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tig tig is offline
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'88 911 Bumper Removal

When I bought my car in 1997 (an '88 with 6300 miles on it!) the only blemish on it was a 4" scratch on the front bumper. It was deep, but didn't go all the way to metal.

About 2 years ago I replaced the "stongard" clear plastic film I had installed because it was yellowing. While I had the old film off, and before I had new film applied I took my car to my favorite paint guy and had him fix the scratch.

Then I had new 3M film applied to the front of the car including the bumper.

The film the guy installed was defective so I had him pull it to do it again. In the process he pulled up the clear coat my paint guy had put down.

Which turned an annoying 4"scratch into a awful looking big blemish on my perfect car.

My "smile" could use replacing so I ordered a new one about a year ago with the intent of pulling the bumper, getting it completely repainted and replacing all the rubber in the process. It took me until today to actually get to this project.

The bumper is now off and I will be taking it in to get painted this week. When it's done I'll put it all back together. For now here are pictures of the disassembly in the hopes they might help others. I found a bunch of threads on smile replacement/bumper removal but none had very good pictures...

First the original scratch.



Yes, I've put myself through all this trouble just for _that_.

Here's what it looked like after the clearcoat pulled up (taken today):



Now for pics of the bumper removal process...
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'88 Porsche 911 Coupe - Venetian Blau ║ '78 Mustard FJ40 "Uglina" ║ '87 BMW 529i "Maytag" ║ '87 BMW 535is "Vlad" ║ '85 BMW 528i S54 "Minerva"
Old 05-29-2010, 07:10 PM
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The first step is to jack the car up to make it easier to work on.

Before you yell at me for putting the jack stands under the torsion bars note those big ones are their JUST FOR SAFETY. The car is not actually resting on them; it is fully supported by the two stands at the front jack points.



Notice my AC condenser and protection bar are slightly crooked. Always been that way and always bugged me. It's another thing I plan on fixing while the bumper is off (more on that later). This picture shows this problem even more clearly:



To start removing the bumper, first remove the bumper strip on the front. There is a screw on each end. Remove those and the bumper will pull off:



The bumper strip is actually attached to a plastic piece that will slide off the plastic tabs on the bumper:




Here's what it looks like removed:



Next step is to remove the small sheet metal pieces between the fender and the lower spoiler. You do this by removing 4 8mm screws. Two on top, two on the bottom. Interestingly on my car the front bottom one on the left side of the car was missing. These can be tricky to get to. A 1/4" universal joint on a ratchet helps. You may need to also brush some grime off of them to get good purchase with your wrench... I did.



After you've removed the screws that hold the sheet metal piece to the fender and spoiler you need to remove the nuts holding the rubber baffles in place. On the left side of the car I ended up removing all four, thus removing the baffle before taking the bumper off. It is impossible to do this on the right side because of the oil cooler in the right front fender on later model 911's like mine (more below).





The right side (at least for an '88 like mine) is much more daunting because of the presence of the auxiliary oil cooler. There is a big aluminum plate attached to the inside of the bumper along with the oil cooler assembly itself that just makes getting to the screws and nuts harder.

There's no way to completely pull the baffle off the right side without removing the bumper, so on the right side you'll just remove the sheet metal piece (4 8mm screws) and the back two nuts securing the baffle to the sheet metal piece:



Now you can remove the four bolts on the front of the bumper that hold the bumper to the bumper pistons.

Once you do this you the bumper will pull free.

BUT BE CAREFUL. It's still attached to several things:
  • The turn signal assemblies
  • The bumper mounted headlight washer hose (if equipped as mine is)

See next post for more...
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'88 Porsche 911 Coupe - Venetian Blau ║ '78 Mustard FJ40 "Uglina" ║ '87 BMW 529i "Maytag" ║ '87 BMW 535is "Vlad" ║ '85 BMW 528i S54 "Minerva"

Last edited by tig; 05-29-2010 at 07:58 PM..
Old 05-29-2010, 07:36 PM
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...continued...

I first clamped off the hose to the headlight washer below the spoiler with some vice grips and pulled the Oeketer clamp off (destroying it in the process; I'm not sure there's really any way to remove these without ruining them). Porsche was nice enough to put this junction here, apparently to make it possible to do just this.



Next the turn signals. I could not see any way to actually disconnect the turn signal wiring so I simply (carefully! given the bumper was basically hanging from these wires, supported by a stool) unbolted them from the bumper. Two nuts each.



Ta-Da!



But this is not enough for me. I also wanted to remove the spoiler and the AC condenser protection bar so that I could align them carefully and really get everything clean.

Doing that was really easy. The spoiler is attached by bolts on either side of the car and two bolts you access from inside the boot (you have to lean into the boot to see them). You can see the two holes these bolts go to in the picture below.

The spoiler has fog lights in it and I found it was easy to unplug these where they connect within the boot and feed the leads through the grommet to the outside. I did not want to remove the fog lights from the spoiler.



Removing the "smile" rubber piece is as easy as unscrewing four screws under the boot lip (from inside the boot). You can see the holes for these four screws in the picture below. Then you need to remove three screws on each side of the underside of the smile (under the headlights). One of these on each side requires a 10" or so long Phillips screwdriver. I don't have one of those so I used a phillips attachment on a long 1/4" socket extender with a ratchet. Note to self: buy a long phililps screwdriver.

After removing the smile, I put the wheels back on the car, rolled it out of the garage and scrub-a-dub-dubbed all the grime off everything:



The final product:



When I get the bumper back from paint I'll probably post more pics showing re-assembly...

Cheers!
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'88 Porsche 911 Coupe - Venetian Blau ║ '78 Mustard FJ40 "Uglina" ║ '87 BMW 529i "Maytag" ║ '87 BMW 535is "Vlad" ║ '85 BMW 528i S54 "Minerva"

Last edited by tig; 05-29-2010 at 07:59 PM..
Old 05-29-2010, 07:45 PM
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Oh and if you want full resolution versions of these photos they are all available on Flickr here:

My Porsche - a set on Flickr

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Old 05-29-2010, 07:48 PM
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Resurrection....

Thank you very much for posting these details. I'm about to remove the front bumper on my '87 and plan to use this as a guide! Any recommendation on cleaning the rubber baffles and rubber "smile"? Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:47 AM
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Gorgeous - well done. Have had my bumper off last year and remember the challenge without instruction. How did you clean the inside of your wheel wells?
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:39 AM
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WOW! fine job x038F.
Hey what size tires & wheels on you riding on?
And are you at euro height?
Really looks good.
Old 03-13-2012, 12:33 PM
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Very nice,..and, THANKS!

Doyle
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polizei View Post
Resurrection....
Thank you very much for posting these details. I'm about to remove the front bumper on my '87 and plan to use this as a guide! Any recommendation on cleaning the rubber baffles and rubber "smile"? Thanks!
I ended up replacing my front baffles with new OEM units from PP. But they really didn't need to be replaced. I cleaned them with tons of warm soapy water and a soft brush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip1 View Post
Gorgeous - well done. Have had my bumper off last year and remember the challenge without instruction. How did you clean the inside of your wheel wells?
Here's my thread where I detail the detail of the wheel wells. Lots of elbow grease, and a lot of Purple Power degreaser:
Showing off: Wheel well detail

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan88911 View Post
WOW! fine job x038F.
Hey what size tires & wheels on you riding on?
And are you at euro height?
Really looks good.
Bridgestone RE 71
205/55 front (7x15")
225/50 rear (8x15")

The ride height is close to euro height.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:15 AM
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x038F - Your instructions very helpful indeed! Following them, I was able to remove mine in quick order last night. Here are some before and after shots





I'd like to re-emphasize x038F's comment about supporting the bumper through the point of removing the front turn signal assemblies, to when you're actually ready to fully remove the bumper. This can get dicey otherwise :-/

For those who follow, I was not able to remove the passenger side turn signal assembly without first removing the metal bracket inside the passenger side of the front bumper. There is a nut securing the turn signal assembly that is buried underneath this metal bracket and which I could not access without removing this bracket:

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Old 03-14-2012, 02:27 AM
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Now THAT'S how an instructional 'to do' thread is done!

This helps, though I imagine I'd be able to figure out what screws, bolts and nut to remove. It's just nice to have a good pictorial to reference. I have a largish blemish on my smile (cover plastic parts with tape before you use a polishing machine near them and then slip. Doh...) and will eventually replace with the new one I have on hand. As well, I am considering replacing my valence with one from an SC or earlier to delete my front fogs.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:40 PM
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polezei - glad it was helpful!

Canada Kev - I agree; pictures make a huge difference for me. I plan on refurbishing my suspension soon and plan on taking tons of pictures for posting.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:33 PM
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Outstanding! Keep the Pictography Coming
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:44 PM
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Hi x038F,

I just want to insert the rubber piece that is missing on my car. Do I need to jack up the car? Do I need to remove the bumper? TIA...

Old 04-05-2012, 12:43 AM
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Great write up! I will be referencing this later. Thanks
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorijori View Post
Hi x038F,

I just want to insert the rubber piece that is missing on my car. Do I need to jack up the car? Do I need to remove the bumper? TIA...

I think you can replace that part by simply removing your wheel (yes you will need to jack the car up), reaching inside the fender, and removing the two screws that hold the plate to the spoiler. This is what it looks like from the 'inside':



Hope this helps.
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'88 Porsche 911 Coupe - Venetian Blau ║ '78 Mustard FJ40 "Uglina" ║ '87 BMW 529i "Maytag" ║ '87 BMW 535is "Vlad" ║ '85 BMW 528i S54 "Minerva"
Old 04-08-2012, 06:47 PM
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Thanks x038F

This was of such great help had the bumper off in less than 2 hours. We tried to leave the bellows in place just remove the back 2 screws, but there was no place to get leverage to pull the bumper free.We totally removed the one on the passenger side and one quick tug later the bumper was free. We had a little make shift table for it to sit on while we removed the lights and it's off to the body shop for a new paint job. Thanks again for the great instructions.
Old 10-11-2013, 09:10 PM
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This was a HUGE Help Thanks man!
Old 05-23-2014, 04:09 PM
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Great write up with fantastic pics of the process. I will definitely be back when it's time to remove my bumper.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:00 PM
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Bumper removal

Thanks Buddy.You've helped me and many others.I'm gonna replace my smile....Gord
Old 05-23-2014, 09:10 PM
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