Monday, September 5, 2022

Spoiler Alert

I ordered a special tuning front spoiler for Alice, and it's neato.

The front valance on the car was really beat up.  I attempted to straighten it, but it really wasn't going to look good.  So I scouted around for a replacement.  I found one... but it would cost more to ship than the part itself!

I had been eyeing the 'special tuning' front spoilers from Moss Motors, but the cost was prohibitive.  But then I read online that sometimes parts coming from Europe are cheaper.  I looked the part up at Moss Europe, and sure enough it was almost 50% less.  Moss really likes to mark up their stuff when it gets here from the UK.  Even with shipping, the cost from Europe was below the cost in the US (before shipping).  I bundled a bunch of other bits I needed that were also cheaper, and saved a bundle.

I ordered the ABS plastic version instead of the fiberglass version as I had read it was more durable.  I was very pleased that it arrived in a week from the UK.  The fit is excellent and I only needed to bang on the car for an hour or so to get things aligned (mostly, straightening the driver's front wing a bit at that point).  I drilled some holes and fit it to the original mount points.  After a bit of shaping the edges to fit, it looks great!

The spoiler will get painted body color to match.

With that finally sorted, I turned my attention to the bumpers.  They were not quite so ready to go.  The rear bumper was nice but had a couple of scratches and chips, which were easily sorted out.  But the front bumper... oh, boy.

The front bumper was covered with poorly applied black paint.  The brace that holds the bumper in shape was twisted and bent.  I cannot understand how - but it was really out of whack.  I spent an hour straightening the bar and restoring the correct curve so that the brace fit properly and the profile of the bumper was correct.

The bumper material itself is a polyurethane something something.  It was also distorted.  I spent a good amount of time reshaping it gently with a heat gun and a heavy glove.  You can do this if you're very careful.  The material will melt if you're not.  In the end, I got a good result (not perfect, but good) and I'll take it.

From there, I moved on to sanding off all that gunk and cleaning up the bumper.  I then applied a couple of coats of an adhesion enhancer, which improves bonding of paint to plastic.  From there, I applied primer and sanded things down.  It isn't perfect, but it will look very nice once painted body color.

These are ready to go for paint.

Now, I just need to finish a couple of touchups and move everything to the paint booth!

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