I have hit a couple of things and repaired mine quite successfully. I did the simple thing: popped the parts back in place and smeared JB Weld on the back side that does not show, then touched up the paint with the paint touch up kit I got when I bought it. As I recall, the paint number on mine is a Pontiac paint code. Wierd, but true. I also wrapped the corners with small guards I made from sheet rubber with an adhesive back that I bought in the landscape pond materials section of Home Depot. It has been on there for four years or so and is looks like it did the day I put it on.
My old 97 Dodge 190P had those shiny chrome bumpers and I have often thought about stripping off the "ground effects" on my 210P, but wasn't sure how well finished the basic vehicle is under all that junk. Sometimes (maybe often) less is more.
You mentioned this picture. I cannot get it to come up and it is not showing. Is there something I need to do to see it? thanks. Roland
Here is a view of my 2008 190P. It had front and rear covers but the original owner hit a raccoon and demolished the front cover. Rather than spend $700 to replace it, he simply removed it. There was a chrome bumper under the plastic. The RT dealer in Michigan told me he has lots of broken front covers so he orders many new models without the covers.
If I can make this work, here is a picture of my RT. as you can see, the chrome bumper looks normal.
For anyone interested in an update about repairing or removing the fake bumper on an RT....
I inspected a third time...gauging the amount of work to remove the whole thing or repairing at least 4 good sized cracks on my 2007 170. It did appear that removal was quite a chore, and repairing, since I had successfully done it once before, was plausible. I launched into it this afternoon. In case someone wants to do it, there is some recommendations from my twice-repair experience. Some of the things have been said above by other helpful owners:
1. You don't have to be body specialist to do the repair if you don't mind an imperfect but decent repair. You must have some things on hand. First, the basic primer used on plastics and the right finish coat color. All this is in the original specs for the RTs. Mine was not hard to find. However, don't try to match paint yourself....go to a paint shop or supplier for autos. They know what to mix and give to you. You need the finish color but you also need a can of fast drying primer that is used on plastics on autos and RVs. Have some sand paper, putty knife, a few ice cream sticks, some masking tape, some acetone (common stuff), and a good epoxy 2-part bonding glue. As a backing in both repair jobs I have done, I used both pieces of auto plastic and pieces of a braded nylon webbing (typically found on straps on cases or suitcases that is about 1.5 inches wide and pretty hefty). Both things work but I favor the nylon webbing because it is flexible.
2. On the expoxy glues: the first time I used an epoxy 2-part stuff from an RV dealer that is used on plastic tanks on RVs. It worked. This time I went to a local hardware store and got the 2-part epoxy called PC-7. It is also common, and also works.
3. Wash the area. Make sure it is totally dry before doing anything.
This means no water in the cracks. Everything must be dry. The repairs with epoxy usually need 60 degrees or higher outside air temperature....so don't start until its dry and warm.
4. Cut your nylon webbing to cover the backside of the cracked area by at least an inch on either side of the crack. you can trim it as needed. If the crack is on a complext curved surface, don't worry. The nylon will bend around just fine. Where each piece of nylon webbing will be placed on the backside of crack, sand a little bit so the surface is not a factory finish. You don't have to sand a lot...just get the surface scratched. Take a cloth with a bit of acetone and rub over the area you sanded. Now you have a surface that the epoxy will like.
5. Mix the epoxy according to instructions. A cardboard picnic plate works fine to do this on. Ice cream sticks make great mixing sticks. It is usually one to one of each part. Its a gooey mess. You don't need to mix any more than will cover your pieces of nylon with a generous 1/16 of an inch or so....kind of the same thickness as the vanilla stuff in an oreo cookie. You can always mix more if you need it. Plastic tank epoxy that I used could be used for about 20 minutes; PC-7 can be used for twice that. After that, it starts to get to hard.
6. Hold your chosen piece of nylon webbing as best you can while you take a small putty knife or the ice cream sticks and apply some of the gooey epoxy that is mixed over one side of the nylon webbing. It's going to get on you a bit.
7. Take the glue side of the nylon webbing and place it on the crack area on the backside of the damaged bumper area. Gently press and poke a bit to flatten it against the plastic. In the process, this will also work the glue into the nylon webbing. That is what you want. If the piece won't stay fixed on the plastic because of curvature on the back side, then use a little paper tape or masking tape to hold it in place. Do the other cracks like the first one if you have more. Now you are experienced!! And all your work is on the back side so if it's not perfect, only you will know.
8. Don't move anything for 24 hours--the cure time for most epoxy glues and bonding material. You need not move the paper tape to keep things in place on the backside.
9. You can go to the "pretty" side of the bumper and apply the epoxy to crack areas also. Same prep process applies. Personally, I don't worry about it being perfect. But on the "pretty side" you don't use any nylon. Just the epoxy. And you have to mess with it a little to smooth is as best you can. Once cured, you can sand if you really want to . I don't very much.
10. When ready to paint -- at least a day later -- clean the surface with acetone that you want to spray after you have sanded the area of concern. Apply the primer according to instructions. It is usually fast drying, so a little while later you can apply the finish spray. I am no car painter, so take some precautions to ask for advice if you need it and count on some overspray....so guard and mask the areas where you don't want it. Don't spray too much. It should not run.
All this makes for a passable repair of cracks that I don't want to see propagate or break on those pretty but cheap members of the lower bumper. Hope this helps. And thanks to all those that participated. Please correct me, those of you that have done this also. You may know much more than me. If mine gets progressively worse and keeps getting hit, I will probably remove it. I will say that my first repairs a year a ago are fine and holding. I presume this repair will be OK also. Too bad they did not make this piece a little more resilient to begin with. ....just another RT design flaw, but at least a cosmetic one.
Roland, thanks for the detailed description of your repair. Where there is a will there is a way.
Practically speaking, no one is going to be down there looking at those repairs with a magnifying glass, and I completely agree with your comments. The way you did the repair is perfectly 'nuff for 99% of us. The really important thing is probably the web backing you used because it will really stabilize the crack and should hold it for the live of the RT.
I am going to print out your outlined procedure and put it in with the manuals for the rest of the RT stuff. Might be really handy for future reference. Thanks again.
This from the link in the post that is a couple down.
Our popular, do-it-yourself plastic welding kit is good
for all plastic tank repairs such as water tanks, spray
tanks, ATV and snowmobile hoods, etc*. In fact, it is
appropriate for any polyethylene plastic
repair(Polyethylene can only be welded. It can not be
glued. All glues, epoxies, etc., will eventually fail on a
polyethylene repair.). Kit includes a 40 watt plastic
welder, a wire brush, and a welder holdIer. Also
included is 30 feet of polyethylene welding rod.
I have welded plastic, it comes out as strong as the original.