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I didn't notice this, despite my thorough go-over and even when they put it up on a lift for me as part of my inspection... You have to get fairly low to see this, but it just doesn't sit right with me.

It appears my rear license plate area is quite "open" at the top, and it makes me wonder if there's some sort of rear license plate shroud/mount/surround, that's missing from my car. There's an exposed open area at the top, and from the outside you can clearly see a "styrofoam" type filler that doesn't look terribly qualified to be exposed to the elements. Are other 02 OBS like this??

There are several holes under the plate area and at the bottom of the bumper, that almost indicate to me that there's something that belongs in there that I didn't get. Perhaps those are the non-North-America rear plate accommodations, but I need a reality check here.





any input appreciated...
-Peter
 

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Mine is a 2000, and I don't know too much about the 02's, but from what I can see in your pics, that doesn't look standard. Because of the Saturn dealer stickers, I am assuming you bought it used. Maybe the previous owner had some oversized licence plate frame in place, and had to cut the bumper skin to make it fit??
 

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I'm hoping the 02 owners will pipe up, I don't have any others around to compare it to. It doesn't look like a home-made cut, it looks very intentional, I'm just not sure if something goes up in there or not.

And yes, I bought the car used in NH, last week. Original owners in Maine, traded into NH, sold to VT - I guess I'll have to sell it to someone in NY when I'm done with it :)

Those Saturn stickers are coming off soon... waiting for a nice hot day to park in the sun and let it all warm up.
 

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Heh. You think Saturn stickers are bad. I had "Circle Dodge" on mine. And you know, SRT-4 is fast4R ;)

There usually is a red 02 OBS here in the parking lot at work. I wanted to go check it to see what she's got under the bumper, but she is not here today. If she comes in later today (she owns the little Eastern European restaurant) I'll go take a peek under her rear bumper.....Wait, that doesn't sound right..:lol:
 

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OK. I looked at mine. Keep in mind I have a 2000 OBS. Mine looks similar to yours, except, there is no styrofoam.:confused:

So I think what you see is really standard, or I am missing the same thing you are missing. My license plate area is not as large as yours, though. If I had a digicam I would've taken a pic of it to post. However, aside from the visible styrofoam our bumper skins seem to be very similar...
 

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I just looked at my MY02 OBS. It is exactly like mine. I knew there was an odd opening there, but until I just got my knees dirty, I didn't know it looked like that. Keep hope alive. Brian
 

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bheinz57 said:
I just looked at my MY02 OBS. It is exactly like mine. I knew there was an odd opening there, but until I just got my knees dirty, I didn't know it looked like that.
Weird. Got me looking at my '04 and, sure enough, a styrofoam bumper! :eek:
Can't say I've ever seen such a thing on any vehicle.

Very good thing for low speed impacts, probably, to help retain the shape of these plastic bumpers. Or else it would only be smaller metal plungers back there, I guess.

It cries out for the need to modify it. Painting could mess it up though, possibly melting it maybe. A small bit of sheet metal could be attached to there without too much intrusion and not affecting the foam of plastic. Simply connected to the license plate bolts but positioned between bumper and foam.

Gee. I remember when bumpers just accumulated dents and dings on chrome-plated steel and didn't bounce back. :5:
 

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bumper is prolly filled with styrofoam for same reason motorcycle helmets are lined with it: impact absorption through progressive deformation. i don't think it does bounce back any more than steel, tho.

i don't think std brush-on exterior enamel paint will melt it and i'm abt 98% sure latex won't....i wouldn't try to use spray paint, tho, as i suspect you're right that solvents in it would. so maybe satin black latex....???

hmm--sounds kinky, only had the car for 2 mos and already wanting to dress it up in black latex.... :yodaddy:
 

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The styrofoam in modern bumpers is there to absorb some or all of the impact. My understanding is that it only works the way it's supposed to once, however, so even if you've been in a fender bender with no visible damage to the bumper cover, the styrofoam underneath may still need to be replaced.

The '04 OBS has the same gap with styrofoam showing at the top of the rear license plate area.
 

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"The styrofoam in modern bumpers is there to absorb some or all of the impact. My understanding is that it only works the way it's supposed to once, however, so even if you've been in a fender bender with no visible damage to the bumper cover, the styrofoam underneath may still need to be replaced. "

absolutely correct, also based on motorcycle helmet practice. altho i might not be as rigid abt it when it wasn't so close to my head as padding in my helmet....
 
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