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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2008, 04:58 AM
Rennsurfer Rennsurfer is offline
Thank God for Euro autos!
Location: Near Mother Ocean, So Cal
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 72
Mein Auto: 1982 320i 5spd.
Lightbulb E21 Bumper Tuck

If you're like me and can't afford to buy European bumpers and the related valance bodywork, here's a cheap (free) option to rid of your E21 car of that unsightly front bumper.

Said bench/diving board that enters the street five minutes before the rest of car. HAHA!!


First, get a decent powered drill and a sharp drill bit. Can't remember what size bit I used... probably something in the 1/4" range. Also, put down some plastic, get some rubber gloves, safety goggles and/or clear plastic facemask. Lastly, a bucket. For mine, I used a friend's driveway and pulled my car onto some ramps.

When you're ready to work, remove the front bumper, like this.

I opened my hood and placed my Hella driving lights on top of the grills to keep them out of the way.

Next, a simple example of how far the 5mph. bumper shocks stick out past the car, before drilling.


Now, you're ready to drill underneath the bumper shock. Keep in mind that these shocks contain pressurized oil! Protect yourself with the above mentioned safety stuff. Place the bucket below the shock and start drilling.

Note the oil dripping into the bucket from the shock.

After drilling and working the piston in and out to remove any pressure and oil, you can see how much the shock has compressed when pushed in, fully.

Amazingly, I was able to accomplish this without using a mallet or wall, like I had previously read about on the 'Net.

At this point, I tried putting the bumper back on the car for a test fit. I wasn't happy that the black filler piece (between the valance and bumper) wasn't allowing the bumper to tuck closer. So while I already had those two halves removed, I decided to get my jigsaw out and trim an inch off.

As you can see, there is still the issue of the side bellows needing to be cut down.

Which was way easier that I had previously thought. I grabbed an old mini hand woodsaw and removed a 2" section of bellows from the center of where the ridges start on either end. That way, the finished job appears to be factory. I've never seen a front bumper tuck where I was satisfied with the bellows.

Here's what it looked like after the initial cut.

The next cut involved removing the 2" section from the part in my hand.

Then, I bolted the part of the bellows that attaches to the bumper. Made sure that the bumper was pushed all the way in. Reinstalled the driving lights. I also never cared for the side reflectors on the front bumpers (U.S. cars). So I carefully removed those. Painted them with primer, then with semi-gloss black. When dry, popped them back in.

Done!


Another view.

You might want to install a screw or bolt in each drilled hole on the bumper shocks. I was amazed at how easy and effortless this 2hr. project was. Perhaps, one day, I'll be able to afford Euro bumpers. But in the meantime, I'm happy with this and it looks like the car came this way.

I've seen other methods of doing this which included removing the shocks to drill or replacing them with welded bars. To each their own... I just wanted to share how I chose to do mine. Your results may vary. After these pictures were taken, I found some N.O.S. Hella H4 & H1 headlights at my friend's Volkswagen shop for only $25 ea. Installed 'em and LOVIN' it. Can't believe that I drove this car for three weeks with sealed beams. YUCK! Since my first car in '79, I've always had either Hella or Euro spec lighting.




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Cheers,
Mark
1982 320i 5spd.
1987 Volvo 245DL Estate 5spd.
1967 Volkswagen Beetle 4spd.


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  #2  
Old 02-13-2008, 11:25 AM
skaper skaper is offline
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Location: Portland
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 83 320i
Word, I just picked up a 320i last night! Thanks for the dope write up!
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2008, 09:29 AM
Rennsurfer Rennsurfer is offline
Thank God for Euro autos!
Location: Near Mother Ocean, So Cal
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 72
Mein Auto: 1982 320i 5spd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaper View Post
Word, I just picked up a 320i last night! Thanks for the dope write up!
You're welcome, thanks for the props, and... enjoy your 320i.
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Cheers,
Mark
1982 320i 5spd.
1987 Volvo 245DL Estate 5spd.
1967 Volkswagen Beetle 4spd.


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  #4  
Old 11-03-2008, 04:00 PM
dictator dictator is offline
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Location: Austin, Texas
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 51
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Mein Auto: 1982 BMW 320iS
I must say that that vehicle does look better now. But i love my look with the sport air dam. it balances out the protruding lip
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