Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
S3 Rear Bumper End Cap Removal
Today I finally got around to removing the rear bumper not only to weigh it, but also to remove the wrap around end caps, which I think are ugly.
With a ratcheting 10 mm crescent wrench I removed the four bolts attaching the passenger's side bumper to bumper shocks. It's a tight fit in there, which meant a normal socket wouldn't fit, so making little 1/4 inch movements I was finally able to remove the bolts.
This is probably not the "correct" way, so on the driver's side, I removed the side end cap first, which is held on by one 8 mm bolt and nut on the bottom side, and three Phillips head self tapping screws on the inside. It took several different length Phillips screw drivers, a socket Phillips head, a universal joint, and 10 inch extension to remove the various screws. Once the side end cap was off (just move forward and they pop off once all screws and bolts are removed), I was able to get to the four 10 mm nuts holding the bumper to the shocks with my ratcheting crescent wrench.
The next step was to remove the passenger's side shock absorber unit. These are held on also by 10 mm bolts. Once all bolts were removed, the shock pulls out, exposing the sheet metal tube housing, loaded with New Mexico dirt and sand, but no corrosion.
Since I started late in the day, I then put the bumper on sans end caps, and called it a day. The next step will be to remove the plastic bumper bar cover, cut down the underlying aluminum crash bar, leaving the stock aluminum mount, have a friend fabricate for me aluminum mounting plates in place of the bumper shocks, and remount the now lighter "bumper", pushing it closer to the rear panel. The bumper can be pushed in about 3 inches or so.
After the "bumper" is in the position that I like, I then will cut down the side end caps to stop at the black spoiler end and reattach it to the bumper. Later on down the line will be filling in the side quarter panel holes.
The total bumper weight with shocks is 25 pounds give or take a few ounces.
The photos show the rear with bumper removed, inside of the bumper, detail of the stock mounting (I will cut the aluminum just inside of the four bolt mounting plate), and detail of side quarter panel mounting screw.
1983 Spider Veloce, 1987 Milano Platinum (sold), 1974 Spider Veloce (sold), 1973 Ford Ranchero, Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3