Rod's Automobile Pages...

Modifications and Resources Pg. 3
Maintenance Tips Pg. 1
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More Maintenance Tips (rear bushing replacement, the EZcarlift in action, etc.)
Modifications and Resources Pg. 1
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This page last revised December 22, 2012

Polishing the bumpers and a few links to info about installing Euro bumpers
Doing something about the anodized finish that is failing and looks like failed clear coat paint.



Coarse 240 grit wet sanding started to remove anodize coating.

The anodize is very hard to remove and requires a lot of sanding.

Test polish an area after 1500 grit to see what is going to be possible. OK, keep going!

Update Dec. 3, 2009
(Links to webpages no longer available have been removed)
Very difficult to remove anodize from bumper surface, starting with 220 grit wet/dry silicon carbide paper and two different pad type sanders, to get the anodize off and get down to the aluminum. Make sure that you are using a straight line sander when you get to the aluminum, to do all your resurfacing work. Don't use an orbital sander at this point! Discussion with several owners of other model year E28's (1987 and 1988) makes me suspect that the anodize applied in 1982 production was much thicker than applied to later models. These exhibit anodize removal simply by using a steel wool pad, after applying some oven clearner.
Hmmm, oven cleaner and even a solution using 100% lye didn't touch my bumper anodize! Perhaps an anodize was not used on later production, but something like a clear coat finish? That would explain the easier removal process involving steel wool and household cleaners on some E28 bumpers. These chemicals had absolutely no effect on my bumper.
On this rear bumper, I have had to use a draw file technique to cut through the anodize enough to allow the silicon carbide to be able get a hold on the surface for removal. I've got to find a better way to deal with this, before I attempt to polish the front bumper.
The other thing I suggest you do, while everything is apart, is to open up the bolt holes in the rubber trim cover so that they are slots and have an additional 1/4-inch horizontal play at both ends, using a suitable grinder bit. When you remount the trim cover, do not tighten down the bolts, but make them just snug so that the trim piece can move in the slots you made as it expands and contracts from temperature changes. This will keep it from rippling and becoming wavy. Lastly, here are some useful links about this subject:

Rear bumper in the sun.

Rear bumper in the shade.

With the rear bumper finished and a lot of knowledge gained in the process, I'll start on the front bumper later this summer, but the process I'll use will be much different. I'll elaborate here, when I start on the front bumper. Such fun.
Update December 22, 2012 -
For those of you who want to install Euro bumpers, here are two links that show what is required, involving two different installation methods...

- Installing a 3.46 differential, differential mount, rebuilt
half-shaft axles/CV joints and other items under the car.