Dang Bumper Tabs! Again?!? Permanent Solution Time

Discussion in 'Mazdaspeed 3/6 Appearance' started by Redline, Mar 7, 2016.

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  1. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    His beard will overpower me.
     
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  2. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    Final Results:

    Driver's Side
    upload_2016-6-16_12-27-26.png
    upload_2016-6-16_12-41-2.png

    Passenger's Side
    upload_2016-6-16_12-30-36.png
    upload_2016-6-16_12-45-56.png

    Final Observations:
    After a LOT of fiddling, adjusting latch studs locations and angles, and fine-tuning of latch locations on the bumper, I ended up with these results. My main goal was to have each side as close to the other as possible, which I accomplished pretty well. A few noteworthy items:

    1. The bumper is oriented far enough up/under the headlights that it shouldn't pop out at higher speeds. This was the main problem I used to have on the passenger's side. Time will tell, though.
    2. The transition between the fender and bumper isn't completely flush. The bumper is just a tad further out (see pics). But both sides are the same, and this orientation was just part of the overall picture in trying to get all of my fitment concerns addressed.
    3. The nearest-the-wheel well portion of the bumper ends stick out a tad. Again, a concession I made for my overall fitment desires.
    4. The seams are almost parallel and I managed to get them tight, but the front gap is still a little larger, but much improved. This is the same on both sides.
    5. I blame myself for less-than-stellar results. Specifically, in moving the latch location down lower on the bumper, it's much harder to get a tight, parallel seam. Our bumpers flex a good deal, so having the latches closer to the fender would've really helped. The best way I could've facilitated this would have been to use more mounting washers to move the whole bracket out, and to shorten the latch studs for more clearance, if still necessary. I believe if I used the original stud mounting holes that everything would've worked out better. Look at my original results post to see why I didn't.

    In the end, I'm pretty satisfied. I can be perfectionistic at times, and not having OEM quality in every regard just goes with the modding territory. Also, the first time you do a particular mod is a learning experience and often takes a lot more time than successive installs of the same sort. The final test will be to drive for a while, get car washes, and do canyon carving to see if the bumper remains in place. Time will tell, but I'm feeling confident. Many of the judgment calls I made on fitment were for this main priority. That's the reason I sought a solution in the first place: the bumper corner under the passenger's headlight kept popping out, and the front gaps were a lot larger than the rear ones on both sides. I think I've adequately addressed both main issues.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  3. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    @Faeker and I have been chatting and he might have a solution. He is ordering the latches and is gonna do some testing.
     
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  4. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    TL;DR Figured out a fix! But first, an explanation:

    Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel! I've been thinking about how to address my issue, which basically boils down to my mounting brackets flexing too much. Would they have worked fine if I used the originally intended holes? According to MoveOverRacing, absolutely! Was I able to use the originally intended holes with the kit they provided? No. The studs were too long, and even using 7 SS washers as shims instead of the 3 they provided (yep, had to go to the hardware store on my own dime on a $250 "complete" kit), the originally intended holes STILL had clearance issues behind them. At that point, I was running out of mounting bolt threads. So I did the only thing I could do at the time - moved the mounting holes down for more clearance behind them by drilling new ones lower down on the brackets (look at all those shims!):
    upload_2016-8-11_20-46-21.png
    The main problem is this: with the mandatory stud hole relocation, the brackets flex WAY too much. Heck, they flex too much anyways, being made out of thin aluminum. And Raider's/Faeker's fix would be awesome, but one problem: my latch holes are already drilled in my bumper. So do I drill two more holes and have 4 latches, 2 of which are just for show and look like crap? Or do I fill them, get it sanded/painted ($$$)? Neither!

    Enter option #3: @Maisonvi has agreed to help me by designing new brackets out of much stronger material and will have some key design changes to address my issues! This way I'll be able to retain my current latch mounting locations, and still have no sag/flex/droop due to thin material that's not up to the task. I'm sure we'll be able to change some angles and stand-off lengths so I don't have to shim nearly as much too.

    *Icing on the cake: MoveOverRacing had offered me $50 as a sort of "We're sorry it didn't work out," but kept claiming "Installer error! Installer error! Installer error!!!" over and over again, even though I spelled out the entire situation, with extensive pictures, time and time again. It was literally IMPOSSIBLE to install the kit as their "instructions" told me to (if you can call paragraphs/pics in an email "instructions"). It had been 2 weeks, and still no $50 in my PayPal. I was done.

    Sick and tired, I contacted them and said I'm at my wits' end. I want to ship back the kit for a full refund. Guess what? Their policy is that they DO NOT accept returns from international customers. How convenient... o.0 They have no problem selling to international customers, though... That's unethical business practice, and I told them exactly that. Especially when they told me that "they stand 100% behind their product!" The only thing they were standing behind was their policy that I couldn't return the product, since I'm in the U.S (international).

    So I shot for the moon. I disputed it through PayPal yesterday. Heard back from PayPal today and was told the dispute was denied. I called them to get details and share my extenuating circumstances. I was told "because you didn't return the item." I responded, that's because I was told they DON'T ACCEPT returned international items; believe me, I don't want this garbage and WANT to send it back! After a long discussion with a very sweet lady named Linda, taking her through the whole nightmare I had with MoveOverRacing, I was given back enough of my funds to basically cover the cost it'll be for @Maisonvi to custom design/have made new, sturdy brackets. Yay!!!

    Just goes to show that tenacity pays off. This whole thing started back in January. But all the fitment stuff has been since the beginning of summer. SOOOOOOOO GLAD to finally have a workable solution. God bless the camaraderie of forum members and stand-up guys like Maisonvi. He's saving my butt and I know that what he comes up with will hold my bumper very securely exactly as I want. And we'll be able to make some design changes so I don't have to use so many freakin' washers as shims!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  5. Faeker

    Faeker Silver Member

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    I still hate how they set up the rear most latch. it doesn't do the job it should. the front one......fuck that shit. pain in the ass and yet my set up still looks better lol. glad you got a substantial amount back though dude. fuck mor.
     
    Faeker, via a mobile device, Aug 11, 2016
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  6. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    Indeed, well hopefully with thick aluminum stock or stainless steel (Maisonvi's initial suggestion), it'll give you something solid to push against so that you can adjust exactly how the bumper sits relative to the fender by fine tuning stud length.
     
  7. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    Yeah man, hopefully I can help you knock this out at a reasonable price. The whole situation sucks for sure.
     
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  8. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    For sure. Thanks so much again, man! I've already been thinking about how to alter the design so that it'll work better (need less shims, wider body where the studs mount, slots for where the studs will go for easy/quick up/down adjustment, etc.), but I'll definitely defer to your expertise.
     
  9. Natey

    Natey Greenie Member

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    There's gotta be a better solution than two (4) black circles on the front of your car. I don't have a 3, so I'm talking out my ass, but damn. No offense, but that looks like shit.

    Maybe a beefier OEM style bracket? Or maybe put those hangars under the hood so they can't be seen? I dunno. I'll shuddup now.
     
  10. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    That'd be nice, but the design flaw is that Mazda molded our bumpers out of a material that deforms/degrades each time the bumper is removed. The issue isn't about the OEM brackets, it's about the bumper material itself. And when you have a car with a FMIC, WMI system, or any of a host of other things going on that necessitate you removing the bumper, you need an alternative solution. Ideally, it'd be something that completely stops the bumper tab wear upon repetitive installation/removal. The bumper brackets and latches are an excellent permanent solution, so long as the materials are up to the stresses they'll see, and you're appropriately meticulous about drilling the latch mounting holes and placing/adjusting the studs.
     
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  11. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    It is a better option than rubber bands!!
     
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  12. Faeker

    Faeker Silver Member

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    you don't have a 3 so your statement is invalid.
     
    Faeker, via a mobile device, Aug 12, 2016
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  13. Natey

    Natey Greenie Member

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    I do have a Mazda though, and it's front bumper is infamous for deforming and shit too. I also may buy an MS3 one day, since I have been in and around Mazdas since the 80s. So YOUR statement is invalid. :eusa_dance:

    I was just curious. Didn't mean to offend anyone. Thanks for explaining it a little better for me Redline. Good luck finding a solution. Maybe you can hide 'em behind something or make em flush and color match them.
     
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  14. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    Already found (posted above - but I know not everyone reads everything in all these threads, especially when I get in storytelling mode, LOL). The short of it is Maisonvi is going to custom-design me some much stronger brackets that'll allow me to keep my current latch location while fixing my fitment issues.

    And honestly, I like the black satin brackets. Understated look over some of the anodized colors. I sort-of was ambivalent about having latches so obviously mounted on my bumper too, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I MUCH preferred them over my bumper looking off and repetitively popping out from behind the headlight on the passenger's side. Now, I really like the latch look. That tuned lyfe, yo! :D

    Tuned Lyfe >>> Ricer Lyfe... though I realize sometimes they can overlap o.0
    For me, the difference is function (tuned lyfe) vs. just for looks (ricer lyfe). I need the function of those latches, so I'm okay with them :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  15. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    I wonder if this is a bracket we can make work for the OEM location studs. @Faeker?
     
    Raider, via an iPhone, Aug 13, 2016
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  16. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    The brackets Maisonvi is making me will mount with the stock bracket location bolts, just like MOR's did, and just like the OEM Mazda ones do. That's the concept - making the same mounting locations/latch locations I have already used work like it's all supposed to. We're basically going to use that basic design type, adjust angles/stand-off lengths (for a lot less shimming needed), use a much more robust material, and I'm thinking of asking him to integrate that nifty mounting slots design, like on the Genwon brackets you guys came up with. If duplicated, that would give people a lot of flexibility regarding how high/low on the bumpers they could mount their latches. We could even make the slots 1.5-2" long for a lot of adjustability, I'm guessing.

    We'll see how it all comes together, and I'll definitely keep this thread updated as things progress in the design/execution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  17. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    Not done yet; more alterations to be made, but @Maisonvi 's initial work is looking awesome so far!
    upload_2016-8-31_16-48-43.png
    And this is the chicken scratch I gave him to work with, LOL:
    upload_2016-8-31_16-49-48.png
    :D :D :D
     

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  18. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    SOOOOOOO impressed with @Maisonvi 's work! Check out this superior design:
    upload_2016-9-21_22-3-59.png
    New slots will allow for much broader range for adjustment, and even allow a little side-to-side if your drilling wasn't quite accurate enough on the bumper.

    upload_2016-9-21_22-5-49.png

    upload_2016-9-21_22-6-52.png
    upload_2016-9-21_22-7-49.png
    New standoffs are offset more. I won't have to use 7-8 washers and worry about the hardware's clearance with the fender anymore!

    Next: to test-fit and work out the kinks (if there are any... I'm feeling pretty good!). Then, via @Maisonvi , we'll get the CAD files sent over to the manufacturer of his recommendation and have them made out of thick enough SS that warping/flexing/shifting will NEVER be an issue again. My bumper will stay where I put it! :D
     
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  19. Maisonvi

    Maisonvi Silver Member

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    Awesome man, hope it works out for you! If I could only save up for my own water jet, I could just make these myself.

    @pizzarolls this is what I was talking about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  20. Raider

    Raider Administraider Administrator Platinum Member

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    I am curious how we can modify this setup to work for RaiderFab. Bottom one in OEM spot like now, and top one moved. @Maisonvi, thoughts? It could help a lot. @Faeker and I have a lot of testing on our own, but a new direction may be needed.
     
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