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Old 02-16-2013, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation The Transformation Has Begun

For those of you who haven't seen me around, I'm new to the forum. My participation here all started when I decided to get an aftermarket front bumper. When I got it installed there were things I didn't like about it so I decided to make a project out of it.

The things I didn't like about the bumper were the gap between the hood and the bumper and the lip. To fix the gap I bought an 03 - 05 stock grill and cut out the honeycomb, leaving just the top bar and emblem. To fix the grill I went out on a limb and bought a BR lip with hopes of fitting based on some preliminary measurements. Well today I started the project and many of you requested that I take pics during it all, so here's what I have so far:

Here's the original setup:



Since I got up early I didn't want to wake the neighbors with the cutting so I went to home depot for supplies. I decided to work on the fogs until it was day time when I could start cutting. I got some old school Lexus yellow fogs at a junkyard last week for 20 bucks. Looks like they will mount fairly easily and wiring shouldn't take but an hour or so.



As you can see there is a lot of gap in the fog opening so I found some foam slider things for furniture on clearance at the Depot for $10 so I'll use that as a sort of grommet.



Here's me laying on my back checking the mount point for the fog assembly. Easily enough all I'm gonna use is an L bracket and drill it into the frame there.



By the time I had got all the supplies and started eyeballing the fogs it was late enough to start cutting. I decided to start with the grill. Here's the before:



Here's the after:



I'm going to clean up the cuts a little when I get whatever tool I'm gonna use to sand.

Next I cut the top bar off the bumper to make room for the OEM grill.



Here's a rough mock up:



I also had that ricer chicken wire mesh in there and it was silver. I decided to plastidip it so here it is with the mesh back in. Prob can't really see it, but it does look better than silver.



Next was the hellraiser; the BR lip. Now I knew that I ran a risk of creating all kinds of trouble for myself trying to fit a lip made for the sport bumper, on any other bumper, but the measurements I took made me confident enough to try. Plus, I'm kind of fun and crazy like that. Anyway, let's just say today was a long day. Here was the first attempt to put the lip on after a few initial cuts to the bumper and BR lip.



Looks like there's hope right? Well after many many more cuts to both the bumper and the lip, the lip has been heavily modded. Some of you may even be offended at how much I chopped off this thing. I will say it was a little more cutting than I initially expected, but hey it was a fun experience.

So anyway, at one point I thought I was screwed. I was cutting and cutting and couldn't get the lip to reach around to the back of the bumper. Well I didn't give up and kept making cuts. After a long day cutting fiberglass with a rotozip lol, here is the first semi-acceptable fit:



And



Here is the lip after all the cuts:



That thing got butchered lol.

By no means am I car body fabricator, but damnit I am determined. Next step is to sand the edges of the cut. After all that, there are some gaps between the lip and bumper at some points. They aren't very attractive but aren't a deal breaker either. I've come this far, I will find a way to fill them. There are plenty of chips and scratches in the bumper now but the shop I originally got it painted at was going to respray the car for free anyway, so I'm not worried about it.

Next I have to make a couple of adjustments on the OEM grill and have the body shop put some filler where the original lines were to make it look smoother.

At this point it was a lot of work, and at times today I thought I was screwed, but after seeing the last pictures of the day I still like it better than the way the original aftermarket bumper looked. It will look even better once it's painted and I smooth the edges.

I will keep you all updated as to the progress and hopefully I don't have to spend too much more money on this experiment lol.

Before I go though, I was wondering if I should keep all of the middle part that creeps into the bottom grill hole or maybe shape it into a triangle or something. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Transformation Has Begun

It looks great already!

Sent from my VS920 4G using AutoGuide.Com Free App
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It looks great already!

Sent from my VS920 4G using AutoGuide.Com Free App
Thanks for the motivation!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That is going to look fucking dope.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is going to look fucking dope.
It's good to hear these positive comments. I did this all on a whim and spent a few bucks too. The only thing I'm really worried about are the small gaps between the bumper and lip and making sure it fits tight. But I've come this far, I'm gonna make it happen. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't think it was possible, but you've made that bumper into something that looks pretty damn good. Congrats.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't think it was possible, but you've made that bumper into something that looks pretty damn good. Congrats.
Thanks for saying so. Didn't come easy. My whole body is on recharge right now. Can't wait till its done.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
That is going to look fucking dope.
^^ This!


Great work so far man! Damnit I wish I was good with fiberglass......



P.S. LOVE how all this is happening right next to the Po-po
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dude this is turning out great! Keep at it

As for the gaps, I would recommend learning how to patch fiberglass with.. fiberglass. It's messy and time consuming, but it would be the proper way to do it. next best thing is epoxy the pieces together (actually, should also do that if fiberglassing as well) and use body filler.. which could also be time consuming if you have to build up a lot. Then sand, clean, sand, clean, wet sand, clean, wet sand, clean, wet sand clean, prime, wetsand, clean, prime, wet sand, clean... you get the idea.

Also, are those projector fogs? If I wer you (which I'm not, fyi) I would try to find larger fog lights to better fit into those openings.. I personally like big fog lights.. like the older Imprezas. Or, if you're into the look, you could use up that gap with CCFL halos. They aren't for everyone, though. Just my $0.02
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You may totally disagree with me but, i think you should black out the kite shaped slots for the fog lights, and paint the mesh blaaack! (try is with plastidip first to get an idea of how it looks)
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