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Body Work at Home

I had to click on the little picture icon to see it @rocketman. If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps it will pop up the pic’s URL which you can click and drag onto your address line.

As for the project at hand, shoot, it’s white. Surely you can find a white fender and bumper cover at . White is the most common color on American cars. Other years will fit your Grand Am too. The web site shown will sort that out for you, just like it will show those with or without fog lights. I once drove a car 200 miles with no hood to bolt on a matching silver one in the salvage yard’s parking lot. They said a lot of customers do that. Shipping large parts is expensive, and there is no guarantee that the shipper won’t damage them.

And… on your car that’s all bolt on stuff. You will find the bumper cover (the bumper is behind the cover) is largely held on with plastic rivets or push-ins. The cover is the white part you SEE. Some salvages will not sell you JUST the cover, but the whole bumper assembly should not be too expensive compared to the cost of painting. If you don’t turn up any covers, search for the assembly.

I’ve done this sort of repair dozens of times. I still hire most of my painting done by a pro when I can’t find the right color parts.

I suppose I could get a full paint job, but wouldn’t I be looking at $1,000 plus to have a decent job done by a body shop? The car does have rust around the fuel door, so I suppose that could be sanded and filled during a full paint.

Kind of torn what to do. The car is actually a family members. They’ve been trying to sell it for five months (asking too much I think) and I’m contemplating taking it off their hands and doing the repairs if the price is right. It only has 102k miles and the manifold gaskets have already been replaced, thinking I could easily get another 50k out of it.

You don’t need a paint job of any kind IF you can find white parts. That is what will make this whole thing a good investment for you.

If the manifold gaskets have been done, it must be a V-6. That makes it an even better investment.

I agree with MG, look for white parts. Ask your local salvage yard to “run their sources” and check inventory, most are connected nationwide. I got a remote mirror for my old Civic at my local salvage yard and it came from Louisiana, I’m in Pennsylvania. Shipping was minimal, gotta be less than what you’ll pay for painting it. After you replace the white parts borrow a buffer and detail the crap out of it, clean it first then polish and wax it. Good luck! Rocketman

Unless you find white parts, have a shop paint it. DIY is fine for fixing chips, but a whole fender and bumper? Not likely to turn out well.

An episode of ‘Wheeler Dealers’ had a Ford Capri that pro mechanic Ed China tried to paint 2 fenders with rattle cans. Turned out poorly, probably kept the price they sold it for down.

Don’t install the parts then take it to a body shop to paint. The shop will remove the parts to paint them which costs money. Defeats the purpose or you doing it at home.
Have a shop paint before installation.

They might want the car for a day to do a proper sprayout for a match.

Should not be to difficult, front covers and fenders bolt on. More than likely you will not have to pull the hood but if you do its 4 bolts and a helper.

If you have one panel that the only problem is a dent, you might can fix it and not need any painting either. Someone here posted a technique awhile back using a heat gun and a rubber hammer I think. Not sure if it would apply in your case, but the experts here would probably know if it would work for you.

We were recently hit from behind and I know the quote for a new rear bumper painted was $350, and this is in CA where things are pricey. I was able to look at the picture. I say if you don’t find a white bumper, get one and paint it. The fender, just bang it out (in the old days we used to put some grease on it a few days before to supposedly reduce paint cracking, not sure if there is any benefit to this). If you still don’t like it, then have it fixed.

If you get it for cheap, it would be a good deal. The Kia I mentioned in my 1st post was something similar. I drove that car for 2 years and 50K miles without any major repairs.

On a plastic bumper, you can heat it up with a trouble light, heat gun, or whatever to get the plastic pliable, then push out the dent. Still need to work it a little but the worst is done. In this case though, the cover is all broken up. No way to salvage it.