A common problem on bumper covers is that the tabs that attach the bumper to the car get broken. This is critical, as this is what secures and aligns the bumper cover. Many times, a broken tab is all that is wrong with the bumper cover. With the cost of these plastic parts $200 to $700, the replacement cost can break the bank.
In this tutorial you are going to learn a few simple steps to repair a broken tab to as good as new at a fraction of the cost.
Depending on location of the tab, the bumper may need to be removed. However, many times this repair can be made with the bumper cover still attached to the car.
Step 1Wash with Soap and Water
Start the repairs with a good wash to remove contaminates on the bumper cover. This will assure all silicones are removed which will provide a quality repair.
Step 2Grind Tab
Where the tab broke, use a 50 grit roloc disc to grind the repair area to a point. This will provide the correct shape to maximize adhesion. When grinding plastic, use a slow RPM.
Step 3Sand Tab
Using 80 grit by hand or 80 grit on a dual action sander, sand the repair area to assure all areas the adhesive will come in contact with is sanded. Do not apply adhesive on an un-sanded surface.
Step 4Drill Holes
Drill holes on repair location using a 1/8 inch drill bit. This will allow the adhesive to flow from one side of the repair to the other side providing a rivet like effect.
Step 5Clean Repair Area
Using compressed air, blow the repair area clean. Do not use any type of solvent cleaner, as this can absorb into the plastic, which will cause problems.
Step 6Adhesion Promoter
Spray a light coat of adhesion promoter to the repair area. This is important so the adhesive adheres to the repair. Allow the adhesion promoter to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 7Cut Plastic and Apply Adhesive
Cut a piece of plastic from the package the tab repair adhesive came in to shape the adhesive. Support the bottom of the plastic using a spreader. Apply adhesive to the plastic, then lightly press the adhesive to the backside of the repair. Next, wrap the plastic around the tab location. Make sure the plastic extends past the original length of the plastic tab. Lastly, lightly apply pressure using a spreader on the top of the adhesive to shape the tab. Do not apply too much pressure, as this will build a tab that is too thin. Allow to set-up 30 seconds to one minute. The release pressure on spreaders and allow to finish drying.
Step 8Precut Tab
After a minute or two, before completely drying, precut the tab a little larger than the tab size. Then allow to finish drying about 5 minutes.
Step 9Sand Tab
Once the tab is fully hardened (about 5 minutes) remove plastic from around the tab and shape the tab using the 50 grit roloc disc, followed by 80 grit by hand or on a dual action sander.
Step 10Drill Hole
The last step is to drill the hole for the clip or bolt to go through to attach it to the vehicle.
You normally will not see the tabs once secured to the vehicle. However, you may choose to repaint the tab before attaching to the vehicle..
You only have about 30 seconds work time with this tab repair adhesive. So be sure you have everything you need before applying the adhesive to tab location. Be sure to watch the video for additional information and how to purge the adhesive cartridge before using
Bumpers can come off during an accident or just by bumping into a curb while parking. The part of the bumper that may fall off is called the bumper fascia -- the outer plate covering the actual bumper. The fascia provides extra spring upon impact, protecting your radiator and other vital engine parts from damage. Hopefully, a few pins will have popped loose and can be reinserted for an easy fix. If not, the pins have probably broken and need to be replaced. Push-in retainer pins can be found at most auto body supply stores.
Ensure that you park the car on level ground with the wheels facing forward. Allow plenty of clearance on all sides of the vehicle. Engage the parking brake to avoid risk of injury during installation.
Place the fascia back on the bumper, centering it on the car. Help from a friend may be required to keep the bumper fascia in place while the next step is completed.
Insert push-in retainers (also known as “push pins”) into the fascia. On the front of most cars, there are retainer holes located on the top and bottom of the fascia as well as inside the wheel wells. A rubber mallet may be needed to help insert the push-in retainers.
Reinstall any loose light covers with a screwdriver, and reinstall the grille if needed. Most grilles can be screwed in, clipped on or both. Test the lighting system before screwing in the covers to save time.