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Old 07-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Painting bumper covers

Anyone have any experience re: tutorial regarding the removal/painting/putting back on my front and rear bumper covers?

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Old 07-19-2010, 12:17 PM   #2
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Take off the bumper extensions first.

Rear ones are connected to the bumper by a screw underneath. Then there is a screw at the wheel arch and a screw at the rubber mounting flap inside the wheel well. Once you get the screws off, slide them toward the front of the car and up. They hook into a track mounted on the side of the car behind them.

Front ones are connected to the bumper with a bolt underneath that also holds the corner of the lower airdam/spoiler. If you live in the rust belt, the screws are likely rusted into the crappy fittings in the bumper's lower valence--good luck with that. If they are frozen in the stupid mounting end, they usually just spin in place in the bumper. You can get a small pair if needle-nose vice grips on them sometimes from through the lower valence and get them apart. If not, cut the heads of the bolts off with a Dremel. Don't cut or break the bumper in frustration if you can help it. If they come out, then remove the screw at the wheel arch and at the rubber flap inside the wheel well and slide them back and up. When you put things back together, if you had to SNAFU those bolts at the front, take the stupid retainer things right out of the bumper and use a bolt, nut and a couple fender washers in it's place--stainless steel is best.

The rear bumper mounts to the 2 heavy bumper mounts at the back of the car with 4 12mm nuts. DO NOT REMOVE THE BUMPER MOUNTS FROM THE CAR. Remove the bumper from the bumper mounts. The 4 bolts can be seen on the back side of the bumper mount's outermost part. Not easy to get to. You may have to unhook the exhaust hanger at the back to move the tailpipe to get access to the ones on the DS. Spray them liberally with liquid wrench (or similar) and let that go to work before removing the nuts. If they are frozen and you try to force them, you will break the stud off the bumper--that would suck. If there are any shims back there, note their placement and put them back when you put the bumper back on. The bumper can be shimmed up or down so that the bumper decor strip stays aligned and horizontal with the ones on the bumper extensions.

The front bumper is held on with two bolts with internal hex heads. I can't recall the size. You'll need a long allen wrench, or an allen fitting and a long extension on your ratchet. You can see them from underneath. There are little notches in the lower valence behind the fog lights to fit your tool through to access them straight up. Before taking them out, take off the wiper arms from your headlights and unplug the hose from them. Also unplug the connectors from your fog lights. Take the grill off, it mounts with three screws along the top and just clips into the bumper. If you can reach them, unplug the connectors to the headlight wipers. Once you take the mounting bolts out, the bumper will just slide off the brackets on the front of the car. Have a helper, or have something high enough to set the bumper on so it doesn't drop. You'll need to disconnect the wipers etc if you weren't able to reach them earlier to get the bumper free of the car.

If you still have your original decor strips they should not be taped or hard-fastened to the bumper. They are held on with spring clips. Either way, you should remove them to make painting easier. The front ones cannot be completely removed without removing the bumper skin from the bumper itself--big hassle. I usually just unhook the outer clips and bring the two ends together at the center of the bumper and tape them together so the strips are out of the way for painting. As long as your careful, they shouldn't break.

The decor strips are clear plastic with a foil embedded inside them. If they look faded and cloudy, you can use plexiglass polish on the face of them to bring them back to life.

If the paint on the bumpers is sound, but just faded, you can sand them down with 400 grit paper, clean them and go directly to paint. Cleaning them is critical, clean them, clean them, and clean them again. Use a heavy duty cleaner like Purple Power and rinse well. ALSO use a good pre-paint cleaner like Prep-sol or SherWil Clean. If the paint is cracked and flaking, you can either sand through it, or use a plastic-safe paint stripper. Any damage or scuffs will have to be filled with a flexible body filler that is formulated for plastic parts (SEM makes a good one). If you get down to raw plastic, use a primer formulated for flexible plastic parts. If you have an auto body supply shop near you, they will likely carry most of the SEM products you'll need (paint, fillers, primer).

If you are painting them from a rattle can, SEM Bumper Coater Charcoal #39273 is a good match for OEM. If you're painting with HVLP, the color is SAAB anthricite grey and you'll need to tell your supplier that you are painting flexible plastic parts so they can give you the proper formulation (elastomeric paint).

Good luck! Painting the bumpers always makes a difference on these cars. Worth the effort IMHO.
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Last edited by turbocon86; 07-19-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the very detail explanation. Guess this is going to take more than an hour! lol

I really do believe that the paint will help tons.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
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Nice work Ric! Not much to add other than I believe the front bumper uses an 8mm bolt
once you get the bumpers off, getting the bumper covers off the bumpers in just a handfull of T25 or T30 screws.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:37 AM   #5
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SEM makes nice bumper paint in a spray can. Using that, I usually leave the bumpers on and tape off the car
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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SEM? sorry for the ignorance
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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SEM is a company that makes specialty coatings and such for the automotive repair industry.

Here's a PDF of their plastic repair and refinishing procedures.

Here's a link to their bumper coater product if you can't find them at a local auto body supply place.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:33 AM   #8
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Thanks so much for the info
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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turbocon86 - thanks for the detailed info - about how long do you estimate it takes to complete (not including paint dry time). Looks like I finally scored an '88 SPG that has some scuffs on the corners of front and back bumpers.

Thanks

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Old 03-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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I did front and rear bumpers and extensions on a car over a long weekend. That included some minor scuff repair as well. It's not a difficult job.

It was in the Summer on a nice day with low humidity. I painted them on the shady side of my house and then put them in the sun to bake. They dried pretty quick.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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I nominate this for a sticky. Great info, TC.

Going to be tackling this soon in prep for adding my SPG kit. The paint on my front bumper is flaking off quite a bit and the rear is scratched.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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So along the lines of the bumper discussion, I put a hole in the rear bumper of my 1990 SPG. Is the SPG bumper the same as the standard 900S and 900T bumper? I am looking at painting my SPG kit and am wondering if I need to do a patch job as well.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:51 AM   #13
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Yes, the rear bumper on the SPG is the same as any other 900. The sedan/vert bumper is different from the coupe bumper though. So if you have a coupe, you need a coupe bumper and if you have a vert, you need a vert bumper.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbocon86 View Post
Yes, the rear bumper on the SPG is the same as any other 900. The sedan/vert bumper is different from the coupe bumper though. So if you have a coupe, you need a coupe bumper and if you have a vert, you need a vert bumper.
That's what I was hoping for. Thanks tc86!
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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Did this last week. Pulled front and rear bumpers, sanded with 400 grit on a obital buffer. Removed the bumpers to gain actcess to the chrome strips. Repainted them also and reused all hardware. Did the side panels attached.
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bumper, bumper cover, bumper paint, paint, refinishing

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