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Mods - Exterior Discussion related to the looks of the exterior of the HHR.

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:49 AM   #41
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Frame rails

SuKi,
You must cut about 1/2" off of the lower frame rails at the bottom (both sides) or you won't be able to reinstall the bumper. Been there, done that...

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Old 07-22-2017, 09:37 PM   #42
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Moving along on my bumper

Got some work done this morning on my front bumper. I was able to find a piece of plastic that matches the contour of the bumper pretty well. The difference can be seen between the left, first side, and the right. The middle piece contours are not very matched either, but I think it'll turn out just fine. Hopefully the final round of plastic welding this afternoon, and then the first run at filler to get all the contours correct.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:53 AM   #43
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Respect For Bodywork Guys

I know there's at least a few of you guys out there, either professional or who do it on the side. All you guys that do bodywork, great respect for you. I've kind of alluded to it before, but this work is hard. And everyone who does it, you guys rock. The patience and technique needed is huge.

So here's my body work for the day. I have the left side of the bumper good, I think. The bottom has a few pits, but all of the lines and contours are good enough for me, I think. I sprayed a coat of primer on, spray can, I know, so I could see what is going on and I'm happy.

But it's four in the afternoon, and I have some cleaning I've been neglecting since the wife is gone and a ten pound mahi-mahi to clean and bake. Here's some pictures. I moved the bumper out into the yard to get some more light. It's overcast and it started to sprinkle a little. And critiques are always welcome.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:07 AM   #44
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A little filler and detail sanding, it'll be ready for paint!
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:31 AM   #45
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Front bumper work today

I finished all the filler work today, I think. The contours all came out nice, good enough for me. I definitely had my patience tested thru this. Sand, add filler, sand, add filler, sand some more, more filler, sand some more, and so on. I know that a lot of talk on the internet is that this type of filler is a no go on plastic, but I'm hopeful. The plastic welded in is strong and the welds and the donor bumper are actually thicker than the original.

I did have a few trouble spots. I had a crack that went into the passenger fog light. I did the best I could with the shaping. It's not perfect, but I'm satisfied with it. Also underneath the middle section on both sides. I'm using a Ryobi cordless sander, so it was all hand and block sanding in the corners.

I also don't have a solution for repairing the bottom of the bumper where the, front spoiler?, goes. I'm not super worried because I can secure the spoiler and you can't see where the bumper is broken.

Next weekend will be Prep for paint, and hopefully a few coats. I don't have a gun, so I will be using cans, I know, terrible idea. I also wasnt planning on painting the entire bumper, but I am now.

I have to go order more Rustoleum color match paint from Home Depot, and it might be here by the time I'm ready for spraying on the rear bumper.

Also, what are your guy's opinions for the type of clear coat? Acrylic is what I used on my tail lights. And here's the pics.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:13 AM   #46
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Clear coat has to be the same type of paint as the color coat...
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:18 AM   #47
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Head Lights

This evening I decided to get a started on another project even though my bumper is far from finished. So much for working one at a time until completion. I'll just say my lighting isn't really good to work in the carpport at night to rationalise to myself. I added two led strips to each headlight. I did two so that they match the light output of the fog lamps I added halos to. I don't think you'll be able to tell there's two with them off, they're behind the diffuser on the housing cover. Opening up the Depo lights was so much easier than the stock housings. And I must say my sautering skills are coming along as well.
I only drilled one hole in each to go to the rear of the housing. If you've opened yours up, you know that there's two lenses that are connected to The rear of the housing, a piece that covers the dead space around the lenses, and then the clear cover. The wires exit the housing through one of the existing vents.
The led strips will be wired to an auxiliary switch with the fog lamp halos. I am doing this because they are red, and even though Guam's driving laws are very lax, I would prefer to control the red independently of the driving or parking lights and not have them on while driving down the road, well mostly off when driving.
I know this has been done before, but I do like the look of it, even if it seems every new car out has led strips for driving lights, my wife's car included. What can I say, I like it.
They're not quite complete, I just want to spend some time cleaning the housings really well before sealing them back up. Time I don't have tonight as I get ready for work in the morning. Here's the pics!
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:19 AM   #48
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Thanks for the heads up Greybeard!
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:25 AM   #49
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I like how Suki decides to try something and just goes for it. For me it would be risky since I'm not experienced at plastic body work, I'd be lost most of the time.
Suki your car is going to be pretty rad!
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:51 AM   #50
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Ha, I hope so. And you make me sound so reckless

Seriously though, I'm pretty excited about this car. I drove it for five years completely stock, and she needs some love now. Everything I've done, with exception of suspension, has been realativly cheap. And I've done everything, except for alignment myself. I do know that when I do mess something up, if I can't fix it, someone in this great community is there to help out. That, and the rest of the internet and youtube it also helps that if I do completely mess something up cosmetically, I've got very little shame, and have no problem driving around in something that looks like it belongs in a junk yard
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