Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Front Bumper Restoration

The next phase of the conversion is the front battery box area which meant that I needed to complete the restoration of the front bumper components.  This turned out to be nicely straightforward until I forgot something...

The main problem with the front bumper, besides just being dirty and gritty, was the rubber cap - it was cracking a bit on the left end and had silver paint overspray on most of it.

I first cleaned the rubber well with my eco green cleaning fluid, then wet sanded it from 180 grit all the way through 2000 grit.  It came out smooth and black and not a hint of silver paint.  Next I mixed up some epoxy and filled the small cracks on the passenger end and when dry sanded that down the same way.  In hindsight I should have mixed some black tint into the epoxy because it looks a bit like grey graining in black stone.  This is before sanding down.

Next I cleaned the horn and fog lights and mounting hardware.  I bolted the horn bracket with a rubber spacer and wired everything up with new connectors crimped on the ends.  The wiring up to the fog light is truly bizarre with a spade connector for ground, and a soldered wire stub that fits into a brass barrel and held in place with a setscrew...

It's important to leave the bolts a little bit loose because the positioning of the horns and lights will be finalized when the bumper is mounted and the silver grills are test-fitted.

And here we are!  The silver grills were in pretty good shape, so I resisted the urge to sand down and repaint.  They're easy to pop off so maybe later...

What I quickly realized is that I'm missing the trim piece that bolts to the bottom of the bumper!  When I bought the car it was in very bad shape - bent, dented, chipped paint, the works.  I did some work on it a long time ago, grinding off the paint and starting to shape the metal back into place.  At some point I need to go back and finish the shaping and paint it, remove the bumper, bolt the trim on and then bolt the whole thing back on.

Well it's starting to look like a car again!