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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Yes | No

    Front bumper repair - with photos ...

    My lovely wife of 21 years does not drive my car often, but this week, when I took her car (Honda Accord) for the car's first service, she kept my car for the day. Yes, given the tittle of this post, you know how this story ends ...

    So I told her that morning, dear, please be careful, my car now has 128K miles, it is out of warranty, etc. - she said, OK, no problem. Well, she called me around mid-day, and I noticed she was having trouble explaining why she called during her lunch hour. Well, it turns out she parked too close to the sidewalk, and the lower left portion of the front bumper got caught by the concrete stop's retainer pin, and when she finished lunch and pull the car out, the front left bumper stayed behind until "something broke".

    Here is how the alignement of the front bumper should look like on both side (here is the right side):



    But thanks to this unfortunate "event", here is how the left side looked like (mind you she tried to bend it back up and align it as best she could):





    Upon looking closer, you can see what happened - the upper part of the "C" shape channel on the bumper broke of:





    As a refresher course, to get the bumper out, you must remove the bolts that hold the, lower, inside part of the wheel well, and you have to remove these covers:



    to then get access to the Torx 50 bolts:





    Once you get those out, and disconnect the fog lights and the outside temp sensor (passenger side), then the bumper slides out. If you are working by yourself, use a chair or something similar to hold it - you don't want it getting scratched up on the floor:



    Once the bumper was out, you can more easily see the damage:





    For reference here is the right side which is not broken:




    Since that piece is "welded" to the bumper, normally no repair is possible, so you would need a new bumper. However, if you are stubborn like me (and cheap!), you now have an alternate repair path if you don't mind getting a little dirty!


    Given the tight space, I found a metal bracket from my parts bin in the garage:



    Once I cut the piece to size, I then ground off one of the ridges to get better contact:



    I then bended to get the right angle, to try to match the right angle:







    I then marked holes for bolts, trying to "grab" the thicker part of that plastic portion:



    Here is a dry-fit of the part with the bolts:



    Here is what I meant earlier about the "thicker portion":



    So then I cleaned the area well:



    Mixed some epoxy:



    and bolted/glued the part, using Loctire on the nut/bolt:







    And then assemble everything back the way it came out. How does it look?:






    Yes, it took a couple of hours, but I saved having to buy and paint a new front bumper. And of course, I still love/adore my wife - hopefully she will be a little bit more careful next time :-)

    William
    Richardson, Texas
    2005 BMW 330i Auto, TiSilver, Prem Package (her car)
    2000 BMW 540i Auto, TiSilver, Sport/Prem Package (my car)

    Retired/sold:
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    2002 M3 Coupe with SMG
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    1991 535i 5-speed manual


  2. #2
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    Good job!



    Viv
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  3. #3
    Vin M
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    Looks Great! Good write-up and photos. Thanks!


  4. #4
    Eurodavid
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    Good Stuff, William! Thank you 4 the writeup!!


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    Nice to see another MacGyver fix, good job William






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  6. #6
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    thank you guys :-)

    William
    Richardson, Texas
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    Did the same thing to mine after

    my encounter with the parking stop in Cody, Wyoming.Fritracer
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 540ia Sport Package 9/99 Silver/ Black
    img=168887[/IMG]

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    P/Ns not available...

    I wonder why BMW has chosen not to offer up for sale the flimsy plastic brackets with P/N 51 118 159 349 and 51 118 159 350. These parts always go first whenever the bumper is stuck and you either have to be a MacGyver or cough up the dough for another bumper...

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    Nice fix, now teach her how to back into parking

    spots. exactly why i always back into parking spots. i also always hit the door lock release button as well on the center console so i dont break the door handles inside as well.

    i might be crazy but i havent had to ever repair either.

    nice work!





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  10. #10
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    You are asking for too much now.....



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    Outstanding! The photo showing the repaired

    bumper in place looks like it just came out of the factory.

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    Nice timing....

    My lovely wife has also done something similar - twice.

    The first time I just needed to refit the bumper, the second (just a few weeks ago) she damaged the clip but not as totally as yours so I can get it to hook back in - barely.

    I was intending to snap a pic sometime and as for suggestions here on how to put it back together.

    Thanks for taking the time to write up and post your procedure.


  13. #13
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    You are welcome (m)

    A lot of folks here share how to keep their cars running, so I feel great when I can do something to give back, and perhaps help somebody in return. That is why I like this forum so much - we help each other out :-)

    William
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    Great Job! My wife isn't interesting in learning

    to drive manual, so I'm lucky in that aspect. Still, between the 2 E39s it can still happen. Thanks again for taking the time.



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  15. #15
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    Question

    Hi William.
    First I want to thank you for chronicling this repair in such stellar fashion.
    I wish I could blame it on my wife. But I was the one with the careless parking job.
    I'm going to go ahead and give this a shot, so I have s few questions.

    What's the width and length of the screws you used?

    Did you use nuts to secure the screws or just Loctite?

    How exactly did you use the epoxy?
    Was it to glue the new brace to the bumper before screwing it with the Loctite?

    I appreciate your advice and thanks again for your help?

    Franklin


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    This is a meticulous job and it looks great

    here's how my indie fixed mine: He pried off the molding and secured the bumper with a wood screw. Then he replaced the molding. You can't tell there ever was any damage.

    He said it took five minutes, and four of those were spent looking for an appropriate screw.

    I know it isn't good enough for the ocd types on this board, but it beats having a hanging bumper. ;)

  17. #17
    William
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    answers ...

    What's the width and length of the screws you used?
    WQ=> 10-32 (but 10-24 or any other similar size will do), and they were about 1 1/2" to 2" in length. Again, not critical at all.

    Did you use nuts to secure the screws or just Loctite?
    WQ=> Yes, regular nuts were used, and then used the medium strength Loctite.

    How exactly did you use the epoxy?
    Was it to glue the new brace to the bumper before screwing it with the Loctite?
    WQ=> It is an overkill, but since I don't want to have to pull out the bumper again if I don't have to, the two-part epoxy was used to give everything a really strong bond, and also a good backup in case the screws/nuts do get loose with time.


  18. #18
    William
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    There are many ways to skin a cat :-)


  19. #19
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    Re: This is a meticulous job and it looks great

    It sure beats having to buy a bumper, but I cringe to think what will happen "next time".

    From my (wife's) experience hooking curbs, it looks like the bumper side fastening system is meant to fail in a certain way. After the first "major" incident it just kind of came apart - I only needed to undo all of the fasteners and reposition it.

    If that was just a wood screw, it's going to tear all kinds of things up - wheel well liners, fenders, who knows. I'm fully on board if it was that or a new bumper, and NEXT time you have no choice but a new bumper (and for now you saved the cash) assuming that it doesn't take anything else out with it.

    *sigh* it's sad the things we have to contemplate as the rides get older and worth less and less.


  20. #20
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    There won't *be* a next time!

    I don't ever park front in unless I am forced to do so. The one time I did was when I tore it up. It hung, but not too badly. But then a shop (which at least for now shall remain nameless) damaged it further when they did my brakes, and it was flapping in the wind.

    When my regular shop had it, they repaired it as a courtesy to me. I'll take that and hope for the best as I have no spare funds for things like bumpers.

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