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Old 06-13-2009, 10:54 PM   #1
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How Bumpers are made, Paint Matched and Questions for FbodFather

Disclaimer
Most of us have seen the mismatched paint threads and the heated debate.
Please don't turn this thread into that debate. I think this issue is important. I don't want to have this thread closed as a "We've been down this road before dang it, closed"

Now, that being said, I just so happen to have access to some expert testimony about the whole process I'd like to share.
My source (My Father) has 30 years experience as the head of Quality Control for Baileys and later Emhart in NH. A company that made bumpers for GM Ford and Chrysler for many years. Not where they make the bumpers now but things should not be all that different. I spent some time today discussing this with him and showed him the pictures I took and ones from the other threads.

Way back in the beginning the bumpers used to be made of EPDM but they had too many problems with shrinking so they now use Eurethane

Ok the process

1. The Urethane bumpers are injection molded.
2. After coming out of the mold they sit for a while to stabilize.
3. They go through a bath to clean off any residue.
4. They are then primed and run through an oven
5. They are painted per customer spec (GM Ford etc) and run through an oven again.

Ok so he was in Quality so thats what I wanted to talk about.

He could spend weeks explaining how the bumpers are inspected for fit. We'll skip over that.

So how do they make sure the Paint they apply matches the rest of the car when assembled?

The Paint inspection happens in the Light Room.
They get the specs from GM (they are really detailed) on how the paint is supposed to match in a broad variety of lighting conditions. They get master paint chips from GM and match them according to those detailed specs. They vary the lighting which is meant to simulate light from different times of the day, shade sun rain, whatever else is in the spec.
If it turns out they don't match for whatever reason on a given lot, they strip the paint off and start over.

I attached the pictures I showed to my source. Not cluttering the thread with them or start a debate so I zipped them up. mismatch.zip Download them if you need to see them again. Obviously not all cars look like this.
So after he explained how it all was done I showed him the pictures and this is what he said:

"Looks like these cars were painted in the dark, the paint match is terrible."

So,
My questions to FbodFather are: Is the above still accurate for current manufacturing? Does GM recognize a quality issue with the paint matching of the front bumper? Is anybody aware and/or looking into the issues reported on these forums about it?
Shed some light on these paint issues please.

Please don't reply with a debate about it being a non Issue. I'd like to see what FbodFather has to say. Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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Interesting info. I doubt that Fbodfather is the person this question should be addressed to, but interesting comment from your dad. (PS I wouldn't open the zip file. I've seen quite of few of the pix on this forum)
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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hey rays, delete your porn from zip file ( after I download it,lol)
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJS View Post
Interesting info. I doubt that Fbodfather is the person this question should be addressed to, but interesting comment from your dad. (PS couldn't open the zip file, but I've seen quite of few of the pix on this forum)
Do you know who could answer then if not him?

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hey rays, delete your porn from zip file ( after I download it,lol)
You got me. I had to go check to make sure.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:13 PM   #5
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I couldn't open file either
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Pr0n?
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:15 PM   #7
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If it really goes thru that much inspection after painting and they let them ship, it must mean there is a problem with the "master paint chips" being used for testing being different or not matching exactly the paint guns results at the plant. The mistake might be happening at the plant with the actual painting of the car not being exactly up to specs while the bumper is coming out of the bumper plant accurately.. Interesting..
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:27 PM   #8
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If it really goes thru that much inspection after painting and they let them ship, it must mean there is a problem with the "master paint chips" being used for testing being different or not matching exactly the paint guns results at the plant. The mistake might be happening at the plant with the actual painting of the car not being exactly up to specs while the bumper is coming out of the bumper plant accurately.. Interesting..
I don't think they change paint and it's sprayed and cured at the same time.

It's the material surfaces that make the reflection and refraction diffrent.

By applying a primer base you make both surfaces more even texture and light wise.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:31 PM   #9
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Use Firefox if you want to download the zip. IE seems to have a problem doing that. For some reason its corrupted when it goes through IE.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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this is the thread i have been waiting for.
Thanks rays, hope to see some progress through this thread.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:19 AM   #11
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Just a hunch, but i'm pretty sure Scott has seen the threads or knows of the painted bumper QC issue. Either way GM QC has got to know about it and doing whatever they can to remedy the problem. I would also suspect they will take care of the customers that have paint issues. It may just take some time with the current state of things at GM. They have spent a great deal of time making the early VIN cars right so they could be delivered, so their QC people should have more time to spend on any current issues. I think the people that need to know do know. Just don't count on getting acknowledgement of that.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash View Post
I don't think they change paint and it's sprayed and cured at the same time.

It's the material surfaces that make the reflection and refraction diffrent.

By applying a primer base you make both surfaces more even texture and light wise.
It I never said it had anything to do with changed paint or whether it is cured at the same time. What I did say in my post above is that at the bumper supplier location, they have "master paint chips" being used for testing and they emulate different light reflections to see if they match. Now apparently this could mean that they (at the bumper plant) are doing things correctly and the bumpers match perfectly with what they have been given or not. If they are doing things correctly, then the problem lies with the master paint chips they were given or the problem lies at the Canada plants painting of the car. Either way, some of these paint jobs don't match up and some do.. I am optimistic that GM and the suppliers are working on this issue for future models and hopefully as you say GM will fix or replace bumpers that are affected and shipped out already. However GM has no acknowledged up to this point that there is even a problem. Hence we have GTHAVIT closing down all the threads that have popped up with pictures showing this problem. Obviously the problem is not isolated and does exist. Now it is GM's responsibility to fix the problem secretly if they wish however I do believe it is their duty to help fix those bumpers that have a problem and missed QC for some reason.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:05 AM   #13
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There's an orange one here at my job (display),that the front and rear bumpers seems to be a lighter orange than the rest of the vehicle.Did not notice it on the silver camaro they had there last week.They change the camaro's here every week or so.....like the other two display cars..Malibu and some sort of crossover...

Noticed it in early morning sun and afternoon sunlight.....
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:08 AM   #14
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EVERY car I've looked at matches if you stand directly over the two panels. It only looks different when you look from an angle where the light reflects differently. This same phenomena happens across the hood in the photos as well, but you don't notice it. I am sure this is why it is passing any color match test, because the colors match.

But please be correct and quit calling this the bumper. It is the fascia. The bumper is a large beam that runs side to side under the fascia and adds structure to your cars.

Sorry, it's just my pet peeve. You guys can continue the debate, just do so correctly.

From my experience with Corvette, the process outlined is pretty close except the body panels installed in the body shop are painted at Bowling Green. Electrostatic primer is applied to those parts. Fascias, I believe come in painted just like the Camaro.

Painted in the dark is meaningless comment, even though they may LOOK like it. The parts go through inspection and color match is one of those inspections. I would also suggest that the suppliers do a color check prior to parts being shipped to Oshawa. So, although I can't state as fact, I have to believe the parts are matching in the current inspections.

Also, as the rear fascia is painted the same way with the same paint as the front, why do they match? Because the angle is different in the photos. I can't say for sure, but it is very likely the front and rear fascias come from the same supplier using the same process. That would be interesting to confirm. Because no one concerned about rear fascia mismatch.

BTW, where is the first Camaro5 member who has a car and has taken it back for warranty repair? I can only recall one post so far. What are you guys being told. This constant speculation over photos is getting tiresome.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:18 AM   #15
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The paint on the bumpers is fine - it's the paint on the fenders, doors, and roof that is wrong.

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Old 06-14-2009, 07:33 AM   #16
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This says it all.
BTW, where is the first Camaro5 member who has a car and has taken it back for warranty repair? I can only recall one post so far. What are you guys being told. This constant speculation over photos is getting tiresome.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number 3 View Post
EVERY car I've looked at matches if you stand directly over the two panels. It only looks different when you look from an angle where the light reflects differently. This same phenomena happens across the hood in the photos as well, but you don't notice it. I am sure this is why it is passing any color match test, because the colors match.

But please be correct and quit calling this the bumper. It is the fascia. The bumper is a large beam that runs side to side under the fascia and adds structure to your cars.

Sorry, it's just my pet peeve. You guys can continue the debate, just do so correctly.

From my experience with Corvette, the process outlined is pretty close except the body panels installed in the body shop are painted at Bowling Green. Electrostatic primer is applied to those parts. Fascias, I believe come in painted just like the Camaro.

Painted in the dark is meaningless comment, even though they may LOOK like it. The parts go through inspection and color match is one of those inspections. I would also suggest that the suppliers do a color check prior to parts being shipped to Oshawa. So, although I can't state as fact, I have to believe the parts are matching in the current inspections.

Also, as the rear fascia is painted the same way with the same paint as the front, why do they match? Because the angle is different in the photos. I can't say for sure, but it is very likely the front and rear fascias come from the same supplier using the same process. That would be interesting to confirm. Because no one concerned about rear fascia mismatch.

BTW, where is the first Camaro5 member who has a car and has taken it back for warranty repair? I can only recall one post so far. What are you guys being told. This constant speculation over photos is getting tiresome.
I think this is right. It seems to be the angles on the car. Any color I looked at depending on the angle I was looking at it. Even black looks off at certain angles. The worst I've seen is the grey. At some angles the door looks like a totally different color, but if you get up to it straight on you can see it is the same.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:13 AM   #18
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You don't need to use bold like that it's yelling.

Paint chip problem would mean they are changing paints like I said. They don't change paints.

Can they use more toned down lame paints like Ford and Toyota do? Yea... get rid of IOM, ABM, RJT and IBM. That's not gonna happen. And are they picking the wrong paint per the RPO? I don't see how that's possible.

The Poly has been on Camaro's since 78 it was never EPDM on Fbody.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number 3 View Post
EVERY car I've looked at matches if you stand directly over the two panels. It only looks different when you look from an angle where the light reflects differently. This same phenomena happens across the hood in the photos as well, but you don't notice it. I am sure this is why it is passing any color match test, because the colors match.

But please be correct and quit calling this the bumper. It is the fascia. The bumper is a large beam that runs side to side under the fascia and adds structure to your cars.

Sorry, it's just my pet peeve. You guys can continue the debate, just do so correctly.

From my experience with Corvette, the process outlined is pretty close except the body panels installed in the body shop are painted at Bowling Green. Electrostatic primer is applied to those parts. Fascias, I believe come in painted just like the Camaro.

Painted in the dark is meaningless comment, even though they may LOOK like it. The parts go through inspection and color match is one of those inspections. I would also suggest that the suppliers do a color check prior to parts being shipped to Oshawa. So, although I can't state as fact, I have to believe the parts are matching in the current inspections.

Also, as the rear fascia is painted the same way with the same paint as the front, why do they match? Because the angle is different in the photos. I can't say for sure, but it is very likely the front and rear fascias come from the same supplier using the same process. That would be interesting to confirm. Because no one concerned about rear fascia mismatch.

BTW, where is the first Camaro5 member who has a car and has taken it back for warranty repair? I can only recall one post so far. What are you guys being told. This constant speculation over photos is getting tiresome.
As valued member to our community I’d like to thank you for your input and contribution, that being said every time there’s a thread about this subject you come out like a watchdog and quiet everything down and reassure people it's the angle or the light and such. I can tell you that that may be the case with some it's not the case in all. I've seen it in person and my eyes don't lie. Now does that mean every car is off or every FASCIA is bad ofcourse not.
People here are merely trying to get this issue resolved for our sake and that of GM's. I'm personally don't like to repaint anything. From experience there are almost always problems down the line when you have something repainted. So I much rather GM get it right and so would the buyer who is paying full price for their car. Scratch that even if i didn’t, most people here are paying MSRP or above so maybe they have a right to critic the car. Thank you again NUMBER 3 that's my opinion so treat it as such.

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Old 06-14-2009, 09:44 AM   #20
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Can we try some primer at least? You could change paints all day and nothing would change. We have a base material and prep issue. Not a paint issue the paint and the spray are perfect. The raw materials are not being prepped with proper primer.

When painting you have to consider not just paint but the surface because paint inherits the characteristics. If I walked up to a tree and shot it with IOM it would not look like a camaro front bumper piece. It would look like a tree.

That's why the steel looks like painted steel. And the poly looks like painted poly. Because the paint is not sitting on top of a color neutral primer coat. So you have two inherited textures instead of one. Both have different light relection and refraction qualities.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #21
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My paint looks off, especially on the mirrors. The front and rear "bumpers" (haha Number 3) is off looking slightly. The mirrors are off enough to add a nice contrast and I actually like it alot after I got over the initial shock. Go to home depot or Lowes and get several gallons of paint. They will tell you to mix them all together even though they were computer mixed. It stands to reason that on any give paint batch that something may be slightly off. If you have ever seen paint mixed then you know that it doesn't take much at all to change the color of a gallon. I say lighting bedamned, it doesn't match and I'll still drive this car the rest of my life. Happy IOM and mostly IOM driver.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:23 AM   #22
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I did hope we wouldnt be debating the existance of an issue

Number 3,
Over the years a bumper has evolved into being more a part of the front end of the car.
I don't like to call it a Fascia because to me that implies just the front facing surface.
As far as the angle comments go I have seen where that is not true. The picture I took illustrates this, you can check out my thread "dont park next to anybody"
The painted in the dark is not meaningless. Obviously its not painted in the dark. He was just expressing that he thinks there is a problem. His opinion was highly valued by GM back in the day. If I had a nickel for every time he was flown to Detroit just for his advice on a MFG problem I wouldn't have to work myself.
Yes, I have not noticed an issue with the rear "Fascia" but it does not have a top surface which follows the line of the car(in the same plane) like the front "Fascia". This is why i asked specifically about the front and not the rear. There could be a problem with the rear as well. I don't know. I haven't seen or noticed it as of yet. I have noticed the front issue with my own eyes.
Your happy with your car. That's great. There are plenty of people who don't have the issue, don't notice, don't care, think its cool or whatever. Ignore this thread if this is you. I'm not trying to convince everybody who doesn't believe there is an issue otherwise. Many think there is and so do I.

Vash, The EPDM comment was just a history comment. They havent used that in many years. I don't know when they stopped. I'd have to ask.


I will give GM the benefit of the doubt and say they are working to resolve or have already resolved the issue.
The fact that they have not chimed in concerns me a little. Its not a safety issue so they don't have to fix it. They may just fix the ones people complain about. I don't want that. You can't duplicate the quality of factory paint (at least application wise, eh hum)


Were paying full price MSRP or above we want full quality especially since in my case for RJT and IOM (only recently) it costs 325 extra just to get the color. I hope mine comes in without an issue. I'll have it inspected
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:52 AM   #23
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I couldn't say where the issue of the paint difference comes from, GM, outside manufacture or lighting. I can say that thousands of these cars have been manufactured and every one of them are being looked at on a daily basis under varying lighting conditions and only a few are complaining, I would have to say the issue is a paint problem and not a lighting issue.

Of course it could be that everybody has the "problem" but only a few are bringing the issue up which would indicate lighting/angle and not the paint which means it's not a "problem" that needs addressed.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:59 AM   #24
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Oh, Gm if your listening my order is NJXJ30. Please make sure it matches before you bolt on that Bumper Fascia. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:25 PM   #25
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Rays,

First of all, I appologize if I discounted your father's opinion. We are missing a lot of experience in the industry that was provided by men and women like your father that knew their stuff.

Second, I am waiting for someone to start a thread with Bumper as the title just to get my goat. As I've said in many posts, it's my pet peeve. I know and everyone knows what you mean when you say bumper.

Third, we just bought my wife a new Malibu. SIM. In the right light (wrong light), the colors are off. Just a bit but they are off. Unless you are painting a car in the same booth with the same paint, they will never, NEVER, be exactly the same.

My need to defend here is when someone implies, infers, suggests, or hints that GM doesn't know what it's doing. I stongly jump to the defense of GM when that happens. And I strongly defend the men and women at Oshawa busting tail to get you great Camaros.

Anyone NOT happy with the paint match is covered under warranty. In fact if your car exhibits anything like what is often suggested here at Camaro5 you shouldn't sign the paper work. It is just amazing how someone will post 10 pictures of an IOM car and a couple in the odd light show a mismatch and this fire starts up again. Doesn't matter how perfect it looked in the other 10 photos.

You are the customer and you should be completely happy with your 2010 Camaro, as many members are. If you aren't, your dealer should resolve your concerns.
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