Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bumper damage + fix!

Calamity! As I was reversing out of where I was parked at work on Thursday, the edge of the front bumper caught the corner of a kerb I didn't even know was there. Parking at work has become mental lately, with a big influx of new drivers who start at 7am, so those of us in at 8 are being forced to park further and further up the lane and now into a gravel clearing that belongs to the Woodland Trust. During a short phase of image-adjustment my company lined the lane with brand new kerb-stones, but as it doesn't own the clearing the kerb ends suddenly at the exact boundary point. This has now been well overgrown with long grass and, although the kerb is barely 6-inches on our side, a dip makes it about 10-inches on the far side. That's the side my front-bumper hit as I reversed round to drive out.

I was only doing 5mph and it only sounded like a bad scrape, but I didn't realise the full extent of the damage I'd done until I got home. The front-bumper was hanging off, the plastic under-tray has broken, the headlamp-washer cover and tow-hook flap were missing and a reverse-sensor had broken off. I returned to find the absent parts, but couldn't find the reverse-sensor. It had dropped down into the bumper, luckily not falling out somewhere while driving and best of all it still works, because buying another sensor so soon would be a tough pill to swallow. The rest of the damage is bad enough, but today I have re-fitted the bumper flush and glued the sensor back in. The only lasting scars from the accident is some cracked gel-coat on the bumper, pictured. It can't be rubbed-in with T-cut and would need re-painting, so I think when I can afford to do so I will buy an M-sport front-bumper, as long as I can find one already in silver.

This will teach me to be more cautious when driving over grass!




First, I took the 10mm screw out from the corner of the bumper, just inside the wheel-arch and pulled the bumper right out to get to the reverse-sensor. The plastic mount had snapped off with the sensor and superglue just wasn't doing the trick, so I headed to Halfords and bought an Areldite 'syringe', £5.49. It's pricey, but does the job every time. Next was to remove any snapped off bits of bumper from the wing. The bottom edge of the wing, where it meets the bumper shut-line, had bent round the threaded-clip and created a high-spot underneath that needed beating in with a hammer and chisel before the bumper could be re-seated flush and the screw replaced to hold things tight. Finally, another blob of Areldite sorted the headlamp-washer cover-flap, as the clips had sheared clean off the back of it. I would have gotten away with it being unnoticeable if it wasn't for that pesky gel-coat cracking! 

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