Repairing the bumper

I’ve come out to a place called Jesolo that I found when I first came to Italy. It’s a large carpark which is almost derelict it’s so grown over. It’s almost hidden from the road too I only saw it as there were 3 vans in it when I drove past.
Therefore it’s perfect for repairing the bumper: you know, the one I damaged in Arne back in 2008  *blush*  To be fair it’s had many temporary repairs but it now needs fixing properly. It’s actually in 2 pieces and some of the retaining wood at the side skirts has torn off so I need to replace that too.

These two photos show the bumper with large chunks out. It’s only fibreglass and easily damaged even if you reverse over shrubs and bushes. The red is the resin I use to repair it, and the two vertical lines show a large square section that was ripped out. On the rear I used almost an entire tin of resin and a large wad of matting to join cracks and splits. Underneath the number plate is a crack about 10 inches long that splits that section in two, and there are numerous cracks in the glaze and smaller tears. The main aim here is to get the bumper into one section and get it fitted properly to the van.

IMAG0360This is the rear of the side skirting. On the outside is a thin skin of aluminium, and on the inside a thin cover of plywood. What you can see in the centre of the ‘sandwich’ is in fact polystyrene! There’s a 1 inch square lath at top and bottom to keep the polystyrene in place, so I’m going to hopefully tap into that to attach the new piece of wood which has to go there. The wood is what the end of the bumper section screws into. The aluminium is starting to corrode too, I am seriously not looking forward to replacing that side skirt!

IMAG0367Where was Jack all this time? Well he’d gone and rolled in some unmentionable stuff which was so bad that for the first time in his life he needed a full and proper shampoo bath.

I attached him to a long tie out line afterwards and he went to sunbathe in the long grass and dry off. It was about 25 degrees today so here he is drying off and sleeping in the sunshine.
Just follow the red line, he’s in there somewhere haha


IMAG0371This is the most damaged side, it was all torn off one day when I got stuck down a narrow country lane in Dorset in 2008, and has been repaired and ripped off several times since then. The last time was at the Falkirk Wheel car park in Scotland. There were some small posts in the ground to mark the bays and I reversed too far and one of them went under the bumper. When I pulled away it dragged that whole half of the bumper off, tearing all of the electrics to the lights and tearing the aluminium and ripping the wood stay off.

That corner has taken a lot of work to get it fixed and although it looks ugly right now, that’s mostly resin and glue residue and dirt marks where it was held on by gaffer tape for some time! It will all be cleaned up eventually and I’m very pleased with the job done. 🙂


IMAG0369And here it is in place. 2 days later after the major work is done and all the resin has dried off. It looks awful with the red and the darker grey scars are cracks that are surface cracks and I’ve not done them yet.

The main thing is that it’s all in one piece now and fitted to the van properly and securely.

The next thing is to use resin without matting on all the cracks, then sand it all down and get it smooth. Then I can use the white gelcoat to finish it off. It’s still quite a lot of work to do but they want £600 + VAT for a new bumper, and the cheapest quote I’ve had to repair it was £300, so I’ve saved myself a canny chunk of money there and also learned something: never mix more than 20 ml of resin and hardener at one time…it goes off before you can use it!




Well I got to Bamburgh safely despite some flooded roads, but on parking, got caught in some wire hidden in deep grass and ripped half of the bumper clean off the van. Everything from the left side of the number plate was lying on the ground.
So tonight I’ve tried repairing it using for the first time a fibreglass kit. I need some wood from somewhere to repair the side panel too, as the bumper screws into this, and there’s a section about 8 inches wide torn into pieces. I’m sure I can find some tomorrow from somewhere.
Wish me luck!


**Update. First time I’ve used fibreglass repair, it’s a doddle! Bumper now repaired and back on, although not fixed properly. I’ll wait til better weather to do it right 🙂