Los Angeles Trade Tech student Donald Smith applies filler to our plastic bumper cover. Chrome bumpers made a quick exit from the automotive scene in the late '80s. In their place are elaborate, but flimsy, plastic covers hiding stamped-steel impact beams with a wide swath of Styrofoam sandwiched in between. Why? Cost, weight reduction, and ease of repair are the likely culprits. Plastic bumper covers are cheaper and easier to manufacture and replace in the event of an accident. Plastic bumpers are actually good for us do-it-yourselfers. They are really easy to fix if they get scratched, gouged, or broken, and you don't have to mess with expensive rechroming once finished. Check out how the students at Los Angeles Trade Technical College smoothed out a few rippled and cracked bumpers. How To Identify PlasticsWe found a great online resource for plastic repair procedures. Check out Urethane Supply Company-it has a great section on its website with charts listing the types of plastics used in automotive applications, how to identify them, and how to fix them. Surf over to urethanesupplycompany.com. PARTS LIST BRAND DESCRIPTION AND PART NUMBER PRICE 3M automix 5895 EZ sand flexible parts repair kit 2 13-ounce tubes $64.99 3M automix 5907 adhesion promoter 12-ounce can 22.99 Mini-Weld Model VI airless plastic welder 5600HT 249.95 One repair method is plastic welding. Using a tool similar to a soldering iron and plastic filler rod, you can fill holes or fix cracks like this. Plastic welding machines are available at auto body supply stores or through Eastwood Co. One repair method is plastic welding. Using a tool similar to a soldering iron and plastic To prep the bumper, grind away the paint and rough edges, then cut a V-groove along the crack on the front and back of the bumper. That gives the filler material more surface area to hold on to. To prep the bumper, grind away the paint and rough edges, then cut a V-groove along the cr This is the front-side V-groove. 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By John McGann Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!