A while back I picked up a v2 replica lip off of eBay. I usually don’t run a lip on my cars as Subies have a good amount of front overhang; I like to lower my cars and Knoxville has a lot of extreme elevation transitions, with my driveway being one of the worst offenders. However, on the Bugeye, the front bumper is pretty high up so there is ample room to run a lip.
Considering the price, the lip fit better than I expected. It wasn’t perfect by any means but I was happy with it. And if my driveway destroyed the lip, it wouldn’t be that great of a loss. It cleared my driveway fine (after I put down about 400 lbs of asphalt patching) but unfortunately, the material that holds the two pieces of the lip together broke and I had to zip tie my lip to the bumper to keep it from falling off.
This was fine for a while but I wanted to paint the lip and I wanted to try my hand at bonding plastic pieces together for a cleaner result. If I can make this a single piece lip, then there are a couple of other exterior mods I plan on doing in the future.
The first step was to hit the lip(s) with some sanding paper and red scotch disc to remove all of the road grime. I cut out the two zip ties on top and placed a self-adhesive mesh body patch underneath the lip to give it some support. I took the wax paper from the adhesive side of the mesh and placed it between the lip and the bumper to keep it from bonding to the bumper. I then just threw down a glob of Bondo plastic bumper filler in the void. I wasn’t sure if this stuff would work so I didn’t even attempt to make it look good.
After about 30 minutes, and to my surprise this stuff works!
On the bottom portion of the lip, I used Permatex Plastic Weld as (a) it was cheaper than the Bondo stuff and (b) it came in larger quantities and (c) I didn’t really care what the bottom if the lip looked like, as long as it was structurally sound.
At this point, I was fresh out of plastic bonding materials so I started on the next step, which turned out to be the most time-consuming part of this whole project – sanding. If you don’t like sanding (and I’m not entirely sure I like sanding) this isn’t the project for you.
However, once you get the hang of it it’s not too bad. Fill in the low spots and sand down the high spots. It is very time consuming and it took me a couple weeks to finish as I was constantly running out of plastic filler material. I had to drive around to different auto parts stores to find available inventory.
This next part, I made in error. This whole thing has been a learning experience and so if I did this again, I would avoid this step in the process. I thought I was done with my plastic bonding agents and I put on some glazing putty to fill in the remaining shallow spots. However, after applying and sanding the putty down I noticed that I still had some flex in the two halves of the lip at the very bottom of the lip and thus needed more support. This meant sanding out the rest of the putty so I could add more Bondo/Permatex.
Once I got most of the glazing putty out, I reinforced the lower portion of the lip with mesh and more Bondo.
Then it was back to sanding and cleaning and prepping for paint.
My initial plan was to order a few cans of Grimmspeed WRB paint to spray the v2 lip and permanently attach it to the bumper with adhesives.
However, after spraying the lip with primer, and being pleased with the overall results, I decided to try my hand at molding STi side splitters to the lip. This is one of my favorite parts of the Blobeye STi and I thought I would try to integrate them into the lip.
We will cover the splitters in part 2.