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Discussion Starter #1
So I finally got around to doing the set fit on the new bumper and its too wide for the car, someone suggested I might have rec'd a pre facelift bumper. Overall, for a reproduction, the quality was okay, but definitely not as good as original, no surprise there. Now I need to figure out WHY it doesn't fit and find another solution.

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It's hard to see the basis of your statement about the bumper cover being too wide from your pics.

I have a '99 and I went out to look at the OE bumper cover and the position of the end of the bumper cover relative to the wheelhouse opening looks pretty much the same.

Did the 'slide engagement' pieces at the sides engage properly with the mating part on the chassis?

Without the chrome trim strips on the top, the cover is going to look strange and 'big' since those trim strips are pretty wide.

What are the reason(s) you say that it is "too wide"?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! The side mounting tabs that slide into the receiving mounts by the wheel well were too far apart (from left to right), when we got them in, the front lower portion of the bumper was distorted and bowed down towards the ground with both sides fitted as we had to "squeeze" the 2 sides in to mate up to the brackets. I hope that was clear as I don't know all the technical names of the parts.
 

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Clear enough.

Why don't you post a pic of the bottom side showing the 'bowing' down in the center?

Mine has this as well. Also had '98 R129 and it had bowing down in the middle, but the W140 has more of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't get a pic when it was mounted, and I've already removed and repackaged it for return, but it was bowing down at least 2 inches in the middle. The stock one I took off has none and slides easily into place.

I would attempt to repair the original but found that the tab on the driver's side, the top part of the "bracket" that's slid on to the tabs by the wheel well is broken off, so there's no top support for it.

Short of attempting to fabricate some sort of replacement, I'm not sure how else I could fix is. I've not been able to find any of the bumper "guts" (internal pieces and brackets) and it seem that the bumper was not designed to be dismantled once everything was riveted together.
 

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The brackets riveted onto the bumper are not available from Mercedes. All of the parts on the body side are available. I've got a repairable coupe bumper if the brackets were available. I think I saw some aftermarket brackets for the sedan bumpers once, but don't know where. The plastic used in the brackets gets very brittle over time, so much so that trying to remove remnants causes them to shatter.

I think you could bend some up from sheet aluminum if you get desparate. They are just a large "c" section.

The piece that the bumper slides over is just bolted on with two studs. You might be able to space them out so the bumper would fit.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jon, much appreciated. I'll look into moving the receiving plates out and maybe that would work, but I need to confirm first that I did receive the actual bumper. I thought about riveting on a piece of channel bracket material to replace the broken portion on the drivers side.

Best,
Rob
 

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Thanks for posting your findings on this. I think my bumper cover bows down too much in the middle (~2in). This is more than the 129. From this dialog, I think I will take it back off and see about shimming the receiving pieces on the chassis outward to flatten out the bottom.

I will offer the following small bit of encouragement on this matter.

The amount of 'foreshortening' required to 'bow up' a flat piece by a very notable amount is pretty small. Shimming to the tune of 1/8in on each side should make quite a notable difference in the bowing. You can experiment with a strip of card stock or stiff paper on a table top with a ruler and check this out. The bowing (camber) vs length function is steepest (most sensitive) in the region of '0' camber.

I may check the shimming out this week on mine.
 

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Hi Rob. Since you live in the Bay Area you are close to six Pick-N-Pulls. Sign up for alerts on row52.com and you’ll get a text every morning that a new S-Class arrives. Be patient and a silver one will show up. Attached photo is my pristine bumper from a W140 that I found at the Oakland yard. It was only $35!
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I'm trying to find a matching rear bumper, but if I come across a good front one I'll let you know. I regularly scour the Northern California and Reno pick-n-pulls. If you go to the Oakland one go very early in the morning...that place gets crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks! I looked on r52 and created a coupe of alerts. The pics on the site suck, so its just guessing as to whether or not there's gonna be a decent bumper on one of the cars. Theres one in Salinas and one in Oakland,, both arrived on sept 6, but I can't see what condition the parts are in. Color doesn't matter since it's gonna be painted anyway, just the condition and completeness. If you DO see something, please let me know as I don't know when I'll have time to get there, but if I had a solid lead on a good unit, I'd take a PTO day and head up there...

Thanks again!
Rob
 

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Lesson learned. No aftermarket bumpers work for our W140 or R129 for that matter. Learned this lesson the hardway
The same thing applies to front turn signal light assemblies. I bought a new aftermarket unit and it fell out on the highway. Next got a used one which was more than the "new" one, but it worked and hasn't fallen out!
 

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z168 is right on the money. I was going to buy an aftermarket bumper for my '97 CL600 then realized that to ship iot back if it didn't fit correctly would cost a small fortune. I went to The Classic Car Center in Irvine, CA and got a factory replacement at a 20% discount. Fit perfectly.
Anziani
 

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Rob - I'm hitting Newark and North San Jose tomorrow, and I'll let you know. Sometimes it takes a few days for Row52 to update the site, so there could be new ones on the yard not listed yet. A lot look fine, but when you take them off there are cracks in plastic. Not a deal killer, as 3M makes something that bonds it like new, but just more work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Rob - I'm hitting Newark and North San Jose tomorrow, and I'll let you know. Sometimes it takes a few days for Row52 to update the site, so there could be new ones on the yard not listed yet. A lot look fine, but when you take them off there are cracks in plastic. Not a deal killer, as 3M makes something that bonds it like new, but just more work.
Did you see any bumpers that looked to be in good shape?

I'm going to try to refit the replacement (reproduction) bumper this weekend after adjusting the wings to a slightly more "outboard" position. Looking from underneath the car, ahead of the wheel well, there seems to be a tiny bit of left/right adjustment I can do to the side brackets.

I HAVE to do this in any case, and take photos, to prove the the bumper doesn't fit so the vendor will agree to take it back. Lame. And frustrating.
 

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There was a blue one in San Jose North that was in good shape but it was a 94 I think. The one in Newark was no good. I’m keeping my eye out though.
 
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