ProjectC70 gets a new Front Bumper!!!

So for anyone who keeps up with my Social Media pages, you will have noticed quite a rather large and intricate job getting done to “ProjectC70”, my Volvo C70 Coupé over these last few weeks and that is a new front bumper getting fitted to it. Now this wasn’t entirely a planned job as you’ll find out, never the less, it was a job I’ve never done before so I was excited to do it.

So Why Did I Change The Front Bumper?

As mentioned above the Front Bumper replacement was never on my lists of jobs to do as it was in a pretty decent state, it of course did have a few scratches and a little bit of paint peel due to rock chips but was on the most part structurally sound, that was the case until unfortunately I had a lil accident with the car which meant it had to be changed. Before the accident happened I was gonna get the original bumper sprayed when I eventually got the funds together to get the whole car resprayed as it’d of looked like new and would’ve went well with the rest of the paintwork.

How Did The Bumper Get Damaged?

Unfortunately for me, I had a bit of a freak accident involving ProjectC70 one day, Me and my Stepdad went out to the car to do some errands and while he went into the house to get my Wallet I went to start the car from the passenger seat to warm it up, what I didn’t realise is that in this occasion my stepdad decided to leave my car in gear.

now before anyone says that I should’ve checked if it was in gear before starting, my stepdad has a habit of playing Russian Roulette regarding that so I presumed it was in Neutral (I wouldn’t of started it if I knew it was in Gear).

Now of course looking back I should’ve checked but as this only happens on random occasions I honestly thought it was in Neutral.

Anyways, as a lot of you who are reading this may have presumed, as soon as I started it, it shot off in gear and because I was in the passenger seat I had no control of the pedals whatsoever so I couldn’t take it out of gear, unfortunately for me, the only way I had to stop the car was to hit it into our neighbours wall.

Due to that happening the cars bumper had an almighty scuff on the front right corner of the bumper, on top of that, due to the speed the car was going, when it hit the wall it was enough to smash the glass of the RHS Fog Lamp, that meant not just did I need to Replace the front bumper but also remove most of the front end to get to the Fog Lamps.

There is one almighty silver lining to this story though, Even though on the outside it looked like a serious shunt, underneath all that it was still all straight, no chassis damage to the car whatsoever which meant not only was it cosmetic but it wasn’t gonna be a hell of a job to do, plus I’d be saving some money too while at it.

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The Strip Down:

First of all, I put the car onto our ramps and unplugged the old Fog Lamps from the power ready for removal, really easy as they just twist off and disconnect, The Drivers side (RHS) was a little bit more difficult as the Windscreen Washer Bottle was in the way but after a bit of fiddling it was finally disconnected.

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With that done, I removed the 6 T25 Screws from the Front Wheel Arch Liners as I had to remove them to get the bumper off, these were a pain in the backside as I had to fight rusty chewed screws which weren’t wanting to come off, but with a bit of persuasion, we finally removed them.

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With them removed, it was time to strip down most of the front end, this included the Headlamps, Indicator Units, & Headlamp wipers. The headlamps were super easy to undo as they’re held in with 3 10mm bolts and two electrical connections each unit, the Indicators came out next and they just clip in so it was just a simple thing of unclipping them, removing the electrical connection and they were out, next were the headlamp wipers and wiper arms, for the wipers themselves it was just clips and with the arms it was two 8mm bolts and they were out as well, when all that was removed it started looking less and less like a car but I wasn’t finished yet as I still had to remove the bumper.

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The bumper itself is held in with two 14mm Bolts as well as the 6x T25 screws in the wheel arch liners, now while the screws eventually came out, the bolts on the other hand were difficult to say the least to remove, due to where they are placed and the age of the car itself the bolts were really hard to remove as they’d never been removed before in the cars nearly 18 year life, my 450nm Buzz gun wasn’t doing anything and neither were conventional ratchets & sockets neither so what I had to do was get smart and grab an old Trampoline pole which was laying around to use as leverage and hey presto, slowly but surely, they came undone and the bumper was free.

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This is the difficult part coming up next, now with nearly everything I do on the car, If I’ve never done it before I’ll pop onto the internet and find a guidance video on how to fix it/ remove items etc.

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And with this it was no exception, I personally watched RobertDIY’s video on how to remove the bumper skin and followed similar steps and to a certain extent he was correct, however, on a C70 the whole Bumper comes undone instead of the outer skin which means it has mounting brackets attached to it, clips, an assortment of screws and a rather large Steel Crash bar fitted to it which meant it’s heavier than the video explained.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I’d suggest doing what we done and using a pasting table to put the bumper onto so you can strip it down as it makes it far easier to do and you don’t need to lift it far neither.

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Once it was on our Pasting Table it was so much easier to strip down, with everything at waist height it was a doddle to remove everything, first of all to come off was a multitude of clips, when they were removed we removed the brackets for the fog lamps making sure the bolts stayed with the brackets so we didn’t lose them.

After all that was done we moved the bumper and table to outside our front door so we could strip down the main parts of the Bumper without getting in the way of people walking up & down the street.

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Over the next few days we removed the main components from the old bumper ready for the new bumper, these included the grille for the intercooler, the Bumper bar, the Bumper bar cover and a rain guard as well as plastic inserts for the wheel arch liner screws. Once they were out and the Bumper turned up, we were ready for refit time!

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While waiting for the new bumper to arrive, we put all the screws and bolts into a container with WD40 in it to clean them up and make them easier to refit etc.

Also while that was also going on, I removed the Bumper Brackets, grinded off the old paint, got rid of the rust which was plaguing it and then primed it and resprayed it ready for Refit! Two 17mm bolts held them in place to the car.

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Rebuilding The New Bumper:

When the new bumper finally turned up we slowly but surely built the new bumper back up, while most of it was the reverse of the removal due to the time it took, we had to go by pictures so we could work out where everything went and how it got put back together, it was a really mellow job and something which didn’t really felt the need to rush.

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Using the hot weather to our advantage we were able to refit all the parts within a week or so and that was including washing the Crash bar, the two front wheels and painting the bumper brackets.

With the Bumper finally rebuilt and the brackets finally dried out and ready for refit, it was time to wrap this job up good and proper, we bought the table & Bumper back down to the car and within a few hours it was fully attached to the car.

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We started by refitting the brackets which a piece of cake as only 17mm bolts held them each side, once that was done, we carefully refitted the full bumper unit back on to the car being extra careful not to drop it.

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Once the Bumper was lined up, we refitted the Air Bag sensors, refitted the 6x T25 Screws for the Arch Liners and then refitted the two 14mm bolts for the bumper itself, as soon as we were happy it was refitted and bolted down, we triple checked everything to make sure it was safe and nothing was missing we finally put the two front wheels back on and tightened them up and that was the bumper refitted back to the car, however it wasn’t exactly finished just yet as we still had to fit the accessories.

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Refitting The Accessories:

As Soon as the Bumper was refitted, we got round to refitting the Headlamps, Indicator units and the Wipers, this was the icing on the cake really as it started to look more and more like a car the more we done and it was finally starting to get it’s face back, we started off with the Headlamps and they were easy as they were 3x 10mm bolts each sides + Electrical connections, then the indicator units slid in and connected back up and then the final cherry on the cake was the wipers, two 8mm nuts and they were back into place!

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we decided to wait until the new RHS Fog Lamp turned up at the dealership so we could fit them back up together instead of fitting one then the other as it’d look slightly odd, a few weeks went by and while I was at the V60 UK Launch a few weeks ago I picked up the new Fog Lamp unit ready for refit.

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With the Fog Lamps ready for refitting we decided to get to work and refit them, The passenger side was relatively easy as there was hardly nothing in the way but the Drivers side (RHS) was not however, the way the C70 is designed, the screen wash bottle is in the way and it makes access terrible to fit the lamp in with it in place so there was only one thing for it – remove the washer bottle, fit the fog lamp and then refit the bottle, so that’s what we done.

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When removing the bottle we realised we had to undo 4 bolts all in differing hard to reach places but after finding them all it came out easily enough and the new fog lamp fitted in no problem whatsoever, unfortunately however the washer bottle pump broke while refitting it which means I need to get another one.

Even though that broke, I was still over the moon the fog lamps were in and wired up as that was one of the big pieces of the puzzle to be fit together.

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There is still some more stuff I need to refit but these are only small in comparison to what has already been done, I still need to refit the Number Plate as that got removed when the bumper got disassembled, new Wiper blades for the Headlamps as the current ones are perished and the washer bottle pump, I could also be doing with tyres as a hefty chunk got taken out of them when the car hit the wall as well as new wheel weights as they also shot off when the car hit the wall.

Once these are done the car should be relatively road worthy and should be drivable once again which is something I can’t wait for.

In Summary:

Over these last few weeks I’ve learnt how to do something I’ve never thought I’d be able to do as I’ve never really played around with body panels before, Admittedly, I did take my time quite a bit and that was only due to me wanting to be careful and not mess it up.

This also teaches me to check to see if the car is in gear or not as I don’t want it happening ever again, overall even though it wasn’t something I originally intended to do, it was something I thoroughly enjoyed doing and I learnt a lot from it.

I’ve witnessed first hand how strong Volvo’s really are, How waterproof they are as well (No Rust on the 17 year old Crash Bar) which was definitely an improvement on the first crash bar I’d ever seen on a MK2 Toyota Yaris which was so rusty it wouldn’t even set off the airbags if involved in a crash (Quite a bad feat for a car ten years younger than the Volvo).

I’ve also learnt how to use a grinder for the first time and also how to rejuvenate metalwork by getting rid of rust and spraying the brackets with Primer & spray paint.

And last but not least, I’ve also first hand witnessed Volvo’s build quality and engineering and have to admit for a premium car from a premium brand, it was so easy to do and so stress free it was weird to think it would be possible.

When I get more money, I’ll get the remaining parts and fit them into place and get it back on he road for it’s first proper shakedown session since I started working on it all those years ago.

Hope You Enjoy!

By Alex Jebson

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