2006 Accord LX: front bumper replacement

Hi,
I managed to crack my front bumper on an 06 Accord LX (4D Sedan) pretty badly. I've currently had two estimates from body shops, both run around $625-650. My insurance deductible is $1000.
Looking at the bumper cover, I see that it's a fairly simple system of clips and such that holds it in place. I was thinking about replacing it myself. I've been looking at a few used auto part websites, and not having a lot of luck finding a used one -- and even if I found a used one, there's no guarantee that the color would match. I realize some aftermarket parts might be $60 cheaper, but probably still need to be professionally painted/installed.
Anyone have advice or ideas about a cheaper way to proceed? Assuming I could find a matching color, is it relatively straightforward to install these? Will I need expensive/specialized tools, or unusual equipment?
-Ben
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Bumper skin removal sometimes involves removing the entire bumper assembly by undoing four bolts and four screws, then detaching the skin from the rebar once the assembly is off the car.
Bumper skin removal can also require a tedious and exacting disassembly on-car of many many small screws and bolts, leaving the rebar in place. If you do not know the exact sequence beforehand, it may take you many hours of fiddling and bodywork paint scratching before you manage to puzzle it out.
Which type do you have? Probably the second, but I don't know for sure.
I would stay very far away from aftermarket. They are very poor quality and never fit properly. Plus they will crack pretty much the first time your kid runs into your bumper with his tricycle, the plastic is so Chinese-cheap.
If you really want to do this yourself, hold out for a used OEM skin, and buy the Honda factory shop manual for your car. Don't count on being able to find a used skin, much less one in the correct color. Frontal collisions are the most common. Try here: www.car-part.com
If you're being quoted $650 parts, labor and paint, that's awfully good. TOO good maybe. The paint alone should be close to $500. I wonder if they're just going to repair the existing bumper -- which can be a perfectly valid way of fixing the problem. But make sure they're going to paint the bumper OFF the car.
$650 sounds to me like they're cheaping out and planning to repair the skin and paint it on the car.
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Tegger

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ISTR hearing about an on-line parts supplier that would paint the (new)bumper cover according to the paint code you supply from your car's door jamb. It arrives fully cured and ready to install.
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Jim Yanik
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I believe it, but for how much? And is the skin OEM?
Won't be less than $500, I'll bet, unless they're batching them for paint, which I doubt.
You've got to figure at least $100 for shipping alone, plus the cost of the shipping materials. Paint scuffs so very easily.
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Tegger

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good painter will blend the paint to match not only the color code, but match the car itself. Consider sun fade as well as the slight difference from different assembly points, and other environmental factors. Without the blending it can stick out like a sore thumb. Howard
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a 2006 auto should not be that faded yet. Plus,the painter can "guesstimate" how much the paint faded from the age of the car(and conditions of the car's storage and solar climate),and adjust the mix to compensate.
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Jim Yanik
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I guarantee you'll see the difference. Howard
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Jim Yanik wrote:

As in anything else, there is variations in shade from lot to lot of paint (the actual specification will call for a range). It is much better than years ago, but variability is still the nemesis of just about all manufacturing processes.
Overspray and blending appears to be a normal practice.
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howard wrote:

This is why when doing most repairs, there usually will be overspray to other areas that are not damaged when painting to blend in.
I recently had to replace a fender and rear door skin on my '04 Graphite Pearl (or dark grey!) Accord. The insurance estimator included time and materials to prep and overspray onto the hood, roof, front door skin (complete) and the rear fender.
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Ben wrote:

The wreckers in Canada have a parts location service. You should keep after them to find you a correct one. The color will be 'pre-faded' too.
Parts diagram is at www.slhondaparts.com
It might be terribly easy. My '97 CR-V is easy.
'Curly'
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Given the age of the car, it would be worth fixing it right even if it costs a $1,000.
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Ben wrote:

actually totally pay for that claim, within the year!
Take personal responsibility, get it done with OEM parts, and as Tegger says, proper maintenance procedures, painted off the car, and I might add, the correct plasticsized pliable warranteed paint, or else it will crack within a few months!
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