Phil aka fly300kts was kind enough to share another one of his super helpful DIYs here on Nick’s Car Blog, and one that I think will benefit a lot of readers of this site. All too often after installing a new grille, doing the clear corner mod, or otherwise tinkering around with the bumper off, the bumper will stop fitting as well as it used to, widening the gap between the bottom of the hood and the top of the bumper…you can actually see in the picture above the gap is worse on the passenger side than drivers side and I could use this adjustment myself. Worse yet, sometimes you forget to put the belly pan screws back in (or not tight enough and they fall out) and then before you know it your bumper snags on a concrete parking barrier and rips off the front end of the car – ouch. This DIY addresses both of those issues – when you just a have a minor adjustment issue and just want the fitment perfect, or if you’ve had a bit of a snag. This applies to all B7 front bumper options including the standard A4, S-line/S4, and RS4 front ends.
Front Bumper Repair DIY
What happens in this scenario is most common for people who didn’t tighten the belly pan screws on the bottom of the bumper – these screws prevent the bumper from snagging on things, and without them its very easy for it to get caught on a parking barrier, curb, or even a dip in the pavement and then rip the front bumper off. The part that breaks is pictured above – there are two prongs on the bumper that then mount to fender to hold everything together (these are the really annoying screws to reach using your wobble extensions when removing the bumper) and with enough pressure, the mounting plate rips off entirely from the fender like above. For this DIY, you’ll need to order some Fusor 143 and Fusor 602EZ in order to put things back to working order:
To fix this, start by removing the bumper and headlights so you can access the broken area effectively, then clean everything using alcohol to prep the surface to be repaired, then reinstall the broken piece on the fender using both screws:
Next, spray the edge of the bracket and the inner part of the fender using the Fusor 602EZ spray can. Don’t be shy with the spray, this step is mandatory. Let dry for 5 minutes then reinstall the fender and make sure that with the bracket installed, the fender sits flush with the bumper like this:
Next, load the Fusor 143. I forgot to mention that each bag for Fusor comes with 2 mixing nozzles. Be really careful with this product: it dries almost instantly (less than 1 minute) and become hard like concrete once dry. While keeping the bumper side pushed in position, fill the gap between the bracket and the bumper with Fusor and then apply consistent pressure while it dries for about two minutes:
Next, while wearing gloves, remove the bumper and using the second mixing nozzle fill the little gap and smooth with your finger along the edge of the bumper, shown below, and let dry for 2 minutes while holding some pressure to ensure it bonds well:
Once everything dries, reinstall your headlights and bumper, and you’re all set!
Bumper Re-adjustment DIY
Sometimes when you put everything back together, the gaps aren’t quite as flush as before…and once you notice this, it drives you nuts. Fixing this requires just a little tinkering, but the end result is quite worth it. This most common culprit for this is when the adjustable supports pictured below are moved or otherwise become out of alignment, or the bumper isn’t sitting on them properly. The bumper should sit where the red arrow points, not above or below that – it’s a fairly narrow perch, and if you don’t line the bumper up right it will cause gaps:
This should meet perfectly with the mounting point on the back of the bumper, pictured below:
Likewise the screws where the top of the bumper mount to the radiator support are also adjustable, and you can raise them up or down, so check those as well:
Another common area that can get out of alignment is that when you slide on the bumper the piece of rubber below can get caught or bent, so make sure it stays perfectly straight:
Okay now that we know the common problem areas, to fix them start by taking the bumper off, and the headlights (ideally this is done during or immediately after the clear corner mod). Before re-installing the headlights, slide the bumper in position so we can check fitment. Make sure the rubber flap did not get caught as pictured earlier, and make sure the 2 screws on the side are in place in the fender. Do not install any screws or nuts, let the bumper sit in place by itself. Now close the hood to check the gap.
Not too bad on this picture above, but let’s assume the gap was too big. Open the hood and without removing the bumper, raise the adjustable support by reaching in through the headlight openings. If you turn clockwise the support goes up, and counter clockwise the support goes down. With needle pliers, grab this plastic part an turn as necessary. Close the hood, check the gap, and repeat as necessary until the gap meets your expectations. Once you’ve got it perfect, put couple drops of crazy glue between the plastic threads and the housing (optional, but nice!). Let dry 5 minutes, then once dry, remove the bumper again. Slide the headlights in place and install only the screw for the upper tab of the headlights, but do not tighten it. Slide in place the bumper making sure again, that the bumper tab was inserted correctly on the adjustable support and the rubber flap is not caught. You will see that the fit is really tight and you will need to pull up each headlight a bit to be able to slide the bumper under them. Install and tight all the bumpers screws first and then secure the headlights – voila, job done with a perfect gap.