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bumper question...


Well-known member
Dec 16, 2000
Soon to be Greeley, CO
Not Any More :( - '92 Typhoon #2482
just a small question about my bumpers...

I have a St. Louis '81, with urethane bumpers, and although they are white like my car, they just don't quite match. From a distance, they look fine, but up close, you can definately see a difference. The bumpers are very flat-colored compared to the shine of the car itself. If I have them repainted, will they still look different because they aren't fiberglass like the car itself? Just curious...Also, are most St. Louis cars the same way? I'd like to repaint the entire car, but one in college can only afford so much. :) Thanks for any input...I'm now addicted to this forum...It's great!!!
Another L81 and St. Louis too


My humble opinion is: a good body person esp. a Corvette Body one should have no problems matching the paint. Of course the old paint is 20 years old and it is laq. paint.

I'll leave the door open for ssvett or stingray6974 because they both have much more experience at this than I do. I've only done one R&R and that was to a '74 back in 1982. More years ago than I like to admit ;)

Post a picture if you have one, if you need any help please let me know. Try to keep the photo's around 200 pixels max and even smaller for signature.

And finally,,,, mxdout165 if you haven't clicked on any of my logos and junk at the bottom, please check it out, it's all about the Car. :W
OK, after an introduction/indorsement like that I hope I get this right...... First, mxdout165, let me welcome you to the Corvette Action Center. This is the place to be.........As far as your bumper, rare81 hit on both problems. 1. It's laquer and 2. it's 20 years old and 3. it is differant material. All the St.Louis cars done this from 73 until the last St Louis 81. Mainly because it's laquer. Paint does differant things on differant surfaces. White is most likley the most noticable, although other colors do it also. If you look at a Bowling Green 81, this problem would not be as bad(it still does it a little) The clear coat protects the paint(that is under it)from the sun and heat. Take, for example, a barn loft(with it's shiny silver roof) and compare it to a house attic( with it's black shingle roof) while the loft is hot, the attic is unbearable. The "shine" reflects the heat therefore not damageing the lower level as bad. If you repaint just your bumper it will help allot, but it will still look different(Shiny). If you paint you whole car with base coat clear coat it will last allot longer and the shine will be more consistant. If you have a Corvette as a collage student I would think that you could sell rides and would soon have enough money for a paint job.:) You really should do somthing with the bumpers though, as long as they are unprotected they will only get worse. If nothing else, get a good coat of polish on them to help protect from the sun.......Hope this helps....Steve

mxout165, Welcome aboard. The more '81s the better. You know, Steve is so brilliant that it scares me. My wifes Frost Beige '81 has the same problem. I give it a polishing with a mild polish like "Color Back". Available at parts stores and K-Mart or Wal-Mart it doesn't take much if any paint off but gives a nice shine and makes it look real close in color to the rest of the car. Then keep it waxed. I do the bumpers every couple of weeks and they stay real nice. Until you get out of college and have all that money to burn on a new paint job this is about the best you can do. Tom P.S. When the car is inside in the winter, under cover, the bumpers don't seem to haze out like they do when it is outside in the summer. I wonder if the heat from the sun causes the bumper material to emit a gas that causes the hazing? Like the leather seat dyes cause that oily film on the inside of the windows. There I go rambling and thinking at the same time again. I'm sorry.
Thanks for the help!!! Bad thing is, my baby is 6 hours away from me right now, as I am at school and it is at home. :( Luckily my brother got me a history book about the C3 for Christmas so I have lots of pictures to keep me company. I'll have to have my dad polish and wax it for me. :) Especially the bumpers. Maybe, if I'm real nice, he'll get the bumpers painted for me for my birthday!!! Well, anyways, thanks for the input. It's always good to learn more about the car I love.
The sun really does do a number on the laquer paint especially on the bumpers. Mine is not a daily driver so when I'm not driving it, I keep it covered. Something to consider and it will help preserve the paint. Color back huh Tom, got some overspray on half of my rear bumper from a previous owners touch up w/enamel. Think it would clean it up without hurting the laquer underneath?

I have used Color Back for that purpose before. It really depends on how heavy the overspray is and how well adhered it is. Sometimes a cleaner/wax will do it. If the bumper wasn't the item being painted and still had wax on it the overspray should rub off with a mild polish. I have also used regular machine compound on a rag and hand rubbed overspray off. Need a light touch, something you learn from years of painting cars. Go lightly around the edges of the tail light holes and tight curves as they will rub through easy. I keep several types of buffing compunds, polishes and glazes so I usually have what I need. I start mild and get more agressive if I need to. Hope this helps. It is one of those thing I can do faster than I can tell you how to do it. Tom

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