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Interesting difference between early and late .036 rear bumpers

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
Last night I did a rear bumper swap between a 1992 model 500E, and my 1994 E500. This was because my bumper was very slightly bowed out at the bottom, probably because it was winched up on a tow truck and the cable distorted the bumper outward.

The car was like this when I bought it 10.5 years ago and is the most obvious exterior flaw on the car.

Anyhoo....a couple of body shops told me that this couldn't really be fixed, and to just obtain a new bumper cover. So, after 10+ years, I finally had the opportunity to snag one for a good price.

It wasn't bad enough to cause me major angst (nothing was cracked or creased, just deformed a bit) but I always vowed I'd fix it, and finally I was able to! Patience was a virtue in this case.

Anyway, in removing the bumpers from both cars, I noticed a very interesting difference: the 1992 car was lacking the hard foam/plastic corner pieces and dark styrofoam piece that the 1994 car had. You can see the differences in the corner photo taken of the 1992 vs. 1994 bumper ... the 1994 corner piece has a plastic arm with a hook, that hooks into the corner piece and holds it in place when the bumper is installed.

The 1992 bumper innards do not have this arm, and thus no corner piece. As I said, there is also a long black piece of styrofoam that the earlier bumper does not have, that fits directly behind the bumper cover.

So we can chalk this up as another subtle difference between the early and late cars.

I'll provide more detailed photos in the coming days.

Cheers,
Gerry


Both bumpers side by side
2014-03-12 18.43.29.jpg


The 1992 car bumper. Notice the corner piece.
2014-03-12 18.43.39.jpg 2014-03-12 18.45.17.jpg


The 1994 car bumper. Notice the different corner piece.
2014-03-12 18.43.34.jpg 2014-03-12 18.45.24.jpg
 

Roma_500E

Russian_Rocket
Interesting...

My car is 1992 production year and it is like yours 1994 bumper cover. The same pattern on the corners. I think it really might be Canadian vs US but not sure :detective:

P.S. By replacing bumper cover you will get the perfect shape bumper but lose your VIN sticker at the bottom edge of your original bumper :seesaw:

P.S. 2 It is soooo nice outside in Texas , green grass and sunny days :?
 

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
I dunno ... my car is a 1994 US-spec car.

The new bumper doesn't have a VIN sticker on the bottom. MB changed their VIN sticker policies around and about the 1992 model year when it came to certain body panels.

My understanding is that 1992 (not sure if all of them or not) cars didn't typically have VIN stickers on the bottom edge of the rear bumper.

GSXR may know more about this, seeing as he has multiple cars from different years. He ought to be able to give a report on which model year has what sticker, where.

Cheers,
Gerry
 

Roma_500E

Russian_Rocket
I dunno ... my car is a 1994 US-spec car.

The new bumper doesn't have a VIN sticker on the bottom. MB changed their VIN sticker policies around and about the 1992 model year when it came to certain body panels.

My understanding is that 1992 (not sure if all of them or not) cars didn't typically have VIN stickers on the bottom edge of the rear bumper.

GSXR may know more about this, seeing as he has multiple cars from different years. He ought to be able to give a report on which model year has what sticker, where.

Cheers,
Gerry
Well, majority of people here have 1992 1993 cars, so we can find out what cars has it and what do not.

Both of my bumpers have stickers. Front sticker is on the bumper grille and the rear sticker is on the bottom edge of the bumper on passenger side.

:pc1:
 

Jimbo

Active member
Interesting Gerry, I've never seen 2 separate years next to each other like that for a comparison. Wonder what the design change was for?

All of the 92s I've seen have the VIN on the bottom of the rear cover, mine included, when the rear cover is/was original to the car, that is. Did you notice a build stamp on the inside of the 92' bumper by chance?

Better to have no VIN on it then the wrong VIN !
 

036

Active member
Correct.
Here my rear Bumper, second pic was too dark, so i made it a bit lighter.
There maaaaany small details....for example a gear shift has 5-6 different foot shapes..... Limited has 2 different connections on the front seat and so on....
 

Attachments

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
Better to have no VIN on it then the wrong VIN !
You got it Jim!

I'll check the inside of the bumper. The lack of VIN sticker made me scratch my head and wonder if it was a replacement bumper cover... I guess a date stamp would clear that up. I'll take some detailed photos tonight out in the shop. I'm anally cleaning (that's my term for a super detailed clean) the area underneath the bumper on my car before I re-install it, as it will likely be a long time before the bumper comes off again.
 

Jimbo

Active member
Good info G.

Does this not so old , slightly different bumper fit on your 94' fine tho? or did you have to switch over the differing inside parts?

What's with the ' cadmium free' stamped on it ? I see that on many plastic bits from MB. Cadmium is a poisonous metal used in preventing metal corrosion and used a lot in making re-chargeable batteries too, I wonder why it was once put in MB plastics?
 

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
It was a direct bolt-on to my later car, even the center rub strip from my 94 clipped/screwed onto the older bumper just fine. It is now clear that the bumper is a replacement though. Maybe it was that the REPLACEMENTS didn't have the corner clip.

Definitely a mystery that bears more investigation.

Can others confirm that their cars (whatever year) DO or DON'T have the corner clip with the extra foam/plastic piece inserted into the corner area?

Also notice how the corner area is cut out on my stock 1994 bumper, where it is left solid on the 1995 bumper.
 

gerryvz

Site Honcho
Staff member
Thanks for the update.

So it is now appearing that REPLACEMENT bumpers do not have the corner plastic pieces and clips that hold them in place (nor, logically, would a replacement bumper have a VIN sticker). However, the original/stock units DO have them. Interesting.
 

mercepor

Member
I found this thread very useful.
I am actually working on my rear bumper, my car is from 91, my bumper must be a replacement.
It is w/o the corner foam pieces and it looks from 96.
Ok
But which kind of energy absorbing unit should I buy?
http://www.mbpartsworld.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_product=7525638&ukey_assembly=1089282

Is this mean that I no longer need the corner pieces (#44 and 47) and just the #41 is needed for the replacement bumpers?
Or #44 and 47 are still needed, but they have a new shape, slim enough to be fitted with the new type bumper?
Thx

 

mercepor

Member
I will try to simplify my question: :D

As there is no corner piece foam, what kind of energy absorbing foam should we use in a replacement rear bumper?
thx
 
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