Need Some Opinions Guys...


Founding Member
Mar 11, 2002
Toms River NJ
Well, needless to say, I've been going through alot of personal things lately. I took the car out, first time since October, to meet up with a bunch of people to go on a cruise to get my mind off of things, destress and what not. That said, I was fairly distracted and did this....


Believe it or not, I was able to score a new stock hood for 30 bucks from some random that happen to be driving by my house 2 hours after I did this. I was outside crying over it, and he just pulled up.

Question is this. the front bumper, while not bad, i think is bad enough that i wont be able to make it "perfect" and i'll see imperfections in the center grill area. Do I do the following:

A: try to fix the bumper I have, keep it stock
B: get a new (used) OEM LX bumper cover, keep it stock
C: cut the center damaged bar out, install cobra grill insert

Need opinions. when I painted the car in 2011 with @SVT32VDOHC, I fixed every imperfection in the body - its perfect and stock. Everything done to the car from a look standpoint has been in the wheel and suspension package. Do i keep it a purist LX or do the grill insert route?
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I would keep it stock. I love the looks of a clean LX. Try and find a used bumper thats pretty straight. My front bumper had a ton of imperfections when i did the two tone on it and it looks pretty reasonable now but if i wanted to do it all over again i would've gone with an OEM ford front bumper cover.
I don't see why the bumper cover can't be fixed. I would keep the stock lx appearance that you have! I don't think i would like the look of the cobra grill in your bumper.
Here's a closeup of that area. I just don't think i can get it "perfect" again. And it would bother me. I guess i'd have to try before saying i can't do it, i have gotten alot of other things out i didn't think i would have been able to do honestly!


So sorry to read about your incident. That totally blows the big one..

The first thing I'd do is to make sure you wash off all of that blood from the front end and bury the body somewhere remote. Don't want to see your car on CSI, surrounded by crime techs.

I'm a big fan of the stock LX look so if it were me I wouldn't want to be changing that if I didn't have too. I think you already answered your question, but I expect that you'd be surprised how well it might fix up, so I'd definitely give it a try. If that doesn't work you can always buy another one at that point and go from there. Especially if it's still bothering you! 95% of the value of these cars is in our own heads, so it's usually worth a few $$ to make sure that we're not fixated or bothered by these things on a prolonged basis. So on the other hand don't let others decide what is good enough for you.

Good luck, I hope it comes out well.
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my advice is to get over your car having a few imperfections, make the bumper repair as best you can, repaint it and be done with it. if you start obsessing over minor issues, you are going to drive yourself crazy to the point where you are going to hate the car and want to get rid of it. and after you get rid of it, you will start to search for another one that you can make perfect, after spending a lot of money doing so, and then you will prang it again at some point, and the cycle repeats itself.

remember this, it is only a car, a fun one to be sure, but a car none the less. a mechanical conveyance designed to get you from point a to point b and back. and this is coming from someone who has been into cars for longer than you have been alive. heck i graduated college with a degree in automotive technology before you were born. so take it from me, relax, do the best repair you can, and be happy with it. in the end the only person that will really know that a repair was done is you, everyone else will look at the car and say what a wonderful car you have there. guys like me might spot the repair, if we are looking for something to buy, but otherwise even i would likely not see the issue if i were just admiring the car.
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bumper 2_opt.jpg

Sorry I don't have a before photo, but my rear bumper had some damage to the lower portion before the repaint. I wanted to change the bumper but body guy told me he could fix it. White will be a lot more forgiving even if it's not perfect.
Thanks for all the words of encouragement guys! I am definitely a fan of keeping the body and such stock. Something about a clean, stock fox I love! In my late teens, early 20's, that was a different story! I'm going to attempt a fix on this and see how good I can get it. I have a small tear on the bottom that i overlooked and didn't fix in 2012 when i painted it, so i'm going to address that as well!

Since the hood and bumper are coming off, i'm going to take the opportunity to spray the engine bay, and re-paint and clean up some parts under the hood (I've been meaning to do that since last summer!)