As I had the Bavaria out in the driveway for spring cleaning, I noticed to my dismay some rust spots under the rear bumper. The position of this bumper is such that it can pick up all kinds of road dirt, mud, salt, etc., so periodic removal and cleaning is a must.
It's not as hard as it might look. On 1973 and earlier sixes (fours and post-73's may differ), the bumper comes off by removing four bolts and loosening two others. Remove the trunk floor, unsnapping the half over the spare tire and removing the small screws that hold the other half. Unbolt the four 13 mm bolts that pass through the car's rear sheet metal into the bumper at the bumper guard assembly. Don't worry about losing the nuts, as they are secured inside the bumper guards. Then loosen, but don't remove, the two bolts that pass through the fender sheet metal into the front ends of the bumper. The bumper will then slide off as you pull back and down on it. Be careful not to scratch the paint of the car's body. Watch out for the exhaust pipe, too. It helps if you have someone else to help you .
You can then clean, paint if necessary, wax the sheet metal under the bumper, and clean out the inside cavity of the bumper itself. Replace in reverse order of disassembly, noting that the bolt holes in the bumper guards and sheet metal allow you to adjust the bumper both vertically and horizontally. While you have the trunk floor out, check for rust around the top and sides of the fuel tank. Treat this area with silicone spray to prevent rust formation.
Author: Richard 0. Neville
30 Yarmouth Road, Wellesley Hills, MA 02181