Easy Steps To Repairing Dodge RAM Chrome Rear Bumper
Accidents happen all the time when they are least expected. That’s why it is important to learn some basic skills of repairing damaged bumpers. If your car has been involved in a low-impact collision and the 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 rear bumper has sustained dents or scratches, here is a simple process you can use to fix it.
Prepare the affected spot
This is a mandatory and most important step in the repair process. Most people who overlook this step fail. All you need is some sandpaper and a solvent to exercise your cleaning skills. Using a surface cleaner and a scotch brite pad, scrub the damaged area carefully. Ensure that you cover the back side as well as the crack edges. Aim at eliminating all the contaminants. After cleaning, use 80-grit sandpaper to remove paint at least 2” all around. Feather the edges till they shine out. Smooth out the jagged points along the crack using the sandpaper.
Grind a V-groove
You don’t have to punch all the way. Simply curve along the cracked edges and create a river. Make a shallow incline groove as opposed to a sharp beveled edge. You will have extra space for the adhesive hence a stronger and easier repair. Do the same thing at the back of the bumper cover. If the plastic bumper powders when sanded, use a 24-grit disc on the sandpaper to cut grooves. And if it smears when sanded, use a wireless drill and rotary file to make the grooves. When the crack in your 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 rear bumper is extensive, you will have to drill holes on the sides of the crack. Drill a number of 1/8” holes, regularly spaced at about one inch all the way down the entire length of the crack (both sides). The holes will provide attachment areas for the filler as in rebar in concrete work.
Round 2 clean-up
Don’t start the repair yet before you thoroughly brush off the two sides of bumper cover using a plastic solvent and scotch brite cleaner. Remove the last bits of sanding dust and mold release which might have been left out. Make it quick before the mold release re-emerges.
Start repairing the bumper cover
Ensure that all the 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 parts are intact. It is always a good idea to start with the back side of the bumper cover if the crack has gone through the entire cover. Tape the two pieces together so they don’t shift as you work. You need an adhesion promoter to bond the plastic properly because primers are not so good at this. Spray the adhesion promoter over the repair area and cover even the inner parts of the crack. Give it about 10 minutes before you apply a self-sticking mesh patch. The mesh should have an allowance of about 1” from the damages part. Firmly press it so that it makes a close contact with the bumper surface.
On a piece of cardboard, squeeze a flexible epoxy adhesive and mix it completely using a body filler applicator and make sure that a uniform color is reached. Apply this adhesive on the backside of the crack with a body filler applicator or the mixing nozzle tip. It should ooze through the mesh patch and fill out the rebar holes and the groove. Fill up the surface when the mixture is wet and then leave it for 20 minutes to dry. Then you can proceed to repair the front side of the bumper cover.