Thursday, 6 September 2012

Front bumper restoration

Cosmetic things are in second line at the moment as I have always said I wanted to concentrate on the mechanical side, to have a perfect and secure running car.

But some times, a small cosmetic repair can make a huge difference on the overall appearance of a car.
That was the case of my front bumper. Although it was structurally sound, with no important dents, all the surface had rust pitting and the chrome was covered by an ugly layer of brown rust.

Of course sending the bumper to rechrome was out of my scope, as possibly it could go up to 300 eur. But I thought maybe I could do something to try to recover if not all, at least most of its original shine.

I remembered that sport fire guns and rifles are usually maintained when rust pitting appears on the barrel with wd40 oil and very fine steel wool. I have done it in the past, and it really gives a great result.

Instead of using wd40, I just got a small pot filled with some diesel engine fuel, and with a 0000 steel wool, I started to rub down all the chrome surface….. the result came out very quick: a nice and shine chrome surface appeared.

Giving the treatment to all the bumper surface was only a 15 job, after which it was cleaned, and then a metal polish compound applied.

To finish the job, I sanded all the inside of the bumper with a 120 grit sanding sponge, to remove all the rust, loose chrome that was summing out, and then gave two coats of enamel black paint. Why??? I once chromed the bumpers of a nice range rover classic, and the company boss told me to paint all the inside one I receive it, because during the chrome process a much thinner layer will be on the inside of the bumper and can easily have rust problems. The outside will always have a much thicker layer. And it’s true that many original bumpers I have seen from RR and Mercedes, do come with painted on the inside to protect it.

Now I have a lovely restored bumper, witch although not perfect, is in a great used condition, just like I like it, for the total cost of just a small quantity of diesel fuel and paint. A nice weekend project, with just a small time investment that gives incredible results.

I was just wondering if I should give all the bumper a fine coat of clear lacquer to protect it. I think many people do it.

Two more images showing the result of cleaning the overriders

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