Author Topic: How to make a U.S. 5 mph bumper more beautiful than a Euro bumper  (Read 4732 times)

michaeld

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Follow this sequence of steps:
1) Start your car
2) Put it in reverse gear
3) Put your foot on the accelerator pedal
4) Back up into a big concrete lamp

(You may need to add: "Give yourself a full frontal lobotomy" between steps 3) and 4)).

I actually performed this sequence, and don't think I will ever fail to appreciate my U.S. bumpers again!!!

I took some books to the library tonight.  The library was closed, and the large parking lot was deserted.  It was also quite dark.  I left my car idling, turned in my books, and then backed up to drive away.  Suddenly ... WHAM!!!  I had hit a concrete lamp - hard.

My stomach sank, and my inner child curled up into the fetal position and began sucking its thumb.  I got out to assess the damage, expecting to see something really really bad.  I mean, I hadn't just gingerly love tapped the thing; I had put it in gear and stepped on the gas.

And... nothing.  Not a dent, not a scratch.  Absolutely no sign whatsoever that I'd just done something incredibly stupid.  My bumper looked... absolutely beautiful.  I made three more stops after the library, and got out to look at my rear bumper each time, just because I couldn't believe I hadn't messed my car up.  I cringe to think what I would have found if I'd done this in a lesser car.
Mike

This is one impressive body, people!!!     

Des

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Does the phrase, "too much time on your hands" ever come to mind?

 ;D :P
1977 W123 230 
1977 W116 280S *new*
1980 W123 250
VW Beetle "Oval Window"
VW Golf Mk1
Volvo 240GL
Volvo 740GLE

oscar

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michaeld

Are these bumpers like sprung???  How did they manage to survive?
1973 350SE, my first & fave

Denis

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I have heard that they have a fluid cell (can anyone confirm this?) and that is why.

And YES, they are beautiful bumpers when that happens  ::), but only then...  8)

I have slightly bent "bananas" on the right side, due to my own error, that annoys me very much. I must get the parts off to straighten them using wood tools - always remember wood, a prime material for bending without scarring  :D

OTOH, I tend to like the W116 as being the last "dainty" Euro luxocars with such "exhibit bumpers", like the first generation XJ6 and the lovely early BMW coupés.

Au revoir

Denis

Paris, France

Caught in a Paris traffic jam today (Magenta/République/Nation) - 2 hours for 15 km  >:(


116.025

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michaeld

Are these bumpers like sprung???  How did they manage to survive?

As far as I know, they don't have any springs, but they have two huge shock absorbers in them (which is why they protrude so much).  Although I don't have any direct experience with a US Spec 116, because all the 116's in the family are Euro...  :D
« Last Edit: 09 May 2006, 09:51 AM by 116.025 »
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

Papalangi

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The 5MPH bumpers were required to take an impact of 5MPH without damage to the body.  Some had springs, some had a shock type mount and others used two concentric tubes with a rubber thing that would deform at first then slide.

I didn't think any had been designed to take an impact and survive :)

Mine droop a bit and it bugs me.

Michael
1976 450SEL, 116.033  Sold it to buy a '97 Crown Vic.  Made sense at the time.
1971 250C, 114.023      Sad but true, it's gone to a new home.
1976 280C  Stolen by the City of Seattle, sort of.
1970 250/8, traded in on a 1993 Land Rover Disco

michaeld

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Obviously, my initial post was EXTREMELY tongue in cheek (like this?  :P).  There is no question that the 5 mph bumpers are a visual blemish compared with the Euro beauties.  I put it in the tech section so people would ask, "How does this clown think he's going to accomplish this?"  Hey, why don't I try to turn your lead into gold, while I'm at it??!!

But boy, oh boy was I ever glad I had them last night!  I completely agree with Denis when he said, "yes, they are beatiful bumpers when that happens, but only then..."

I have no idea how fast I was going, but I had my foot on the accelerator when I smacked that concrete lamp post.  It is utterly remarkable to me that I didn't do some significant damage to my rear end.  Ultimately, my thread was about the fact that this is one truly fantastically built car.

The questions some of you raised are pretty interesting: how does the bumper attach and function (wouldn't it figure some people would want to make a thread in the technical section technical?).  My understanding about most older cars is that they attach and work as Papalangi said.  Older car bumpers certainly CAN be "sprung" - that is, the spring loaded tubes can be compressed at an angle in such a way that one or both are stuck in an unnatural position.  There is no indication that this happened in my car (thank God!).

This old car just continues to impress me...
Mike


hokman

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Follow this sequence of steps:
1) Start your car
2) Put it in reverse gear
3) Put your foot on the accelerator pedal
4) Back up into a big concrete lamp

(You may need to add: "Give yourself a full frontal lobotomy" between steps 3) and 4)).

I actually performed this sequence, and don't think I will ever fail to appreciate my U.S. bumpers again!!!

I took some books to the library tonight.  The library was closed, and the large parking lot was deserted.  It was also quite dark.  I left my car idling, turned in my books, and then backed up to drive away.  Suddenly ... WHAM!!!  I had hit a concrete lamp - hard.

My stomach sank, and my inner child curled up into the fetal position and began sucking its thumb.  I got out to assess the damage, expecting to see something really really bad.  I mean, I hadn't just gingerly love tapped the thing; I had put it in gear and stepped on the gas.

And... nothing.  Not a dent, not a scratch.  Absolutely no sign whatsoever that I'd just done something incredibly stupid.  My bumper looked... absolutely beautiful.  I made three more stops after the library, and got out to look at my rear bumper each time, just because I couldn't believe I hadn't messed my car up.  I cringe to think what I would have found if I'd done this in a lesser car.
Mike

This is one impressive body, people!!!     

Who needs parking sensors?  I don't know if the early commando bumpers on my volvo 240 turbo can handle this crash.  But once my dad backed it into a Ford Crown Victoria slowly, and my bumper squished his bumper without damage on mine.
« Last Edit: 11 May 2006, 01:20 AM by hokman »

Denis

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Hi hokman

I am absolutely convinced that Volvo used to set their standards on Mercedes back in those 240/740 years. The Volvo 240 being a (lower cost) swedish W114 230.

Denis

Paris, France