Front Air Dam Guard

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The shape of this piece changed slightly in '97, but it is interchangeable between model years.

[AW]  My '91 is currently running the '97 air-dam/spoiler-lip (or whatever you want to call it). As some of my passengers will attest, I think of it as a very expensive curb detector.

The black rubber strip on the bottom of the front air dam, technically known as the "Driveway Scraper" can be replaced seperately from the rest of the air dam.   Keep in mind that you can get either the original version (the '91-'96 model year spoiler is no longer being manufactured) or the slightly wider flaired version for the '97 (part # 71110-SL0-003);  they're interchangeable.  The '97 version may scrape even more, though, especially on the sides.  The part lists for around $130.

The actual replacement is simple.  The part is held on by 13 bolts with 10 mm hex-heads. The bolts have a shoulder, and screw into tinnerman-nut-like clips (part # 90305-SH3-000, air spoiler clip) with captive nuts. The easiest way to do this job is to jack up the front of the car so you have about 12" or more clearance under the lip, and use an electric screwdriver with a 10 mm socket. You may need a pair of pliers or an adjustable-end wrench to keep the "clips" from rotating as you initially loosen the bolts. It's a good idea to put some anti-seize on the bolt threads when you reinstall, since they are in a "high corrosion" area, and you don't want a lot of trouble removing them the next time. It's easiest to attached the center bolt first, and then work out from there.

Don't use regular old 6 mm bolts, because the shoulder bolts, combined with the clever little u-shaped nut/clips that the bolts go into, allow the "lip" to be knocked off the car without damaging anything. If you put in conventional bolts and tighten them down you'll risk ripping your body-colored air dam the next time you hit a curb or something.

Also don't assume all 13 bolts and nuts are there; you might want to look *before* ordering your lip so that you can get any necessary bolts or nuts at the same time.

It's also a good idea to put some anti-seize on the threads of the shoulder bolts since, due to their exposed location, they're prone to corrosion even here in the "sun belt."

One technique that makes removal and replacement easy is to mount a 10 mm socket on an electric screwdriver and jack the car up enough so you can apply that tool to the bolts. Turns it all into a relatively painless 10-minute or so job.

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