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1958 - 1981 Pontiac Tech & Restoration Firebird - GTO - Fullsize

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Old 12-15-04, 08:18PM   #1
71Firebird
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Question 76 front enduro/rubber bumper fix

:cheers Hi All,
I posted this on the PY forum also...we are working on my son's 76 Firebird, first car, $800..so plenty to do!...lol..

The front bumper rubber/enduro need restored badly, but someone awhile ago decided to put a front plate on by drilling holes in the rubber and driving two long screws through.

Problem now is that there's a split in the rubber front, from hole to hole and then some, about 6-8 inches long, and up to 2-3 inches deep in center. Looks completely gross and like whale blubber according to my son...lol

We've seen a rubber bumper fix it kit at AutoZone, has anybody used? any good? and most important, what tips/advice on doing this? This is a first for us. Budget is nil, so a repop bumper is out, and I've looked in every yard I know of in the area and no 76 front bumpers.

I'll try and get some pics to help diagnose, would the deep crack fill be best doing a little at a time and building it up over numerous applications, or should it be filled with some sort of material? Being a "rubber" material, I don't know what could be used to fill.

Also other than the bumper itseld, there are no other pieces, no valences like on my 71, I've seen front end pieces for the 76 only that we sure don't have, and still looking for a manual.

Any help would be great, it's a great project and really a great bonding with my son!
Thanks,
Steve 71Firebird
&
Jason 76Firebird

Time to put another Pontiac back on the road!
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Old 12-15-04, 08:38PM   #2
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ive used a 2 part flex bumper fix from a local auto body and paint supply place a few years back on a peterbuilt front flex bumper with good results or you could change the nose to a differant year as for the auto zone stuff ive never used it but you will have to remove the bumper to repair it from the back as well so the crack doesnt come back
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Old 12-15-04, 11:14PM   #3
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the bumper is made of urethane, and is easyly repaired using a two part epoxy for flexible plastic as ta455 said. what you want to do is sand the area down with 80 grit sand paper to clean the area and give the epoxy something to give the epoxy something to bite to (mechanicle bond) once cured sand down to a smoth surface and us a flexible filler to fix any impefections, prime and you are ready for paint.

you can pic up the epoxy and filler from your local autobody suply store.
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Old 12-16-04, 09:52AM   #4
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I used the "Bondo" brand urthane repair kit and it worked very well. Just make sure you smooth it as much as possible before it dries. Because when its dry its hard sand and gums up the paper very quick.
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Old 12-16-04, 01:17PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys...will check out the kit...will it be best to do the fills in small applications with this type stuff?, like bondo in that way, or since it's a urethane, can it be filled heavy and still cure correctly...I know it's usually best to apply this type stuff in smaller batches, but never worked with it. The bumper is off and the crack doesn't go all the way through, but is about 2-3 inches deep in spots, so can it just be filled in up to the top and let it cure, or would several applications cure better/stronger?

I see that sanding is a must on the surface, should some sort of bonding agent be needed inside the crack? I can't sand that area and it's been exposed to the elements, so the urethane inside the crack looks like it's in several "stages" from surface type area, and then as you go further into the crack it looks like it's reacted to the exposure, slightly brittle, then much softer a little further in.

Sorry about all the questions, this is a new project for us and our first, just want to avoid this repair bubbling up and cracking off in 6 months with all the moisture up here in the PNW.
Thanks
Steve & Jason
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Old 12-16-04, 02:50PM   #6
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could you post a picture of the crack, that would help alot.

I would sand the area as best you can. you could try using a dremal with a small bit and grind away all the sun damaged area. you dont want to put too thick of a layer with the epoxy as it will create hot spots from the reaction of the catalyst.

if you mix the two parts of epoxy together correctly it should be easy to sand down and not gum up the sand paper. the reason it gummed up the sandpaper is that the two parts were not mixed properly or even amounts of both were not mixed. like the filler epoxy cures by a reaction of the resin and catalyst not time or heat.
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Old 12-16-04, 05:06PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob79ta

I would sand the area as best you can. you could try using a dremal with a small bit and grind away all the sun damaged area.

if you mix the two parts of epoxy together correctly it should be easy to sand down and not gum up the sand paper. the reason it gummed up the sandpaper is that the two parts were not mixed properly or even amounts of both were not mixed.
Definetly clean, clean, and clean the crack.

Rob, As far as the paper being gummed due to improper mixture is correct with an standard epoxy but not with the type I used. Because the urthane bumber epoxy kit by "Bondo" that I used is designed to stay rubbery and flexable. Therefor making it gum up the paper. My mix was equal.
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Old 12-17-04, 12:10PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucks79ta
Definetly clean, clean, and clean the crack.

Rob, As far as the paper being gummed due to improper mixture is correct with an standard epoxy but not with the type I used. Because the urthane bumber epoxy kit by "Bondo" that I used is designed to stay rubbery and flexable. Therefor making it gum up the paper. My mix was equal.
ok gotcha. I dont think I have used the Bondo brand. I have used other brands of epoxy made for the PU bumpers and they sanded very easy. I will have to take a look at the Bondo brand and see the difference between what I am using and have used. I have a drawer filled with all kinds of epoxy's with different cure times and add. packages for many types of aplications so whats one more.
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Old 12-17-04, 12:58PM   #9
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This is the stuff I used. I had a St. Bernard that decided he was going to chew on my car. He chewed the spot in between the low beam and high beam on my 79. It stayed very flexible to this day. I highly recomend.
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Old 12-17-04, 02:10PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips guys...

...this weekend will be the test and I'll get some photos and post them...last night I went out and looked quickly again, the crack is longer than I thought...lol...

...we've got the bumper to fix and the upper front fiberglass grill & lights to fix, so we'll be exploring a few different areas ...lol...all with enough info to be dangerous...lol..

...thanks for the help will put the pics on as soon as I can get em!
Thanks,
Steve & Jason
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