder the boxes so good packaging is key.
After removing the first bubble packaging, you will notice the CSL trunk is again protected by a plastic bag and a second set of bubble wrap.
When I finally removed the packaging, I was blow away with what I saw. The carbon fiber weave is nothing less than stellar. The lines are clean and smooth. The clear coat was very nice with next to no noticeable wrinkles (which we see on lots of carbon fiber products).
First, I will show you images with a flash.
Now images with no flash.
The arch is just superb and the weave is flawless!!!
I have to say that I am completely blown away with the quality of the ModBargains CSL Trunk. The weave is simply flawless. The workmanship of the trunk is very clean with no waves whatsoever to any of the lines. The clear coat is beautiful and nearly flawless. If the fit is as good as the quality of the trunk, then I knew I would be very, very happy.
There are some good DIYs for installing a trunk on an E90/92, so I don't want to rehash those DIYs. Here is a great reference from rldzhao:
The above DIY has great info on swapping and removing trunks and what parts you should buy to make the job easier. Of course there are item specific DIY pieces for this trunk, and I will focus on that in this review/DIY.
I cannot emphasize enough that you really should take a picture of the inside of the stock trunk once you remove the liner. Knowing how to re-assemble the trunk will make your life a lot easier. Specifically, note how the key hole roller is cabled, the off white plastic clip, and the trunk latch. Here are some of the locations I am referring to.
I used the stock bolts to secure the trunk, but they were still a little long so I needed to use my dremel to remove the small head off the screws (noted below with the yellow arrow).
I also used a washer on each screw to get the exact spacing I needed for the stock bolts to work with the new ModBargains CSL trunk.
The next thing you will need to do is test fit all the stock parts onto the new trunk. The trunk liner holes are not all drilled, so I aligned the trunk liner and traced out the holes. I used a step drill bit to achieve the correct diameter for the trunk liner snaps to fit.
Next, test fit your bumper stops to make sure they will secure properly. Use your step drill bit to adjust the diameter of the holes as necessary.
From here, I moved onto the latch opening, handle, and license plate LEDs mounting locations. I used a dremel to open up each hole as necessary to fit the part I would be mounting.
By far the most difficult part was getting the key roller in the trunk to sit well. You will need to dremel quite a bit of material off of the opening so you can get the key roller to sit perfectly. I suggest taking small amounts off at a time and test fitting until you are happy. Once you have the key insert as flush as possible, then drill the mounting holes through the inside of the trunk
It should be noted that you mount the key roller mounting holes inside the trunk. That means you will need new mounting hardware to get a secure fit. I will cover that at the end of the DIY.
Finally you will drill out the holes for the license plate expanding nut. The license plate expanding nuts are square, so you will need to drill a pilot whole, then use a file to expand the hole to fit the expanding nuts.
At this point, you are ready to send your trunk off for painting. After you get the trunk back, you can pick up the DIY here.
Some will suggest you drill holes to mount your BMW roundel on the trunk, but I just prefer double sided tape since the surface is very easy to adhere to. I mounted my roundel using double sided tape and 3M Automotive Adhesion Promoter 06396 to insure a good adhesion to the roundel and trunk. I also mounted the plastic key hole trim using 3M tape using the above method. This is just the safest and easiest way to get a stock like look.
The mounting bolts for the trunk key roller have to be different because you need longer bolts. I used stainless hex bolts in 1" and 3/4", washers, teflon nuts, and a cylindrical spacer (for the driver's side mounting) of the key trunk roller.
The most difficult part of this entire install is getting the key hole roller to sit flush. I actually don't think it is possible, but you can get it flush enough to be useable. When you cover it with the plastic keyhole cover, you can still achieve a stock-like look as you will see below.
Use caution, grab a helper where needed, and move along slowly to get a perfect install. Putting things back together is a lot faster if you have the pictures to reference how the parts looked on the stock trunk and you have done the necessary prep work. When you mount the trunk, loosely tight the bolts so you can get the trunk to sit flush then tighten thoroughly.
The truth of the matter is fit is where cosmetic mods fly or fail. The carbon fiber weave can be nice and the clear coat perfect, but if the fit is not great then we are always left unhappy. I have taken a number of pictures from the most important angles to show the fitment of the ModBargains CSL Trunk. Enjoy.
Notice the near perfect lines from the bill of the trunk to the quarter panel and the smooth line along the trunk/upper quarter panel.
Notice the 100% perfect match of the lines from the trunk lights to the quarter panel rear lights.
Of course some beauty shots.
Lastly, notice the plastic keyhole cover that was double side taped to the trunk.
I was absolutely amazed that the ModBargains E92 CSL Trunk fit so well. If this isn't close to 100% fitment, then I don't know what is.
Alan from ModBargains was a pleasure to purchase from. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and ultimately wanted my buying experience to be positive. Alan was able to answer all the questions I had about his product, or he found someone who could. The packaging of the product was superb to ensure it would arrive to me unblemished. ModBargains does provide invoicing and tracking info so you can plan your install around its arrival.
The ModBargains E92 Carbon Fiber CSL Trunk has a stellar carbon fiber weave quality. The additional clear coat ModBargains applies to the trunk will allow those that want the "naked" look to simply mount the trunk and go. The lines on the trunk are perfectly smooth, and fit is off the chart good! I can only describe the fitment as stock-like.
The mounting locations for the license plate LEDs, handle, key roller, and license plate expanding nuts will need to be prepped to fit your stock parts. The mounting holes for the trunk liner will also have to be drilled as they are not when the trunk comes to you. If you don't mind a couple of hours of work, then you can easily get near or stock-like fitment from this trunk.
Overall, I am more than happy with the ModBargains E92 Carbon Fiber CSL Trunk. It actually exceeded my expectations and is a tremendous addition to my car. I would not hesitate for a second to purchase from ModBargains again in the future.