: Bumper Filler Problem (with pics)

07-11-06, 12:05 PM
Well I finally got all my bumper filler pieces in and decided to install them on my day off. The old ones fel apart as soon as I unscrewed the brace crumbled to dust so to speak. Anyay on to the problem the new filled pieces are not fitting right at all. The old ones had the same problem as well (see pic)



These gaps are common on cadillacs but there are some people who have been able to get a flush fit How do they do it? :confused: I've tried everything!

07-11-06, 12:25 PM

The taillight housing isn't supposed to be right up against the filler panel (i.e., the "low" part should show). This is so that in the event of a minor rear impact, the bumper assembly can move in without damaging the filler panels or quarter panels. I can see the fit problem you have on the left side, where the filler panel and the taillamp housing do not meet at all and it gets worse and you go towards the ground. Silly question, but has your car ever been hit from behind, specifically on the taillight housing? This may have deformed the mounting bracket that holds it to the bumper, causing the case of gaposis you seem to have. You can remove the housing and work the bracket to get a tighter fit, either by moving the bracket slightly back (I think there's some leeway in the mounting holes) or by bending the upper part slightly forward so the the lower part of the housing moves back to eliminate some of the gap down below. Don't go too far with this last one or you'll end up with a gap on top. In the worst case, you can have the whole bumper moved in slightly, enough to cover the airspace so the filler panels and the taillight housings overlap. Good luck!


07-11-06, 12:45 PM
Actually I don't think it's been hit but I'm not sure the left side has allways been bad. Actually the old fillers thatI took off where origional so I don't think so wouldn't they crack in wreck? Any way I have moved the bracket as far up as I could I did get rid of a little bit of the gap but not enough. I was looking at the shop manual I have it it says something about the energy absorber (see pic)


07-11-06, 01:05 PM
I went out to have a look at my 80 coupe dev. after seeing your pictures,mine has about a 1/2" space and doesn't look out of place. your pictures look like you can see the back outer edge of your fillers.

07-11-06, 01:45 PM

If you crawl under the rear of the car, you will see the bumper is mounted to two shock absorber-like things. These are the energy absorbers and like shocks, they allow the bumper to be pushed in by a minor impact, then return to normal position. The rear filler panel are there so that the bumper can do this without damaging the quarter panels. This is why the filler panels are made of rubber. Your new ones should be supple and flexible and bend easily without cracking or tearing (although a strong impact may crack the paint once they're painted). It's age that causes them to harden and fall to pieces. Try bending the taillamp housing mounting bracket forward just a bit to eliminate the daylight at the bottom. As I said before, the "low" portion of the filler is supposed to show; this is how it was designed.


07-11-06, 01:46 PM
Yeah I keep comparing other cadi's and I know there has to be a way to at least move them in 1/2" I"ve been looking around on other web istes and just about every body has a perfect to near perfect fit :confused:

07-11-06, 02:08 PM
ok I'll look into that but the bracket you're talking about (see pic) it's solid metal and is not easily bend I'll try it though.


The reason why I was thinking it was the energy absorbers was the right side doesn't stick out near as much (as in you can't see completly through the tail light and filler piece)

07-11-06, 07:01 PM
The bumper is sticking out too far. Most of that smaller part that you can see is supposed to be inside the chrome fins and in your 2nd picture part of that grove on top of the bumper should be under the white part too.

07-11-06, 08:34 PM
I think you're right, Brougham. From what I remember from your own '92, there is no small indent at all back there.

The Ape Man
07-11-06, 08:53 PM
Remove some of the E shaped shims that are between the bumper and it's shock. This will move the bumper closer to the body. You will get the gap where you want it. It can take a little time.

07-11-06, 09:44 PM
Remove some of the E shaped shims that are between the bumper and it's shock. This will move the bumper closer to the body. You will get the gap where you want it. It can take a little time.

:yeah: ApeMan has the right idea.

07-12-06, 08:48 AM
Apeman funny you mention that I removed all the shims a long time ago and it didn't make a diference :confused: I'll try again today think I'll go ahead and take the whold bumper off this time even.

I have done this before and I still don't see how I will ever get a flush fit:confused:

07-12-06, 10:57 AM
Wouldn't it be easier to paint the new fillers while they are off? Just wondering.:confused:

DopeStar 156
07-12-06, 12:03 PM
It looks fine to me, mine stick out like that too.

07-12-06, 12:40 PM
:highfive: Keep in mind that you are dealing with a production car and are trying to bring it into "show" standards. Most times the production cars never looked any where as perfect as a restored car looks, even when it was fresh off the showroom floor. With a lot of effort and trial and error, you will be able to get it close using the standard factory supplied brackets and shims. If you want it to be better than that, the next thing you will need to do is start to modify the factory brackets to accomplish the desired result. I remember having to machine a part 50 thousands on the top just to get it into alignment because the part just didn't look right after restoration. I looked at some original cars that had never been taken apart, and they all had the same gap and that was acceptable when it left GM, but unacceptable to me doing a restoration. We all have our own level of acceptance of how something should fit, but we also must keep in mind that the factory wasn't that concerned when the car was built...... Junk.....

07-12-06, 04:04 PM
^^^ he's right. Its like when I walk into a dealership showroom, and see a new black XLR with massive amounts of orange peel, it bothers me, but thats what mass-production means.

That said, thats one huge gap. looks like you could easily take out 1/4" if not more. but don't push it up tight to the body eather, my friend that has a '91 has them that way, and the taillights are starting to rust out around the edge because the water gets trapped.

DopeStar 156
07-14-06, 01:10 AM

That's the appropriate gap that these cars all have.

07-14-06, 10:39 AM

07-14-06, 12:58 PM

That's the appropriate gap that these cars all have.

Now go back and look at his. It's about twice as big as it's supposed to be.

DopeStar 156
07-14-06, 01:08 PM
Yeah it is now that I look at it.