View Full Version : Frame & Body Warped fascia advice: My car is 'smiling' at me...

MDC - Mike C.
05-30-2011, 08:07 AM
I've seen this on a few d's over the years, and the other day I noticed my car has a case of the 'grins' as well...

If you look at my car at an angle from a distance, the front AND rear fascias seem to have a slight bowing effect in the center, causing the bumpers to look like they are sagging in the centers. I also noticed that along the top of the front fascia, it seems to have a slight sag in the middle as well.

Im not sure if this is because the car sat outside unattended for so long before being taken care of or what, but it is noticeable to me.

Has anyone ever done any reinforcing to correct something like this, sorta an eyebrow fix on a larger scale?? Eventually I would like to make them straight. Minus the bowing, my fascias are in great condition and the p.o. had a great paint job put on them. I would just like the sags to be outa there.

05-30-2011, 08:41 AM
When I was adjusting my r. fascia a few years ago, I noticed that if you grabed the top "shelf", the ledge just above the license tag, and twisted it up it would change the shape. Although mine wasnt warped, I could make it bow upwards if I were to remove the fascia and place a padding between the fascia and underbody.

You might look at some stiff foam and place behind the fascia and see if that helps. I made it a note to do the same to mine next time I happen to have the r. fascia just as a preemptive measure.

Although I have never heard of the front fascia drooping like the rear sometimes does, there is a underbody bumper bar that could easily be used to stack some padding and hopefully correct any problems there as well.

PS: A good place to pick up that closed cell foam that you want is a car lot. Go for the cars that just came off the delivery truck that are still under thier protective plastic. They always have block shaped pads on the bumpers and door edges and they are self adhesive to boot. I have a small cache of them and they come in handy for all kinds of projects/fixes.

05-30-2011, 11:31 AM
On my car, the PO had the facias redone and had the body shop do an "eyebrow" fix to the front bumper. What they ended up doing was taking a piece of sheet metal and cutting it to shape across the top of the front edge of the facia. The problem was, they made the piece too wide and it ended up sitting on top of the stainless support.

While it made the front top edge of the facia nice and straight it ended up causing a huge 1/2" gap between the facia and the headlights and grille. They never made the recess cuts for the adjusters on the headlight buckets (which the facia has and needs) and with the sheetmetal sitting on top of the factory support it was causing a line to form in the top of the facia.

I took the sheet metal strip they bonded in, out right away when I bought the car. It took me a little time to shape it back down and in with a heatgun but I got it. I still have yet to do the eyebrow fix but I did purchace the aluminum strip from Ace Hardware. It is a 1/8" x 1 -1/2" x 8' piece. I know most only do just above the headlight areas with about 18"s or so, but I plan on running the strip across the whole front in one piece. I think it will give better support. I know to watch out too not to have the strip sit on top of the stainless support.

Another thing I noticed when I had my facia off is that there is a center support bracket that is supposed to be there for the facia. Mine was only about half there. The top portion of it had rusted away. I completely removed what was left of the bracket and could only remove one of the bolts as the riv-nut in the fiberglass body on the other was just spinning. Replacing that bracket if missing should help to keep the center supported properly as well.

05-30-2011, 12:34 PM
How about removing the fascia, reshaping with a heat gun like normal then running the same type of aluminum bar along the inside of the bumper the length of the bumper between the two turn signals? That would produce great vertical stability and should probably still fit well over the impact absorber.

06-06-2013, 02:42 PM
I will be showing my car show at an all day event in a couple of weeks. It's outdoors, and in Texas so I am concerned that the conditions for eyebrowing are ripe, or? How long time would a car have to sit out in the 90 - 100 deg heat and the sun for the fascia to start to warp?

06-06-2013, 04:26 PM
How long time would a car have to sit out in the 90 - 100 deg heat and the sun for the fascia to start to warp?

A few years.

06-06-2013, 05:12 PM
Running a strip from end to end is a great idea in theory but in practice it is pretty much a nightmare. I ended up breaking the project into three sections.


It seemed to work pretty well: http://uploads.m-cgi.com/kennyz/Delorean/Projects/fascia16.jpg to http://uploads.m-cgi.com/kennyz/Delorean/Projects/fascia22.jpg

06-06-2013, 05:43 PM
A few years.

OK, no worries for me then. :)

06-06-2013, 06:07 PM
I don't know if the OP still has the issue with the rear fascia, but when I read through at first I didn't realize how old the thread was.

Not sure if the rear fascia warping reference is to the edging strip being crooked. It is here:


Here's a picture of my old (horrendous) one and the new one side by each:


The five bolts welded to the top of the support strip go through five holes in the frame at the back. The lower side has seven holes in the support strip. They line up with 7 bolts epoxied right into the plastic of the rear fascia. If it all isn't still connected, or has gotten warped or rusted or crooked, it can cause the 8 symmetrical holes/rectangles on your rear fascia to no longer look straight. You can see how mine had gone to the war and back. I think of the 7 bolts in the plastic, only 2-3 were still connected. It acts as a heatshield as well between the back of the muffler and inside of the plastic fascia. Combination of the muffler heat and rust can get things looking messy.

New ones are readily available from the vendors as are replacement SS studs you can sink into the plastic and line up with the support strip holes. I know my car had the unsymmetrical holes across the back but in reality I think I noticed it more than Joe Public. Not sure. Doesn't matter anymore :)

06-07-2013, 03:19 AM
My car has the slight dip in the rear fascia as well. Right across the bumper line.

I'm not sure how shims might fit between the bumper and the fascia - mines a real snug fit.

Last time I had the fascia off it didn't occur to me to note if the bumber itself was also sagging.

Any advice particular to the rear fascia would be great.


SS Spoiler
06-07-2013, 08:26 AM
My car has a 37lb SS spoiler fastened to the louver, causing the fascia to sag. Cutting a piece of plywood to rest on the frame and pushing up on the fascia helped a lot. I cut a hole behind the license plate for access. [makes it easy to get to the engine cover latch if your cable snaps]

Paul Cerny 2691
Kalispell, MT

06-07-2013, 10:14 AM
One of the things that bugs me most about my car is the fascias. They're not even that bad, I just hate the slight sag in the center of the front fascia and warping of the rear fascia. One of these days I'll get them properly repaired.

06-07-2013, 11:27 AM
I found a couple of good places to mount 1/8" aluminum angle on the rear fascia -- Just cut to length and pop rivet them in counter sunk tapered holes. (You can see the placement before plugging with 3M below). TIP- Work the flaws to the area behind the license plate with a heat gun, making it lay right before riveting as much as possible! (And make sure flaws bow inboard or the plate will hold its framework out too far...) Really stiffened it up, and provided a place to put new threads in for the tail lights to boot...

I can't find the pics of the back side (sorry). The upper one is just flat stock, exposed when installed because it looked cool to me (I can still get a pic if anyone wants...).


06-07-2013, 11:48 AM
Nice work, Ron!

Work the flaws to the area behind the license plate with a heat gun, making it lay right before riveting as much as possible!

Newbie question here: So you just lay it down on the metal, and hit it with the heat gun until it lies flat on the metal? Did you have to "massage" it?

06-07-2013, 05:43 PM
Kinda...we have done two...one seemed to fit the aluminum angles real well in one direction which made it easier.
Heat, check, repeat was the trick.

The process:
We removed the fascia, degreased it etc. Then scraped all of the silver paint off with a sharp knife like tool to save all of the original primer (much better bond in the end due to the material and age...), made all hole and tear repairs. Then roughed the shape out with a heat gun while hung upside down (PO removed the heat shield for turbo headers, so it drooped in the middle...). Then started at the top with a set of "temporary rivets" (part of tool set, basically a set of special pliers you put them in, squeeze, poke it into the holes and release) drilling only a few holes and gently heating it until it basically relaxed into shape, removed temps and checked, repeat...twice IIRC. Then moved to the lower piece -- you'll never do it all at once, for re-adjusting adjustments. Then we mounted it back on the car, nudged it where needed, poped riveted the existing holes, and added the rest. Finished up with re-priming, feathering, and shot it with the OEM to PPG Fleet crossover in the resources section.

Let me know If unclear or ???