To address the issue with the cracked bumper I did some research on the Internet and came across this site:
They basically sell a range of products designed to help repair basic bumps and scratches. Their site is a little hard to understand at first but basically their preference is for you buy their complete repair kit (BTKW37).
This seemed like a sensible enough idea, since although it was probably more stuff than I needed it would allow me to fix issues on some other cars. The cost was around AU$160 with shipping and insurance. The most important thing you have to do when ordering the kit is nominate your car colour. The site provides plenty of details on how to find that information as well as plenty of instructional videos. You then simply select your colour (my Rosso Corsa 300/12 was there) and order the kit based on that.
The kit arrived very quickly and contained all the items you see above so it is pretty comprehensive.
The main thing I needed for my proof of concept was the body paint but as you can see there is whole range of products here that can help you with scratches on plastic as well as paint, so therefore the kit looks like pretty good value for any repairs like this.
As I mentioned in the previous post, my starting point was going to be an attempt to repair the inside of the bumper near the muffler as shown above.
Part of the process would be involve sanding and this I wasn’t real sure about. So again, armed with some answers from the Internet I went out and bought some 1200 and 600 grit sandpaper. Basically, the higher the number the finer the grain and the less ‘cut’ it makes. My plan was to start with the 1200 grit and fall back to the 600 if needed.
Sanding the location proved quite challenging given the shape and the confines.
After sanding the location back and then cleaning it off I was left with the small mark you see above.
The paint from the repair kit comes in a nail polish type bottle with a small brush attached to the cap to make it easy to apply. The main issue again was really access to the location to actually get in there and apply the paint.
I made sure that I also covered the exhaust so not to accidentally ‘repair’ what didn’t need repairing.
I now left the paint to dry and when I looked again later you can see the result above. Obviously much better but I was disappointed that you can still see the crack. Clearly, more sanding and perhaps some filling is required. So, even though the crack felt smooth after sanding there was clearly still a ‘valley’ that perhaps rather than sanding should be filled and then sanded for the best results? Not exactly sure what product to use to fill this but that shouldn’t be hard to determine.
I tried retouching the crack directly using a toothpick to drip paint right into the crack but that didn’t prove very successful. I think that was because the pointed end of the toothpick wasn’t holding much paint. Upon later reflection, I thought that perhaps I should remove this point and simply have a circular end, which should hold more paint.
Part of the issue is also access to area to fully repair it so rather than get caught up in that I decided to step and judge the proof of concept a success. Firstly, I think the 1200 and 600 grit sandpaper will limit the amount of ‘damage’ I can do while still creating a smooth surface. The paint from the repair kit matches the car colour, which is a big plus. Finally, I now have some experience in the whole process so I feel ready to tackle the main scratch. I can always come back and redo this crack near the exhaust when I do the other part of the bumper.
The main crack will be much easier to access so I should be able to sand that back much better. I’ll need to tape off the area to limit any ‘boo-boos’. It will also require more sanding and perhaps also require some clear coat (again, comes with the paint repair kit) over the top?
I know that the repair isn’t going to be as smooth as the rest of the bumper and I am pondering the best way to remedy that. I’ll need to see what the end result is after my attempts before I decide but I think I might have to go over the affected area with some cutting polish to bring it all back to being level with the undamaged portion of the bumper.
Anyway, that is down the track. I’m happy that the proof of concept was a success, that I have all the items I need to complete the repair and that I have some experience now. Onto the main event now!