Removing the Front Bumper

[AW] The chances of you're being interested in this are slim, but if you ever want to get clear access to the horn, washer pump and tank, radiator, etc. on your NSX, or put on some after-market nose piece to make it look just like a Firebird <g>, I have some useful information for you, because you'll need to remove the front bumper. What comes off is everything forward of the headlight doors.

I pulled mine off today in order to get at the horns. I wasn't particularly planning on doing this, but happened to noticed that, judging from the *apparently* four-step procedure in the shop manual (p. 20-47 in the '91 manual), it looked pretty easy. And in reality it is. What I learned, which is why I'm writing this, is that the shop manual description leaves out a couple important steps. So here's a summary. By the way, don't try this without the manual; I'm going to give only a non-pictorial overview plus a couple pointers.

  1. From the front of the car disconnect both horns and the external temperature sensor.
  2. From under the hood disconnect (electrically) the washer pump.
  3. Get a short piece of plugged windshield washer tubing (or something similar) to cap-off a 3/16" or so spigot, Pull the tubing off the washer pump spigot, and plug the spigot. If you don't all your washer fluid will drain out on the floor. I believe you can get little rubber vacuum tubing caps at an auto parts store that would work nicely.
  4. Remove both front turn signals by inserting a long but small Philips screw driver up into the indicated holes and backing the screw out. The screw is captive, so all you need to do is loosen it all the way and make sure it drops down out of it's threaded hole. Then, prying carefully at the center, pull the turn signal assembly forward. Unplug both connectors and set the turn signals aside.
  5. Remove both skirt covers like it says. (Philips screws)
  6. Remove all six bumper mounting bolts like it says. (12 mm head, 6" extension)
  7. Remove the lower skirt mounting bolt (in the center, as shown). (10 mm head)
  8. THE MANUAL DOESN'T MENTION THIS: Remove the 6 mm vertical bolt that retains a black plastic arm at the rear of the "towing hook" (10 mm head shoulder bolt)
  9. THE MANUAL DOESN'T MENTION THIS: Remove the outer two under-spoiler mounting bolts (these are two of the 13 that hold the rubber lip on the air dam. You have to remove them because they capture a plastic shroud that stays with the car. (10 mm head shoulder bolt)
  10. Remove the bumper mounting nuts (2 ea. side, 10? mm head) and the skirt mounting bolts (1 ea. side, 10 mm head). You'll probably need a palm sized ratchet handle for this.
  11. At this point the bumper assembly is disconnected but hanging from the thoughtful little hooks that Honda designed into its mounting. If you don't have a helper (I advise getting one, but I didn't have one), sit down in front of the car, put your arms into the radiator openings, lift up and pull the bumper off into your lap. It's not that heavy (maybe 50 lb. At most). If it doesn't come right off, you've probably forgotten to unfasten something. It may cling a little to the plastic beading that fills in between it and the front fenders, etc.

Just to summarize, here are the fasteners that one way or another prevent the bumper from coming off, so if you haven't removed all of these you aren't ready to pull the bumper:

6 8 mm bolts (from the front)
4 6 mm nuts (from inside the fender wells)
2 6 mm bolts (from inside the fender wells)
2 shoulder bolts (from under each end of the spoiler)
1 shoulder bolt (from under the car at the rear of the towing hook)
1 6 mm bolt (from under the car front and center)

This entire removal operation took me one hour. Putting it back on took about two or three hours mostly because you need small and agile hands (and mine were getting less agile by the minute) to get all the fasteners started and hand-tightened. Also, you need to double check the arrangement of all wiring harnesses, etc., to make sure they will be where you want them when you bolt the bumper back on. You don't want to crush or trap any harnesses or connectors, and there are eight of them to worry about.

 

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