How To Repair and Retexture a Bumper Cover
Click here to see the video for this repair procedure
This 2002 Ford Explorer front bumper has only minor damage, but most body shops would not attempt a repair because it is textured. It has two broken grille bars, some minor dents, and some road rash. Since the OEM price on this bumper is $416, it might make sense to repair it if the insurance company is willing to pay enough to make it worthwhile. In this sequence, we will show the procedure for making the repair.
The first step in any repair is to clean the bumper. First use Scuff Magic prep soap with a red scuff pad and water. Wash and rinse the bumper inside and out.
After the bumper dries, clean it again with 1000 Super Clean plastic cleaner. Spray on a heavy wet coat in a small area, let it sit for a few seconds to dissolve any contamination, then wipe in one direction with a clean paper towel, exposing a clean surface with every wipe.
Remove dents by heating the bumper with a heat gun. Heat from one side only until the plastic is too hot to touch on the other side. This ensures that the plastic is heated all the way through. Reshape the plastic to remove dents and stretched areas.
We will use the nitrogen welder to repair the broken grille bars. First, align the damage using aluminum tape. Then, using the R13 polypropylene welding ribbon and the nitrogen welder, weld the cracks. These bars can be reinforced by running two strips of welding rod on either side of the mounting hole.
It’s faster to fill low areas with epoxy filler. To prepare, first sand the area with 180 grit in a DA. Then apply 1060FP Filler Prep adhesion promoter to areas you want to fill.
Mix 2020 SMC Hardset Filler by squeezing out equal portions on a mixing board. Mix completely until there are no streaks. Then apply the epoxy filler in the low spots on the bumper.
Once the epoxy is cured, sand with 180 grit. Avoid using 80 grit on this soft TPO plastic as it will leave swirl marks. Use the 180 grit to sand down any road rash. When all the rough areas are smooth, sand again with 320 grit. Also, quickly sand the entire bumper with 320 grit sandpaper. You don’t need to sand all of the texture off, just knock the tops off for a more uniform appearance.
Products Used For This Repair