Along with the Euro tail lights, the new rear valance is now on! As I showed in a previous post, I had ordered a second OEM valance and had part of it smoothed and painted body colour. I then gave it to my manager at work to have some 3M applied along the lower edges behind the wheels, to avoid rocks damaging it since our roads are still covered in the gravel put down for winter. Ideally the paint should have had much more time to cure before having 3M applied, but it would only pose a problem when removing it which I don’t intend to.
Yesterday one of my co-workers, one of my managers, and myself removed the old valance and installed the new one. In order to do this the whole rear bumper had to come off, but three sets of hands made it light work. We were mostly concerned about a loose end of the bumper or valance smacking the car and scratching the paint so we had someone covering each side and another supporting from the middle.
Some of the photos below are from my phone, as I didn’t take my full camera to work with me.
The new rear valance was all clean, the 3M was in place, and it was ready to go.
The last shot with the black valance in place. The rear mud flaps also came off during the swap, to match the front.
A few screws in the wheel wells, two bolts by the tail lights, and two clips underneath kept the bumper in place. With those out it then was popped out from the brackets on the body of the car and placed on the stand. The valance snaps into place along the bottom of the bumper, so one by one the tabs were released and then the two pieces came apart. I don’t have any pictures of all of that, but I stopped to take a couple after the new painted valance was installed.
This was the first time I was really able to see how the paint matched the bumper. As with the side skirts it can vary based on the angle at which you’re looking at it, but it’s really good in real life. This is about as different as the two parts will look.
We lifted the bumper up and put it back in place, and then put everything else back together. You may notice in this shot that the gap along the bottom of the trunk lid is uneven. We fixed that after.
At last the Focus was put back on the ground and I could step back to admire the new look. The reflectors are yet to be reinstalled as I want to remove the existing vinyl tint and redo it first.
A big thanks to Mike and Mike for the time they spent with me on this. It was much nicer than trying to work in my garage.