Hello - My First Post!
I repaired my front bumper cover this weekend. I thought I would replace the headlights while I had the cover off as well.
And while I had the bumper off I also replaced the side orange marker lights that were damaged.
I have to say thanks to all the guys before that had some pretty amazing write ups to help me tackle this job.
I bought the bumper repair items from AutomotiveTouchup.com for less than $50.
I bought the Spyder Headlights off of Amazon for $185.
lastly I got the two side marker lights off ebay for about $27 each.
To start I removed bumper using threads from other users on this forum. Very simple - 6 secure points I removed. The bumper had obviously been abused by parking too close to a curb.
To take off the bumper I had to remove the grill first by removing 4 bolts - which were pretty obvious. I then had to remove the 6 secure points on the bumper:
- 2 on the passenger at the front side of the tires.
- 2 on the drivers side at the front side of the tires.
- 2 more where the grill bolts were removed
After removing the bolts I had to disconnect the side marker light, fog lights and temperature sensor.
- For the marker lights simply twist and remove.
- For the Fog Lights I used a flat head to coax the disconnection.
- For the Temperature sensor I twisted and pulled.
With the bumper removed I saw a large crack down the middle. I used my dremmel tool and carved down a bit of the plastic on each side of the crack, (front and back sides). I then thoroughly cleaned the area and mixed Epoxy and slathered it generously on both sides.
I let the bumper sit awhile and then tackled the headlights. They came with adapters for models before 2000. My SLK is a 2000 and the adapters were not necessary. They hooked straight up. The other part was the 3 red and 3 black wires on the under side of the new lights. For me I connected all the reds together and the black wires together.
I then connected the red wire to the Grey/Black wire of the car side connector that went to the headlights. I then connected the black wires to the black cable on the car side connector. The passenger side was 2 Black/Green - I just picked one to connect to for the passenger side. I removed the from the old headlights the orange blinker light and fitted it into the new headlights. The connectors were not the same on my new headlights. Simply twisted and removed from old and inserted and twisted on with the new.
The headlights fit perfectly into the existing location MINUS the underside. This is where I learned from others on this forum that they simply removed the rubber/hard plastic where the old lights sat into. Then I simply drove the screws back into the screw points on the top side of the new headlights letting the bottom side rest in the "slot" where the bottom of the old headlights were located.
Now it was time to get back to the bumper. I now sanded the under side of the bumper to remove the cracked paint and scratches. Started with 180 grit and then I used the 320 grit. After I was satisfied with the sanding I sprayed on the sandable primer. Sanded again with the 800 grit.
After sanding I wiped down the surface and blew it clean with an air compressor. Then I used the paint prep solvent and cleaned the surface again. Then finally I used the tack clothe and removed any left overs that I could not detect. NOW, I was ready to paint.
I used the spray can paint that AutomotiveTouchup.com matched up to my vehicles paint code. Simply follow the directions - never hold down the spray can button and go back and forth - start your left/right motion then press then button letting go as your at the end of your touch up area. Do this in both directions being careful not to go to slow or too fast - it's better to go fast than slower. Otherwise you'll get drips and will have to start sanding again. Put on a light coat and continue putting on light coats giving about 5-10 minutes between coats until you're satisfied.
After I was satisfied with my paint covering I waited about 3 hours and then started with the Clear Coat spray can. Again, the same motion and technique as the paint.
I put on 3 coats and then let it dry. Then I sanded with the 1800 grit. Cleaned the surface again with the air compressor, solvent and tack cloth. Then I put on the final coat going slightly slower with the painting motion.
The next day when everything was dry and I was satisfied with my work I connected my new side marker lights. Two screws and a straight slot screw driver help me remove and insert the new side marker lights.
I am pretty proud of the finished product and it really was not that difficult - Just time consuming. I put everything back to together and wella - I saved a ton of money doing it myself in just 1 day and an extra 1.5 hours in the morning the next day.
Sorry for the long post but didn't know how else to explain it.