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Discussion Starter #1
Do you guys have any idea what type of compound or procedure I can use to mend a crack in the front bumper, that runs down from the headlamp to the lower vent/duct in the bumpert? Looks like our Accent was vandalized (we're trying to avoid an insurance claim as the deductible is absurd), and we'd like to maybe use some fiberglass body tape on the inside of the crack to hold it together, and then some repair putty, glue, or compound to fill it in a bit before attempting a repaint.

Thanks in advance for any tips on getting this done relatively cheaply!

Regards,
S
 

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You don't seem like you're completely in the dark so I guess I can tell you how to go about doing it. Get some mesh tape and get yourself some 5 minute 2-part automotive epoxy glue. You can buy them at automotive supply places like NAPA. Take the bumper off, put it on a stand or some place where you can work with the bumper without it shifting and flip it over. Line up the cracked sections and use the mesh tape to tape up both sides and try to make sure it's as even as possible. Then on the inside, use the glue (make sure to squeeze it a few times into a garbage can or something to make sure it's mixed) and squeeze a line alone the crack. Naturally, wear latex gloves while using the glue at all times and use your finger to press/spread the glue along the crack. Wait 10 or 15 minutes for it to fully set in. You can take any mesh tape on the outside of the bumper off at this point.

Now flip the bumper over and use 320 grit sand paper on an orbital sander to sand the cracked area. In that area, you'll want to use 2-part filler made for plastics/polyurethane. DON'T USE BONDO OR METAL PUTTY. If you do, it can crack in cold weather or the moment someone lightly backs into it at the parking lot - there's NO flex with non-plastic based fillers. Hacks use bondo and putty because it's easier to sand than the proper stuff, but the proper stuff won't crack. Spread the filler across the crack evenly. Once it's set, block it out with 100 grit sand paper, then 180, then 320. If you can't feel the crack any more, it's repaired - else add another coat of filler and try it again. You're not a pro so don't worry about getting it fully straight and worry more about filling the crack.

At this point, sand the rest of the bumper with 500 grit if you just want to get it ready for paint, or if you want to strip it of rock chips, strip it with 320. Prime the repaired areas with plastic (not metal!) primer, disc sand the primer when it's cured with 500 grit and finish it by hand with 600 grit. Get a red scotch brite pad and go over any edges with it at this point and it'll be ready for paint. That's how to repair a crack in your bumper in a real general nutshell.
 

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QUOTE (Naky @ Jun 7 2010, 12:46 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=330499
You don't seem like you're completely in the dark so I guess I can tell you how to go about doing it. Get some mesh tape and get yourself some 5 minute 2-part automotive epoxy glue. You can buy them at automotive supply places like NAPA. Take the bumper off, put it on a stand or some place where you can work with the bumper without it shifting and flip it over. Line up the cracked sections and use the mesh tape to tape up both sides and try to make sure it's as even as possible. Then on the inside, use the glue (make sure to squeeze it a few times into a garbage can or something to make sure it's mixed) and squeeze a line alone the crack. Naturally, wear latex gloves while using the glue at all times and use your finger to press/spread the glue along the crack. Wait 10 or 15 minutes for it to fully set in. You can take any mesh tape on the outside of the bumper off at this point.

Now flip the bumper over and use 320 grit sand paper on an orbital sander to sand the cracked area. In that area, you'll want to use 2-part filler made for plastics/polyurethane. DON'T USE BONDO OR METAL PUTTY. If you do, it can crack in cold weather or the moment someone lightly backs into it at the parking lot - there's NO flex with non-plastic based fillers. Hacks use bondo and putty because it's easier to sand than the proper stuff, but the proper stuff won't crack. Spread the filler across the crack evenly. Once it's set, block it out with 100 grit sand paper, then 180, then 320. If you can't feel the crack any more, it's repaired - else add another coat of filler and try it again. You're not a pro so don't worry about getting it fully straight and worry more about filling the crack.

At this point, sand the rest of the bumper with 500 grit if you just want to get it ready for paint, or if you want to strip it of rock chips, strip it with 320. Prime the repaired areas with plastic (not metal!) primer, disc sand the primer when it's cured with 500 grit and finish it by hand with 600 grit. Get a red scotch brite pad and go over any edges with it at this point and it'll be ready for paint. That's how to repair a crack in your bumper in a real general nutshell.
I just want to add some stuff add to what you've said. First, once the bumper is removed use a dremel to groove the crack inside and out. That way you'll get more surface area for the glue to stick to. Now sand the interior with 80 grit sandpaper to provide good grip. Sand 3-4 inches from both sides of the crack. Then mesh tape then your glue. Check first to see if your glue requires a plastic adhesion promoter. Ideally, you want glue to ooze on the other side. You can use masking tape on the outside to prevent the crack from moving. Once the inside is hard, turn the bumper over and sand off 3-4 inches of paint from each side of the crack with 80 grit. No mesh on the outside if you don't want to swear like a trucker later. Adhesion promoter then your glue.

When hardened, block sand with 80 or 100. Once you're satisfied with your sanding, apply a thin coat of glaze putty to fill pinholes. Sand with 180 then 320, always covering an area bigger than the previous. Tape your repair then prime with a flexible high build primer.

Once your primer is dried, sand it with 320 dry then 800 wet. Scuff the rest of the bumper then paint.

Now here comes the not-so-fun part. I'll be honest, it may seem simple but it's not. If you've never done any bodywork and have no idea how to do it, I'm 100% sure you won't be happy with the results. Good bodywork is hardly DIY in your driveway stuff. The gluing and priming can be done in the driveway/garage but painting a bumper can't. I've seen lots of people come to our shop to fix their DIY stuff. It might be cheaper to get a used bumper that's the same color as your car.
 

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Haha, I just gave him the cliff's notes on how to do it, you totally gave him the fully professional route :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You guys are totally great! Thanks so much for the help! I will give this a go and share my results with you all.

Take care!
Brian
 

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here's a video clip to give you an idea of what they are talking about. It looks a lot easier than it really is.

I personally like fusor products, but that is because I messed with plastic in the Vdub world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ-amZkfHEU...eos=91ueYUwj9lc

edit: just a quick note fusor and 3m have similar products for repairing bumpers. Which line you like is personal preference. I am just more familiar with fusor, but their products can get very pricey very fast.

http://europlastiks.com/ZenCart/index.php?...p;products_id=5 - $220, but has everything you could possibly need to fix bumper cracks. Hence why the junkyard replacement may be more cost effective. There are cheaper products out there, but I have seen consistantly good results with fusor kits.

Also for more info, try doing some reading in the body and paint section of the VWvortex forum. That is where I learned most of of what I needed when I was considering fixing 2 cracks on my last car's chin spoiler. I eventually went the junk yard route because I got really lucky with a good price.
http://forums.vwvortex.com/forumdisplay.ph...g-and-Body-Kits
 
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