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Things that go bump on the freeway sad smiley

Posted by Flyboy 
On my home on Friday arvie, due to a combination of me driving with my head up my ass and some twatwaffle who pushed in front of me into a one car gap in my lane and then hits the brakes, I end up ploughing into the back of his piece of sh1t Renault Scenic. :mad:

So I assess the damage, kidney is lying in the road, valence behind the bumper is pushed back and firmly against the aircon fan, both grilles broken, and two broken headlights, damn, but no water running out onto the road....thank goodness, I can drive it home.
Now, the little box is my daily driver, so no time to park it and formulate a repair plan, this has got to get me to work on Monday, one problem.....cash flow, as in, I don't have any, damn.
As luck would have it, the headlights that got smashed are on opposite sides, one inner and one outter, so now I need two headlamp assemblies, and from what I gather they go for around R900 each, so that ain't happening any time soon.
I find Autostyle sells the acrylic after market loose lenses (probably Chinese) at R220 a pair, good enough for me, they will have to do for now.
And I see that they accept ebucks as well, woo hoo, double bonus. because the R440 would have hurt.
I place my order on line on Friday night and Saturday morning at 9am I am there to pick them up, and got a set of clear Euro indicator lenses for the bumper too, as mine were broken.

So how to fix accident damage on the cheap.
Remember, this is my daily driver with 400 000Km on the clock, not a show or weekend car, so as long as it is presentable and reliable I am good.

Headlight Lenses R220 (only had enough ebucks for one set, had to pay cash for the second set)
Indicator lenses R50
Satin Black paint (Had some in the garage at home)
BMW Calypso Red paint (had a 250ml can for touch ups at home)
Pratley steel (had a tube at home)
Clear silicon R 40
1X Saturday afternoon and 1X Sunday morning. (In stock, had bugger all better to do anyway)

So this is what my poor car looked like when I got home.

The first order of business was to strip off all the damaged bits, and see how deep the damage went, 40min later....

Damn, body pushed up against the aircon fan

Next job was to glue all the plastic bits back together, both grilles broken, as well as the kidney, man I love Pratley steel.
All the glue work as well as the plastichrome coming off the kidney left it looking less thn acceptable, so I decided to paint it, to hide the imperfections and blend it into the grille, which kind of goes against my grain, as I feel the Kidney is the defining character of a BMW.
So the two grilles and the kidney were treated to a fresh coat of satin black.

Needing the car to get to work on Monday, I could not afford to get too carried away, so as much work as possible was done in place, on car.
Including the straightening of the body where it was pushing up against the fan, which was taken care of next.
With that out of the way, it was time to tackle the headlights and work out how to replace the lenses.
The original headlights are a one piece unit and not meant to be stripped, the lens is held in place with a strong glue/silicon type compound.

The first thing to do is remove the metal trim ring, it is just held in place with tabs locating in grooves, just pry it off carefully with a flat screw driver.

Once you have that off, it is time to remove the old lens, a small flat screw driver works well for this, to break loose the silicon.

Warning, work from this angle, to avoid breaking the housing, which is plastic.

Trying it like this, will break pieces off your housing....you have been warned.

Once the lens is removed, clean out the groove of all the old silicon thoroughly.

With the lens out, the reflector plate will come out, good time to give it a good clean and shine.

In fact clean the whole inside of the light, lots of dust in there.
With the light cleaned up, it is time to put on the new lenses, surprise, surprise, they are not acrylic after all, but.........GLASS.

Place a generous bead of silicon around the light

And push new lens into place, make sure it is not upside down, wipe away excess silicon around the outside of the lamp.
With the new lens in place, put the headlamp aside to dry for 24hrs.

Refit the trim ring, and you are done, simple as that.
Just check the trim ring has a locating tag.

With the headlights repaired, and put away for the night to dry, Sunday morning was time to start bolting it all together again.
Having painted the kidney black to blend in with the grille, I felt it left the car looking a bit too dark in front, with nothing to break the black.
So I removed some of the black off the bumper by colour coding it, to restore the balance again, and the clear, Euro indicator lenses helped too.
I am pretty happy all things considered, a weekend and R310 later.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I will get around to the bonnet one day, as soon as I have the time (read, $$$$) but for now it is my urban camouflage.
I hope that my little repair job and write up is useful to somebody, in some way, if you are tired of those faded headlights and sandblasted lenses, a set of new looking headlights my not be that far off or as expensive as you think.


When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Well done!

While opening the lights to replace or glue the lenses, one may clean thoroughly the inside, and leave them shinny as new.
Dull old scratched lenses may be polished to look as new.


Sometimes a weekend project can make quite a difference on the car!

Now the hood is begging for some attention.
Good job!

Did you not pull the body part clear of the aux fan?
Jose, yes, while the headlights are open, it is a good idea to clean the insides well, not sure how you buff up sandblasted glass, I have tried to restore the lenses by polishing and buffing, with not too much success, the new lenses are day and night difference.
Pete, yes, I did straighten the body work, but because I was on the clock and needed the car Monday morning, I didn't want to strip too far, so I did it with the fan and air-con radiator as well as the bumper in situ.
Suffice to say it took a bit of creative redneck engineering I am not too keen to manning up to in public. :whistle:
But it came straight as I will ever get it other than replacing it with a new part, so all is good.

The bumper will get its wet sand, polish and buff next weekend, once it has cured for the week, and the bonnet will be redone as soon as I find the time (read $$$).


When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2013 01:36PM by Flyboy.
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