Bumper restoration -- How to

Frequently asked technical questions and common modifications/improvements
User avatar
jamescarruthers
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Cambridge
x 6

Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by jamescarruthers » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:35 am

Rob Moss from Chevronics told me when he serviced my car that you can restore the bumpers with a heat gun. It's took me a while to get around to doing it but he is indeed right.

Using a heat gun isn't just slapping some shiney site on and waiting for it to wash off. It seems that it causes the oils lost from the surface of the bumper to be replaced or drawn up from inside the bumper itself... or, so I've read on a few other forums. In other words, a long term solution.

The result is that I have like new bumpers. This is no mean feat, considering I had some of the most faded bumpers I'd ever seen.

If you want to do it too, allow an evening;I reckon it took me about 4 hours. Give the bumpers a good wash: you don't want to be burning dirt into them!

Just work the heat gun on the hottest setting in a linear fashion about 2 inches from the surface as shown in the video. If it goes stripey you are doing it wrong... try and keep large areas warm. It's really not difficult though, I promise you.

You'll need:
  • A heat gun (the sort you'd use for stripping paint)-- I borrowed an 1800W one from a mate, nothing special
    Some Autoglym bumper and trim gel
    A few cloths, or I used paper napkins
You should remove:
All of your lights. I left mine in and worked carefully around them but it did make me a bit nervous. Your call really.

Be brave but please be reassured I absolutely roasted mine in places with no ill effects !

Before:
Image

Image

Image


After (No Autoglym):
Image

After (with Autoglym):
Image

Image

Image



Video:
http://youtu.be/iFKqaMsDtoc


The Autoglym is optional but I think it's best to give the warm surface some oil to make it last.
Last edited by jamescarruthers on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1987 Volvo 480 ES
1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

Previous BX's:
A966 XRL -- BX 16 TRS
H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E

citronut
Over 2k
Posts: 2781
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:55 am
Location: EAST SUSSEX UK

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by citronut » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:48 pm

jamescarruthers wrote: If it goes stripey you are doing it wrong...
or if you get a big pooole of molten plastic on the ground :twisted: :-" :roll: #-o :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

it does look good though, you will have to do the same to the rest of the car now :lol: :shock: :twisted: :rofl: :rofl:

regards malcolm
curent ride
K reg BX 17TD TZD est
also own
K reg D special

no longer have
H reg CX saffari 2.5 TRI (now gone to Malaysia)
R reg xantia 1.9TD est (gone to meet its maker)

Defender110
Over 2k
Posts: 5861
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:02 pm
Location: Radcliffe, Gt.Manchester
x 19

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by Defender110 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:00 pm

"This video is private"?
Kevan
1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
2010 BMW X1 SE 2.0D Auto - Her indoors daily driver.
2003 Land Rover Discovery TD5 - hobby days and camping.
1993 Land Rover Discovery 300tdi 3 door - in need of TLC

User avatar
jamescarruthers
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Cambridge
x 6

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by jamescarruthers » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:46 pm

Good point on the video I've never uploaded to YouTube before.

It should work now I've made it a public video, hopefully.
1987 Volvo 480 ES
1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

Previous BX's:
A966 XRL -- BX 16 TRS
H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E

Defender110
Over 2k
Posts: 5861
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:02 pm
Location: Radcliffe, Gt.Manchester
x 19

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by Defender110 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:41 pm

jamescarruthers wrote:Good point on the video I've never uploaded to YouTube before.

It should work now I've made it a public video, hopefully.
Yes works now James, transforms it realy quickly doesn't it.
Kevan
1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
2010 BMW X1 SE 2.0D Auto - Her indoors daily driver.
2003 Land Rover Discovery TD5 - hobby days and camping.
1993 Land Rover Discovery 300tdi 3 door - in need of TLC

User avatar
citsncycles
Over 2k
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: Dursley, Gloucestershire

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by citsncycles » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:30 pm

Does the heat soften the bumper? Fred's back bumper has a hol in it above the tow hitch and some of the plastic round the edges has peeled outwards. I'm just wondering if I can heat the edges and press them back in or if I have to cut them back to the correct profile before patching the hole?
Mike Sims
BX 19RD Estate Mk1 - Timex!
BX 4X4 Estate - Oh god, I've done it again!
BX 17RD MK1 - it called to me!
BX14 TGE, - SOLD
XM Turbo SD,GS Club Estate,Visa 17D Leader,HY Pickup,Dyane Nomad,Dyane 6,2CV AZL,Falcon S,Trabant P50,3x Land Rovers (88" series 1,109" series 2a FFR,series 2a Marshall ambulance),DKW F7, Lambretta LD150 x 1.5,Mobylette SP93,Ural Cossack,Ural M63,CZ 250 Sport,Honda Varadero 125,lots of bicycles & tricycles including (but not only) Sunbeams,Higgins & Bates!

mds141
Over 2k
Posts: 5269
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:26 am
Location: Lancaster
x 6

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by mds141 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:59 pm

I imagine it softens the plastic to an extent Mike. However I reckon you'd be better off removing Fred's bumper and placing it in front of a radiator for a while.

*a domestic radiator that is, not a car one*
Mark Smith

Is it just me or is everything shit?

1989 BX GTi 16 valve. Blanc Alpine. Completed the Citroen Classic Challenge Ecosse and 1337 miles without a hitch.
2000 XM VSX 2.1 td Auto. Rouge Magenta.
TGD saloon many years ago.

1990 Swift 'Corniche' 12/2 aka BXClub HQ.
Honda Firestorm. Gone, but not forgotten.
2015 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC.

User avatar
Vanny
Merseyside resident
Merseyside resident
Posts: 3424
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 11:48 pm
Location: BX Pub
My Cars: BX 16v Ph2
x 11

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by Vanny » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:20 pm

From past experience, it doesn't last too long (maybe a year) before the colour goes off again.

I will be interested to see how it stays over time, I've never done a BX bumper (other Cits and i think a Vauxhall of all things)

Tinkley
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1494
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:27 am
Location: N Hants England
x 5

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by Tinkley » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:40 am

We have been using this technique (heat with blow gun) to restore the colour to decks of Topper dinghies (and similar) for several years.

With these Polypropylene materials you don't want to get the surface temperature too hot, I'd guess about 70-80 deg C. Melt point is around just over 100 deg. If you want to weld in a repair patch a soldering iron is better but you will never get a really good cosmetic joint and match the texture. One trick for matching gelcoat textures when using Polyester is to squash Blutack onto a similar texture, remove it and then squash it onto the soft just applied Gelcoat. Works well - sometimes, depending on texture. I am not averse to a little knifing or carving with chisels on suitable textures either.

ritmo
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:07 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by ritmo » Tue May 13, 2014 11:51 pm

That's brilliant! Mine are quite faded too, was wondering whether to paint... obviously not!

I wonder if this would work on the bonnet also? Have you tried?

User avatar
jamescarruthers
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Cambridge
x 6

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed May 14, 2014 9:13 pm

NOOOOOOOOO! Not the bonnet, you'll strip the paint off.
1987 Volvo 480 ES
1992 Renault Master Mk. 1. Machzone Chateau camper. 2.0 LPG

Previous BX's:
A966 XRL -- BX 16 TRS
H767 BEG -- BX 14 TGE
B316 AMP -- BX 14 E

ritmo
Confirmed BX'er
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:07 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: Bumper restoration -- How to

Post by ritmo » Wed May 14, 2014 10:02 pm

:) Don't worry, not the top priority on my list. Bonnet's painted is it? Well mines not really anymore.