: Front/Rear Bumper Removal



nebulosity
07-19-13, 11:57 PM
...........

This is going to sound obnoxious, but... I really want to store the Caddy in my garage, and not miles away in some uncovered space in a public storage unit after it must leave my friends' driveway.

The problem is that my garage's max length is 216" on the generous side, but actually, I'm not sure that there is more than 210" of space given that there is a shelf installed on the wall in the front with angled supporting beams. And last time I measured my Caddy, it was something like 220" long. Sorry that you can't really see it too well at the moment, but this is the shelf I'm talking about...

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My Miata is currently residing in the garage. As you can see, with the Boxes in front, it's even cozy for the Miata. I'll be cleaning out everything under the shelf, on the side of the garage and putting all those boxes into storage. Now all I have to do is get the Caddy to physically FIT into the garage, which is why I'm motivated to take the front bumper off (and perhaps some other parts behind the bumper) to free up at least 10" of length from the Caddy.

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AM I CRAZY???? :thepan:

I've spent a little time reading through my shop manual about how to remove the front bumper, but what's not clear to me is how much time and effort this kind of endeavor would take.
Can anybody give me a general idea of how much work (e.g. how many hours, how many parts --a million parts or only a few, etc) I'd be getting myself into by removing the front part of the Caddy?

Please tell me if I'm crazy. :bonkers:

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cadillac kevin
07-20-13, 12:17 AM
Getting 10" off the car will be cutting it close. Dropping the back bumper will gain you maybe 4 or 5 inches if you drop the fillers too. The front bumper might get you 5 or 6 inches or so. Leave the bumper shocks on the car unless you want to have fun readjusting the bumpers (I've done it with my front bumper....not exactly fun).

nebulosity
07-20-13, 12:22 AM
Getting 10" off the car will be cutting it close. Dropping the back bumper will gain you maybe 4 or 5 inches if you drop the fillers too. The front bumper might get you 5 or 6 inches or so. Leave the bumper shocks on the car unless you want to have fun readjusting the bumpers (I've done it with my front bumper....not exactly fun).

Good to know -- thanks!! :)

Any idea how long it takes to remove either bumper?

talismandave
07-20-13, 01:42 AM
Maybe it is because I have always been more of a builder than a mechanic, but I think it would be easier to build a 2 ft bump-out the size of your door and temporarily mount the door out more. You would have to forget the opener, and depending how your spring mounts work, possibly mount it on some big hinges to swing out to one side.

7 eight ft. 2X4s, 1 4X8 siding, 1 piece of exterior ply for the "roof", 2 big gate hinges and a qt. of paint. It can be removed and leave only a couple of screw holes on each side to be puttied when you are done and want to return to original.
It may take as long to do as the bumpers, but would give you room to walk in front of car to do work on it instead of just shoehorning it in.

My 2 cents.:noidea:

Poda
07-20-13, 01:58 AM
The other option is a car cover, depending on your driveway and the amount of room your sitting Caddy would take - a quality car cover that breathes is pretty close protection wise to what the garage would offer. I covered my old Mustang for a winter, summer, and another winter in a snowy Canadian climate with no noticeable degradation in the car about 5 years ago.

Then again, what do I know - I'm willing to fork out to rent out a garage or small warehouse come winter for mine if we don't find a suitable house to move to.. lol

nebulosity
07-20-13, 02:01 AM
Maybe it is because I have always been more of a builder than a mechanic, but I think it would be easier to build a 2 ft bump-out the size of your door and temporarily mount the door out more.

I live in an apartment and am not allowed to modify the garage. :(

If I owned the place, I'd just let the garage door rest on the rear bumper.

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The other option is a car cover, depending on your driveway

I forgot to mention that I don't have a driveway. :(

talismandave
07-20-13, 02:04 AM
So about removing those bumpers then....:lol:

cadillac kevin
07-20-13, 10:28 AM
For removing the bumpers, there are 4 nuts on each side on the end of the bumper shocks you need to remove. These nuts are on threaded shafts that are welded to a piece of steel inside the bumper (thats not part of the bumper). You want to back them off equally to about halfway then back 3 of the 4 off all the way and leave the fourth one (which you want to be one of the top ones) just a few threads left. Then you get a friend to hold the bumper while you take the last 2 bolts off. BTW, one of the threaded shafts may break the weld that holds it to the bar in which case it will spin freely. It you can hold the threaded shaft in place, get the nut off. If it won't back off, you'll need to cut it off with a sawzall.
With the rear bumper, when it is off, have your friend hold it up a couple inches from the car while you disconnect the lights and fiberoptic lines from the lenses.
(I'll have to take pics when I get home tonight and show you what I mean by the threaded shafts being welded to a brace and how they stick through the bumper).

amunderdog
07-20-13, 11:29 AM
Maybe it is because I have always been more of a builder than a mechanic, but I think it would be easier to build a 2 ft bump-out the size of your door and temporarily mount the door out more. You would have to forget the opener, and depending how your spring mounts work, possibly mount it on some big hinges to swing out to one side.

7 eight ft. 2X4s, 1 4X8 siding, 1 piece of exterior ply for the "roof", 2 big gate hinges and a qt. of paint. It can be removed and leave only a couple of screw holes on each side to be puttied when you are done and want to return to original.
It may take as long to do as the bumpers, but would give you room to walk in front of car to do work on it instead of just shoehorning it in.

My 2 cents.:noidea:

I have also seen people remove the door and replace it with a heavy tarp.
For long term would have to do something to keep the tarp from rubbing the vehicle.

nebulosity
07-20-13, 12:16 PM
So about removing those bumpers then....:lol:

Yup.... :lol:

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BTW, one of the threaded shafts may break the weld that holds it to the bar in which case it will spin freely.

"the bar"? What part is this? if you can get a photo when you get home of the bar or the weld that might break, that would be most excellent!! :worship:

The Ape Man
07-20-13, 12:35 PM
Car covers usually are OK on cars stored indoors. Otherwise they invite trouble.

Removing the front bumper isn't a bad idea. Not sure if it will get what you need though. I'd take the bumper shocks right out of the frame still attached to the bumper because that will gain more space. The bolt marks on the frame will be obvious upon re-installation unless the car has already been wrenched upon there.

There are a pair of bumper strut supports which go up to the tin. Those can be removed on the tin side instead of the bumper side. I'd consider hitting those with WD-40 or similar a week in advance. They have clip nuts which will fall apart if the threads bind.

csbuckn
07-20-13, 05:46 PM
Thats gonna be close. I think the caddy is 221". The bumpers are a two man job but pretty easy to remove. You'll easily see what bolts need to come off when you get under it. Front is about 30/45 minutes, same with the back. The tailights come out first, then the bumper. Remember, if you remove the bumpers, the first things that will be damaged are the fillers if you hit the wall.

1980coupe
07-20-13, 11:49 PM
it would be best to just unbolt and remove the entire bumper with the shocks still attached to them, called energy absorbing units, that way you won't fuss with trying to align them back on. You'll find it in your manual in chapter 2 section B, if it is the same as mine, lol.
The bar someone here is referring to, is the reinforcement bar behind the chrome facade of the bumper. Maybe if you remove the front bumper and front headerpanel it will give you the clearence you need up front.

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you can see what I mean in the top pic of your post

nebulosity
07-21-13, 12:11 AM
fyi, I just posted relevent pics (mostly for my own reference) on my project page, here: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/324650-cheries-84-coupe-deville-project-6.html#post10556034


it would be best to just unbolt and remove the entire bumper with the shocks still attached to them, called energy absorbing units, that way you won't fuss with trying to align them back on. You'll find it in your manual in chapter 2 section B, if it is the same as mine, lol.

I'll definitely think about doing that. XD Thanks for the tip!



The bar someone here is referring to, is the reinforcement bar behind the chrome facade of the bumper. Maybe if you remove the front bumper and front headerpanel it will give you the clearence you need up front.

you can see what I mean in the top pic of your post

Ah, okay, I see it now. :)

brougham
07-21-13, 12:04 PM
Id just take the bumpers off and leave the shocks. It's no big deal doing that and putting them back on that way either and you have less weight to deal with when you're taking it apart, moving them, and putting it back together too.

nebulosity
07-21-13, 04:50 PM
Id just take the bumpers off and leave the shocks. It's no big deal doing that and putting them back on that way either and you have less weight to deal with when you're taking it apart, moving them, and putting it back together too.

Thanks for the advice! We might end up needing to take them off to gain the space. I've only been able to approximate it, but I think I'm going to need to shave off about 10" from the Caddy's length to get it to fit in our garage. :/ I'm probably going to end up taking off most of the front end up to the radiator. :( It'll be worth it though.. I'll be able to have my Caddy 10' from me so I can keep working on it, and I'll save about $80-100/month by not having to put it in storage.

lacville78
07-22-13, 05:01 AM
Measure twice, pull the bumpers once. That would suck so bad if you pulled the bumpers and the car still won't fit!

outsider
07-22-13, 01:24 PM
I've removed and installed these bumpers myself a few times now. They're very heavy!

What I found worked well for me (especially in reinstalling) was to fold up a cotton dish cloth (the larger ones for drying dishes) and put that on a floor jack, then jack from the center of the bumper to get it at the right height. It will balance and you can wheel the jack forward and backwards to get closer to the vehicle (carefully)

When reinstalling (especially the rear bumper) be careful for your tail light fillers. They can be brittle depending on the climate you live in and can snap. The fillers need to fit inside the chrome housings. On my 87 they were still very pliable but I live up north where it's cold and we don't get much dry heat to dry them out like some southern states.

In the end, as already stated, it may or may not get you the clearance you need. Measure it real good before you attempt because putting these bumpers back on and lining them up can be a pain in the ass. And be careful not to scratch the chrome! ;)

nebulosity
07-22-13, 04:37 PM
Measure twice, pull the bumpers once. That would suck so bad if you pulled the bumpers and the car still won't fit!

It would! I'll measure three times just to be sure.....

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In the end, as already stated, it may or may not get you the clearance you need. Measure it real good before you attempt because putting these bumpers back on and lining them up can be a pain in the ass. And be careful not to scratch the chrome! ;)

I definitely will. Thanks for the advice! We're spending several days planning this whole thing out. :)

cadillac kevin
07-22-13, 08:37 PM
these are what I was talking about that like to break, but if you drop the shocks and bumper together, you won't have issues with these breaking. BTW, the plate you see it mounted to is the back plate of the rear bumper.
http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/jetthreatkevin/stereo%20stuff/IMAG2226_zpsc41f002c.jpg (http://s987.photobucket.com/user/jetthreatkevin/media/stereo%20stuff/IMAG2226_zpsc41f002c.jpg.html)
http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/jetthreatkevin/stereo%20stuff/IMAG2227_zps7ce7438f.jpg (http://s987.photobucket.com/user/jetthreatkevin/media/stereo%20stuff/IMAG2227_zps7ce7438f.jpg.html)

nebulosity
07-22-13, 11:48 PM
these are what I was talking about that like to break, but if you drop the shocks and bumper together, you won't have issues with these breaking. BTW, the plate you see it mounted to is the back plate of the rear bumper.

Oh! I think those are the shims. We're probably going to end up just taking the bumper shocks and bumper off in one piece. Thanks SO much for the photos! :)

outsider
07-23-13, 08:40 AM
the shims go over the studs. You can see in the second picture where the shims used to be. The two thin strips of discoloration that go around the studs, that's from the shims. The plate he's showing is actually inside the bumper and that's where the mounting studs are welded on. when you take the bumpers off make sure you don't drop that plate with the studs inside the bumper or you'll have to take the whole thing apart to get it back out. They usually have lock washer type things on them but I've taken some apart where the locks were rusted out and the plates fell into the bumper.

brougham
07-23-13, 06:29 PM
I've never had the bolts in the bumper break, especially being a cali car that shouldn't be a problem.

cadillac kevin
07-24-13, 09:55 AM
I've never had the bolts in the bumper break, especially being a cali car that shouldn't be a problem.

Yeah, I'd imagine that is more of a midwest/ northern problem.

outsider
07-24-13, 11:09 AM
I've never had one break off either. I have had the whole plate with all 4 studs fall into the bumper though and that was no fun. lol.

Now I make sure to put atleast one nut back on after removal

cadillac kevin
07-24-13, 12:00 PM
I've never had one break off either. I have had the whole plate with all 4 studs fall into the bumper though and that was no fun. lol.

Now I make sure to put atleast one nut back on after removal

They wouldn't break off (i.e. shear). The welds (or whatever keeps them in place) would break and they would freely spin, so you couldn't get the nut off. I always found it easier to cut through them with a sawzall.

brougham
07-24-13, 07:32 PM
They wouldn't break off (i.e. shear). The welds (or whatever keeps them in place) would break and they would freely spin, so you couldn't get the nut off. I always found it easier to cut through them with a sawzall.

I thought they were just carriage bolts with some sort of clip that held them in place. I have a bumper I bought last year in pieces, I should dig them out and look. It was lot rustier them the pic yet the nuts came off fine. I was surprised how small that hardware was for how heavy the bumpers are. They're the smallest bolts I've ever seen on a metal bumper.

cadillac kevin
07-25-13, 08:10 PM
I thought they were just carriage bolts with some sort of clip that held them in place. I have a bumper I bought last year in pieces, I should dig them out and look. It was lot rustier them the pic yet the nuts came off fine. I was surprised how small that hardware was for how heavy the bumpers are. They're the smallest bolts I've ever seen on a metal bumper.
After reading this, I checked my bumper and they were not held on by a clip, but 3 welds per bolt to that bracket they are sitting on

nebulosity
10-07-13, 11:32 PM
I know that this thread has been inactive for a long time, but I just wanted to update that the Caddy finally has its own garage, YAY!!!!

This garage is different than our primary garage, which is REALLY short, and we all know the '84 DeVille is massively LONG. It turns out that the Caddy's garage is bigger than our primary garage, but the Caddy was STILL THREE INCHES TOO LONG.

So what did we do? We took the front face off the bumper (in 20 minutes), and VOILA, the Caddy fit with only HALF an inch to spare! Talk about a tight fit!

I'm super stoked that the Caddy has its own safe space now. :D

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice on removing the bumper... because of your guys' help, removal was SO easy and straight forward. :)