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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Idea-Protect Front Bumper Paint (&maybe grille) from your parking challenged neighbor

Don't know about you guys but before deciding on car was always wondering how this bumper/grille design could ever survive in real world parking (particularly in congested cities). There are just too many people out there who prefer to make parking decisions "amusement park- bumper car style."

As others always found the grille/bumper design unique, but wondered where front receives first impact from others who back into your car. Whther you like front plates or not, to some extent the standard plate brackets/holder on most cars serve as the first barrier and avoid bumper getting scratched in many cases.
So to me the current front design (in terms of "practical") was a disaster waiting to happen and I doubted our Italian designer friends gave much thought to how this bumper/design would hold up in real world city parking. At best, I foresaw the painted triangle frame (around grille) getting all scratched up and looking poor. At worst (for us owners), that precious grille may get easily damaged over time (and perhaps expensive to replace with long lead time).

So I mentioned my concern to someone and he gave me a quick rough idea that I was able to implement (with some trial and error).

DISCLAIMER: I'M NO EXPERT AND IF YOU TRY THIS, UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE DOING SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Here it is (see pic att. worth a thousand words):

>Take some rubber piping (cut to approx. 11 3/8" length). Two are needed. "Force" the piping into each side of triangle framing the grille (i.e. the space between the silver frame and "bumper" cover). Ensure that enough of it protrudes from bumper such that it remains the first point of contact when someone "hits" the front bumper while parking.

>My car is black so I had some additional pipe options that IMHO did not "ruin" the car's great design. Many of you have other colors so remember that if black doesn't appeal to you, you can try clear rubber PVC tubing (as long as flexible but stiff enough to fit snugly and give some good protection).

>In the end I settled on standard heater hose because it's pretty strong, yet has "the give" necessary for force fitting (and not breaking easily upon light impact).
>I used 5/8" O.D.. 3/4" O.D. was too large to fit and didn't work. THe tubing is about $1 per foot in Advance Auto Parts cut to size.
Note that for whatever reason the groove is a bit wider and/or deeper at the top and narrower/shallower at bottom.
So I wound up cutting the tubes down the entire length, trimmed away approx. 1/8" inch.
This allowed me to flatten the tubes to a more oval shape (for a better fit and more protrusion for protection). You can heat up how you want to make tube softer and then flatten it somewhat. I used an iron which worked well enough but I guess a heat gun or even blow dryer may make tube soft enough to flatten it to an oval.
>Behind the pipe, I also added a few extra flat pieces of the rubber tubing at the very top. It's deeper at top and I wanted to make sure the tube can't be pushed in completely (i.e. useles) after first impact.

It appears ez in the pic, but it was a more difficult (i.e. time) b/c of the trial and error. But now a/o interested won't need to.
For example one person gave me an idea to use some silicone (in triangle groove) to make them more secure. It was a terrible idea and a big mess. I used the best (GE silicone) and it actually prevented the tubes from staying in place because of the oily consistency.

In frustration (took way more time than I expected b/c I had to try different things), I actually put a few drops of glue.....I know, I know... (in hidden areas). I'm also embarrassed to say that in my frustration (it was taking more time than I had)......
I didn't hv. enough of a "proper" glue to use so I used a few drops of Krazy type glue....I know I know (beating myself up over it) and b/4 I knew it a small amt. ran (where I didn't put it) and I think small damage to paint (really small and hard to see fortunately). Any ideas on how to easily remove/correct easily? Just wouldn't want to do anything stupider than I already did.

Sorry for writing too much! Just trying to help others save time and not have to figure out what I already did that worked (at least for me). Hope it helps someone!
 

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>In the end I settled on standard heater hose because it's pretty strong, yet has "the give" necessary for force fitting (and not breaking easily upon light impact).
>I used 5/8" O.D.. 3/4" O.D. was too large to fit and didn't work. THe tubing is about $1 per foot in Advance Auto Parts cut to size.
This is a fine European automobile, you should at least use METRIC hose, I think 17mm would work fine. :grin2:

Actually it's a great idea!
 

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A good idea. I think you might be better off with an inflatable mattress like a pool raft. I think they make them for car doors. You will want more cushion and energy diffusion before any solid contact with your $1000 bumper.
 

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And then there are parking valets...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually the "rubber pipe" completely blends in to the design.
The close up focused picture on the small area, may be misleading for judging the aesthetic.
The first comment I recd. after installing it was that it looks like car came that way.

Completely respect that the "purists" may not find it to look ok. I'm 50% "pure" and 50% practical I guess. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A good idea. I think you might be better off with an inflatable mattress like a pool raft. I think they make them for car doors. You will want more cushion and energy diffusion before any solid contact with your $1000 bumper.
So you're suggesting Alfa be the first to market with a grille airbag? :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think that small amount of hose protruding would do much if someone backed into you.

This is uglier, but would work better.
http://www.bumpshox.com/
Tks. for feedback.
Not sure. However, it's primary purpose is to protect from the inevitable scratching of the paint surrounding grille.
Here is why I think it will work (and tested same.....but granted didn't have the "testicoli" or however you spell guliones to actually back a car into it to test). :smile2:
You may be right but I can tell you that I tested by pushing agst. the pipe (the way another backing car would). And the key is that when pushed hard it FLEXES and flattens covering the painted areas that would other wise be damaged. And the key words are "I think" :smile2:

Quite familiar with the Bumpshox item. Indeed it's ugly. There are also better options on market (but for other cars)....had researched recently for diff. car.

I mounted front plate in the least visible manner possible (you can search for my post on this topic if you're curious).
That front install would never allow such plate protector.....too large to fit in the area plate is placed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That in the south would be called "******* engineering".

I seriously doubt it would do anything accept look bad
Hmm don't know about anything other than Southern Hospitality. "******* engineering" terminology is way out of my league :smile2:

The question is whether your assessment of its protective potential is any way related to the % of pickup trucks you may have down there. :)
Those backing into the Alpha is something I couldn't intend to correct :smile2:
For us city folk, a rare pickup truck sighting may be more of a novelty :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That in the south would be called "******* engineering".

I seriously doubt it would do anything accept look bad
This is a fine European automobile, you should at least use METRIC hose, I think 17mm would work fine. :grin2:

Actually it's a great idea!
The good line comment was meant for you (forgot to include your comment as quote).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Infotainment question(s):
Been reading that there were some infotainment issues or replacements for defective units. Search for the answers to these questions to avoid duplicating topic, but didn't find. Any comments on following:

1-Unless radio is turned, on the voice command function on steering wheeel doesn't seem to work on my car. Does this make sense? Am I missing something?
2-It's silly to have an 8.8" screen upgrade and the backup camera only occupies a fraction of the screen area. It's tiny compared to all cars I've driven in past 10 years. Any way to enlarge backup view?
3-I've found that reverse view on camera doesn't shut off until a long delay. Very strange car is in drive....your moving fwd. and the camera displays the rear view. Is this normal?
4-Screen resolution (particularly on backup camera) appears low quality (grainy at times). Do you experience same?

I can't say I focused on the infotainment system prior to purchase (I'm not tech obsessed and drive and comfort were a higher priority). However, in genl., this infotainment system has the features/features of a unit designed back in 1999. I know it's all about the drive (and AR didn't want to distract). I'm all for the latter, but to be honest, it's unlikely that's the reason for the infotainment being so "out of touch." Agreed?
 

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******* engineering is actually a compliment of sorts down here. It basically refers to the fact that you can come up with a good idea and with little to no money find a solution. The solution is rarely pretty but almost always functional.

And with my luck, anyone that would back into me would hit everything BUT the center grill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
******* engineering is actually a compliment of sorts down here. It basically refers to the fact that you can come up with a good idea and with little to no money find a solution. The solution is rarely pretty but almost always functional.

And with my luck, anyone that would back into me would hit everything BUT the center grill.
No Prob. Love the South and its people. I think we can learn some respect from y'all.
 

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Hmm don't know about anything other than Southern Hospitality. "******* engineering" terminology is way out of my league :smile2:

The question is whether your assessment of its protective potential is any way related to the % of pickup trucks you may have down there. :)
Those backing into the Alpha is something I couldn't intend to correct :smile2:
For us city folk, a rare pickup truck sighting may be more of a novelty :)
Um, spelling? :nerd:
Has anyone considered a squeaky example of the below?

Plenty of pickups in any city, whether needed or not.
 
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