Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

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Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:53 pm

Okay...so decided to tackle the job of separating the rear bumper from the back support on a spare bumper I pulled off a '76 Laguna last week. Anyone attempt to do this on a bumper with the rub strip? I've learned that the rub strip must come off in order to access the six bumper bolt heads. Why do I need to access the bolt heads? BECAUSE THE FREAKIN' NUTS ARE RUSTED SO TIGHT THAT, EVEN AFTER SOAKING THEM IN PB BLASTER FOR SEVERAL DAYS, THEY JUST DON'T LOOSEN AND THE BOLTS END UP ROTATING IN THE SQUARE HOLE!! What to do? Well, I've been banging, swearing, cutting, swearing, hammering, swearing, until I've managed to get four of them out. But, not before I smashed the end of my left index finger with a hammer (can barely type this as a matter of fact) and managed to fry my Dremel. Now, just have the two innermost ones to tackle...but, for obvious reasons, that has been put on hold temporarily. For those who dare to tackle this project, the key seems to be hammering on the end of the bolt, forcing the metal backing against the bumper and thus, gaining a sixteenth of an inch of space between the bumper and the bolt head. I then wedge a screwdriver behind the rub strip so I can get a hacksaw blade in there to cut off the head. All kinds of fun...



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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by JB2wheeler on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:28 pm

You dont have a propane torch? JB
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:55 pm

Ha...all I have is a propane soldering kit. Besides, wouldn't the heat ruin the rub strip and discolor the chrome bumper?
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:10 pm

Mine have no strips but I feel your pain. Hang in there, you will win eventually. Bumpers are just about the biggest pain in the @$$...then there's cleaning off roof rails and cleaning & fixing window channels. UGH!
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by pila on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:13 pm

Don't know if this will help ya, but sometimes I drill some small holes in the ends of the nuts, along side of the bolt. A few small holes in the nut, around the bolt, will relieve the nut enough to get it loose. A 1/8 " drill bit usually works. Drilling as close as possible to the bolt threads also gives a place for penetrating oil to get in there better etc......

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Tom77 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:24 am

Small propane torch with the flame directed on the nut only. Use a putty knife to deflect heat from the bumper. After a couple of minutes the nut will be larger and should come right off. At least they did for me. Hope this helps.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:48 pm

I'll give it a try...as long as the heat won't melt the rub strip in that area. Drilling sounds like a viable option, too. Thanks for the tips!
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by McCauley5983 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:25 pm

Just get a nut splitter
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:50 pm

Don't the nut splitters work from the side? Remember my dad using them back in the day, but have never owned one. Problem I have is there is no access to these last two bolts/nuts except straight down through a 1" dia. hole. Can't get at them from the sides.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by coreys73chevelle on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:54 pm

just keep drilling them out. might eat a few bits just take it slow so they dont overheat as much
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:55 pm

I don't get it...there's not a way to pull or gently pry the rub strip off to get access to the bolt heads? I remember from my rear bumper that the black strips on these things just pop off...I had to squeeze the ends a little from the inside of course. I'm assuming that your strip is installed the same way.





Maybe if you get some thin plastic putty knives (or thin flexible metal w/ tape to protect the bumper) you can work your way into the channel where the strip sits and by squeezing the tabs together both at the same time release the strip from the outside of the bumper w/ it laid on it's side? Sorry if this makes no sense....tired from putting motor back together. Sleep

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:59 pm

coreys73chevelle wrote:just keep drilling them out. might eat a few bits just take it slow so they dont overheat as much

If you are drilling use a carbide tip masonry bit, the work pisser on steel....low rpm & some drilling lube will help also.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:00 pm

Wish it were that easy! But no, they are held on with nuts and, unlike the larger bumper bolts, don't have access holes to get to them. Thus, you need to separate the bumper from the backing support in order to get a socket on them.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:04 pm

Yeah...been using cobalt bits when drilling metal. And, of course, a standard length bit isn't long enough to get down to the nut through the backing support. Have to go buy a rigid extension for the drill, I guess. Are carbide masonry bits better suited for metal?
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:09 pm

Mcarlo77 wrote:Yeah...been using cobalt bits when drilling metal. And, of course, a standard length bit isn't long enough to get down to the nut through the backing support. Have to go buy a rigid extension for the drill, I guess. Are carbide masonry bits better suited for metal?

I had to drill out a broken rear seat belt bolt...went through all my small bits making a pilot hole in order to use an extractor...ended up using a carbide masonry bit, they usually come in longer lengths too... I get mine at sears but Loews has good ones also.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Laguna Budman on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:14 pm

Don't laugh at this but I broke about 3 of mine off when doing this. I wound up using a 2 part bonding glue (putty) to put new 3/8 hex head bolts in. I bolted my strip back in with no problem. I think you can see it on one of my pics. I painted to match car color also.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by Jedediah on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:37 am

Use rapid tap or another drilling oil and you wont kill your bits. I have broke half my bolts pulling my bumper apart they were cut off the parts car.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts

Post by Mcarlo77 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:30 pm

Alas...sweet victory is mine! Spent the better part of the afternoon getting the last two bolts out and now have the two pcs separated. Can now gain easy access to the 14 or so rub strip nuts. Was pleased to find that the inside of the bumper support was solid; albeit lots of surface rust. Will work on getting that taken care of so I can get some paint on it before the cold weather sets in.

The bumper itself is pretty decent...although it has a shallow dent where it looks like someone backed into something. Anyone ever try pounding out a dent on one of these bumpers? Or, are they just too strong to do this by hand?

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 74MonteCarlo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:31 pm

I don't ever remember seeing your Laguna. Are there any pictures of it on the forum?

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:36 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! Never doubted you'd get that {expletive deleted} thing apart.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by pila on Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:22 pm

The only success I've had getting shallow dents out was with a press. The problem there is pushing the dent past neutral, because it moves back in a bit after pushing it out. With some fooling around, and some time, it can be done though.

And I always use a wire cup wheel on a 4-inch grinder, to get the rust polished off in the back-side of the bumpers, and maybe a sanding disc to get it good enough to paint the inside surface. I use Rustoleum for that, but I suspect POR-15 would work great for that...

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts

Post by Mcarlo77 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:03 pm

Yeah...I go through the sanding discs by the gross when I'm doing this kind of rust removal. Wish I had a media blast setup.

Here is a pic of Project Laguna as it sat For Sale when I picked it up about a year ago. Was only intending to part it out as it has significant rust. Has a nice maroon swivel bucket interior though (except for the dash). Anyway, drove it home and son-in-law and I decided it was too cool to send to the crusher...so, he offered to help with the restoration. Unfortunately, he's been busy with his military duties (currently in Kuwait), so it sits in his garage relatively untouched. I've been busy collecting rust-free fenders and doors, cutting out floor and trunk pans from a Texas donor car and finding odds and ends that will be needed. Car came with new qtrs, too. Hopefully, we'll get on this next Spring.

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 74MonteCarlo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:52 pm

Very cool.

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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by 77mali on Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:38 am

I agree, way to cool to crush. Glad another one made it.
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Re: Freakin' Bumper Bolts!

Post by pila on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:32 am

I agree also, too cool a car to get crushed......

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