Looking to upgrade the bumper on your vehicle? Or maybe you damaged yours by running into a mailbox and need to replace it. Either way, purchasing a bumper kit and installing it yourself is going to save a lot of money.
In order for auto shops to make money, they need to charge a lot. They markup the products that they use and they charge a lot for labor.
But when you choose the DIY route, you can purchase a bumper kit at cost and pay zero dollars in labor. You can then take the money you save and upgrade another part of your vehicle, such as new tires or a higher-quality sound system.
Wondering how to purchase a bumper for your car? Want to know how to go about installing it yourself? Keep reading to find out now.
Different Kinds of Bumpers
When ordering a bumper, you need to ensure you get the right kind. There are different types available for different types of vehicles and use cases.
The bumper you will see on most vehicles is the standard bumper. There aren’t any specialized features on these, making them the cheapest option available.
If you drive a normal car, such as a sedan or small SUV, you probably have one of these. If you damage it, they are easy enough to purchase and replace. Or you can buy a bumper repair kit if the damage isn’t too bad.
Deep Drop Bumper
Deep drop bumpers are found on larger trucks, as well as many older trucks. These are designed around a towing hitch that is capable of pulling large trailers or RVs. As you can guess from the name, these bumpers drop down low from the frame of your trucks.
Step bumpers are commonly found on trucks and some SUVs. There is a cutout in the middle of the bumper where your license plate sits that acts as a step, allowing you to easily access the contents in your truck bed on gear stored on the roof.
You can also install a winch bumper on you’re truck or SUV. These make it possible to add a winch to your vehicle. A winch allows you to pull another vehicle that may be stuck or out of gas.
You can also move obstructions, such as logs, out of the road. These are commonly installed on off-road vehicles.
Purchasing a Bumper Kit
Bumpers are big and can be very heavy too if they are made out of solid metal. However, you can still purchase them online and have them shipped to your home. You can expect to pay a decent amount for shipping, but the money you save in the long run for installing it yourself will still keep you in the black.
This gives you the freedom to purchase online. You can buy from manufacturer-specific bumper replacements, or you can purchase from third-party, aftermarket companies.
Most people upgrading and customizing their vehicle will buy an aftermarket bumper welding kit. You can find universal bumpers that can fit a wide range of cars and trucks.
There are also some car-specific bumpers you can buy. If you are making your Toyota Forerunner into an off-road machine, for example, you can invest in a 3rd gen 4runner bumper kit to outfit your car for the backcountry.
How to Install DIY Kits
So you’ve purchased a weld together bumper kit and are ready to put it on your car. How do you install it? Here’s what to do:
Remove Your Current Bumper
First off, remove the accessories located on or near your bumper. This can include your license plate, lights, a trailer hitch, and anything else that would prevent the bumper from coming off the vehicle.
Then, you’ll want to locate the screws and clips holding your current bumper in place. Remove these, set them aside, and pull your bumper off the car.
Test the Fit
With the old bumper removed, you can now test the new bumper to make sure it’s going to fit. Have a friend help you hold the bumper up to the car. See if it sits nicely against the vehicle, or if there are any obstructions preventing it from getting into place.
If it fits, you can begin to install it.
Install New Bumper
If you purchased a bumper kit that doesn’t require welding, installation should be fairly straightforward. You should be able to use the existing holes to screw the new bumper into place, reversing the process of removing the old bumper.
Though, because every car and after-market bumper is different, drilling new holes may be required.
Perfecting the Fit
Once installed, there may be empty spaces in between the bumper and the car. These spots may need to be filled, or you may have extrusions that need to be shaved down.
Once the bumper is securely fastened, you can fill, shave, and sand down all relevant areas to create a snug, safe fit.
Painting the Bumper
If you want the bumper to match your car, or if you want to customize the look of your vehicle, you can paint the new bumper once it’s installed.
Use auto-specific paint designed for bumpers. You will also need to apply a clear coat after painting to protect the paint from scratching off.
Weld Together Bumpers
If you opted for a welded bumper kit, you’ve got a bit more work to do to install it. The benefit is that these will be stronger and much more durable than a simple screw-in bumper.
You’ll need to have a welding machine in your garage or have access to a workshop in order to properly weld your bumper onto the frame of the car. If you have welding experience, this process should be pretty easy to do.
If you don’t have welding experience, you should get a normal bumper kit that doesn’t require welding, as it’s a highly technical, and potentially dangerous process.
Save Money and Learn a Thing or Two
Installing a bumper isn’t that difficult, though it may seem complex initially. Rather, you just need to purchase a bumper kit that is guaranteed to fit your car, remove the old one, and screw on the new one.
You can save a ton of money and learn more about your vehicle by taking this approach. Looking for more tips like this? Be sure to visit our blog today to keep reading.