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Mitsubishi sign

Facelift bumper installation Guide

Revision 1.0, 11/04/2005

This is a rough guide to replacing the pre '97 FTO bumper with a facelift version and is based on my own experience.

Items required

Facelift bumper (Mitsubishi p/n MR555088)
VW Lupo (’98 on) foglights
MG ZT front indicator units
2 x 581 chromed 120 degree offset pin bulbs (flash orange)
2M of two-core electrical cable
2 x 40mm steel L brackets
Mesh for bumper opening
8 x female disconnects (mini-spade connectors)
12 x male and female disconnects (spade connectors)
Assorted screws

Tools required

White marker pen or similar
Electrical drill
Socket set
Spanner set
Hot glue gun
Axel stands
At least 1 pair of hands!


Note: Firstly, get a copy of Steve Hemmings excellent stainless mesh installation guide (PDF), it will provide the basis for the removal and replacement of the front bumper.

Indicator unit installation

At this stage, the front bumper should be fully painted and ready to go, you will need to take your MG ZT indicators and line them up with the holes at the rear of the bumper.
Looking towards the front of the bumper, make sure the indicators are straight and in line with the opening. Using your pen, place marks on the rear of the indictor unit where it lines up with the two screw holes in the bumper. Remove the indicator and drill holes where you’ve marked. Be careful while drilling as too much force will crack the clear Perspex section of the indictor, I recommend you drill a pilot hole (2mm) and then follow up with a larger hole (4mm). The inner screw hole will need to be built up by approx. 15mm; I used a large rawl-plug and cut it down to size. At this stage you can then screw the indicators to the bumper using 4mm screws.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Foglight unit installation

Again, place the foglight in the inner bumper hole and line it up at the front to your satisfaction, take an L-bracket and beat it down flat with a hammer (alternatively, you can use a piece of mind steel and drill it with two holes as required). Line up the bracket on top of the foglight at the rear and mark a spot on the bumper and the light unit at the bracket holes. Remove the light and drill holes (2mm) in the bumper and light unit.
Use a suitable screw to secure the bracket to the foglight (not too long or it will come into contact with the inner part of the light) and a short (7mm) screw for the bumper. Now that the light unit is fixed to the bumper, use a hot glue gun and stick the units in place, put glue around the full circumference of the foglight to ensure a solid bond. Leave for 10mins to set.

Click to enlarge


I used mini-spade adaptors which will fit over the connectors on both the foglight and indicator units, once crimped to the cable and in place, I used a small amount of glue from the hot glue gun to fill the connector holes, be careful at this stage as too much glue will melt the surrounding plastic. Once this is completed, the bumper is ready to fit to the car.

Click to enlarge

Removal of existing bumper

Refer to Steve Hemmings stainless mesh installation guide for bumper removal instructions. Once the bumper is off, you will need to remove the three main brackets, the lower side brackets are held in place by 3 screws/bolts, before moving these, unscrew the sidelights from the front of the bumper. The centre bracket is screwed to the bumper, remove all four screws, you may also want to unscrew it from the side brackets for ease of installation. There are also two small brackets at the upper right and left hand edges of the bumper, remove these also.

click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Installation of new bumper

Fitting the old brackets onto the new bumper is the reverse of the above procedure. Note the lower screw on each side bracket can’t be put in place due to the lack of a screw hole, this is not a major problem as the bumper will be quite secure once fitted. As the opening on the facelift bumper is different to the pre-facelift, the centre bracket cannot be screwed to the bumper, as long as it’s secured to each side bracket, this is enough to keep it in place.

The remainder of the wiring is required at this point, bring the bumper alongside the front of the car, you will need to cut the wiring that was connected into the sidelights. As a reference point, strip back the black plastic on the wiring and take note of the colour of each wire. Black is earth (there are 3 of each), red is the foglight live, green-red is the indictor live and green-yellow is the parking light live (Note: this colour scheme may differ between cars, to be on the safe side, line the sidelight connector up with the connector on the loom and trace the wires to verify).

Click to enlarge

I used crimped spade connectors to each side of the wiring and used electrical tape to secure the connections in place. The parking light was not needed in this case so I taped the cables up for installation of suitable parking lights in the future. Once all of the cabling is in place, test the foglights and indicators to ensure they operate.

Before fixing the bumper back onto the car, install the new mesh onto the rear of the opening, you can reuse some of the screws from the old bumper (I held off on this procedure as I didn’t have the mesh at the time, it can be retro-fitted with the bumper in place at a later date if required).

The bumper can now be fitted onto the car in the reverse sequence to the way in which it was removed. I would recommend having a second person on hand at this stage to ensure both sides of the bumper line up properly. Lastly, remove the Mitsubishi emblem from the old bumper and use double-sided 3M adhesive or similar to fix it in place on the new bumper. Screw your license plate in place and stand back and admire your hard work :)

Click to enlarge

Afternote: I will add a section for installation of sidelights once I have them in place, I’m planning to use 82mm halo / angel eyes lights and glue them onto the front of the foglights, watch this space.

Credits: Steve Hemming of www.mitsubishi-fto.org and www.type-f.co.uk fame for use of his Woven Stainless Steel Grill installation guide.


Disclaimer: The author takes no responsibility for any damages incurred, this a guide only, please take care when undertaking any work on your FTO, if in doubt, consult a professional.


©www.fto-ireland.com 2005
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