Euro Bumper Install

General E28 FAQs.
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Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: San Diego, CA

Euro Bumper Install

Post by DaRedRocket »

Official Euro Bumper Install FAQ

Problem: You have two diving boards coming off your car and don’t know what to do about it.

Cause: The US has 5 mph bumper standards so the scraped the beautiful European bumpers for the North American market cars.

Solution: European Bumpers

There are several different ways the US to Euro conversion can be done. There is the “weekend hack job” way (where you chop up the US frame rails to accept the Euro bumper brackets), the OEM direction (where you replace the US frame rails with the correct Euro frame rails), or fabricate your own bumper brackets that use the US bumper shock mounts.

Here is an example of what the frame rails will look like for each:
-The weekend hack job as done on my car:
-The OEM job found on
-The fabrication job found at

I will be going through the weekend hack job installation.

You will need the following parts:
Description - Qty - P/N
Bumper Components you need:
Bumper front center - 1 - 51 11 1 868 091
Bumper front left - 1 - 51 11 1 868 093
Bumper front right - 1 - 51 11 1 868 094
Covering left - 1 - 51 11 1 868 097
Covering right - 1 - 51 11 1 868 098
Bolt - 6 - 51 12 1 843 029
hex nut with plate M8 - 6 - 51 11 1 835 625
Front Rubber Protective Moulding - 1 - 51 11 1 882 988
Clamp - X - 51 11 1 867 927
Fillister Head Screw (ST4,8x16-Z1) - 1 - 07 11 9 907 925
Body Nut (ST4, 8-7) - 1 - 07 12 9 925 738
Rubber strip left - 1 - 51 11 1 868 101
Rubber strip right - 1 - 51 11 1 868 102

License plate Molding:
Plug in Nut - 2 - 51 18 1 852 299
Fillister Head Screw (ST4,8x16) - 2 - 51 18 1 821 830
Protective Cap White - 2 - 51 18 1 813 017
OR Protective Cap Black - 2 - 51 18 1 823 474
Flat Washer (4,3) - 2 - 07 11 9 936 412
Base (Italy market only) - 1 - 51 11 1 836 099

Bumper Mounting Kit:
Mounting Parts Set (for bumpers only) - 1 - 51 11 9 056 461

Separate Bumper Mounting Components:
hex nut with plate M8 - 6 - 51 11 1 835 625
Hex Nut (M6-Z2) - 4 - 51 45 1 868 108
Bumper Bracket - 2 - 51 11 1 868 105
Hex Bolt (M10x25) - 2 - 07 11 9 913 834
OR Hex Bolt (M10x25) - 2 - 07 11 9 914 114
Flat Washer (10,5) - 2 - 07 11 9 936 436
Wave Washer (B10) - 2 - 07 11 9 932 112
Body Nut - 2 - 51 11 1 900 386
Hex Head Screw (ST6,3x190-C0-Z2) - 2 - 07 11 9 916 967

Turn Indicator Lights:
Left Turn Indicator (complete) - 1 - 63 13 1 373 297
Right Turn Indicator (complete) - 1 - 63 13 1 373 298
Bolt - 6 - 63 13 1 359 937
Washer-Gasket - 6 - 63 13 1 361 965
Bulb 12V 21W - 2 - 07 50 9 063 574
Expanding Nut (ST 4.8) - 6 - 63 17 1 367 868
Fillister Head Screw (ST4,8x16) - 6 - 07 11 9 907 789
Turn Indicator Replacement Parts:
Replacement Indicator Gasket - 2 - 63 13 1 366 573
Replacement Lens Right - 1 - 63 13 9 069 124
Replacement Lens Left - 1 - 63 13 9 069 125

Fog Lights:
Fog Lamp Left (Complete) - 1 - 63 17 1 375 057
Fog Lamp Right (Complete) - 1 - 63 17 1 375 058
Sheet Metal Screw - 4 - 63 17 1 367 315
Bulb (12V 55W H1) - 2 - 07 50 9 064 001
Fillister HEad Screw (ST4, 8x13-Z2) - 2 - 07 11 9 907 957
Expanding Nut - 4 - 63 17 1 367 868
Fog Light Replacement Parts:
Glass Holding Frame - 2 - 63 17 1 375 051
Lens Only Left - 1 - 63 17 1 375 067
Lens Only Right - 1 - 63 17 1 375 068

valance Covering/Trim:
Covering Left - 1 - 51 71 1 888 653
Covering Right - 1 - 51 71 1 888 654
Push-Button - 2 - 51 13 1 820 141
Fillister Head Screw (ST4, 8x16-Z1) - 2 - 07 11 9 907 925

This parts list covers: bumpers, mounting hardware, turn signals, and fog lights.
If you have IS/M5 fog lights you can use these as they are the same on US models as on Euro models. Just pull off the correct mounting bracket so that the fog light and turn signal will be one unit as on European cars. As seen here on the right side of my car:

Notice the right side of the fog light and the left side of turn signal are joined by a pivoting joint while the left side of the fog light is mounted to the valance.

After tracking down all the necessary parts for the conversion, you’re finally ready for the disassembly of the US bumpers, modification of the US frame rail, drilling hole for the extra bolts in the rear, and cutting up your US valance to accept the Euro turn signals and fog lights (if you do not have a Euro valance)

-Step One: Removing the US bumpers

You can start by removing front or rear, it’s all your choice, I chose to remove the rear first because it is easier. To remove the bumper shocks for the rear bumper there are 2 13mm bolts on each (3) shock, the bumper is heavy so be careful to not let it slip out after removing the last bolt, it WILL damage whatever is under it, including your exhaust. Next, remove the trim pieces that surround the US bumper, this should he as easy as finding all the screws along the each trim piece, disconnecting the side markers, and removing all the trim.

Now for the front bumper. If you have an IS front spoiler, this will be a BIG PITA. There are about 10 nuts and bolts holding the spoiler to the valance, some of which are very hard to get to, but doable, just take your time. After the spoiler is removed for those of you who have them, it is time to remove the US front bumper, which is also quite heavy. For the front, there are 3 10mm bolts hold the shock to the frame rail, two of which are very tricky to get to Be careful to not let the bumper slip out when removing the final bolt as it could damage needed parts. Now, disconnect your turn signals as the wiring for those will be needed, and remove the bumper and shocks from the frame rail. Then, remove the surrounding trim pieces and disconnect the side markers. The little white inserts that were used to hold the US top trim pieces in place can be left there or removed, its your choice. To remove them, I VERY carefully used a clean cloth and a small flat head screw drive to pry them out, I’m sure there is a better way to do this so I’m sure somebody can chime in?

Now that you have removed the US bumpers, you are ready for step 2!

-Step Two: Modifying the US Valance and Wiring the Turn Signals

To remove the valance, your will need to remove the grills and headlights. After removing the grills and head lights, there are 4? or 6? screws, I forget, on the front center support, two more on each side on the exterior of the car, and one more on each side under the car. Remove all those bolts and screws, then wiggle the valance free. You will want to keep the valance off until the US frame rail are modified. However, you will need to put the valance on and off for test fiting of the fog lights with the Euro bumpers.

I haven’t personally cut up my US valance, as I sourced a brand new Euro valance to use, so I won’t be going over this in much detail as I’m sure there are other’s who have modified their valance who will chime in how to do this.

Ultimately, you want to trim the valance enough so that the fogs and turn signals fit, but want to leave enough material to mount them to. In the pictures below, notice the tabs around the cutouts for the Euro directionals and fog lights, you will need to leave material there in order to mount them.

The late Euro valance looks like this:
The early and late valance are the same in the mounting of the turn signals and fog lights, the only difference is in the lower portion. The early valance has a sharper rake rather than the smooth rake of the later version.
See the early valance here:

Here' some more information with regards to the differences between US and Euro valances courtesy of ldsbreaker:
ldsbeaker wrote:Okay, maybe this is totally worthless information, but I studied your FAQ several times before I went out to tackle the front bumper, and thought I was ready.
I went to install the euro valance and discovered interference!

Upon further investigation, I discovered that the US valance and Euro valance are slightly different.
(US on the bottom)
Apparently, I didn't notice in the VERY FIRST picture of your thread that you had cut the triangle off the bumper shock mounts and the core support.
(Still attached)
(cut off)
I guess your other option is to cut out a small portion of the Euro valance to match the US one.

Once again, sorry if this is redundant, or too "barney style" for some of you, but it wasn't immediately intuitive to me, and I didn't notice anything in the writeup that mentioned it until right before I made this post. (then I looked at the first picture and it made more sense) :roll:
There are two different types of Euro turn signals as it turns out. Ones that have been modified for US imported cars and ones that are either new, or European market cars. The modified US ones have been modified to accomodate the US dual filament bulb so there will be a running light when the lights are on. The original European market turn signals only have a signle filament bulb that is solely for the pupose of a turn signal/flasher, no running light. If you have the modified turn signal follow install A and for the non-modified, follow install B.

Turn Signal Install A:

The modified Euro turn signals and US turn signals are both dual filament bulbs for flashers and running lights. Wiring them is simple, the US and Euro turn signals both used the same color wiring, so it is as simple as splicing “like to like”.

Turn Signal Install B:
In order to have your Euro turn signal be dual filament, and act as running lights and turn signals, you will have to install the US dual filament bulb. After this you will have 3 wires coming out the rear of the turn signal; a ground, a hot for the flasher, and a hot for the running light. First you will need to cut out the old single filament light socket, do the same to your old US turn signal. Be careful not to damage any of the wiring or socket on the US turn signal as you will be using this. Now, you are going to JB weld in the US socket in place of the Euro socket. Now you can wire them up just like install A above.

And wiring the fog lights should also me as simple as splicing “like to like”. NOTE: DO NOT mount up the lights until the bumper is mounted, the fog lights will only get in the way and you will have to remove them anyway.

-Step Three: Mounting the rear European Bumper

After any assembling the rear bumper if necessary, you are ready to drill holes for mounting the rear bumper. Notice on the rear, there are several holes that the US rear trim used to mount to, the two most outside holes will be used as holes for the Euro bumpers; however, you will need to drill two more holes on the inside of these. You will need to measure your mounting points on the bumper bracket from center to center of each side, make the same measurement on the rear holes where your bumper will mount to, and mark where you have to drill. Find the appropriate size drill bit, and finally, drill the hole. The side mounts on your Euro rear bumper use the same holes the US trim pieces do, so there is no drilling required.

The rest is as simple as getting the bolts on the bumper mounts to go through the holes and tightening everything down.

Notice that there are two tabs on the rear corner below the bumpers that the US trim pieces used to mount to, you can either grind those off, or leave them. If you plan on mounting up a rear valance, you may want to leave them as they are great mounting points, but if not its your choice to remove them or not. I grinded them off and painted over any metal left. Also notice the holes for the US bumper shocks are visible even with the Euro bumpers mounted; again it is your choice to either do the necessary body work to cover them up and complete the rear or leave them are run the bumpers, either way works. Most never cover them up, and if you plan on running a rear valance, this absolutely isn’t necessary since the valance will hide them Anyway.

Here is how I covered the holes:
Well, I started the body work for covering the rear holes today. I found all my supplies at the local Pepboys down the street. I had originally planned to make some plates that would bolt up to the stock mounting points, and then cover them with bondo; I though this was too much work for having to cover them up anyway, so I found some wire mesh that Bondo makes to cover up large holes, I figured, hell I give it a try.

Here are the pics. I pretty much just followed the directions on the back of the Bondo and used power tools instead of hand sanding where appropriate.


Remove Bumper:

Sand down to bare metal where the Bondo will be applied, I used a large area paint stripper that you put on a drill to hasten the process. Then cut and the self-adhesive Bondo mesh wire were desired:
For the side holes, I placed the mesh wire on the inside and held it (from the inside) with my hand while I applied the Bondo.

Then apply Bondo following the directions and let cure for 40 minutes, then sand down until it matches the curves of the rear valance:

And the final before and after shots:


Now you are ready to do the hard part.

-Step Four: Modifying the US Frame Rails.

The US frame rail and Euro frame are different yet similar. The US frame rail is designed for 5mph crash test, hence the large bumper shocks, and the Euro frame rail is designed for 3mph crash test, hence the small, shockless mounts. However, hidden beneath the bulky US frame is something very similar to the Euro frame rail, it just has to be revealed. You will need to trim the US frame rail enough so that the fog light and shock mount will not interfere and so that the Euro bumper bracket will slide into the frame rail.

Here is an example of the Euro frame rail:
Here is an example of US frame rail over the Euro frame rail:

You will also need to “slot” the US frame rail to make it easier to bolt the brackets and maneuvering a drill bit in there wouldn’t be easy. I used a cut off wheel to trim my frame rails, but a sawzall could certainly be used, and maybe even tin snips for slotting the frame rail.

Here is an example of how much material you will need to remove to not interfere with the fog light, and how you will need to slot the US frame rail to accept the Euro bracket. These are both take from my car. By the way, this is by no means structurally sound, the metal that is you’ll be slotting to accept the Euro brackets is no more than 14 gauge thick metal. For me, this is just a temporary job, I will be fabricating brackets to use the stock US shock mount holes, which will be much stronger.

Right frame rail from side:
Right frame rail from underneath:

Bracket I will be fabricating in a couple of weeks:

There will definitely be some guess work involved in fabricating the frame rails especially for cars that have been in wrecks. But I hope this helps guide to what must be done.

After fabricating the frame rails and testing the fit of the bumpers with the fog lights and valance, it is time to bolt up the valance (either modified or Euro), and the bumpers. Again, the side mounts for the Euro bumpers use the same holes as the US trim pieces do, so mounting the front bumper after fabrication should be as easy as lining up all the holes and bolting everything down. When you bolt the bumpers on, you'll probably notice that the bumpers don't look like they are high enough because there is a gap from the top of the bumper to the line where the old bumpers were, don't worry about it. The top of the Euro bumpers should sit 15mm or so below that line.

After the bumper has been mounted, you can bolt up the fog lights and turn signals in one unit as pictured in the beginning of this FAQ.
Here is what the final product should look like, and what a better example than my car :D

Hope this helps get a FAQ/ Sticky started. Also, let me know of any errors/ opinions on this process.

References: There is already a FAQ on how to install Euro Bumpers Lots of pictures of the correct way to mount these bumpers. If this person is on this board I would love to hear from them.A
Last edited by DaRedRocket on Dec 10, 2008 10:55 PM, edited 9 times in total.