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Old 02-04-2009, 08:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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GM OEM Parts Online

Okay, now that I'm wild and free again... I'm putting some money into my dorky little car.

I'm pushing a '05 Pontiac Vibe right now. I got a great deal on it when I ditched my mean black gas-guzzler. The Vibe does have a few cosmetic flaws that I want to correct since I'm OCD and can't sleep at night if my socks aren't folded correctly.

Problem: The previous owner put a nice gash in the right side of the rear bumper. I have no clue how since the edges aren't ragged and torn. Regardless... it has to go. NOW.

I was looking at Parts.com, several Google searches, Ebay, various Vibe forums, etc... but I have no desire to pay $300+ for a part I saw last year for $160. Every junk yard I've called has no clue what a Pontiac Vibe is despite the fact they've been on the road since, what, '03?

I have a baseline Vibe and the piece I need is essentially a huge chunk of matte gray plastic. The "bumper cover" or "bumper fascia."

Any suggestions as to websites that might have one?

...

If not, I've got a screwdriver and I can work fast in a dark parking lot.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've ordered from Lake Chevrolet and gmpartsdirect.com and had decent experiences with both. They both can order Pontiac parts. The new bumper covers don't come painted though so you'd still have to factor that in. Most likely it'll end up far north of $300 to get a new rear bumper cover hung on your car.

Another option is you may be able to have it fixed. I've bridged gashes in bumper covers before with structural adhesive. Then a little bondo and a touch up. I don't know how bad the bumper really is so I can't say if it's actually repairable but I usually do bumper touch ups in the neighborhood of $200 depending on how much work and materials is needed. Only downside to the repair is bondo is not as flexible as the rest of the bumper. A little nudge will be okay (i.e. shopping carts). Backing into a wall, washing machine in the garage, etc. will probably crack the filler.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Perhaps a bumper repair shop that can refurbish the cover might be your best bet if there are any in your area. I'm guessing from your description that the part doesn't even need to be painted.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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Correct, it's bare gray plastic fascia. No paint is necessary. A new bumper costs about $300 without shipping. Not really worth it yet my OCD is acting up at night.

I'm starting to think I need to use some kind of sticks-to-plastic "body filler" and then just get all the flat gray plastic fascia on the car covered with Line-X.

It'll be cheaper than a new bumper and I won't have to worry about scratches anymore.

Any recommendations in how to fill a gash on relatively soft fascia plastic? I was gonna rough it up and use that fiberglass gunk in a can.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Oh didn't know that those were natural finish bumpers. That does make it hard to touch up. The line-X idea is kinda cool. I've seen a nissan frontier pickup that had the plastic front bumper cover done. Looks good.

The product I use is a two part adhesive that dries hard and you can sand or grind it. It's called Norton Speedgrip Structural Adhesive. Lord Fusor is another brand. They have different working times from 1 minute to 45 minutes and it's about $15 a tube. Any auto part store that sells auto paint should have it or if you can find an automotive paint and body supplier they'll sell it too.

I haven't had luck with any of the regular body fillers and even the ones with chopped fiberglass (bondo, evercoat, etc.) filling gaps. They all eventually seem to crack and fall off. If you line-x the bumper afterwards though that may be enough to hold it together even if the filler underneath cracks. Regular paint wouldn't but the line-x may.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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Thanks, man. I appreciate the advice.

Yeah, Line-X is great stuff. I had a Chevy pick-up with a big honkin' grille guard on it... had the guard Line-X'd and it looked like a Road Warrior ride.

I'll check out the Norton Speedgrip stuff. Product name alone has me half sold on it.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I made friends with a GM mechanic (okay, he's my dad, lol)and ended up getting all of my Vibe extras at employee cost. Roof rack bars were only $100.
Mine doesn't have the plastic bumper, but I'll ask around and see if anyone has ideas.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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Thanks, Noodle. I'm going to hold off on fixing the bumper until it's a little less cold outside. I don't wanna have to sit there with a space heater and wait for it to set... it's like 30+ around here.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Arkansas
have you checked jcwhitney? They may have something that you can use. Also I would check and see what other models are similiar to your vibe and see if there is something that may can work for it.
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