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I just learned recently that my car was hit in the front at some point, because the radiator support looks jacked up, the lines aren't 100% and from looking at things today, I don't have a bumper absorber. You know, that foam piece that goes between the bumper and the chassis. Or do E's not have that anyway?

Well, anyway here's some pics for the heck of it.

Some point soon, I will have the front end aligned, new radiator support put in, and new bumper with absorber installed.







 

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Yeah, my body shop guy read me the riot act after I rear ended someone a couple of years ago. There is absolutely nothing protecting the front of the Element. If you hit something it goes right through the radiator and into the engine.
 

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Ramblerdan, is that something on newer Elements? Mine just has the frame rails sticking out the front. When I rear ended the other car the whole front of mine caved in and they had to replace everything in front of the engine block.
 

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Ramblerdan, is that something on newer Elements? Mine just has the frame rails sticking out the front. When I rear ended the other car the whole front of mine caved in and they had to replace everything in front of the engine block.
they have had that since the begining. this diagram is the same one they show in the service site on the 03-08 element. the 09-up have it too but the picture is a little different. this is metal BTW, not a foam bumper pad type thing like he was asking about originally if that is what you are asking if it has.
 

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When I rear ended the other car the whole front of mine caved in and they had to replace everything in front of the engine block.
Normal. It's called a crush/crumple-zone. Bumpers and the underlying reinforcing (as shown in Rambler Dan’s pic), are to hit (no pun intended) the 5 to 7 mph Federal bumper ratings, not to bumper-car bounce you off another car at 10 - 40 mph with no damage. There is a HUGE amount of energy to be dissipated in even a 15 mph collision of a 3500 lb hunk of steel, that you happen to be sitting in, into something. If your front end was NOT designed to strategically crumple and use up some of the kinetic energy, that energy would not be absorbed making origami shapes out of your E's front end, and instead be transferred to making origami shapes out of the vehicles occupants. Before crumple zones, many a driver in even low speed crashes succumbed to things like inertia force torn aorta damage. The few tenths of a second more it takes your front end to crumple, absorb that energy, and decelerate your vehicle saves you from injury or worse. Here's an experiment for you. Take a 1 pt. square cardboard. milk/cream carton and fill it with crushed paper. Hold it on your forehead and have someone smack it lightly with a hammer. The carton crumples and the kinetic energy generated by the swinging hammer is absorbed and you hardly feel it. Now fill the carton with plaster and let it dry. Do the same hammer trick. You'll get a sore head, because, with no crumple zone, now the energy wasn't absorbed by the carton crushing, and declerating the hammer, it was transferred straight through to your noggin instead. No stiff, reinforced bumpers for me - let 'em crumple up into a ball of tin-foil. I like my noggin intact.
 

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Keep in mind also, we're seeing the latest design resolutions of pedestrian safety requirements and lowering costs of assembly.

- Europe insitituted the new pedestrian requirements the last couple of years (timeline is approximate). With the severe wedge shapes of past front profiles, crippling and associated severe injury to the legs was rampant. Also, head injury (slamming onto the hood) was ID'd as a common trait of these impacts.

Sooo, we now have the intro of new front profiles of higher hoodlines, softer/crumple prone zones that include the front clips and hoods, and some extra space in front of the engine bay for increased absorption of impact.

Throw in the ever present need for controlling costs...the answer from Honda...and many others...currently is to snap on a front nose clip meeting all these requirements. The old requirements of the 2.5 mph bumper is still met with the steel reinforcement beams at bumper level behind the clip.

I would think this means ever increasing insurance costs as we draw closer and closer to quick totaling of vehicles that become more "disposable" in their crumpling in the name of safety. I'm good with that; I'm all for walking away from the wreck with the biggest next challenge being just finding another vehicle.
 
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