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Bumper Cover Problem

21 February 2000
Wimberley, TX U.S.
I have owned my red 94 NSX for over 20 years. About 19 years ago I had the roof painted red and the front clip repainted. I did this because I preferred the all red look for the roof and to clean up some stone chips on the front cover and hood. "Special" paint was used for the front bumper cover that was suited for that application. The results were very good and I have been pleased with the repainted areas for all of these years. Last month I took my car out for a drive. My garage is climate controlled at 70 degrees. Outside temperatures were in the 30's. After a short drive while parked I noticed that I now have what appears to be a cracks under the paint on two areas on the top part of the bumper cover. One crack is about 10 inches long and runs at an angle from about the middle of the space between the center emblem and the headlight indent towards the indentation for the headlight. The other runs straight up from the Acura emblem about 2 inches long. Again, these cracks are on the flat top part of the cover, not the front or vertical section.

The paint is not cracked but the imperfection appears to be under the paint.

So my question is: Is this a problem with the cover after 26 years, or should I suspect earlier damage and repair that for some reason has appeared?

I should note that my paint guy made no mention of an earlier repair when the paint work was done and I would be very surprised if that was the case and I was not told. I have driven the car about 20K miles in twenty years and it has always been garaged.

Last question: Does anyone know why the Face, Front (bumper cover) part numbers 71101-SLO-OOOZZ and 71101-SLO-A9OZZ were replaced with part number 71101-SLO-A91ZZ?

Thank you in advance for anyone that can help shed light on this problem.

Note: We will be heading to the body shop to address this problem but I am wondering if I should repair whatever we find or just go ahead and replace the cover with the new part now available.

Hey Norm,
I would contact Joe on this site, Joe run a body shop in upstate NY and he work's on NSX's.

NSX Specialist: Joe Lomoriello
Details from Google Maps
185 Smith St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
+1 845-454-3220
View in Google Maps

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Thank you for the input Bram. I remember following Joe's repair of the Zanardi. :smile:

Here is a little more to the story...... Since I live in Texas between Austin and San Antonio and our new NSXCA South Central representative is located close to San Antonio I thought he might have some suggestion of how I might proceed. I started with my last issue of NSX Driver to get Ed Somers contact info and reread his introduction. I had forgotten that he had included information on his son Drew's passion for automobiles and noted that Drew works for a Restoration shop called Renown Restorations which isn't too far from where I live. Short story, after calling, I drove down to the shop to show them my issue and discuss how I might proceed. The first person I met after walking in the front door was Drew. From there a group took a look at my car and offered some direction. First, until we get the bumper cover off we won't know for sure exactly what caused the problem. It was suggested that based on their experience with other composite panels (mainly Corvettes) it is entirely possible that the sudden temperature change (73F in my garage to mid 30's outside) combined with my 26 year old composite bumper cover may well have been the culprit that caused my problem. Regardless, a new front cover was suggested as the best path forward.

So the new OEM cover has been ordered and I am on a wait list to get the car into the shop for repair and paint. Both the lower valence and the new cover will get new paint and by summer I should be back to "like new". A little wiser about sudden temperature changes and the fragility of composite panels as they age.

I will post more information after the car goes to the shop and actual damage and all needed repairs are revealed.

Stay tuned......

So here is the rest of the story.....

Well the restoration shop, after waiting about 3 weeks advised that they really did not want to work on the car. They didn't have anyone familiar with the NSX and felt I would be better off taking it somewhere else.

So my mechanic had a suggestion of a body shop that had worked on another customers 91 NSX and did a great job. At first they were also too busy but with the recent issues surrounding the Covid 19 "shelter in place" orders, even though his business has been deemed "essential" he had workers but no work. So I dropped the car off last week and picked it up today. "Better than new! The seals are more even and the fit is better than before, paint a perfect match. Could not be happier.:smile:

But here is the important info..... The old bumper cover had not been previously damaged but was "toast". They showed me how just grabbing and edge with his fingers he could break off a piece. The old cover was just very brittle all over. Any pressure on the cover resulted in more cracking. We don't really know why but clearly after 26 years the composite material just broke down and was no longer suitable for use.

What others need to learn from this is that the composite bumper can become very fragile and extreme care should be taken not to exert any direct pressure or a nasty surprise could be the result. Certainly do not push the car using the bumper cover and care should be taken when waxing or rubbing that only a light touch should be used when working on the composite pieces of these cars. Especially older models.

"Word to the wise!"

Stay safe

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