Front Apron Removal/Replacement
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of the front apron removal/replacement process.
Brief description: Remove the complete front bumper bar with it's attachment brackets. Remove the front fenders (mud guards). Remove the damaged front apron (grinding required), and replace it with a new one (welding required). Re-attach front fenders then re-attach the front bumpers via their mounting brackets.
- If your car has the turn signal lights mounted on the top of the fenders, remove the two nuts under each fender that hold them in place. Remove the turn signal light from the fender, then disconnect the lights from their wires. Mark the wires to ensure correct reinstallation.
- Pull the gasket for the turn signal lights down through the fender.
- Remove the sealed beam unit from the headlights as follows ó
- Loosen the screw at the bottom of the unit.
- Take out the three short screws that are equally spaced around the trim ring, and remove the trim ring.
- Pull the sealed beam unit forward and remove the cable connector from the terminals.
- Remove the three fillister head screws that hold the headlight assembly in the fender and remove the assembly.
- Insert a screwdriver into the small slot below each terminal in the sealed beam connector, then pull the wire and terminal out of the rear of the connector.
- Pull the wires and their protective hose back and out of the fenderís headlight housing.
- If you have the Mexican-style bumpers with the turn signals mounted in the bumper, disconnect the electrical connections from the turn signals and remove the housings from the bumper.
- Apply penetrating oil to the three bolts in each of the bumper brackets and allow it to penetrate the threads for about 30 minutes.
- With a 13-mm wrench (spanner), remove the two bolts that hold the horn to the left bumper bracket, then disconnect the wires from the horn and remove the horn and bracket.
- Remove the remaining bumper bracket bolts.
- Pull the bumper together with the brackets and reinforcement strap (if any) out of the slots in the front fenders.
- Remove the nut, bolt and washers that hold the fender to the running board.
- Apply penetrating oil to the eight fender bolts on each side and allow the oil to penetrate the threads for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the eight fender bolts and washers on each side, then remove the fenders and beading.
- Cut the weld where the apron is attached to the quarter panel with a grinder and an abrasive cutting disk.
- Drill out the spot welds on the sides and bottom of the apron where it joins the spare tire well. Make sure you get all the welds drilled out.
- Do any repair work that may be necessary to the front quarter panel.
- Test fit the new apron to make sure it will fit properly; make sure the hood lines up as it should.
- Weld the apron to both sides and the bottom, moving around from top to bottom and side to side to avoid any warpage from the heat of the welder.
Note: First tack weld the apron in place -- just enough to hold it there. Now start welding short welds (maybe an inch or so long) in various places around the apron -- top to bottom and side to side, so there are large areas of cool metal between the welds. Once each welded strip has cooled you can lengthen those welds -- gradually filling in the gaps until the job is finished. If you are not an experienced welder, this job might be best handled by a professional - it's easy to mess up and difficult to repair afterwards.
- Grind the welds down flat on either side.
- Spray all exposed metal areas with self-etching primer. Paint the new apron.
- Replace the fenders with new beading.
Note: The rubber bead has cutouts around the bolt holes (it doesnít have holes in it -just cut outs) so the easiest way to insert a new one is to loosely fasten the finder bolts and then slip the new bead into the gap, and hold it in place as you snug each of the bolts up so the bead sits snug against the joint.
- Replace the bumper and turn signals.
- Replace the headlight housing and sealed beams.
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