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Thread: How To: Remove the front bumper (plus meshing guide)

  1. #1
    I'm part of the furniture Club Member Ian C's Avatar
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    Technical How To How To: Remove the front bumper (plus meshing guide)

    1) Get under the car and find the row of five nuts at the front of the chin undertray. They will probably be as rusty as hell. Give them a good squirt of WD40 and let it soak in.

    2) Remove both lights, indicators, wheel arch front liners, and rubber sealing strip at the top of the bumper.

    3) Along the top centre of the bumper (under the rubber sealing strip you removed) there is a row of black plastic crosspoint fasteners that look like they will unscrew. They won't. I chiseled the heads off (having previously ordered some spares).

    4) Inside the top edge of the mouth there are two spreader strips each with three pastic fasteners in them. These do pop out easily with a bit of leverage. I used a pair of cranked pliers with an intergral wire cutter. Put the wire cutter bit around the head of the fastener and lever it downwards. Easy (although I did buy spares).

    5) The two hardest fasteners to actually get to are right in the corners of the bumper, a couple of inches inside the wheel arch liners. With just the front liners removed you will just be able to get onto them, but you might need someone to hold the upper wheel arch liner out of the way. Youl will also need to turn the wheels from lock to lock for extra access. If you are lucky, the studs will be identified with bright yellow plastic caps on the ends (which you do not need to take off). There are two more similar fastenings (making four in total) about 10 inches further forwards, but ther are much easier to get to through the light holes.

    6) Get back under that car and remove the oily nuts from the front of the chin undertray. If you are fitting anything else, or doing some meshing, remove the chin undertray. Remove the stud strip from the bottom inside edge of the mouth. The bumper should come off if you get a mate to pull the wheel-arch corners outwards and then pull it forwards out of the clips under the headlights.

    Bits that broke:
    1x indicator fixing.
    1x stud on the stud strip in step 6.

    Bits I recommend buying before you do this:
    Plastic fasteners for the top centre fixings (step 3 - under bonnet seal strip)
    New plastic fasteners for the top inside of the mouth (step 4).
    A new stud strip assembly and nuts (step 6).

    Meshing:
    If you don't have an FMIC then I reckon you could mesh the "mouth" at least without taking the bumper off. You might even be able to do the indicator holes, but its a bit more fiddly so I would recommend taking the bumper off for that.

    If trying to leave the bumper on, then just remove the top inside edge mouth fasteners (step 4) and the chin undertray and stud strip (step 6).

    Go to your local chav emporium and buy some mesh. I used plastic coated aluminium. You could use steel but bear in mind that you will need to be able to do some bending.

    Measure the height of the mouth apeture at the ENDS (the bumper flexes when it is off the car, and the centre of the apeture can close up a little. Add about 60mm to this measurement. Measure the apeture width and add about 120mm. Handily, the mesh that you can get from Wilco in flat cardboard panels is almost exactly the right length already. Using tin snips, cut out a strip measuring height+60mm x width+120mm. Wear gloves!

    Using masking tape, mark two lines 30mm in from each edge along the length of the strip. Decide which side of your mesh is going to be the front and mark that somehow.

    Using a sturdy straight edge, bend the mesh so that the 30mm edges face FORWARDS. Do not bend them a full 90 degrees. Stop a few degrees short. If using aluminium, try not to bend back and forth too much, or it will snap.

    Fitting:
    Get under the car. Insert the top 30mm edge in between the bumper mouth and the front cross member. Using a large screwdriver, open up any mesh that is in the way of the fixing holes. Insert the screwdriver into the hole and twist it until any nearby mesh is pushed out of the way (much easier with aluminium).

    Re-fit the fixings for the top inside edge of the mouth. I had to gently hammer the fixigs back in place.

    Fit the bottom edge of the mesh so that the 30mm edge is underneath the lower edge of the mouth. Use the screwdriver technique again to open up the mesh over the mounting holes. Refit the stud strip, making sure that the mesh fits evenly against the bumper moulding along the bottom edge. The studs will poke through the mesh and hold it in place.

    Refit the chin undertray, sandwiching the mesh between it and the bumper moulding.

    Side holes:
    Like I said, I did this with the bumper off the car.

    Clean the inside of the bumper around the indicator holes with soapy water and allow to dry.

    On the INSIDE of the bumper, use sandpaper to roughen up around the indicator holes (NOT the painted side!!!).

    Cut a piece of mesh that is the same shape as the hole up to where the moulding changes shape under the indicator (difficult to describe but you will see what I mean). If possible, try to use a "finished" edge on the mesh for this top edge (which will end up about 1 inch below the indicator). Apart from this edge, alow about 30mm extra around the sides and bottom.

    Holding the mesh over the hole, carefully cut radially inwards around the extra 30mm edges, creating "petals" that can be folded forwards to make a cup shape that can be fitted over the hole from the inside of the bumper. TAKE YOUR TIME and get both sides the same.

    Buy a tube of strong adhesive. I used "Gripfill" which comes in a green tube (not the yellow solvent free type). About 2 from a good DIY store. You will also need a mastic gun.

    Cut the nozzle off at its widest point. CAREFULLY squeeze a FAT bead (about 1/2 inch diameter) around the indicator hole (NOT ON THE PAINTED SIDE!!!)

    Fit the mesh over the hole. The folded over edges should squish satisfyingly into the adhesive, which will ooze through the holes. Using gloves, carefully smear the excess adhesive back on itself to encapsulate the folded edge all around. Do the same on the other side. Once you are happy with the fit, use strips of masking tape to support the mesh until the adhesive goes off (24 hours for full strength).

    I think that's about all there is to it! HTH
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    Last edited by Ian C; 07-06-05 at 10:37.
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  2. #2
    Work... what work? Club Member Lez's Avatar
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    Nicw one Digsy, I'll add my comments when i do mine next week
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  3. #3
    Out Standing in his field Club Member Heyrick's Avatar
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    Fitting Mesh Without Removing Bumper

    Thanks for that, I finished fitting mine today and you CAN do it without removing the front bumper. The main difficulty is the side with SMIC duct but I did manage it by fixing the mesh differently.

    Because the mesh I was using was the heavy duty s/s wire type (very difficult to fold) and because I wasn't removing the bumper, I didn't fix it in the way advocated above. The method should work with other types of mesh but you may need to adjust the following to suit - here's how I did it:

    As above, take out the lights and chin tray. You will also need to remove the indicators.

    SMIC Side:

    Cut a piece of stiff card to fit behind the bumper. It doesn't need to go right to the top but does need to be above the indicator fixing holes as these are used to hold the top of the mesh. The card is then used as a template to cut the mesh.

    You will need to allow an extra 1 - 2 cm on the raditator side to allow it to be folded back. (make sure you fold it the right way!) This is so that the mesh butts against the part of the bumper that goes in further on the inside edge. It protects the paint and strengthens the mesh in the middle where there is no fixing and makes it look neat.

    I also needed to cut and fold the centre top part of the mesh to allow the bulbs to pass - this may be different with the pre-facelift indicators. See picture one.

    At the bottom I tied a length of s/s wire to the mesh. This feeds through the gap between the bumper and the duct and is tied on to the front somewhere to pull the mesh tightly against the bumper. See picture two.

    To fit the mesh, get it into place with the wire fed out through the bottom and refit the indicators - the nuts of which hold the top part of the mesh in place. The nuts are extremely fiddly to get on with the SMIC duct being in the way, but it is possible with (edit: a lot of) perseverance. Tip - to stop the nut falling off I used a small bit of cardboard to jam the nut into the spanner and then put it into place with the spanner. Once the nuts are tight you can then tighten up the wire underneath to keep the bottom in place. Job done!

    Nearside:

    On the nearside you don't need to be as fussy with the shape of the mesh as there is loads more room around the duct. I also used two pieces of wire (one on each bottom corner) to hold the bottom as there is no support from the SMIC duct.

    Hope this helps!
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  4. #4
    Out Standing in his field Club Member Heyrick's Avatar
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    P.S. I would have found the fitting of this type of mesh almost imposible without the Adjustable Vice Jaw Benders (see photo):

    Link to Vice Bender

    From these guys:

    http://www.axminster.co.uk


    You can get a really straight fold and it allows you to use the heavy duty s/s wire type mesh which would be impossible to fold neatly otherwise.

    Don't do the whole fold in one go - work your way along doing about half the bend and then go back again to finish.
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  5. #5
    Posting is my life! Club Member jackso11's Avatar
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    Anyone have the part numbers for the bits recommended to have on standby for this.
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  6. #6
    Work... what work? Club Member Gambit's Avatar
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    This is the easy route m8

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