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Discussion Starter #1
Some time ago several people on the forum were lamenting about scratched and damaged front bumpers. I decided to remove my bumper and take it in for repairs.

The front bumper is held in place by four screws securing the grille (resist the temptation to remove these first), two bolts on each side attaching the side top edge to the fender, two sheet metal srews securing the plastic wheel well shield, and two nuts in the corners of the grille attaching the bumper to the frame. You also have to remove the plastic panels below the engine compartent. You do NOT have to remove the headlights.

Here's the steps to remove the SLK350 bumper w/AMG Package. The standard bumper and SLK55 bumper should be similar but may vary in some details.

1) Remove the first two plastic panels below the engine compartment. The second panel should be removed first. It is held in with six sheet metal screws with an 8mm hex head. The forward most panel is held in with seven of the same type screws.

2) Disconnect the side marker bulb sockets on each side.

3) Disconnect the fog light cable connector on each side. You will have to cut the electrical tie on the passenger side.

4) Pop the temperature sensor out of the rubber grommet in the bumper.

5) Remove the two screws on each side securing the plastic wheel well shield (10mm hex).

6) Remove the two 6mm bolts (10mm hex head) attaching the bumper to the front corner of the fender.

7) Remove the two 6mm nuts (10mm hex) attaching the bumper to the frame directly in front of the car. If you can figure out how to pop out the grille you can access these nuts from the front of the car.

8) Remove the four 6mm bolts holding the grille in place. Remove these last otherwise the bumper may fall off while you are under the car removing all of the other screws.

9) Gently work the bumper free.

It took me a few hours to remove the bumper including the time to figure out how to raise the car high enough to get some jack stands under it.

If you remove the grille (AMG mesh style) be careful not to break the plastic retainer clips. I will take some photos of the car without the bumper in place and point out the areas where the bumper is fastened to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Repair estimate only $140

Dropped the bumper off at the MB dealer this morning. Repair estimate came to $140 to repaint the lower section of the bumper. I think this is several hundred dollars less than others were quoted for the same repair if the dealer does the bumper removal and installation.
 

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Since the front bumper will be continually scratched over time due to how low the car is, how often do you plan on having the bumper repainted? Seems like once a year would be good?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Once a year is what I had in mind too. Some of the damage was caused the one time I took it out with an ice covered driveway entrance. And I managed to scratch it with a flag button pinned to my jacket when I was trying to reach under the car to take the photo of the jacking point. I have been considering picking up a second front bumper if I can find a used one at a reasonable price. Then I can keep a spare ready to swap when I am so inclined.

malibuite - 4/18/2005 10:10 AM

Since the front bumper will be continually scratched over time due to how low the car is, how often do you plan on having the bumper repainted? Seems like once a year would be good?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Posted photos...

I took some photos before re-installing the bumper. See this gallery link:

http://www.benzworld.org/gallery/showlink.asp?CatID=12963&parentID=53&subname=R171_Front_Bumper&parentname=R171_SLK_Class

Photos shoud be self-explanatory.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Six weeks later, back to square one

Less than 600 miles since I had the front bumper repainted. I pulled the car out of the garage yesterday and noticed some scratches under the front bumper. Took a closer look and the damage extends about three feet across by three inches from front to back.

Asked my wife if she realized that she hit a parking curb or high driveway entrance. She swears she did not hit anything. So much for repainting the bumper once per year. Looks like it will be more like once per quarter.

I have been considering fabricating some sort of shield that would look like the black piece on the rear bumper, but, painted the body color. Ideally, it could be easily removed and repainted when needed. This won't help with the outer corners, but, I think it could work for the middle section of the bumper.

I would have preferred the standard suspension springs and shocks with the AMG bumpers. The extra 10mm of ground clearance would make a big difference.
 

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If this makes you feel better, so you know you are not alone. Crushed some soft of soda can today and the bottom is scratched. Luckily it is not noticeable in front. I guess we have to accept the reality that this type of car, scraches in front will happen all the time. Will just have a fixed schedule to repair it.
 

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FYI.... The wife will NEVER admit to hitting anything! Any time I ask my wife about scratches on my other cars, the Amnesia situation rears its ugly head. The best solution is to agree that spouses do not drive each other's cars, no need to worry about accountability [8D]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately, the SLK350 is *her* car. So that arrangement would not be that great for me. However she does not drive my E350, because she thinks its too big.

BAZMAN - 5/30/2005 2:42 AM

FYI.... The best solution is to agree that spouses do not drive each other's cars, no need to worry about accountability [8D]
 

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I've been considering applying some 3M non-skid strips to the underneath to see if these would absorb the scratching without tearing up the paintwork. (These strips have a sandy-type surface, and self-stick backing.) However, although I can buy silver strips, they only seem to come in 2"-wide strips; ideally, I wanted them to be about 6" wide - similar to the kind you find on the deck of navy ships. Also, I'm not sure if it would be easy to replace them if they became scraped so much that they needed replacing with new ones. It would certainly be much cheaper replacing these strips than having to go through the hassle of painting every year.
 

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Well, I think I will send MB a suggestion for improvement of the front AMG bumper. The bumper should lift itself up 5-6 inches when parking or 2-3 mph and that would make everyone happy. Why not, there are car spoilers that would adjust itself depending on speed. The AMG option costs $4k and that is the least they can do.
 

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Thanks so much, this is really helpful, and also great pictures. Highly appreciate your time and effort for this post.

Thank you.
 
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