bumper repair


Old 08-11-13, 06:31 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Question bumper repair

Ive got a 2008 impala which has some damage to the front bumper skin. anyone have experience or advise on fixing this my self. The area is not torn completely through but the rubber is dented outward with scraped off paint. I'm guessing I need to remove the bumper skin to repair this which seems pretty easy from what Ive read. any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-12-13, 03:11 AM
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Plastic bumpers don't repair well, not sure you can fix a rip My wife's merc had a big dent in the bumper which I was able to pop back out with a heat gun. Sanded it down and painted it - some days it's hard to spot but under certain weather conditions [usually extreme cold/heat] it will sink back in but will pop back out again later. I think that is why the shops will only replace but not repair those bumpers.
Old 08-12-13, 03:57 AM
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I fixed my wife's van bumper (quick fix really) before she left for NS. Now that her and the van is back, I'll be finishing the job. Her bumper was a trailer hitch/receiver which makes a real mess out of plastic.

By your description, it sounds like the bumper cover didn't crack?
Could you post a couple pictures of the damage?

I have a couple detailer's tricks which works good for paint. Depending on the actual damage and picky you are on the repair, it probably could be an easy enough DIY job. They type of damage will tell how to best repair it.

More then likely, it'll be easier to remove the bumper cover in order to work from the back side. A good work surface will be a must though. I had a heck of a time with the van bumper cover on a 6ft table. needed to work on the floor in the basement as there just wasn't enough surface on the table.
Old 08-12-13, 05:04 PM
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Bumper Photo

I attached a close up of the damage.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:19 AM
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That is probably worse then being cracked. A crack can be physically pushed into place, then secured. This will require heat and shaping, which can be tough to get perfect.

I think the easiest way would be to remove the bumper cover and work at a more comfortable height which will allow access to the back side of the cover. Generally speaking (haven't removed a cover from this specific make/model), there should be screws or push clips across the to and along the bottom of the cover. The corners at the wheel wells tend to be screws or bolts. When removing the cover, start from the bottom and work your way up. Keep in mind the bumper cover is suppose to be flexable, so you can apply pressure where needed to remove fasteners.

For the repair, I am thinking this will be a heat and shape job, with a bit of body filler, primer and color match paint. The outcome will be as good as you are patient and your skill sets with shaping and painting.
What I am suggesting below is what I did on my wife's van which turned out pretty good. Keep in mind, I'm not a body shop guy and never was a body shop guy. I have detailed motorcycles since I was a kid and moved into cars (not a pro, have a normal desk job).

What I used for my wife's van was a heat gun and a couple different flat metal puddy knives (what I had handy). I started with a propane on my repair, but I don't recommend it as you can melt and burn the bumper really quickly.
First step is to make sure the bumper cover is completely clean. A dryer sheet (Bounce or similar) will make bug removal easy. Wet the surface, and with a wet dryer sheet, buff the bumper cover to remove all the bugs. Rinse and wash afterwards to remove any residue.
Using the heat gun on the inside, evenly heat the affected area and a bit of the surrounding area (1/2" to 3/4"). While heating the inside, use the flat metal tools to firmly press the bulge into place. Keep in mind, it's easier to fill with body filler then it will be to sand down the plastic (ABS). Take your time doing this and keep the heat as even as possible.
Once the buldge is smoothened out as much as possible, allow it to cool.
On the outside lightly sand the affected area and surrounding edge with medium grit sand paper (I used 220) to roughen up the edges.
Following the instructions for the body filler, apply light coats (may require more then one coat). Sand smooth between each coat until the finish is as desired.
A quick pass with ~400-600grit sand paper over the repaired area and surrounding area should be done prior to painting.
Cover the area around the repair with painters tape and news paper. Make the exposed area larger then the actual repair.
Use a plastic primer to lightly cover the repaired area. Once dry (as per instructions on the product), use 600-1000 grit sand paper to lightly scuff the area.
If using a rattle can for paint (spray can which can be mixed at a automotive store with the color codes found generally on the inside of the driver door), Do very light coats over the repaired area. It's best to do full sweeps of the area (left to right and right to left). This will help prevent runs. Start at the top of the repair and work your way down. Allow dry to tacky and repeat. You are looking at probably 2-3 coats.
If using a seporate clear coat, allow paint to dry, wet sand lightly with 1500grit paper then repeat with clear (1-2 coats). Allow to dry then lightly wet sand the newly repaired area and surround with 2000grit.

Once the above is completed, wait 24 hours before applying a good paint sealing wax (Mothers or similar).
Old 08-13-13, 05:24 AM
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I should also mention, for scratches and scuffs in the paint (as seen surrounding the damaged area), 1000-1500 grit wet sanding will remove most.
Keep the pressure very light and spend the time buffing it. Most the time when sanding, I'll go across the work area diagonally one way, then back diagonally the other way.
Old 08-13-13, 03:43 PM
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thanks for the information

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